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A Sinister Game

Posted by yourpakistan on September 1, 2011

The relatively new phenomenon of crossborder attacks from the Afghanistan side on Pakistan’s checkposts cannot be simply dismissed as by those militants who had escaped from the military operation carried out in Swat, Dir and Bajaur. Even if so, the circumstances that have led to the start, some time ago, of cross border terrorism from our Western neighbour, at present under the unfortunate occupation of the US-led NATO forces, point to a sinister game designed to add to difficulties Islamabad is already facing in curbing militancy within the country. 

Plainly, these attacks are the American response to our refusal to move troops against the Haqqani group in North Waziristan, whose militants, the US alleges, cross into Afghanistan and kill its soldiers. The US, therefore, wants Pakistan to feel the pinch. The Haqqanis might be their bêtes noires, but the powerful tribe does not harbour any bad intentions against us; fighting them just to please the US would go against our national interests. Prime Minister Gilani very rightly said at Lahore on Sunday that Pakistan would not do (just to comply with the US wishes) anything against its interests. He was answering a question at a press conference about his reaction to the attack by a massive force of the Afghan militants at one of our checkposts in the Chitral district at Sehr time on Saturday, in which 40 of our paratroopers lost their lives defending the homeland. He also referred to the Parliament’s resolution on drones and stated that relations between states must be based on respect for each other’s national interests. He claimed that for the first time in Pakistan’s history, a government plainly told the US that if it had to follow the Congress decision, Pakistan was also obliged to follow its Parliament’s resolutions. Since there is a clear clash between the national interests of Washington and Islamabad both about waging a war on the Haqqani group and drone attacks, we should distance ourselves from the US and keep our relations to the barest minimum required to be maintained with the superpower.

Of the hundreds of militants from Kunar and Nuristan provinces, who attacked Pakistan’s checkposts using heavy as well as small weapons, 20 were killed in retaliation from our forces, though our seven checkposts stood destroyed. Our forces had to blow up two bridges to stem the incursion. According to Mr Gilani, Islamabad has lodged a protest with Kabul for this raid, whose strength is estimated by the ISPR to be between 200-300, though other sources put the number anywhere between 500 to 3000. The matter must be vigorously pursued with the US as well, telling them that even if they were the disgruntled terrorists from Pakistan, they must have been kept in check. As the Americans have been putting the blame on Pakistan for the raids against its forces, it is time for our authorities to ask them how militants could cross over to our territory in large numbers while its troops were in occupation of Afghanistan.


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