In the line of fire – Briefly

In his recently launched book and in a televised interview, Pakistan President Musharraf has confessed that he was threatened into coopearating with US on their War on Terror. It was learned that immediately after 9/11, -barely a couple of days after that- Richard Armitage called the Pakistani premier and told him to either be with them or against them. And in the advent of Pakistan going against, they should prepare themselves to be bombed into stone age. That was enough. Controversy erupted and as the world media began rolling their reems, the American bashers began smacking their lips.

Richard Armitage too, on his part, didn’t deny it outrightly but said that he has just stopped short of delivering a strong message and didn’t use the words ‘stone age’. But that was enough for the media, especially the ‘free-thinking’ ones to began their mudslinging at America and especially Bush. Their conviction that US is ought to swallow the non-aligning countries and behaving like a big-bully was more than confirmed. Bush, the real terrorist of the world, was stripped naked.

Alas, I don’t, as before, go with these ‘free-thinkers’. Even at the cost of being called war-monger and narrow-minded.

It is unfortunate that Armitage had to use some ‘strong words’ to persuade Pakistan. But then, what kind of country required that kind of persuasion? The country, which is causing endless trauma to its neighbour, which houses some of the most celebrated terrorist leaders and the only country that recognized the nation-state ran by a group of fanatic terrorists.

I strongly believe that what Armitage said to Pakistan is what India should have told when Kargil happened. When Parliament attack happened. When Mumbai blasts happened. If Armitage can convince Musharraf, I can think of the following which could have convinced him too:

‘Handover Dawood Ibrahim or prepared to be bombed’

‘Close down your terrorist camps in PoK and withdraw from Kargil or be prepared to get nuked’

‘Stop talking about Kashmir issue or be prepared to go back to Jurrasic Era’

So what is the guarantee that Pakistan wouldn’t have heeded to any of these threats? When Kargil was happening, why did Prime Minister Sharrif withdrew troops after meeting President Clinton? What kind of ‘persuasion’ did Clinton employ?

Unfortunately, we didn’t use any of these threats. All we did was keep our soldiers at eye-ball-to-eye-ball confrontation and then returned all of them and in this eye-ball waiting game, lost around 200 soldiers to adverse weather.

I understand that US is being utterly selfish in their desperate need to have an islamic ally while waging their war on terrorism. But why didn’t that Islamic ally willingly extend support? Why did Pakistan need such a strong threat before deciding to extend their support? Don’t they know/think that Taliban’s existence is extremely dangerous not only to US but to various other countries including Afghanistan?

And to extend this theory, did Taliban receive this threat as well? Were they told to ‘behave’ and handover Osama or close al Queda camps or whatever and failing which, be prepared to be pounded to dust? Since Musharraf being a sensible and responsible head of state he heeded and prevented his country going to stone age whereas Mulla Omar is an insensible and illiterate rogue who asked US to go to hell and in turn went to hell himself?

So who had the option to prevent the war on Afghanistan and the death of thousands of civilians? Is it Bush or Mulla Omar? Mulla Omar wouldn’t have bothered either way because before Bush went there, he himself was busy killing many Afghans on various crimes such as shaving, wearing nail polish or going to school.

My stand is this: I welcome the war on terror and what America did to Afghanistan. I’m extremely happy that Mulla Omar is dead and the Talibans are hiding in some obscure caves. I thank Bush for achieving this and Musharraf for helping him. If this has not happened, I dread to think how many more skyscrapers would have been reduced to dust and how many planes would have been landed in Kandahar or Kabul to help release terrorist leaders.

I don’t care that all this done because US is very selfish. I long to think how much we would have achieved if India was as selfish in their foreign relations.

I’ve read only the exerpts of this book but I’m quite keen to read. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to reflect after reading it fully. Watch this space.