Trump’s volte-face


Zaheer Bhatti
BARRING the Salala Check-post assault by NATO martyring 24 Pakistan Army jawans, Kabal suicide attack has taken the biggest toll of the regular troops in recent years followed by another targeted rocket fire from across Afghanistan with casualties of border post personnel and targeting of a security patrol in Balochistan. This cautions Pakistani Forces never to relax in the face of the continuing Imperial campaign against strategically emerging Pakistan where successive Governments have been found napping despite experiencing back-stabbing by the Country’s arch enemy starting with illegal annexation of the Muslim majority Kashmir; attack across the International Boundary in 1965 besides raising Mukti Bahini and using it to carve Bangladesh out of (East) Pakistan which it publicly brags about without any remorse or shame.
While India makes no secret of its animosity to Pakistan, the United States has been equally complicit in deserting the Islamic Republic time and again during the not too envious relationship over the years; its current refrain yet again scapegoating Pakistan for its own abject failure in the Afghanistan misadventure where accusing Pakistan of providing safe havens to the Haqqani group of Afghan Taliban despite unmatched sacrifices in men and materials in the wicked war imposed upon it, implicitly credits the small group of Haqqanis for frustrating the Coalition might, it also reflects bigoted US attitude towards Pakistan despite solemn declaration that its soil had been cleansed of terror networks if any and demand for specific information to the contrary for Pakistan to take action, as done on information over American Canadian hostages freed and delivered through a swift commando action last year.
At this juncture, Bilawal at the Woodrow Wilson Think Tank in Washington has called for elimination of the Haqqani network in Pakistan, subscribing to the Indian-inspired American view, which is completely discordant with the categorical Pakistani declaration. Just when one was beginning to credit Bilawal over his spontaneous repartee with an Indian journalist during his Davos World Economic Forum outing; his inexperience in politics has betrayed his hybrid nature at the Washington Think Tank where he has spoken on mere assumptions. This only indicated a puerile doctored attempt to sound credible to his American audience.
A renewed spate of terrorism engineered by India inside Pakistan besides violations across the international boundary and ceasefire line in Kashmir now termed the Line of Control, requires a 24/7 hawk-eye vigil over the enemy manoeuvres. India has thus far succeeded to divert world attention from its crimes in the occupied territory of Kashmir by orchestrating the terrorism bogey with its new-found strategic partner which was fast getting exposed by the intifada in Kashmir just as in Palestine.
One watches vivid and touching pictorial documentation of Indian brutalities in occupied Kashmir and the fearless unarmed youth uprising against teargasing, pellet-gunning and torturing Indian troops; tens of thousands of men and women including female students congregating with bodies of the martyred wrapped in Pakistani flag and chanting freedom on an almost daily frequency. All this and the unique incident of the opposition the other day even in the sham State Assembly of Indian occupied Kashmir chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad,’ is not only writing on the wall for India, but also rubbishes its diversionary clamouring against Pakistan for foaming trouble in its occupied territory.
With Daesh after Al-Qaeda and the various religious sounding proxies being effectively blunted by the Russians in Iraq, Syria and now Afghanistan, the US left with little excuse to carry on with the military campaign in Afghanistan, was coming under increasing criticism even within the United States over persisting with the 17-year long failed assault strategy. Whether it is Steve Cole underscoring Pakistan’s importance in solving the Afghan problem; Senator Rand Paul questioning the wisdom of pumping fifty billion US Dollars annually in the bottomless war, or of the 500 cases put to testimony in the US, 95% of which were found not linked to terrorism, only reinforces the fact that the war on terror was a hoax just as the WMDs in Iraq.
Frustration is writ large in Trump’s volte face saying it was no longer elimination of terrorism from Afghanistan but the China-Russia Alliance which was the real impending threat to US interests. This should be an eye opener for Afghanistan much less its imperial stooges like Karzai, Ashraf Ghani or Abdullah Abdullah who will soon be left to discover that they had been used and must now brace up for another characteristic imperial desertion, though not before ensuring that Afghanistan became a permanent basket case, as done by it in Iraq; another Muslim country.
James Mattis sheepishly drifting to exclaim that the US was in Afghanistan not to conquer but to watch, says it all. The fact is that Trump had to per force find another plank to justify continued US presence in the region; and therefore the China-Russia emerging threat coinage to its stakes in the region; stakes which it has never elaborated. The Sino-Soviet regrouping contrary to the imperial objectives of expansionism and exploitation was one of peaceful and reciprocal collaboration; a message of harmony and sovereign co-existence for the collective good of the global community, and hence the development of over half a dozen Belt and Road initiatives to which not only China and Russia but also Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and several other countries have keenly alluded. Refusing to recognize emerging ground realities, the US Camp along with India was finding the development of CPEC hard to digest, as it was fast gaining currency across the world.
With its terrorism bogey and mantra fast dying down, it is in the interest of the imperial camp to join hands in the OBOR spirit rather than insisting on profiting from chaos and persisting with its battering of Afghanistan and incursions across Pakistan; particularly in Balochistan and Karachi courtesy its Indian proxy using the Afghan refugee settlements to camouflage their sleepers and agents, remnants of which Pakistan was determined to eliminate.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.

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