By Mohammad Jamil:
LAST week, US President Donald Trump while
unveiling his foreign policy for Afghanistan and South
Asia at Virginia said: “Today, 20 US-designated foreign terrorist organisations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan — the highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world. For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict. And that could happen.” He has decided d to send more troops to Afghanistan, what he says, to establish peace and progress in Afghanistan. But his strategy is fraught with dangers, as this region houses four of the six declared nuclear powers. Anyhow, his policy has exacerbated divisions in Afghanistan. Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (Hekmatyar), which is now part of the political system, questioned Trump’s decision for sending more troops to Afghanistan.
He reportedly said: “Nearly 150,000 well-equipped American and NATO troops have been fighting against their armed opponents since October 2001; and they have killed hundreds of thousands and displaced and maimed others. However, they have failed to bring peace to the country,” Professor Dennis Etler, American political analyst and professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, in an interview with Press TV exposed US imperialism. He said: “Afghanistan serves as an essential staging ground for US imperialism’s destabilizing the heart of Eurasia and disrupting its integration into Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.” In other words, Donald Trump wants to use Afghanistan for regional and global hegemony. Despite the fact that Pakistan was the US ally and NATO’s non-NATO ally and gave tremendous sacrifices since it entered into defence pacts with the West and bilateral agreement with the US, Pakistan was given a rough deal.
Of course, Pakistan had always wished to maintain long-term, multi faceted and durable strategic ties with the US for the realization of shared objectives. However, Pakistan made it clear that mutual respect and co-operation at military, intelligence and diplomatic levels should be the hallmark of relations between the two countries. But America’s dubious role of propping India through civil nuclear agreement and its refusal to sign similar agreement with Pakistan, and also role for India in Afghanistan are the reasons for strained relations. Pakistan sees US-India nexus to destabilize Pakistan. One can visualize from the planning and action by the TTP militants who attacked GHQ, Mehran Naval Base and Kamra Base that intelligence and equipment must have been provided by alien intelligence networks. Anyhow, the US always pressurized Pakistan into doing more, and often said that Pakistan must be sensitive to the US security interests.
The question is what Pakistan has been doing since the US invasion of Afghanistan, if not this, even to the detriment of its own national interests? In fact, since 1950s, Pakistan has been looking after American interests after it joined military pacts with the West and bilateral agreement with the US? When US spy plane U-2 took off from Buda Ber near Peshawar and was shot down by Soviet Union, whose interest Pakistan had served? It was due to the dependency syndrome and inept leadership that Pakistan had been sucked into the big-power game or rivalry. Pakistan once again became the frontline state after Soviet forces entered Afghanistan in late 1970s, which was indeed done to serve interest of the US and the West. It was Pakistan that was making all the sacrifices, yet drawing flak for their failures and foibles in Afghanistan.
But ironically, all the favors were bestowed on India. Pakistan had indeed helped Afghanistan in having smooth elections by sealing the borders, and handed over prisoners as asked by Afghan government. Pakistan had arrested al Qaeda’s leaders and handed them over to the US. But the US continued with the litany of do more, despite enormous sacrifices by Pakistan after joining the war on terror. Members of the US administration, US Generals, think tanks and western media continued their campaign to malign Pakistan on one pretext or another. They accused Pakistan army and the ISI of supporting the Taliban and insisted that some members of Pakistan’s premier agency were in contact with the Taliban and other outfits. In fact, the US has the temptation for regime change in the countries that do not fall in line with it. US intervention in Iraq, Libya and Syria is testimony to the fact that the US tends to destabilize or destroy the countries that offer a palpable threat to Israel. As a matter of fact, after the 2nd World War the US as a super power had arrogated to itself the right to run the world according to its whims and fancy.
There is no denying the fact that conspiracies were hatched, which were responsible for assassination of Lumumba and removal of Indonesian president Soekarno. Unarguably, the US had also played its role in stoking Arab-Israel conflict, Iran-Iraq war and supported the contra saboteurs against the revolutionary government of Nicaragua. The list of its interferences, subversions and overthrowing of Third World governments was too long to be elaborated. American leaders have never hidden their motives that they want to dominate the world and control its resources. There is no denying that the US has been interfering into Pakistan’s affairs because of dependency syndrome, which has been the basic reason for acquiescing to US demands. However the world is changing; and the US alone cannot decide about the fate of the nations.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.
By Mohammad Jamil: