When a country fights like a mercenary for others by overriding its own national interests and honor, it consequently meets the same disgraceful fate as Pakistan vis-a-vis the United States. A darling foster child of a wealthy and most powerful mentor has fallen from grace like a meteorite plunging towards the abyss of earth.
Pakistan has always willingly opted to be an errand boy of United States that looks down upon her partners like a giant looking upon a pygmy. This is the relationship of Gulliver and Lilliputians with ne traces of any equality in any sense of the word. Pakistan has been left in lurch in the wilderness whenever its role of a hireling had culminated.
As if a journeying man all of sudden is surrounded by the highway robbers or wolves nowhere to go and finally torn to pieces. No matter how a second fiddle or a crony tries to look more loyal than the king, he has to lick the dust when the terms of the engagement change.
Musharraf made an historic blunder by mortgaging the state of Pakistan and its army into the hands of powers that remain obsessed with their own axe to grind. Earlier it was Ziaul Haq who in his spurious zeal to Islamize the earth tied Pakistan with the American Apron string. Even then when the Russians vacated Afghanistan, Pakistan came under fire and was denigrated for all the sins under the sun.
Now when the chips are down and the curtain is being drawn on the bloody stage of Afghanistan, Pakistan is the first casualty of this end game that would entail more traumas for this nation that has rendered unimaginable sacrifices beyond the call of duty. That the army of a nation charted to fight the enemies has been waging an inexhrobale and ferocious war against its own people is the demonstration of alliance that is like cutting one’s own roots and veins.
All the sacrifices, heroic deeds and marvelous accomplishments on the battleground of Swat, South Waziristan and elsewhere by Pakistan were in vain and have gone vain with the wind of latest revulsion and sudden spurt of hostility from the Pakistan’s principal guardian angel.
There are heartless and piercing ubiquitous accusations of betrayal and treachery and double standards and even insidious plans leveled against Pakistan to kill the American troops. In this most deafening cacophony others who were waiting in wings have joined with their rabid voices adding the venom and hatred against Pakistan.
The Indian foreign minister hurled a very strong anti Pakistan statement heaping indignities and accusations on Pakistan for what he alleged abetting the terrorism. Also the inveterate enemy of Pakistan Hamid Karzai has unleashed an outrageous and overly incriminating anti Pakistan statement in that he held Pakistan responsible for not subduing the insurgents and for the setback suffered by allied forces stationed in Pakistan.
He discredited Pakistan for not playing an honest role in eliminating the insurgents. One should ask him what role his troops and government has played in suppressing the Taliban and other militants arraigned his and that NATO forces.
The Republican Senator Lindsey Graham a member of the Armed Services Committee is shooting frightening and ominous volleys of statements that aim at destroying Pakistan and cutting total funds to Pakistan. Another Texas’ Republican ultra rightist senator Ted Poe a member of the houses Foreign Affairs committee, has even moved a bill in the house of representative for freezing all the aid to Pakistan for the latter’s seditious conduct towards the United States.
Senator Graham said that “The sovereign nation of Pakistan is engaging in hostile acts against the United States and our ally Afghanistan that must cease.” He threatened that US bombers could blitz areas in Pakistan, which could mean carpet bombing of North Waziristan and even the sites in Pakistan with nuclear assets.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that United States was in the final stage of designating Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organization. Since Pakistan is being bracketed with Haqqani group as its collaborator, some of the debris of this grave decision is likey to fall on Pakistan as well. So Pakistan is in deep trouble. The clouds of adversity and hostile backlash from American and her NATO allies are hovering over Pakistan.
Last week, the outgoing top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, bluntly accused Pakistan of “exporting” violent extremism to Afghanistan through proxies and warned of possible action. All of sudden Pakistan is being painted as a hostile and terrorist country with ISI as being the main schemer and mastermind of the anti American attacks in Afghanistan. These are drumbeats of opening another war front against Pakistan under the pretext of destroying the locations and bases of Haqqani network which could be extended to Pakistan.
The Pakistan government has summoned an all party’s conference to ponder over the response to this sudden frightening development that could turn Pakistan into another battleground for an indefinite period. If Pakistan refuses to attack Haqqani network by deploying forces in North Waziristan, the United States would translate her ultimatums into practical enforcement.
Is Pakistan army ready in that situation to put up a matching response and retaliation to the armies that would violate Pakistan territory? Will not that situation pit Pakistan against a very powerful military machine that can spell disaster on Pakistan’s territories and bomb at her chosen targets?
Pakistan is proverbially caught between the devil and deep sea. The knee jerk reaction based upon fabricated allegations against Pakistan would embroil United States into another spree of war mongering that might further bludgeon her faltering economy and make her to ultimately withdraw from Afghanistan with more humiliation. If United States cannot flush and hunt down a few thousand militants from Afghanistan, how can it go across all Pakistan to track and kill the anti American insurgents?
Without castigating Pakistan or pressuring it to move military operations to North Waziristan United States can take such an action on her own without casting insidious aspertions on Pakistan. What kind of support China can lend to Pakistan to avert a direct military attack by the United States and NATO on her soil would be watched with great eagerness and expectations by Pakistan government and its people.
But one aspect is quite clear that Pakistan would not make the monumental blunder of sending its army to North Waziristan. By doing that she might get temporary reprieve from the United States but an abiding hostility from the tribal areas that could fragment Pakistan.
The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.