Pakistan: has it reached the edge of the precipice?

March 10, 2009

Maybe this always happens at times of national upheaval. But there is a surprising disconnect between the immediacy of the crisis facing Pakistan as expressed by Pakistani bloggers and the more slow-moving debate taking place in the outside world over the right strategy to adopt towards both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Reading Pakistani blogs since confrontation between the country’s two main political parties exploded and comparing them to international commentaries is a bit like watching men shout that their house is on fire, and then panning over to the fire station where the folks in charge are debating which type of water hose works best.

With lawyers and supporters of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif vowing to blockade parliament later this week over the refusal of President Asif Ali Zardari to reinstate fired judges, the country is steeling itself for violent street protests, which in turn could provide easy targets for suicide bombers seeking to add to the mayhem.  Sharif has talked about “a prelude to a revolution”, prompting the government to threaten him with charges of sedition.

Writing in Pak Tea House, a blogger who had insisted right up until February that Pakistan would turn out all right said this had been based on the assumption political parties would pull back from outright confrontation in the interests of the country. “I was wrong. And so faced with altered facts, I have changed my opinion. Pakistan is unraveling.”

The blog Changing up Pakistan makes the inevitable comparison with watching a car accident in slow motion, while a blogger at Deadpan Thoughts complains about March madness. “When policies are decided on the streets, things never come to a good end,” he writes.

Metroblogging Lahore carries a series of photos of protests in Lahore. Scroll down for his photo of a live mouse hanging from a protest board - the kind of tiny detail that stays with you perhaps more than the other images. “The little mouse was trembling and paying with its life for someone else’s crimes,” the photographer writes.

Panning out to the bigger picture, is international debate about how to stop Pakistan from becoming a failed state by pumping in development aid and devising a regional strategy involving Iran, Russia, China and India to bring stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan. But all of these will take time to put in place,and are not designed to douse the immediate conflagration.

Pakistan has weathered crises before, of which the biggest was its defeat in 1971 when it lost control of then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.  And to be fair, we didn’t have bloggers back then to provide a blow-by-blow account of the anguish of Pakistanis caught in the maelstrom.

Is this just one more crisis?

Writing in Informed Comment, Juan Cole says “the increasingly rancorous conflict between the left of center, largely secular Pakistan People’s Party and the right of center, big-landlord Muslim League, has the potential to tear the country apart.”

Daniel Markey from the Council on Foreign Relations may have said what many are thinking when he wrote that “there might be even worse things than military rule in Pakistan.” (There has been much talk of how Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani will respond to the crisis despite his pledge to keep the army out of politics.)

The Indian think-tank, the South Asia Intelligence Review, paints a worst case scenario of an Islamist takeover with “an Iran-like shift, with the overwhelming proportion of the Pakistan Army simply tranferring allegiance to the mullahs, eliminating the small remaining secular segment within  the military leadership.”

That seems unlikely, since the Pakistan Army has had a much more dominant role in Pakistan than the Iranian generals who fled with the shah in the 1979 revolution. It is fiercely nationalistic and hardly likely to go along with a takeover by Islamists who do not respect the nation state. 

The only point of comparison, perhaps, is that the Iranian Revolution came from the street and when street protests get out of hand, their outcome becomes unpredictable. So has Pakistan reached the edge of the precipice? Or another turning point in its tortuous history?

(Reuters photo of bloodstains on the ground in Lahore following the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team; and March 6 photo of PML (N) supporters)


MEHK wrote:”What we see is dark future of Pakistan.”What I see is a bright future of Pakistan. Now who the heck are you? would you mind introducing yourself? By the way I am a Pakistani.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

