Rejecting New US Consulates

Farooq Hameed Khan 
The American efforts to gain permanent foothold in Balochistan and South Punjab by establishing Consulates in Quetta and Multan  suffered a blow after  serious opposition from  Pakistani security establishment specially after the Raymond Davis and Abbottabad episodes.  Reportedly the  Foreign Office denied the US their requests to open these new Consulates..
    US Ambassador  Cameron Munter’s  recent declaration   that ‘Balochistan was very significant for the United States’ reveals the superpower’s intentions when viewed in the context of  US obsession  to open up  the  new  Quetta Consulate.
     In early 2010, then US ambassador Anne Patterson had cited  two main reasons for the Quetta Consulate : to oversee the development activities carried out by Americans in Balochistan and ensure a close liaison with the Baloch people  for speedy  visa facility instead of  dealing with  US Consulates in Karachi and Islamabad.  Pakistanis, however, view these as a   cover for greater sinister US designs In Balochistan.
     But US Ambassador Cameron Munter is not willing to give up so easily too. He recently visited  Quetta , where he met with the Balochistan  Chief Minister and  Speaker Balochistan Assembly to lobby for the Consulate which  was obviously not agreed to. These Baloch leaders also rejected the American  themes regarding  presence of   Al –Qaida and Taliban   leaders  Al Zawahri  and  Mulla Omer  in Balochistan or  Taliban intrusion from around Quetta into Afghanistan.   Such narrative also points towards a US  agenda of   expanding  the Afghan war into Balochistan .
      Why is US Consulate in Quetta considered to be against Pakistan’s security interests? Because this would  serve as a launching pad for greater  American interference in Baloch istan affairs  to further American interests in the region. It is feared that US security personnel are  likely to intensify their clandestine activities  and further fuel the insurgency in the province in coordination with RAW sponsored Baloch militant groups.
      A recent media report  quoting  top-level sources in our foreign ministry is significant : “In fact, we have received a lot of secret correspondence by security agencies about the CIA operatives’ involvement in a number of nefarious plots against Pakistan. This is the reason we refused them establishment of new consulates.”
      The United States has clear strategic interests in  mineral rich  Balochistan which provides a regional  trade and energy corridor to Afghanistan and energy rich central asian states. According to media reports, the US is also eyeing a setup at Gwadar to maintain a watch over Chinese  activities in the area..
     Therefore US presence in Balochistan could threaten the security of strategic  projects  that are likely to takeoff in 2011/2012 including the  Chinese sponsored  second phase infra-strucutre development  of Gwadar port ,  construction of  Pak- Iran gas pipeline  and the mega Reqo Dik copper/gold mining facility,   which  do not converge with  Indo- US strategic interests in the region.  
    American interest in Balochistan’s  division on linguistic/ethnic lines was reflected in a senior  ANP leader’s recent statement  suggesting carving out a ‘South Pakhtun khwa’ province in Pashtun dominated regions of Balochistan  , that links with long term designs towards   Greater Pashtunistan.  Incidentally few months ago , Ambasador Munter  had  participated in a Pashtun tribal jirga in Quetta an event that had raised eye brows in Islamabad.  Baloch leaders seem conscious of such a conspiracy and have rejected any plan to breakup Balochistan. 
      In  the article  titled ‘The Destabilization of Pakistan’ dated  May 12, 2011 Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall writes , “Following a familiar pattern, there are indications that the Baloch insurgency is being supported and abetted by Britain and the US. Washington favors the creation of a “Greater Balochistan” which would integrate the Baloch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran and possibly the Southern tip of Afghanistan, thereby leading to a process of political fracturing in both Iran and Pakistan. The US course consists in fomenting social, ethnic and factional divisions and political fragmentation, including the territorial breakup of Pakistan.”
    The American interest in South Punjab through their new found love for Sufism/ Barelvism has led to  renovation of  few Sufi shrines in South Punjab . Former US Ambassador  Anne W. Patterson  had announced  lavish grants   for the conservation and restoration of  three  shrines (Hazrat Rajan Qattal in Uch Sharif,  Hazrat Musa Pak Shaheed in Multan and Hazrat Khawaja Ghulam Fareed in Rajanpur) in South Punjab under the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.  It is not known how much of these funds were actually used for the intended purpose.  
  Ambassador  Cameron Munter maintained the traditions of his predecessor when , during his latest visit to Multan,  he  laid floral wreath at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Shams and reassured US aid to restore the shrine in its original shape.     
      The American  double game is clearly visible. While on one hand they  present themselves as supporters of Sufi Islam, on the other the US embassy in Islamabad organized the  despicable  first ever gay, lesbians, bi sexual and transgender(GLBT) pride celebration ceremony  and assured its  Pakistani participants that Washington would continue to support their cause  in Pakistan.

