|HOME | NEWS | COLUMNISTS | GUEST COLUMN|
|December 19, 2001||
The ISI's double game
As the first phase of war in Afghanistan comes to a close, the situation is getting more curious by the day. Sample this: an Eastern Alliance (the so-called anti-Taliban Pushtoons) fighter tells an American journalist that he has just offered a prayer for the well-being of Osama bin Laden since he is a fellow Muslim!
Mark the contrast between the thousands of Al Qaeda and Taliban men surrounded in Mazar-e-Sharif and Kunduz and the measly number of prisoners taken in fighting in the Tora Bora mountains as well as in Kandahar. As The Washington Post has noted, not a single important Taliban leader or Osama follower has been caught in this 'fierce' fight.
Then on Monday CNN showed a hilarious clip of the Pakistani Army 'sealing' the Afghanistan border! The clip showed a company-sized unit (100-odd soldiers) alighting from vehicles and marching smartly along a frontier road! If this is 'sealing' the border, Musharraf is a modern Napoleon or Powell a 21st century Patton!
The signs are unmistakable. The Pakistanis and the pro-Taliban elements are doing their level best to save Taliban and Al Qaeda fugitives. This is where the attack on Parliament fits in the jigsaw puzzle.
Unfortunately for the ISI, the attack was only partially successful. The terrorists failed to detonate the car bomb and also could not enter the building. But this happened accidentally. Imagine the situation if the terrorists had succeeded in detonating their bomb and killing the vice-president! There is no question that India would have erupted and a shooting war would have begun between India and Pakistan.
Given the nuclear status of both countries, the entire attention of the world and that of the United States would have been then diverted from Afghanistan to the Indo-Pak border. Even now some success has been achieved. Pakistan has now a ready excuse to turn its attention away from Tora Bora and feign inability to check the escape of Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders in the country's vast human sea.
These events may not be to the liking of the moderates or even Musharraf, but time and again it has been proved that the ISI and other jihadi elements have their independent agenda and are not under the control of the Pakistani state, such as it is.
There are several precedents. On the eve of the Lahore bus journey, Hindus were massacred in Doda. When Bill Clinton visited India, we had the Chattisinghpura massacre of Sikhs. All of these incidents went against the interests of Pakistan. Maybe there is some truth in the separatist Hurriyat Conference's assertion that every time there is a chance of peace in Kashmir, an event takes place to sabotage the prospects.
The events of the recent past just go to show the determination of the jihadis and their single-minded pursuit of a bloody agenda. Will Pakistan's father and foster father [the UK and the US, respectively] see the light of day even at this late stage? Or will they continue to pretend that the radical Islamic threat is confined to Afghanistan and Somalia?
With the evidence of Pakistani collusion in Al Qaeda's nuclear and biological weapons programmes coming to light, it is possible that the next attack on the US could be even more devastating than the one on 9/11. Maybe the Powells of this world will then see the wisdom in Indian pleas.
|Tell us what you think of this column|
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | SEARCH
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK