Pakistan Observer

Dealing with OBL fallout

Rizwan Ghani

Sunday, May 08, 2011 - Like a vast majority of Americans, a large number of people around the world believe that America faked its landing on the moon. Reportedly, “one step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was recorded in a famous Hollywood Studio in a record time by America’s intelligence agency to salvage national pride while a Russian was orbiting Earth. Once again, American intelligence setup has resorted to its old tricks to block Pakistan and Afghanistan from reaching out to China to end the so-called war against terrorism. Under the circumstances including Washington’s claims that Bin Laden is dead, Islamabad should now actively pursue the option to end the SWAT, scrap its cooperation with NATO and review and downgrade its relations with America.

The violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty due to the covert US operation merits revision of Pak-US intelligence cooperation. Had Pakistan acted on its own and handed over Bin Laden to The Hague, it would have transformed Pakistan’s global image positively, helped the world recognize the sacrifices of 34,000 Pakistanis including soldiers SWAT and undo the western media propaganda against a peaceful nation. Instead, Washington used information of Pakistan’s intelligence setups against Pakistan, committed extra-judicial killings, and undermined its sovereignty. It would have allowed Bin Laden a fair trial. Arguably, Washington didn’t want Bin Laden to be brought before ICC because it would have exposed truth behind SWAT.

The selection of Abbottabad was more of a message to Pakistan’s military establishment than ridding the world from SWAT because due to its firm stand against US intelligence setups and drone attacks reportedly US military bases in Baluchistan have been finished (Iran TV). Had Washington been serious about SWAT and Bin Laden, American intelligence cell responsible for finding Bin Laden would not have been scrapped in 2005 (Arab media, May 4). Thus, Washington has stabbed Pakistan in the back for contemplating independent foreign policy with emphasis on Pak-China-Afghan coalition.

Bin Laden has been used by Islamabad and Washington to protect their political interests. In America, Laden episode has stalled fall in Obama ratings for now. Pro-democrat observers believe that it will help Obama in 2012 Presidential election to win the support of nationalists and right wing, which constitutes core of Republican election appeal. The independent observers however are of the view that economy not Laden will decide the elections. In Pakistan, PPP government has used it give itself another lifeline by forming an alliance with PML (Q) which is Musharraf’s party. The coalition is a blow to democracy because in 2008 elections public voted against their anti-state and pro-US policies. The timing of Laden incident and swearing in of PML (Q) is not a coincidence. It has been used to give PPP another life which has had lost majority in the center. By going ahead with the France visit, Gillani has also failed to show solidarity with the people of Pakistan and left an impression that despite Laden incident it is business as usual.

Reportedly, an inquiry has been ordered on Bin Laden incident in Pakistan. There is a need to hold judicial inquiries into the death of plane crash of Air Chief, attack on GHQ, and timings of suicide attacks in Pakistan and passage of defense budgets in US Congress and British parliament. Similarly, Pakistan should demand public inquiry of 9/11 and 7/7 in UK. Reportedly, American presidents and British PMs since the incidents have refused to uphold calls for public inquiries to find the truth. “The Ripple Effect” a BBC documentary clearly shows that 7/7 was an inside job. Similarly, internet is filled with movies and reports that question Washington’s claims about 9/11. International media is already raising serious questions on Bin Laden incident in Pakistan. The details don’t add up and Washington is changing its story on the incident (How the White House Changed its Story, The Guardian May 5). Washington cannot play judge and jury both. Both Obama and Cameron cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. They should order public inquiries on 9/11 and 7/7 before asking others to do more in Afghanistan which in fact is its illegal occupation of sovereign country for vested stakes.

US foreign relations committee has no right to object to Pakistan’s internal affairs. Washington has been engaging with its enemies. Islamabad has every right to protect its national interests. America has lost its global standing in education. It was 25th in 2009 OECD education. US presidents waging wars without Congress’s approval and corruption in corridors of powers show undemocratic facets of American political system. The fact of the matter is corrupt American political system and war machine are undermining global peace. It is America, America and America that is part of the problem. Reportedly, American bank has laundered $378.3bn of drug moneys. It is no coincidence that like all American wars, Afghan war is also tainted with drug money. Drug money cannot be ruled out in Bin Laden incident. In wake of anti-Pakistan views expressed by US foreign relations committee, Islamabad should put Clinton’s visit on hold. In line with Latin America Islamabad should also bring US diplomatic presence to single digits to make Pakistan safe.

On the legal front, Islamabad should move ICC, UNSC, UNHCR, SCO and other platforms to bring Obama, Clinton and top American military and intelligence leadership involved in illegal drone and extra-judicial killings of hundreds of Pakistanis and violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty, which is violation international law. Washington should be asked to handover the culprits who violated Pakistan’s airspace. In all probability, in post US Spy standoff and fate of American helicopter crash survivors in Somalia, it was the Israelis and the Indians who used American helicopters in staging Bin Laden drama. It could be equally true for NATO depending on mercenary forces and drug money to violate Pakistan’s airspace and attacks on ill-equipped Pakistani border forces.

On the media front, America is involved in anti-Pakistan propaganda war. Islamabad should end media blockade to different areas of Pakistan including FATA and interior Baluchistan. The reports of American and NATO atrocities in remote areas of Pakistan should be told to rest of the world including US and Europe so that their people get to see ugly policies of their leaders. In this regard, Pakistan should open Multilanguage PTV channels and expand English news papers circulations in USA, Europe, Asia and ME so that world gets to real Pakistan.

Pakistan should also do some house cleaning and give clear answers. Reportedly, Egypt’s energy minister has been given 12-year jail sentence for selling cheap gas to Israel. Mubarak’s entire cabinet is behind bars for corruption, anti-state polices and killings of civilians during protests. Accordingly, there is a need to bring to book the rogue politicians, bureaucrats and others who continued with Musharraf’s policies after 2008 elections which includes drone attacks, use of local infrastructure by the foreign military personnel and spy networks. The withdrawal of Pakistani intelligence networks from sensitive areas, spending of $68 bn on America’s SWAT, west backed stand-off with judiciary and failure to solve missing persons cases.

Finally, Washington has stabbed Pakistan in its back in Bin Laden incident there Islamabad needs to down grade its US relations and review its foreign policy to protect national interests including Pak-China-Afghan trio. Pakistan should reject the whole incident because it lacks independent verification. Islamabad should satisfy the public that mercenaries were not involved in this case. UK and US should hold public inquiries of 9/11 and 7/7 before asking other to do more and end illegal Afghan occupation. Islamabad should take American leadership to ICC to bring permanent end to self-immunity and “misadventures” against Pakistan. It is said that those who put America on the moon mostly met unnatural ends.

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