Recently, The New York Times reported that CIA was scrambling to “maintain its intelligence-gathering, war-fighting and counterterrorism operations” in Afghanistan. [nytimes] The paper mentioned that the US was looking to use a military base in Pakistan, which it has used for drone operations until 2011.
As the US withdrawal date looms for US forces in Afghanistan, William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director has been holding extensive talks with Pakistani leaders to secure a deal that will enable America to continue its global war on terror in the region. In the past few days, Burns has bypassed Khan’s government to meet directly with the chief of the Pakistani military and the head of the directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has had numerous calls with Bajwa to solicit his support for American operations in Afghanistan, and to rescue America’s floundering Afghan policy.
It is strange to see Pakistani officials courting US officials even though America has repeatedly abandoned Pakistan. America refused to support Pakistan, when India dismembered Pakistan into West Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1971. America again ditched Pakistan after the demise of the Soviet Union, which resulted into the militarization of Pakistani society and waves of domestic lawlessness. On the nuclear issue, the US for decades vehemently opposed Pakistan’s nuclear programme, imposed sanctions and also refused to help Pakistan meet its civilian nuclear energy needs. In contrast, the US signed the nuclear accords with India in 2005 and extended full support to both Congress and BJP governments to strengthen India’s nuclear capabilities. On the Kashmir issue the US has openly sided with India’s brutal suppression of Kashmiris—often humiliating Pakistan.
In spite of America’s treacherous betrayal of Pakistan’s core interests, successive Pakistani military and civilian leaders have always strived to put American interests first. Since 2001, Pakistan has provided military bases, encouraged the US to use Pakistani soil to launch drone attacks against Afghans, handed over valuable intelligence, pried open Pakistan to America’s domestic intelligence agencies, and surrendered Pakistani citizens like Aafia Siddiqui to US officials. Still worse, the Pakistani leadership has conducted numerous military operations against its own citizens in return for a bloody wage disguised as the Coalition Support Funds. Such operations have killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis and propelled Pakistan to hold the world record for internally displaced refugees. Throughout this period the Pakistani economy by conservative estimates suffered losses over $100 billion.
Given this track record of betrayal, it is fully expected that Pakistani military and civilian leaders will once again reach a treacherous agreement with the US to undermine Pakistan’s core interests. This is at odds with both common sense and any form of rudimentary cost benefit analysis. America is at its lowest point in Afghanistan—its army is broken and it has suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of sincere mujahedeen who are poorly equipped. Rather than siding with Afghans to expel US from the neighborhood, Pakistan’s callous rulers will extend life support to the arch-enemy of Muslims. Allah says:
(فَلَا تَهِنُوا وَتَدْعُوا إِلَى السَّلْمِ وَأَنْتُمُ الْأَعْلَوْنَ وَاللَّهُ مَعَكُمْ وَلَنْ يَتِرَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ)
“So do not weaken and cry out for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds.” [TMQ: Muhammed: 35].
Abdul Majeed Bhatti – Wilayah Pakistan