Pakistan’s enemies are preparing to deliver a decisive blow. Pakistan has suffered grievously on all counts and its very foundations have been jolted in the seven years of America’s occupation of Afghanistan. It is most unfortunate that in this gory plan, some of the political parties friendly to India, western sponsored NGOs, intellectuals and writers have also contributed towards disinformation campaign and bringing bad name to Pakistan.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan—I have been forewarning about the sinister designs of adversaries of Pakistan wanting to harm Pakistan for the last three years. What I had penned in 2006 about the dangerous ramifications of Indo-U.S.-Afghan nexus based in Kabul has come true.
Under the garb of friendship, Pakistan has been gradually and systematically weakened from within and destabilized through covert means employed by RAW, RAM [or NDS, the Karzai puppet intelligence], CIA duly complemented by Mossad and MI-6.
In the last seven years Pakistan has suffered grievously on all counts and its very foundations have been jolted. Mumbai episode on 26 November was the starting point for executing the final destructive phase against Pakistan. Sudden flurry of CIA controlled drone attacks and terrorist attacks in various parts of Pakistan are clear cut indications that our adversaries are now all set to deliver the decisive hammer.
It is most unfortunate that in this gory plan, some of the political parties friendly to India, western sponsored NGOs, intellectuals and writers have also contributed towards disinformation campaign and bringing bad name to Pakistan.
They have been more distressed on the peace deals signed in Swat and Bajaur and are writing copiously to paint the Islamists as demons and the main threat to existence of Pakistan. A willful effort is being made to derail Swat peace accord and to prevent Zardari from counter signing the peace deal.
One of the means adopted was to display a video footage of a 17-year girl publicly lashed by the bearded Taliban. The footage was repeatedly flashed on all TV channels throughout the day till late night on 4 April with a sinister purpose to defame the Taliban and Sharia laws.
I will comment on its veracity separately but my sources have revealed that it was a fake video. A foreign funded NGO had furnished the clip to all concerned while majority of private electronic media channels funded from abroad played it up with vivacity and zest.
The women activists of MQM have taken the lead in condemning the incident by staging protest marches in Karachi. It is a classic case of painting white with a black brush.
The U.S. and western media as well as the U.S. think tanks have been playing upon the theme of threat of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates to security of Pakistan as well as to U.S.A. George Bush had declared in July last year that any future attack on the U.S. homeland would come from FATA.
The tribal belt was declared as the nursery of terrorists where terrorists and suicide bombers were indoctrinated, trained and launched into Afghanistan to target U.S.-Nato-Afghan forces. Giving strength to Karzai’s allegation of cross border terrorism, the U.S. sprinkled spice to this sizzling theme by adding that certain elements within the army and the ISI were linked with the Taliban and assisting them in movement across the border.
FATA was declared as the most dangerous place and the hub centre of terrorism. After the Mumbai attacks, India shamelessly joined the propagandists and alleged that Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism and that the ISI was linked with Lashkar-e-Taiba that had executed the Mumbai carnage.
The purported document provided to Pakistan is full of glaring loopholes but India is insisting that Pakistan must accept the trash as well-cooked piece of evidence and act.
Cockeyed and baseless allegations hurled by U.S.A, India and Afghanistan in unison under a timed program have been made without furnishing any proof. Complaints of Pakistan against other agencies are ignored.
Not a single story of massive sabotage and subversion undertaken against Pakistan from the Afghan soil has ever been published in the western and Indian newspaper. On the contrary any terrorist attack taking place in India or a western state was invariably pasted on Pakistani extremists and the ISI.
It was hoped that the new U.S. administration under Obama would put an end to negative propaganda warfare based on pack of lies to discredit Pakistan and its institutions but it has decided to adopt the old policy of Pakistan bashing.
