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May 29, 2011

Page: 9/37

Home > 2011 Issues > May 29, 2011

The Moving Finger Writes
Boot-licking does not pay

By MV Kamath

BOOT-LICKING is not a recommended means to achieve questionable ends, whether for an individual or a nation. And as yet Pakistan never realised it. It had only one aim in mind: to humiliate if not hurt India and if possible destroy its neighbour. With that in view, Pakistan has tried everything. It began with licking British boots. It did not help. Then it turned to the United States which had its own selfish international agenda, to eliminate the Soviet Union as a Super Power and, in the process, downgrade communism as an acceptable ideology.

By joining hands with the US, Pakistan thought that it could achieve its not-so-subtle ambitions. For both the United States and Pakistan, a “strategic” partnership seemed most promising. Washington poured billions of dollars into Pakistan’s kitty which the latter blandly used to target India. Living in a medieval era mentally, Pakistani leadership had quaint ideas about Islamic power. One of its early members, Gen Ayub Khan genuinely believed that one Pakistani soldier was equal to ten Indian ‘sepoys’. It was Ghazni-Ghori mind-set that dictated Islamabad’s foreign policy. Washington ignored it, unwilling to disabuse Ayub Khan’s sick thinking. For both the countries it was a win-win situation.

The United States looked the other way round as Pakistan used its arms and equipment, generously provided by America to wage war against India. One of its earliest Secretaries of States, John Foster Dulles had even the audacity to dismiss non-alighment as “immoral” and to treat India’s Ambassador to the US, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, with disdain. The US shared Pakistan’s intense hatred of India, without any compunction. India did not matter. Pakistan, as part of the Middle East Muslim world, rich in oil, did. India could be ignored. Pakistan used this US thinking to exploit its “strategic partner” to the fullest extent possible. And, in the process, gave up its own independence.

The US, in turn, ignored Pakistan’s treachery and chicanery. As long as Islamabad served its purpose, Washington was willing to forgive its partner for all its sins of commission and omission, even if Pakistan frequently crossed its Lakshman rekha. Most significantly, Pakistan proved to be a useful partner in driving out Soviet presence from Afghanistan. The United States provided billions of dollars to Pakistan to train jihadis in freshly set-up madrassahs to attain its aim. Thousands of Muslims from the Muslim world were recruited. The Father of Terrorism, in the circumstances, is the United States, no matter how loudly it disclaims the title. To know the full story, one has to read the classic study of the growth and empowerment of al Qaeda entitled Fulcrum of Evil: ISI-CIA-AL Qaeda Nexus written by a former Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau, India, Maloy Krishna Dhar. It did not matter to the US how the future may turn out to be: its immediate focus was on driving the Soviets out of Afghanistan and in that it was successful. But, in the process, it created a monster: Al Qaeda.

As Dhar writes: “The US global policy to defeat its Cold War enemy was responsible for strengthening the ISI and creating Al Qaeda… The ISI was used by the USA to destabilise India on suspicion that Delhi was veering closer to the USSR… Pakistan had its own proxy war game to play against India and it took full advantage of the opportunity offered by the Afghan War of the US. Washington feigned to be blind when Pakistan was bleeding India in the North East, Punjab and Kashmir”. The CIA and the White House were fully aware of what Pakistan was upto. In the circumstances, to think that the US can ever be a friendly nation to India is for Delhi to fool itself. India’s worst enemies have been Eisenhower and Dulles, ending up with Nixon and Kissinger. And the role played by Presidents like Reagan and Carter has not been any better. The Nixon-Kissinger gang even used Pakistan to establish links with China, surreptitiously.

The US has no ‘principles’. It only has its own selfish ends to protect. Not to realise it is to indulge in self-deception. It was the US which helped set up al Qaeda. But when its services were not needed the US has had no hesitation to fight the very organisation it helped to set up. The US never had any respect for Pakistan. Boot-lickers do not command respect, which they do not deserve anyway. Having failed to achieve its vicious anti-Indian ends with US help, Pakistan is now on the verge of licking Chinese shoes. The country has no self-respect. And China, one can be sure, which has its own agenda, will use Islamabad to fulfil its purpose, laughing all the way.

In the end, Pakistan will be left in the lurch, where it deserves to be. But in order still to keep Pakistan in its camp, the United States will keep pouring in dollars into Pak Army pockets and the latter will lap it up without the least hesitation, and no matter whether it will come to be known round the world as one of the most despicable nations on earth. Ayub Khan’s soldiers know the worth of dollars.

Currently the United States can close down its Embassy in Pakistan, but in due course it will be re-opened to buy up Pakistani loyalty. A broken-up Pakistan is not in US interests, because if it quits the scene, China will cheerfully step in and that would’t be in India’s interests either. Besides, there are many liberals in India who believe that a strong, but wiser Pakistan, should be welcomed.

But when will Pakistan ever come to learn that its best friend in all the world is India and India alone? When will Pakistan learn to make peace with India and throw out both the United States and China out of its mind? A Pakistan at peace with India will turn out to be a power that no one in the world can conceivably challenge. It will bring in untold prosperity to Pakistan. But first, the Pakistan Armed Forces must learn the lesson and cease to play second fiddle to the United States as it has in decades past. It must come to terms with itself and accept that India can never be beaten, and that it is to its benefit to forget the past and open a new chapter in its relations with its immediate eastern neighbour. That will show both the United States and China their place. A South Asian Confederation should be the dream of the future. It is not only possible to attain, it has about it a certain inevitability that cannot be ignored. But first and foremost the Pakistani Armed Forces must accept reality. After receiving a sharp slap on the face from President Obama if Pakistan still thinks its future lies with the United States, not even God can save it. Think it over, Gen Kayani.

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