Wherever one may place one’s bets on the three above alternative explanations of what is really going on in South Asia, no one can deny the following: to the extent that the “truth” is close to the “existential jihadi threat” interpretation, it is important for Americans to realize that some Pakistanis believe the opposite – that this is all an American plot. And, again, without judging the issue, one must admit that the propensity of Washington decisionmakers to harp constantly in public on the need for Pakistan to defeat “the Taliban” because of the danger of nuclear weapons falling into their hands only makes it easier to sympathize with this “American plot” scenario.
So Americans should read the comments below by a Pakistani writer with their emotions held in check and with a willingness to try to understand how the world may look from the perspective of people who, like Americans, are confused about “the truth” but do know that American bombs are falling on their heads and driving them by the hundreds of thousands into refugee hell from which no exit route is visible.
According to Ahmed Quraishi:
In less than two years, the
has successfully managed to drop from news headlines its failure to pacify United States . The focus of the Anglo-American media – American and British – has been locked on Afghanistan . In order to justify this shift, multiple insurgencies and endless supply of money and weapons has trickled from U.S.-occupied Afghanistan into Pakistan to sustain a number of warlords inside Pakistan whom the American media calls ‘Taliban’ but they are actually nothing but hired mercenaries with sophisticated weapons who mostly did not even exist as recently as the year 2005. Pakistan
No other nation in the world would have tolerated half the arrogance that the Americans are showing
. But thanks to a mistake by former President Musharraf – sometime in late 2006 when he consented to allow the U.S. to manipulate domestic politics through direct engagement with Benazir Bhutto and other players – Washington was given a free hand to deal directly with individual players inside Pakistan and recruit supporters and proxies. Pakistan
Today, there are many parties inside Pakistan that are pushing the U.S. agenda and very few of those who would come out and condemn how the U.S. media and officials are single-handedly tarnishing Pakistan’s image worldwide to justify a military intervention.
This is precisely why senior Pakistani military officers are gradually coming out of their self-imposed ban on public activity to counter this nasty American psy-ops. Pakistanis need to watch this carefully.
After an unsettling argument that Washington is preparing either for invasion or the sponsoring of another coup—as if the bitter lessons of Vietnam leadership musical chairs and the pathetic Pakistani history of Pakistani military exploitation of the Pakistani people were not enough evidence that more military dictatorship is no answer--Quraishi asserts the following specific recommendations that will surely grate on American ears:
1.American Anti-Pakistanism: The most spectacular, anti-Pakistan media campaign ever against our country has been launched by the
2. Stop Grooming & Training Separatists Inside
3. Terrorism Inside
4. Don’t Lecture Us On
6. The Afghan Taliban Are Not A Threat To
7. Eliminating Afghan Taliban Is Not
8. So-called Pakistani Taliban Are No Threat To
All these recommendations by this Pakistani writer can be debated; none can legitimately be dismissed.
- Concerning Recommendation #5, for example, that
really is India ’s enemy, this perception results primarily from the use of the Indian threat to Pakistani military dictatorships desiring to solidify their control and from Indian backstabbing of Kashmiris. All should recall the two critical facts of Pakistani history: first, it was the repressive behavior of West Pakistani civilian/military elites toward Pakistan East Pakistan, which won a democratic electoral victory 40 years ago, that resulted in the transformation of East Pakistaninto . Second, it was Nehru’s decision to break his own promise of self-determination for the Kashmiri people that led down the slippery slope to create the Kashmiri conflict that has endangered Pakistani-Indian relations ever since. Bangladesh needs to recognize the first fact. Islamabad needs to 'fess up' to the second. New Delhi
- Concerning Recommendation #8, for example, the assertion that the insurgents are no threat to the
is probably largely true, but it is also probably the case that every American bomb that kills innocent Pakistanis pushes not just the Taliban but all other Pakistanis further down the road to becoming enemies of the U.S. U.S.
- And most of all, concerning Recommendation #4 that America should not lecture Pakistan, the fact is that all parties to this developing disaster deserve to be lectured to and, frankly, slapped around. There is more than enough mythmaking, official distorting of history, and exploitation of others to go around. I challenge anyone to identify a single significant actor that is innocent.
Americans who want to avoid the collapse of