Redeeming the Pride


George Bush has told Musharraf to “perform” rather than talk. What a choice of words! Sounds very vulgar to me. That echoes of the same garbage is heard from American poodles like Jack Straw and Kofi Annan, is more understandable. After all they owe their existence to the Americans. If it were not for American rescue operations in the two World Wars (remember Churchill’s begging across the Atlantic), “Great” Britain would be another German colony. After all the UN secretary-general also has to earn his bread and butter by toeing his Master’s line.

But this policy line need not be followed in Pakistan, not anymore. Last year Pakistan’s military leaders blinked at the first hint of threat from Colin Powel. Their swift and masterly retreat from Afghanistan after more than 20 years of Pakistani endurance gave the planners in the White house and Pentagon a new sense of power. From then onwards the Pakistanis saw retreat after retreat, swallowing pride at each stop and burying the countrymen into depths of bewilderment and despair. We were beginning to lose hope in our destiny and trust in the current leadership. Remarks were even being made that the generals cannot be trusted with the country’s security interests.

I have also been very critical of Musharraf since September last year. And there were good reasons for that. However his performance in the last week has not been bad. Before the General delivered his speech of 27th May, many of us held our breath fearing the announcement of another U-turn, another “unstinted support” or another tirade on the freedom fighters. It didn’t happen. Thank God for small mercies! Importantly it shut the Indians up for a few days. At least till such time that Vajpayee comes out of his hibernation and resurrects himself on his wobbly artificial knees. Till the Indians come up with some new antics and till their leaders spew some more venom, it is time for Pakistan to reassert. My only wish is that this current posturing by Pakistan, calling a spade a spade, is not a camouflage by the army leadership. Hopefully there are no underhand deals. While war is not at all desirable, it is important to display self-respect and honor not only to remind ourselves but to also to our obvious and potential adversaries. This, together with a proclaimed determination to brave the eventualities when chips are down, can act as a great deterrence.

The Indian military jingoism in December had started in the background of an earlier display of weakness by Pakistan on Afghanistan/Taliban issue. Then came the terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, most likely manufactured to serve the Indian purpose. It provided an excuse to launch New Delhi’s current military adventurism. One immediate reason was to divert the world attention from the carnage of Muslims in Gujarat. But there was more to it than just that. Never in the history of 55 years of Indo-Pakistan conflict have the Indians been so belligerent, so brave to threaten Pakistan openly of war. Imagine the whole quartet of senile leadership of India (Vajpayee, Advani, Jaswant and Fernandez), all of them found courage to come over to our doorstep and threaten us with annihilation. This was unprecedented. To do this now, they must be either totally mad or else someone was giving them extra strength from behind.

It is beyond any doubt that the current military posturing of India could not have happened without the tacit approval of Uncle Sam. The Americans are hand in glove in this Indian war maneuvers. Way back two odd years ago I wandered on an Indian website which described hypothetical scenarios (in quite detail) of a future war between India and Pakistan. In this war the Americans take military action in alliance with India to knock out Pakistan. The idea sounded pretty absurd two years ago. Now it makes a lot of sense. Was there a planning well in advance? Certainly now the ground seemed well prepared. Even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 one could see the Americans homing in on Kashmir; even as their missiles and bombs were raining over Afghanistan and Musharraf was being wooed as their key “ally”. Given the nature of threats and arrogant anti-Islamic statements emanating from Bush, Donald Rumsfield, and Paul Wolfowitz, it was predicted by quite a few in Pakistan that the next American targets would be the liberation movement in Kashmir and Pakistan’s nuclear assets. The game plan existed well in advance. and the current move is part of the “Grand Chess Board” (using Zbigniew Brezenski phrase). Not surprisingly the Western media’s chorus on “Islamic terrorism” has now focused on Pakistan and Kashmir. The chanting is getting louder by the day. What is conspicuous is their silence on Indian-Hindu terrorism.

Just a cursory look at the recent history will tell us that it is India, which is the epicenter of terrorism in the Asia.

1. Has the world forgotten the terrorist camps of Mukti Bahini created inside India all around the borders of East Pakistan in 1970-71? Pakistan was subjected to a ferocious campaign of Indian terrorism and dismembered before the eyes of the world.

2. Wasn’t it Indira Gandhi who started training the Tamil Hindu terrorists of LTTE? Terrorist training camps were set up in the Dera-Dhun’s Indian military academy in 1982 and then the LTTE terrorists were launched on Sri Lanka in batches of 500 each. The civil war in Sri Lanka and the bombings and killings of civilians in that country are still being financed and regulated from Tamil Nadu in India.

3. The continued destabilization of Nepal is part of another Indian operation. The assassination of Nepal’s King and his family was clearly Indian sponsored, quite likely with the complicity with their new allies across the Atlantic. The world continues to watch silently, as the civil war rages in Nepal. Thousands of Nepalese (soldiers as well as the opposition) have died this year and countless more will succumb. Either way it will be Nepal which will be the loser.