Obama too has projected FATA as the safe haven and main headquarters of Al-Qaeda and its leadership. He reiterated fears of Bush by asserting that Al-Qaeda based in FATA is planning to attack homeland of U.S.A and has accordingly framed the new Af-Pak strategy to destroy Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Obama and his team are brimming with confidence and exuberance to implement the new plan at the earliest.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah Mehsud who had never been targeted or condemned by U.S. and the West suddenly came in their bad books after he announced his allegiance to Mullah Omar and accepted him as the supreme leader in first week of March. He had probably taken this step in the light of Pak army having scored moral victories in Bajaur and Swat and compelling the militants to ink peace deals.
The new Af-Pak strategy worked out by Obama Administration to conjointly round up the irreconcilable Islamist extremists on both sides of the Durand Line might also have prompted him to achieve unity between Afghan and Pak Taliban and confront the new challenge jointly.
Till this announcement, Mullah Omar led Taliban and Baitullah led Taliban were different entities and there was no nexus between them. In fact, Omar had conveyed his displeasure to Baitullah not to operate under the name of Taliban and bring a bad name to his outfit. Likewise, Gulbadin Hikmatyar leading Hizb-e-Islami operates independently in eastern and northeastern Afghanistan and also around Kandahar and Kabul.
The U.S. has announced $5 million award for Baitullah’s head and drones have targeted his exclusive domain within South Waziristan (Jandola to Sarwakai), inhabited by Mehsuds, for the first time. Coming months will prove whether he has actually fallen from grace or it is a put up show to hoodwink Pakistan. Unlike Omar, Osama or Zawahiri who remain underground, Baitullah has exposed himself on number of occasions and has been giving interviews to the media men.
The ISI had twice provided six figure grid reference of his location to CIA, but it is strange that the U.S. took no interest. The drones reconnoitering every inch of the tribal belt have surprisingly failed to spot him. The U.S. has now agreed to carryout joint operation against him to get hold of him.
Series of militant attacks took place in March at a time when peace deal with militants had been inked in Swat and Bajaur, Qazi courts have started functioning in Malakand Division, blatant bloodshed and destruction in the war torn regions have ended and there is an overall atmosphere of reconciliation and peace.
The suicide attacks in Jamrud on a mosque during Friday prayers on 27 March killing over 50 and injuring 120; suicide attack on a military convoy in Bannu killing 5 soldiers and 2 civilians and injuring 9 and a bloody clash in lower Dir on 29 March in which some senior officials were killed, together with a drone attack in Orakzai Agency on 01 April and suicide hit and a drone attack in North Waziristan on 4 April are aimed at disrupting peace in the Frontier province.
Two terrorists attack in Lahore on 3rd and 30th March in Lahore were undertaken by the terrorists to give a loud message that terrorism has entered the heartland of Punjab. Another terrorist attack in posh locality of Islamabad on a FC camp on 4 April killing eight security personnel and a suicide attack on Imambargah in Chakwal on 5 April killing 24 people are links of the same chain.
Prior to each attack, the intelligence agencies had forewarned the security forces about entry of RAW agents in Lahore and in Islamabad. More attacks are expected in coming days.
Baitullah who had throughout this period remained in the background and was media shy suddenly came on the centre stage and claimed responsibility for most terrorist attacks which took place recently.
These claims were made in spite of an unknown group calling itself Fidayeen-e-Islam owning up the responsibility for the attack on Police Training School in Lahore on 30 March and the mosque in Jamrud on 27th March.
The reason given for Baitullah’s offensive posture was the continuing drone attacks in FATA which in his view were taking place with connivance of the government. To the surprise of many he brazenly stated what the two American presidents had earlier predicted that his group was planning a terrorist attack on White House that would amaze the world. He asserted that his men would teach a lesson to the Americans.
The only thing he has not revealed is the date and time of attack, which I reckon should also have been made public to make the story more thrilling. The people were still pondering over the statement of Baitullah when he hurled another salvo on 4 April by claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack by a gunman on an immigration centre in a small U.S. city on 3 April killing 13 people and then killed himself. He said that his accomplice has managed to escape and would hit another target soon. Investigations revealed that the gunman was Vietnamese origin which lay to rest the boastful claim of Baitullah.
