Pakistan’s War on Terror and the New Cold WarMarch 13, 2010
A new Cold war is in beginning. This time centre of this cold war is not Europe but South Central and Euro- Asia. Keeping in mind peak oil and conflicting interests of dominant powers, probability of return of cold war is a logical conclusion.
At Strategic level we see shift in policies of all concerned powers in Afghanistan and Central Asia. US Policy has at last tilted in Pakistan’s Favor and India is on retreat. Pakistan and US are coordinating with each other against extremism and results are coming both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In words of Seasoned Indian Diplomat M K Bhadrakumar
“India’s policy is at a crossroads. Assumptions behind the establishment thinking in Delhi in the recent years are fast withering amid the evolving situation in Afghanistan and India’s growing security concerns.”
“…But more worrisome for Delhi is the fact Karzai has begun seeking help from Pakistan. The fault lies entirely with the Indians in having failed to support him in recent months. Delhi backed losing candidate Abdullah Abdullah in last year’s presidential elections on the facile assumption that Washington wished to see him in power. That was a disastrous error of judgment.
Karzai is expected to unfold a road map on reconciliation within the next six weeks. He hopes to hold a loya jirgha (grand council) on April 29 with a view, as he put it, to “get guidance from the Afghan people on how to move forward towards reintegration and reconciliation [with the Taliban]”. And in his estimation, if there is greater participation by insurgent elements in parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in August, then further coalition-building becomes possible.
Delhi can anticipate that in all this, Karzai hopes for cooperation from Pakistan and as a quid pro quo he can be expected to factor in Pakistan’s interests. The day after Menon concluded his visit, Pakistani army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kiani met Karzai in Kabul to discuss “matters of mutual interest”. Karzai followed it up with a two-day visit to Islamabad that started on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s assertiveness is bothering Indian strategists but Delhi seems to have overlooked that many factors work in Islamabad’s favor. The Afghan elites in Kabul have close social and family kinships with Peshawar. The Afghan economy is dependent on imports from Pakistan. Pakistan has influence over Taliban groups and unlike in the past it has also cultivated the non-Pashtun groups of the erstwhile Northern Alliance. It also shouldn’t be forgotten that more than 80% of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supplies for the war in Afghanistan pass through Pakistan.
And most of all, Delhi underestimated that Pakistan is the US’s key non-NATO ally in the war and that implicit in this is Pakistan’s expectation to be recognized by Washington as a regional power. In fact, the US has been harping on a fundamental theme: Pakistan has a choice to make, namely, whether it wants to have a comprehensive partnership with the US and NATO; and if so, that it must cooperate with Washington’s strategies in the region. …”
Another Indian Analyst, Dr. Subhash Kapila who is ex Indian Air Force and Intelligence official puts Indian failure in Afghanistan in following words
The Indian policy establishment should really now devote more time to a strategic audit and stock taking of its policy failure on Pakistan and Afghanistan. There can be no two opinions that India’s policy formulations both on Pakistan stand effectively checkmated by Pakistan aided by those who value Pakistan’s strategic utility to their interests more than India in Afghanistan.
The Indian policy establishment cannot offer the plea that it stood surprised by developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the last year or so. The indicators emerged with the unveiling of the AF-Pak strategy of the new President Obama in March 2009.
Similarly, India has strategically shrunk away from exploiting Pakistan’s vulnerabilities in Baluchistan, Pashtunistan, Balawaristan, Gilgit and even Sindh. India needs to play these cards to force Pakistan Army and the ISI to recoil on Afghanistan, Kashmir and proxy war and terrorism against India.
The Statement of Dr. Subhash Kapila gives exact mind set of Indian Policy makers. India’s game has failed but it wants that it should give maximum damage before quitting the game.
In other theater it appears Russian interests in Georgia are near collusion with those of American and NATO. There is clash of interests between Russia, China and US in Central Asia. As US is now aligning with Pakistan, Russia is best Choice for India.
