Thursday, May 26, 2011
US Policy Towards Pakistan-Obama's "To be or not be"
In a dramatic and unprecedented move, Israeli citizens held protest demonstration infront of US Embassy, Tel Aviv , Israel on Sunday (22May). The demonstrators symbolically wore nooses around their necks in protest entitled, "Obama, Israel won't commit suicide." The protest comes in response to US President Barack Obama's Thursday (19 May) Middle East speech in which he called for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon land swaps. The protest was staged under the aegis of radical ‘My Israel Movement’ and several other NGOs and public segments. The analysts believe that Conservative voices in the Jewish community in USA have expressed anguish over the speech. The Zionist Organization of America called on AIPAC to rescind the invitation to Obama. Even some of Obama's longtime political colleagues were unsettled.
"You can't unilaterally tell Israel you have to go back to '67," said Ira Silverstein, a Democratic Illinois state senator who once shared office space with Obama in the state Capitol. "He wasn't elected president of Israel. He was elected president of the United States.", As reported by Los Angles Times ,
Whatever the situation and mayhem, observed in Tel Aviv or Washington, one similarity in Pakistan is felt , in the protest or critical voices against Obama , in handling Osama Bin Laden’s venture, exposing First Black President’s desire to expand the political vote bank for next presidential Elections; though both matters are that of opposite in nature . Netanyahu, however , has already realized the rhetoric of Obama, as latter is focused his eyes for another four years in the White House Office.
In Pakistan , the political situation directly affects aversely, with weak foreign policy and decision – making process at top level, rather absence of a full-fledged Foreign Minister incarnates, the interest of the State and the government managers, in dealing and executing the foreign policy, which is the core course of action for the existence and solidarity of any state.
American President Obama ordered to conduct ‘ an Operation ‘, by violating the sovereignty of the country, stunned the nation; Pakistan’s Armed Forces and Intelligence agencies, ISI in particular. After delayed response ,Pakistan’s military and security officials delivered details about the US operation in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, heads of all three armed forces and DG, ISI attended the meeting. The ISI chief General Shuja Pasha asked the nation and parliament to forgive him and stated that if the parliament orders his resignation he would be willing to step down. He also delineated a weak defense system against US technology. After that the relations between CIA and ISI got at the lowest ebb.
The killing of Osama Bin Laden is still shrouded in mystery, still many questions are unanswered. Iranian President Ahmedinejad revealed that Osama bin Laden was a prisoner in US custody for "sometime" before he was killed by the American Commandos. "I have exact information that bin Laden was held by the American military for sometime... until the day they killed him he was a prisoner held by them," the president said in a live interview on Iranian state television.
"Please pay attention. This is important. He was held by them for sometime. They made him sick and while he was sick they killed him," Ahmadinejad added. He accused US President Barack Obama for announcing the Al-Qaeda leader's death for "political gain." "What the US president has done is for domestic political gain. In other words, they killed him for Mr Obama's election and now they are seeking to replace him with someone else," Ahmadinejad focused to a ‘conspiracy theory’. On May 4, Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi too had cast doubt on bin Laden's death, saying there were "ambiguities" over the way he was killed. The Americans "said they threw his body in the sea. Why did they not allow an independent expert to examine the body to say if it was Osama bin Laden or not?" Vahidi argued.
General Pasha, during his briefing to the Pakistani parliament exposed that Pakistan is facing several troubles due to unilateral policy towards USA, he also indicated that the dire need of revamping of US policy . He also suggested that ISI and Pak Army have no reluctance, if a probe committee or Commission to fix the responsibility is formed. The ball is still in court of the parliamentarians. But the weak legislatures did not able to identify the members of the proposed Commission yet. The principal protagonist , Chudhary Nisar Ali Khan announced few tentative names, but so far it is not finalized, which is top most priority for ensuring the security of the country an the Military institution. General Pasha, the ISI chief submitted that 'future relationship with the United States about what parliament decides, we will follow you.' The surrender of General Pasha and submissive gestures of General Kiyani shocked the brains at Capitol Hill, forced John Kerry to have a stormy visit to Pakistan , who foresaw a sudden U-turn of Pakistani Establishment after the ‘issue’ of violating sovereignty of Pakistan to kill OBL, added by growing discontentment among the masses against the Drone Attacks, in particular. He managed to salvage the ‘bilateral’ relationship with little changes in the Pak-US security and diplomatic relations, as Obama announced to inform the Military establishment of Pakistan before any possible hunt-attack on intelligence information to capture or killing the high-valued target.
