Pakistan Can Help Obama To Earn
His Nobel Peace Prize
By Javed I. Chaudry
22 October, 2009
It is highly unlikely that Obama can deliver peace for which he won the Nobel prize merely on the basis of his oratories and the political rhetoric. But, Pakistan can help him achieve exactly that by distancing itself from the so called war on terror. By now it is clear that the world at large has no illusions about the American war on terror which is basically a metaphor for the American geo-political interests in the region to pave the way for its pipeline to tap into the future energy resources of the Central Asia.
It is an open secret that Pakistan was coerced into taking part in the American invasion of Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001. Gen. Musharraf had little choice but to comply or risk getting Pakistan bombed back to the stone age. That was then, when very little was known about American geo-political plans and the term ‘war on terror’ had just been coined, the scope and boundaries of which are still not fully understood by many.
The last 8 years of war on terror has caused plenty of death and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). The war has now been pushed into the interior of Pakistan proper. For the US and other NATO countries, this war is a business investment. For them, it is similar to speculative expenses of drilling oil wells, some bear fruit, and others don’t. But for Pakistan, the participation in the American war is a suicidal mission, the luxury which it cannot afford. Whatever the outcome of the Afghanistan invasion, the Americans and other NATO countries will eventually pick up the pieces and head home. But Pakistan’s socio-economic losses will be astronomical from which it will not be able recover for decades. During the next 5 years, Pakistan’s losses in term of its economy, social and industrial development will be many times more than 7.5 billion dollars it can expect to receive as the US aid after accepting the controversial Kerry-Lugar Bill.
It is not only the home grown insurgency from FATA region that is responsible for pushing the war into Pakistan. Based upon the information obtained from the captured insurgents and judging from their equipment it is obvious that they are getting a major support from NATO controlled Afghanistan as well as other powers possibly supporting a proxy war against Pakistan. Some of the insurgency can also be attributed to the radical elements advancing the ideology created with the help of American and Saudi money used with logistics provided by Pakistan during the 1980s to fight against the Soviets. From the stand point of the ideology of fighting against the invaders, the insurgents of the AfPak region are only doing what they were trained to do; they are fighting against the invaders and their allies. Pakistan being an ally now has to bear the brunt along with the US, the invader.
Can the American invasion of Afghanistan deliver any benefits to Pakistan? Considering all the issues involved, the answer will have to be a resounding, No. Under the circumstance, the only logical path to take for Pakistan is to distance itself from the American war on terror. The war is not about fighting terror, it is all about creating it. Pakistan, at a minimum, must withdraw itself from being an active participant in this American geo-political endeavor. After getting off the war on terror bandwagon, sending troops to FATA could become redundant.
The benefits of attacking Wazirestan, if any, will only be short lived. For the long run it will create ethnic divide within the country that may be hurtful for years to come. Pakistan can ill afford this exercise notwithstanding that there is already ethnic strife in Blochistan at the behest of several outside powers. The Balochistan problem is another important chapter of the political and economic aspirations of some foreign powers for the region. Pakistan does not have resources to fight on so many fronts while many of the enemies are engaged in covert operations to cause slow but a steady destabilization.
There are strong indications that the NATO forces will eventually face same humiliation as did the Soviets. Pakistan’s participation in the war is only prolonging the misery for all involved, the Afghans, the NATO forces and the safety and security of Pakistan itself. If, by some remote chance, the Americans ever manage to gain full control of Afghanistan (as they have full control over Iraq), then it would be quite logical to assume that the US will certainly like to have permanent control over Pakistan’s south west region, Blochistan, to have a permanent and independent corridor for easy access to Afghanistan. This factor should be taken into advisement by Pakistan as a natural and logical corollary of any such eventuality.
It is high time for the authorities of Pakistan to review its policy of partnership with the US war on terror which has already turned into a war of terror for Pakistan. Pakistan’s correct decision at this juncture will become a major mile stone for its own political and economic independence. Pakistan can stop the war almost overnight, providing Obama with an opportunity to earn his Nobel peace prize. Without the use of Pakistan’s territory, the American war will come to a screeching halt. The right decision will also provide an enhancement and strength to Pakistan’s fledgling democracy which has so far, only demonstrated its inaptness and incompetence. The time has come for Pakistan to show political and diplomatic maturity, independence, initiative and courage by doing the right thing by saying ‘No’ to the American war on terror and save itself from undue war of terror. It is time for Pakistan to stand up and be counted as a self respecting nation.