By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –
According to a report published on 12th September 2008 in a Karachi based daily that, “a scenario of kidnapping of soldiers by (fake) Al-Qaeeda’ from Afghanistan and then taken into Pakistani territory could be staged to find an excuse to invade Pakistan”. It seems quite familiar with what happened in the case of Israeli invasion of Lebanon few years ago? Though Israel managed to bomb and destroyed the buildings but not the will of the people. A senior Pakistani defence analyst said, “We know who their friends are and how to get them. Pakistan is different and people are ready on both Eastern and Western sides”.
The recent US ground attacks on the Pakistani soil and killings of civilians have sent a clear signal, ‘no one should trust us (US)’. Instead of reviewing the failures internally in the war strategy in Afghanistan, US has externalise it which is dangerous. US should not blame others for its failures worldwide especially in Afghanistan?
If US invaded Pakistan (a) the current pro US ruling class is going to be wiped out (b) the so called ‘Pakistani Islamic Militants and others’ will have no choice but to fight with the Army against the US invasion, because if they didn’t their cover of being a ‘Indo – CIA extension’ would be blown and there would be no place for them to hide? (c) their new expansive SUVs and latest communication equipments were not dropped from heavens? (d) Pakistan Army would have no choice but to shoot down drones coming into its air space (e) if civilian government did not act, they have no future. (f) Who is going to stop from fighting of over 3.5 million military trained serving and retired personals other than the general public response?
Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani said, ‘that all elements of national force would safeguard the stability of the country’s borders with the help and support of the people under the new democratic leadership”. Pakistani armed forces are under intense public pressure to deliver for its existence.
One can see sense and difference US and in the European view of War on Terror, because James Appathurai NATO spokesman on 11th September 2008 told at a regular news briefing. “There are no ground or air incursions by NATO forces into Pakistani territory. Appathurai said “Let me stress, it is not NATO that will be sending its forces across the border.” “The NATO policy is, that our mandate, ends at the border,” NATO leads a force of some 53,000 troops in Afghanistan.
Earlier in an interview to ‘Spiegel’, a German magazine, the outgoing ISAF Commander McNeill confessed having inadequate trained forces to effectively counter terrorism in Afghanistan. He said, ‘Nato has only 47,000 soldiers instead of a required strength of 400,000 with a shortfall of 260,000 men. Nato is practically running on reserve, as very few units can be used in combat situation. While neighbouring countries want peace in the region, manning a volatile country with only 47,000 Nato troops and practically no well-trained Afghan Army, the mission to bring peace to the region seems an uphill task, McNeill said.
The Europeans are worried and nervous with hostile US policies which are reigniting the fears of ‘Cold War’, which again was fought in Afghanistan with the Soviets in 1980s. The Europeans knows that no one is going to invade US and there is no shortage of people who say, ‘9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job. We all know millions have been killed and displaced in Iraq in the name of never existed ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’.
Many believe and come with evidence that Iraqi invasion is about oil and Israel including BBC’s Panorama program and Afghan invasion is to do more with the encircling of China in which Pakistan is the only hurdle then fighting terrorism. A senior analyst said, ‘I don’t know if US has ever reflected upon that, ‘what will happen if China released its US$ reserves or change it into another currency’? US should stop fighting ‘wars’ on credits and must investigate who benefited the most from the recent ‘sub prime home mortgage’ crisis?
It is irrelevant what Hamid Karzai or Zardari or Gilani says because they are join together from the hip, what matters is what people on the ground say and do. Historically US, is in habit of putting too much pressure on its friends and in the end they collapse. Chinese are clever people they understand the politics so the cancellation of spineless Zardari’s planned trip to China is not going to make much difference?
On the other hand US must tackle rise of extremism and fundamentalism in its own backyard. The rise of extremism and fundamentalism in the US generally and Bush administration specially is very concerning and dangerous. “God told me to go to war in Iraq”, said President Bush few years ago and now Republican vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin according to the online paper, Huffington Post and also a video on YouTube said, “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God…That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.” In the same occasion, she also asked her audience to pray for an energy related matter—a $30 Billion gas pipeline project that she supports: “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that.”
A review of by Ed Kalnins, the senior pastor of Wasilla Assembly of God, offers a provocative sketch of Palin’s long-time spiritual home. Kalnins has preached that the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq were part of a “world war” over the Christian faith, one in which Jesus Christ had called upon believers to be willing to sacrifice their lives. He has said, “We need to develop as believers the instinct that we are at war, and that war is contending for your faith. … Jesus called us to die.”
It is time for the US to reflect on the 9/11 incidents and look for the unanswered questions inside. One does not hang some one with just a confession without full investigation? There is a legitimate demand of full criminal investigation of the 9/11 terrorist incidents according to US law.
One wonders is United States a free country and who is running and protecting its interests? Certainly Israelis are the only people who can manipulate the US diplomatic, military and security apparatus to avenge even their biblical grievances. President Bush has used word ‘Crusade’ in his speech after 9/11.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award wining investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London)