China on the other hand is expected to join US or remain Neutral as US is the main Market of Chinese products and also because china own 48 % of US treasury bonds. If US guarantee that it will not allow Afghan soil to be used against China and will not support Tibet Card and Taiwan there is no reason for not having a symbiotic relationship with US where both help each other.
The War which started against terrorism is fatly moving towards war of Interests. Encouraging thing for me as a Pakistani is that we have learned our lesson and Pakistani establishment and Leadership is taking stem with care and maturity.
Indian Policy failure has turned Indian Intelligence agencies into injured wolves. Their plan of setting same conditions in Pakistan which they settled back in 70’s in East Pakistan and in 80’s in Sri Lanka has failed badly. They have not only failed in Afghanistan but have also failed in their game with Iran.
India, who is helping Iran in building Chahbahar Port to counter Pakistan’s Gawader Port, made its relation with Iran unfriendly when it openly voted against Iran to please USA. In past India used Iranian soil to destabilize Pakistan along with its consulates and information centers on Afghan Soil. But in end Pakistan helped Iran by helping it arrest Abdul Malik Riggi and Afghanistan by keeping its 90 % supplies going to Afghanistan via Pakistan Open.
As Chinese say “every conflict is an opportunity”. The war on terror which started as challenge to Pakistani society became an opportunity for change and rectify past mistakes. During past 9 years Pakistan wisely educated its masses that war on Terror being fought in FATA and NWFP was not war against Pashtuns or some specific school of thought but against extremists who were destroying very fabric of Pashtun and Pakistani Society. In end Pakistan not only succeeded the mind set of masses but also convince US and NATO that peace in Afghanistan can only come when Pashtuns will be given their rightful share in Afghanistan. Pakistan also tried and succeeded to some extent to cover the damage of Past by starting new relations with non Pashtun Population.
At present the hostile Afghanistan is coming near to Pakistan. Afghan president Hamid Karzai on his recent visit in clear words said
“India is a friend but Pakistan is a Brother”
Meaning brothers cannot be sacrificed for friends. This change in Afghan establishment is the reason that Peace is returning to Balochistan and on other front FATA and other troubled areas are coming back to normality.
In the retaliation Indian intelligence agencies are financing the groups to damage as much as they can to Pakistan. The murder of 5 Pakistanies which were blamed at Taliban a week ago in Afghanistan had clear signs of Indian Hand.
Similarly there is strong evidence that India is out sourcing terrorism in Pakistan with the help of third party(Rouge warlords and criminal elements on Pay roll of India). These people are giving Indian funded help to Takfiri groups Which have different ideology but same goals which Indian elite consider vital.
Indian Political elite are following the philosophy Kutalya Chanakya who said “Enemy of enemy is Friend”. It’s necessary for return of BHARAT RASHTRA to either divide or weaken Pakistan because if Pakistan is Strong then the CHINA Pakistan friendship means INDIA enveloped by two reckonable Powers. But if Pakistan is week then there is only CHINA and India only has to care only one power.
Indian leadership has continued its policy of bleeding Pakistan and at same time has started coordinating its moves with its old allay Russia, Recent policy change by US is now forcing it to stop its campaign of terror against Pakistan from Afghan Soil.
Pakistan has entered in final Phase of War on terror. As an old Urdu proverb rightly says “lamp give intense light before it goes out”. After victories in SWAT, Malakand, Bajor, SWA and Kurram agencies, The Alliance of Thugs, Fanatics and criminals, Popularly Known as Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan is reaching its conclusion. That is why after a calm of many weeks suddenly a resurgence of terrorist incidents has taken place in Pakistan.
This week can be called the bloodiest week in past two months. The week started with the attack on SIA building in model town in which a suicide bomber crashed his vehicle to the gate of Special Investigation unit’s building killing thirteen people most of them innocent civilians.
Then after the pause of one day an NGO office was attacked in Mansehra district in NWFP in which six innocent people were killed. the people who killed ,were there to help poor people and had nothing to with politics.