Unless Baitullah is a nitwit and weird, why on earth should he disclose his hostile intentions before hand and alert the prey he intends to hit. Prior disclosure may stand to reason if the attacker uses it as a ploy to frighten the adversary which he never intends to target. The Taliban based in Pakistan and Afghanistan are local based and have so far not demonstrated any capability to strike a target outside their respective spheres of influence.
It is only the mythical Al-Qaeda which possesses the long arm to hit out anywhere in the world. Even so-called Al-Qaeda operatives have not been able to strike any target in U.S.A after 9/11 because of the massive fool proof security arrangements laid around U.S.A. Therefore it will be childish to take Baitullah’s threat seriously.
If he is really serious to perform the miraculous act of attacking the most secured fortress of White House, logically he should not have divulged his intentions beforehand. By doing so he has alerted the already highly sensitive U.S. leadership suffering from acute paranoia and given them a just cause to hone their weapons more feverishly and preemptively destroy their deadly foes in their home ground and thus nip the evil in the bud.
Till now the threat perception highlighted by U.S.A was based on assumptions. Now that their adversary has come out in the open with his future hostile intentions and brandished his sword and specified the target within U.S.A, it gives a ready made excuse to belligerent U.S. to once again put the Bush policy of preemption into action.
It is incomprehensible as to why Baitullah should send his suicide squads across the seven seas to teach U.S.A a lesson when he has host of lucrative targets within his immediate reach in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and easy reach in Middle East or Europe.
Even South Korea which has a large concentration of U.S. military is much closer than U.S.A. His affiliate Al-Qaeda has already hit targets in Turkey, Spain, UK and Indonesia and is active in Africa. Possible reasons that come to one’s mind are: One, the incident would not become as earth shaking as 9/11 if it is committed outside U.S.A.
Two, after announcement of head money, Baitullah has felt that his days are numbered and in desperation has thrown caution to the wind without comprehending its implications. Three, he has suddenly become extrovert and bigheaded and wants to gain publicity and fame.
Those who believe that he is CIA man now argue that he has deliberately given this statement to allay this impression. They say that when Clinton had visited Islamabad in March 2000 and had refused to shake hands or have a photo session with Gen Musharraf, it was purposely done to convey a message that he was in bad books of U.S.A where as in actuality he was not and it was a ploy to build up his image among the Pakistanis. After all, plan of attacking and occupying Afghanistan had been finalized way back in 1997.
For Afghan venture someone like Gen Musharraf totally dedicated to the U.S. cause and anti-Islamist extremists fitted well into U.S. scheme of things. Nawaz Sharif had defied U.S. pressure and carried out nuclear tests; he had introduced Sharia laws in Lower House and was generally soft towards rightist religious parties.
He was certainly not the right choice and therefore had to be got rid of to promote U.S. agenda with the active assistance of friendly and pliable president holding all state powers.
Approaching days would prove whether Baitullah is planted or genuine but one thing is certain; the concocted plan of attack on White House or an equally sensitive target in Washington has been finalized by vested groups to make it a justifiable excuse to attack Pakistan.
If the U.S. hopes to win war in Afghanistan by undermining premier institutions of Pakistan, it is sadly mistaken. All its high sounding plans would come to a naught and it would have to exit in disgrace.
If it commits the blunder of attacking Pakistan as suggested to it by India and Israel, it would undoubtedly cause massive destruction to this already badly mauled country but in the process it would sink in the third quagmire. Pakistan has relatively better means to defend itself when pushed against the wall. Its already depleting economy would not be able to sustain war on three fronts and would perish in this region.
Another crop of Islamists would rise from the debris of ruined Pakistan to carry forward the message of Allah that God is Great and none else.
By ASIF HAROON RAJA
The writer is a Rawalpindi based security, defense and political freelance analyst. Email: ah.rajaATyahoo.com