HINDU ZEALOTS VENT ANGER ON WOMENBy Amy Kazmin in Mangalore, IndiaPublished: March 6 2009 18:05 | Last updated: March 6 2009 18:05With its blue mood lighting, ultra-modern furniture and bottles of beer at Rs160 ($3, €2.40, £2.20), the Amnesia Lounge was designed to be a chic chill-out spot in tIndia’s southern port city of Mangalore.Instead, Amnesia, gained national notoriety, after Hindu zealots stormed the club and assaulted female customers – while television cameras, summoned in advance by the thugs, rolled.The attack in January exposed deep generational divisions in India. Ageing politicians from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party and the ruling Congress bemoaned the “pub-and-mall” culture that has flourished, with the economy.Yet the brazen violence was hardly a traditional expression of India’s deep-rooted social conservatism.Rather, the attack fits a disturbing pattern of rising Hindu vigilante culture among lower class youth, whose anger at their economic marginalisation is being channelled into religious indignation by right-wing Hindu organisations such as the Bajrang Dal, or the Sri Ram Sena, or Lord Ram’s Army.Young women seen as flouting conservative social traditions have been the victims of a series of violent assaults in Mangalore, generating fear in a community once known for its cosmopolitan attitudes, relaxed ambience, and relatively easy mixing of boys and girls.In particular, the vigilante groups – part of the family of conservative Hindu groups that form the core support base of the BJP – are incensed by Hindu girls socialising with boys from the Muslim community, which has prospered with an inflow of remittances from migrants working in the Gulf.The attackers “see a glaring richness all around and they have absolutely no access to it so there is a kind of frustration”, says H.P. Soumayaji, a member of Mangalore’s Communal Harmony Forum, which has documented the violence. “This frustration is transformed systematically into a hate politics.”Hindu zealots used iron rods and chains to smash the windscreen and windows of a private bus carrying 40 Hindu, Christian and Muslim students on a chaperoned overnight study trip in December, leaving five injured by broken glass.Women have also been beaten for talking to men on public buses, in coffee shops and theatres. Young women also say they are being watched on school campuses by strangers, who aggressively warn them against talking to Muslims.“They blasted me for being with a Muslim guy,” said K.S. Shruti, a 17-year-old high school student, who was pulled off a bus, along with her Muslim companion, last month by a gang of thugs, who took the two young people to a remote area and beat them.“They said, ‘you are not a Hindu’. I was totally terrified,” she added.As it campaigns for coming parliamentary elections, the BJP is seeking to project itself as a party that can reinvigorate the faltering economy, strengthen national security and boost India’s global standing. Yet in Mangalore, which is in the BJP-ruled southern state of Karnataka, many see the party as soft on extremist Hindu groups, with which it has strong links, and shared preoccupations about India’s social flux.Captain Ganesh Karnik, a BJP member of Karnataka’s state legislature, said the party did not condone violence. But he added that relationships between Hindu girls and Muslim boys were “disturbing” society, prompting some to express their “anguish”.“Will the girls here want to be mothers before they are married?” Capt Karnik asked. “It’s a changing society, values are changing and these issues are very sensitive. We need more time to settle down with this.”M.B. Puranik, Mangalore president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, said, “this free mixing of girls brings fear complexes in the mind of orthodox traditional people that if we continue on this way, our society will go to the dogs.”Traditionally, Indian families, both Hindu and Muslim, have administered tight control over women – including their education, work and social life – according to their family’s beliefs and priorities. But where many families are loosening strictures, Hindu zealots believe that it is their prerogative to step in.“The concept of the family has widened,” said Mr Puranik. “If I consider you are my sister, if certain things are wrong, I have every right to ask you, ‘why do you do that?’ We want to protect our sisters.”Many also believe the vigilantes have the tacit support of sympathetic state police who talk of local Hindu girls being “exploited” by cash-rich Muslim boys, and respond to mob attacks on young women by summoning the victims’ parents and admonishing them about their daughters’ conduct.Sarah Aboobacker, a prominent, 73-year-old Muslim novelist and social critic in Mangalore, says the growing Hindu fundamentalism mirrors the extremism she has seen in the Islamic community. “All fundamentalists do the same thing,” she says. “They want to say what women should do and not do.”.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

All Indians should stop worrying about Pakistan, rather India should be taken care of. India is going in the wrong direction, India cannot attain its rightful place in the world unless the hindu funtamentalism is brought under control. Rising extremism among Hindus is a major problem for the world. This issue will be exposed and highlighted by the world media just like Financial Times in UK has taken up recently.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair,India is not the one country worrying about Pakistan. Thank you for your concern. However, its the world that worrying about Pakistan. One day Sri Lankan criketers are attacked; the next week Pak govt arrests opposition politicians to prevent a rally.The world’s eyes are on you.GUARDIAN (UK):Pakistan arrests opposition leaders ahead of planned ralliesLong march to nowhereLaid-back Lahore faces a frightening futureAs human victims of terror attack are buried, nation mourns the other casualty – cricketDAWN (PAKISTAN):Fata’s 35 Hindus migrate to IndiaPakistan’s inflation up by 21.07 per cent in FebruaryZardari, Holbrooke to visit Japan for April donors’ meet (MORE BEGGING)Government bans protests, alerts troops in Punjab, SindhBusiness activity in Islamabad grinds to a haltGovt arrests 100s of activists, bans ralliesBombing shrineTIMES (UK):Pakistan politicians arrested ahead of protest rallyLahore attack ‘mastermind’ escapes police raid in PunjabCricket massacre lays bare the flaws of a failing stateNY TIMES (UK):Pakistan Police Crack Down on Opposition Before ProtestFor Pakistan, Attack Exposes Security FlawsGULF TIMES (QATAR)Islamabad hopeful of Saudi aid package (MORE BEGGING)THE AUSTRALIAN (AUSTRALIA)Lahore symptom of wider problem

