War On Terror And Pirates Of Pakistan
By Dr Shahid Qureshi
On 24th July 2008, at International Institute of Strategic Studies in London I asked, Pakistani Foreign Minister HE Shah Mahmood Qureshi, ‘Foreign Minister your democratic government’s sole motto seems to be, ‘Visit US before US visits you’ because you just came from the USA and Prime Minister Gilani is going to USA too. On the other hand, ‘If US want to (visit) invade Pakistan’s tribal areas (FATA) then “SO BE IT”. NATO Military commander in Afghanistan have said, ‘approximately 400,000 troops required in Afghanistan for the security and stabilisation of the country. Please comment. His response was something like, “Pakistan will not allow any one to operate on its territory and we can deal with things better etc”. Well it was not as robust as one expect from a Nuclear State’s leader. I was referring to an interview to Spiegel, a German magazine of the outgoing ISAF Commander McNeill confessed having inadequate trained forces to effectively counter terrorism in Afghanistan. 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. “
Only God knows from where NATO going to get these 400,000 troops and how much they are going to cost? How long they are going to stay in the country? What would be economic consequences on the economies of the participant countries? One Taliban leader reportedly said, ‘if more occupying forces come to Afghanistan more body bags will go back’. It is time review the WOT policy to save human lives and misery from all sides.
Most of the Pakistani politicians, bureaucrats have palaces, villas, houses, flats, bank accounts, kids, wives and other wives living in London and US. They can’t afford to open their mouths? Some of them read US as us? A polite warning was given to Nawaz Sharif few weeks ago at London Heathrow Airport, when Zubair Gull, President of PML-N Britain, who was travelling with him, not only arrested at the airport but also taken to the police station for questioning. Mr Gull was released after paying off thousands of pounds outstanding balance to the Inland Revenue (Tax Office). Was it a coincident? Well Nawaz Sharif would be in London for a while now like Altaf Hussain?
Present government of compromised, beneficiaries of disgraceful National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), what people say, ‘dry cleaned crooks with NRO bleach’ is criminally toeing the foreign agenda without any doubt. Mr Zardari appointed his lawyer Law Minster, present wife of former CITI Bank official, Information Minister, his business partner and oil tycoon (Interior Minister) none of them are elected by the people of Pakistan. So what kind of democracy is it? People of Pakistan are in real dilemma when they see crooks, corrupt and compromised coming back to power and making millions. Is there any accountant in the world who could justify the growth in their wealth? They are eroding and looting Pakistan.
The so-called democratic government led by Asif Zardari continued the spineless foreign policy of General Musharaf. Was there any policy at all? Pakistan is still being run on daily basis while Zaradri is commuting between Pakistan and Dubai? Some one said, ‘Zardari did got PPP in his dowry (Jahaaz) and mostly people don’t care what they get for free’?
The great game of dismantling Pakistan was going on for few years but now it has taken pace and no one seems to be bothered? Multifaceted agenda is disintegrate Pakistan by (a) creating and fanning law and order chaos (b) crippling Pakistan economically (c) creating energy crisis (d) humiliation of Pakistan armed forces (e) taking over Pakistan’s nuclear assets. (f) Installing minority group people in powerful positions, which Zardari is already doing. Is it groundwork to use minority groups as collaborators? It did not fully work in Iraq but did brought chaos and destruction?
To achieve the above all the players are in place? One London based analyst said, ‘do you think it is a mere coincidence that people from a minority group are being placed on the highest positions in Pakistan including media, specially the appointments, postings and transfers after 18th February 2008 elections? People are watching carefully what Zardari & co are up to? It is more like following old colonial principle of divide and rule?