Again after the pause of 1 day again Lahore was targeted and this time there were 9 bomb blasts. First two blasts were suicide blasts which happened in Walton Cantt Lahore in the Area of RA Bazaar. Two suicide bombers targeted Army vehicles killing 57 people including 8 soldiers. According to a very painful report those who were killed included parents of a 6 month old baby girl who herself was injured in the blast (Those who have kids can imagine and feel the pain for the innocent 6 month old girl).The same day 7 low intensity blasts targeted for harassment of masses and to divert of security forces occurred in Iqbal Town area resulting in few injuries. Two more low intensity blasts occurred in Shadman and Samna bad resulting in no loss of life.
Today terrorists again striked Mingora in swat killing 11 people and injuring 52. According to reports a suicide bomber striked a security check post killing two soldiers and 9 innocent passer bys which included children and old men.
According to reports coming in media security forces are in search of at least one suspicious car, a four stroke rickshaw and a motor cycle. Now it is becoming clear that yesterdays attacks in Samanabad, Shadman and Allama Iqbal Town were diversionary attacks to create harassment and divert the concentration of Security forces but terrorists failed miserably and security forces professionally preempted their desires.
At Tactical and operational level we see the TTP is getting defeat at every battle ground they choose. They have been flushed out from Swat and Malakand. Their command and control infrastructure in SWA is completely destroyed, their ideologically and physically strong areas like Bajor are now clear from their menace. Their safe heavens in Aurak zai, Kurram, NWA and Mohmand are under constant pressure, people of these areas are rising against them and they are now vulnerable due to superb military and Political strategy of Government. Their Leadership is either dead or not capable of giving orders. There are reports of Molvi Faqir Muhammad , Qari Zia and Hakeemullah are dead, if that’s not true then again its apparent that they have no capability to order or coordinate anything with their forces which are now either dead or hiding to save lives.
If what I have said is true then what are the reasons for the resurgence of terror? .I my Past essay dated Oct 20th 2009, “ Striking Taliban’s Centre of Gravity” I wrote
…TTP or movement of Taliban in Pakistan is an alliance of 20 to 30 militant groups helped by Al Qaeda. These all groups are Takfiries with their own networks and commands…
…Like Al Qaeda by just killing its main leadership or capturing its one or two stronghold we cannot destroy it. Fighting networks is a time taking and one has to cut each and every knot of net to get full success. In other words a network has multiple centers of gravity and each needs to be destroyed to get full success….
At this point TTP has lost its first line leadership due to military action by Pakistani Forces or due to drone strikes by Americans. The organization is in its last stage of existence as gorilla force, it has lost its support in masses and has now turned into only a terrorist outfit without central command. Although Pakistan has progressed remarkably in its war against terrorist but still there are sleeper cells and supporters of TTP or groups who makes TTP.
According to Interior minister Rehman Malik most of these terrorists or wanna be terrorists are joining Political parties to cover their activities. The government and security forces are on hunt of these criminals but it’s a time taking task in which government have to break the networks of these different groups in different cities. Government cannot win unless masses help government and become responsible in pointing out the fanatics amongst them and keeping their eyes on new comers in their areas. This Public support requires that government acts or ban those political parties who show soft corner for these terrorists. It also requires a targeted Propaganda offensive by government against these extremists and education to masses.
At strategic ,operational and tactical level we are seeing changes in fight against Terrorism. This Changing strategic environment in the region has already started a new cold War. World is fastly polarizing. Today India and Russia has signed a nuclear deal worth 1.5 billion Dollars .Russian President Putin has in clear words said that there will be no Arms deal with Pakistan due to Indian concerns.
The re Alignment of powers and change in chess game is predicting that if at all it’s a start of New Cold war then we will see return of cold war Patterns which are already becoming visible.
India and Russia have already started their moves. Now we have to wait and see what moves US and Pakistan will make. History repeat itself and at this point of time this proverb is proving to be reality.