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Bring back Musharraf! Kayani,Zardari,Nawaz should be hanged! The recent events have just gone on to show that there is no one incharge. We cant question Zardari since this ‘crazy thug’doesnt have a stable mindset and ‘controls the nuclear button’. What is Kayani waiting for. Over the last year since we was the COAS there have been one blunder to the other. This guy when he became a senior officer, the first thing he did was to get his son to the US. How can we ,Pakistanis, expect him to have any allegiance to the country. Kayani was the ISI chief at the Red Mosque crisis and it has been he who should have known about the ‘brutal killings in Mumbai’. The buck should stop here.We , as pakistanis, need to rise. Hang these three people and just go after the militants. All borders should be sealed and deweaponization carried out in those areas. The military commanders should be made responsible for their areas.Any lethargy in duty should be penalized possibly by public hangings. This will compel the people in realizing that these in the upper echelons are responsible for their actions.These people living in FATA dont deserve to be called humans , we should be the ones who should bomb them to stoneage not the US. They steal our mobiles,cars etc from Karachi,commit all sort of evil and portray themselves as “muslims”. Lets finish this once and for all.

Posted by suleman maniya | Report as abusive

John”Pakistan…as they are sliding down the slope, they are trying to look dignified at the same time.” “at the bottom of the pit lies Somalia, Gaza and Afganistan.”—Pakistan,When it reaches the bottom of the pit – head on-it would still try to look dignified & claim atleast their legs are up…

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

suleman maniya,bring back musharraf? its thinking like this which has brought pakistan to the brink it is today. no country in the world has ever prospered for long under military (or civilian) dictatorship, has it?

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

To Mr ketchup:Weren’t the great empires of history all dictatorships ? Didn’t the asian tiger economies grow under dictatorships ? What matters is the quality of rule, not the political system. Of course with dictatorship its more of a lottery while with democracy its more of choice.No Pakistan is not “on the edge”. Since 2001 I have been reading media articles about “Pakistan on the Edge” and “Pakistan on the brink”. Pakistan is still here.


Considering the religion, culture, history etc., I think military dictatorship is the best option for Pakistan. I don’t think they can function as a democracy. The past sixty years have clearly shown that their feudal system, terrain, corruption etc have not allowed democracy to take root and grow. Being a much smaller nation than India, they have been unable to come up with stable governments elected by the public. This is cultural. Chinese work best under autocratic rules. The whole middle east is made up of tribal culture or theocratic states. It is all right. There is nothing written that every country has to be democratic. It is the best option possible. But cultures have to have the maturity to handle it and have faith in it. In Pakistan, the army dominates everything anyway.The only problem is an army will need an enemy to keep itself prepared at all times. From that stand point, what works for Pakistan is disadvantageous to India. The Pakistani military will keep its machinery well oiled by keeping its aim at India at all times. The Western powers prefer such dictatorships to get their priorities met.If the US pressures Kayani from taking over Pakistan, the country will surely spin out of control. For war on terrorism to go on, the US might need to turn a blind eye to whoever takes over Pakistan and hope that they do not turn against the US.


aamir ali,i seriously disagree. at the root of a lot of the problems pakistan is facing today is lack of a proper functioning democracy. the current government is more a civilian dictatorship, the judiciary is still not independent. the seeds of all this were laid during the musharraf era.i symphtize to the damage created in pakistan by corrupt politicians and feaudals. but remember the military also has its own interests which do not at many match with those of the common person on the street.pakistan would not be on the course it is today were it not for all these years of military interference. we need to work at making the democratic system stronger rather then longing for military rule again and again. the joke must end is rare to hav a good dictatorship. a dictatorship is the equivalent of putting all the eggs in one basket, in this case putting all the trust in one person. for those nations u name who succeeded under dictators, there are countless others which hav crippled under dictators (suharto in indonesia, the myriads of dictators in the middle east, north korea, zimbabwe.. is this the direction u r looking for?)musharraf, while not a robert mugabe, he certainly was never a ‘good guy’ dictator. like zia, musharraf put his own interests before the country. musharraf also played a double game with the west. because of these two dictators the country is today in the zardari has become the new musharraf. from military to civilian dictatorship, it is still the same old story. these things take time. if he bring in musharraf or the military again, the whole process will begin again.