Dr Rehman Malik Interior Advisor to the Prime Minister, yesterday’s fugitive and today’s security expert, who failed to save his own leader, is making minor local issues international why and who for? Pakistan’s Shias are very well integrated with full liberty to practice their faith in harmony with the majority Sunni population. There was no need to form a Shia-Sunni Ulema (clerics) committee? There are approximately 13000 Sunni and 380 Shia madrassas in Pakistan, which are functioning peacefully according to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Khurshid Kasuri former Foreign Minister said to the Iranian Foreign Minister, “Pakistani Shias are not like Sunnis in Iran”. No doubt there would be minor religious tensions but internationalising them is like asking for trouble? What is happening in Kuram Agency now or in the past, Iranians have no control over it and they have their own big problems too. When tensions between Catholics and Protestants were at the height in Northern Ireland, Britain did not ask Italian Catholic Pope to intervene or sign an international Catholic – Protestant peace deal? Dr Rehman Malik is inviting trouble for future? Good doctors diagnose and contain disease not spread?
Zardari is known as the sole beneficiary of the political empire of Bhutto clan. Some people use to call ‘Benazir a Princess and Zardari a Pirate’. Well it seems pirate hasn’t changed much apart from behaving and dressing like Iranian leaders. The whole sale of political appointments of crooks and cronies is compromising the integrity of the country both nationally and internationally.
Zardari government could not find even full time ambassadors from Pakistan as they just asked outsourced cronies to take charge of London, Washington and now New York embassies of Pakistan. I am sure they will move back to their flats and villas in the next set up. Why can’t Pakistan have full time professional representatives trained in diplomacy instead of political cronies?
Those who become ‘Quaids’ (leaders) of their parties have moved to London and started telephonic speeches while people are committing suicides for lack of food? It seems like Pakistan is colonised and captured by collaborators, traitors, haji and non-haji smugglers, crook bankers, and corrupt mafia groups?
Those who were selling tickets in cinemas and making water pumps have become billionaires in last 20 years in Pakistan? Not a bad deal investing in politics? One can imagine the level of corruption and mafia control in Pakistan. When an ordinary Pakistani sees yesterday’s thieves and crooks appointed at the highest positions by so-called democrats. What they should do?
According to Dawn newspaper published on 23rd July 2008, ‘BB murder probe to cost over $100m’, Pakistan government has assured the United Nations it will provide all the money needed for an investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, well-informed sources here told Dawn. The assurance was conveyed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during a meeting with the UN officials on July 10. According to the sources, the investigation could cost Pakistan in excess of $100 million and take up to 14 months to complete. “There is no need to refer the request to the Security Council,” Mr Qureshi told reporters here after his meting with UN officials. An investigation sought by the UN Security Council would have been funded by the world body. The investigation of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harriri murder has so far cost $350 million. Besides, an investigation ordered by the UN Security Council would have been more intense and intrusive”.
Poor Pakistani taxpayers who don’t have clean drinking water are going to have to pay for this UN investigation. These leaders don’t trust and like anything-local Pakistani. They just like power. When not in power they go abroad in their villas. Witness of Benazir’s murder, chief security officer of Zardari & Co, Khalid Shenshah who was acting very suspiciously on the day of murder according to video footage shown on Aljazeera TV, was killed in broad day light in Karachi, like Police Inspector Haq Nawaz Sial, Murtaza’s murder’s main witness killed in his house. Why?
Fatima Bhutto accused Mr. Zardari of her father’s Murtaza Bhutto’s murder. Should Fatima Bhutto also request UN investigations into Murtaza Bhutto’s murder? Critics are saying both the witnesses were killed when Mr Zardari was in full control of the government machinery including intelligence agencies?
Moreover, UN is not an investigating body nor it has resources? As far as Rafique Hariri case is concerned, ‘who benefited the most, Israel because Syrian troops were withdrawn from Lebanon under pressure from the UN to reduce security threat to Israel, subsequent Israeli attack on Lebanon in July 2006 was probably part of the plan but Hizbullah resisted beyond imagination’ one senior analyst said.
Mr Zardari and his henchman Rehman Malik should think and reflect on the consequences of their actions starting from internationalising local minority issues to meddling with the provincial and federal affairs when it come to the national resources of oil, coal, gas and water of the country. It is a dangerous game.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award wining investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London)