Thursday, December 25

Same person, 2 jobs, 2 opinions - welcome to Pakistan

Now this is why I said in my post few days back.

"so what will you do if Pakistan does not do what you want them to do?"

Here's a fascinating reason why. This is a column written in one of Pakistan's main newspapers. And he talks about how the same person, Ambassador Hussein Haqqani, speaks from two sides of his mouth. I am going to quote this imaginary conversation with Hillary Clinton and US Ambassador Haqqani at length:

Haqqani: Madam Secretary, as I said to the New York Times on Nov 27, 2008: "It is unfair to blame Pakistan or Pakistanis for these acts of terrorism even before an investigation is undertaken".
Clinton: But Husain, on October 10, 2007 (not that long ago), you testified to the American people, through the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. In it you said that, "Pakistan continues to be a major centre for Islamist militancy… Radical Islamists who came from all over the world to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan went on to become allies of Pakistan's military intelligence apparatus, which used them to fight Indian control over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir as well as to expand Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan." So it seems that it may indeed be fair to blame Pakistan, no?
Haqqani: Madame Secretary, as I said to your friend George Stephanopolous on November 30, 2008, "The important thing is, everybody in the world is now coming round to agreeing that the government of Pakistan, the state of Pakistan, the military of Pakistan and even the intelligence services are not directly involved. That's the good news."
Clinton: George used to be a friend, but that's off-topic. I remember right after the Daniel Pearl kidnapping, you wrote a marvellous op-ed in the New York Times. It was like an early Valentine's Day gift for General Musharraf, published on Feb 13, 2002, and titled "Trying to Create a New Pakistan". In it you said, that "For now, Pakistan's leaders need to acknowledge that, in the strategic struggle with India, Pakistan nurtured the formation of terrorist cells that are capable of acts like kidnapping Mr. Pearl. If Pakistan is to make a clean break with such policies, it will have to begin cooperating with India by exchanging intelligence and agreeing to extradite wanted terrorists."
Haqqani: Madame Secretary, I have been telling you and everyone else in Washington DC that the US needed to ditch the dictator Musharraf, but you and your government took too long to take action.
Clinton: Well, Musharraf's been gone for four or five months now. Has your government begun to exchange intelligence with India? Has it handed over wanted terrorists? After all this is your advice to your country. Now you have a chance to carry out that advice.
Haqqani: As I said to Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Late Edition, on Nov 30, 2008, "Pakistan has made it very clear this time around Pakistan is not going to give any quarter to any terrorist groups and we want to work with India. We will cooperate in the investigation and we'll make sure we get these guys if they have any connection to us."
Clinton: It's interesting that you mention the interview with Wolf. You see in all your written work you clearly stipulate that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is a product of the ISI. But when Wolf Blitzer, asked you if LeT was created by Pakistani intelligence, you said "Well, there's no way for me to know who created it."
Haqqani: Madame Secretary there isn't.
Clinton: Yes but in the Current Trends in Islamist Ideology (Volume 1, April 2005) paper you write that the LeT was, "founded in 1989 by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (and) backed by Saudi money and protected by Pakistani intelligence services." Then in Volume 3 (Feb 2006) you write that, "Lashkar-e-Taiba is closely linked to the Saudi religious establishment, as well as to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence". Again in Volume 4 (Nov 2006) you write that, "the Pakistani military and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) supported militant Sunni Islamist groups in the northwest frontier bordering Afghanistan, as well as in Punjab and Baluchistan." And then, in your book, you write that the ISI directly pays the head of the LeT (on page 306), and that the "ISI was not too keen to offend its jihadi partners" by shutting them down (on page 303). Sounds like you do have a way of knowing who created the LeT.
Haqqani: Well, the LeT-ISI link is no more. As I keep saying, Pakistan's government, its people, its military and its intelligence agencies are all clean. We have nothing to do with these non-state actors.
Clinton: Sounds great Husain. I wish I could believe you. You see it simply boggles the mind that within a year since when you testified to the House Armed Services Committee, that Pakistan has changed dramatically. What should I tell President Obama? What has changed that has suddenly cleaned up Pakistan?

I could have answered that hypothetical question. Actually, Pakistan has not changed at all, and will not do so either. It has and will remain the epicentre of terrorism till some basics are not understood by the Americans and the wider world. Shooting missiles at them will not help. Pressurising the democratic government will not help. Writing op-ed's will not work. The problem is and continues to remain, is with the Pakistani Army (and its various appendages such as the intelligence agency and the like). It is that body which is injurious to the health of that country, its neighbours, the world and and and. If you do not believe me, see what happens hypothetically above.

But again, I am certainly not holding my breath that the Americans will change their foreign policy. The Pakistani Army will remain top of the heap and will keep on creating problems. Ah! well, will not be surprised if war does break out. After all, that is what the Pakistani Army wants, a nice full fledged war which will justify its existence and give it another reason to rule over Pakistan for more decades. In any case, read the 2 faced pronouncements of the US Ambassador and the Leader of the Pakistani Opposition saying that Pakistan is a failed state and then wonder at the imbecility of it all.

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