WEB DESK: Last week, during a joint hearing of US Congress’s Sub-committees on Terrorism, Nuclear non-proliferation, Trade, and Asia and the Pacific, the subject was “Pakistan: Friend or foe?”Where in many Congressmen demanded stopping all US assistance to Pakistan, and declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism, and if it didn’t eliminate the terrorist safe havens on its territory, imposing economic sanctions.
What is amazing though is that this vitriolic outburst of the US Congressmen denies US admission of success of the 2-year long Operation Zarb-e-Azb aimed exclusively at eliminating terrorist outfits active on the Pak-Afghan border – success whose price Pakistan paid in terms of huge casualties of its soldiers and civilians is acknowledged by everyone except the US Congressmen.
That no country suffered more than Pakistan from the fallout of the “US war-on-terror” is accepted globally. Last week, during his visit to Pakistan and after seeing first-hand the impact of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, said he was “impressed by the progress on ground”.
In this backdrop, the outburst of US Congress seems the after-effect of the magical spell Indian Premier Modi created during his last visit to Washington under whose influence even President Obama called an Indo-US alliance the “defining partnership of the 21st century” – partnership with a country that, according to Modi, trained thousands of terrorists for splitting Pakistan (a US ally), back in 1971.
Besides reflecting the screwed mentality of the US Congressmen, this debate exposed how they can be convinced (you know how) to a point where they begin calling themselves and the US administration chumps, patsies and stupid, and lament their leaders’ inability to detect Pakistan’s ‘manipulative’ diplomacy that has been “gaming” the US for decades.
Zalmay Khalilzad-a “patriotic” Afghan who turned American – vociferously backed the congressmen’s call. He has an ‘explanatory’ track record; from 1985 to 1989, he served in the Reagan administration as a senior State Department official advising on the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War. From 1990 to 1992, under President George H. W. Bush he was Deputy Under-secretary for Policy Planning.
From 1993 until 2000, Khalilzad was Director of the “Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure” form of the infamous Rand Corporation, and after 9/11,became the US President’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan, and after November 2003, US Ambassador to Afghanistan; that’s not all, later he also served as the permanent representative of the US at the UN.
Just seven years after America’s defeat in Vietnam, under a clueless Reagan the US trapped into launching another long war by its military-industrial complex whose evolution President Eisenhower had warned about. Beginning with its intervention in Afghanistan to “give the Soviet Union its Vietnam”, the US remains in a state of war that has made it the world’s most indebted country.
Going by his track record, in the build-up of this mess (and devising the 2005 US plan to destabilise seven Muslim states), Khalilzad played crucial “advisory” roles. Three cheers for him, especially for “supervising” Afghanistan’s descent into the stone-age – fate that Pakistan too was threatened with if it refused to assist the post-9/11 US invasion of Afghanistan!
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher ridiculed continued US aid to Pakistan; she sought direct access to people in different regions. “People of Balochistan should understand that the US is on their side for their independence and self-determination from a corrupt, viscous, terrorist-supporting regime”, and promised the same to Sindh is and other ethnic groups in Pakistan. Wasn’t she advocating Pakistan’s break-up?
Her being well-informed was exposed by her claim that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia created the Taliban and Haqqani networks that Pakistan is defending. If she can’t access confidential US records of the endless Afghan War, she should read Steve Coll’s remarkable book “Ghost Wars” that exposes the US role in creating the Taliban movement that the US now considers a lethal threat.
But a minority in the US condemns such conduct; within its ranks are conscientious individuals like Jimmy Carter (39th president of the US) who pinpointed the flaws plaguing the US, and as a result thereof global politics. In an article published in the New York Times in June 2012, he exposed the flawed US global conduct, and its dumbly denied impact on the country’s image.
What Carter questioned was the favourite US line – America’s critics are evil, savage, and mentally sick. He faulted the US counter-terrorism policies for violating 10 of the 30 articles of the Human Rights Declaration prohibiting “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, and legalise US president’s “right to detain people indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organisations.”
What he didn’t recall was that, beginning with its invasion of Korea, the US has killed more humans than all the other nations put together, including the former Soviet Union. Besides those killed during US invasions, later on, millions suffered and died due to the environmental after-effects of those wars; if Donald Trump adores the White House, this history could be repeated.
While we can go on attributing this turnaround in the attitude of the US Congress to Indian lobbying, the continuing failures of our Foreign Ministry (headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) in exposing explicitly the role India, Afghanistan and the US have been playing in destabilising Pakistan through their agent networks in Pakistan, is undeniable.
Instead of pursuing the Raymond Davis affair as forcefully, we overlooked the US refusal to apologise for this affair as well as the US attack on Salala and kidnap, killing and ‘disposal’ of Osama Bin Laden (or his duplicate). Why we didn’t we pursue the Kulbhushan affair with India, and with Afghanistan the routine arrest of its agents in Pakistan? Above all, did we highlight these issues at global forums?
Surely, terrorists (visibly non-earning entities) in Baluchistan and KPK neither have the resources nor access to venues for buying anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers, machine-guns, and requisite ammunition. Nor could they be using the leftovers of decades-old Soviet weapons. Then, without focused and sustained foreign backing, can they pose a threat even to our armed forces?
Not declaring the origin of weapons recovered from Indian and Afghan agents is amazing although it is the key evidence of Indian and Afghan role in terrorism in Pakistan. Why are these facts not disclosed? Doesn’t the Afghan President’s admission that the mastermind of the APS massacre was residing in Afghanistan establish Afghan role in terrorism in Pakistan?
Given Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ‘overly friendly’ attitude towards his Indian counterpart, it remains to be seen how Pakistan takes up at the global forums the latest Indian atrocities in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Source: Business Recorder