Few days after the incident, Capitol Hill observed that the weak political leadership of Pakistan and equally impotent opposition , failed to pursue the initiative what General Pasha, proposed in the parliament, then, President Obama took another U-turn and reiterated to take unilateral action , like that of Osama bin Laden, within Pakistan, if any high value-target is tracked down. Talking to BBC, when asked what he would do if one of al-Qaeda's top leaders, or the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was tracked down to a location in Pakistan or another sovereign territory, he said the US would take unilateral action if required.
"Our job is to secure the United States," Obama said. "We are very respectful of the sovereignty of Pakistan. But we cannot allow someone who is actively planning to kill our people or our allies' people. The indication and suggestion of Pakistan’s top Security Manager, General Pasha, to revamp Pak US Policy contained a message which requires more exploration of hidden and painful stories , yet to be told?
Delay in implementing the parliamentary resolution against US drone attacks and intelligence failure in locating OBL’s hide out in Pakistan, will be similar to multiplication of challenges faced by government. There is a lull before the storm in the capital Islamabad. The public furry needs a catharsis and their apprehensions must be addressed. PML-N and Tehreek-e-Insaf threatened to cut NATO supply line if drones don’t go quiet. He said that his party called for formation of an autonomous High-Powered Commission, which became part of the parliamentary resolution. PML-N wants to uncover culprits behind the negligence, which caused intelligence failure in Obama hiding and tarnished image of Pakistan in the world.
Pakistan second major security breach was witnessed Sunday (22 May) , six terrorists infiltrated into the PNS Mehran Naval Airbase Karachi, equipped with Rocket –Launchers and other sophisticated weapons. It is worst ever disastrous failure of intelligence and security lapse in the history of defense of the country. Pakistan has lost almost half of its sophisticated long-range maritime snooping and strike capabilities, which apparently master-minded, by Tehreek –e –Taaliban that ended on Monday after a 15-hour gun-battle, left 10 security persons and four attackers dead. At least two of the five P-3C Orion long-range patrol aircraft, worth Rupees 6 Billion Pak rupees, supplied to Pakistan Navy by the US, were destroyed in the attack.. These P-3C Orisons were packed with radars and weapons like the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 airborne early-warning suites and anti-ship Harpoon missiles, from the US as part of the around $15 billion military aid to combat the terrorism .
The failure of Pakistan’s Intelligence agencies aroused many suspicions about the defense and security capabilities in the present scenario. The Nation is still in the state of trauma after the attack to capture Osama bin Laden, questioned the defense managers that terrorists who walked through a small water channel and entered through an abandoned house, exposed the preparedness of Armed forces and gave a lead to the enemy about slackness , even at the military headquarters. There were clear indications that some Americans and Chinese personnel were also present at the base during the attack.
The recent attacks on GHQ, Naval base, Naval buses, ISI buildings and Military personnel, Military units, clearly show that the enemy to Pakistan has access to achieve their targets, with better intelligence then that of Pakistan. That intelligence information was so accurate that , it could not be disseminated to the terrorists without a defense expert, agent handler or some disgruntled elements within the armed forces set-up. The identification of two most precious aircrafts could not be possible either by a lead or information leakage . Pakistani security forces have to face two challenges ; to identify and locate the disgruntle elements within their folds ;secondly they have to revise the defense policy as per the aspirations and satisfaction of the masses. Unfortunately, the present government lacks the political will to deliver the goods which create ambiguity in devising strategy for the armed forces itself. Pakistani Media , first time openly criticized, the failure of Armed forces in combating the terrorism, even at their own top security Zones. Some analysts attributed the continuous failure to de-tracking Army itself from professionalism to business oriented projects, which is not their primary task of the forces, spurred by military dictators to get support of red- tapers.
Pakistan has to identify its real enemy. Just to focus towards the conventional enemy, is not sufficient intelligence. India, is not to be figure out only as a threat to the national security. Pakistani Defense Managers have to think beyond regional enemies also. So far nation has failed to understand that who patronizes the Pakistani brand ‘Tehreek-e Taaliban?? Nation did not accept the meager reality, that just banned groups or militant outfits are funding and extending training to the terrorists? Why our intelligence agencies failed to break the network of Pakistani Tehreek-e Taalibaan?? How a spokesman issues statements and accept the responsibility of terrorist attacks?? That too within minutes of attack??
