Revelations made by Peter Chamberlin should awaken us

The army enters the scene to tackle a serious law and order or security problem when all other options fail to deliver. By that time patience of the government and that of general public has worn out, tempers are high, law breakers have gone berserk in shredding writ of state, civil law enforcing agencies are on the run and civil administration is absent because of life threats and casualties sustained. Local population stand intimidated due to terror tactics of militants laced with sophisticated weapons and IEDs.

alt Any person defying their orders is made a horrible example to put fear into others. Under such inhospitable environments, it is not an easy task for the military to put everything right in a jiffy since it doesn’t carry a magic wand. Soldiers are as thin skinned as their civilian counter parts and equally vulnerable to bullets, suicide bombers and IEDs. Whatever advantages they have get diluted when they have to operate in home terrain of rebels, confront faceless enemy resorting to guerrilla hit and run tactics. Not only it has to differentiate between friend and foe, it has to remain mindful of collateral damage to the local population among which many support the militants quietly.

Factor of collateral damage kept the army restrained when operating in Waziristan, causing immense irritation to USA. Policy of selective and minimal force to avoid civilian casualties was objected to. From 2005 onwards, the US continuously lectured Pakistan to do more. Our measured actions displeased USA so immensely that it accused the army of either being incompetent or in league with militants. All sorts of libelous stories were circulated to malign image of the army. Ultra liberal writers hummed Indian and western themes that army and ISI consider Taliban as its strategic assets. Failing to evoke desired response and irked by peace deals, western media joined by own writers started to overplay militant threat and converted it into an existential threat to Pakistan. Fata was declared most dangerous place on earth and a danger to USA and rest of the world.

altOur nuclear program came under sustained vilification attack feeding an impression to the world that Pakistan was not in a position to protect its nuclear weapons from Taliban. The US military began to flex its muscles and pressure was built up that US Special Forces had chalked out contingency plans to step in and takeaway the nuclear assets before they were stolen. As part of psy war, one Mustafa Abu Yazid in Afghanistan claiming to be top Al-Qaeda leader stated that Pakistani nuclear weapons instead of falling into US hands will be taken over by Mujahideen and used against Americans. He also hoped that Pak army would be defeated in Swat and that would turn the tables. US State Department and CIA pioneered the malicious campaign against Pak army, ISI and nuclear program through US media duly reinforced by western and India media. Once military was launched in Malakand Division in late April resulting in massive exodus, Manmohan Singh couldn’t contain his glee; he chuckled that Pakistan has collapsed. His merriment proved short-lived for he and his colleagues are now distressed over successes made by Pak troops, Swat front collapsing too soon, Hindu-Afghan agents getting killed or caught in large numbers and noose around Baitullah tightening and whole Pakistani nation supporting the army.

Swat valley, Buner and Lower Dir have been fully secured and few pockets are being cleared. Close to 1600 militants including Shah Duran have been killed and 800 families of IDPs have returned to Buner. The military has decided to tackle all sanctuaries of militants and to that end used air strikes and artillery selectively in Bajaur, Bannu, Orakzai, South Waziristan based on accurate intelligence and destroyed strongholds, training sites, weapons and ammunition dumps of militants. Idea is to give no quarter and breathing time to the militants and keep them dislocated and on the run. Baitullah’s former companion Zainuddin Mehsud, who had become his rival, has been killed in DIK most probably by Baitullah men. Zain’s brother Misbah has taken over. Drones have targeted Baitullah’s stronghold killing 50 people. Pro-government and anti-American Maulvi Nazir who had been at war with Baitullah has come close to him after latter’s area was hit by a drone on 14 February. Maulvi Nazir, Malang and Turkistan Bittani are important figures who would make the task of army easy or difficult.

India is now looking forward to exploit IDPs and is banking upon cornered Baitullah to turn the tide. It may be recalled how unreasonable and uncompromising stance Indian leaders had maintained from 26 November onwards in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks. They refused to investigate the case jointly or to have talks unless Pakistan agreed to do their biddings. For a change, Pakistan stood its ground since the so-called evidence provided was eyewash. All indications pointed towards Indian homegrown terrorists linked with Indian army, Hindu extremist parties/groups and RAW. Mahrashtra Chief Karkare who was assassinated on the first night of occurrence had made startling revelations and investigations had reached advanced stage. Real culprits had been exposed who had committed several incidents of terror for which Pakistan was blamed. Reputation of Indian army was at stake since large number of its senior serving and retired officers were found involved in terrorism. So was BJP which was looking forward to win May elections and recapture power.

Since stakes were very high, hence the drama was enacted by RAW in which Pakistan was roped in to kill several birds with one stone. By throwing the entire blame on the doorsteps of Pakistan, India has cleverly closed the case of Col Purohit and several other military officers directly involved in terrorism. Prejudiced western leaders and scandalous media are tightlipped about it. India has expressed willingness to resume talks but made it conditional to destruction of anti-India terrorist network in Pakistan. It has now issued arrest warrants of recently released Hafiz Saeed and 22 others blamed to be involved in Mumbai carnage.

Like tens of American and western writers, US journalist Peter Chamberlin has made startling revelations about designs of USA in our region. He says that since Pakistan is the keystone in US stratagem for materialization of its commercial interests in southern Central Asia and Middle East, it is a compulsion for it to take Pakistan under its total control. He says that Al-Qaeda and local Taliban in Pakistan are creations of CIA since Al-Qaeda was not in existence before 9/11. Involvement of Al-Qaeda was manufactured solely on the basis of single Israeli source and Osama who is long dead is purposely kept alive. War on terror against imaginary Al-Qaeda was conceived and mounted by neo-cons for fulfillment of US global ambitions and Af-Pak strategy is another deception. Chamberlin aptly says that CIA has managed to pull-off a world-class propaganda coup by making Pakistan scapegoat for the mess it has created in Afghanistan. The most disquieting part of his exposure is that CIA had used Northern Alliance most ruthless men to destabilize Fata and NWFP. He says that mostly Uzbeks from Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan had been launched from Afghanistan to indulge in kidnappings, bombings and beheading of over 400 tribal notables. Peace deals were disrupted through drone attacks or opening new fronts. In his view Nazir holds key to war and peace in South Waziristan.

Is it not another wake up call? Time for softness and vagueness has run out since half of the country is in flames. Unless our leaders gather courage and expose the real face of our so-called friends and bring to notice of the world and UN the perverse role played by RAW and CIA and extensive damage incurred under the garb of friendship, the whole country would get engulfed in foreign sponsored militancy.

The writer is a defence and political analyst based at Rawalpindi and author of several books.Email:[email protected]

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