Pakistan, a failed state, has suddenly acquired all the cards in the Great Game

By: Ghulam Muhammad

If one has to find the last straw that broke the camel’s back, we might turn up with several straws that finally forced Pakistan’s ‘establishment’ to call it a day. World was aghast when Pakistan’s demure doll of a foreign minister came out with a challenging statement that had no parallel in the history of Pakistan, since its creation by British and US to cater to their strategic and military needs in one of the world’s most strategic regions. And lo and behold, when the chips were in place, the world could make out that Hina Khar was not spouting an empty threat. Arrogant America was still not willing to concede that its game is up in the region and it can no longer dictate to Pakistan. When US Military Chief Mike Millen blamed Pakistan’s ISI to be in cahoots with terrorists that lay siege to US embassy in Kabul and demanded that Pakistan should destroy Haqqani Talibans; Pakistan refused US demands for the first time and that too in public. There never such a humiliating moment for the arrogant Americans to be so boldly defied by their supposedly hired mercenary state.

Pakistan wasted no time in getting China and Saudi Arabia into the loop, as it could easily make out the final break with US is more or less scripted. When possibly for the first time, Pak planners took stock of their options and alternatives, they suddenly found they do have leverages that could work in favor of a more robust, more independent foreign policy. Their equations with US, China, India and Afghanistan were all working in their favor and they found a ray of hope that once out of America’s war games, they can build up a viable economy for their people, without having to be in the pay of America’s military warlords and remain shackled to a violent and warring mode of living that was forced on them.

America has been making a big and continuous song and dance about 20 billion dollars aid to Pakistan. The other day Imran Khan on BBC Hard Talk, countered that according to Pakistan analysts, Pakistan has suffered a loss of 60 billion dollars in missed opportunities during this period.

America has suffered a big defeat in Afghanistan and its 140,000 troops are now hostage to not only Taliban but even Pakistan. A few days of stoppage of supplies through Pakistan to Afghanistan, had given a taste of what US can expect if it tries to bully Pakistan. The Pakistan establishment does not have to make any move. Anti-Americanism is so deep-rooted in Pakistan, that it is the people that would make life difficult for Americans, if they behave as if they are still dealing with a paid servant of a country of 150 million people.

America’s pitch for democracy appears hollow when it routinely maneuvers its stooges in the ruling position and tries to run the victimized country as a department of its State Department. It has put Karzai in the hot seat and had invested a lot to give Afghanistan a semblance of a ‘modern’ state. It however has not been successful in destroying the spirit of freedom and independence from Afghanistan’s real power that will inevitably repeat the same civil war scenario that Afghanistan witnessed earlier on American pull-out. It is wishful of US planner to think otherwise. The historical forces work in Afghanistan like a force of gravity. Sooner or later, water will find its level. America should have tried old British style diplomacy rather than brute forces to come to terms with people of Afghan. Threats, ultimatums, invasion, bombings and droning, will hardly turn the tide in favor of America or NATO. Already analysts in the US are increasing in numbers openly admitting that America’s war on Iraq and Afghanistan has been unnecessary and hugely cost-ineffective. Its time US realizes, discretion is better part of valor.

India’s haste in receiving Karzai and signing in strategic agreements with a stooge regime that can hardly last for any length of time, is one of the compulsion of India’s action/reaction foreign policy. There are signs that India has developed some spine and had been able to chart an independent line of action, resisting US pressures at several levels. However, India should have remained neutral in Afghanistan, whatever pressure US would have brought in. It is laudable that US was not able to force or convince India to send troops into Afghanistan and some US analysts are holding India on that count. In fact, gone were the colonial days, when a million Indians fought in First World War to save the King/Queen. India, a free country, has no need to fight other’s wars on any pretext. Even now, India should have waited for another decade to see the final denouncement of the US/Afghanistan imbroglio, before making itself available to take part in any role offered by a settled government in Afghanistan within the ambit of SAARC neighborhood references. India should have avoided the kind of involvement that Indian forces in Sri Lanka suffered and that is a natural corollary of India’s current engagement with Karzai regime.

As the prime country in the subcontinent, India should boldly come out with a peace plan for the entire region, without any tutelage from the US that has designs in the interest of its own people and country. India should take lead in bringing all SAARC countries together to fashion a new future of economic development through regional integration. It should keep US out of any such plans, as US hardly bothers to even take recognizance of other countries’ special interest in war and peace. It is difficult for India to reform the American hotheads; but it is quite possible and essential for India to start presenting its own interest and interest of its people, before granting any quarters to US and its allies, especially when they bring in spurious and over exaggerated self-serving subject of global security.

NOTE:The writer is based in Mumbai. This is a cross post from Media Monitors. Original publishing link:


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  • Shahid  On October 14, 2011 at 2:48 am


  • Nadeem  On October 14, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Pretty reasonable assessment and suggested course of action for the parties involved.


