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How Pak should deal with America?

 
 
 
BY Saeed Qureshi
 
There is the least need and rationale for antagonizing the United States
which in her overflowing frustration due to failure in Afghan war may
turn her cannons towards Pakistan. This volatile yet half-way flare —up
between two close yet disgruntled allies may be dealt with great caution
as to elude the projected harm. An overly enraged and provoked American
military leadership in league with supporters in Congress may opt for
an all out war in the tribal regions against the Haqqani network. It
should be unthinkable for Pakistan army to counter the American military
advances with armed response. Pakistan and American armies should never
be allowed to brace against and face each other in a direct
confrontation. That situation would spell disaster for Pakistan whose
armed forces are primarily ordained to watch the eastern front and
defend Pakistan from Indian military adventurism. Even the ordinary
skirmishes between the NATO and the Pakistan army; would sow the seeds
of a permanent hostility between the two countries which have been
knotted in friendship for so long.

All is not yet lost with the
United States that is the leading trade partner of Pakistan for so long.
The United States is a super power and Pakistan should not incur the
animosity of a country whose grudge and revenge like elephant is
proverbial. It could immensely destabilize and isolate Pakistan. In the
backdrop of anti- US loud epitaphs and throwing of challenges and
gauntlets by Pakistani hawkish circles, it would be very much desirable
for India to see Pakistan jump into the fray against the United States.
India would want Pakistan’s armed forces to be debilitated to the extent
that these cannot put up any defense vis- a-vis India.

It would,
therefore, be a colossal blunder for Pakistan to venture an armed
clash with NATO and United States in case they launch solo military
offensive in the North Waziristan to dismantle or liquidate the Haqqani
network of insurgents. Notwithstanding the consensus resolution of the
All Parties’ Conference, it is inescapable to ignore the hard fact that
Pakistan should not adopt inflexible and hard-line postures against
America. United States could still be prevailed upon to accommodate
Pakistan’s point of view. America knows well that her supply line
through Pakistan can be irreparably hampered if the hostilities and the
brinkmanship go beyond a threshold which in this case would be to
infiltrate and intrude into Pakistan’s airspace and land.

In
these projected scenarios, the Haqqani network may not be debilitated
entirely but Pakistan would be mauled socially and economically.
Moreover, the armed forces would sustain a great jolt that might cripple
its functionality for a prolonged period of time. Pakistan armed forces
must remain intact for greater and real challenges and dangers that can
come only from India. Pakistan should lay down all the facts before the
American leadership and the accusing and vilifying political stalwarts
and try to convince them of the fallacy of the uncharitable and
unsubstantiated charges being leveled against the ISI. If there is
evidence with the American as they claim, it might be contested or
explained in a conciliatory spirit.

Pakistan should be very
candid, forthright and vigorous on pleading about its clean hands and
non-involvement in attacks on the NATO forces and other civilian
installations in Afghanistan. Pakistan should also logically make it
clear to the American administration including Pentagon that it could
not afford to make a military push into North Waziristan for a variety
of very compelling reasons. First it should be explicitly argued that
Pakistan cannot waste its military muscle and fritter away its dwindling
economic potential on further enlarging its offensive to North
Waziristan. It is neither wise for Pakistan nor for American because
Haqqani group can be cajoled by Pakistan to act as a bridge between
hardcore Taliban and America for the latter to leave Afghanistan
peacefully and with a modicum of grace.

America should appreciate
and understand the odds and limitations for Pakistan to fight in North
Waziristan. Pakistan should also convince America that use of force was
not always the right and prudent course to defeat or destroy the enemy.
It should also reason with America that making fresh enemies from time
to time and nailing them down with the show of excessive military might
was a short sighted approach. But first, Pakistan should
incontrovertibly prove its total detachment from the attacks against the
occupation forces in Afghanistan. It is time for Pakistan to exhibit
the delicate diplomacy, firmness and full faith in its stand, a
sustained sagacity and prudence and unwavering steadfastness so that
Pakistan does not look like a felon before the world community.

Friendship
with The United States that has enormous leverage with IMF, United
Nations and elsewhere would still stand in good stead for Pakistan. It
is much desirable to be on the path of reconciliation, peace and
normality than jingoism and unrealistic sloganeering that might land
Pakistan in deep trouble. America is quite aware that the peace in
Afghanistan and her honorable exit was not possible without good offices
and partnership of Pakistan. Hopefully, in a spirit of mutual
accommodation, both sides may understand each other’s point better and
shoot away their mutual bickering and misunderstandings. Pakistan should
speak with America from a position of higher moral ground, with
absolute honesty and with national honour in view.


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