Insensitivity of international community and institutions
Asif Haroon Raja
The secular lobby in Pakistan tries to highlight the importance of international community, international institutions and international laws, and above all the role of sole super power as well as India. It never tires lecturing that without compromising with the tyrannical and unjust practices of the powerful nations, Pakistan will not survive. Our present government which is totally subservient to Washington says that Pakistan will get isolated if it falls from America’s grace. It is pleading that reopening of NATO supply lines must not be further delayed and argues that the soldiers who died at the hands of US troops at Salala would not come back to life if Washington tenders an apology.
In the last hundred-year history, Ottoman Empire was shred to pieces by deceptively promoting the concept of nationalism. Muslim Ummah was ruthlessly divided into small fragile states each having a lingering dispute with its neighbors. This fragmentation was done by the British with the active collaboration of international community and international institutions. Ever since the US has become the sole super power, the international community say what the US want it to say. Instead of ensuring compliance of international laws and rules, the US and its surrogates like Israel and India violates them with impunity; but the US expects others to become law abiding.
Resolutions on Kashmir passed in 1948 are being flouted by India for the last 65 years resulting in untold miseries to the Muslims in Kashmir at the hands of Indian security forces. Kashmir has become an open prison where Kashmiris are gunned down like stray dogs. Their wretched plight and worst form of human rights violations committed by Indian forces have gone unnoticed by the international community and the UN simply because the sufferers are Muslims and violators non-Muslims. While the UN has lost interest, the US says the UN resolutions have become outdated, meaning thereby that Kashmiris’ right of self-determination is no more valid and India’s illegal occupation is valid.
Like Kashmir, Palestine issue is pending resolution since 1948, but because of uncompromising attitude of Israel and whole-hearted support of USA and western world, Israel is holding on to its illegal occupations and is continuing with its expansionism through new settlements in occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza. International community had made a token effort to defy Israeli siege of Gaza put in place with the active collaboration of Egypt, and tried to ship food and medicines to the Gazans through a peace flotilla, but it was forcibly stopped by Israeli forces, killing eleven unarmed persons. Except for Turkey and Iran, none other drummed up the piracy of Israel. While the US supports Israeli atrocities, the UN and international community including the Arab world impotently and apathetically watch the plight of the Palestinians.
International institutions deceived Muslims of Bosnia by shifting and collecting them to safer havens and then letting the blood thirsty Serbs to pounce upon the unsuspecting unarmed Bosnians. The UN and NATO intervened only after tens of thousands were massacred and thousands raped. Their mass graves are still getting discovered.
Bifurcation of Sudan into two is a recent case of international community and international institutions criminal connivance with the perpetrators of crime. The only fault of Sudan was that it had enforced Sharia laws, as wished by the great majority of Muslim Sudanese. The 1983 rebellion in South Sudan led by Col Garang was supported by pro-America Ethiopia, USA and western world. Animists living in resource rich southern Sudan were forcibly converted to Christianity by the missionaries to increase the number of minority Christians. Darfur was also heated up by foreign powers to further build pressure on Khartoum. During the long drawn war in which millions died and Sudan got impoverished, international media kept spreading lies and only highlighted the atrocities of the state forces fighting foreign aided rebels. President Bashir was declared a war criminal by International Court of Justice and his arrest warrants were issued. Former ruler of Egypt Hosni Mubarak shamelessly sided with the west and played a part in dividing Sudan. The oil rich South Sudan was finally handed over to Christian minority last year. International community and world institutions remained mum over massive external interference in internal affairs of Sudan.
Afghanistan was invaded and destroyed on a trumped up charge that Mullah Omar regime was harboring Osama bin Laden (OBL) and his al-Qaeda, supposedly involved in 9/11. The charge has thus far not been proven and it is now widely believed that 9/11 was an in-house engineered plan conceived and executed by the neo-cons to undermine Islam and neo-colonize Muslim world as a whole. Iraq was trounced on fake charges that it was developing WMDs and was linked with al-Qaeda. It has now been proven that both charges were faked and in this treachery, Tony Blair was a party.
Prior to the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, it had been put under severe sanctions from 1997 onwards and had been isolated. During the invasion, the US military and its western allies employed deadliest weapon systems against the ruling regime which didn’t have regular armed forces, and was devoid of technology. Daisy cutters, cruise missiles, long range rockets, cluster bombs were rained by jets non-stop for over a month to support the attacking Northern Alliance Forces that had been defeated and pushed out by the Taliban in 1996. Not a single foreign soldier took part in ground combat. Only aerial platform was used against which the Taliban had no means to fight back. Afghans were pitched against Afghans amid slogans of liberty, freedom and democracy. Victorious Northern Alliance forces were instigated to wreak havoc on the Afghan and Pakistani Pashtun captives for months so as to draw permanent cleavage between the two communities. This game of death and destruction had been approved by the UNSC and the international community watched the whole show with excitement and felt comforted over the easy ouster of Taliban regime.
11 years have gone by and the war goes on in Afghanistan. The occupation forces are involved in thousands of cases of murders through night raids, torture, air assaults on funerals, wedding parties and villages in Afghanistan. Those who resist them or refuse to become collaborators are ruthlessly slaughtered. Rampaging US-NATO forces have been raping, desecrating dead bodies and Holy Quran but all cases are hushed up and culprits go scot free. There is no Afghan family in southern and eastern Afghanistan which has not suffered a tragedy at the hands of occupying forces. The US now intends to prolong their agony till 2024 and no objection has been raised. International community and international institutions got fixated with Islamic terrorism as advocated by USA and looked the other way to the slaughter of Afghan Pashtuns.
