POST 2014

by Ayaz Amir

Islamabad diary

The Soviet pullout from Afghanistan in 1989 was a triumph for our military establishment. The ISI and the Zia regime, while not solely responsible for that outcome, had helped bring it about. But the American pullout from Afghanistan, now underway and to be completed in about a year’s time, far from being any kind of triumph looks set to be a disaster…one for which we are wholly unprepared.

Afghanistan in 1989 was a simpler proposition, the highs and lows of it etched in black and white. Afghanistan in 2013 is a place infinitely more complicated and dangerous…not just for itself but for us as well.

This is because of one vital difference. Afghanistan then was a country contained within its borders. Afghanistan now, to our misfortune, is stretched across the Durand Line. Ask yourself two simple questions: (1) Are the Taliban based in Fata more loyal to Mullah Omar or to the state of Pakistan? (2) Is North Waziristan, in real terms, more a part of Pakistan or Afghanistan?
When the American pullout is complete these facts will become starker. Does anyone in his right mind think that in a year from now Amir Hakeemullah Mehsud – amir of the semi-independent Islamic Emirate of North Waziristan – will come down from the mountains and lay down his arms before the army command in Rawalpindi?

The Afghan ‘mujahideen’ in 1989 exulted over the circumstance that they had defeated one superpower. Now they can lay claim to a far bigger triumph. Forget about the Afghan Taliban. Does any fool think that when the Americans have drunk fully from their cup of humiliation, the Pakistani Taliban will be in a more penitent mood, ready to settle for modest or moderate terms with the hapless representatives of the Pakistani state? What world of fantasy and make-believe are we living in?

We can fit that old proverb to our circumstances: with friends like the United States who needs enemies? The Americans made life difficult for us by coming to Afghanistan in 2011. They will make life more difficult for us by leaving the job they came to do not just half-done but utterly undone. The Taliban before were just an Afghan phenomenon, a curiosity to be observed from afar. Thanks to our American friends they are now just as much a Pakistani phenomenon.

And we will have to deal with this phenomenon not in the remote future but in a year’s time. When President Obama first said that American troops would be out by 2014, it seemed such a distant date. Now it’s upon us and, far from being prepared, we are seeing to it that we bury our heads deeper into the sand, with sundry paladins saying we must talk peace with the Taliban without being at all clear what this would entail.

Forget for a moment the modalities of peace talks, whether in the mountains or Doha or wherever. Can the knights proposing talks with the Taliban just spell out the terms of a likely settlement? We need some clarity here, not woolly statements…specific outlines of a settlement that would be good for Pakistan. If capable of this clarity, they should not waste a minute. If not, then perhaps it would be best not to brandish olive branches which can only encourage the Taliban and confuse our own forces risking their lives in the killing fields of Fata.

There has been no greater apologist for the Taliban than Imran Khan. Yet when he wanted to march to North Waziristan the Taliban would not allow him. Maulana Fazlur Rehman is a self-appointed mediator for talks with the Taliban. Yet the Taliban, in so many words, have made it clear they want to have nothing to do with him.

Do we take the Taliban to be a bunch of kids? They have been fighting the Pakistan army and air force for the last so many years. Having held out for so long will they settle for any kind of lollipops when, across the Hindukush mountains, vindication is so close at hand for their brethren under Mullah Omar from whom they derive their inspiration? And from whom besides inspiration they will derive more physical strength once the Americans are out of Afghanistan.

Are we in a position to dictate terms or negotiate from a position of strength? Quite apart from the balance of military forces, is there any internal cohesion on our side? If there are elements in Pakistani society hostile to the Taliban, there is no shortage of elements sympathetic to them. The Taliban suffer from no such confusion. We need no videos from the Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, to tell us that they are united in their aim: the recasting of the Pakistani state along lines prescribed by their own version of Islam.

What Swat was under Mullah Fazlullah, what North Waziristan is under Hakeemullah Mehsud, what the Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan will be under Mullah Omar, is what they would like the whole of Pakistan to be. And don’t forget that their support network in the form of friendly seminaries and friendly religious parties is now spread across Pakistan.

The MQM may have its own sins to answer for but it is not crying wolf when it says that spreading areas of Karachi are now Taliban-dominated, with their own jirgas to settle local disputes. Indeed, the Taliban are stepping into the shoes of the Awami National Party. And the MQM while not without its own power will, in times to come, be no match for these veterans of multiple jihads.

