“Let’s Roll” were Bush’s words back in 2001, when US Air Force jets were scrambled in order to push back a nation into stone age which was already years behind civilization.
CNN carried out marathon transmission airing info graphics of latest US missiles and bombs that were being dispatched to win ‘hearts and minds’ of Afghans by pulverizing the Taliban for their refusal to divorce Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden for their alleged crime of perpetrating the 9/11 tragedy on US homeland, which stunned analysts, theorists and students of peace and conflicts on the unfolding era of warfare where non state actors were directly challenging worlds only power in the most brazen manner human mind can think of. G W Bush in his famous post 9/11 attack address categorically mentioned the consequences of not being with US in its coalition against Al Qaeda and Taliban. The world was divided. US was confident, with the whole world on its side, a coalition of the world’s best weapons, militaries, strategists and financers with complete support of UNSC legitimizing the assault on a faceless enemy that according to the world lived in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan.
Pakistan was faced with the most difficult choice; in fact with no choice…
With an unstable political structure, decades old conflict with India with its massive military might ready to provide bases and logistics for the US, NATO and other coalition partners; Pakistan apparently submitted to the writing on the wall – The War on Terror.
In an anarchic world where states have to rely on self-help for their security and survival, Pakistan did not surrender its strategic interests and clearly kept distance in completely jumping into the mess in Afghanistan, which was an ill-planned attempt and a war that was more about the US fight for maintaining its world power image and hegemony against the emerging Chinese threat.
Years passed on, and the history of Afghanistan returned to the point of its return. It was the time when US convoys were being ripped apart by IEDs and its camps and outposts being raided by Taliban fighters; who faced an intruder more advanced in modern warfare than anyone anticipated.
On the other hand Pakistan continued to burn within, due to its decision to follow the world’s decision to invade the Afghans. The Red Mosque Incident triggered what was brimming in the masses as resentment against Musharraf’s Policy to allow the US to attack a Muslim country; since wars are all about confusion and secrecy, what happened on ground is declassified years later. The infighting, offshoot jihadists and sectarian warfare developed roots that were finding toxic water to grow from forces that once used to be their ultimate enemies but now the enemy was the state of Pakistan itself. Ideology and history got muddled. Pakistani people became the fuel of the fire that was seen burning down World Trade Center towers years ago and now it was Quetta, Karachi, Peshawar and every major part of Pakistan melting down. More than 50,000 Pakistanis have been bombed, slaughtered, bullet riddled and dumped in this brutal war. Despite these sacrifices and painful price it had to pay, Pakistan today, finds itself in a position where US is finding a scape goat for its failures and humiliation in Afghanistan after spending trillions in this war and losing thousands of its soldiers.
“Meanwhile, the real enemy remains at Large” Yes, these are the words of a journalist working for world’s top most publication New York Times. The article is adapted from an upcoming book ‘The wrong Enemy; America in Afghanistan,2001-2014’ written by Carlotta Gall, North African correspondent of NY Times who has served a decade covering War on terror in Afghanistan. The NY Times story ‘What Pakistan Knew about Bin Laden’ is a developing narrative about the legacy of this war; a series of allegations that the world is starting to recognize as a double game played by Pakistan, where Pakistan splits its agents in those who support US policy and those who support Pakistan’s secret ‘Jehad strategy’ which not only supported non-state actors but maintained a special one-man desk to look after the man who dragged the US in Afghanistan, draining its resources to the extent that it has to permanently cut down its troop numbers and remains tangled in the war it started a decade ago; Osama bin Laden.
The report published in the world’s most read daily is a story of a journalist that has been writing from Afghanistan since the beginning of the war and according to her ordeal was ‘hunting’ bin laden. The whole story right from the word go is intriguing due to the sweeping generalizations about the Pakistan Army and the sensational narration of facts is all but facts, unfortunately. The same day, the Daily Telegraph, another British paper read worldwide publishes a similar story about militant leaders in Pakistan being in contact with Bin laden along with Pakistan’s top military leadership being completely involved in drawing whatever condition the US is in Afghanistan.
These are not few random stories appearing in top media outlets in fact there is a pattern of Pakistan being labeled as the real enemy who has written a new chapter in world’s book of war by deceiving the world’s greatest power without even firing a single shot. Sun Tzu would surely be smiling on the continuation of his war tactics if US is to be believed. This imaging of Pakistan is similar to the established lies of WMD when damage was done in Iraq and millions lost lives before the world found out that the reality was nothing but US’s interests in Middle East.
At a time when Pakistan reached the milestone of a smooth transition to democracy without any military intervention, the new government has started showing signs of economic stability and chances of peace have appeared subliminally after years of survival in a war-like situation, Pakistan may have to embrace for a lethal propaganda which could be translated into yet another American attempt to cover its dastardly foreign policies of intervention and hegemony that hurts the American people just as well. Pakistan needs to continue to focus on its own national and regional interests and formulate policies on the basis of a multi polar world. The Post-American world may just be around the corner.