Posted by Mr. Ketchup | Report as abusive

The “blogger” at deadpan thoughts is humbled by being quoted here :) thanks


Pakistan is about to slide into military rule again. I think Gen. Ashfaq Kayani is getting his selection of civilian handmade suits tailored as we speak.The problem with military rule, is it is the least of all evil options to Pakistan. The Pakistani military must review its policies against India and Afghanistan and cease and desist all proxy wars and terror training camps in Pakistan.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Mr. Ketchup – an apt answer to suleman maniya / Amir Ali—”Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, & farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again.” (Khalil Jibran)

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

“That seems unlikely, since the Pakistan Army has had a much more dominant role in Pakistan than the Iranian generals who fled with the shah in the 1979 revolution. It is fiercely nationalistic and hardly likely to go along with a takeover by Islamists who do not respect the nation state. “Myra,some have agreed to you on this. I don’tMost Pakis rank Islam higher than nation on their list of priorities. (One of the reason why subcontinent was split and reason why they see their N weapon as Islamic bomb)Also many in Pak army have nurtured the Islamist. Who know how many of them indeed deam of pakistan following Wabist ideology? If they were so nationalistic they would have worked towards strengthening Democracy and not weaking it. Also they would have fight Taliban till death rather than surrendeting abjectly in SWAT.Umair thinks Paki army as professional to no end. I think they are power hungry crooks who sabotage democarcy at their whims and keep their populance under paranoia of war to keep lining their pockets.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive

The motto os SSG( Pakistan’s is ‘who dares wins’. It seems the Pak Army has twisted it to ‘who dares governs’.The pak army is one of the most corrupt organizations and most of the serving generals hold dual nationality. It is no coincidence where their allegiances lie because at the thought of some instability they are out of the country and they have made this huge Behemoth!! An army purge and a civilian government purge should improve things to a great deal. I think Deweaponization is the key. These tribals should be forced to give up their weapons otherwise they should be bombed to stone age. They dont understand negotiations. Is the army prepared to do that? No frankly its got things so easy that the desire to fight is not there. It’s a bunch of cowards we are speaking about!

Posted by Suleman Maniya | Report as abusive

Suleman Maniya wrote:”The pak army is one of the most corrupt organizations and most of the serving generals hold dual nationality”The Pakistan Army is one of the strongest in the world, its high command one of the best trained. Its ranks motivated, the motto of Pakistan Army is “Iman- Taqwa- Jihad” which translates Faith, Piety and struggle in the path of Allah(God). Pakistan Army personnel hold Pakistani nationality and they were born in Pakistan and they would like to die in Pakistan. A bunch of battle hardened brave warriors, enemies fear Pakistan Army.Men at their best; Pakistan Army!

Posted by Pakistan Army | Report as abusive

Suleman ManiyaYour opinions stand out and contradict all Pakistani or for that matter muslims opinions on these posts. State for record ( if you dont mind) your background.A majority of the opinionated people from outside Afpak ( new American term), especially non muslims, hesitate to condone the extreme steps you suggested- for one good reason, modesty. They don’t want to look hate mongers even when addressing the hate mongers, funny but true. This tenet is unhealthy both in the larger global context as well as, most certainly, in the interest of afpak. One has to put out fire in neighbors home, if not the fire will engulf the entire neighborhood.SAUDI FACTOR: Sustained campaigns of militant/terrorist outfits have both material and ideological tacit support from Wahabism. The way to put out the global fire is to convince Saudis to accept others as legitimate co-owners of this planet.The starting point of this admission is permitting to build places of worship of nonmuslim faiths in Saudi arabia. Its that obscene in a civilized world to denigrate other faiths *illegal* by an entire nation, simply its anti people in nature and is incompatible with international law. Especially, when seen in the context of them pumping billions of dollars into other countries spreading wahabism.The international court of justice just issued an arrest warrant on Bashir, the murderous ruler of Sudan, as expected he defied to surrender. Gross negligence of human rights should not be overlooked by international community; military option should be implemented before more innocent lives are lost. A proactive international community will ensure global peace in this multipolar world we live in.