      After the CIA’s  reported failure at acquiring land  in Dera Ghazi Khan, the next station of choice is obviously  Multan. But thanks to US funded mango processing project, that will facilitate American ingress into the interior of South Punjab. We also currently witness a coordinated  US/UK effort to engage   leaders/influentials  of South Punjab.
       Some questions arise. Is American support for Sufism  designed to promote inter sect hatred and  divide in an already polarized  religio- cultural environment in Pakistani society? Or is the strategy to penetrate the shrines culture a cover to establish links with  some banned  religious/militant  outfits  to destabilize  South Punjab ?  
           Do we see an American/British  link with the  sudden move for  creating Seraiki province by the ruling party? Are  few top ‘gaddi  nashins’ and power hungry opportunist politicians and waderas  of South Punjab falling into the American/ British trap?  Is this  a conspiracy to unnerve and divide Punjab  and create hatred   on linguistic/ethnic lines to  weaken Pakistan?
  It is also essential that movement of foreign diplomats specially the American and British personnel   be regulated and monitored and US/UK embassies should observe the Foreign Office protocol / procedures laid down for travel of their diplomats as well as meeting   Pakistanis in various cities.
     New US Consulates in Quetta and Multan  pose a threat to Pakistan’s security and our principled stand against their opening must not be compromised for short term political gains and vested interests.
  The writer is a political/defence analyst.
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  • saleemfida  On August 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

    execellent above all multan provides strategic corridor / highway to afghanistan

    • S U Turkman  On August 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      But I thought you people were saying, India is already in Afghanistan.

  • Saqib  On August 25, 2011 at 1:16 am

    As always, Pakistan does not have independent foreign policy, and it’s highly unlikely that Islamabad is rejecting the US proposal without external pressure from another country that has inherent interest there. In this case, it would be China. The latter has made significant investment in Balochistan and it cannot anything that jepordizes the same.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from STC

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      Not really because Pakistan took all the Money, when China was developing port of Gwadur but refused to give contract to Chinese for the Management of the port.
      With 11,000 of her troops China is in Gilgit to save her own Ass from Chinese MojaahiDeen, who ISI was training in one of its JehaaDi Camp near Chinese Border, financing them and arming them.
      Only our crazy JehaaDi Army could start fingering China’s Ass covertly though it calls China its greatest fast friend.

  • GRK  On August 25, 2011 at 1:16 am

    simply un acceptable. let them stop the so called economic help we shall survive. what these new consulates will do ,i know for sure .we must not allow this.quetta office will also be used to get closer monitoring of iran.we should be mind full of this.tommorrow if america says that we want an office near china border will china be happy to get that opened. enough is enough .right from 1979 and than from 2011 all our sacrifices have been put in a dust bin.let us live with our limited resources and survive with dignity. will some one pass this message to our general APK.please just be afraid of ALLAH and not usa.they have yet to catch qadhafi despite 6 months of war.gtk

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      Why would USA want to have a Consulate near Chinese Border in Pakistan Occupied Gilgit?
      Are not US Capitalists running China from Beijing and her other cities since 1981?
      They have to secure their factories in China and use cheap Chinese Labor. Is not USA the biggest Importer of Chinese Goods in the world?
      Has not China bought $ 1.6 trillion of US Government’s Treasury Bills to help US Economy from the money that China has earned from her exports to USA?
      How many Treasury Bills or Bonds of Pakistan has China bought?

  • Yasir  On August 25, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Absolutely correct. The US should never be allowed to open new consulates in Baluchistan and Multan. India has also opened up a number of consulates on the Baluchistan border in Afghanistan, with evil intentions of destabilizing Pakistan with the help of US. I have no doubt in my mind that US is not a well-wisher of Pakistan and we badly need to rethink out foreign policy.