To pursue and strengthen the relations with China after the diplomatic debacle with USA, noticed during OBL venture, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani rushed to Beijing , where Chinese leadership promised to accord urgent delivery of a fresh batch of 50 Advanced multi-role JF-Thunder fighters . Pakistan has a deal to get about a dozen F-16s from the US but these are too expensive and too few for Pakistan’s comfort. Hence the Thunder option. While an F-16 will set back Pakistan by a cool $125m, the J-15 will cost ‘only’ $25m. That means $1.25bn for a batch of 50. The same number of F-16s would have cost $6.26bn.
The Pak- China revitalization of security contact is not welcomed at Capitol Hill. Cheap weaponry of China verses most expensive weapons may reduce burden on Pakistan’s national Economy and more so there will be no dictations like that of USA. Pakistan lost almost 70 Bn US $ in the so-called War on Terror of US dominated Forces in the region.20 Bn $ US Aid with full of dictations. There can be lot of questions on the technological aspects of Chinese weapons? But the junk of present F-16 are getting either old or requires overhauling, another expensive orchestration. Obama is planning to relinquish Afghanistan Venture prior to his Elections? But needs a presence in the region with a robust and logical reasoning for his voters , which is being focused and followed by his subordinates, trying to make international community understand that Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenals are under threat of fundamentalism and ‘indigenous’ extremists . The ‘efforts’ of Obama are considered as suspicious by majority of Pakistanis, as they question ; if AMERICA is not safe due to ‘ fundamentalism’ and ‘extremists’ , functioning in the bordering areas of Pakistan , then USA has to adopt the policy like that of Israel- to protect the national security interests of Pakistan, practically which is other way round.
USA will never think to kill or become cause of killing of 37000 Israelis to curb the menace of threat to its national security?? As same numbers were killed in Pakistan, due to her ‘ War against Terror’. Obama must realize this fact, that growing hatred against America in Pakistan , is a national security threat itself , which needs to be addressed . American Nation can not afford more ‘ attacks’ of hatred in the region. The brains at Capitol Hill must realize that ‘Might’ can’t fight against ‘Right” .
The independent analysts believe that there must be more such like attacks on Pakistan’s security and Defense installations in the near future. The Defense Committee , headed by Prime Minister failed to chalk out any robust defense policy for the Nation, which may restore the confidence on their Armed Forces (25 May). So far no disciplinary action has been taken by the miserable and weak Prime Minister Gillani against the naval officers , who were responsible for the criminal negligence.
Once considered, diplomatically less literate, British Prime Minister David Cameron stressed “allies must work with Pakistan more closely than ever before instead of turning away from it. He said Pakistan had suffered mightily in the fight against extremism. “Their enemy is our enemy,” he opined. He was addressing a joint press conference along with US President Barack Obama at the garden of Lancaster House. (25 May). David Cameron’ finding that “Pakistan had suffered mightily in the fight against extremism” , is infact an encouraging acceptance of the reality , from a close partner of USA. Both David Cameron and Barack Obama have strong realization that Pakistan was crucial for peace in Afghanistan and without Pakistan terrorism can never be defeated . With reference to the war against terrorism, Cameron said: “We can defeat al-Qaeda. The events of recent months give us the opportunity to turn the tide against their terror once and for all. We must continue to destroy their network.”
The British prime minister congratulated the American president on the operation that led to the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “This was not just victory for justice but a strike at the heart of international terrorism.”
David Cameron’s clear conclusion that the West must continue to work with Pakistan. “People are asking about our relationship so we need to be clear. Pakistan has suffered more from terrorism than any country in the world. So far from walking away, we hope to work even more closely with them.”
Obama said Nato forces were “preparing to turn a corner” in Afghanistan. He and Cameron “affirmed the importance of beginning the transition to an Afghan lead for security this year and completing that transition by 2014”. He added: “We discussed the opportunity that exists for promoting reconciliation and political settlement, which must be an Afghan-led process.
What lacks in the policy of Obama towards Pakistan , as a balancing factor, is the ‘less commitment’ and ‘high expectations’. Besides all the negative factors, as exposed in the recent times in Pakistan i.e. lesser political will to combat the oddities, mal-governance, lack of statesmanship, security negligence or massive corruption , USA and the West has realized that only emancipator available to USA to facilitate her in securing release from the clutches of Afghanistan ‘venture’ , is Pakistan . Obama has to devise a clear-cut policy towards Pakistan, as it is very difficult to play’ hide and seek’ or personify a wavering policy of ‘ to be or not be’ to get certain objectives, will not bear any fruit , in the presence of vibrant Media and charged nation, though weak political leadership .