After the second visit of the US commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Allen at Islamabad in a week, Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) on July 3, this year allowed reopening of the NATO supply route across Pakistan to Afghanistan after it accepted US apology over the Salala incident which killed 24 soldiers on Army outpost in Pakistan, last year. But there is no guarantee that cross-border intrusion of militants in Pakistan from Afghanistan will stop.
Failed in coping with the Afghan Taliban, US top civil and military high officials have continuously been blaming Pakistan, emphasising to ‘do more’ against the militancy in the tribal regions in order to stop cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. In this context, by reviving US old blame game, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta allegedly said on June 7 that the US was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan due to safe havens, “the country offered to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan.”
However, we need to prove, whether Pakistan is responsible for cross-border intrusion in Afghanistan or the latter in Pakistan.
In this regard, on June 24, more than hundred militants, equipped with heavy arms entered Pakistan’s region of Dir, attacked two checkposts of the security forces, while bloody clashes between the intruders and Pak Army continued for two days, which resulted in martyrdom of 12 Pakistani troops, beheaded by the Afghani miscreants.
Reacting over the naked aggression, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership lodged a strong protest on June 25 with their counter parts in Afghanistan and NATO, also informing the UN Security Council, saying the Afghan and NATO forces were doing nothing to check the activities of the Afghan militants nor were acting against the safe heavens of the terrorists inside Afghanistan.
During his meeting with the visiting US commander General John Allen on June 27, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani asked him to stop cross-border incursions from the neighbouring country.
It is notable that since April, 2011, heavily-armed insurgents from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region intermittently, targeting the security check posts and other infrastructure. On October 9, hundreds of insurgents attacked the Kakar checkpost in Upper Dir. During the assault, around 15 insurgents were killed and a soldier also lost his life. On August 27, some 300 militants attacked seven paramilitary check posts in Pakistan’s district of Chitral, killing more than 30 personnel of the security forces. In one of such major attacks, on June 1, more than 500 armed militants who entered Upper Dir area killed more than 30 police and paramilitary soldiers. Police said that well-trained terrorists who targetted a check post, also destroyed two schools and several houses with rocket and gunfire attacks, while killing a number of innocent people. On June 3, 400 militants besieged the Pakistani area. Sources suggested that after a three-day gun battle, Pakistani security forces killed 71 Afghan Taliban.
Here question arises as to why US-led NATO forces which are equipped with modern surveillance system do not stop the Taliban insurgents when they enter Pakistani territory? Even then, they fail in this respect; second question is as to why these foreign forces based in Afghanistan do not attack the Al Qaeda or Afghan Taliban, while in some cases, fighting with Pak security forces continue for two or three days? Notably, Afghanistan shares a common border with the Central Asian Republics. And all the foreign insurgents enter Pakistan through Afghanistan which has become a gateway. So, as to why US and NATO forces do not capture these foreign terrorists when they enter Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, these are organised military type operations which one cannot imagine by a stray group of militants and it is also totally unacceptable that they have the capability to fight for long hours or capture Pakistani posts by challenging the capacity of Pak Army.
The way the Afghan militants are challenging a highly professional Pak Army by crossing border is enough to prove that US with the assistance of secret agencies such as American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan is fully backing these incursions with a view to destabilise Pakistan which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. For this purpose, in Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nooristan provinces, with the help of these foreign secret agencies, their affiliated militant groups which are also penetrated into the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have set up sanctuaries in Afghanistan to conduct cross-border attacks in Pakistan.
Notably, on October 17, 2011, the former ISPR spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas disclosed regarding insurgents’ infiltration in Pakistan, saying, “The attacks in which terrorists loyal to Maulvi Fazlullah, leader of TTP who fled to Afghanistan during Swat military operation, killed about 100 members of Pakistan’s security forces.” He explained, “Pakistani Taliban insurgency is based in Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan…we have given locations and information about these groups to the US-led forces” which had failed to hunt down a spate of cross-border raids.
It is of particular attention that when in 2009, Pakistan’s armed forces started the military operation in South Waziristan, scores of security check posts in Afghanistan side of Pak-Afghan border had been removed by the then US commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan to give free hand to the Afghanistan-based Taliban commanders to send large-scale reinforcements in South Waziristan.
In fact, US-supported cross-border raids from Afghanistan’s side are part of the Obama’s secret war against Pakistan as increase in suicide attacks, bomb blasts and targeted killings in Pakistan’s various regions including assistance to separatism in Balochistan display.
Meanwhile, when Pak-US diplomats were negotiating a complex issue of restoring the NATO supply routes in wake of the heightening political noise inside the country, US accelerated CIA-operated drone attacks, killing more than 60 people in North Waziristan. America’s anti-Pakistan designs have clearly been exposed as US President Obama and Defense Secretary Penettal have defended these strikes by the unmanned aircraft.
Nonetheless, US-backed cross-border intrusion in Pakistan is part of all inter-related subversion against the country, while America accuses Pakistan of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan so as to conceal its secret game against Islamabad.
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
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