Umair:@at the time of independence if you make a cpomparison of hindu population you included then East Pakistan.-If you carefully read “In August 1947, at the end of British Raj, the population percentage of Hindus IN WHAT IS TODAY IN PAKISTAN was perhaps as high as 15-20%, but would drop to its current total of less than 2% in the years since independence.” It specifically says “today’s Pakistan”—means W. Pakistan (the Pakistan as defined today).

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Umair:Some tehnical problem has been restricting me from responding.@First, forefathers from Narowal/awesome rice.–I know about Pakistani Basmati—but did not know about rice from Narowal-but thanks for information, will like to visit the place one day. Funny (or sad?), Narowal is walkable from India- 4-5km from India/Pak border!

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

RajeevThats is true Narowal is very close to the border, on top of that I was there only once, somewhere around August/september 2002, during my college vacations. If you remember that time the 2001-2002 border stand-off took place after parliament attack in India. The schools in Narowal were closed due to vacations and Army formations were stationed in the school compounds and open areas. Thankfully India-Pakistan did not go to war that time, they should never go to war in future.If you would like to visit Pakistan, you must. I hope the embassy in Delhi issues you a visa. You can be sure of remaining very safe, although i understand how difficult it is for me to state this after attack on Sri Lankan team. But atleast that shouldnt be a reason for you not to visit your ancestral place. Make some contacts in Lahore, get your passport stamped, fly in to Lahore and take the trip to narowal. (maybe bus or train?) Everything else shall take care of itself.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

before pointing fingures at pakistan india should keep its own house in order. india is so much involved in pakistan dat it has overlooked it’s own militant organizations. there r 36 terrorist organizations operating in india n all ur politicians including rajiv gandhi were killed by ur own ppl. we know india has created all the unrest in fata n baluchistan. wat’s the purpose of establishing 14 counsalates on jalalabad’s border of baluchistan. why indian army is operating in afghanistan? mind it unstable pakistan will not b in ur interest….

Posted by future legend | Report as abusive

wat r u indians talking abt the rights of minorities in pakistan….we know wat u ppl did the dalits, tamil nadu, muslims in kashmir n gujray….nirender modi killed thousands of muslims in gujrat…shiv sena razed babri mosque…after more than 60 years of india’s creation still more than 94 percen t muslims r living below poverty line…they dont have access to better health conditions n higher education….shame on u…u dont deserve to b called a secular state n world’s biggest democracy…..

Posted by future legend | Report as abusive

The Pak Army Wrote:The Pakistan Army is one of the strongest in the world, its high command one of the best trained.This is a disgrace. The strongest army in the world at Taking Over! Kayani doesnt have the balls to publicly ask the US not to bomb Pakistan ( Just goes on to show how strong the army is), although I fully endorse those actions.AZAD DP ( meaning probably deported person!! or Displaced Person ( lower chance) you ask about my background. Alhumdullilah I am a muslim.Dont you know what happens in the tribal areas of Pakistan. All of these Bastar*s are living on illegal drugs, smuggling of goods, robbing us from our cities (cars,mobiles bank robberies etc) and go to these areas where no one can reach them. If this is the kind of Islam you preach then I dont need to say more. We should wage a WAR against such people even if it takes a 100 years and Kill them all!. I believe most of the people in Karachi and elsewhere would agree to this. We have been taken hostage by them and I think when that happens then we must Fightback. Mr AZAD what was your opinion on the Bombay incidents do you condone it or condemn it , Does ISLAM condone it ! Never , my friend and all those people who did must be publicly executed. What about the Big Drug Lords living in our vicinity the ones who have come from India you know who I mean. We must not give shelter to these because it is these people who sugjugate us and indulge in more evil. We should stand for principles but I think your enlightened views do not go beyond the Pak Army!!! we need an upheaval…

Posted by suleman maniya | Report as abusive

@wat r u indians talking abt the rights of minorities in pakistan….we know wat u ppl did the dalits, tamil nadu, muslims in kashmir n gujray….nirender modi killed thousands of muslims in gujrat…shiv sena razed babri mosque…”- Posted by future legendFuture: Take it easy.Presently, Muslims (and other minorities) are much safer in India than anywhere else. w-3Wqrk l=en&art=10075