So the dynamics of the national situation are changing and we remain blissfully unaware. This is strategic depth in reverse; not Afghanistan our depth but Pakistan with its religious parties and Taliban sympathisers becoming, oh scary thought, an extension of Afghanistan. Does this sound too apocalyptic? But then could anyone have imagined in 2001 that in a few years’ time North Waziristan would become a no-go area where our military boots would fear to tread? Or that the spectre of Vietnam would come to haunt Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is only living up to its reputation of being the graveyard of empires. But who told us to play with fire there? Now it’s just not our fingers that are being burnt but much more.
Come to think of it, through our folly we are reversing 200 years of history. Once upon a time most of the territories now comprising Pakistan were part of the kingdom of Kabul. Then on these territories Maharajah Ranjit Singh established his kingdom and, as a measure of his power, wrested Peshawar from Afghan hands. With the Maharajah’s death his kingdom fell on evil days and it was not long before it was defeated and then annexed by the British.

Of this tangled skein we are the luckless inheritors, successors of course to the British but, at a remove, successors also to the kingdom of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. His was a secular kingdom but let’s not get into that minefield here. More to the point, he kept the Afghans at a distance. We have been less successful than him in our Afghan policy. Our military commanders talk strangely of training Afghan troops. Our own house in disorder, we have the hubris to offer free advice to others.

And as the Americans prepare to leave, forget all the hogwash about their continued interest in our affairs. A skeletal relationship will of course survive but we will be largely on our own, with the rupee in free-fall and the Taliban on the march, in spirit if not otherwise. This about sums up our predicament.

That is why 2013 is so crucial for us, for the governing arrangement that emerges from the coming elections will be the stewards of our discontent when the Americans are out and the Taliban are dreaming of duplicating in Pakistan their victory that side of the Durand Line.
And will we be prepared for all this?

Email: winlust@yahoo.com

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Asif Zardari (AZ) Reveals CIA Plan for Pakistan

Asif Zardari (AZ) Reveals CIA Plan for Pakistan

by Usman Khalid, Rifah Party of Pakistan

AUGUST 7, 2012 

Press Release

Asif Zardari (AZ) Reveals CIA Plan for Pakistan

The secret weapon of Indo-Zionists is Imran Khan’s whose arrogance and campaign of slander against Nawaz Sharif (NS) splits the majority that is anti-AZ

London August 7, 2012. In a speech in Khairpur on 28 July, President Asif Zardari said he is the ‘spiritual son’ of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) and like ZAB and BB, he had his eyes on the forces of history in the region and the world and that he was confident of victory in all the provinces of Pakistan including the Punjab. The press dismissed his speech as “effort to resurrect the confidence of the demoralised but loyal constituency of the PPP”. That is true but the speech was much more than that. It gave an idea that he indeed has a ‘vision’ and how it fits into the plans of regional hegemon (India) and global hegemon (USA).

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Asif Zardari being taken to prison in handcuffs – that may be repeated if he ‘succeeds’

To understand the politics of Asif Zardari, one has to keep in mind that:

1) he belongs to the Shia fraternity,

2) the Shia are a minority in Pakistan,

3) the only Shia state – Iran – is anti USA,

4) the leadership of the Karachi based MQM also belongs to the Shia fraternity. These are the four ‘given’ on which the CIA plan to ‘control’ Pakistan is based.

The USA and the World was surprised by the quick and easy ouster President Bin Ali of Tunisia.

The CIA has quickly evolved plans to impose pro-US leadership in every Muslim country albeit with ‘democratic’ credentials. In Egypt, Libya and Syria the Western objective has been to set up weak governments exploiting the dynamics of the Arab Spring i.e. yearning for democracy. In the rest of the Middle East, the same objective is being achieved by exploiting sectarian polarisation. The prime targets of the USA in the Middle East are non-Sunni states, Iran and Syria, which has driven the Sunni Arab rulers closer to the USA.

The failure to set up Iraq as a Shia majority pro-US ‘democratic’ state has been a big set back for the US. It has led to the US turning against the Shia after decades of considering them their ‘natural ally’ in the Muslim World. The fall of the Shanishah of Iran was considered to be a temporary set back; the US bent over backwards to cultivate the Ayatollahs of Iran but it did not work as the new leadership in Iran relied on hostility of the US to establish the Islamic Republic as the regional leader.

But India was successful in cultivating the Islamic Republic against ostensibly pro US Pakistan. The failure in Iran and stalemate in Syria calls for a new strategy. A new model is being evolved in Pakistan on the lines of “minority rule” like Zionist rule in the USA and high caste rule in India.

