BY Tanveer Jafri : Today, Pakistan has become the centre of global terrorism. Terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-E-Mohammad, Taliban etc. are freely prospering and spreading their misanthrope activities and terrorist training camps there. It is suspected that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), some elements in the Pakistani democratic establishment and “Islamic” clerics have patronized and encouraged these terror activities on Pakistani soil.This suspicion gained strength on 1/2 may, last month when the US forces shot dead the Al Qaeda chief & world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in a top-secret commando operation near Islamabad, in a house not far from Pakistani military training academy. Pakistan had to face embarrassment after this expose. The US also asked Pakistan to prove that Pakistani Army was not aware of Osama’s long presence in its backyard. The international community is now certain that Pakistani establishment is actively involved in nourishing and nurturing global terrorism.
Recently, Brigadier Ali of Pakistan Army was arrested on account of his links with terrorists and terrorist organizations. Three generations of Brigadier Ali have ‘served’ in the Pak Army. Ali himself was posted near GHQ in Rawalpindi. His arrest again raises serious doubts regarding the conspiracy behind terror attack on Pak Naval base near Karachi last month, which couldn’t have been executed without the active involvement of insiders.
Pakistan can also be seen playing double roles in the restive Af-Pak border region. Terrorists of almost every group including the Taliban, Al Qaeda as well as Haqqani Network are active in North Waziristan area. This region has also witnessed many attacks on NATO military supplies. America considers this region as the global “hot-spot” of terrorism. And due to this reason, Washington has repeatedly pressurized Pakistan to act against terrorists in the region. But here Pakistan is playing a double-game. It has extracted huge money from the US in the name of fighting terrorism, particularly in this region. To show the ‘work in progress’, 34000 troops of Pakistan Army are also stationed in the region.
But Pak Army is unwilling to act according to the directions and instructions of Washington. It is constantly trying to cover up its failures. What is the reason for inaction of Pakistan forces in the region? Is it that the Army is scared of terrorists, or is it unwilling to destroy its own creation. If both the above arguments are wrong, then what is the rationale behind begging billions of dollars in “aid” in the name of combating terrorism? One important contention of Pakistan is noteworthy in this regard. Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, the corps commander supervising all military operations in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, says: “We will undertake operation in North Waziristan when we want to.” Describing North Waziristan as “calm and peaceful as it was weeks ago”, the General said, “We will undertake such an operation when it is in our national interest militarily.”
As far as “national interest” is concerned, every country, be it America or India, will act taking into account its national interest. The US’ Operation to kill Osama was a part of the American national interest, even though it was an “intelligence failure” and “violation of sovereignty” on the part of Pakistan. In this perspective of national interest, it is also being speculated that Washington may capture Pakistani nuclear arsenal in view of its long-term national interest.
A violent atmosphere filled with serial terror attacks, attacks on security institutions, advocates, journalists, politicians, officers, places of worship and military establishments in Pakistan is making the Americans scary vis-à-vis a scenario in which these terrorist forces could one day capture Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. This fear seems justified since the extremists have deeply infiltrated into Pakistan’s security and intelligence machine. Therefore, it won’t be astonishing if some day the US forces, in an operation similar to Operation Geronimo (though much bigger in scale), enter Pakistan and take away nuclear weapons with them. As far as Pakistan’s resistance is concerned, both Washington and Islamabad are well aware of each other’s capabilities post-Abbotabad operation. Pakistan has well demonstrated the ‘degree of its alertness’ during that operation. The US is also aware of the forthcoming voice of “protest” from Pakistan in the aftermath of such operations. Taking all these aspects into account, we cannot outrightly deny the prospect of USA trying to capture Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.