A timely realisation

Finally state representatives have begun to voice the fears that many others in Pakistan have been voicing for some time now – that Afghanistan is being used to fuel terrorism and militancy in Pakistan. Now no less an authority than the DG ISI, General Pasha, has informed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security of the same fact. According to him, the drug mafia in Afghanistan is supporting the terrorists within Pakistan. But he also knows only too well that the support extends beyond the drug mafia to foreign powers like India – of which Pakistan has been stating for some time it has substantive proof. Clearly, Afghanistan has become a source for terrorism within Pakistan and the government needs to formulate a cohesive policy to deal with this threat.


The DG ISI also discussed Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy and the fallout on Pakistan and its sovereignty. The Chairman of the Committee, Raza Rabbani, in a debate on Karachi in the Senate, asserted that imperialist powers were deliberately trying to thwart the government’s efforts to bring about the required paradigm shift in its national security policy, by creating law and order problems in Pakistan through terrorist acts and violence across the country. The clear reference to the US by the use of the term “imperialist” denotes that even members of the ruling party are well aware of the US designs for Pakistan. India too has now become a neo-imperial power in the neighborhood of South Asia and that was not missed by Senator Rabbani, an astute observer of the region.


Yet the government continues to maintain a strange silence on the US problem in Pakistan – from drones to their support for India militarily in the region especially in Afghanistan, and in the nuclear field. In fact, the Interior Minister continues to be in a strange form of denial regarding the mercenary security operatives employed by the US in Pakistan, despite ample proof to the contrary. It is time for the government to seriously get down to formulating a cohesive national security policy that delinks itself from that of the US in the region, so that our indigenous roots of terrorism can be dealt with more effectively; while at the same time taking a cold hard line on the US role in Afghanistan where certain forces are fomenting terrorism within Pakistan.


Finally, it makes little sense for the Foreign Minister to now declare that the Afghan war should not spillover into Pakistan when that has already happened. Instead, he should be countering US declarations, unfounded on any evidence so far, that the Al-Qaeda leadership is in Pakistan. He should also be projecting the Pakistani concerns over drones and other issues related directly to US policies in this region. Now that officialdom is admitting to external sources of threat to Pakistan, it is time the state acts to neutralise them also.( The Nation)

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