This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Admiral Fasih Bokhari

The writer is former Chief of Naval Staff

The marriage of convenience between America and Pakistan is coming to an end. Pakistan is no longer willing to obey America’s diktat for pursuit of its interests in Central Asia, the Middle East, or in South Asia. Washington had been preparing for the split knowing that Pakistan would eventually realize that its own interests were being adversely affected because they were in conflict with those of America.  America is desperately looking for a new partner to fill the void in its ability to pursue policy in these three regions.

The basic pattern of Kissinger or Brezinski style “intelligent Imperialism” has been played so many times that it is becoming too obvious. A favored ally is discarded when no longer of use to pursuit of American interests. Mubarak, Musharref, Saddam, Raza Shah to name a few from our region. And this is not the only region where this imperial game has been repeatedly played out. One would expect more subtlety and variation in execution of strategy by a superpower. But then there are still countries and leaders who are eager and willing to be purchased to fill the void when a “favored ally” falls. America sees India as one such country.

America may have engineered, and had hopes from, the Arab Spring, but it is the Pakistan Spring that it has been confronted with, that has taken the wind out of its policy sails, that it will remember for many years to come. A nuclear Pakistan has stood firm where its own interests are being trampled for the sake of American interests. Pakistan has had enough of America’s “Wars for Empire” from which it has reaped nothing but a failing economy, insurgency funded by “friends”, and degradation of the State’s capacity to deliver services to its people. And of course the insult of being taken so much for granted.

The imperial strategy in this region is too important for America and its allies to allow a vacuum in execution capacity. America and Europe want containment of China; Israel wants a de-nuclearized Pakistan; America wants a Balkanized Pakistan with “control” over warm water links to Russia and China through preferably independent Baluchistan and KPK. India appears to be the new partner of choice for America in its imperial drive into the region. But there is something wrong here. Isn’t “shining India” and “incredible India” on its own path to a role as policeman of this region? Isn’t India’s current focus a booming economy?

So here we have two powers with some convergent and some divergent interests. There is obviously some mistrust and some confidence. There is confidence that Pakistan should be weakened, but mistrust that India may not help the “containment” of China. India knows that it needs Pakistan and China for economic reach to regions to its west and north. America knows that India will never play the “containment of China” card. India would rather develop an economic partnership with the rising “young world” of Asia at peace with itself, than the failing “old world” of militant Europe and America.

This very dichotomy of interests is where the American strategy formulation becomes impotent. The continued use of “carrot and stick” to persuade allies is the resort of an empire that is floundering and devoid of options. India will be offered the carrot of technology and economic supports. It will also be persuaded to stay “on track” through the fear of terrorism, such as the Mumbai blasts of the 13th July. The pattern observed in Pakistan whenever a high profile American was to visit Islamabad was one or two terrorist attacks to give weightage to the “anti terrorism” spiel that the visitor would convey. It is a classic mafia tactic to create a threat, then offer protection and partnership to fight that threat. Buying poor militant groups or underworld thugs in Karachi, Lahore, Mumbai, or Delhi is a very simple intelligence operation! The CIA is recognized as a master of this craft worldwide. The reduction in numbers of CIA “diplomats”, demanded and enforced by the Pakistan military and ISI, has greatly upset America’s ability to “wield the stick” in Pakistan.

The Indo-Pak dialogue and Indian involvement with the SCO appeared to have upset America. India will not be purchased. The options for young Asia are many and there for the taking by leaders with a clear vision for the future. The options for the old empire have shrunk to only one. Get out and stay out.


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  • MAB  On July 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Monkeys cannot swim. So when they have to cross a river they take ride on others.
    That is what Pakistan should do.Discretion is better than bravado.


