By Sajjad Shaukat
The killing of Osama Bin Laden by a US military raid in Pakistan on May 2, terrorists’ attack on Pakistan Navy’s airbase, PNS Mehran on May 23 and assault by more than 400 militants who entered Pakistan’s Upper Dir from Afghanistan on June 1 cannot be seen in isolation. These terror-events are part of inter-related developments against Pakistan.
Regarding the terror-attack on the Mehran base, some sources indicate the involvement of Indian intelligence agency, RAW which conducted this assault with the consent of American CIA and tactical support of Israeli spy agency, Mossad. In this respect, these agencies got the services of a group of Al Qaeda. Similarly, Al Qaeda-related Afghan Taliban who crossed over Pakistan, were also backed by these secret agencies.
As regards Osama, various sources suggest that videos released by the Pentagon are actually fake. Some political experts also say that he was met a physical death around about 2002. It does not matter that whether Bin Laden died on May 2, this year or in 2002. In fact, under the pretext of his death, the US wants to fulfill its multiple aims—especially against Pakistan.
First of all, America wants to show to its western allies that its mission in Afghanistan is over, and the US-led NATO troops could be withdrawn in accordance with the announced schedule. In this regard, on May 25, in a joint press conference in UK, US President Obama and the British Prime Minister Cameron confirmed that NATO forces were “preparing to turn a corner in Afghanistan…beginning the transition to an Afghan lead for security this year and completing that transition by 2014.”
It is mentionable that American public was particularly worried about the failed campaign in Afghanistan in wake of acute financial crirsis. So Osama’s death could be used to distract Americans’ attention from internal crisis, which was essential for re-election of Obama.
It is notable that just like the previous Afghan war against the former Russia when Washington had left Afghanistan in particular and Pakistan in general to face the fallout of a prolonged conflict—now Pakistan will be thrown in era of uncertainity and lawlessness as US is determined to entangle Islamabad in a long war with the Al Qaeda militants and Pakistani Taliban. Notably, Al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban are America’s creation as they were turned against the Americans due to their blunders in that respect.
US which has already made Pakistan volatile to the ‘different war’, wants to ensure that the latter must be the main target of Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda after the US-led NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, in wake of the strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, the visit of the US Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry to Islamabad was of great significance. While showing previous contradictory approach of America towards Pakistan, on May I6, John Kerry pointed out that future relations of the United States with Islamabad would be determined by “its actions, not words,” emphasizing to ‘do more’ against the militants by ignoring the sacrifices of Pak Army and intelligence agencies—especially ISI regarding war against terrorism. However, Pakistan and the US agreed to work together in any future actions against high-value targets in Pakistan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who visited Islamabad insisted upon Pakistan on May 27, “to take decisive steps to defeat al Qaeda.” She also revealed that US relations with Islamabad have “reached a turning point.”
A few days after the May 2 raid at Abbottabad and even during the visit of John Kerry, CIA-operated drone strikes on Pakistan’s tribal areas continued. These strikes which started during the Bush era have intensified under the Obama administration.
Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly protested against the attacks by the pilotless aircraft by pointing out that these are likely to affect war against terrorism in the country, but American policy makers do not bother for any internal backlash. Instead, Washington is considering a strategy of widening the course of drone attacks which will also include Balochistan. In the last three years, more than 700 innocent civilians and only 14 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by the US unmanned air vehicles.
Regarding drone attacks and casualties, New America Foundation said in a recent report, “when the US drones attack Pakistan’s tribal areas, it is not just the 10, 20 or 50 innocent civilians they kill, but it creates the anti-US sentiments among masses…the civilian killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistan…while killing 10 militants through spy planes, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis not involved in any terrorist or extremist activities. Could it not imply that it killed 10 militants and gave birth to another 1400?
Nevertheless, a perennial wave of these strikes is not without some American hidden agenda. The main purpose behind the innocent killings is to provocate the people and cause more recruitment of the Pakistani Taliban, resulting into more suicide attacks inside Pakistan. As a matter of fact, America has been indirectly supporting the Pakistani Taliban in order to destablise Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world, which irks the eyes of US, India and Israel. Therefore, besides provocating Pakistanis, CIA is also helping RAW and Mossad in arranging continuous subversive activities such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts and targeted killings in Pakistan.
Recently in one of its diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks confirmed that there were enough evidences of Indian involvement in Waziristan and other tribal areas of Pakistan as well as Balochistan.
In the recent past, Asian Tribune Online had reported that CIA and RAW developed their tentacles in Swat, Bajaur, Kurram Agency, Waziristan and Balochistan. Some of the pro-Pakistan groups had been purchased or neutralized and those not coming to terms were eliminated by groups sponsored by CIA.
As regards the successful military operations by Pakistan, the Tribune elaborated that instead of getting pleased, the Americans got disturbed since they never intended to control militancy but to spread its flames into other cities and create anarchic conditions.
In the recent months, controversy existed between Pakistan and the US on the question of American national Raymond Davis who shot dead two Pakistani youths in Lahore on January 27, 2011. Sources had confirmed that David Raymond and his companions were agents of the American CIA and were on an anti-Pakistan mission. In fact, he was part of the illegal activities of the Blackwater whose employees entered Pakistan in the guise of diplomats. With the help of RAW and Mossad, Blackwater has rapidly established its network in Pakistan. It has recruited Pakistani nationals who were vulnerable and can work on payroll, giving them high financial incentives.
In fact, like other agents, a majority of the militants get arms and training from Afghanistan where secret camps are engaged in indoctrination of the youngsters, producing suicide bombers. Among them are Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens and Muslims from India, who have joined the ranks and files of the Al Qaeda extremists and particularly Pakistani Taliban—they are committing acts of sabotage in Pakistan.
American indirect Support to the Pakistani Taliban could also be noted from the fact that by setting aside the joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament, protesting the violation of the country’s sovereignty in relation to Abbottabad raid, the US President Obama made it clear in a BBC interview on May 22 that he would “approve a new incursion into Pakistan, if the United States found another leading militant there.”
In the post-Osama scenario, the US and India have revived the old blame game against Pakistan Army and ISI regarding alleged ties with the Taliban and cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. Under the cover of Bin Laden’s death, America has also got the sympathies of western countries as Washington is distorting the image of Islamabad by propagating that other leaders of Al Qaeda have also taken shelter in Pakistan.
By playing a double game with Pakistan, US will produce more Pakistani Taliban by continuing drone attacks and conducting high-value targets inside the country. After creating unrest in Pakistan, Washington is likely to ask Islamabad to rollback its nuclear programme and to hand over its all nuclear weapons to the US. The self-contradictory statements of the US high officials—sometimes cajoling Islamabad with economic and military aid and sometimes pressurizing to ‘do more’ against the Taliban militants show duplicity, while America is indirectly supporting the Pakistani Taliban.
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