I was that fateful day of 11 September 2001 when the World Trade Centre and Pentagon Complex were raised to ground by the alleged jehadi accused – Al-Quaida as a consequence of precision aviation attack; thus, completely outwitting the American defence planners and an array of mass sophisticated electronic protective shield around Pentagon, a symbol of their icon of military pride, while lying in deep slumber and state of complacency considering themselves as invincible and immortals. It was like the fall of Roman Empire, gripping its leadership and the populace in ominous great fear and sinking of national morale.
This most unfortunate episode resulted in tremendous loss of innocent human lives, the materials and nose dive of their financial institutions. Its tremors were rightly felt world over and condemned as such unanimously by the civilized and the so-called semi-civilized world alike. It was a most cowardly act as denounced by the comity of nations and amalgam of all religions. However, the most painful and disgusting aspect of the whole episode was that neither the exact cause nor the concrete and unbiased proofs of this melodrama are yet made public. Since the national security scenario was coming under intense national debate and the outrage of common man becoming difficult to be cooled down by the American leadership, thus compromising their stay in the administration chair; hence, finding there no immediate way out of this malaise, a quick answer was found in charting out a presumptive charge sheet against most talked about Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar harbouring Osama’s Al-Quaida nursery and network. Thus, they were brought under most callous onslaught of all the world’s major armadas–the most advanced, awesome and deadly military technology Vs the rifle and grenade launching ‘lashkaris’ of Afghanistan. They literally obliterated the landscape upside down and butchered callously Taliban and Al-Quaida diehards along with a few hundred netting of the suspects now held captives at different places. However, the spectre of Osama and Mullah Omar is still continuing to haunt the TV screens world over. The utterances of Pesident Bush and PM Tony Blair are also slowly and gradually dying down to normalcy. The shadows of coming events can well be found in the book written by Mr A.Rashid titled “Taliban, Islam, Oil and the Big Game in Central Asia”. Coupled with this, where is the Anthrax scare now? It was obviously a self-generated ploy to create persistent fear in the general public to keep them side-tracked and pre-occupied with a persistent side issue and away from questioning the back ground cause and effects of this drama.
Now, coming to the centre stage of this macabre drama, the first obvious pawn in this whole game was to target the key player of this strategic gateway to Central Asia ie, Pakistan. The urgent compulsive factor for all the more reason was China’s winning the contract of constructing Gwadar’s deep sea port along with the construction of the linked coastal highway to Karachi and also buying total oil by outbidding all the Western contenders; hence, the first scavenging hand on the throat of President Musharraf. It was the irony of fate for the Americans, the Indians and the Jewish lobby that the heavens had installed a man in the shape of General Musharraf instead at the time as a visibly circumstantial accident. What all followed up thereafter is widely well known to the nation as a whole. I fully endorse the decisions taken so far by the President in this context except a little disagreement to the extent wherein he also felt compelled to offer ground access to the Americans along with supporting the anti-terrorist drives by the comity of nations in principle, voicing against terrorism in any form and granting the rights to cross over Pakistan air space by its aircraft. I strongly felt that holding on to the decision of granting staging ground facilities for further discussions with the political leadership and developing a national consensus, would have paid much more dividends since this was a ground reality and a military compulsion for the Americans, which the Indians inspite of their open arm offers couldn’t have been a strategic substitute in any way. Non-submission to all their demands and visibly immediate pressure on this account alone could never have prompted the Americans to resort to any immediate adventurism under any circumstances, since it couldn’t have fitted in their overall game plan and jeopardize instead the fleeting opportunity so cropped up. Any impulsive action on their part at that critical juncture was certainly restrictive for them, which would also have certainly alarmed and ignite any reaction from the Chinese as well who were otherwise regional affectees and also needed to join the war against terrorism.
It is after a long time in Pakistan’s 53 years history that a soldier made politician after Quaid-e-Azam and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that a spark of intelligence, political deftness, coolness of thought and action and a visionary thinking was once again visible on the National and International scene, where foreign media was found impressed, hungry to chase for his interviews, thoughts and perceptions on matters of military, political and social-economic significance and implications for the world in general and region in particular. As a human being, there is no denying the fact that he may also be having human weaknesses and deficiencies but then no one is perfect in all respects. After all to err is but human! If some good is seen, we should not be prejudiced not to appreciate and acknowledge. Shouldn’t we feel proud to see a Pakistani President on the world TV screens/networks?
