Sunday, July 1, 2012

US at war with Pakistan [2 of 2]

by Asif Haroon Raja

It is a well known fact that Abdullah Mehsud after his arrest in Afghanistan in November 2001 was shifted to Gitmo Prison where he was thoroughly brainwashed and then infiltrated into FATA via Afghanistan in 2005 to galvanize Taliban movement. Likewise, his cousin Baitullah Mehsud was also brought in line and the two worked independently but in unison to establish TTP. Both had been led up the garden path that the US will help in creating Islamic caliphate in FATA.

Pakistan has ample proofs of foreign support to Mullah Fazlullah in Swat. He and his followers after being dislodged from their base have been provided safe havens in Nuristan and Kunar from where they are carrying out acts of terror in Mohmand, Bajaur, Dir and Chitral, duly aided by Kabul regime and agencies. Unlike state sponsored cross border terrorism from across western border, Pakistan or its Army and ISI are not involved in abetting cross border terrorism into Afghanistan or even in Kashmir where genuine freedom movements are waging. 

While the other side has no proof against Pakistan, the latter has abundant proofs against Afghanistan based intelligence agencies.

It is an open secret that the training centre run by Mossad in Badakshan for which Muslim religious teachers were provided by India imparted ideological training to young recruits and trained them as suicide bombers. Targets given to them were military convoys, mosques, shrines, funerals, wedding parties, schools and religious scholars. Can the US deny that Blackwater secretly inducted in Pakistan in early 2008 is the extension of CIA? Documents seized from the car of Raymond Davis and diary containing addresses and phone numbers revealed that he and his colleagues were linked with all terrorist groups in Pakistan and a huge CIA network was operating in Pakistan.

Isn’t it true that despite the policy of appeasement, top officials of Pakistan have been off and on mentioning in categorical terms that RAW is involved in Balochistan? PM Gilani had handed over proofs to Indian PM Manmohan at Sharm-el-Sheikh in 2009 which shook him. India’s RAW-run websites like openly claim Indian hand behind Balochistan. Karazi has been shown proofs by ISI on several occasions that Afghan soil is used by RAW and others to destabilize Balochistan and FATA. Dissident Baloch Sardars like late Balach Marri, Brahamdagh Bugti and several others that led the insurgency were provided safe havens in Afghanistan and were patronized by CIA, RAW, MI-6 and Mossad.

All these agencies have established their tentacles in Balochistan and in league with BLA, BRA and BLF are involved in attacking security forces, target killing non-locals and Hazaras, abductions, and mutilation of dead bodies. 30 Farari (training) camps are operating in Afghanistan and 121 in interior Balochistan to train Baloch terrorist groups as was disclosed by IGFC Balochistan in his press conference on 2 June. He said our agencies are confronting 20 foreign intelligence networks in Balochistan. Several runaway Baloch rebels are living in luxury in European countries and USA and are encouraged and helped by foreign powers to pursue their separatist agenda. US Congress, Senators and media are audaciously running a campaign for independent Balochistan.

Justice Jawed Iqbal

Having forced the Army to take up a backseat, the rebels and their mentors now want the paramilitary forces to also pack up and clear the way for foreign intervention unopposed. For this reason, issue of missing persons is being blown out of all proportions. Retired Justice Javed Iqbal heading the Commission on missing persons stated that there was concrete evidence to show that foreign intelligence agencies were responsible for making Balochistan restive as well as the disappearance of Baloch nationalists. He decried the baseless propaganda by foreign and local media about missing persons that FC and agencies were involved in this racket.

What I have failed to comprehend is the infuriation of chief justice Iftikhar over the press conference of IGFC Balochistan Maj Gen Obaidullah concerning foreign intervention and worsening law and order situation of Balochistan. He has further tensed the situation by stating that he might summon Gen Kayani before the court if enforced disappearances didn’t get controlled. I went through the contents of IGFC’s briefing and found nothing objectionable in it. He substantiated what Justice Javed had said and is doing a wonderful job to preserve the sanctity of the federation under adverse conditions. He should be encouraged rather than discouraged particularly when the police and civil administration are not playing their due role to provide security to the people.

Now that his services have been placed directly under Chief Minister Raisani, the latter should order elimination of rebels training camps which are training target killers and saboteurs and terrorizing people of Balochistan. I am sure, the US and India so fond of eliminating sanctuaries and training camps in other countries would have no objection to this act against terrorism.