  • Inam Khan  On July 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Every nation has its own interests,Pakistan has its own.We have dealt with Americans for the last 60 years and we should by now start understanding their machinations.We should stop bending backwards to please the Americans.We are not push overs.We should make a principled decision and stand firm.Vacillations wd not lead us anywhere.India has learnt its lessons,it wd not fight with China on Americans’ bidding,that’s for sure as pointed out by Admiral Bukhari.Neither are we any more willing for encirclement of our friend China.Next two to three years are critical,we shd do the bidding……………………….Inam Khan

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:02 am

      That’s right Inam, America is no more willing to keep getting ripped off by us. We should find another ‘dhoor’ now but the problem is, China does not want to be one.
      USA wants to encircle China?
      For what?
      Well, I guess you do not know, USA has been inside for last 3 decades and because of Factories of American Capitalists, China has reached this far in prosperity and Technology. China has been sleeping with those Capitalists for decades and those Capitalists run USA also. Did you know this, sir?

  • A Malik  On July 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Desires be one but the factual is another. This is what I get out of this read. For, contrary to the expectations of the writer some winds may already have been taken out during Gen Shuja’s visit. It therefore was no coincident that there was a meyhem in Karachi at the start of the talk – the age old pressure tactics through thugs and the criminals – and in this case it was the tension that brewed up in Karachi because of Zulfiqar Mirza’s out of time and place utterences – and there must have been some understanding reached in Washington- that the tension evaporated as the dialogues must have reached to a somewhat happy ending for the US. For the confirmation of this we will need to wait till tomorrow or a few more days that the contents and the out come of the meeting becomes the part of the media.
    We should not forget that theZulfiqar Mirza could not have uttered the “sublime” language without the “Asheerbad” from the top.

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:06 am

      Oh yeah, yeah. You are so right Malik. Did you notice, the General of ISPR, the Mouth Piece of Pak Army is also in sync with MQM. He has also issued a very Anti USA remarks to derail the talks of Gen. Shuja in Washington.

  • ID  On July 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    God analyses and sound advice Fasih sahib.

  • Ata  On July 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks Yasmeen for sending me a heart warming article written by a brave soldier Admiral Fasih Bokhari.
    Pakistan and Pakistanis will not be spared the American wrath. China and Pakistanis themsleves will stand in their path. The role of India will be interesting. Will they adopt a short term Pakistan bashing policy or saner and long term interest decide what they will do. We hope the later policy will be best suyited for the regoin.
    Pakistanis grow everything, manufacture most of what they need. We can do away with the luxuries. An election is not. It provides an ideal opportunity for Pakistanis for once to choose the right leaders.
    I foresee a bright future for Pakistan and us Pakistanis. Let us for a change become truly Pakistanis.

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:16 am

      China loves Pakistan so much that she would go to war with USA or stand against USA …
      * … letting USA confiscate its $ 1 trillion investments and another trillion that USA owes to China?
      * … knowing fairly well she can lose the biggest Customer of her exports in the world that has made her become rich in F.E. Reserves?
      * … despite knowing that it can only destroy on a few dozen US cities by her ICBMs, when in retaliation if USA attacked there would be nobody left alive in USA after 20 minutes?
      Could you please tell us, when has China told you this …!

  • Nasim Hassan  On July 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Americans will be surprised to learn that India is not stupid to get into a rat race with China with America cheering on. Indians also understand that any direct involvement in Afghanistan replacing Pakistan would be a blunder.

    Pakistani policy makers should reach out to China, India, Iran, Central Asian republics, Turkey and Saudi Arabia with a single focus. That focus must be peace and stability in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan and Afghanistan have a common destiny. A peace in Afghanistan would be in the best interests of Pakistan.

    Nasim Hassan

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:31 am

      But Nasim, has not Pakistan already done this and actually have contacted Russia also for help against USA in Afghanistan?
      Have not Russia and China refused to listen to our Bull Shit that ‘we have a common future with Afghanistan’ because they think, Afghanistan has a right to be free and not a Pakistan Occupied country?

