The Americans want to create a grand alliance of ruling parties in Pakistan that would encourage Greater Balochistan, divide the Pashtuns, weaken the Pakistani federation through provincial autonomy, encourage the Pakistanis to hate their own military, bypass Kashmir and create an environment that would facilitate a U.S. decision to invade Pakistan before the end of the Bush term.
By ZAID HAMID
Monday, 14 April 2008.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—“Democracy don’t rule the world, You’d better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, But I guess that’s better left unsaid.’-Bob Dylan: American folksinger.
If we summarize what the United States wants to achieve in Pakistan through its assets in political parties and terrorists on the ground, it can be summed up as following: It is a dangerous, sinister, Machiavellian plan and carries gravest threats to Pakistan’s National Security.
1. GRAND ALLIANCE. Create a larger political alliance in the country consisting of PPP, MQM, ANP, JUI and Musharraf.
2. SEPARATISM. Support sub-nationalists in Balochistan to give strength to sub-nationalist and separatist movements. To lead to creation of greater Balochistan.
3. LOOSE FEDERATION. Shape Pakistan’s political profile from a federation to a confederation by supporting doctrine of provincial autonomy.
4. DIVIDE PASHTUNS. Initiate talks with local Taliban in tribal areas to create a larger Pashtun sub-nationalist alliance led by ANP, the new best friends of U.S. in the Pashtun region.
5. DISHONOR PAK ARMY. Discredit and dishonor Pakistan armed forces to widen the gap between the military and the political parties and civil society. Armed forces and the nuke weapons guarantee the Federation. They have to be weakened to strain the bond between the federating units of Pakistan.
6. BYPASS KASHMIR. Force Pakistani leadership to improve ties with India and bypass Kashmir dispute, making it possible for Indians to dilute the Islamic and ideological character of the country.
7. INVADE PAKISTAN. Create an environment to launch an attack on Pakistan under the pretext of attacking Al-Qaeda but in reality grab and destroy Pakistan’s nuclear assets.
But first, we need to revisit what we wrote last week on the above developments and the future of Pakistani politics.
We had written:
“U.S. is so heavily involved in domestic politics of the country that it is certain that they are trying to mould the final outcome of the political cocktail already in the cooker at high temperature and pressure. But one thing is certain that it is going to further polarize the Pakistani society, politics and the country if the U.S. is able to push through with it’s plans for creating a secular, liberal and sub-nationalist political platform of its choice with its own agenda of supporting U.S. war on terror and weakening the Pakistani federation. Put simply, U.S. wants to create an alliance of PPP, MQM, ANP, JUI (F) and Musharraf to isolate Nawaz Sharif who is considered a hardliner on all major issues of support to U.S. on terrorism, future of Musharraf, relations with India as well as on the deposed judges. While PPP also wants a weakened President, it may want to retain the man under U.S. pressure. U.S. feels that Musharraf may still be an option if the political brew which the U.S. is cooking explodes in their face instead of crystallizing into a political alliance of their choice. Chances are that an unpredictable Nawaz Sharif may opt to part ways with the ruling coalition if PPP backtracks on its commitment on restoring the deposed judges and on impeaching Musharraf. Baitullah Mehsud, a close associate of Al-Qaeda, is responsible for all the suicide attacks in the country and he is an Indian asset working closely with naïve local tribesmen and deviant jihadists in the name of Jihad and Islam. He has stopped suicide attacks for the time being in the country as a government is taking shape which has a soft corner for India consisting of ANP, MQM. JUI and Zardari and do not want to create troubles for it in the immediate term. But U.S. is also increasing pressure on Islamabad and sending signals that, in case of another 9/11, Pakistan will be held responsible and may face a U.S. attack if Islamabad fails to continue its cooperation with the U.S. This is a blatant threat given in a veiled way and is a signal meant for the new parliament. We totally reject this Intel by CIA and believe that this is just another false alarm like the Iraqi WMD one to justify a U.S. invasion of Pakistani regions or hold Pakistan responsible for crimes it has not committed. The warning from CIA is pretty clear.”
This week we are seeing the strengthening of signals on all the above counts.