    • pakpotpourri2  On August 25, 2011 at 1:52 am

      Thank you for the input Yasir.

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Nobody wants to destabilize Pakistan but Pak Army. It has been trying to destabilize Pakistan to have an excuse to take it over again. Could anybody tell me, what would be advantage of India or USA in destabilized starving poor Pakistan living off Charity of Aid and Loans of Non Moslim Countries since 1950’s?
      Wouldn’t it cost more to them if Pakistan was destabilized?

  • Jamil Zaidi  On August 25, 2011 at 2:18 am

    It’s about time that we Pakistanis review our hitherto existing
    Foreign Policy extending our arm to US at the cost of our own National
    Security.Needless to mention that reliance cannot be placed on US ,
    particularly in view of the fact that we were deceived at every
    critical juncture in the past. Today US is showing its leaning
    towards our arc enemy Bharat; whereas the latter had been deriving
    benefits both from the US and its opposite camp i.e USSR. The last
    nail in our Foreign Policy was the notorious Raymond Davis incident
    and Abbotabad episode.. We foolishly jumped into American War against
    Taliban & Al-Qaeda for nothing; whereas we suffered heavy civilian &
    Defence Forces casualties apart from the Financial loss.. Bharat being
    chip of the same block, is keeping US at boot’s length. Despite
    getting Financial & Military aid. We were justified in refusing
    permission for opening US consulates..We shouldn’t be content only by
    disallowing US for opening further consulates in our country, but
    should review the role of existing consulates & close them if their
    role was found negative or unnecessary. While doing so we should
    remember that US has already licked the dust in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    USA being a waning financial and Military power is losing its grip on
    the International scene and is confronting serious challenges
    internally. Its credit worthiness is showing a sharp decline and
    unemployment is increasing day-by-day. For challenging US we have to
    create a leader like Mustapha Kamal Ata-Turk; but would we be able to
    do it?

    Jameel Zaidi

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      What is National Security of Pakistan except security of Pak Army?
      Sure, National Security of Pakistan has never been USA’s preference because she saved Pak Army’s Ass from India in 1965, 1971 (in West Pakistan), 1998 and 2002. Had USA not done that stupidity, nobody would be worrying about National Security of Pakistan and all Pakistan Occupied states and PakhToon Khwah of Afghanistan would have been already free besides Sindh.

  • Ardeshir  On August 25, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Lets see when he present govt. caves in on the consulate issue.

  • Freda Shah  On August 25, 2011 at 3:40 am

    The great imperial juggernaut is prowling around in our region, to catch its next prey to satisfy its greed and insatiable appetite for wealth and power.

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      Yeah, USA has gotten all the wealth by looting other nations, right?
      USA has been looting Japan, Germany, Italy, Norway, U.K. and other European countries because her Army has not left those countries since 1941 and is still prowling around. Same is true for S Korea. Look how backwards than Pakistan and poor those countries are now …!
      Pakistan never steals Natural Resources of any nation like Baluchistan and Swat. All Natural Gas and Petrol is found in Punjab and all ‘ZamarroD’ Mines are located in my Lahore, right?

  • Najma  On August 25, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Typical ‘Camel-and-the-tent-dweller’ approach. First get a foot in, then a leg in, then a hump in, and tail in, and finally shove the original resident out altogether. They’ve been doing it all along around the world. Yet people don’t learn.

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      That’s right. This is how, USA had taken over Western Europe, Japan and S Korea, where hundreds of thousands of her Troops have been occupying those countries for more than half a century.
      We are the only smart ones, who had kicked USA out of Pakistan after 1965 after getting our Army become big from level of just 16 Tanks, getting our Navy and Air Force built and our Military Bases built by USA for free. Look, how advanced, industrialized and rich we smart people have gotten after kicking Americans out …!
      All Countries of the world are surviving with our Charity now, right?

  • Azzam Abdo  On August 25, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Thank God, US does need more consulates in Pakistan. We all know emabssies and consulate are legal spying centers.

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      Yeah, what starving poor backwards USA can do?
      Filthy Rich Pakistan has so many natural resources, industries, technologies and money. USA has been looting and blackmailing the whole world since 1945 but its not enough still for USA without filthy rich Pakistan in her Domain.