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Myra,The turn of events in Pakistan do not augur well for a civilian society , but the most pertinent question here is : whether there exists a civilan society in Pakistan?Is it not true that Pakistan today is controlled by Pak army and world’s most dreaded and maligned intelligence agency ISI with active support from islamic terror outfits which have been created and nurtured by Pakistan army and ISI to work with limited agenda: to cause as much damage to India by waging low intensity war using these terror outfits, secondly to spread jehad all over the world as if Pakistanis are custodians of islam or islam is in danger and to maintain control over the drug and opium growing region of Afghanistan ? To achieve these objectives, periodically Pak army, stage some election and ask Pakistanis to vote for a particular group of politicians, Zardari , Gillani and Nawaz Sharif are no different from them ,Pakistanis like very obedient citizens, select some of these politicians nominated by Pakistan army .The most interesting part of the entire episode, Pakistan and its media are always in denial mode as if everything is ok within Pakistan , and it is an international conspiracy hatched by anti islamic forces: India , Israel and US to cause all these terrorist activities in Pakistan to destabilize Pakistan . Incidents in Mumbai, Lahore or attack on marriott hotel in islamabad , the first reaction of Pakistanis and its media are always put the blame on India or Israelis.Pakistan has been exposed to the world as a failed state, a state sponsor of terrorism , and presence of nuclear arsenals in Pakistan pose grave danger to the international community , it is incumbent upon international community to wrest the control of weapons of mass destruction from Pakistan before these are taken over by islamists , prosecute proliferators like A.Q.Khan and its cronies for crime committed against humanity.

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

Pakistan was never on the edge, but since 2001 you media folks have declared it to be about 1,000 times. Boy you folks love sensationalism.@RajeevIndia is a country which was officially and unofficially killed Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and lower caste Hindus. Don’t talk about Pakistan.


We makes world’s cheapest car in India , Pakistan makes world’s cheapest terrorist .

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive

@Anju2008Its good that a nation of 1 billion finally managed to make a cheap car. Congratulations.Pakistanis also created a car called Adam Revo but unfortunately it was not successful.


