A H Bhatti

The US-led Western alliance has smelled the shifting of world economy to Asian heartland with opening up of China through CPEC which is unacceptable to them being population and resource deprived nations.

The creation of hostile situation in and around Pakistan - as conceived by US president’s statement - has nothing to do with the Taliban in Afghanistan or terror in India; it’s just who controls the energy and economic routs in Middle East.

The US, ‘burning’ millions of dollars daily in Afghanistan, is not here with their declared objective to liberate Afghans from the Taliban, thus Pakistan was targeted by Mr Trump for its friendly ties with China and convergence of interests between the US and India to set up India as their proxy to destabilise Pakistan, China and Russia, which is a dangerous game.

Moreover, to prolong the US and European control over the world financial and trade system through US-led occupation of “Afghanistan” is providing a necessary bridgehead to destabilise this region. The Indo-US nexus since long is also working on denial of Chinese access to Gwadar port, thus the road-map was drawn even before the 9/11 incident. The US bombing and occupation of Afghanistan followed by the move of Indian war machines along Pakistani eastern borders in December 2001 and giving free hand to RAW on Pak-Afghan borders by opening up of over two dozen terror centres under the garb of Consulates were just a start. The malicious campaign of maligning and undermining the state and armed forces of Pakistan on various fronts; followed by the engineered and sudden rise of TTP-like ISIS in Mideast- to destroy Pakistan within resulted into killing of over 60,000 men, women and children. Pakistan became the world’s worst sufferer of terrorism sponsored by India using Afghan Intelligence and territory- a shocking revelation provided by the Navy Commander Yadav and TTP Spokesman Ihsan Ullah Ihsan- and then dramatising and complaining with high drumbeats against Pakistan. No- it’s not fair at all.

Rewinding the incidents of last decade almost clears the truth with regard to Indo-Western powers’ agenda for Pakistan. One can only guess, but it is clear that nations do not have a single tactical track to pursue their strategic interests. They may have different plans for different contingencies. With present US posture towards India, the things have further deteriorated in the sense that Pakistan’s military and civil leadership may opt for aggressive pro-regional interest and may determine to get away from western vested interests. The option to further destabilise, denuclearise or even force Pakistan to submit; may also be pursued as a policy by the US if their history is traced back.

To be precise, the adversaries have intensified their smear campaign against Pakistan in yet another attempt to portray the Afghan failures as Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan must expect the worse and be ready with its ability and capability to respond to these threats with full might and force against its arch rival India. Here are few steps which may be helpful for collective national cause:-

First, Trump has chosen to blame Pakistan for its woes in Afghanistan. A clear policy declaration must be made that Pakistan cannot take any responsibility on behalf of the Afghan Taliban leadership and like other independent countries of the world, it cannot justify differentiated emphasis for military operations - the latest Khyber IV as an example- being fought by its own forces which attract the accusation of distinguishing between “good and bad” Taliban. The Western perception of Pakistan’s erstwhile support to militancy has to be strongly addressed at diplomatic level and Pakistan would be best served to adopt a very aggressive foreign policy towards India without wasting time. It’s time to re-adjust the diplomatic pendulum that has in the last decades fallen too much on one side. Pakistan must tell the world about the irrefutable and overwhelming proofs of Indian state sponsored terrorism against Pakistan using Afghan land since 2001 and cannot be ignored risking nuclear conflagration which has the potential to destroy both countries. This must be taken up with the West, UN Security Council, OIC and world capitals.

Secondly, Pakistan needs to be internally strong through unity to face the challenges and rely on itself. The best minds and brains in the country need to be brought together for the purpose of developing consensus amongst the masses and enacting a thorough, comprehensive and meaningful plan to address the volatile situation and deep rooted corruption to gain economic strength. Creation of a well-orchestrated volunteer service for the youth at the national level is need of the hour for multiple advantages to include disaster management, village/city level defence, public awareness, healthy commitments and gross root level public service tasks.

Thirdly, it’s the sovereignty of Pakistan being challenged on many fronts lead by India only. Before the sabre rattling Indians look bent upon a misadventure, Pakistan must warn India being fully responsible for her multiple nefarious designs and be alert to the situation and respond immediately with full force if challenged. The Plight of over 300 million Indian Muslims and Sikhs, living under tyrant Hindu extremist rule must also be brought under the world focus and full support may be provided for demand of a separate homeland for them.

Pakistan’s (Army Chief), Chinese, Russian and Iranian response in the back drop of Trump’s statement is very loud that they have stepped up their influence in the region and throughout Asia. Pakistan has come of ages and is here to stay geo-strategic compulsions facing her have undergone substantial changes. The globally recognised and proven resolve of Pakistan armed forces with patriotic public support actually protected the people and the state of Pakistan by investing great amount of blood and efforts, as it was planned to be fast turned into Libya, Syria or Iraq.

Today, Pakistan has almost disrupted and destroyed terror networks but the battle of the mindset is yet to be won with public resolve and consolidation of operational gains is still pending. The time has come to unite as a great nation for “a stronger Pakistan”. LONG LIVE PAKISTAN