  • Brig Retd Farooq Hameed Khan  On August 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Dear friends
    i am moved by your kind and patriotic remarks. We need to watch the organized efforts by foreign governments and agencies to penetrate and spread their tentacles throughout the country to further their agendas. It is unfortunate that many misguided Pakistanis play in their hands and compromise national interests. It is reassuring that our systems are very much in place that are conscious and monitor all such nefarious movements. A strong and nuclear Pakistan is simply not acceptable to west and India and we must remain on guard to foil any evil designs against our security and integrity.

    Brig Farooq Hameed Khan(Retd)

    • S U Turkman  On August 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      That’s right we Punjabis must have full control of all of our Occupied Nations in Pakistan or there would be no Pakistan left because only we are Pakistan. All Foreign Agents sympathetic to people under occupation should be kicked out.

  • Khalid Mumtaz Ansari  On August 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Conspiracies galore! Pakistan is not destabilized by the opening of consulates. It is destabilized by bad governance, by corruption, by injustice and violations of human rights. Was the breakup of original Pakistan due to a conspiracy? It was due to a denial of the rights of people in East Pakistan. US consulates in Quetta etc. will permit ease of access to people in those areas and provide some badly needed jobs. Maybe a library will also become available to the people. It can spur greater economic cooperation and perhaps spawn English language teaching centers. What is wrong with that? Where a society is just, civilization flourishes and conspiracies fail. Clearly when we are fearful and in doubt every shadow is a lurking monster out to get us!

    • S U Turkman  On August 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      But Mr. Ansari, are you forgetting Baluchistan is a multitude of free independent States that were run over by our Army in 1948 and have been occupied by us to steal their Natural Gas and Mineral?
      You try going near a Wild Dog devouring its prey …!
      Wouldn’t that Dog turn around and scare you to keep you off from coming closer?
      Balochi Slaves of ours do not need any Education because they have rebelled against us 4 times already. We have killed tens of thousands of them and would keep killing more of them to keep devouring them. Nobody has any right to free them. Pakistan ZinDaabaaD …! Allaho Akbar …!
      We are Allah’s chosen people with every right to conquer and loot rest of the nations of the region.

  • Khalid Mumtaz Ansari  On August 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Response to Turkman’s cynical?satirical?sarcastic?truthful? comments:
    Why is the truth so frequently bitter? Overwhelming hypocrisy? Where is the religion, the humanity that permits some to behave as they do? They have eyes but they do not see, they have ears but they do not hear. In their arrogance they only sow the seeds of their own destruction. Wish that they could realize before it is too late. They talk of the interests of Pakistan when they have only their own interests in mind. They would sooner deal-negotiate with the patron exclusively, rather than let the largesse be unnecessarily shared.

    • S U Turkman  On August 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Mr. Ansari, our Trick is, every time some Ethnic Group rises to ask for its rights in a democratic way, we declare it an Agent of India, USA, USSR etc and Islam becomes in danger right away.
      I guess, Islam means, danger to our corrupt rule and our control over other Ethnic Groups of Pakistan according to Qoraan and HaDees.
      Begging is our Profession, Hate is our religion and corruption is our Sociology.

  • Mohammad Chaudhry  On September 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Mr.Farooq has elaborated covert and overt strategic designs of US/UK in Pakistan ,based on the leads he could gather from different sources and his own perspective and political vision.All these strategic games go on across the world based on the future vision and politicoeconomic interests of the leading powers.
    The security and safety of smaller nations from the ill-effects of such designs depend on the quality of leadership of these countries and level of awareness of public,quality of public representatives and boldness and power of national media.All this calls for build-up and galvanization of civic bodies. Our this forum is like a drop in the occian and doing its bit ,curtsey brave lady Yasmeen.

    • S U Turkman  On September 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      That’s right. USA has designs on Pakistan. USA wants to conquer or take over Pakistan and enslave Pakistanis like she has always done all around the world. US Army is still in Europe and Japan since WW II. Japan, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, U.K. etc are Slave Nations under US Dominion a lot backwards and poorer than Pakistanis.
      So, Pakistanis should get ready to fight with USA or at least hate USA, right?
      Pakistan is in danger, your Islam is in danger so, unite under our Punjabi Rule like our good Slaves, right?

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