We also had chief executives like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif who were nothing but a student leader in the former in trying to impress through rhetorics on the rostrum and a businessman who mastered in the buying and selling ie, horse trading in the latter. There was total lack of political sagacity, vision and qualities of true leadership and character strength in these psychophants, who always had their personal interests before the national interests.
The history teaches us that the only sterling quality as the last war winning factor eventually, when everything has exhausted is CHARACTER.
The culminating phase of this whole melodrama is the Indian intransigence now surfacing in finding it as a most opportunate moment to capitalize by way of fully gearing up its vicious media onslaught against Pakistan, moving major forces and equipment menacingly close to the international borders and LOC in Kashmir, issuance of continued naked threats by its top leadership to undo Pakistan once for all and dictating its leadership to stop cross border terrorism, Jehadi movements to and fro, handing over so called accused terrorists to them and stage managing dramas in the form of killing Sikh families in Kashmir, blasting of Kashmir State Assembly and terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament to malign Pakistan in the eyes of the countries of the world and subvert international opinion against her in order to extort maximum submission from Pakistan on one hand and weaken the Kashmir Liberation Movement on the other. Their leadership’s addressing to Pakistan as President Bush and dictating terms is highly insulting for its leadership and the peoples of Pakistan. It bears out vividly nothing but a very imbalanced leadership and a nation afflicted with senile degeneration. Haven’t we seen enough of Mr. Vajpayee’s legs trembling and lips quivering at the sight of Pakistan’s nuclear explosion while addressing his first press conference; even the pale facial expressions of Mr. Clinton as well. They were simply dumbed by the awesome sight of Chaghi Mountains. In fact this nuclear scenario has changed the old perceptions of Pakistan’s lacking the geographical depth now. The lack of this physical depth, which we had cultivated in Afghanistan over the years, is no sign of worry for us anymore and instead, to my mind, it is now the same geographical width which has turned out to be source of great strength by the “Divine Design”. It is now we who can safely and confidently strike India in all its depth without any radio active or nuclear fall out effects vis-a-vis Pakistan, if attacked by India to certainly face the windfall effects because of all our major cities being along the periphery of India. In winters especially, this effect would be more pronounced because the cold wind currents flow from Pakistan towards India. Even otherwise, the nuclear exchange is no child’s game; it would mean going back to the Partition stage and inch forward again while the current century is making spectacular strides and developments in all directions, especially so when it has turned into a Global Village for the present. The ugly exchange would otherwise also affect the global ecology and the neighbouring countries as well. So, who would let this happen in any way? Therefore, the present euphoria being fuelled by India is nothing but hollow threats and war of psychological rhetorics. Can India under any circumstances and logic undertake any such adventurism when it is aspiring to be an economic giant, continue swelling its foreign exchange reserves, vying to win the Security Council seat earliest possible – certainly not? Even incurring such a heavy expenditure on the present physical moves of all its major forces by a country run by Banias is also being seen and generally perceived by a large section of intelligentsia in Pakistan that it is America and the UK behind all these moves to shoulder this colossal expenditure to keep the noose tightened around Pakistan, keep it politically and socio-economically weak and looking for refuge in USA and UK to stay obliged to help fulfill their designated goals. The modern concept of war today is “Economic War”— why to shed a drop of blood or expend a bullet, but to cripple slowly and destroy ultimately by making any country economically unviable. What the Indians and their protectors are doing is exactly the same to force and prompt Pakistan to also react likewise in moving our forces, creating an apprehensive and fragile economic situation to scare away world investors to resultantly stagnate home economic front. We should not fall prey to their Machiavellian ploys, propaganda and intense psychological war – a blunder we committed and fell pray in erstwhile East Pakistan as narrated in the book by General Jacob in their Eastern Commad at the time. Loss of our Eastern Wing was purely the outcome of psychological propaganda and fake wireless activity only and nothing else. I have served in Kashmir for over 3 1/2 years and tracked its length and breath on feet. In winters, after the evenings the snow covered areas and general moist nature of the soil makes it