The first major move to achieve that objective was the appointment of Hussein Haqqani as Pakistan’s ambassador to United States, the most strategically critical posting in the Pakistani foreign office. Haqqani is a known Zionist sympathizer and a close friend of Neo-Cons in Washington and Israel. He is known to be strongly against the armed forces of Pakistan and contributed significantly to creating the perception that Pakistan is a safe haven for terrorists and terrorism patronized and protected under the directives of the GHQ. The same perception is now being turned into a propaganda war against Pakistan by no less than
President Bush himself to create justification to send troops into Pakistan. The appointment of Husain Haqqani as Pakistani ambassador to U.S. basically ensures that no Pakistani interests would now be protected in Washington and the UN. This is a major breach of Pakistani national security and a malicious move by the new prime minister and Zardari working under the directives of
At the more domestic levels, U.S. is now busy in creating a strange alliance which is sure to generate serious reaction within the country.
• GRAND ALLIANCE
Create a larger political alliance in the country consisting of PPP, MQM,
ANP, JUI and Musharraf.
First, the policy on President Musharraf was made clear. While the U.S. remains focused on political leadership, Musharraf is kept as a backup candidate just in case the present political setup fails to deliver.
Then Zardari was called to Dubai for secret meetings with unknown people. The fact was also noted in the media with serious concern.
Asif’s consultations in Dubai raise questions
ISLAMABAD, April 8: At a time when the political climate is heating up at home, some leading figures of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), including co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, have chosen to go abroad, making observers wonder if issues of national politics are again being decided in far-off lands. Mr. Zardari went to Dubai with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik on April 5 and later he called Law Minister Farooq Naek for ‘important consultations’.
MQM is also forced into line to work with PPP though the differences between the two are so severe that it is almost impossible even for the Americans to bring them together.
Encouraged by U.S. gestures, an otherwise dull and “switched off” President
Musharraf mustered the courage to confront the rowdy lawyers who are
demanding his scalp.
Musharraf warns against anarchy
ISLAMABAD, April 10: President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday called upon lawyers to stop spreading anarchy as tensions flared in the country just days after a new government took office.
President Musharraf still feels that he can play a balancing role between U.S. desires and Pakistan’s national security needs. In fact, he overestimates his capability even now. His arguments would make sense if he is able to have any impact on the policy making of the new government and is willing to use his office to keep the anti-State policies of the new government under check, a government that is taking its dictation from Washington. How
Musharraf feels that he can influence the policies remains to be seen. But he indeed has a high opinion about his role despite the fact that he is becoming irrelevant by the day. But as long as he is in the office, he would want that the building blocks which he had placed do not crumble so fast.
‘Americans to attack Fata if Musharraf steps down’
LAHORE, April 6: President Pervez Musharraf thinks that if he steps down as head of state the United States will go for direct military attacks on tribal areas and will also take away Dr A. Q. Khan for interrogation. Official sources told Dawn on Sunday that the president was also of the view that Gwadar port project would be adversely affected if he left the scene and consequently the country’s
time-tested relations with China could suffer a setback.
Support sub-nationalists in Balochistan to give strength to sub-nationalist
and separatists movements. To lead to creation of Greater Balochistan.
The new Chief Minister of Balochistan has embarked on a fast track process to seek pardon for the terrorists and to put pressure on the armed forces to call off the anti-terror and anti-separatists operations. The direction seems heading for the creation of Independent Baluchistan as shown in the new map released by a U.S. defense journal for the proposed new Middle East and new Pakistan.
Declaring Akbar Bugti and Balach Marri as heroes and demanding an inquiry means trying to nail down the military as the guilty party.
Mountain fighters not terrorists, says Raisani
By Amanullah Kasi
QUETTA, April 9: Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has said that dialogue with militants is necessary for restoring peace.
Addressing the provincial assembly after taking a vote of confidence on Wednesday, he rejected a perception that people fighting in the mountains were terrorists or saboteurs.
Encouraged by the changes in Islamabad, even the sub-nationalist terrorists are feeling confident enough to make their demands and threats clear to the government.
• LOOSE FEDERATION
Shape Pakistan’s political profile from a federation to a confederation by
supporting the doctrine of provincial autonomy.
Now all major parties in the government including MQM and ANP are asking for provincial autonomy. In trying to go along with the sentiments of the ruling parties, even the opposition members are threatening the federation if the provinces are not given more autonomy.
