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Double Games

Posted by yourpakistan on October 31, 2011


So, Pakistan was recently accused of playing a “double game” yet again. This time in a documentary aired on BBC. It is unacceptable and unimaginable for the West, America, and many groups in Pakistan itself for the country to have a single contact with a party that was once a legitimate government in Afghanistan (yes, international recognition by three countries makes it legit). 

BY Siddique Humayun 

But in our predictable attitude to bandwagon, we forget to see the other side of the picture. Like we forgot to see the other side of the picture in Qadhafi’s case, where Nato and the rebels have without doubt done more harm than good.

I will go back to Charlie Wilson’s war, even the most pro-Western lobbies in Pakistan believe that, we as an ally, were not only betrayed, but perhaps back stabbed with sanctions upon sanctions. American objectives were met and it withdrew seven seas apart leaving us to deal with the mess on our doorstep. Over two decades later, Hilary Clinton formally accepted that the “people we are fighting today, we funded 20 years ago”. And yet, it is Pakistan that has been playing a double game?

It has become a fashion among pseudo intellectuals to blame everything on Pakistan, ISI, or if nothing else, religion. Which intelligence agency does not maintain contacts, one way or the other, with the enemy? After all, it is negotiations that can end such a conflict, not indiscriminate carpet bombings. Even if Pakistan’s intelligence has connections in whatever network in or outside Afghanistan, at least, we do not send Raymond Davis to spy on an ally, so much for playing a double game.

More recently, while blaming Pakistan of having contact with the Haqqanis, Hilary Clinton publicly stated that Washington is ready to have Mullah Omar in the negotiations to end this conflict. Such colluding with the enemy while telling Pakistan to “do more” is not what a country wants that already fumes with anti-American sentiments and has been bled dry participating in a war that has been imposed on it.

Perhaps America did try its best to split the “Quetta Shura” that is supposedly led by Mullah Omar and isolate the leader of the Taliban, but the point is it failed. It not only failed but now it wants to negotiate with them. Where would such history repeating itself leave Pakistan?

Let us assume for the sake of discussion that Pakistan is that faithful ally that despite losing tens of thousands of its civilians and soldiers along with billions of dollars of loss to its economy is going to do even more. It is going to serve American interests in the region to whatever degree the world wants, it will not keep any contact with any group in Afghanistan and then, one day, American negotiations with the Taliban reach a settlement, America leaves the region, and Taliban come to power, then what? It does not take a genius to figure out what our position would be in such a scenario.

So let us all stop blaming Pakistan for the sheer amount of sacrifice the country and its people have given over the course of the last decade. Let us stop insulting those brave soldiers that fight these militants and let us stop wounding the martyrs of this war on terror by suggesting that Pakistan is not serious in eliminating this threat.

The least we deserve is recognition and respect. Perhaps, it is time that American institutions realise that in order to effectively put an end to this bloody war, it cannot act unilaterally on one hand by reaching out to the Taliban, and blaming Pakistan of double game for doing the same. A stable Afghanistan is more in the interest of Pakistan than it is for America.

The author is a policy analyst and a social worker from Islamabad who believes that the glass is half full. He can be reached at siddique.humayun@gmail.com and facebook.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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