      * Why would USA want to destroy her biggest Lender of Money and the biggest friend of American Capitalists, China?
      * When has USA ever tried to make India get ready to start a war with China?
      * Which Arms & Weapons USA has sold to India to accomplish this?
      * Has not been India’s Arms Supplier been Russia, a close friend of China?
      * If India is building up her Military to go to war with China, how come China has never told her close friend Russia to stop selling India Arms?
      * When has ever India think that one day she will have to fight a Nuclear War with China?
      * Why has China been helping India with its Agricultural and Infrastructural Projects if China thinks India is her Enemy?
      * Why do you think, Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan is united? Is Urdu Afghanistan’s National Language also or are Afghans Ethnically same as Punjabis?
      * Why can Pak Future be tied to Afghans, when Afghans hate your Guts, sir?

  • Syed Wajahat  On July 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Dont forget, it is all a matter of dollars and pounds. India is a very corrupt nation. The hunger for money is very high.
    That is a characteristic of a nation that can be purchased. It will be when the time comes. The economic surge that
    we see in India today is simply because of the money that is being poured in. With every external investment the external
    entity own a small piece of the nation.

    It will come down to, “Do it or we will”, issue.

    Syed Wajahat Hussain

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:36 am

      Oh yes, yes. India is just like Pakistan living off Charity of Aid, Loans and Foreign Investments like Pakistan. Nothing in India is their own. Its all ‘poured in’ by USA just like in Pakistan.
      India is more indebted than Pakistan and has a lot lower F.E. Reserves than Pakistan, right?
      India has never paid for her purchase of Arms & Weapons. All Indian Military Weapons and Hardware came as Charity from USA just like Pakistan’s, right?
      Sir, we did not know all this. Thanks for letting us know …!

  • siddiqui my  On July 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    First of all Admiral Bokhari is not a soldier but an ADMIRAL ! However if he continue to sail the way he is, he may soon be a soldier ??
    Beggars are not choosers ie Pakistan is no position presently to dictate any terms; no doubt the US needs our help and are willing to PAY for our services.
    I submit there is no “arab spring” in Pakistan and it shall never be because it is not part of subcontinent’s history.
    I also submit we slow down our India-centric thinking; we should mind our own affairs and worry less about the Indians. We have habit of playing Big but our own house is in total disarray and frankly in ruins ! And so anyone is likely to take advantage of our situation.
    Let us look at our situation:
    a. Our economy is in total tatters
    b. Our industry is not functioning in full gear for whatever reasons
    c. There is no governance
    d. Govt seems to have no direction and working on ad hoc basis
    e. Govt institutions are at loggerhead
    f. Law and Order are weakest
    g. Our Education system is a disaster
    etc…… etc …….
    So how can we take on any one when we cannot even impose law and order in our cities and villages
    Frankly are we really a civilised society ? even our armed forced who were our pride are no longer respected
    We want to play the Big Game in the Olympic stadium; we dont even qualify among the lst 100 !!
    I say, let us be realistic and put our own house in order; USA may be down hill but I assure readers it will be long after our grand children are gone, it may go bust
    Tragedy is we have the potential and resources to be a prosperous country but we have entangled ourselves into day dreams. Let us come down to earth and try to set our OWN house in order…to hell with Afghanistan; to hell with Kashmir and to hell with seeing dreams to be a Super power…..does one realise how many thermo nukes will be required to take out Pakistan ??????
    God has given Pakistan very strategic position; let us take advantage of this great gift and play our cards with prudence and wisely BUT no family with constant discord and bickering ever prosper…envy & curse to the neighbor will not bring happiness

  • Nadeem  On July 16, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Lets hope our Eastern ‘friends’ are thinking on the sane lines as Adm. Bokhari. It may be hard to imagine, but a calm, peaceful and prosperous sub-continent could be a power to be reckoned with. Lets hope our imagination bears fruit and gives hope to the peoples of Pakistan and India.

    Nadeem Kausar

  • Nawaz Ansari  On July 16, 2011 at 4:49 am

    These political games which are at play in Africa, the Greater Middle East, Mediterranean, Central Asia and Southwest Asia, illegal operations by CIA/Africom/NATO and the US strategy aimed at the militarization of the entire globe to be able to exert its authority and control over feeble states and to advance its imperialistic agenda either by means of sphere of influence, conquest and annexation, or indirect rule to become dominant player in Eurasia.

