Tribesmen attend a meeting called to protest U.S.
strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas, July 4. It appears
despite the mammoth amount of U.S. aid provided to
country, more and more Pakistanis are concluding that
would be better off without it.
The Frontier Post,
Just Say 'Thank You'
to Cut in American Aid
be far better off without this mythical U.S. aid. They have already shoved us
into hell for a pittance. And with that pittance, they want to push our
hand into another inferno. … Pakistan leaders must say to the Americans: thank
you for stopping your aid; now leave us alone to clear up the cruel mess you
have created with your spectacular collapse in Afghanistan."
Jalaluddin Haqqani, some time in the 1990s: A Pastun and a fierce leader of the resistance to Soviet occupation, he now leads a pro-Taliban group of fighters that Pakistan would rather talk to than fight.
This stoppage in American
military aid should come as no surprise. A debt-ridden America hasn't only been
making a scapegoat of Pakistan for its own failures in its costly lost Afghan
war, but it has relentlessly been twisting Islamabad's arm to get Pakistan to stick
its neck out again and somehow pull America's chestnuts from the Afghan fire.
But how can one speak of Pakistan,
when not even the world’s greatest armies can bail America out of its quagmire.
Pakistan has enough on its own plate to contend with due to America’s foibles, failures
and shenanigans in Afghanistan. And Pakistan's overextended military can't handle
the additional weight of launching an operation into North Waziristan, which is
what America's warlords are demanding.
The perfidy of this U.S.
demand beggars the imagination. The U.S. contends that this tribal agency
serves as sanctuary for the Haqqani Taliban Network
and its al-Qaeda allies, from where they plan and launch attacks on Americans
and coalition forces in Afghanistan. But this is a huge deceit - a great lie. In
fact, the Haqqanis command the unstinting support of every tribe in eastern
Afghanistan. All are entirely under its sway. They hardly need "safe
havens" for planning or staging attacks. They have bases inside the region.
They plan their actions there and they launch their attacks from there. And they
do so without hindrance or obstruction, as practically the entire region is outside
the control of the occupying armies.
If, indeed, they actually
deem the Haqqani Network the only irritant left for achieving success in
Afghanistan, then why haven't they secured the rest of the region yet? It was just
the other day that their commanding general, David Petraeus, declared that coalition
forces would move in to subdue and capture the region. Only after that could
the U.S. plausibly and legitimately claim that North Waziristan is the redoubt
of the Haqqani group.
As for the present, their
assertion amounts to nothing more that outright skullduggery. In any case, thanks
to the ineptitude and lackadaisicalness of leaders in Islamabad, who hate to
speak up even when this country, its leaders, its institutions, its military
and its intelligence agencies are vilified, demonized and pilloried by the
aliens, the U.S. is getting away with this monkeyshine unscathed and unharmed.
Thanks to this inept government,
the America myth of $20 billion in U.S. aid remains just that - an unbroken and
unraveled myth. Nothing approximating such a sum has been provided to Pakistan
over the long ten-year period that this country has been roped into the patently-false
U.S.-led war on terror. And whatever has come Pakistan's way was mostly in the
form of reimbursements for what this nation has spent from its own treasury on
this American war. And quite a hefty sum of that imbursement remains clogged in
the American bureaucracy for repayment.
Over the same period, on
account of this deceitful war, Pakistan has suffered economic losses ranging to
a staggering $68 billion. Meanwhile, human losses and injuries that this
country has incurred are in the thousands. The schisms that this disingenuous
war has created in our national unity, cohesion and solidarity are an
unbearable and painful addition.
Indeed, by every
consideration, we would be far better off without this mythical U.S. aid. They
have already shoved us into hell for a pittance. And with that pittance, they
want to push our hand into another inferno. Not even posterity would
forgive Islamabad if it fails to muster the pluck it needs and stand up. It
must say to the Americans: thank you for stopping your aid; now leave us alone
to clear up the cruel mess you have created with your spectacular collapse in
Afghanistan. The prime minister is more than welcome to continue attending July
4 celebrations here in their Islamabad embassy and in their consulates in minor
cities. But he must allow the nation to rid itself from the U.S. stranglehold
that is bleeding Pakistan white and ultimately, will bleed it completely dry.