US overtures and Pakistan’s Stand
Defence & Diplomacy
By Raja G Mujtaba
Mr. S M Hali held his weekly talk on PTV on the subject where on the panel; author was also present along with Dr. Simbal Khan.
Pakistan has paid a very heavy price for American friendship and at the end of the day Pakistan stands isolated and humiliated in the eyes of its own people. This is the worst case scenario that can happen to any country. The worst started with Parvez Musharraf but the present regime has dwarfed Parvez Musharraf era, or that dwarf has grown into a full blown monster that’s eating its own children.
Parvez Musharraf did exactly what the Indo-US nexus wanted where Zionists remained in the background and played there cards. Today Pakistan Army in particular and the Armed Forces in general has become the target of the Pakistani public. Post Musharraf Army Command has tried to retrieve the situation and did succeed to a great extent but the US kept on giving blows at regular intervals that kept on lowering the image of the Army.
After having inducted a large number of Blackwater mercenaries into the country courtesy Haqqani (Pakistan Ambassador to the US) Network for which he is being investigated, the US arrogance increased. In 2009, there were strong rumors that close to the Presidency in Islamabad there were some 8000 US Marines for the protection against any possible Army action against Asif Ali Zardari and his government. Later when Blackwater noise got confirmed, the US Marine presence in Islamabad died down. But surprisingly, today I got an email from a very responsible person who held a very senior position saying that he got a mail from a very reliable person that there are about 15000 US Marines in the Federal Capital. The mail is reproduced:
Latest Up-Date: The sorurces have informed that the US Embassy in Islamabad is drawing plans to construct 15 Blocks of 9 floors each that would hold 1000 persons in every block.
This huge number means like a division strength; why they are here and since when needs to probed. Also, what weapons they are holding and for what purpose, would become the top priority of the Intelligence Agencies; not letting go as to who gave them the permission to enter?
The first serious blow to Pakistan was dealt by Raymond Davis, who directly and indirectly became responsible for four deaths of which two were shot by him from his car. Here Asif Ali Zardari and Rahman Malik were making all efforts to cover up Raymond under diplomatic immunity that he did not have and could not have being a contractor to CIA. On this account, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the former foreign minister resigned from his office but did not agree to grant him diplomatic immunity.
After this, there were series of hits on Pakistan like May 2 Operation in Abbottabad allegedly against Osama Bin laden who for all verifiable accounts was never there but still remains a mystery. The silence of Army high command and failure of Pakistan Air Force to intercept the intruders who were flying choppers cost them very dearly.
This action was further complicated when on Pakistan Navy’s Mehran base was attacked on 21st May by infiltrators who destroyed two P 3 C Orion aircraft. This further complicated the situation where now Pak Navy was also targeted and humiliated. Not letting the pressure, suicide attacks on military installations were also stepped up.
The NATO attack on Salalah Post proved to be the last straw and Pakistan Army reacted very sharp and blocked the NATO supplies through land route. This action was immediately supported by all the political forces and the civil society of Pakistan then as a delayed action; Zardari government also owned the blockade and put their weight behind the popular public sentiments. But, some cabinet members kept on giving mild statements that the supplies should not be blocked for a longer duration and desired its early resumption.
However till to date, the supplies have not been resumed. Besides since the Raymond Davis action, Pakistan Army cancelled all courses and visits to the US. That has still not been resumed. Then general consensus is that these should remain suspended as these courses are used by the US to induct the officers very subtly and not letting the individual feel about it.
Here the attack on GHQ also deserves to be mentioned as the same was conducted by the Blackwater local agents some of who were caught and investigated. This attack was carried out on 10th and 11th October 2009. It was a deadly and daring attack to capture General Ashfaq Kayani so that then the US could have raised hell to secure Pakistan’s nukes. Few were captured who on investigation did reveal the motive and who were behind it.
Till now, the US was not willing to apologize but nature has its own course; one after the other, US has committed some mega blunders in Afghanistan like burning of holy Qurans, killing of 16 civilians including 9 women and urinating on dead Afghans. This has raised some severe embarrassments and serious attacks on US installations where numbers of troops have been killed. Since then the US has decided to quit Afghanistan at an earlier date then 2014. The messages that are coming out, the US wants to quit by 2013. Another blow that the US has suffered is that few countries like Germany, Sweden and France etc. have disassociated themselves from Salalah attack, thus it leaves the US isolated and humiliated.
Henceforth the harsh sounding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary Defense Leon Panetta have all softened up. Now their tone is quite different and appeasing. They know for sure that for their smooth and easy withdrawal, Pakistan’s cooperation is very much required. If Pakistan does not cooperate, the US troops may get massacred in Afghanistan. Now they are listening to every word and do not want to offend Pakistan at any cost.
Now after a few months, Pakistan has taken up the debate in its parliament after a thorough discussion in Parliamentary Committee for National Security (PCNS). The salient points that the parliament has approved are as under:
· Transparency on presence of foreign spies
· Taxes must be levied on goods imported in or transiting through Pakistan
· Use of bases or airspace by foreign forces to require parliamentary approval
· India-like civil nuclear deal with US sought
· Written agreement with any foreign government
· Government asked to ensure independent foreign policy
· Strategic position on Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty must not be compromised
· Reaffirms commitment to fight terror, extremism in national interest
· Ministry of Defence and Nato/US should draft new flying routes
· Greater market access to US/Nato countries
· Fast-track process of billings, payments under CSF
· 50pc of US/Nato containers may be handled through Pak Railways
· Strategic partnership with China be deepened, relations with Russia be strengthened
· Pakistan should pursue Iran gas pipeline project
Also for future, Pakistan must not associate herself with so called War on Terror but engage the US purely on commercial terms. Being a capitalistic society, that’s what the US understands. It must be ensured that no weapons or equipments are taken into Afghanistan as these would likely be used against Pakistan.