Iraq had been instigated by the US to attack Iran in 1980 since the US wanted to kill two birds with one stone. The two Muslim neighbors bled each other for eight years and no side emerged as a victor. Seeing that Iraq had been sufficiently weakened, the US-NATO forces attacked it in 1991 and destroyed its armed forces and infrastructure. The country was then put under harsh sanctions for eleven years as a result of which Saddam regime was forced to trade food for oil. Yet Israel viewed Iraq as a possible threat to its total hegemony over the Middle East. Corporations in USA had their eyes on Iraqi oil since long. Neo-cons thought that capture of Iraq would pave the way for redrawing the map of Middle East and harnessing its resources. Governed by their materialistic ambitions, Iraq was demolished in 2003. Sectarian war was fomented which took the maximum human toll. Although the foreign troops withdrew in December 2011, but the US and British firms have total control over oil production and its marketing and over reconstruction and equipment of Iraqi national army, which is fit for counter terrorism only.
After devastating Afghanistan and Iraq, Pakistan is now being systematically destroyed but the methodology applied is more perfidious. It has been made an ally to fight GWOT but in actuality it is a target and is being bled from within through clandestine operations. It is being bombarded with fake allegations that it is in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Taliban, the two forces which Pak security forces have been fighting since 2003 with full force and have achieved laudable results but at a heavy price. The US and its partners India and Afghanistan have been incessantly leveling series of accusations but have not been able to substantiate them by providing proofs. A case is gradually being built to strike Pakistan. The decision to this effect would have been taken much earlier, but Pak nukes deter them from undertaking a direct military venture. Hence, all possible means other than open war are in operation to make Pakistan politically destabilized, economically impoverished, socially divided and militarily fragile.
Among the methods employed to browbeat Pakistan into submission, drone war is one of them which was accelerated from 2008 onwards. It peaked in 2010 and 2011. Thousands have died for no fault of theirs. From among the dead, mostly women, children and elderly people, 97% were innocent. Pakistan’s protestations that drones are fuelling terrorism are ignored on the plea that drone has been declared as America’s choice weapon of war. It has become so dear to the US military because it entails no combat risk to American soldier and the enemy doesn’t have the capability to hit this aerial monster. This weapon will remain in use even after 2014.
The question is whether this choice weapon of CIA is permissible under international law. If not, why has the international law not been applied on CIA which operates these machines from Langley? Under the garb of killing terrorists, it is killing innocent civilians and getting away with it and brazenly says that it will continue using it in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
The US-NATO bullies unconcerned with international laws and norms are on the loose, trampling one Muslim state after another under a given agenda. Besides Pakistan, Iran is also a target against which the US, Israel and western world has ganged up. Unfortunately some of the Arab countries also myopically fear Iran, but are not concerned about US-Israeli-western threat to Islam. Mecca and Madina are among the targets as was disclosed from a course run for US Army officers. There is a powerful school of thought in USA influenced by Jewish lobby which strongly feels that majority of hijackers involved in 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, which in their view is the main source of trouble. They think that Saudi Arabia and not Iraq should have been chosen as a target.
The international community and international institutions have been smugly watching the ruination of three sovereign states for over ten years and killing of over two million Muslims and displacement of millions. The number of widows, orphans and those maimed for life are unaccountable. In order to suppress the people of the affected countries and to impose the US brand of democracy, constitution and culture, horrible torture houses like Bagram airbase detention centre, Abu Gharib jail, and Guantanamo Bay Prison were opened up in total violation of international laws. Inmates were tortured, sexually abused and humiliated, their religious beliefs ridiculed by desecrating Holy Quran. Dogs were unleashed on chained prisoners. Water boarding became the choice method of torture of CIA to force innocent prisoners to say they were involved in 9/11.
Khalid Sheikh Muhammad is one such case who was subjected to water boarding tens of times until he broke down and to save himself from this unbearable torture, he confessed to have committed all the major crimes including masterminding 9/11. None of the detainees put in these torture cells were given right to hire an advocate, or to get in touch with anyone. They were treated as most dangerous animals having no right to seek fundamental human rights. Ironically, after sustaining years of inhuman torture during illegal detention, most were found innocent and released. Over 200 Afghan prisoners found innocent have been repatriated from Gitmo. The ones released have mostly lost their memory, or are in crippled condition and are as good as living dead.
In spite of Obama’s promise to close Gitmo, it is still functioning and the world is quiet. Geneva conventions are not applicable to Muslims, particularly those who do not collaborate with USA and refuse to spy against their own countries. Those who collaborate are rewarded with dollars and American citizenship. Dr Shakeel Afridi convicted and sentenced to 33 years jail term on high treason charge of spying for CIA is a recent case in point. The whole American leadership is outraged over his conviction. Having already sliced $33 million aid, it has now threatened to stop all aid unless Afridi is released and sent to USA. The international community and international institutions subservient to the US uni-polarism are voiceless. The hollow slogans of freedom, democracy and justice lie buried under the debris of lies, deception, hypocrisy, torture and brutality of USA and its surrogates.