The root cause in all the above three examples of Indian terrorism is the grand Indian design to dominate its surrounding nations. Any country unwilling to submit to the hegemony is weakened by sabotage by the big bully. What other evidence is needed to prove that India is a mega-terrorist state?

Even within India there is a long list of state sponsored internal terrorist activities against the religious minorities. The desecration of Golden Sikh Temple, organized killing of 20,000 Sikhs in Delhi by Hindu mobs in 1984, the murder and rape of Christian missionaries, the destruction of Babri Masjid, the 1993 anti-Muslim riot in Bombay under supervision of the fanatical Bal Thackery and now the revolting holocaust in Gujarat. In each instance it is the rabid Hindu mob, which is incited by the fascist politicians of the RSS, Shiv Sena and VHP, and unleashed on the religious minorities under supervision of the state security forces. The list of these crimes is endless. This is the true face of India; it has always been like this. It is another matter that the ugly face of India is glossed over by India’s powerful media propaganda, the hype about “democracy” and the gyrating hips of the Bollywood girls.

In the days gone by, what used to baffle the Pakistanis was the failure of the Western leaders and their media to pinpoint the happenings in India with objectivity. But not any more! Especially since the earlier Western ambivalence has been supercede now by a open complicity with India as part of a strategic alliance. Muslim sovereignty anywhere in the world, either in the form of small groups or whole countries, has been declared Islamic-terrorism by the new Bush doctrine. The Indian leaders with a thousand years of hatred towards Muslims, have been given gift of a lifetime to jump on the bandwagon of anti Islamic crusade. While Indian terrorism continues within and without its borders, the Americans and the Brits find it quite appropriate to augment their strategic alliance with the Indian military, even as an Indo-Pakistan war looms on the horizon.

What should Pakistan do about it? For starters one must realize that all this is part of history in the life of any nation. There are no permanent friends or foes in the world politics. To bemoan the treachery of Americans or their Western allies is futile. It is more prudent not to be not to remain under any illusion about their designs. The World has never been just and shall never be, whatever the good Christians in the West preach to the rest of us. Weakness or a display of weakness invites aggression. We are no pushovers like Afghanistan or Palestine. The Indians realize that. The threats of war either from the Indians or Americo-Western alliance need to be handled with not only with tact but also with a display of courage. Buckling under pressure and abandoning self-respect may lead to eternal oblivion, with no chance of resurrection.

Musharraf has rightly dared the Indians with some courage. Now, why can’t we stand up to the Americans as well, verbally at least? How many deaths do we have to die at their hands? Can’t we summon up some courage and publicly tell them that enough is enough? Must we lose sight that they have their own strategic interest in this area and they need Pakistan more than we need them. We have given them all (Afghanistan, our skies, the airbases, FBI centers all over the country etc. etc.). There is nothing more to offer. A line needs to be drawn, the dangers of being pushed beyond the red-line should be warned to the “international” community. Any further display of our excellence in the “art of strategic U-turns” (borrowing Ayaz Amir’s words) would be suicidal. General Musharraf should realize that his own strength lies with the people of Pakistan, not with the Americans. About time he should rally the Pakistanis behind him. Alienations and civil unrest and God forbid a civil war, will play in the hands of Pakistan’s enemies. Musharraf will be well advised to distance himself from the image of an American lackey. We will all, then hold him high on our shoulders and shout for him, shout loud enough for the Indians and their backers to hear.

Something also needs to be done about the Western (Canadians and Japanese included) politicians who have been making a beeline for Pakistan at the behest of the White House, giving us rude lectures. They all claim to want a de-escalation of the Indo-Pakistan confrontation but would not “interfere” in the issue of Kashmir. They all readily give sermons to Pakistan and Musharraf to end the “infiltration” across the LOC but would demand nothing from India to end its occupation and rape of that land. We are really sick and tired of listening to the hypocrisies of the Jack Straws, Christina Roccas Tony Blairs, Kofi Anans and the likes of this world. How long does Pakistan have to put up with all this? The government functionaries and the head of the government take all this nonsense in a stride. But it saps the morale of the people of Pakistan and of the soldiers defending the frontiers of this country.

The latest addition to the list of lecturing “visitors” is going to be Rumsfield. Yes His Highness, Donald Rumsfield himself; the architect of operation “Annihalate Afghanistan”. For what he has done to that country and its people, he would perfectly qualify for the title of mega-terrorist and a mass murderer. Maybe history is going to judge him like that. But that might take some time when the affect of media blitz by CNN and BBC has waned a bit. Why can’t the journalists in Pakistan remind Rumsfield of his true credentials now, while he prepares to descend on Pakistan? Just give him a piece of our mind. A few articles would do. Those who get invited to a press conference (if it happens) have an extra opportunity to question him directly. Give him back what has been poured down our ears all these months. Who knows it might give some extra courage to our rulers in Islamabad and we may redeem some of our lost pride.

And yes, while you are there, can someone ask the Pentagon boss one question on my behalf. Can we know now, who was really behind the bombing of World Trade Center? Will he tell us the promised truth? The world is going through a lot of turbulence and killings to avenge an event which has never been investigated!