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Pakistan: Biting the hand that feeds it
All countries know that Pakistan begs for and gets US aid. yet its intelligence officers hob-knob with Islamist terrorists to kill American troops.
PAKISTAN IS in the habit of biting the hand that feeds it. The journalists of Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi are presently going out of their way to find fault with the Surge, Defeat Taliban and Quit plan of the Obama administration.
The Generals of the Pakistan army and civil servants running the show in the central government secretariat find their wings clipped and feel miserable that they do not have the freedom to squander the American tax payers money as they used to do in the recent past. The US administration will keep an eye on where the American money is being spent by the Pakistan government. Naturally it will not be rerouted to private accounts of politicians and civil servants.
Notwithstanding the counselling done by President Obama to President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani of Pakistan that henceforth they must treat the Islamist terror groups as enemy number one of Pakistan and stop treating India as enemy no 1.
The attention of the Pakistan administration should be more on the western front and Pakistan-Afghanistan border than towards the eastern border facing India. However, the old mindset is yet to is said that most Pakistanis regard India as the biggest threat to Pakistan. In comparison to India, Taliban presents a friendly image to both the establishment and the people of Pakistan. After all, the anti-India and hate Hindu campaign run by most Pakistani leaders and generals has made an impact on Pakistani people’s minds.
No number of confidence building measures like Samjhauta Express and music festivals is going to water down the deeply etched anti-India ideas.

The top generals of the Pakistan army are unhappy with the Pentagon and US generals as hereafter the latter would be keeping an eye on the use or the misuse of the American weapon systems and armaments. In a nutshell, these must be used in fighting against the Islamist terrorists on the western front and not stored or kept stacked away to be used against India at a later date. Thus there is a rider with the US aid now to be given to Pakistan.

The top echelons of the Pakistan army and the civil administration feel, wrongly though, that the sovereignty of Pakistan will be eroded under the new arrangement. The American Drones have been making more and effective killings of top Taliban leaders than ever before. The Pakistani protests are muffled by the aid of US dollars. Protests are there but  they cannot say NO to the large bounty being given by the USA. A fierce debate is raging internally in Pakistan but willy-nilly they will accept the US aid with all the riders and agree to come under surveillance.

It is good that the Obama administration has been firm in handling the erring administration of Pakistan. Americans are aware of the sympathy of some echelons of Pakistani army being with Islamist terrorists but they turn Nelson’s eye to it in the larger interests of the NATO forces who are slated to start withdrawing from July 2011.

At the same time the plan to defeat the Taliban in a major battle is also there. That explains the massive launch of an attack by a combined force of the British and Afghan forces in Helmand province today, 31st July 2010. With a view to winning the war against terror on the soil of Afghanistan, it is necessary to keep Pakistan on board. At the same time the United States has to ensure that the money, weaponry, armaments and sophisticated equipment given to Pakistan is not misused or used against India instead of the Islamist terrorists.

The plan appears to be on course now because of the strict implementation of the guidelines given to Pakistan.

It has long been suspected that Pakistan is hand in glove with the Taliban terrorists. Pakistan takes American money but conspires with the terrorists to kill American soldiers. WIKILEAKS has confirmed the worst fears that Pakistan Army and many of its officers are not trustworthy. Their mind may be with America but heart is with Taliban terrorists. The world wonders how can America finance Pakistan Army because they will use their weapons against India and not Taliban.

Now Afghanistan, the main player and the host country. It is President Karzai who has to win the trust of the Afghan people. It is well known to all concerned that the civil administration of Afghanistan is badly ridden with corruption. In the run up to the Presidential election, President Karzai was accused of illegal and immoral electoral practices. Thousands of votes that were fraudulently cast in his ballot box had to be rescinded. It made an additional dent in the Karzai image. With a view to winning the hearts and minds of his own Afghans and others , Karzai has to live down this poor reputation of a corrupt administrator. Many an American soldier is right in asking why should he risk his life for a man who does not have a clean image?

As of now, the situation on the ground is a fluid one. The anti-American and anti-European propaganda being carried out in mosques after community prayer every Friday, poisoning of young minds of students and preventing efforts of coalition forces to win minds and hearts of Afghans in the streets is having a cumulative effect even on the police constables and army soldiers of Afghan origin. No wonder some Afghan constables under training turned their guns on the western trainers and killed some of them. It does not augur well for the amity being brought in between the western and Afghan troops.

There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel. With suitable psychological treatment the two ethnic groups are again out in the open for aggressive patrolling against the Taliban terrorists. With prayer on lips and good of Afghans at heart, the coalition forces are all set to win the war against Islamist terror groups. May God bless them!
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