Or else, the US could be requested to divert few of the drone strikes from FATA to Balochistan to destroy Farari camps.

Pakistan’s alliance with the US has proved very costly. It suffered a loss of 40,000 human lives, $70 billion economic loss and extreme social trauma. Pak security forces have suffered 5000 fatalities while combating militants, mostly aided by foreign powers. No other country involved in fighting terrorism can match Pakistan’s sacrifices. Had it not been for the excellent fight put up by the Army, Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary, Levies, Khasadars, Police and tribal Lashkars and routing the strongholds of the militant forces in Swat, Shangla, Malakand Division, tribal agencies of SW, NW, Bajaur, Mohmand, Kurram, Orakzai, Khyber and Dara Adam Khel, as well as provincially administered tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, terrorism would have flooded Pakistan and then spilled over to India, Iran, Afghanistan Central Asian States, China and Russia. ISAF could not have stayed on for that long in Afghanistan. In other words, Pakistan is absorbing the major brunt of terrorism as a frontline state at a very heavy cost and easing the pains of all these countries. Its sacrifices are unparalleled and resolve unshakeable.

Instead of appreciating its difficulties and rewarding it for what no other country could do, Pakistan is being unjustly distrusted and punished by the US and neglected by the world.

Pakistan’s interests are disregarded and sovereignty repeatedly violated. Pakistan has been rendering full support to USA even after finding out that it was being treated as a foe.

NATO containers were allowed to transit through Pakistan from October 2001 till 26 November 2011 free of cost. Pakistan continued to follow the policy of appeasement despite Washington’s spiteful attitude and didn’t run out of patience. It blocked the supply routes only when the US arrogantly refused to own up its mistake of brutally killing 24 soldiers of Pak Army at Salala and to tender an apology and to stop mutilating Pakistan’s sovereignty by ceasing drone attacks.

The US wants the supply routes to be reopened or else it will block the aid supply and may even impose sanctions, or attempt another unilateral military action. The US behaved in a similar haughty fashion when Raymond Davis was arrested and when the US Navy SEALs carried out a unilateral strike in Abbottabad. Believing in the dictum of ‘might is right’, power drunk American leadership wants Pakistan to accept its insults, humiliations, discriminations and lies without uttering a word of protest and behave like a slave country.
America is the most impatient and trigger-happy country which acts on its whims, but Panetta incongruously says the US is losing patience.

His Asst Defence Secretary Peter Lavoy also came with a swollen head thinking that the threatening posture of his boss might have softened up Gen Kayani, but he got the shock of his life when Kayani fittingly refused to meet him. Times have changed and earlier the US understands it, better will it be for it.

It is time for the US to admit its follies in Afghanistan and stop playing a double game of fighting and talking with the Taliban in the same breath. Time for fighting is over and now the entire focus should be on negotiations to ensure a safe and speedy withdrawal of 130,000 troops and heavy equipment stranded in Afghanistan. At the same time,the US should also pick up moral courage to admit that it has made mistakes in dealing with Pakistan and should take immediate steps to alleviate the hurts it has caused to Pakistan and to remove its security concerns. Both are possible only if Obama wriggles out of the heavy-handed influence of Pentagon and CIA and relies more on Pakistan to help in ending the endgame on a positive note favorable to all the stakeholders.

At the same time our leaders should also become more assertive in highlighting the perverse role of foreign powers in internal affairs of Balochistan and present solid proofs to the world bodies and international community at the earliest.

Asif Haroon Raja, is a Staff College and Armed Forces War Course qualified former senior army officer. He holds Masters in war studies and fought the epic battle of Hilli in northwest East Bengal during the 1971 war. Later he served as Directing Staff Command & Staff College, Defence Attaché Egypt and Sudan and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches in Cairo. He commanded the heaviest brigade in Kashmir. Brig. Asif Raja is author of books titled, Battle of Hilli, 1948, 1965 & 1971 Kashmir Battles and Freedom Struggle, Muhammad bin Qasim to Gen Musharraf, Roots of 1971 Tragedy, The draft of his next book, Tangled Knot of Kashmir is ready. He is a defence analyst and columnist and writes articles on security, defence and political matters.
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