Pak-US trust deficit

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Sa­j­jad Shaukat

New Delhi over Islamabad. In this con­text, dur­ing the re­cent visit of the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to Amer­ica, ad­dress­ing the me­dia jointly, Prime Modi said, “I am thank­ful for the help and sup­port that my friend Barack Obama has ex­tended with re­gard to In­dia’s mem­ber­ship of the Mis­sile Tech­nol­ogy Con­trol Regime and Nu­clear Sup­pli­ers Group (NSG).”

Amer­ica has been back­ing In­dian hege­mony in Asia to coun­ter­bal­ance China. Dur­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s sec­ond visit to In­dia, the US and In­dia an­nounced a break­through on a pact which would al­low Amer­i­can com­pa­nies to sup­ply New Delhi with civil­ian nu­clear tech­nol­ogy, as agreed upon in 2008. This du­plic­ity has ini­ti­ated a danger­ous arms race be­tween Pak­istan and In­dia, and be­tween China and In­dia.

Set­ting aside the In­dian ir­re­spon­si­ble record of non-pro­lif­er­a­tion, and safety of nu­clear arms, Wash­ing­ton also pres­sur­ized the In­ter­na­tional Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an ac­cord of spe­cific safe­guards with In­dia. Amer­ica had al­ready con­tacted the NSG to grant a waiver to In­dia for start­ing civil nu­clear trade on larger scale. Un­doubt­edly, un­like In­dia, Pak­istan’s nu­clear as­sets are in safe hands—well-pro­tected and are un­der tight se­cu­rity ar­range­ments, hav­ing the best com­mand and con­trol sys­tem. How­ever, tak­ing cog­nizance of the US dou­ble stan­dard, China and some re­spon­si­ble coun­tries have de­cided to op­pose in the meet­ing of the NSG to grant a waiver to In­dia in this re­gard.

Nev­er­the­less, af­ter the lat­est in­ci­dent of drone at­tack in Balochis­tan, Afghan Tal­iban lead­ers re­fused to par­tic­i­pate in the US-spon­sored talks with the Afghan gov­ern­ment. No­tably, in the re­cent past, with the help of Pak­istan, a se­ries of meet­ings were held in Email: saj­jad_­logic@ya­hoo.com Islamabad and Kabul among the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Pak­istan, Afghanistan, China and the US to de­velop an un­der­stand­ing for the ear­li­est pos­si­ble re­sump­tion of stalled talks be­tween the Afghan gov­ern­ment and the Tal­iban with view to end­ing nearly 15 years of blood­shed in Afghanistan.

It is men­tion­able that on Jan­uary 13, 2015, at least seven per­son­nel of the Afghan se­cu­rity forces died dur­ing the suicide at­tack which tar­geted the Pak­istani con­sulate in Jalal­abad. The Is­lamic State group (ISIS or ISIL) claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ter­ror as­sault which co­in­cided with ef­forts to restart the sus­pended peace process with the Tal­iban. In­dian se­cret agency RAW was be­hind this ter­ror at­tack to thwart th­ese peace talks. In­dian des­per­a­tion in Afghanistan is in­creas­ing in the back­drop of grow­ing en­gage­ments of Islamabad, Kabul, Bei­jing and Wash­ing­ton. There­fore, by ar­rang­ing ter­ror-as­saults in Pak­istan and Afghanistan, New Delhi is also sab­o­tag­ing the peace process be­tween the Afghan of­fi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Tehreek-e-Tal­iban Afghanistan.

It is note­wor­thy that Amer­ica is play­ing dou­ble game with Pak­istan, be­cause it is the only nu­clear coun­try in the Is­lamic World, which ir­ri­tates Amer­ica, In­dia and Is­rael. Hence, Amer­i­can CIA, Is­raeli Mos­sad and RAW which are well-pen­e­trated in the ISIS, the Tehreek-i-Tal­iban Pak­istan (TTP) are us­ing the mil­i­tants of th­ese ter­ror­ist out­fits to desta­bi­lize Ti­betan re­gions of China, Ira­nian Sis­tanBaluchis­tan and Pak­istan’s prov­ince of Balochis­tan by ar­rang­ing the sub­ver­sive ac­tiv­i­ties. In this con­nec­tion, the China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC) is their spe­cial tar­get. Col­lec­tively or in­di­vid­u­ally, th­ese in­tel­li­gence agen­cies are also as­sist­ing Jun­dul­lah (God’s sol­diers)—the Sunni mil­i­tant group which is ac­tive in Balochis­tan against Shias.

Based in the Afghan provinces of Ku­nar and Nuris­tan, Mul­lah Fa­zlul­lah, chief of the TTP is run­ning a par­al­lel gov­ern­ment in Afghanistan. The mil­i­tants of this out­fit have their own le­gal sys­tem and own au­thor­ity, ex­er­cis­ing strict con­trol. In the re­cent years, when the US-led NATO forces felt that they were fail­ing in cop­ing with the stiff re­sis­tance of the Tal­iban in Afghanistan, the high of­fi­cials and me­dia of their coun­tries started ac­cus­ing Pak­istan’s army and coun­try’s In­ter-Ser­vices In­tel­li­gence (ISI) of sup­port­ing the Afghan Tal­iban in or­der to pacify their pub­lic for the pro­tracted war in that coun­try, which still con­tin­ues. In­dia avail the op­por­tu­nity and also ac­cused Islamabad of cross­bor­der ter­ror­ism in Afghanistan.

It is no­table that Pak­istan’s Armed Forces broke the back­bone of the mil­i­tants through mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion Zarb-i-Azb—killing thou­sands of in­sur­gents in­clud­ing for­eign ter­ror­ists, while, ISI and other law-en­forc­ing agen­cies cap­tured sev­eral ter­ror­ists in var­i­ous re­gions of Pak­istan. Tak­ing note of the ground re­al­i­ties, the US and other Western coun­tries have be­gun ap­pre­ci­at­ing the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of Pak­istan Army and other se­cu­rity agen­cies. Nonethe­less, the strikes by the drones which have con­tin­ued in Pak­istan’s tribal ar­eas since 2004 have in­ten­si­fied dur­ing the Obama era, and are clear vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional laws. Col­lat­eral damage caused by th­ese strikes also ig­nites vi­o­lent and re­tal­ia­tory sen­ti­ment among vic­tims and per­pet­u­ate ex­trem­ist wave. We can con­clude that the dou­ble stan­dards and dou­ble game of the US-led en­ti­ties have cre­ated un­bridge­able trust deficit be­tween Pak­istan and the US. —The writer is free­lance colum­nist based in La­hore.

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