Aurangzebawan's Weblog

June 29, 2009

Pakistan Should Exploit American Desperation

Filed under: Politics — aurangzebawan @ 1:05 pm

By AHMED QURAISHI Wednesday, 3 June 2009. WWW.AHMEDQURAISHI.COM ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The latest scare story on Pakistan’s nukes is a breath of fresh air. Instead of the unnamed sources, which have been the basis for the anti-Pakistan demonization campaign in the U.S. media, this time we have no less than President Obama’s point man on South Asia, M. Bruce Riedel, coming out with an op-ed that leaves little mystery in the debate over whether Washington is exploiting terrorism to target Islamabad’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Mr. Riedel is one of the key proponents of the theory that the Pakistani military needs to be transformed into a little more than a glorified local police force watching out for U.S. interests. It is pointless to counter the arguments of such determined imperialists who are shamelessly interfering in Pakistan. What is more important at this stage is to understand how our supposed ally has taken us for a ride and how we need to exploit the new American desperation in the region to get a better deal than the one currently in hand. There is a growing body of evidence that the U.S. is supporting terrorism in our region to further its strategic objectives. In Iran, a secretive sectarian group is trying to rally the people of Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province for secession from Tehran. In Pakistan’s Balochistan, an ethnic group has risen from the dead to campaign for secession. The only thing common to both groups is that they emerged after the U.S. landed in Afghanistan and turned that poor country into a source of region-wise destabilization. So much for fighting terror. The Pakistani military has also admitted over the weekend what Pakistan’s pro-U.S. government has been hiding for months. The weapons that the terrorists – the fake Pakistani Taliban – are using to kill Pakistanis are coming primarily from U.S. and India. The Pakistani military leadership first confronted Adm. Mullen and CIA Deputy Director Stephen Kappes about this in a secret meeting in Rawalpindi last July. As in all insurgencies, the terrorists in our northwestern belt are a mix of local elements bolstered by professional fighters from U.S.-controlled Afghanistan. The Pakistani military has squeezed these terrorists so hard now that there is little doubt where the support for this anti-Pakistan terror campaign is coming from. To avoid embarrassment, Washington quickly ‘leaked’ a story that U.S. weapons meant for the Afghan army have reached insurgents. The timing of the leak conveniently coincides with the Pakistani army catching the American double game pants down. Some members of the Karzai puppet regime have privately confirmed to Pakistani officials that they are incapable of stopping Indian terrorist activities on Afghan soil. None of this will stop unless Pakistan firmly puts the leash on CIA outposts inside Pakistan. There is no question that CIA and Pakistani spy agencies were allies during the 1980s. But let us not forget that the CIA station in Pakistan recruited twelve insiders and used them to plan sabotage from within before being busted by chance in 1978. Now the U.S. strategic interest in the region is largely divergent from that of Pakistan’s. U.S. officials, like Mr. Riedel, have little respect or appreciation for Pakistan’s right to have its own national security perspective and not rely on U.S. think tanks to adopt one. Today, Pakistan is paying for the blank check that our government and intelligence agencies gave the Americans on the ground in Balochistan and the tribal belt. America is desperate in Afghanistan. U.S. officials have launched a fresh charm offensive to pacify the alienated Pakistanis. A panicked and bankrupt Washington is also trying to scare Asia into doling out money to save America’s failed occupation in Afghanistan. This is the time for Islamabad to demand Washington cease all the propaganda about Pakistan’s nukes, about the fabled ten billion dollars in aid, and stop turning the world against Pakistan. The elected government needs to muster some guts to confront Washington on this instead of leaving all the tough talk to Pakistani military leadership. There is a golden opportunity out there to put a leash on CIA activities in Pakistan which we had consented to after 9/11. The American goal posts have shifted. Pakistan is no longer bound by the same deal.


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