Friday, September 23, 2011

US, Haqqanis, Pakistan & I

Jeez. They are getting desperate aren’t they? What is with Haqqanis and US? Again there is a call by US to Pakistan to disengage from Haqqanis and take action against them in North Waziristan area of Pakistani tribal belt. They are getting more vociferous by the day especially after a raid by Taliban (US says Haqqani faction) attacked the US Embassy in Kabul. So much so that it has now threatened to halt civilian aid to Pakistan. In all this fury, cries and confusion - I am thinking.. what the hell is going on?

US is just acting like someone who is standing in dark and trying to fight anyone from any direction. Things are not going to improve after Haqaanis are vacated from Pakistan. But words coming out of Washington are not wise, in fact they are plain ridiculous. Here is what Mr. Leon Panetta had to say.
“The network cannot be allowed to cross the border, attack troops in Afghanistan and then cross back into Pakistan through the border.”
Imagine. He is the Defence Secretary. In effect what he is saying is that US has no control whatsoever in Afghanistan! Which quite frankly is the case. The Haqqani fighters come all the way from Pakistan, attack the embassy in Kabul and then return back! Amazing isn't it? So what were the US-NATO-Afghan army doing there? Counting chicken?

It even gets more ridiculous. Now there is a suggestion by US that ISI might have urged the Haqqanis to attack US interests in Afghanistan. I mean ‘inaction’ against Haqqanis in tribal areas is one thing… colluding with Haqqanis to attack US in Afghanistan is the most unimaginable thing for Pakistan to do right now. On top of that one gets to hear comments that make you say 'really? is is to so easy?'. Consider the following.

'Strategic Assets'

One often comes across this term while Pakistan and the proxies it supports are discussed. This states that Pakistan supports Taliban because it wants to have a strategic depth in Afghanistan in case it goes to war against India. Taliban are strategic assets since they are pashtuns so they would naturally support Pakistan.

'Strategic Asset' is a wet dream of military commanders of Pakistan during 90s. It is so last century. And it is so naive that one begs to think whether someone actually thought about it? First that Afghanistan can be used a strategic depth in case of war with India. No one has the guts to go in Afghanistan. British empire was beaten there. USSR drowned due to Afghanistan. US now is totally bankrupt due to its invasion there and people might think that Pakistan will be able to do so? Please teach me like I am a four year old.. but how is it going to take place? Secondly, if in case nobody mentions it, the fact that Afghanis hate us - whether they are Taliban or the Northern Alliance.

Third, and most importantly, the Taliban never listen to Pakistan! Whether it was the Bamyan Buddha that was destroyed or the issue of hand over of Osama to US after 911 - hey do not give a damn about Pakistan.

'India & Strategic Assets'

This is another one that one gets to hear. That Pakistan is stirring up trouble in Afghanistan so that US leaves and Pakistan is able to focus on Indian Kashmir. Notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan cant hold on to her pants when it comes to managing her own affairs, troubling a superpower in a troubled neighborhood is an idea that seems making trips to moon a child's play.

Another things important is that whatever the policy measures regarding Indian Kashmir in 90s, Pervez Musharraf during his tenure in early 2000s, greatly reduced the influence of jihadis in Kashmir - a fact even admitted by Indians themselves. That is the reason LeT and HuJI types are running amok in Pakistan - in fact they even attacked Musharraf through suicide attacks. This can be the reason that attacks on Indian Parliament in 2001 and Mumabi in 2006 occurred. If Pakistan were to 'throw out' US to gather momentum again against India in Kashmir, sadly, there is no one for them to help them out. Jihadis are against us now.

'Inertia of State of Pakistan'

There are two fundamental question that need to be answered: 1) 'What women want?' and 2) 'What does Pakistani State want?'. Sadly, it seems, we are not in luck to know the answers to these questions in near future.

But really, what is it that Pakistani State wants? Are Taliban our stooges or not? What is our policy in Afghanistan? Is there a difference between good taliban and bad taliban? If we say that Haqqanis are not given shelter in Pakistan - why not say so and let US come and deal with them? Why not deal with them ourselves and tell US to keep out? Why did not the Army act against them in Parachinar? What was Osama Bin Laden doing in Abbottabad?If he was not being protected - admit that it was a failure and seek help in better management of intelligence? I do not at all give any merit or credit to the theory that the Pakistani state protected him - they are just not capable of it. Pakistan army cant wipe their bottoms properly, as it was shown during the Abbottabad raid, and it hid Osama for 10 years? The Answers? 'Silence'. Had it been gold we would have been rich but no. The only thing, it seems, that army is capable of doing is tell the civilians how to run the government or torturing ordinary Pakistanis (in Balochistan) and reporters (Saleem Shehzad).

You might think since Pakistan is controlled by the army so it will not act against Taliban & Co. So why then the civilian administration is keeping mum on LeT, Sipahe Sahaba an Lashkar e Jhangvi? LeT is against security agencies and targeting them, the latter two are killing shias right and left. If the argument is that LeT is supported by army then the latter two are not all concerned with India or Kashmir - why not take action against them? Why let innocent Pakistanis being slaughtered by these mercenaries of faith? No answers of course.

Seems like Pakistan is this headless chicken that is roaming around the farm with no clue where to go. If anyone thinks that there is this great scheme by Pakistani establishment to somehow orchestrate all this and turn things to its own advantage - God be merciful please let me know too.

I am clueless too.