9/11 and Pakistan

Sajjad Shaukat

 

Since 9/11 events inside the US homeland, although a number of small countries decided to join the US war on terror, yet Pakistan again became the frontline state in this regard.

In this respect, American also applied coercive diplomacy on the weak states such as Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Yemen etc., without bothering for the public backlash and internal instability in these countries.  However, Pakistan has already been facing severe economic and financial crises, so it was compelled to support American invasion of Afghanistan. In turn, US started giving economic and military aid to Islamabad. In fact, it was a matter of mutual dependence for both the countries.

But within a few years, US-led NATO forces which were equipped with sophisticated technology felt that they had been failing in coping with the Afghan Taliban who succeeded in demoralising them through suicide attacks, ambush assaults and roadside bombs. In order to conceal its defeatism in Afghanistan, particularly the United States which had earlier granted the status of non-NATO ally to Pakistan began to accuse Pakistan of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan—and Pak Army and intelligence agency IS in close contacts with the Afghan Taliban.

In 2009, when the heavy-armed Taliban occupied Dir, Buner and other adjoining areas, US high officials and their media had left no stone unturned in exaggerating the Talibinisation of whole Pakistan and underestimated the capabilities of Pakistan’s armed forces. In that context, On April 22, 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. Admiral Mike Mullen and General David Petraeus had also expressed similar thoughts. Surprisingly, when Pakistan’s armed forces ejected the Taliban insurgents out of Swat, Dir and Buner by breaking their backbone including command and control system—capturing many militants, then these American high officials started admiring the Pak Army. Afterwards, Pak Army also launched a successful operation in South Waziristan, and is still fighting the insurgents in some tribal areas.

This self-contradictory statements of the US high officials continued, showing American duplicity with Pakistan—sometimes cajoling the latter with economic and military aid and sometimes pressurising Islamabad to ‘do more’ against the Taliban militants.

As regards Afghanistan, stiff resistance of the Afghan Taliban against the occupying forces created unending lawlessness in the country which has become a most suitable place for India and US so as to prepare conspiracy in order to fulfill their secret strategic designs against Iran, China and especially Pakistan.

Indian secret agency RAW, based in Afghanistan—has been sending well-trained agents in Pakistan, who have joined the ranks and files of the Taliban. Masquerading themselves as the Pakistan Taliban, they have continuously been conducting subversive acts in our country. Besides Afghanistan, now CIA, RAW and Mossad are collectively working inside Pakistan. In this regard, these secret agencies have been spending huge money to train and equip the terrorists who have been carrying out suicide attacks, assaults on security forces and targeted killings—inciting sectarian violence in our country including backing separatism in Balochistan. Now-a-days, Karachi has become their special target. Their purpose is to create perennial unrest in Pakistan.

However, during the Swat-Malakand and South Waziristan operations, ISPR spokesman, Maj-General Athar Abbas has shown to the media, huge cache of arms and ammuniton, made of India and America, entering Pakistan from Afghanistan. And a number of foreign agents have been captured in the country. Recently, without naming US, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik have disclosed that foreign hands are bebind the militancy in our country.

After the death of top Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in a covert military operation by the US in Pakistan’s city, Abbottabad, on May 2, paradoxical approach of American high officials coupled with their media has accelerated as part of a deliberate propaganda campaign against Pakistan, targeting its nuclear assets, army and ISI.

In this respect, on May 5, 2011, in a news briefing, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir remarked that the performance of no intelligence agency including CIA can be compared with that of the ISI in the war against terrorism. He further elaborated that it was due to the efforts of ISI which arrested top terrorists and Al Qaeda’s militants, namely, Khalid Sheikh, Abu Faraj Libbi, Rumzi, Abu Zubaida, Khalfan, Abu Hamza Rabia etc.” While, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik had indicated on May 2, that ISI has castigated more than 2,000 suicide attacks.

It is noteworthy that during war against terrorism, Pakistan has sacrificed more than any country including the US or NATO in terms of collateral damage, economic losses and political instability. In this context, more than 30, 000 people died in various incidents of terrorism. Besides, more than 5, 000 military soldiers and 2,000 policemen were martyred in this different conflict, while Pakistan has been facing a continued wave of terror- attacks by the militants and missile strikes by the CIA-operated predators.

It is mentionable that a statement of Pakistan’s Finance Division pointed out that the country’s economy suffered a loss of Rs 2.1 trillion due to the global war on terror. It elaborated that the economy suffered direct and indirect losses in terms of exports, foreign investment, privatisation and industrial production. Pakistan’s economy has suffered more than the total aid of the US, while more than three million Afghan refugees harbouring in the country are also posing security risk.

According to an estimate, Pakistan’s national economy is suffering a net loss of $7 billion annually as fallout of the war on terror, which has displaced thousands of people.

In the recent past, controversy existed between Pakistan and the US as the latter killed Bin Laden by violating the sovereignty of the country, and without the knowledge of Islamabad—on the question of drone attacks and illegal activities of CIA agent Raymond Davis and the Blackwater whose employees entered Pakistan in the guise of diplomats.

It is of particular attention that the US, India and Israel have been destabilising Pakistan to ‘denculearise’ it because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. For this purpose, the US seeks to shift Afghan war to Pakistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Obama Administration which is already implementing its agenda of secret war in Pakistan through various acts of sabotage has planned a covert war against Pakistan which will extend drone attacks beyond tribal areas by including Balochistan and major cities.

Now, a widening rift has been created between Islamabad and Washington. And America has revived propaganda regarding Pakistan’s nuclear assets, location of terrorists’ safe-havens in the country, cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. While, in the recent past, aerial and ground shelling by the US-supported NATO forces inside Pakistan’s border, and the US-backed intermittent attacks by the armed militants who crossed inside Pakistan from Afghanistan, have continued.

Notably, on August 28, 2011, Sindh Senior Minister Zulfiqar Mirza of the ruling party, who resigned from all posts, while hinting the involvement of America in the perennial ethnic violence in Karachi and support of some political leaders in this regard, disclosed by swearing on the holy Quran that Altaf Hussain leader of the Muhttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had said, “the United States wanted to disintegrate Pakistan.”

Nonetheless, knowing the US real designs, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has flatly refused to implement American unnecessary demands. And Islamabad sent home 120 US military trainers. While Pakistan’s intelligence and security agencies have arrested a number of foreigners from various cities of the country, and are keeping the movements of American diplomats and nationals under strict observation. In response, America withheld $800 million in military assistance to Pakistan. Moreover, Islamabad has also rejected American pressure to ‘do more’ against the Haqqani fighters based in North Waziristan without bothering for public backlash.

In this connection on June 9, this year, Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Parvez remarked about military operation in North Waziristan, saying, “a well thought out campaign is under no pressure to carry out operations at a particular time…future operations, as and when undertaken, will be with political consensus.”

No doubt, since 9/11, the US has acted upon its shrewd diplomacy in deceiving Pakistan by ignoring the sacrifices of the latter in relation to war against terrorism.

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

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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