NATO Should ‘Do More’

Do More, and cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan are false covers by which the United States wants to attack Pakistan.

By Sajjad Shaukat

During her interview with the BBC on July 18 this year in wake of her visit to Pakistan US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Pakistan to ‘do more’ to counter terrorism. She elaborated, “There are still additional steps that we are asking and expecting Pakistan to take.” In a threatening style, Ms. Clinton also stated, “there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that if an attack against the United States be traced to be Pakistani, it would have a very devastating impact on our relationship.”

Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden has indicated during an interview with the ABC television, “everyone knew in these summer months, when they (Taliban) can infiltrate from Pakistan under the cover of foliage and the rest and it is open that there would be more deaths.”

Surprisingly, Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta has also called on Pakistan to “take serious measures against the militants groups” who launch attacks on Afghan targets from secure havens inside Pakistan.

However, ‘do more’ maxim is not new one as it is part of old blame game of Washington against Pakistan. In this regard, Barack Obama, during his election campaign had very vocally said in his various speeches regarding Pakistan to ‘do more’ against the Al-Qaeda-related insurgents in the tribal areas�stated in a threatening tone during his first debate that if “Pakistan is unwillingly or unable to act, then we should take them by sending our troops to the safe-havens of FATA”. In the past, Sen. Carl Levin, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee betrayed frustration with Pakistan’s failure to eliminate militants’ hideouts, suggesting that the government in Islamabad was not doing enough. But we cannot ignore these statements as politically motivated. Even US military and intelligence high officials have continuously been accusing Pakistan of cross-border terrorism and an increase of militancy in Afghanistan.

It is notable that Pakistan’s armed forces have broken the backbone of the Taliban militants in Swat, Dir, Buner, South Waziristan and other tribal areas by sacrificing their own lives. In the recent months, high officials of America and other western countries have been highly appreciating the military operations led by the Pak Army, donating million of dollars to Islamabad, while they have again revived old blame game of doing more against terrorism including infiltration in Afghanistan. In fact, it is part of conspiracy against Pakistan.

When military operations started on June 29, 2008, from Khyber agency, Prime Minister Gilani had stated that there were “several enemies of the country” and “foreign hands were also involved in the acts of terrorism”. Afterwards, Pakistan’s military and civilian high officials have repeatedly indicated that India is supporting insurgency in Pakistan from Afghanistan. This fact has also been pointed out by Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik and ISPR spokesman Maj-General Athar Abbas.
It is mentionable that more than 15,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the guise of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Indian Border Road Organization (BRO) is being used in facilitating weapons to the anti-Pakistan agents. While, New Delhi has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, but on ground, has established 200 foreign offices and training camps where RAW’s intelligence officials with the help of Khad, are doing their utmost to destabilise Pakistan. Every mercantile shops run by Indians have a clandestine intelligence office. In Wakhan too, a religious Madrassa of the Indian Muslim clerics is functioning under the patronage of RAW and Mossad. Very young boys including Afghans, recruits are mostly Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians who also come from Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan. Thus more than 20,000 ideologically motivated terrorists and suicide bombers have been trained in Afghanistan. Besides, they have also been made to learn Pashto and traditions of Pathans. They are regularly infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers, they join the Taliban militants to fight against Pakistan’s security forces. They have destroyed girl’s schools, video shops and other installations including brutal beheading of captured personnel. These miscreants also conducted a number of suicide attacks and bombblasts in Pakistan, killing a number of innocent persons and personnel of the security forces.

It is noteworthy that during military operation of Bajaur, hundreds of Taliban insurgents, composed of Uzbeks, Arabs, Chechens, Tajiks had overran a Pakistani outpost on a strategic hilltop in the Loi Sam area near the supply route commonly used by Afghan militants to aid their comrades, fighting against Pak troops from the Afghan province of Kunar. In that context, BBC had quoted Maj-Gen Tariq Majid pointing out that Pakistani troops have killed 1,000 Islamic militants in the Bajaur tribal area including foreign fighters from Egypt, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

In this connection, on July 17, 2008, USA Today wrote, “Afghanistan has been drawing a fresh influx of jihadi fighters from Turkey, Central Asia, Chechnya and the Middle East, one more sign that al-Qaeda is becoming the most active front of the war on terror”.

It is of particular attention that instead of Pakistan, Afghanistan shares a common border with the Asian Republics. So, all the foreign insurgents are entering Pakistan through Afghanistan which has become a gateway in this respect. Even the top leadership of Al Qaeda is also in Afghanistan along with its headquarter. This fact could be judged from in-camera interview of Al Qaida leader, Sheikh Saeed with a journalist of Pakistan’s private TV channel from Afghanistan on July 21, 2008.

Notably, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. Therefore, India and Israel with the tactical support of America are creating instability in the country. In this respect, Indo-Israeli lobbies are working in the US and other western countries in order to malign Islamabad. With the help of particularly American media, these lobbies are propagating that the next terror-plan to attack the US homeland will be prepared in Pakistan.

On May 29, 2010, while quoting the US officials, under the caption, “Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike”, The Washington Post disclosed: “The US military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country’s tribal areas…ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration’s need for retaliatory options.” The Post further explained: “The US options for potential retaliatory action rely mainly on air and missile strikes, but could also employ small teams of US Special Operations troops already positioned along the border with Afghanistan.”

Nonetheless, to ‘do more’ and cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan are false covers by which the United States wants to attack Pakistan.

Returning to our earlier discussion, instead of Islamabad, NATO should ‘do more’ against the new brand of militancy. In this context, first of all it should seal off Afghan border with the Asian Republics from where the foreign fighters enter Afghanistan and reach Pakistan. Moreover, US must urge Karzai regime to close all the training camps and Indian consulates which are conspiring against the integrity of Pakistan. In this context, US should better pressurise Afghanistan instead of Pakistan to ‘do more’ against the insurgents.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations. Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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