Pakistanis Fear Escalation of War in their Country

" ... the [CIA] plan now is to carefully eliminate pro-Pakistan Pashtun tribal leaders and leave Islamabad with a civil war and maybe a Pashtun separatism while the Americans allow themselves the right to offer peace to Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. ... "

Be wary of America
By Ahmed Quraishi
International News
November 05, 2008

So our people missed all the signs, trusted the Americans and never doubted for a second that our ally will do us in. Pakistan's political and intelligence communities woke up late, discovering sometime late last year that our American ally has been working on bringing the war to Pakistan from the start. Knowing Pakistani strategic concerns, it installed a decidedly pro-India setup in Kabul to our west while cultivating India as a check from the east. Adm. Mike Mullen is even contemplating inviting the Indian army to Afghanistan to patrol our western border.

Ever wonder why the American drones attacking Pakistan are manned by CIA and not the US military? That's because there is a plan. And the plan now is to carefully eliminate pro-Pakistan Pashtun tribal leaders and leave Islamabad with a civil war and maybe a Pashtun separatism while the Americans allow themselves the right to offer peace to Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. Maybe the CIA is upset at Pakistani military's recent successes against shadowy 'rebel mullahs' who only fight the Pakistani state and whose supplies never end.

But our troubles appear to be only starting. Bruce Riedel, who retired from the CIA in 2006 and served from 1007 to 2002 on the National Security Council, is advising Barack Obama on Pakistan. Even some Americans are alarmed at the ideas of Mr. Obama's pointman on Pakistan.

No matter how harsh the political polarization in Washington, everyone seems to be on board on Pakistan: denuclearizing the country, forcing the Pakistani army to forget about Indian water blocking and Kashmir and restructure the army to fight insurgents and buy only those weapons that serve this purpose.

Mr Obama is impressed with his adviser's ideas. Over the weekend he picked another longtime Riedel theme: that resolving Kashmir is essential to fighting terrorism. But before someone in Islamabad gets excited about this, Mr Riedel – and now his boss – are basically talking about ending Pakistan's excuse of the lingering dispute of Kashmir which stands in the way of accepting Washington's desire to see India walk all over Pakistan, open direct trade links to Afghanistan and central Asia and play a major role in securing Afghanistan and the region in the face of Russian and Chinese influence.

To face the expected escalation in the US war 'expansion' plans after the presidential election, Pakistan needs to start talking. And it needs to do this now. While Washington has the benefit of a loud and noisy media to convey its interest and expectations, Islamabad continues to be shy about speaking publicly and bluntly about what it wants. Pakistan is not sufficiently defending at a high level, that of President or Prime Minister, its right to protect its interests. Influential policy advisers like Mr Riedel are effectively undermining Pakistan by portraying its policy as being obsessed with India. What both he and Pakistani officials are failing to highlight is that Pakistan has its own vision for peace in the region that includes Pakistan's own interests. The Pakistani interest does not match that of Washington and New Delhi when it comes antagonizing Russia and China. Pakistan's interest is also undermined by US support for warlords and officials in the Karzai government who are too close to New Delhi and hostile toward Pakistan. And above all, our threat perception toward India is proving correct with the Indian blockade of Pakistani water flowing from Indian-controlled areas of Kashmir and the evidence that Washington is quite aware of now about Indian involvement in terrorism in southwest Pakistan.

Islamabad should tell Washington publicly and openly that Pakistan's military orientation is its own prerogative.

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