In a posting in March 2005 USA - Consistently Inconsistent! (2), I stated the following:
The only reason why Pakistan had succumbed to American demands that it joined the anti-Taliban and anti-al Qaeda Coalition had been nothing more than Pakistani self preservation.
Pakistan had assessed that an enraged America immediately post 9/11 in alliance with an anti-terrorist and anti-Pakistani India were far too intimidating for its own good. It HAD to ‘temporarily’ come across to the American side (with the unhappy implication that it could then be on the same side as archfoe India) for political expediency rather than genuine support of the USA.
It awaits an opportune moment to resume its alliance with the Taliban-Afghanistan, so necessary for its strategic objective of, and life-long obsession with Kashmir. The eventual reckoning with giant India requires Pakistan to have space (to trade for time, hence Afghanistan) and resources (Taliban) to fight its nemesis. Taliban-Afghanistan had provided and will once again provide that essential strategic factor in Pakistan quest for Kashmir.
I discussed the Pakistani pretend-action against the Taliban which I brought up again in another posting The True Obsession of Pakistan!. In this second posting I provided my reason why I reckon the Pakistani weren’t about to finish off their kinfolks, the Pashtun Taliban. If the Americans had expected that, then they would be dreaming.
I have maintained my belief of Pakistan’s predicament and political manoeuvring in:
(1) Pakistan - America's Afghan Problem
(2) Paki's Sacrificial Lamb for Kashmir
(3) Pakistan short changing US
(4) Pakistan's Dicey Ménage à Trois
Now, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf himself has confirmed my belief. In an interview with CBS show 60 Minutes, he said that after the 9/11 attacks, the US threatened to bomb his country if he did not cooperate with the US campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The American official who passed the Bush Administration’s threat to Musharraf's intelligence director was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Musharrafrevealed: "The intelligence director told me that Mr Armitage said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age.' I think it was a very rude remark."
He explained why he had to acquiesce: "One has to think and take actions in the interest of the nation, and that's what I did."
And of course, never dropping his eyeball on Kashmir in the longer term.
He also revealed that Armitage gave Pakistan seven points to comply with, two of which were the requirements to (1) end logistical support for bin Laden, and (2) give the US blanket overflight and landing rights for military and intelligence flights.
Hope you readers understand the significance of the term “blanket … rights”. It’s like surrendering your sovereign airspace to a foreign nation.
Musharraf agreed to all seven US requests the same day, but he was furious by US demands that Pakistan turn over its border posts and bases for the US military to use. He said some demands were ludicrous, including one insisting he suppress domestic expression of support for terrorism against the United States.
He said: "If somebody's expressing views, we can not curb the expression of view.”
Why doesn’t Musharraf ask the Palestinians and Lebanese this question?
Musharraf had reacted with displeasure to Bush’s statements two days ago that if he (Bush) had firm intelligence bin Laden was in Pakistan, he would issue the order to go into that country.
Musharraf declared: "We wouldn't like to allow that. We'd like to do that ourselves"
Musharraf was being diplomatic in not saying “if you think Hezbollah or the Iraqis are bad, you haven’t dealt with us Pashtuns yet.”
Anyway, he continued, putting on a brave face and spin: "After 9/11, Pakistan made a strategic decision to join the war on terror and has since been a steadfast partner in that effort. Pakistan's commitment to this important endeavour has not wavered and our partnership has widened as a result."
Mr Armitage was not immediately available to comment and a Bush administration official said there would be no comment on a reported conversation between Mr Armitage and a Pakistani official.
Why has Musharraf embarrassed his American host?
Apart from the tit for tat to Bush’s arrogant undiplomatic statement of militarily gate-crashing the territory of a foreign sovereign nation, a kind of diplomatic "don't f**king try it", Musharraf is facing enormous problems at the domestic front where he has been extremely unpopular for his support of the Americans. It’s one way of telling his enemies at home that he did it for Pakistan’s survival.
A Pakistani told me he wouldn’t be surprised if Musharraf is assassinated or more likely, toppled by his own army colleagues. Most Pakistanis hate the Yanks, and detest Musharaaf for making Pakistan a US 'ally'.
But mark KTemoc's words, the Yanks have created a very unforgetful and unforgiving enemy out of Pakistan for humiliating the latter by wiping its boots on Pakistan's sovereignty, pride and honour. Pakistan will of course continue to pretend to be its buddy.