Pakistan: From all the four corners!
by Nadia Khan
While President Zardari is struggling to survive against the odds of NRO – in supreme Court of Pakistan either by posing himself as ‘most confident’ or on state TV posing Aitizaz Ahsan sitting & chatting with him in President House, the country is cornered from all sides by number of ‘state actors.’
1. Growing influence of India –through military or economic assistance - in a war-torn Afghanistan , where a pro Indian govt is installed, is clearly visible. While walking onto the streets of Kabul, which is the only 80km radius where newly ‘elected’ Karzai rule of law is in action, I could see number of Sikhs (Sardar Jees) walking, Hindi movies CDs/DVDs being sold by Pashtun boys, and number of Indian restaurants, indicate that ‘Bollywood business’ is in real action in a country, once famous for Islamic fundamentalism & then controlled by Taliban, safely in favour of Pakistan. If day-to-day business is going hand-in-hand like Kabul Express with Indians, then who would say that Indian intelligence agencies especially RAW could give up such a fantastic opportunity against Pakistan!!!
2. Purposely to portray his ‘soft’ image or “by mistake” Zardari-led govt’s invitation of Hamid Karzai during President’s oath taking ceremony and year later ‘presentation at Karzai’s oath taking ceremony even though it was through most controversial elections in Afghanistan, had no impact on US authorities. Rather than on Pakistanis that PPPP govt is getting inclined towards India through Afghanistan .
3. Further, the confusion by present govt during Mumbai-Taj shooting episode; to send ISI chief to New Delhi then its withdrawal, had left no space for Pakistani diplomats to counter the growing influence of Indian ICS cadre all over the world! Even though President Zardari had tried to ascertain non-state actors, he was trying to bring Al Qaida factor here, involvement in that but they way it was twisted by Indian diplomats against Pakistan itself to term the country as safe-heaven for terrorism, was not even thought by the Pakistani President. Hafiz Saeed or Lashker e Tayyba’s implication and then forced “request” to China to remove the veto-bar against Indian resolution in United Nations has fired-back at Pakistan its self. Hafiz Saeed’s acquittal by higher judiciary and then his open letter to media men that “killing of innocent non-Muslims in non-Muslim countries is not endorsed by him and he feels sympathetic for the victims of Mumbai-Taj Hotel” indicates that someone even higher than Lashker e Tayyba tried to use its name for destabilizing normal relations between India and Pakistan. Who could be that state or non-state actors!!!
4. The instigation of hidden US intelligence agencies, as many analyst say, towards Jund Ullah to provoke a new ground with Iran through Pakistani Baluchistan, is an action of building pressure on an already weak govt of Pakistan to leverage more from them! Pakistani intelligence agencies, at this stage when Pak Army is engaged in FATA rooting out the foreign elements especially Uzbeks, couldn’t take a risk of opening another ground against an old ally, Iran , for the sake of nothing. So elements like Jund Ullah are being funded by the foreign hands who would like to destabilize Pakistan through its angry arm – Baluchistan !
5. Not because of Barhamdakh Bugti or Akhter Mengal or Dr Hai Baloch or Marri tribal heads, hiding out side Baluchistan, Baluchistan is brought to lime light by US authorities due to their quote that ‘Mullah Omer’s whole Taliban Shura (advisers) is residing in Quetta’ is paving a way towards a new conspiracy against Pakistan. A province where Pakistan flag hoisting is not possible in common schools and buildings, where a group of angry youngsters is fighting against law enforcement agencies reminds that external forces are trying to stage a ground where ‘Quetta could be another Dhaka!’
6. From East Punjab side, Kashmir issue has gone to back-burner as all attention is towards North and South Waziristan and FATA after Swat successful operation.
7. At internal fronts, President Zardari-led weak federal government efforts to take control over powerful military-establishment through Kerry-Lugar bill, all had gone in vain. The list of failure includes delay in restoration of judiciary until 16th March long march, loss of credibility in his own accords, keeping Charter of Democracy (CoD) set aside, and the latest one is NRO where the newly-restored judiciary had asked the political cream to redefine the National Reconciliation Ordinance, its presentation in National Assembly and finally withdrawal, all points towards half-baked decisions!
