Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Paki's Sacrificial Lamb for Kashmir

Can a diplomat be arrested let alone incarcerated? There are certain protocols established under international conventions which respect the sanctity of a diplomat.

But then, some countries don’t believe in international laws or conventions, unless of course those suit them.

Abdul Salam Zaeef was a former Taliban ambassador in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Taliban may be repugnant but nevertheless was the government in Kabul. When the USA wanted to attack and invade Afghanistan after the 9/11 incident, the Americans gave a warning to Pakistan – their usual “either you’re with us or against us” stuff.

The real and probable sole obsession of Pakistan has been, is and will be Kashmir, a province over which it has been battling India in three wars and for close to 60 years. The thought of the USA coupling up with arch enemy India against it over Afghanistan was too overwhelming - it will lose Kashmir to the hated India. It decided to abandon its erstwhile ally and kinfolks the Taliban and shift across to the US side to neutralize the Indians – Kashmir must not be lost over Afghanistan.

What the Pakis did then was to de-recognise the Taliban regime and arrest its ambassador, Zaeef. I am not sure whether the international convention on the diplomatic corp allows this sort of finicky fiddling. Anyway, the Pakis claimed Zaeef lost his diplomatic immunity, and made a present out of him to their new ally, the US.

The US incarcerated Zaeef in the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention camp, which would be another query to consider. Assuming it is against international convention to lay one’s hands on the ambassador of an enemy nation, then the US has been accomplice to the Pakistani violation of international conventions.

After 4 years of imprisonment by the US, Zaeef has been released. He returns to Kabul soon. There have been attempts to suggest that Zaeef supports the current Afghan government headed by an American nominated candidate, but the family and friends of Zaeef denied such a lie. They said that Zaeef remains affiliated to the Taliban.

As expected, Zaeef’s relatives complained that instead of handing over a recognized diplomat to the US, Islamabad should have kept him as per the protocol, under house arrest in Pakistan. But the might of the unilaterally inclined sole super-power was too much for Pakistan to withstand.

Zaeef had to be the sacrificial lamb to Baal to keep the Kashmir option still open.

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