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User Name: Usman_Khalid
Full Name: Brig (R) Usman Khalid
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Zardari & Geelani: Who are they Working for? India ?


Usman Khalid



Every time the Afghan President in dressing gown visits Pakistan , the people become very apprehensive. Who does this fellow - Karzai - represent? Not Afghans! Who does he work for? Not Afghanistan ! He will be on the first plane out of Afghanistan when the US withdrawal, if its disorderly, begins. Why is President Zardari so eager to please him? Does he want to secure a seat on the same plane? But it does not matter what either of them wants because the people of Pakistan see Zardari’s role to be to frustrate every effort to safeguard Pakistan ’s national interests and to advance India ’s agenda.

Pakistan’s military has with some consistency argued that the Americans can make a dignified withdrawal from Afghanistan only if Pakistan helps. Generals Petraeus and MacChrystal now agree with General Kiani and they are writing a narrative which makes that possible. But India is very upset and is acting the role of a spoiler. Even in its ‘strategic partnership’ with erstwhile USSR , all the damage was suffered by the Soviet Union while India walked away un-blamed from the disastrous Soviet exit from Afghanistan . Typical of its past conduct, India wants the USA to dig in and ‘tough it out’ but is not ready to send fighting formations to Afghanistan . India needs the US presence to continue its support to the Baloch and TTP terrorists. That is all it cares about.

It is clear what India wants whereas Pakistan is working with the Americans to bring a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan . But what do (President) Zardari and (Prime Minister) Geelani want? Geelani, typically, usually does not know what he wants, drags his feet for a while to make public show of defiance, and then submits to the wish of Zardari. This ‘Punch and Judy show’ has been mildly amusing when it comes to ‘minor matters’ like load shedding that has blighted the industry; like precipitous decline in the value of Rupee, declining exports and rising imports; like stealing of billions from public sector corporations by Zardari appointed kleptomaniacs in charge. But it is in foreign policy that the most damage – largely irreversible - is being done to Pakistan ’s national interests.

Messrs Zardari and Geelani do not even understand the question on policy matters let alone provide answers or give guidance. The military was able to sideline India over Afghanistan because its role is that of a spoiler. But Karzai promptly turned up in Islamabad to secure endorsement of an Indian role in Afghanistan . Not just that, the Punch and Judy ‘duo’ are prepared to facilitate the Indian role. They have privately told India that they will not oppose India getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Until now, Pakistan had not just objected but mobilised opposition to a seat for India until ‘it implements the UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir .’ Who are these people? Who is the ‘duo’ working for? Clearly it is for the archenemy India !

As if that was not bad enough the Minister of Railway, one Mr Billor from ANP - protégés of India of long standing – has said that he is going to move a resolution in the parliament to allow SAARC to be connected by rail with Central Asia through Afghanistan. Thankfully, the insurrection in FATA makes that impossible, but the readiness of the ruling coalition parties in Pakistan , all of who are pro-India, to allow Indian vehicles through passage into Pakistan , Afghanistan and beyond, is mind boggling. Has India decided to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir ? Has India decided not to build dams on Rivers Chenab, Jhelum and Indus in Jammu and Kashmir ? What has India done to deserve so many favours from the ‘duo’? It just could not be pressure from the USA not to defend Pakistan against military or water aggression by India ! That is of long standing; that is not a change.

I am reminded of a research paper by ‘Global Research’ of Toronto , Canada , which was printed in LISA Journal two years ago. In this paper Professor Michel Chossudovsky stated that the objective (from 2008 Elections in Pakistan ) of the USA is: 1) to install a government in Pakistan that does not care about national interests, and 2) which allows Pakistan to suffer the fate of Yugoslavia under pressure from a demand for “Provincial Autonomy”. It appears that Zardari’ is under pressure to deliver. He has to deliver on 1) ‘economic collapse’, 2) break-down of law and order, and 3) ‘Provincial Autonomy’ that propel Pakistan towards chaos and disintegration. Zardari has made sure that energy crisis is exacerbated by the day leading to fall in industrial production and exports and ballooning balance of payment deficit. It has to be deliberate because solution to the energy crisis was simple. All that was needed was to address the issue of ‘circular’ debt; restart closed down thermal power plants; provide electricity without load shedding; provide gas to industry and power plants; carry out load shedding of gas to domestic users for as much as 20 hours a day providing gas only for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. It is not rocket science and yet it is not being done. The sabotage of industry is indeed deliberate and Zardari-Geelani Administration is culpable.

The Government has not deployed the arguments that al-Qaeda and TTP are Takfiri; like the Khawarji before them, they are the instruments of kufr. On the contrary, the Government has allowed JI, JUI, and TI to decry Pakistan as the agents of kufr i.e, America . The law and order minister – Rehman Malik – does look and behave like the agent of kufr thus giving some credibility to the Takfiri argument. But the real test of Zardari-Geelani Administration would come perhaps this month when a consensus on constitutional amendments at Committee Stage would come before the parliament. That would show if the MQM-ANP view of provincial autonomy has been accommodated. If it is, Pakistan would be ready to follow the example of Yugoslavia . However, it is unclear yet if the Obama Administration has indeed changed its policy on Pakistan and Afghanistan and is ready to give non-military measures a chance with a view to stay in Afghanistan and have some influence over Central Asia . But it is quite clear that India wants the ISAF to keep fighting in Afghanistan so that India can continue to use its soil for clandestine operations against Pakistan .

It was not just Hamid Karzai who is pleading India ’s case, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tried to outflank Pakistan and warm up towards Saudi Arabia . The objectives of India are not mysterious. India plays its card of 150 million Muslims in that country very skilfully but has not been confronted with the cries of anguish that India keeps muted by portraying the Muslims as terrorists and thus successfully terrorising them into submitting to structural unemployment, alienation, repression and social decline. India may want to buy oil from Saudi Arabia which is no bad thing. But India wants to pay for it by Saudi investment in India . No one has made money by investing in India – not even America . Indian companies like Tata and Mittal Steel have become big in UK and Europe by transferring their capital outside. It would be very foolish Arab who saw investment in India to be secure let alone lucrative. But the effort to lure the Arab capital to India is being led by Jewish banks in the USA because decline in economic prospects of North America has made every investor wary of investment in the USA . The Arabs have better beware; the trap is being set by the experts – the Jews.

The most pressing problems of Pakistan spring from the Zardari-Geelani administration being unwilling as well as unable to safeguard Pakistan ’s interests. They are on probation and the people are watching how they deal with India over Afghanistan , Kashmir and the issue of water of river flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir . Militarily, India is not a bigger problem than what Pakistan has faced and defeated in FATA and NWFP. After all, India is not stronger than the USA and the Kashmiris are not as friendless as the resistance in Afghanistan . Those who say there is no military solution to the problem of River water and Kashmir should look at the example set by the USA . When your national interests are at stake, be ready to fight. If you are not, the enemy would not be softened by flattery, concessions or begging. The answer to clever tricks of India is to confront them with risk of war. ++


The writer is Director of London Institute of South Asia .

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