8. Beside all this, the growing influence of Pakistani Taliban and their daily suicide attacks have shaken the Punjab and especially NWFP province by storm and Interior Ministry especially where all roads go to Waziristan and Black Cat is no more in Pakistan slogan has lost its credibility. Taliban, originally, were termed as real ‘friends of Pakistan’ to counter the influence of India-led Hamid Karzai or Abduallah Abdullah as conceived by the former prime minister of Pakistan, late Benazir Bhutto! Now, from the Prime Minister Gilani accusation that “Pakistani Tahreek e Taliban and Bait Ullah Mehsud is the killer of late Benazir Bhutto without any thorough investigations as UN investigations are still not concluded,” has put Pakistani Taliban and rest of the religious forces against the PPP govt automatically. Even though President Zardari and Bilawal Zardari both iterated that ‘democracy is the real revenge’ implies that some other hands -not Bait ullah as he wasn’t any democratic force or to be revenged through democracy- are used in killing Benazir Bhutto, contradicts the higher-ups in PPP itself.
9. The attacks at GHQ and Military mosque indicate that TTP is the fierce opponent of govt of Pakistan as well as military-establishment due to laters engagement with US and Allied forces. Wasn’t it looked pre planned to engulf the gap between the two old allies of 80s? Wasn’t it in the knowledge of Pakistani security authorities; the culture of tribes, their revenge process when drones, flying from Pakistani bases and killing Pashtun women & children upon instructions of US authorities, just because US feels threaten by Al Qaida or Taliban? This is the same subject that led “Rehman Malik at the back-foot with Mufti Rafi & Taqi Usmanis, in Darool Uloom Karachi , when asked for a blind-fatwa in favour of PPP govt, and refused by these scholars terming Drones as the main cause of Pashtun anger.”
10. Indeed, with Deubandi Ulemas, who were inclined with Afghan-Jihad in 80s, they could have informed Rehman Malik about the main ingredients of present-day-Jihad. In simple, Al Qaida is a group of foreign elements, largely compose of Arab nationals fighting against the US authorities since Gulf war of 1991 whereas Taliban are, predominantly Pashtuns, comprise 70% of the population of Afghanistan & adjoining Pakistani territory of Waziristan, can’t be eliminated by US forces or drones, just for the sake that they are not inclined towards US policies or they refused to handover Osama, the prime accused of NY twin-tower tragedy. Every local Afghani feels that since 1979 they are under the phases of occupation – initially under USSR, then Najeeb ullah, later under Masood or Doustum in the form of warlords and from 2001 it continued in the form of NATO or USA . To make their territory free from these foreign aggressors, they, like their centuries old traditions, are fighting against them. This approach is the main content of present-day Jihad in Afghanistan , and fully endorsed by former University-graduate-Mujahadeen like Gulbadeen Hekmatyar, Rab Rasool Sayyaf groups or pro-Pakistani Jalal Uddin Haqqani group or their new generations including hardcore Madrasah-educated Taliban.
11. I am sure, Rehman Malik should have been appraised that what went wrong with Taliban as their suicidal technique, within their limited resources, tribal culture, and simple understanding of Jihad, became distorted with killings of innocent Pakistanis in towns and cities. Either the philosophy of revenge over came the true spirit of Jihad (fight against combatants only) creating collateral damage in the form of innocent women & children or some Indian elements using the name of Taliban for suicide attacks, as poor Taliban can’t afford so much expensive RDX or explosive material on a daily basis, to destabilize Pakistan or some foreign elements took shelter in Taliban camp, purposely, while creating chaos in major cities of Pakistan – terming as Pakistan is an unsafe territory hence its nuclear assets are also not in safe custody. Thus they should be in ‘our’ control. For all these complex issues present-day Pakistan interior ministry is far below than expectations!
12. Certainly, Rehman Malik should have been updated, during his visit that, when Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had migrated to Madinah, first thing after establishing his authority – means Islamic Govt, he had asked foreign powers to follow the divine revelations with the help of that he has formed a classic society in Arabia, presenting a message, in 7th century, of peace, equality, & social justice, . The idea especially for rulers, was very simple, “Dear leaders! You need to follow the means & ways for the betterment of your people otherwise we (Muslims) will guide you towards the right approach. If not then we will fight (Jihad) with you until we succeed & then we’ll implement the rule of Allah in your land.” Due to Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) letter, Iranian ruler of those days became angry and torn it out. This was the main cause of Jihad during those days between Muslims (Companions of Holy Prophet) and Iranian army. I am sure, if Pakistani interior minister would have been there, he should be supporting Iranian ruler and terming the then Muslims, as terrorists!