By Usman Khalid
December 26, 2008 “Information Clearinghouse”
The Pentagon has announced that the US would withdraw troops from Iraq to reinforce Afghanistan sending one brigade soon after the New Year and another three in spring 2009. This has the approval of President Elect Barack Obama. It is believed that the objective is a ‘surge’ in Afghanistan on the lines General Petreus had in Iraq. But President Hamid Karazai would like the additional troops to supplement the clandestine operations by RAW (India’a CIA) on Pakistan’s border. It now appears that President Zardari of Pakistan is just as eager for India and America to shift focus to his country. His reason: he wants the ISI and the Army to be tamed. It seems that Pakistan has the reincarnation of the Sheikh Mujib as a leader. And it was Mujibs’s treachery that precipitated the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and Pakistan’s defeat.
The grim anniversary of the fall of Dhaka on 16 December 1971 is commemorated every year in Pakistan but this year it had more poignancy than ever before. Pakistan appears to be living through similar trauma all over again. The war clouds gather after ‘free and fair’ elections. In 1971, an indicted RAW Agent – Sheikh Mujib – secured the most seats in Pakistan’s parliament. Despite having contested the elections on the basis of Six Points that sought to make Pakistan a confederation, President Yahya Khan decided to honour the verdict of the people. He met Sheikh Mujib in Dhaka and asked him to assume the office of the Prime Minister. Sheikh Mujib accepted the offer and the press were briefed accordingly. Three days later, he informed the President that he had to decline the offer under pressure from his party colleagues. Now we know (from the chapter written by Dr Mu’min Chowdhury of Bangladesh in ‘Authentic Voices of South Asia’) why? Sheikh Mujib had asked for confirmation directly from India Prime Minster Indira Gandhi that India would invade East Pakistan if he made UDI – Unilateral Declaration of Independence. When he met President Yahya Khan, that confirmation had not been received. When he got the confirmation he declined the offer to become the Prime Minister and preferred to become a prisoner instead. That shows the dilemma of traitors. Once Sheikh Mujib agreed to work for RAW, he was a pawn; he had to do the bidding of his agent handlers. A maverick like him was more valuable in a Pakistani jail to give substance to the propaganda that Pakistanis would never transfer power to a Bengali as Prime Minister. The fact that most of the Prime Ministers of united Pakistan belonged to East Pakistan did not matter. Propaganda is more credible than the truth in the hands of the disciples of Kautaliya.
Pakistan had another elections on 18 February 2008 in the wake of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. No one was surprised that her party won the most seats; sympathy vote was very substantial. But there had been disquiet over Asif Ali Zardari – her husband with dubious record who has been known as ‘Mr Ten Percent’ – assuming the leadership of her party on the basis of a ‘will’, which remains shrouded in secrecy. But the bold forthrightness showed by him in controlling the outrage on Benazir’s assassination and the riots, arson and plunder in Sindh that followed, he built a broad constituency of trust in himself. Everybody in Pakistan was pleasantly surprised when he set up a broad based coalition government with his archrival – Nawaz Sharif. He outmanoeuvred Pervez Musharraf and displayed impressive political skill in getting him to resign. However, his support has waned very fast because he went back on written undertaking to reinstate the Chief Justice Musharraf had removed. He is the victim of the Sheikh Mujib syndrome. Mujib could be prime minister of Pakistan but he chose to be a prisoner. He did become the President of Bangladesh only to be assassinated by his own soldiers who saw the truth – he was an Indian agent. Asif Zardari must be pinching himself every morning wondering if he was the President of Pakistan. But agent handlers are not known to be kind and merciful; their business is blackmail; they keep their agents on a tight leash. They want Asif Ali Zardari to deliver; the time is running out fast.
For some more time a debate will continue whether Asif Zardari is an Indian agent or not but the penny has dropped with the vote in the UN Sanctions Committee that declared some of the Pakistani NGOs to be the supporters of the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. It has now come out that he did ask the Pakistan’s representatives at the UN to get the ‘terrorist’ label put on some very respected names among Islamic NGOs. It has also come out that he did not consult Pakistan’s Foreign Office or use the diplomatic channels. He acted through co-conspirators – Hussain Haqqani and Hussain Haroon – Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US and the UN respectively. He has thus given a handle to India and America to interfere in the internal affairs of Pakistan. The USA and India would want progress reports and mobilise international support to condemn and isolate Pakistan as a ‘terrorist’ state and a ‘failed state’ to make the country an international pariah.
Asif Zardari (AZ) may be naive but he is no fool. He has help from India and the US to focus the ire of the international community on the ISI and the armed forces of Pakistan. America wants ‘full spectrum dominance’ over the world and Zardari (and co-conspirators) are telling them that the only institutions that stand in their way in South Asia are Pakistan’s intelligence and the armed forces. India and America are already working with him to make the armed power of the state of Pakistan to be directed against the Afghan and Kashmiri resistance. If they find the military leadership un-cooperative, AZ would turn on them. AZ tell his party that he seeks to end the military defying him on the pretext of ‘professional advice’ not because of Indian or American pressure, not because of lack of sympathy for the Kashmiri liberation struggle, but to establish the primacy of politicians for all times to come.
