Shireen M Mazari
Musharraf proved excessively compliant from the beginning and this came as a shock even to the Bush Administration, but they realised his limitations in terms of compromises at the tactical level because of the military – which often put a spanner in the US agenda for Pakistan. Hence the constant critique of the Pakistan military and its intelligence outfits – especially once the CIA fell out with the ISI two years ago over whom to target in FATA.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—There is a dangerous pattern connecting the events happening in and around Pakistan today. Unless we can see this larger picture, we will be overwhelmed by the fallout and our detractors like the US will have fulfilled their agenda for this nuclear capable country.
The roots of this US agenda go back to Musharraf’s hasty embrace of the US “war on terror”. What was not realised at the time was the psychological trauma the US had undergone as a result of 9/11, which had led to the bolstering of the already suspicion-tinted view the US had of the Muslim world. Of course, some pliant Muslim leaders were reluctantly embraced as “allies”, but always on a tight leash, but by and large nationalist Muslim leaders and their nations were something the Americans never felt comfortable with. If these nations were also militarily or economically strong, the US felt even more uncomfortable. In this context, Mahathir’s Malaysia, Revolutionary Iran and nuclear Pakistan certainly stood out as irritants in one way or another. So when 9/11 happened, even though it was Saudi citizens who were responsible for the actions, Pakistan was brought centre-stage and the US saw this as the opportunity to cut the country down to size and finally gain control of its nuclear assets.