  • S U Turkman  On October 14, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Yeah because there is no way out for Pakistan now from this mess. Pakistan was trying to get rid of USA and now India has signed Defense Pact with Afghanistan also and troubles are mounting for Pakistan, while China wants none of that. China does not want to go to war with one of its own BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) Economic Coalition countries because sanity prevails in China, not insane B.S. of Paki Generals.
    As a last resort, Pak Military has even sought help of Russia in defeating USA with its JehaaD in Afghanistan. People in Moscow laughed at Zardari instead, when he had tried encroach that possibility on advice of his gods in Pak Military.

  • shahbaz  On October 14, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Please stop day dreaming;with what CM gujrat is doing to muslims in GUJRAT and else where,You expect INDIA for peace;NO WAY;INDIAN leaders Lack the FARSIGHTED VISION.They are all short sighted;It is only people like LALU PARSAD or ex CM bengal or people like Late DESAI,who had the vision can/could bring peace in south asia.

  • Mohammad Chaudhry  On October 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Pakistan is as much a failed state as France was at the end of Second World War.

    Crumbling of social and government institutions is quite natural in war conditions.

    Even in 18th and 19th centuries the Indian Muslims had taken lot of battering from Europeans in the South and Persians, Afghans and Sikhs in the North.

    So they quite normally took refuge in Religion and abandoned state powers to Church. That has been disastrous.


    • Rizwan  On October 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      France Was never in the threat of dismemberment as pakistan is facing. In our case if the religious zealots have there way, it will be a condition far worse than Afghanistan, Rest assured there will be no military take over as long as Kayani is COAS.

      • Bajwa  On October 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

        France did break down into two,German occupied and the Vichy regime.

        Pakistan should give up the British model and adopt North American type federation.

        Even brothers fall out when dividing Father’s Property.


      • Rizwan  On October 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

        That was during the period of war sir…

  • Karan Madan  On October 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Dear Ms Yasmeen
    I agree with the parts of the contents. It appears that Pakistani society has ultimately decided to come out of yolky situation imposed on it by USA.
    The author is saying that Pakistan is acquiring centrestage in the great game, but what is the basis of it. Just as it is route for US supplies to Afghanistan or the next dispensation in Afghanistan is going to Taliban which find favours with Pakistan.
    Here I would like to ask that Pakistan was tired of USA because of many reasons only its people can tell better. Going by the same logic why Pakistan does not want the Afghan people decide their own future. Why it is interested in seeking Strategic Depth in Afghanistan when its people are in perils? Only the economic development can sustain Pakistan society.
    There is one more contradiction in its being US ally war against terror. It appears from the article that Pakistan is happy over US defeat in Afghanistan. How one can be happy about the defeat of one’s own ally. Are these contradictions and duplicity helping Pakistan?
    with regards
    KVS Madaan

  • S U Turkman  On October 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Mr. Madan,
    You do not understand Pakistanis, who are born duplicitous. You see, we hate USA because …
    * … we have been living off Charity of her Aid since 1953 and Loans since 1955.
    * … she built our Army from 16 Tanks level and started our Navy and Air Force besides building our Military Bases.
    * … because she saved us from India 4 times, 1965, 1971, 1998, 2002.
    * … because for the 1st time in history she made our F.E. Reserves reach $ 18 trillion, doubled GDP, Per Capita Income and F.E. Exchange Earnings in just 6 years.

    Please try to understand, we are a thankless crazy nation of Liars, Cheats, Money Exporters, Blackmailers and Backstabbers that Allah loves so much. ,

  • Faisal Imam  On October 15, 2011 at 2:03 am

    right on. the American agenda. give India the hegemony over the region. the Americans sit and watch.
    I for one do not buy this. I do not want the hegemon of the Indians. i feel that we have to keep ourselves out of its orbit. we have options according to this article.China and s. arabia. China will sour relations with its leading trading partner and the Saudis cannot exist for a day without American help.
    we can stand up for Haqqanis because of some concept but we cannot stand for a pipeline which would give energy security for a long time to come. what are our priorities?
    we can turn our campuses centers of fundamentalism but we cannot allow any positive research to be carried out.
    America has been defeated in Afghanistan because of its ally on war on terrorism,Pakistan. does that mean Pakistan is on the winning side or losing side? or is it jera jittay udhe naal?
    does losing mean how we perceive it?
    Today Kabul is a safer place than Karachi.Karachi is being run by extortionists, murderers,liars and anti-Pakistan parties. how can we wallow in somebody else’s wars when our house is being ransacked?

  • Murad Shaikh  On October 15, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Pakistan, a failed state, has suddenly acquired all the cards in the Great Game

    Then how many million dollars worth are the cards to be divided among the top corrupt leaders in order to sell the country, please tell us.

  • Shozib Ali  On October 16, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Pakistani is a developing country , but just because of few illiterate politicians we are facing these problems.

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