By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
“The national army of Pakistan need to be saved from the selfish and opportunist mafia without any further delay. Pakistan Army lost approximately 763 troops in 1965 war against India but unfortunately number of troops killed in the so-called fraudulent war on terror is crossing 1100 according to news sources in 2007”.
What did Pakistan achieved out of it and at what cost. Pakistan Army is disciplined professional but for how long the officers and soldiers keep quite that is a question policy makers in the western capitals are asking? Some of them are asking whose agenda armed forces of Pakistan are following and for how long they will tolerate?
There are two types of people in Pakistan one who hate the policies of the US and have no personal interests; the others had compromise national interests of the state. Their actions and policies in the current ‘fraudulent war on terror’ are harming Pakistan’s Armed Forces as an institution more than enemy outside. The West is re -considering the war on terror and looking for exit. Not to mention the growing opinion that West had lost the so-called war on terror.
Pakistani nation is traumatized by the terrorism and counter terrorism measures especially after Islamabad operation, killings and suicide bombings in Wazirstan. The recent Presidential ordinance to pardon politicians and officials who are corrupt, looters, sellers of national interests, and criminals has further deteriorated the morale of the Pakistani Nation as whole and armed forces specially.
I wrote on 20th July 2007 in The Frontier Post, “Those who have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq are having a bad time but their egos are stopping them to accept the failure of their policy. My advice to them would be to cut the losses and get out of the mess because; people don’t want to be occupied.”
The October 2007 report published by Oxford Research Group says, “The ‘war on terror’ has been a disaster and British forces should be withdrawn from Iraq immediately”
“Towards Sustainable Security” Oxford Research Group International Security Report 2007 by Professor Paul Rogers, published in October 2007 says, that “Britain’s aggressive foreign policy has played into the hands of al- Qaeda and other militant groups.”
ORG calls “Britain and America to withdraw from Iraq, scale back operations in Afghanistan and halt ‘antagonistic practices’ such as holding terror suspects without trial. But, even if such measures were adopted, it would still take ‘at least ten years to make up for the mistakes made since 9/11.” ‘Failure to make the necessary changes could result in the war on terror lasting decades,’ it adds.
The think-tank’s recommendations are contained in a 148-page report, Towards Sustainable Security – Alternatives to the War on Terror. Removing the Taliban from Afghanistan was a major boost for al-Qaeda and the invasion of Iraq has turned the country into a training ground for violent jihadists, it says.
Report author Paul Rogers said: ‘every aspect of the war on terror has been counterproductive, from the loss of civilian life through to mass detentions without trial. In short, it has been a disaster. ‘Whatever the problems with Iran, war should be avoided at all costs – the mistakes already made will be completely overshadowed by the consequences of a war with Iran.’
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Michael Moore MP said: ‘The concept of the “war on terror” is now wholly discredited.’
On 9th October 2007 while speaking to the Home Affairs committee, Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has told MPs there is a ‘mounting’ risk of an attack. He also claimed the number of conspirators or a would-be terrorist involved is growing and the “magnitude” of their ambitions is increasing. He warned that the number of terror plots in the UK is on the increase.
It is the occupation and constant provocation by the allies and partners, ‘making people suicidal’. The bombing of Mosques, religious places, insults and humiliations by the so-called western intellectuals is adding fuel to the fire. They have also started war of intellectual terrorism by publishing derogatory cartoons and honouring the abusers of the Prophet of Islam.
The double games by the US and allies in Pakistan are not helping at all. They are seemingly supporting Indian agenda to harm Pakistan by supporting terrorist activities in Wazirstan, Baluchistan and also attacking Chinese engineers. So what is Pakistan’s leadership doing? I think they should walk out of this fraudulent war and start the process of reconciliation with the brave and patriotic tribals of Pakistan without any delay.
Pakistan is a victim of terrorism since the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 by the Soviets but it never reached to a point where people started blowing themselves and killing fellow Pakistanis. Yes Afghanis, Iraqis and now Pakistanis are attacking their own security services and killing their own people for various reasons, which are not justifiable. A suicide bomber is convinced that security services who should be protecting him are now serving the foreign interests and not national interests. Some critics say it is an Indo – US plan to fan sectarian and ethnic terrorism in Pakistan.
The attacks on the Pakistan armed forces by whoever is part of the conspiracy to disrepute the armed forces and distant them from the people of Pakistan. Its time the military strategists should start listening to the people of Pakistan and feel their pulse.
It is the occupation and constant provocation, which is making people extremists, fundamentalists, and walking time bombs. Occupation is the main cause of most of the violence in the world. It is quite strange that wherever US goes, suicide bombings, sectarian and ethnic killings go sky high. How difficult is it for the US policy makers to understand that people don’t want to be occupied. Afghanistan is a graveyard of empires and imperialists.
Suicide bombing is not a moral or religious issue that is why Hindus are doing in Sri Lanka and Japanese Budhist kamekazis did in the second WWII. It is an act of desperation against the policies of injustice, humiliation and insults. Those who forced some one to commit such an act are equally responsible because it is cause and effect. So when talk about terrorism and extremism also mentions occupationism and provocationism.
There were no suicide bombings in Iraq before the illegal occupation now more than 800+, there were no suicide bombings in Afghanistan now more than few dozens, there were no suicide bombings in Pakistan now more than dozens.
A very senior analyst told me few days ago in London; “Some circles in Europe and US want to disintegrate Pakistan into small ethnic states”. He further said, “Chinese are quite concerned with the current policies, yes Chinese President might have asked for the protection of its citizens, but he might never asked to kill Pakistanis when Chinese citizens were already released.
The NATO and US should devise an exist strategy and Pakistan should help them leave respectfully without further self-harming.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is award winning senior investigative journalist and writer on international terrorism, security and foreign policy based in London)