Amer­ica’s an­other be­trayal

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Mo­ham­mad Jamil Email: mjamil1938@hot­

RICHARD Ol­son, US Special Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Afghani stan and Pak­istan and Dr Peter Lavoy, Se­nior Ad­viser and Di­rec­tor for South Asian Af­fairs at the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil called on Ad­viser to the Prime Min­is­ter on For­eign Af­fairs Sar­taj Aziz and For­eign Sec­re­tary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry in Is­lam­abad on Fri­day. Re­port­edly, they held dis­cus­sions on bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, re­gional se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion and the Afghan peace process. Some an­a­lysts opined that it was a dam­age lim­i­ta­tion ex­er­cise af­ter Pak-US re­la­tions be­came strained in the wake of May 21 drone strike in Balochis­tan that killed Tal­iban chief Mullah Akhtar Man­sour. Sar­taj Aziz con­veyed a strong mes­sage to the United States that the strike was not only a vi­o­la­tion of Pak­istan’s sovereignty but also breach of the prin­ci­ples of the United Na­tion’s Char­ter. The del­e­ga­tion had re­minded Pak­istan of safe havens for mil­i­tants in Pak­istan. Thus the blame game con­tin­ues.

The same day, Chief of Army Staff Gen­eral Ra­heel Sharif, in a meet­ing with the Amer­i­can del­e­ga­tion led by Com­man­der Res­o­lute Sup­port Mis­sion in Afghanistan Gen­eral John Ni­chol­son of the United States Army at GHQ the other day, raised the de­mand of tar­get­ing Tehreek-e-Tal­iban Pak­istan (TTP) mil­i­tants and their chief Mullah Fa­zlul­lah in their hide­outs in Afghanistan. He also told the mem- bers of the del­e­ga­tion that ac­tion needed to be taken against In­dian in­tel­li­gence agency Re­search and Anal­y­sis Wing (RAW), Afghan in­tel­li­gence agency Na­tional Di­rec­torate of Se­cu­rity (NDS) and mem­bers of other ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions. On May 18, 2011, ex­actly 18 days af­ter the Navy Seals had at­tacked Ab­bot­tabad com­pound and killed Osama bin Laden, Se­na­tor John Kerry had vis­ited Pak­istan. He seemed to have been as­signed with the task of dam­age-lim­i­ta­tion con­trol af­ter the re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan the Amer­ica be­came strained due to vi­o­la­tion of Pak­istan’s sovereignty.

Though a sec­tion of the press had re­ported in a man­ner as if he had come to con­vey Pres­i­dent Obama’s strong mes­sage, but it sounded as an ef­fort to keep Pak­istan on board by re­as­sur­ing that no uni­lat­eral ac­tion would be taken in fu­ture. Af­ter Ray­mond Davis episode, re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan and the US be­came strained, but Amer­ica’s uni­lat­eral ac­tion had brought the re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries at the low­est ebb. Pak­istan re­minds the US off and on that it has al­ways honored its com­mit­ments viz-a-viz de­fence pacts or bi­lat­eral agree­ments, but Amer­ica has al­ways ditched Pak­istan af­ter achiev­ing its ob­jec­tives ev­ery time. Pres­i­dent Obama has once again sup­ported In­dia to make it mem­ber of the Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group, and asked other mem­bers to sup­port In­dia’s mem­ber­ship of the group.

To make things worse, Pak­istan has been asked to take ac­tion against those in­volved in Mumbai at­tacks and Pathankot ter­ror at­tack in a joint state­ment af­ter the meet­ing be­tween Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. For quite some time, Amer­i­can govern­ment and me­dia have been paint­ing Pak­istan in the most ig­no­ble col­ors and its mil­i­tary in the most hu­mil­i­at­ing shades. How­ever, it is not just their hubris­tic ar­ro­gance that sets the blood boil­ing; it is their out­pour­ings’ im­pe­ri­al­is­tic tone that hurts in soul and mind. They talk as if we are their vas­sal state, where they are the mas­ters and we are the slaves. They do not want Pak­istan’s co­op­er­a­tion but to­tal sub­mis­sion and com­pli­ance of their or­ders. But what else one can ex­pect when na­tion’s elites have over the years been gen­u­flect­ing be­fore the Amer­i­can ad­ven­tur­ists.

Al­most all our hi­er­ar­chs sur­ren­dered all their dig­nity and self-respect to Wash­ing­ton in the past and kept mum over Amer­i­can be­tray­als. But not the peo­ple of this coun­try, as they re­mem­ber hav­ing at least once a close brush of be­ing bombed back into Stone Age by an en­raged Soviet Union in early 1960s af­ter its mil­i­tary downed an Amer­i­can U-2 re­con­nais­sance plane fly­ing on its Cen­tral Asian Re­publics. Af­ter shoot­ing down the plane, the Sovi­ets en­cir­cled Pe­shawar in bold red and threat­ened Pak­istan of se­vere con­se­quences. And what we got in re­turn from the US for im­per­il­ing our se­cu­rity for their sake? A snap em­bargo on all US mil­i­tary sup­plies in­clud­ing spare parts for our mil­i­tary pre­dom­i­nantly equipped with the Amer­i­can weaponry, the mo­ment Indo-Pak war broke out in 1965. Ver­ily, peo­ple of Pak­istan know their Amer­i­can friends more for be­trayal than for any fi­delity.

A list of be­tray­als while al­ready very long is now length­en­ing spec­tac­u­larly. How­ever, Amer­ica’s dubious role of prop­ping In­dia through civil nu­clear agree­ment and its re­fusal to sign sim­i­lar agree­ment with Pak­istan had irked Pak­istan. Since join­ing the de­fence pacts with the West and bi­lat­eral agree­ment with the US in 1950s, Pak­istan mil­i­tary and Pen­tagon had de­vel­oped special re­la­tion­ship, which had con­tin­ued till 1990s de­spite dif­fer­ences that emerged dur­ing Tal­iban rule in Afghanistan. Yet, Amer­ica has been un­fair through­out its re­la­tions with Pak­istan. Af­ter us­ing Pak­istan as a pawn in their tri­umphant proxy war against the Soviet in­vaders in Afghanistan, the Amer­i­cans re­paid us – their much trum­peted strate­gic part­ners by slap­ping all nu­clear-re­lated sanc­tions and be­queath­ing on us the tin­der­box of re­li­gious fa­nati­cism. And of course stri­dency out of which we are des­per­ately strug­gling to get out. Once again they had co­erced Pak­istan into join­ing the war on ter­ror and made it a front­line state.

They had also el­e­vated Pak­istan as a Non-NATO ally, but de­spite all co­op­er­a­tion and sac­ri­fices, Amer­i­cans dis­trust Pak­istan, and are out to weaken it. Pak­istan should not have been blamed for Osama bin Laden’s pres­ence in Ab­b­otabad, as he was the CIA’s find and Amer­ica’s friend. He was in­spired along with thou­sands oth­ers to come to Pak­istan to par­tic­i­pate in Afghan ji­had. In fact, that was the first vi­o­la­tion of our sovereignty, ad­mit­tedly due to the flawed poli­cies of in­ept rulers. Any­how, more than 140000 US and NATO al­lies could not rein in the Tal­iban, and for their fail­ures they con­tin­ued to ac­cuse Pak­istan of sup­port­ing the Tal­iban. In fact, when US and its al­lies bombed Afghanistan flat and over­threw Tal­iban govern­ment, they de­clared that they have won the war. But even to­day, the Tal­iban have con­trol over large swathes of Afghanistan. —The writer is a se­nior jour­nal­ist based in Lahore.

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