@RajeevIndia is a country which was officially and unofficially killed Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and lower caste Hindus. Don’t talk about Pakistan.- Posted by Aamir Ali–Aamir, Can you couunt how many million Muslims and Hindus in E. Pakistan and 1000s of Balochis and >1000 of Frontier Gandhi’s Khudai Khidmatgars haev been killed by your Pakistani Army.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Tuesday, 23 September 200810,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the garb of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise PakistanAfter 9/11 CIA bought the loyalties of pro-Pakistan tribal chiefs, leaving ISI and MI behind, those who refused were killedNek Mohammad was killed by Americans when he made peace with PakistanISI had once given six figure coordinates of Baitullah and yet no Hellfire missile was fired on his hideout by CIAForeign intelligence agents are involved in carrying out gruesome beheadings of security personnel and torching girls’ schools to defame the real Taliban who had a peaceful agendaBesides CIA and RAW, even Iran and Uzbekistan had developed their tentacles in Balochistan, Swat and Kurram AgencyThe nexus in Kabul is working upon a scripted plan to make FATA lawless and beyond the control of security forces, push militancy into settled areas and then into major cities and thus create a civil warlike situation to prove their contention that Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world and that the extremists were on the verge of taking over power and nuclear weapons.When Gen. Musharraf submitted to U.S. pressure after 9/11 and ditched the Taliban in Afghanistan, he provided air bases as well as logistics support and shared intelligence with CIA. He allowed CIA and FBI to recruit agents in FATA and other places and to establish their outposts. The focus of ISI and other agencies was shifted towards hunting and nabbing so-called terrorists all over the country, in monitoring dissident elements within the army and in political wheeling and dealings. The CIA acquired all the links ISI and MI had both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and gradually took most agents on ISI payroll within its fold. By virtue of having better technology and means the CIA was able to take over intelligence acquisition and dissemination system. As a consequence the troops operating in FATA became entirely dependent upon CIA inputs. Taking advantage of complete liberty of action, CIA succeeded in buying the loyalties of many tribal chiefs and notables in FATA by doling out dollars in sacks since it knew that the Pashtun could not be crushed by force but could be purchased. Those not falling in line were got killed.In FATA, Nek Muhammad was first cultivated and provided logistic support. When he entered into a peace deal with Pak Army in July 2005, he was killed using precision guided missile. Abdullah Mehsud, an Afghan war veteran who had also fought the Northern Alliance in October-November 2001 was captured and brainwashed during his two years internment in Guantanamo Bay. He was released after agreeing to work on terms dictated by CIA and he soon was able to takeover the leadership role. His death at Zhob at the hands of Pak security forces was a loss for CIA.Baitulah Mehsud and Fazlullah had not taken part in Afghan jihad and do not qualify to head Taliban; yet 30 year old Baitullah has managed to create Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Fazlullah calls the shots in Swat. Mulla Omar had never shown interest in establishing any links with Pakistani Taliban and had warned Nek Muhammad not to operate under the brand name of Taliban. It is being questioned as to how come Baitullah, Fazlullah and their spokesmen desperately wanted by Pakistan security forces have escaped the hawk eye of USA, particularly after they have been seen giving detailed interviews to media and using their cell phones? ISI had once given six figure coordinates of Baitullah and yet no Hellfire missile was fired on his hideout by CIA. The TTP that has spread its influence in all the seven agencies of tribal belt and in neighboring settled districts of NWFP has succeeded in making inroads into Punjab, particularly southern Punjab. Large number has been recruited from Chiniot, Bahawalpur, Dera Nawab, Bahawalnagar, Faisalabad, Sialkot and other places.After Shakai peace deal with the militants in South Waziristan in July 2005, Pakistan was subjected to a calculated slander campaign. Having pushed more than one hundred thousand troops into the furnace of FATA it was scoffed at for not doing enough to control militancy in FATA. Pakistan was also accused of nuclear proliferation and IAEA kept up the pressure to hand over AQ Khan for interrogation. Musharraf accepted the charge and forced AQ Khan to make a confession to defuse the heat. The religious extremist threat was blown out of all proportions and it was repeatedly stated that Pakistan’s nuclear assets had become unsafe. Musharraf accepted this charge as well and promised to fight extremism and terrorism with full force.After declaring Pakistan as the most dangerous country, FATA was declared as the most dangerous place on earth. Pakistan was blamed for growing turbulence in Afghanistan since in the view of U.S. military leaders and Karzai Pak army was not doing enough to control militancy. The phenomenon of missile attacks by drones commenced in January 2006 when a suspected target in Damadola was attacked killing scores of innocent civilians. Another deadly missile attack was launched on a Madrassa in Bajaur in October that year killing 80 students. Ever since, this phenomenon continues unabated.Once the ISI was freed from the wild goose chase of so-called terrorists and came under pressure on account of missing persons, it started to concentrate on its primary task in the troubled spots. To its horror it found far too many militant groups and criminal gangs operating under the guise of religious militants and cultivated by foreign agencies.They were the ones involved in carrying out gruesome beheadings of security personnel and torching girls’ schools to defame the real Taliban who had a peaceful agenda. Besides CIA and RAW, even Iran and Uzbekistan had developed their tentacles in Balochistan, Swat and Kurram Agency. Most of the pro-Pakistan groups had been purchased or neutralized and those not coming to terms were eliminated by groups sponsored by CIA. Things had gone topsy-turvy and ISI found itself at a loss how to differentiate between friend and foe.It is when the ISI began to recover the lost ground and renewed its old contacts in FATA and started to expose and block clandestine activities of CIA, RAW and RAM that all hell broke lose on ISI. Instead of feeling ashamed of what they were doing, USA had the cheeks to start making hue and cry that ISI was linked with the Taliban and that it must be emasculated. The three colluding partners lost their cool when the Indian Embassy in Kabul was subjected to a suicide attack on 7 July 2008. The trio fumed with