Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Pakistan's Dicey Ménage à Trois

Pre-emption. Striking at foreign sovereign territory at will whenever it feels like it. The USA continues to be unapologetic over its killing of at least 18 innocent Pakistani villagers, including 8 women and 6 children.

The US State Secretary, Condoleezza Rice has defiantly defended US policy of launching attacks, even on innocents, merely on the basis of dodgy intelligence about terrorist whereabouts.

In this wanton murder of villagers in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, the USA has been consistent, if not anything, in its ruthless, callous and arrogant policy of killing 'others' as it once did in Vietnam.

And Americans wonder why the world hates their country!

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz warned America that Pakistan cannot accept further US violations of its sovereignty in the manner the latter had cold bloodedly demonstrated in the attack on the Damadola area bordering Afghanistan. Shaukat has to make those brave noises for domestic consumption to appease Pakistan’s very angry public, who have been calling for America's blood.

In reality Pakistan knows it cannot overreact to American arrogance. For all we know, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Pakistan military Intelligence had in reality been the source of those dodgy information that led to the US attacks.

On a bilateral level Pakistan has to eat humble pie as it continues its overt alliance (of convenience) with the US, and its covert alliance (of national strategy) with its Pashtun brethren, the Taliban (and thus al Qaeda). The Pakistanis have to balance this political and hostile ménage à trois for its higher objective of securing Kashmir, an overpowering national obsession over which it has had 3 wars with India.

Pakistan worries over the US playing the India card against her higher interest. It views the growing cosiness between the USA and its archenemy, India, with increasing apprehension, which means that for her national interest, there is all the more reason for Pakistan to nurture its covert links with the Taliban, and to support the Islamist militants regain its pre-eminent position in Afghanistan.

An additional factor of concern that will undoubtedly ensue from the US double airstrikes in Damadola would be the fresh incitement for some Pakistanis to act against American interests a la al Qaeda. As President Bush grows more frenetic for some high quality results of its anti-terrorist war to show the American people, his military and intelligence have unwittingly lend greater motivation for more people to join and support those terrorists.

(1)nThe True Obsession of Pakistan!
(2) Pakistan & Osama Playing Footsie?
(3) Pakistan - America's Afghan Problem
(4) Pakistan short changing US

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