Rind calls for provincial autonomy
QUETTA, April 7: The only opposition leader in the Balochistan Assembly, Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, has warned that the country’s integrity will be at stake if the federal government denies provincial autonomy to the provinces. Speaking at a press conference after taking oath here on Monday, the PML-Q leader said the issue of provincial autonomy was more important than seeking funds for Balochistan. He said that the release of political leaders and workers and production of missing people was another important issue.
• DIVIDE PASHTUNS
Initiate talks with local Taliban in tribal areas to create a larger Pashtun
sub-nationalist alliance led by communist “red capped” ANP, the new
best friends of U.S. in the Pashtun region.
The NWFP government under the blessings of the U.S. has already initiated talks with the militants in both Swat and Waziristan despite the fact that U.S. disapproves of the move by the army or the Federal government. This dual U.S. policy towards the militants is being noted by us very closely and it fits into the larger game to promote ANP in the region.
• DISHONOR PAK MILITARY
Discredit and dishonor Pakistan armed forces to widen the gap between
forces and political parties and civil society. Armed forces and the nuke weapons are the integral guarantee for Federation. They have to be weakened to put stress on the federating units.
The deployment of military personnel on civil duties and making them responsible for running civil affairs – a task for which the military is not intrinsically cut – will inevitably lead to straining of relations between the armed forces and the civil society. The politicians and the vested interests who feel restricted due to the presence of the army on their turf are always quick to
blame the armed forces for all the ill and bad governance. Military, by its very nature, is not an establishment to play by the rules of the shrewd politicians or the ruthless media out to tarnish its image. As a result, it always loses in the process and as we have seen in Pakistani society, it results in extreme straining of relations between the army and major segments of the population and civil society, especially after long durations of military backed rules as is the case today.
Destroying the image of the army remains the fundamental pillar of this new sub-nationalist plan to achieve their larger goals. The Pakistani military has been the most respected institution within the Pakistani society in the same way that the police is the most loathed and hated department. The reason is not just uniform, glamour or the perks but the proud tradition of courage, honor, sacrifice and
religious zeal of fighting for a noble cause. The fabric of Pakistani society is built around deep religious and national pride with love for the nation, faith, country and the armed forces.
There is no doubt that damage has been done to the image and prestige of the army but the fact remains that it is partial and can be reversed. The emotional and religious fabric of the society is stronger than its political and ethnic pulls which are threatening this nation provided the leadership of the armed forces is able to tap those resources.
The military is being blamed for all the ills from Balochistan operation to tribal wars to swat actions to lal masjid cleanup with no religious or political party willing to share the burden of the national security operations. We will see more of that in the coming days.
• BYPASS KASHMIR
Force the Pakistani leadership to improve ties with India and bypass Kashmir dispute, making it possible for Indians to dilute Islamic and ideological character of the country.
The Indians are fast tracking their diplomatic contacts with Pakistan, even in an aggressive and demanding note as they know that the new government is not stable and more likely to succumb to their demands. We strongly feel that this is too early for the new government to enter into any talks and dialogues with the Indians considering that not a single debate has taken place on any issue in the parliament and the Indians are hyper active even aggressive to seek major strategic concessions. The PM has given the signal that Kashmir will be bypassed for the moment as desired by the Indians and the U.S. and the sub-nationalist allies of the government.
The Indian wish to open the northern route into Kashmir is the most dangerous step and would create serious security crisis for Pakistani forces who would then be exposed to Indian infiltration and possible attack across the sector. The demand is being made by the Indian assets on this side of the LoC.
• INVADE PAKISTAN
Create environment to launch an attack on Pakistan under the pretext of
attacking Al-Qaeda but actually to grab and destroy Pakistan’s nuclear assets.
There is no doubt now that U.S. is planning an invasion of the tribal areas before the end of the term of President Bush if they cannot attack Iran before that. Iran would be a long and messy affair; hence targeting Pakistani tribal regions as well as nuclear sites would be the best gift which the outgoing U.S. admin can give to Israel. The ground is now being prepared at high intensity.
This column is extracted from a situation report released by BRASSTACKS, a security and defense analysis think tank based in Islamabad. Mr. Zaid Hamid is its Founding Consultant. He can be reached at email@example.com