The MQM is the minority – protégés loyal to the USA and India – which are the likes of the Brahmin in India and the Zionists (majority of who are Christians) of the USA. Like the Zionists and Brahmins, they now seek to present a face of ‘super-patriots’.

Asif Zardari might believe that his politics is the same as that of ZAB and BB but that is not true. ZAB thought that the socialist camp was on the rise and it was time for Pakistan to dump the USA and embrace the Socialists in the Muslim as well as the wider world. He was right to the extent that China has risen far and fast and Pakistan was right in steadfastly maintaining close and warm relations with China. But he was wrong elsewhere. It was Saudi Arabia, not Egypt, which drew closer to Pakistan, which paid a heavy price for total dependence on the West in the Cold War.

The erstwhile Soviet Union gave overt support to the secession of East Pakistan and support for self-determination in Jammu and Kashmir eroded. BB judged that her father had invited the wrath of the USA by seeking nuclear parity with India. She bent over backwards to accommodate the US as well as Indian interests in the region but could not get the political support of Indo-US protégés – ANP and the MQM. But she earned the hostility of all patriotic elements – the military as well as the Mujahideen – in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

Asif Zardari has succeeded where BB failed. He is committed to Indo-US interests and has been rewarded by loyal support of the ANP as well the MQM. This support has been partly delivered by his own credentials (his late father was the President of ANP in Sindh), and partly by working closely with the CIA and MI6 – directly and through Rehman Malik and Altaf Hussain. All his political moves have been carefully choreographed by the CIA.

Those who do not take his confidence to win the next elections with a thumping majority seriously are mistaken. As things stand today, the CIA is reading of the situation in Pakistan is fairly accurately. It thinks that the ruling coalition in Pakistan would stay solid while the TIP led by Imran Khan continues to prevent the consolidation of the patriotic right which still commands majority support in Pakistan. They believe that TIP would act as a US ally as the Jamaat i Islami did against ZAB and the Ikhwan of Egypt were used against the populist rule of President Nasser in Egypt. But the character of Imran Khan is more similar to that Saddam Hussain who was the ‘useful idiot’ whose every move served the US purpose.

He first embarked on a path of ‘secular socialism’ and alliance with USSR under the flag of Baath Party. Then he consolidated the Sunni minority to consolidate his hold on power. This was used by the CIA to get him to invade Islamic Republic of Iran. Then he fell into another trap and invaded Kuwait, which resulted in a crushing defeat for Saddam Hussain. A change in Government – formation of a national coalition government – could have saved Iraq but Saddam Hussain was more focussed on retaining hold on power. The CIA infiltrated Saddam’s armed forces and had links with Shia opposition also. The situation is Pakistan is similar but it is not the same.

The ruling coalition in Pakistan is an arrangement sponsored by the CIA but it is discredited and unpopular. But the imponderables are plentiful. The ANP and MQM will continue support to AZ endure as long as the PPP can retain its vote bank. The rebellion of Zulfiqar Mirza in protest against AZ alliance with the MQM and Mumtaz Bhutto joining the PML (N) has changed the political landscape in Sindh. In time, the loyalists of ZAB may abandon AZ and join Mumtaz Bhutto. Zulfiqar Mirza joining Mumtaz Bhutto can cause the political earthquake that the PPP and its foreign patrons fear most.

The constituency of TIP comprises patriots. Imran Khan is too arrogant to admit that he is dividing the patriotic constituency to give AZ the chance of victory he predicts. But stalwarts in Imran Khan’s TIP would have to force him change course. Imran is too arrogant to do that; he may choose to resign instead. The third patriotic group is represented by Defa i Pakistan (DOP) Council. This is not a political party as such but it has a huge constituency – opponents of regional hegemony of India. PML(N) and its allies could get two third majority in the next elections if the DOP gives it support and PML(N) embraces its one point agenda.

The CIA plan for Pakistan has been revealed by AZ. It wants AZ supported by ANP and MQM to retain power in Pakistan at the next elections. Pakistan is to be a new model in Muslim countries – ruled by ethnic minorities, chaos in the name of democracy, loot and plunder in the name of politics, and reviling the armed forces as threat to democracy. But the USA is not stopping drone attacks on Pakistan and India is not stopping the building of dams on our rivers in Kashmir.

The patriotic parties have to be particularly inept to lose the next elections. Imran Khan may continue to attack the PML(N) to split his own constituency and deliver victory as AZ hopes. But the CIA alone is the custodian of the complete narrative. In the event of victory by PML(N) and its allies, the defeated forces may invite intervention by the USA and/or India. That is not very likely. But it would become even less likely if we knew and prepared for the worst.