By Sajjad Shaukat
The well-coordinated attacks by the heavily-armed Afghan militants who targeted the US, British, German, Russian embassies, NATO headquarters and parliament in Kabul including other offices in three provinces of Afghanistan on November 15 this year, while fighting for 18 hours with the US-led foreign and Afghan forces cannot be seen in isolation. On the same day, earlier around 200 insurgents, equipped with heavy weapons, attacked the Bannu jail in Pakistan and freed 384 prisoners.
Although this time, US Secretary Defense Leon Panetta and the top military officer Gen. Martin Dempsey did not directly blamed Islamabad for these high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, yet they said indirectly that the Haqqani militants—believed by US to be involved in the attacks—exist on both sides of Pakistan-Afghanistan border. But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not blame Pakistan, while a Pentagon statement on November 16, accused that the simultaneous assaults in Afghanistan were carried out by Haqqani terrorists who operate from sanctuaries in neighbouring Pakistan. On November 19, US ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker also expressed similar thoughts. Some American media reports accused that the ISI-backed Haqqani network was responsible for these attacks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed the insurgent offensive on a NATO intelligence failure. All these statements contradict each other, which are, in fact, part of a covert game being played by the US, India and Israel through their secret agencies, CIA, RAW and Mossad including Afghan Khad.
Since the US-led NATO forces occupied Afghanistan, stiff resistance of the Taliban militants which created unending lawlessness in the country has made it a most conducive place for the foreign countries and the Karzai-led regime to play secret strategic games so as to obtain their clandestine aims.
First secret strategic game is being played by India and Afghan President Karzai against the US-led forces in Afghanistan. In this regard, if the US-led NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, Karzai regime will fall like a house of cards. Even New Delhi will not be in a position to maintain its network in wake of the successful guerrilla warfare of the Taliban. Therefore, India and Karzai had been doing their utmost to convince Washington to have a long stay in Afghanistan. Before his trip to Washington in 2009, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that he would encourage the American leadership to stay in Afghanistan. Otherwise, Afghanistan could fall into a civil war if the US exited.
But Singh and Karzai frustrated when US and NATO countries repeatedly remarked to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan. Failed in their objevtives, India and Afghan rulers, with the help of RAW and Khad started acting upon dirty tricks to get the foreign forces—especially those of America entangled in Afghanistan permanently. In this context, with help of some so-called Muslims, these secret agencies increased attacks inside Afghanistan, particularly targeting American soldiers with the sole aim to revive old blame game of the US against Islamabad and ISI in relation to cross-border-terrorism. However, New Delhi and Kabul succeeded when the US disclosed that it would maintain reasonable contingency in Afghanistan after 2014.
Notably, regarding Indian activities in Afghanistan the then NATO commander, Gen. McChrystal had pointed out: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”
It is mentionable that RAW and Khad were behind the November 15 coordinated attacks in Afghanistan as India and Karzai seek to sabotage the Qatar-based peace talks between the US and Afghan Taliban.
Second strategic game is collective, which includes the US, India, Israel and country’s puppet President Hamid Karzai who are in collusion to fulfill their covert strategic designs against Pakistan, Iran and China.
India which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, signed a strategic partnership agreement with that country on october 5, 2011, wants to further strengthen its grip to get strategic depth against Islamabad, and to use the war-torn country in destabilising Pakistan. For this purpose, CIA, RAW and Mossad based in Afghanistan have been sending well-trained agents and militants in Pakistan, who not only attack the check posts of Pakistan’s security forces, but also conduct suicide attacks, targeted killings, ethnic and sectarian violence in our country—especially in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi and Balochistan.
In fact, under the pretext of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan, safe-havens of militants and Haqqani group in Pakistan’s tribal areas, CIA, RAW and Mossad have been weakening Pakistan to ‘denculearise’ the latter as part of their hidden agenda.
India and US are also supporting the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and another separatist group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which are working against the cordial relationship of Pakistan with China and Iran. In the past few years, their militants kidnapped and murdered many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. Jundollah has not only been committing subversive acts in Pakistan, but also in Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. Tehran has repeatedly accused CIA for funding that type of terror-attacks.
It is of particular attention that Balochistan’s mineral resources and geo-strategic location with Gwadar seaport, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia have further annoyed America and India because China has already invested billion of dollars to develop this seaport. However, it is due to multiple strategic benefits that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to control Balochistan in containing China and subduing Iran. Balochistan has shifted the Great Game to Pakistan.
On October 15, 2010, Indian Army Chief General VK Singh had openly blamed that China and Pakistan posed a major threat to India’s security, while calling for a need to upgrade country’s defence.
On the other side, in the recent years, several persons died in the terror-incidents and ethnic riots occurred in various regions of China’s Xinjiang-the largely populated Muslim province. For all the incidents, India blamed Pakistani militants for assisting the insurgency in order to deteriorate Sino-Pak ties. In fact, New Delhi which had given shelter to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and his militants has been supporting upsurge in the Tibetan and Muslim areas of China. US President Obama also met Dalai Lama to encourage insurgency in China.
Notably, Iran fears that US bases in Afghanistan will enhance its ability to gather intelligence on Iran which could give America and Israel a major strategic advantage, if they attack Tehran in relation to its nuclear programme, though immediate invasion has stopped temporarily.
As regards US double game with Pakistan, America has also requested Islamabad to play a key role in the peace talks with the Afghan militants, recognising the fact that without Pakistan’s help, Afghanistan cannot achieve stability after the withdrawal of foreign troops, but new phase of drone attacks started under the Obama regime. Pakistani parliament has approved its re-engagement with the US after the US-led NATO air strikes on Pakistan Army outposts on November 26 last year, which resulted in suspension of NATO supply to Afghanistan. In this regard, the 14-point recommendations also include that US footprint in Pakistan has been reviewed, which would mean cessation of drone attacks and infiltration into Pakistani territory.
In this connection, high-profile coordinated attacks in Afghanistan and assault on the Bannu Jail were planned by the affiliated insurgent group of CIA and RAW to increase pressure on Islamabad to restore the NATO supply, to take military action against the Haqqani militants and to justify drone attacks on Pakistan.
At this juncture, a shift has already occurred in Pakistan’s foreign policy. Islamabad which had strengthened ties with China, has also cultivated its relationship with the Russian Federation. Moscow and Islamabad agreed to enhance the bilateral relations in diverse fields. In 2010, the then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Putin also remarked that Pakistan was very important partner in South Asia and the Muslim world for Russia. During her trip to Moscow on February 9, this year, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar stated that SCO was an exceptionally important forum within the region to counter regional challenges. So during the November 15 catastrophe in Afghanistan, Russian embassy was also targeted as another purpose of CIA and RAW-led militants was to thwart Pak-Russian new ties by implicating Haqqani Network.
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