Monday, May 09, 2011

Why Pakistan is not incompetent but they are lying

While I do meet people from Pakistan who do not hate India but may have a mixed feeling of dislike, distrust, betrayal or jealousy - true or not, I risk using the word Pakistan here as a generic noun. My use of the word mostly means its government, intelligence, Army and Jihadist/Terrorists. Keeping the general masses out, these four elements itself create a web of entangled policies that the country has followed since its inception.
Even though an ally of many decades, Pakistan does not love America. Their hate and distrust for India is way more profound than their love for America. They need America only to keep things at home in place when it comes to economy and defense. Its like a Bank - We use it to get loans but leave no opportunity to curse its higher interest rates. After the debacle of 1971 war with India, Pakistan realized and was convinced that it needed a new instrument. That instrument was gifted to it by Indian politicians in the form of Kashmir and for a short while Punjab. While their early experiments in Punjab appeared to succeed they knew basing it entirely on a political unrest is not sustainable. They needed religion. Kashmir turned out an ideal platform. While similar experiments were done by US in Afghanistan, Pakistan was quietly repeating it inside India. India's political proximity to USSR gave a good platform for US-Pak friendship, two political partners with different domestic values.
Then came Kargil - a huge miscalculation by Pakistani Army. They banked on their strategic assets and a political neutrality from America. Their Army felt betrayed by American response which was hugely pro-Indian. American pressure on Pakistani Government averted a full scale war between the two nuclear nations but left a seed of distrust in Pakistani intelligentsia. They now found themselves dependent on US but someone they cannot hedge against India. Even though at a high capital cost, Kargil turned out to start a new political chapter between India and US. Then came 9/11 and an arrow in their quiver went rogue someone they so effectively used against the Russian occupation in Afghanistan. By then Osama already had become a symbol of global Jihad the term Pakistani ISI were already knee deep in using in Kashmir. Pakistan found itself in a precarious triangle made up of Army, ISI and Jihadists, where losing the effectiveness of one meant losing another. They could not lose this triangle. These three elements do not just work for the country, they own it and neither of the three need the country's political establishment. Alas, this is the only branch that is kept so less informed.
Osama is killed. He is killed inside Pakistan. He is killed in a well designed safe house unlike some hole where Saddam hid himself inside. He is killed in a relatively westernized city. And, he is killed in a place surrounded by Military installations. If nothing else the sanity itself tells that he could not have done this without anybody's knowledge. This anybody just can not be his own personal network, It has to be from this triangle. If the countries President and Prime Minister are saying they did not know about it then possibly they are speaking the truth. After all they did not know about the Kargil either. If ISI or Army says it, then its an out right lie. They seem to not only have known it but seem to have been instrumental in moving him from the mountains of Afghanistan to the heart of a Military city. What US does after this episode is just anybody's guess but they may find themselves in the same place and similar scenario when they had to bail out corrupt banks because the risk of their failure was too high.

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