AZ wants to establish ‘full spectrum domination’ of his party over all the institutions of the state of Pakistan with the help of India and America under the cover of ‘war on terror’. He has already got his way over all the political parties, the judiciary and the civil service; the only resistance comes indirectly from those fighting the occupation in Kashmir and Afghanistan. India, America and Asif Zardari have a meeting of minds. They all see the resistance (in Afghanistan and Kashmir) as the enemy. If they could get the armed forces of Pakistan to fight the resistance in Kashmir and Afghanistan , both the challengers to ‘full spectrum domination’ (of America over the world and of AZ over Pakistan) would be mortally wounded in fighting each other. AZ hopes that the armed forces would have so little public adulation and support that they would never stand in the way of the political class whatever its wills, wants or does.
It appears that the narrative for AZ war against the ISI and the armed forces of Pakistan is being written by Hussain Haqqani with the help of his former colleagues in US think tanks. Haqqani is the author of ‘Military and the Mosque’. In that book he identifies both the Mosque and the Military as the scourge that destabilise the region and the world, meaning that they pose a challenge to Indo-US hegemony. He earned a professorship in the USA for that thesis and ambassadorship to the USA from AZ for the same. No wonder that the new direction of foreign policy in Pakistan has the signature of Hussain Haqqani all over. He is not hopeful that the military would take on the mosque; in his narrative of AZ’s war, Haqqani depends on India and America against the military and the mosque. Not since the Communist engineered the defeat of the Czarist Army in order to bring about the Bolshevik Revolution, has a national political party sought to engineer the defeat of its national army. But the Communist Party was not in power at that time. The AZ led PPP would be the first ruling political party any where in the world ever that enlisted the support of the enemy to weaken the foundation of its armed power – its nuclear deterrent as well as its intelligence and the armed forces.
All this would fit nicely into the scheme of President Elect Obama’a guru – Professor Brzezinski. He would love a war between the Armed Forces of Pakistan supporting secular-liberal parties (the PPP, ANP and MQM) against Resistance to Indo-US occupation of Afghanistan and Kashmir. That, in his view, would be a ‘good war’ that could yield a victory to the US at very little cost. The US ‘old guard’ and India want Zardari to use his armed forces relentlessly and ruthlessly to crush the ‘resistance’ in Afghanistan and Kashmir. AZ has already called the Kashmiri Mujahideen ‘terrorists’ in his Wall Street Journal interview. Now India and the USA want him to put his money where his mouth is and crush the Kashmiri and Afghan resistance. The Americans say they are already ‘helping’ with Predator attacks. But the attacks have been approved by President Zardari in defiance of the parliament, which forbids such attacks. Now India also wants to ‘help’ him by air assault on the ‘common enemy’. If the armed forces do not play ball, they would be the enemy as well. That is the position of India and Hussain Haqqani – the mullahs and the military are both the enemy. The Americans are less sure. They would like to give General Kiani more time. They tell him he has no other choice except to use Pakistani military to crush the ‘resistance’. The threat is barely veiled: otherwise they will crush the Pakistan’s armed power.
Even if the Army half-heartedly submitted to Indo-US threats, as it appears to be doing now, a civil war – like that in Algeria – in which the Army is fighting the majority, would quickly spread. That, the Americans hope, would create conditions for them to ‘lift’ the nuclear weapons of Pakistan to the US for ‘safe custody’. To preclude the Army saying ‘no’ to sustaining a civil war, the USA would like Asif Zardari to maintain a majority in the parliament by hook or crook. The lack of principles and ineptitude of the political class delivers that very easily. That is why Professor Brzezinski is convinced that Pakistan is the best place for making an ‘internecine war’ appear to be a ‘good war’. The Americans are pulling out of Iraq because no one supports American presence in that country. Those who do keep quiet otherwise they would be killed for being collaborators. The American stay in Afghanistan would not be too long because no Afghan would ever support Americans presence in Afghanistan. But in Pakistan, the ruling party is inviting not just America but also India to come and punish the country for supporting the Kashmiri and Afghan resistance. Kashmiris have suffered the longest occupation. Neither India nor America justifies occupation of Palestine, Iraq or Afghanistan. Yet, both of them regularly succeed in getting Kashmiri resistance to be declared illegitimate. That is because collaborators and traitors do not killed; they get crowned in Pakistan.
Pakistanis/Bangladeshis were deceived into electing a traitor as their leader in 1971. It was a few young Bangladeshi officers who killed him and brought his farcical presidency to an end in August 1975. Once again we have an Indian/American agent sitting in the President’s House. The anger in Pakistan is palpable. What happens next is anybody’s guess. The Pakistan Army is under great pressure to engage in operation against Afghan and Kashmiri resistance. If it submitted or even half submitted to that pressure, the war would be fought on the soil of Pakistan. As a nation we must persevere is asserting that resistance is legitimate occupation is not. We are proud and we must show pride in our stand against occupation everywhere in the world. The USA has already recognised the bankruptcy of its position and is withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Indian position in Kashmir is even weaker but it is sustained in it obduracy by collaborators in our ranks who we put in position of leadership. Yet, I am hopeful that India will give us a chance to liberate Jammu and Kashmir sooner than any one expected or imagined.
The writer is Director of London Institute of South Asia.