Why US Revives Blame Game against Pakistan?
In its recent report, submitted to the Congress by the Department of Defence, US has revived blame game against Pakistan. The Pentagon report allegedly said, “Afghan-and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against Afghanistan and India…Taliban attacks are launched from sanctuaries in Pakistan’s tribal areas and Baluchistan.”
On November 5, this year, Pakistan’s protest over these unwarranted comments was conveyed by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz to the US ambassador Richard Olson who was summoned to the Foreign Office.
In this regard, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam pointed out that despite “Pakistan’s cooperation with the US in areas of mutual interest, Pentagon report carries unsubstantiated allegations of the existence of terrorist ‘sanctuaries’ in Pakistan or that proxy forces are operating against Afghanistan and India from inside Pakistan.”
She elaborated, “Ambassador Olson was told that such allegations were of particular concern at this point when the Pakistani government has launched a comprehensive ‘Operation Zarb-i-Azb’ against militants in tribal North Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan, which has been broadly welcomed internationally as well as in Washington…which has also been a long-running demand from US and its allied forces in Afghanistan.”
It is notable that in the past few years, US top civil and military high officials have continuously emphasized Pakistan to ‘do more’ against the militancy in the tribal regions in order to stop cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. In this respect, by reviving US old blame game, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta allegedly said on June 7, 2012 that the US was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan due to safe havens, “the country offered to insurgents in neighboring Afghanistan.
During his trip to India and Kabul, Panetta encouraged New Delhi on October 26, 2012, saying that India had vital role to play in Afghanistan and it would be helpful for peace and stability in the region, adding, “Our new defence policy hinges upon this strategy.” The US-led NATO has decided to keep around 24,000 troops in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces in December 2014. In fact, America seeks to obtain multiple strategic designs by controlling the energy resources of Central Asia, and weakening Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia.
However, Afghanistan has become part of the sinister designs of the US and India against Pakistan. Therefore there are a number of American aims behind accusations against Pakistan.
Facing defeat and having failed in coping with the Afghan Taliban and to pacify their public, particularly, US has shifted the blame game towards Pakistan’s security agencies.
In the recent past, following the US blame game, Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai openly accused Islamabad of sponsoring a series of terrorist attacks in Kabul, while from time to time, India has also raised similar allegations. While, America, India and Afghan government has ignored the fact that Afghan Taliban are fighting for the liberation of their country, and from Alexander, the Great to the intervention of the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan has proved graveyard of the foreign invaders.
It is mentionable that Afghanistan is responsible for terrorists’ penetration into Pakistan. Since April, 2011, some 200 to 400 heavily-armed militants from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region, from time to time, and targeted the security check posts, civil and military infrastructure of the tribal areas. So far, these terrorists have killed several personnel of Pakistan’s security forces.
However, the way the Afghan militants are challenging a highly professional Pak Army is enough to prove that with the tactical assistance of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan are fully backing these cross-border incursions with a view to destabilizing Pakistan which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.
While, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where these external secret agencies are also sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements to dismember Pakistan so as to obtain the secret strategic designs of the US, India and Israel. Besides martyring several personnel of security agencies in Balochistan, these foreign-backed entities kidnapped and massacred many innocent people including Hazara-Shias and Chinese nationals.
Posing themselves as Pakistani Taliban, these enemies have joined Tehrik-e-Taliban, Pakistan (TTP) and other banned extremist outfits. In the recent years, especially TTP’s insurgents and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror-activities like suicide attacks, ruthless beheadings of tribesmen, assaults on security personnel and prominent figures including Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, Christians and Sikhs. Besides, terror-attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi are part of the scheme to create chaotic situation in the country.
A recently released video by Washington Free Beacon pointed out that the US new Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel disclosed during a speech at Oklahoma’s Cameron University in 2011, “India has always used Afghanistan as a second front” and “has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.” Earlier, the then NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. McChrystal had revealed: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”
Notably, in the recent years, a series of international conferences were held in order to bring stability and peace in Afghanistan. For this purpose, US-led developed nations also pledged billions of dollars for the development of Afghanistan. Besides, American top officials have repeatedly agreed that without the help of Islamabad, stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, taking note of Indian negative approach, in the recent past, US Senator John McCain reminded the Obama administration that encouraging India to take a more active role in Afghanistan, while simultaneously criticizing Pakistan could be a recipe for disaster. In fact, India wants instability in Afghanistan, which favors its secret goals against Pakistan. But Pakistan seeks stability in Afghanistan, which is not possible owing to Indian presence in that country. Therefore, Pakistan has legitimate concerns in Afghanistan.
Pakistan accommodated three million Afghan refugees for more than three decades; supported Afghan-led reconciliation process by facilitating opening of Doha office, and release of Taliban prisoners on Afghan government’s request; conducted wide range military operations to root out terrorists’ safe havens from its soil and supported Afghanistan in socio-economic fields.
Meanwhile, since October 6, this year, India accelerated cross-border shelling along the Line of Control and Working Boundary and killed several innocent persons. While, leader of the fundamentalist party BJP and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is reported to have given a free hand to the Indian forces to go on aggressively with the violations.
As regards the issue of cross-border militancy, Indian Prime minister Modi neglected the fact that on July 19, 2013 the Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws. Similarly, Modi also ignored the statement of Indian ex-Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who revealed on January 20, 2013 that organized training camps run by the fundamentalist parties, RSS and BJP were promoting Hindu Terrorism. He also explained that these extremist parties were behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts. Earlier, New Delhi has been accusing Pakistan’s spy agency ISI of these terror attacks, while Indian prime minister is again blaming Pakistan for the Mumbai carnage.
Regarding cross-border terrorism, former Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly confessed in September 2013 that special intelligence unit like Technical Services Division were raised by him to operate inside Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir to conduct terrorism and to bribe the politicians in the Indian-occupied Kashmir.
In fact, by manipulating the US contradictory approach towards Islamabad, Indian and Afghan rulers have intensified cross-border shelling and terrorism in Pakistan. In this context, Washington, New Delhi and Kabul also wants to create pressure on Islamabad and the Armed Forces in wake of present political turmoil—and a full scale military operation Zarb-e-Azb which continues successfully against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency.
Nonetheless, by showing realistic approach, America should realize that unlike India, Pakistan shares common geographical, historical, religious and cultural bonds with Afghanistan, while stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan is interrelated, which is essential for American global and regional interests. Therefore, US must abandon its blame game against Pakistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations