What kind of support does Pakistan seek from the world?
What kind of support does Pakistan seek from the world?
Thanks to the policy blunders of the dictators and Generals of Pakistan, terrorism has grown to gigantic proportions in Pakistan in the last three decades. Now Pakistani leaders can be seen crying, “Pakistan itself is the biggest victim of terrorism.” As a consequence of wrong decision-making and policy failures, today Pakistan is begging for the world “support” to combat terrorism. Killing of Osama bin Laden by the US commandoes near the Pakistani capital has left Pak leaders speechless. Pakistani people and the ruling elite are nowadays faced with varying kinds of doubts. People are shocked by the failure of Pakistani army, security and intelligence system at a time when the US forces entered Pakistan, killed Osama and fled away with his body. The people of Pakistan are treating it as a “violation” of their “sovereignty.”
Although public posturing of Pak rulers is same as that of the people, they are incapable of doing anything more than that. Washington is not only calling “Operation Geronimo” legitimate, it has also indicated that such an operation could be repeated in its national interest. Moreover, on the very next day of killing Laden, the US carried out yet another drone attack in Pakistani airspace. Albeit to show to the people of Pakistan, this time Pak army fired back on an American helicopter for “violating” its airspace. In retaliatory fire that followed, many Pakistan soldiers got injured. Amidst the rising tensions in the aftermath of Laden’s killing, American senator John Kerry recently visited Pakistan. He clearly told Pakistan that America has no regrets for Operation Geronimo.
Pakistani establishment should ponder over the reasons for why it is faced with such harsh realities today. The world knows that Pakistan is the biggest nursery and sanctuary for terrorists. The international media has even started describing Pakistan a ‘paradise of terrorists.’ When terrorist training camps are functioning openly, and their heads are thriving fearlessly on the state’s expense, how can some other nation be responsible for such a pathetic condition of Pakistan? This was the first time since the presence of Osama in Pakistan was substantiated after five years that Pakistan had to tell the world that it is “serious about combating terrorism” and very “concerned” by the accusations being imposed upon it.
In a special session of the Parliament of Pakistan called for this purpose, the ISI chief Gen. Shuja Pasha was faced with tough questions of the members. Most of them asked for the justification of the secret links between the ISI and the terrorists/Al Qaeda. Reluctant to answer such queries, Pasha offered to resign from his post. Declining his resignation plea, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani came out in support of Pakistani security and intelligence agencies. He refuted the charge of the secret links between the ISI and Al Qaeda. A day later, the Pakistani Taliban killed over 80 people in an attack on Pakistani security forces. Through this attack, the terrorists have tried to convey that this is the beginning of the backlash of Laden’s killing. In another attack on 22 May, Meharbaan Naval base of Pakistan Navy in Karachi was targeted in which 15 people, including 10 security personnel were killed. This attack is said to be the biggest on any Pakistani security installation in recent times.
Post-9/11, Pakistan has obtained billions of dollars and huge cache of arms and weaponry from the US in the name of combating terrorism. Is it a mere coincidence or a pre-meditated conspiracy of the Pak establishment that since Pakistan is procuring arms and money from America, the arsenal and power of terrorists has simultaneously increased during this period, and economic strength of these forces is also increasing rapidly. Pakistan owes explanation to the world vis-à-vis its contribution, if any, in combating global terrorism. More shameful for Pakistan was that its ally America didn’t share with it the Operation Geronimo plan, thanks to the their distrust towards Pakistani security and intelligence agencies. Unwilling to learn anything from the Operation, the leaders of Pakistan are now targeting the peace loving India to divert attention from their own perennial failures. Indian Premier Manmohan Singh recently said in Afghanistan, “India is not like the US” to launch an Abbottabad-like covert operation in Pakistan. In response to this sensible statement, the ISI chief Shuja Pasha not only warned India of “retaliation” in case of any such step by India, he also told Pakistani lawmakers that “targets in India had already been identified.” The contradictions embedded in Pakistani establishment’s postures are easily noticeable. While they love to remain a puppet in the hands of Americans, at the same time, they find pleasure in insanely threatening and warning India of “consequences.” They seem to have forgotten the biggest surrender of their forces to India in 1971.At the same time U S President Barack Obama and Former Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also opines that Pakistan should not treat India as its “enemy no. 1.”
Amidst this chaos and anarchy in Pakistan, when Prime Minister Gilani seeks the world support to fight terrorism, the question becomes imperative- What kind of support Pakistan expects from the world? Does it need only arms and money to “fight terror”, which has proved to be counterproductive? When the US has to substantiate the presence of the most dreadful terrorist in its backyard through a unilateral action, Pakistan finds it “violation of sovereignty.” Therefore, it is in the best interest of Pakistan as well as the international community that Pakistan prepares a ‘Charter’ clearly depicting the kind of “support” it seeks from the world.
Author Tanveer Jafri is a columnist based in India.