anger and blamed ISI without even carrying out preliminary investigations. It was alleged that the perpetrator of suicide attack belonged to Gujranwala. Adm. Mike Mullen and Deputy Director CIA Stephen Kappes came huffing and puffing to Islamabad on 12 July and expressed their concern in strong words. Both Gen Tariq and Gen Kayani were told to bring the ISI to heel and to control militancy on their side of the border. The details of suicide bomber provided by the visitors proved false. It transpired later on that it was a bomb planted in a parked jeep which was detonated with the help of a remote control and was masterminded by Mossad.The month of September saw intensification of missile attacks and each attack resulted in loss of innocent lives. The idea was to antagonize pro-government Waziris and also to force them to migrate as had happened in case of Bajaur. To further up the ante, Pakistan was declared as a battleground and a first ever ground attack was carried out by U.S. troops on the night of 3 September at Angoor Adda killing 15 men women and children. A deadly missile attack was conducted on pro-Pakistan Jalaluddin Haqqani house in North Waziristan on 8 September killing 25 inmates mostly women and children. He was blamed for carrying out attack on Indian Embassy.The intruding drone was forced to beat a hasty retreat on 12 September when Pakistani jets got airborne and started to track it. A ground attack on 15th was also thwarted by the troops and locals. So far, 62 border violations have been carried out by U.S.-ISAF forces including 36 after the takeover by PPP government in March 2008. So far 30 missile attacks have been made killing innocent people. In none of the attacks any Al-Qaada operative or militant Taliban was killed.The nexus in Kabul is working upon a scripted plan to make FATA lawless and beyond the control of security forces, push militancy into settled areas and then into major cities and thus create a civil warlike situation to prove their contention that Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world and that the extremists were on the verge of taking over power and nuclear weapons. After inflaming South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, Darra Adam Khel, Kurram Agency, Hangu and Swat, Bajaur Agency was built into a stronghold of militants where huge cache of arms and ammunition was dumped. By virtue of being located at the crossroad of the tribal belt and also linked with Dir, Swat and Afghanistan, it was to act as bulwark and a launching pad to provide reinforcement to other areas.10,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the garb of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise Pakistan. Many mercantile shops run by Indians have an intelligence office in the rear. In Wakhan, a religious Madrassa run by Indian Muslim clerics is functioning since 2002 under the patronage of Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad. Very young boys, mostly orphans, destitute or homeless are recruited. Recruits are mostly Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. The latter being fair skinned and resembling Europeans are trained to hit targets in Europe or in USA to once again create a 9/11 like situation.Reportedly, 10,000 ideologically motivated terrorist and suicide bombers have been trained. Besides receiving military training, they have also been made to learn Pashto and customs of the Pashtun. They are regularly infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers they join the rank and file of militants to fight the army. They are the ones who are destroying schools, CD shops, bridges and other installations and carrying out brutal beheading of captured personnel. The idea is to create chaos and confusion and also to defame the real Taliban that have not come under their influence. They are also responsible for creating cleavages within the people of FATA and in disrupting peace deals. In Kurram Agency, Afghan officers and soldiers are actively involved in the sectarian conflict by way of providing arms and ammunition to Shias belonging to Tori tribe and physically participating in duels with Sunnis. In Swat, Fazlullah led militants are supplied with war munitions as well as fighters.Likewise, dissident tribal chiefs in Balochistan including late Akbar Bugti were also taken on board. The CIA helped in reincarnating BLA and providing all sorts of war munitions to Baloch militants belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and establishing over 60 Farari camps in Balochistan. Shamsi airbase that was handed over to USA in October 2001, houses Blackhawk helicopters primarily engaged in monitoring the entire length of Iranian border. CIA has cultivated Sunni Iranian Baloch Jandullah group (not the one that had operated against 5 Corps commander). It is anti- Iranian regime and was utilized by CIA to carryout acts of sabotage in Iran through Zahidan. Iran has now constructed a stone wall all along its border to prevent cross border terrorism from Baluchistan. It has clouded Pak-Iran relations since the latter feels that such activities could not have been undertaken without the blessing of Pak government.It is now clear that our so-called friends have been playing a double game. Now that USA has bared its teeth and let its intentions known, to pretend that it would stop short of achieving its objectives will be like living in fools’ paradise. It is simply degrading to unashamedly say that we cannot fight the Americans. It is also preposterous to assume that Pakistan may not survive without American support. Pro-American elements within Pakistan on U.S. payroll have been parroting this theme since creation of Pakistan to safeguard their vested interest. North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Somalia are living examples who have survived despite adopting hostile posture against USA. It is high time that we gird up our loins and put our act together to face up to the challenge boldly.The army under Gen. Kayani has expressed its resolve to confront the threat and safeguard country’s sovereignty irrespective of the consequences. It is now up to our week-kneed rulers oblivious of the ominous threat and still busy in power game as to how they stand up to the test. It will be naive to expect that the threat will be warded off with diplomacy alone. We must make USA realize that it will become exceedingly difficult for U.S. led allied troops to operate in Afghanistan if Pakistan opts out of fighting U.S. war of terror and refuses to provide transit facility to carry oil and food supplies to its troops in Afghanistan. The magnitude of dependence can be gauged from the fact each day over 400 containers ply from Karachi and Quetta to Afghanistan transporting food, munitions and 300 million gallons of fuel for U.S.-Nato troops in Afghanistan. We may also consider bridling CIA’s unchecked activities and closing down four bases in control of USA.______________An excellent eye opening article. Long Live Pakistan.

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