Sunday, May 17, 2009

COAS briefs politicians by Muhammad Jamil

In a briefing on Pakistan's security, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani told the senior government officials and political leaders that there was no going back on the military operation against militants till its logical conclusion and that a swift action had been launched to flush out extremists from Swat and other parts of Malakand division.

In a five-hour long in-camera briefing military leadership also reassured political leadership that Pakistan army would continue its presence at border with India and no guarantee from international community would be accepted for showing laxity on eastern borders. A few days ago, there was news that the US had asked Pakistan for the deployment of force to the border with Afghanistan by moving them from border with India, and the US was willing to give sterling guarantees that India would not make any misadventure against Pakistan. But Pakistan rejected the US proposal because Pakistan could not trust a hostile neighbour like India. If the US can use its clout with India not to do any misadventure, the question is why the US leadership does not ask India to resolve the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan? The question also is that why the US did not ask India not to conduct war exercises of its strike forces in Indian Punjab in the close proximity of Pakistan's border at a time when tensions were already running high after Mumbai attacks. It goes without saying that non-state actors were involved in Mumbai mayhem and Pakistan as a state was not involved. President Barack Obama at his 100th day press conference had said: "Pakistan's military leadership was beginning to recognise just in the last few days that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided, and that their biggest threat right now comes internally." It appears that his advisors have misguided him and Pakistan's military leadership was not misguided about India's mortal threat to Pakistan, as Pakistan's political as well as military leadership have been expressing their concern over internal as well as external threats to Pakistan. Such statements cannot satisfy Pakistan, as India on one hand refuses to implement UNSC resolutions on Kashmir while on the other is building dams on Pakistani rivers to deprive its farmers of the required water. The problem is that American-industrial-military-complex and international corporate capital are vying for orders from India for hundreds of billions of dollars, because the latter is on buying spree to acquire sophisticated weaponry and equipment and materials for the so-called civil-nuclear technology. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani said: "Pakistan is at the crossroads of its history. The situation is not normal; militants have threatened the very fabric of our society by trying to impose their will through coercive measures. After having exhausted all political and peaceful means, the government was left with no other option but to call in the armed forces to take stern action against the miscreants." Though briefing was in-camera yet sources said that the political leadership appreciated the assessment by military leadership with regard to internal and external threats to Pakistan, which was reflective of high professionalism.

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