For the love of Haqqanis
September 27, 2011 § 25 Comments
The pressure on Pakistan is mounting with US officials heaping direct allegations on Pak army for having connections with and supporting the Haqqani network. The army and ISI, as usual, continues to deny any and all allegations.
The response of ISPR is somewhat like this: “Haqqanis? Who Haqqanis? We don’t know any Haqqanis. And even if we did (and we’re not saying we do), we don’t have any connections with them. And even if we did have connections with them (and we’re not saying we do), every intelligence agency tries to keep contacts with terrorist organizations. And even if we did support them (and we’re not saying we do), we would never endorse their act of attacking the US embassy in Afghanistan.”
The Prime Minister seems quite clueless over whatever is happening and is playing to the tune of army. He’s like “Come on boys, let’s gather around and make some noise for our patriotic army because the army dudes are so good as to not disrupt our government so far.” Needless to say, an all-parties conference profits PPP politically by sending out an ‘all is well’ message to the masses at large.
As a common Pakistani, I am a tad bit more concerned about the affiliation-with-Haqqani part. I passingly referred to it in a post back in 2010 too. Many past events clearly show that something is not quite right in army’s so-called intents in fighting terrorists organizations. Here’s a list of some of these past events:
- Misreporting by Pakistani army about Ilyas Kashmir, an eminent Al-Qaeda strategist and among the most-wanted guys. Pak army declares him dead (to mislead US and let the Kashmiri have some health-reviving in the tribal regions?). A while later, Saleem Shehzad breaks the news that the guy’s alive and that causes quite an uproar. Later, though, he is killed in a drone attack.
- US raid in Abottabad: So far, not ONE statement from army officials says that OBL was not here. Any statements made about the raid merely condemn US cross-border intervention and do not talk about OBL’s presence. This only confirms one thing: OBL was having a cozy retirement in Pakistan and the army knew about it. At least some key officials in army or ISI were well aware of the fact.
- Mehran naval base attack: All evidences clearly tell of an internal involvement with the terrorists. Naval officials collaborated with the terrorists and provide them all help to carry out the attack successfully, which they did. A number of naval officials have even been arrested after the post-attack investigations over allegations of having helped the terrorists. The attack was a message from Al-Qaeda over the arrest of several of its supporters in the navy as pointed out by Saleem Shehzad’s article, an article which perhaps cost him his life.
- Saleem Shahzad’s murder: After receiving a number of direct threats from ISI because he broke stories of ISI’s ties with terrorists and its secret dealings with Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Saleem Shehzad was finally killed. Before being killed, he mailed a number of his colleagues stating that he feared he may be murdered by the ISI. These colleagues include Hameed Haroon, the editor and publisher of Dawn and Ali Dayan, Pakistan’s Director for Human Rights Watch. Few days after this mail, he was murdered. ISI, as always, as usual, denied any involvement.
And now the Haqqani issue. Pakistani army and ISI have always been short on smart decisions. Ever since the inception of Pakistan, we see very few wise strategic decisions made. From Ayub Khan to Yahya Khan down to Zia and Musharraf, we have seen one blunder after other being made. But army seems to take absolutely no cue from it. It stills clasps its ‘strategic assets’ (read home-grown terrorists) to its breast in the hope of using them some day in future in installing a friendly regime in Afghanistan. I think decades of a f***** up relationship with these terrorist organizations should have taught the army a lesson – that they don’t even give a shit about Pakistan or its security. They would bomb even the army if it contradicted with their version of Islam.
So what’s it gonna be? For now, Kiyani has got the political government on board with him in a bid to blackmail the US government into coming to his own terms – which, necessarily, are that let us do as much as we are doing and don’t make us go after the real terrorists; we won’t go after them because they are our strategic assets and we will need them in the future. That sums the army’s stance. Of course, US can’t compromise us while it still struggles in Afghanistan and it will eventually reconcile with Pakistan. However, to think that we have won or even profited from this episode, to think that this can bring us some good in the future, is the height of arrogant stupidity. Such acts will only isolate us from the rest of the world and God knows perhaps plunge us into the same reign of terror that the Taliban have unleashed in Afghanistan already and keep showing glimpses to, in Pakistan. Whereas Pakistan army is dreaming of using Taliban for its own ends, Taliban leadership dreams of an entire ‘caliphate’ under its rule. And may none of us be so damned and doomed to see that day!