Saudi Arabia, (most 9/11 hijackers), Jordan (Maj. Nidal, Jordanian), Niger (Abdulmutallab), or Afghanistan (Zazi’s origin) were not threatened. Why Pakistan, America?
Americans turning against Pakistan again, the arrest of a Pakistani spy on the eve of renewed Pak-India dialogue, the Times Square bomb a day after reports suggested an Israeli-executed false flag operation on US soil, the role of an Israeli-American citizen in linking the NY scare to Pakistan, and how the US media resurrected Baitullah Mehsud from the dead, are all these coincidences? Maybe it is true after all that CIA did airlift TTP terrorists from Waziristan on the eve of Pakistani military operation.
By S. M. HALI
Thursday, 13 May 2010.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Ever since the strategic dialogue in Washington D.C. in March 2010 and the deft presentations at the Nuclear Security Summit, Pakistan is being methodically targeted. Apparently anti-Pakistan forces with vested interests have joined hands to malign and chastise Pakistan.
Despite sacrificing thousands of lives and suffering tremendous collateral damage, Pakistan managed to stem the tide of terror attacks by attacking the miscreants boldly in their hideouts. Pakistan’s Counter Insurgency (COIN) operations, with an audacious combination of air and ground action backed by real time intelligence not only bore fruit but won the respect and admiration of the international community. Pakistan’s rising esteem, the military role being bequeathed upon it in post ISAF-Afghanistan, apparent tacit acceptance of the security of its nuclear assets, the marginalization of India was either a farce or the cause of Pakistan’s detractors’ ire.
Series of events in quick succession putting Pakistan in the dock merit examination.
Pakistan was keen to organize a meeting between the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers at the sidelines of the Bhutan SAARC Summit to restart the stalled Composite Dialogue process. After the Sharm-el-Sheikh encounter last July in which the two had signed a joint declaration announcing the resumption of peace talks between the two estranged neighbours, Indian obduracy prevailed and its hawks scuttled the peace process by demanding the conviction of the alleged perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks prior to the resumption of the dialogue.
The Madhuri Gupta affair revealed on the eve of the SAARC Summit, failed to deter the two Prime Ministers from agreeing to the resumption of the dialogue process. Nary had a day gone by when a special court convicted and sentenced to death Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the Mumbai attacks, naming him as the principal accused. Indian Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram told reporters after the court convicted Kasab for the Mumbai carnage that, “The conviction of Kasab and the acquittal of the two accused shows that India is ruled by law. That shows the independence, fearlessness and integrity of the court”. Mr. Chidambaram conveniently remains oblivious of the perpetrators of the 2002 carnage of Muslims in Gujarat, post Babri-Masjid demolition massacre of Muslims in 1992 and the 1984 genocide of Sikhs in 1984, remain at large. The Mumbai attacks have been used to scuttle the Composite Dialogue process bringing Pakistan under pressure, accusing it of abetting terror.
Simultaneously, only days after a warning of an Israeli “false flag” bombing against the US being “in the works”, a massive car bomb is discovered in Time Square!
Better yet, SITE Intelligence, an Israeli source, a group rumored as the “voice of the Mossad” placed the blame on the Pakistani Taliban. In the milieu, Hakimullah Mehsud, the slain leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) is mysteriously resurrected from the dead, rising through the US media, to also announce that the TTP will now target the US to vindicate the drone attacks on Pakistan. It may be noted that prior to Hakimullah Mehsud’s being targeted by the US drone attacks, and being successfully declared dead and buried, as soon as Pakistan’s Armed Forces started advancing towards South Waziristan, there were strong rumours that Hakimullah Mehsud and other Taliban leaders of his ilk have been airlifted from their hideouts by their sponsors. Little credence was given to the news then, but it now appears plausible.
As the intricacies of the Time Square bombing plot unravel, it becomes clearer that it was a botched affair: the makeshift bomb so shoddily rigged, the SUV parked in a “no parking” zone, as if to attract attention, its engine deliberately kept running, the ignition key left in the vehicle; conclusively it appears that the planner wanted the plot to fail but get apprehended. The deliberate clues left to lead the law enforcing agencies to Mr. Faisal Shahzad and his exclaiming after being asked to disembark the Emirates Air flight, which was on the runway for departure, that, “I was expecting you; are you FBI or NYPD?” His waiving off his Miranda Rights and continuing to sing like a canary is all too convenient.
Moreover, the bombing plot is discovered over the weekend and on Monday “Wall Street Journal” and a host of other US dailies come up with articles implicating Pakistan. No second guesses for the authorship of malicious op-eds, yes all Indians. Sadanand Dhume’s piece ‘Why Pakistan Produces Jihadists’, Fareed Zakaria’s earlier: ‘Pakistan is the epicenter of Islamic radicalism’ and scores of others spell the same conspiracy theories.
A week later, the normally suave Hillary Clinton abandoned niceties to threaten Pakistan with dire consequences, increase the drone attacks and raise the level of US troops in Pakistan. The question is if Pakistan is facing a serious problem of terrorism, which was not entirely brought upon itself; would threats of naked aggression resolve the problem?
The 9/11 bombers were Saudis, U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan of Fort Hood, Texas, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up a flight as it approached Detroit in December 2009, Najibullah Zazi, who planned to blow up New York City subway, Colleen R. LaRose (Jihad Jane) and now Faisal Shahzad are all US citizens.
Isn’t it the responsibility of the US government to keep its citizens under watch rather than threaten Pakistan with severe consequences unless it is part of a greater game plan?
After all Saudi Arabia, (most of the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudis), Jordan (Major Nidal was of Jordanian origin), Niger (Abdulmutallab’s home), or Afghanistan (Zazi’s origin) were not threatened thus. The too many coincidences are concluded in the NYT story Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement that Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack, should increase pressure on the Pakistan military to attack the organization in its bastions in the lawless tribal region of North Waziristan.
The cat is thus out of the bag but requires adroit exterior maneuver by Pakistan to parry this fresh assault on its sovereignty.
Mr. Hali is a retired PAF officer and a defense analyst. This column was published by TheNation. He can be reached at