By Sajjad Shaukat
In the past too, Pakistan has witnessed a perennial wave of subversive acts. In this regard, while talking to the BBC and Voice of America (VOA) through mobile phone, the late Baitullah Mehsud, former Chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Waziristan had claimed responsibility for the high-profile terror-attacks in Pakistan. In fact, Bailtullah Mehsud was common agent of Indian secret agency RAW and American CIA. He never talked to Pakistani media, but had given interview especially to VOA. Question arises as to why; he was not killed by drone attack during conversation. While, playing a double game, he was inciting the innocent tribal people against the Pakistani government so as to weaken the country by following the instructions of his paymasters. He was having a number of secrets regarding foreign intelligence agencies. Therefore, US had killed him through a CIA-operated drone strike.
However, like Baitullah, his successor, and Chief of the TTP, Hakimullah Mehsud is also collective agent of RAW and CIA, and his main mission is to destabilise Pakistan in accordance with the agenda of anti-Pakistan external powers.
When in 2009, military operation started in South Waziristan, India with the tactical help of the US had also intensified its strategy to sabotage the same through guerilla tactics applied by its Waziristan-based agents and militants. And leader of the TTP Maulvi Fazlullah who has close connections with Pakistan-based TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud, had run to Afghanistan. Based in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, his insurgents intensified subversive activities in Pakistan by sending suicide bombers and heavily-equipped militants in the country. Pakistan’s civil and military leadership lodged a strong protest with their counterparts in Afghanistan, but no action was taken against these terrorists. Besides, Kabul also rejected Islamabad’s demand to hand over Maulvi Faqir, former deputy commander of the TTP to Pakistan along with four other accomplices who were from Pakistan’s tribal areas, and had been arrested by Afghan security forces in February 2013.
In fact, to fulfill the collective covert designs of India, Israel and US, TTP has been given a free hand by these countries to continue acts of sabotage in Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. In this regard, Pak-China strategic ties and Pak-Iranian close friendship also irritate them.
For the purpose, America has been acting upon a secret strategy against Pakistan by continuing drone attacks. As results of elections 2013, Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which have now formulated their governments had repeatedly favoured peace dialogue with the TTP and to make efforts to stop attack by the spy planes. While during election campaign, TTP which conducted terror-assaults on the leaders and election-sites of other political parties such as ANP, MQM and PPP had said that it will not target PML-N and PTI as these are liberal parties. But this militant group killed two PTI members of the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa assembly. And ambitions of the newly-elected government received a greater blow when on May, 29 2013; US pilotless aircraft killed four men in North Waziristan.
In this respect, US State Department stated that Wali-ur-Rehman, the TTP second in command was killed in a drone attack on a tip off provided by an informer from Hakimullah Mehsud group. This has been a grave blow to Wali-ur-Rehman’s faction of TTP, while Hakimullah Mehsud succeeded in eliminating his major opponent in TTP. Notably, killing of Wali-ur-Rehman has been an outcome of split between TTP high command and Hakimullah Mehsud who is responsible for the death of Wali-ur-Rehman.
The new leader Khan Saeed alias Sajna hailing from Mehsud tribe of Shobikhel must realise that their leader has been eliminated by Hakimullah Mehsud group to get the award of $5million from US. The US State Department refused to disclose the real name of informer belonging Hakimullah group, however, it confirmed that the award will be paid. In the past, Hakimullah Mehsud made numerous attempts to kill Wali-ur-Rehman and this time his plot succeeded by providing information to CIA about his location.
Nevertheless, TTP has lost the visionary leader who had supported to start negotiations with the newly-elected government of Pakistan to reach a peace accord and bring peace in the country. But under the pretext of drone attacks, Hakimullah Mehsud who has clandestine connections with CIA withdrew its offer of peace talks with the government. While, again on July 2, a US predator attack killed 17 people in North Waziristan.
Especially, US President Barack Obama who has recently stated that America will continue these strikes on Pakistan also seeks to create obstacle in the way of Islamabad’s peace process with the TTP.
Majority of our political experts see CIA-operated drone attacks in Pakistan in isolation, while there is a collaboration of these strikes with the subversive activities of the TTP, which have especially been taking place in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi as part of the US secret strategy.
Particularly, heavily-armed militants enter Pakistan from Afghanistan where tentacles of terrorism exist. In this context, India has set up secret training centres in Afghanistan where its military personnel in connivance with RAW and CIA have been imparting training of guerilla warfare to the youngsters, having connections with South Waziristan-based TTP where some other such centres are also working.
While, Pakistan has been facilitating US-backed dialogue with the Afghan Taliban in Qatar, but US and President Karzai are playing double game with Islamabad by thwarting the peace dialogue of Islamabad with the TTP, as they are assisting this outfit in carrying out terror-assaults inside Pakistan.
Consequences of these predator strikes and the coming ones are dangerous for Pakistan, as the entire nation now expects retaliation from TTP terrorists who would create difficult challenges for the elected government. It means, in connivance with CIA and RAW, TTP which has already commenced suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and attacks on security forces’ check posts including sectarian violence would further accelerate these brutal acts.
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