n Zain Waseem A lot has happened in Pakistan in the past few months. It started with the arrest of Raymond Davis, a CIA operative, who killed two Pakistani citizens in broad daylight in Mozang on January 27, 2011. Pakistan crossed the Rubicon, when Davis was formally charged with pre-meditated murder in the court of law, in Lahore. It is no secret that American spy was maintaing close contacts with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and was surely involved in anti-state activities. This fact was given further credibility, when the American administration demanded his immediate release. His arrest rang alarm bells in the White House, because in case Raymond unearthed the information that he had gathered during his stay in the country, it would have exposed the CIA networks clandestine activities: The assisting, funding and training of the so-called Pakistani Taliban, which have inflicted irreparable damage to our nation. Our military and ISI are not only the centres of gravity, but they are also the countrys saviours. In the aftermath of the Davis episode, where the militarys top brass had showed constant defiance to USAs repeated request for his release, something had to be done to weaken its image and influence in the eyes of the local populace. In this context, CIA, with the help of the US Navy SEALs and President Barack Obamas permission, conducted Operation Geromino in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, in which, reportedly, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (OBL) was killed. Undoubtedly, the operation was conducted to achieve the following objectives: p To indicate that America is a power to be reckoned with and that it is the strongest nation in the world, who can take out anyone who tries to maintain/establish an anti-American agenda. p To reinforce the perception that Pakistan is the hub of terrorism, and that its premier intelligence agency is financing and training the militants; to declare the ISI as a terroristic organisation and further isolate Pakistan internationally. p That the Pakistani armed forces and its agencies are incapable of defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and are an undue burden on the national exchequer; they should be made to account for all their actions. p To further destabilise Pakistan by alienating the Arabs, who are sympathetic towards OBL and his cause, and to attract hatred towards Pakistan from the Arab world. Furthermore, while the Pakistani nation had not recovered from the shock of bin Ladens death in Abbottabad, four terrorists attacked the Mehran Naval Air Base on May 22. Although all the four terrorists were killed by the commandos, yet it was not in time to prevent the destruction of two P-3C Orions. Although it is evident that the precision with which the terrorists attacked the air base would have been impossible to handle the situation had the commandoes not been thoroughly prepared/trained for the mission by a knowledgeable military outfit, yet the entire blame was heaped on the leadership of Pakistan Navy, rather than trying to deduce the actual motive behind the attack and pointing out that the real beneficiary behind this faade was India directly and the US indirectly. Osamas killing and the PNS Mehran attack remained hot topics in the Pakistani media for weeks. Instead of condemning the US and India, the opposition leaders and pseudo-intellectuals promoted the agenda of the Western elements, either by design or by default. Both the incidents were labelled as major intelligence failures and incompetence on the part of the armed forces to undertake the tasks assigned to them. Furthermore, derogatory and inflammatory remarks were passed against the military top brass, in an attempt to create a void between the armed forces and the people. History is full of examples where the armed forces of certain countries have not been able to respond appropriately/in time in similar situations, due to lack of intelligence reports. But the people in these nations have stood by their security forces, instead of condemning them, thus promoting a sense of patriotism and harmony. However, it is pathetic to note that exactly the opposite happened in our beloved nation where the situation was used as a tool to settle personal scores, gain some cheap publicity or make some money at the expense of the armed forces, which have been the sole state institution that has been both consistent and successful throughout the countrys history. It is indeed time for the nation to realise that our hope largely lies in the military and the ISI, especially when the whole world seems to be conspiring against our beloved Pakistan. This is nothing more than a vain attempt to rob Pakistan of its nuclear assets. Thus, we should continue to better this country in our respective capacities while also giving the armed forces personnel a pat on their backs for serving us so well over the decades. n The writer is a freelance columnist.