    This New Great Game is seen as centering petroleum politics, it is all about winning tanker routes, petroleum consortiums and contracts as final prizes of the New Great Game, unfortunately all at the cost of millions of human lives.

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:43 am

      Yes Nawaz,
      The only problem is, USA does not have the 15th Century Savage Tribal Brain that you, the Admiral and Pakistanis have. Thankless, Nmak Hraam Beggars can not come up with anything else. Just like they occupied NWF Province, Northern Territories, Baluchistan, Bahawalpur etc and have been trying to occupy Indian Kashmir and Afghanistan to loot, they think USA is doing the same but they claim to be Moslims also.

  • Zubair  On July 16, 2011 at 7:20 am

    I sincerely hope they embrace India and leave us alone. American embrace, as we all know, is the worst bear trap ever. It crushes the nations.

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:49 am

      USA has not embraced India yet?
      Then, why have been some Pakistanis been crying over that USA have already done that and this is why Obama had not visited Pakistan, when he came to visit India last year?
      Some of you had already seen USA not only embracing her but also French Kissing a while ago. What’s going on …?

  • TMH  On July 16, 2011 at 9:27 am

    The relations between Pakistan and United States, are long and complicated. These were supported by all the front line politicians
    and leaders in uniforms, including the writer of this article.
    This is a fixed match ( a nora kushti ) playing for the public. At least it is not possible to happen by these nincompoops, who are ruling
    Pakistan with the blessing of US.


    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:52 am

      That’s right relationship of Pakistan with USA has been very complicated because we are liars, cheaters, ‘nmak hraam’, blackmailing and back-stabbing Beggars.
      What you want Pakistan to do now is go to war with USA and destroy her, right?

  • Salim Ullah  On July 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

    If the present scenario continues India may take over.

    • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 1:54 am

      Oh yeah, yeah. Just like India has taken over East Pakistan. More than half of Pakistanis of 1971 are already Indians now because of that, right Salim Ullah?

  • S U Turkman  On July 19, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Could this 15th Century Brain Admiral tell us, what’s ‘pursuit’, ambition or plan of USA in Middle East, south and Central Asia?
    Could he explain, how could USA take over …
    1. … Central Asia, when all Central Asian countries are in Defense Pact with Russia, which is still a tougher Nuclear Power than USA?
    2. … Central Asia or countries bordering Afghanistan, when a tiny little country Qatar, Population 800,000 has more Oil and Gas than all of those countries instead of easily conquerable Qatar?
    3. … Middle East, when she knows, she can not make Middle East become a part of USA by US Constitution?
    4.; … Middle East, when she does not want to steal anything there like Punjab ruled Pakistan has been stealing Gas from Baluchistan, Precious Stones from Swat and Oil from Sindh?
    5. … South Asia, the poorest and the most backward part of Asia, a Nest of Hornets, Wasps etc?
    6. … this region, when she has never done this before?
    If presence of US Military in any country is ‘Occupation’ of that country, Japan, Germany, Italy, U.K., Norway, Sweden, S Korea, etc are also under US Occupation for more than half a century. Could this Admiral tell me, how the hell these countries become so advance and in some cases richer than USA and with hundreds of times more F.E. Reserves than USA if USA has been looting them for more than half a century?
    We can clearly see other way around has taken place in Pakistan. Punjab was the poorest and is now the richest Province of Pakistan living off Taxes collected from Sindh stealing half to 3/4th of Pak Budget for its almost all Punjabi Armed Forces and some more for its almost all Punjabi Police. This is the reason, Pak Military has been propagating that USA wants to take over the whole region and would steal just like Punjabis are looting us. Punjabi Army wants to take over Middle East and Central Asia and is accusing USA for having this plan posthumously because US presence in the region can never let its such Dreams fulfilled. .


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