On the USA-Pakistan army alliance: Sleeping with the enemy? – by Rashid Aurakzai

US has a history of dancing with third world dictators at the cost of democracy, rights and liberties.

Like a rabbit popping out of a magician’s empty hat, Osama bin Laden (OBL) was not ‘smoked out’ of any cave in Afghanistan but right from under CIA’s 63 year old strategic partner’s Sandhurst, Abbottabad.

Capitol hill and Pentagon are furious at the snake up their sleeves but the overwhelming, oppressed and democratic majority of Pakistan is gloating for deserving reasons. For them the Islamists’ Hero is dead and hence the militant ideology should now give way to pragmatic and democratic approach like that of the Middle East. They adore the fact that their de facto rulers, the arrogant generals (GHQ) in Rawalpindi stand naked and ridiculed locally as well as internationally. They are not surprised at all and are giggling at the US decade of stupidity.

Just last month, Pakistan army’s notorious spy agency, the ISI, made much ado of Raymond Davis Case, the one of many attempts to sabotage or at least vilify the democratically elected coalition of secular parties (PPP-ANP-MQM).

Discrediting democracy and politicians is Pak Army’s favorite pastime when it’s not directly ruling. Their maneuvers are countless to detail here. Enough for American audience is Gen. Kayani’s opposition to Kerry Lugar Bill since the funds were to be scrutinized, performance based and for civilian purposes.

Right from its controversial inception, the country has acted like GB’s implant at its Imperial sunset to counter the WWII victor and advancing communist Russia. Reduced in its global powers, London handed over the strings to Washington. Since then dictators have ruled the country for more than half of its age directly and the rest indirectly with US tacit consent. Pakistan has never had a true democracy in its history but brief and tumultuous transitions in between, hampered and foiled by military at the end of decade.

The phenomenon is global. US has a history of dancing with third world dictators serving her foreign policy. It’s easy to bully an illegitimate single then multitude of crowd-pleasing, elected politicians. The Americans should be scolding themselves for their recent recommending of top two Generals, Kayani and Pasha for extensions in services, forgetting that Musharaf’s decade hadn’t yielded either OBL or stopped Taliban infiltration across the Durand Line.

Even the public opinion against Taliban took u-turn under the otherwise corrupt Zardari.

Rejoicing OBL’s death & discovery, why should democratic Pakistanis believe their Army was not complacent in Ms. Bhutto’s assassination, fourth in the same family leading the country’s only biggest party. US needs to change with changing world. It must rationalize its foreign policy. They should question their still alive ‘Pet’, Musharaf, the self exiled London’ite. How could he be oblivious of OBL? Waterboard him if it has to be any and the coward Commando vomit it all.

US must stop thinking with its knees and start realizing the reality. If Pakistan breeds hatred against US, its not something to be astonished about. Majority of powerless Pakistanis holds US responsible for her involvement in their country’s affairs. Power brokers including the religious right implore Washington when it comes to King’s making.

And even if they are conspiracy theories, its because 50% of country budget goes in debt servicing and more than 60% of the rest in defense. Aid and loans have directly or indirectly gone into military obesity. How can unarmed and loosely bonded political parties withstand an organized, disciplined, trained, resourceful and cunning Army? It strictly controls the interior and foreign ministries.

They managed to wrench two hikes, this year to take their spending around Rs.900 billions despite beating drums about country’s bankruptcy. Why shouldn’t extremism sprout where only 1.5% of GDP goes to education and even less then that in health. And even that curriculum indoctrinates and teach distorted history to glorify Army.

Yes, the change has to come from within but can we imagine the pattern when General Ayub signed SEATO & CENTOs, General Zia fought their War against Russia and General Musharraf against the Islamist-cum-China to fortify themselves. The US fulfils its lust but does not care about consequences. It’s time USA atone for its foreign policy adventures.

It’s time America support democracies for the sake of world peace. There is no way the third world will hate the American way of life. US establishment needs to remind themselves that others are ‘men’ too and are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Export democracy, rights and liberty if you have to.



Latest Comments
  1. Jamshed Nayar
  2. Usman Ghani
  3. Omar Khattab
  4. Rusty Walker