Long Live Pakistan Under the US Bombing Raids

Aircraft from Afghanistan have once more attacked Pakistan killing 18 Pakistanis in remote villages. Even non-US sources, such as Al-Jazeera has adopted the tone of embedded journalists, telling the world that the US attack on Pakistan killed 18 people in “a village stronghold of pro-Taliban Islamists.”

The incident in Bajaur tribal region on December 13 came days after Pakistan lodged a useless protest with US-led forces in Afghanistan, saying cross-border firing in the nearby Waziristan area last weekend killed eight people.

A Pakistani intelligence official said two aircraft had come in from Afghanistan and fired two or three missiles. Where is the US military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jerry O’Hara, followed the foot-steps of his liar commander-in-chief and said there were no reports of US forces operating in the Damadola area.

This incident is yet another evidence that Musharraf has made Pakistan a big loser after September 11 with the misconception that it had no option except bending backwards to the US demands. His mantra: Pakistan had no option. It either had to join the US aggression or invite Bush’s wrath. Had Musharraf hesitated, the Americans would have clobbered Pakistan’s military and ‘strategic’ assets and allowed India to attack. By siding with Bush, Pakistan has been saved from American anger and its own “extremists.” It has also been able to break out of its isolation and rejoin the international mainstream.

However, do we see any signs of such successes? Did the United States spare Pakistan? Are not our troops and people dying? The “president house” might be safe, but are the rest of homes in Pakistan safe from the American aggression? No one cares to answer a simple question. What would Pakistan have lost if it had chosen to negotiate the fine print of our cooperation with the US? Even America’s European allies–”with the exception, of course, of Britain–”took some time to make up their minds before rushing in with offers of help.

Would Pakistan have been declared international terrorists if the spineless Musharraf had negotiated with some toughness instead of being dazzled by the sudden attention he started getting? Now that the euphoria has gone, what do Musharraf and his minions have to show for his caving in? Musharraf got his exclusive dinners with Bush and Blair and accolades from Zionist groups and Islamophobes. Beyond that, what did he get? The nation is facing what he wanted to avoid: aggression of the United States of American.

Pakistan didn’t face such bloody air strikes even when it based and trained anti-Soviet occupation forces in Pakistan and used Pakistan as a launching pad for what was pure terrorism to the Soviet supported government in Afghanistan.

From a systemic perspective, 9/11 helped Washington establish its military presence in Pakistan and also re-establish the “red lines” that had disappeared after the collapse of the Soviet superpower, impelling Washington to restrain its Pakistani client state. The key factor in all these developments is Musharraf. The situation could be totally different under a civilian government or a General who was not keen in self-promotion at the cost of the survival of Pakistan.

Pakistani nation is now facing double wrath: the wrath of its own armed forces and the wrath of the US aggression. The nation might have faced at least the aggression from outside, had Musharraf decided not to join the United States in its war of aggression on Afghanistan. Now it has to reel under the occupation of its own armed forces as well as withstand the worst of the US onslaught.

The line between independence and occupation of Pakistan by its own armed forces is getting finer with each passing day. The cost of weakness on the part of the military leadership is now confirmed as an occupation without a military conquest. Pakistan has, unfortunately, become the first victim of this new kind of occupation–”a model of a “failed state” perfectly controlled from outside with curtailed sovereignty and limited freedoms. Do we see any difference between the Kazai and Musharraf regime? In the Afghanistan, the US forces go out and bomb Afghanis to death as and when they like. The same are they doing in Pakistan.

The only difference between the US occupation of Iraq, for instance, and Pakistan is that the collaborating military in Iraq is under training. In Pakistan, the US has found a well-trained and well-established army to serve its objectives for free. However, even this is not the end of the story. The general has to surrender more because despite his regime’s wholehearted sacrifice of all the principles of justice and the norms of independent states, American analysts, such as Leon T. Hadar of the Cato Institute, consider Pakistan “with its dictatorship and failed economy” a “reluctant partner” and a “potential long term adversary.”

Therefore, instead of friendship or partnership on the pattern of India-US relations, occupation is a must and here the Pakistani nation is: fully occupied. Like any other occupied territory, dictatorship is in full swing in Pakistan. Besides being bombed by the US, now on regular basis, hundreds of people, pointed out by the intelligence of occupation forces, are routinely rounded up in order to placate Washington.

Pakistan’s occupation by its own military will continue in one form or another until it breathes its last, for the simple reason that the nation itself is half-dead. A substantial part of a nation dies the day its people start dying for others against their will. The soul of a nation is fatally wounded the day its armed forces start leading it in a battle against its raison d’être. Eliminate a nation’s purpose, and you extinguish its spark of life. The country that acquiesces in evil can hardly hope to enjoy the benefits of goodness. No one draws freedom or life from a land of oppression and death.


"The author’s latest book, The Musharraf Factor: Leading Pakistan to Inevitable Demise," thoroughly analyzes the issue of Pakistan’s occupation by its own armed forces and the United States.