icy hard and highly slippery. Since all the attacks, to be a sure success, are to be launched at dusk and mostly before dawn; hence, undertaking any adventure in the present environment is surely doomed to disaster. Take it that there is going to be no war. However, by no means it does imply that we should not be alert and take no physical preventive measures and keep the intelligence agencies in high gear. Hence, we should stay cool, no major movement of forces except the airfield alerts and sending out of lay out groups only with special reference to critical ground areas. Lets see for how long the Indian forces could stay out of barracks – am sure they would again look for an apology and embarrassing way out. I have a deep conviction that Allah the Mighty and most Merciful, who created this country by Divine Design on the sacred night of 27th of Ramadhan, when finding this country encircled by devilish powers, always creates a new situation around, a quagmire where these devils would suddenly find themselves ensnared and a way out with a safe exit provided to extricate itself unscathed. Man proposes; God disposes. A day is soon coming when Taliban, who would be needing around 3-6 months to re-unite, re-organise and re-equip to emerge afresh and re-activate the sporadic guerilla warfare. The resultant occasional loss in men and materials over a period coupled with inherent and never dying diverse ethnic rivalries amongst its conglomerate of tribes to create a very uncomfortable and questionable situation at invaders home, which would ultimately compel this world armada to backtrack in dismay. This is how Pakistan is again going to get out of this imbroglio, certainly much more confident and economically stable.
Presently, though we are a so-called Nuclear Power and certainly much more safer and confidently defendable but, only in the Sub-Continental and regional context. However, as regards the internationally lurking dangers and pressures, we still look for only safe refuge and protection of our nuclear assets. However, we would become the real nuclear power that day only once we make quick, deliberate and definite advancement in the missiles enhanced range ie, development of ICBM capability. That would be the day of our actual Salvation because then any major world nuclear power would then have to think twice as well to launch any adventurism and intimidative drive against this country. However, for the present as an interim measure, if our existence at any stage appears to be compromising by any major power, which we otherwise cannot counter in the absence of ICBM capability, we may be forced to explode our nuclear device in the upper atmosphere as a last dying resort, which would then engulf the entire world ecology. I do pray that such an eventuality never arises and we stay as useful and dependable member of the comity of nations. We are a peaceful and responsible nation and the world should stay assured as such. May Allah protect our country and our leadership with strength and light to steer Pakistan as a progressive and enlightened nation of the century.
The Fall Out
Islam and Jehad misinterpreted by mullahs and their backers in a very uncouth manner; thereby, instead of projecting it as a peaceful religion of love and great scientific research, this religion is now being perceived as terrorist in essence and spirit, which it never was.
The interpretation of Jehad was made highly objectionable and violent in spirit and implications, which it was not. Nowhere in Quran it has any such definition that suppressive armed aggression should be launched wherever Christianity, Hinduism, Jewism or even Atheism was the state religion instead of Islam. Islam was spread and opposites felt attracted towards it as a consequence to its peaceful practices, non-interference in other’s religions and beliefs and through personal conduct, model morality standards, respect and adherence to human rights or else what does it imply to say. “LAKUM DINAYKUM WALIYADIN” as said by the Prophet.
Closing of all doors of higher education by the developed countries which became contrary to the basic teachings ie, seek knowledge even if you have to go to China. It has turned out to be an exercise in self-annihilation and backwardness.
Americans will kill mullah Omar if captured but I feel Osama bin Laden will neither be captured nor killed or even if killed accidentally but, never be declared as such, because he would be providing a perfect scapegoat and an alibi for any adventurism against any so-called rogue state alleged to be harbouring him in the future.
Last, but not the least, I would say that we should remain alert, alive and quite weary all the time even against the Americans and the UK because as long as their interests are served, they would continue showering appreciations upon the President Musharraf – let he be never complacent and duped by these vicious powers whose leadership statements while visiting India are quite pointed, double edged and ambiguous. May Allah keep us and this country under his benign protection. Amen!
Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Janjua is a Lt. Col (R) from the Pakistan Army.