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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Times Of India

26 March 2010

Beradar Pakistan

Tarun Vijay

Brother (Beradar in Pashto, the language the Taliban speak) Pakistan. Sounds so good. Hence Hillary Clinton wasn't lagging behind in this season of brothering Islamabadi jihadis. The warmth and the cosiness reflected the earlier Chinese and Afghan superlatives. And then was the turn of our dear "ally" in the global war against terror": Obama. First the civil nuclear deal was stated by the US ambassador to Islamabad to be "open for consideration", the hesitant rollback notwithstanding. Then we saw Washington's democratic powers establishing parity with the terror factory and the victim at the proposed Washington Nuclear Summit next month. See what a scene that would be: Gilani and good old friend Manmohan Singh sharing the plateful of concerns on terror. And now having stuffed Allah's army with infidel dollars, Hillary's statement comes as the icing on the cake with a layer of "Honey, you are fighting my war".

Sweet. Isn’t it?

And now the facets of the struggle.

Osma hiding in Pakistan ("Either in the northern tribal areas or in North Waziristan, or somewhere in that vicinity," CIA Director Leon Panetta told Washington Post in an interview). Pakistan is the biggest nuclear proliferator in the world. Pakistan is the epicentre of all terrorism. Pakistan mum on anti-India terror acts. Islamabad providing shelter and funds to terrorist organizations and now, the latest one is the open show of strength by terrorist organizations like LeT and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

Are all these, as per the eloquent speech of Hillary, part of the "Pakistan struggles my struggles" agenda?

When did you see Hillary Clinton positive on Indian concerns and democracy? Her "your struggle my struggle" statement is amazingly imprudent and shows an utter disregard for facts and history. If Pakistan is fighting the US's struggles, which is a tacit admission of the withering jihadi state becoming a US subterfuge, who is fighting for ending terrorism in the region and strengthening democratic elements? Is hiding Osama and keeping a menacing silence on Kasab's accomplices in Pakistan also a part of secretary Hillary's struggle? Is acting shamanistic ally to justify dollar grants on the western front and powering terrorists on the northern side and bleeding India also a part of the US-Pak "joint struggle"? Does this sense of "joint struggle" make the US deny India access to Headley, who is primarily India's offender?

Instead of strengthening a dictatorial power centre supported and bolstered by the army and ISI in Pakistan, the US would have done better by asking Pakistan's dollar-grabbing leaders to be actively helping India in its war on terror. If Pakistan is "struggling US struggles", who is India's honest ally in its struggle to protect democracy from terror attacks? Hillary shouldn't be unaware of what senior strategic affairs analysts like Ashley Tellis are wrting abou the "real nature" of Pakistan's struggle. I quote from a recent piece by him, "Recent arrests of high-profile Afghan Taliban leaders by Pakistan do not indicate a strategic change in Pakistan’s counterterrorism strategy. In reality, Pakistan wants to assume a leading role in negotiating and reconciling with the Afghan Taliban to ensure a friendlier neighbor after the United States withdraws."

Key conclusions:
• Despite the arrests of Mullah Beradar and other Taliban leaders (which were either inadvertent or self-serving), Pakistan's overall strategy of protecting the Afghan Taliban leadership has not changed.
• Pakistan is threatened by the 2011 drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, which it believes will leave behind an Afghan state with strong ties to its rival India.
• A true change in Pakistan's strategic calculations requires Islamabad to accept that the Taliban - and not India - are the greatest threat to success in Afghanistan.
• The lack of US leadership at the January London conference on Afghanistan allowed reconciliation with the Taliban to become a centerpiece of the endgame of international involvement.
• Pakistan's recent arrest of a few Taliban leaders is meant to exert control over the reconciliation process that Pakistan believes is imminent.

Would Hillary like to comment on it?

The US and India are two great democracies in the world and they must work together to ensure economic development and peace in the region. India would like to see a democratic and peaceful Pakistan and we would encourage all efforts in that direction. A happy and democratic Pakistan is what India wants but the one which deceptively colludes with Taliban, skirts the real issues to eliminate terrorism, refuses to cooperate with India on Kasab and still cribs to get more dollar grants. If dollars are the only factor that makes Pakistan work on terror, should the Indian government too be offering a few billion to Islamabad to get its act straight against terror groups working against India and holding huge demonstrations under Islamabad's eyes and protection?

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