Google+ Badge

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dead End

The whole thing is very tense. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of joint chief of staff of US armed forces, accusations against Pakistan secret service Directorate for Inter-services Intelligence for its alleged active role in the attacks against Americans in Afghanistan has caused the diplomatic uproar. The debates are being held at higher level, accusations hurled, even the threats being directed at each other where America as usual is threatening to cut the aid and undertake " all the possible options" whereas Pakistan, as usual, vociferously speaking out against any possible attempt to violate its sovereignty, a joke in itself indeed. The latest revelation by Carlotta Gall, on 26th of September 2011, in New York times about the Pakistan's security forces direct assault on American forces after a meeting to solve the border dispute in Teri Mengal on 14th of May 2007 ended, resulting in the killing of Major Larry J Bauguess and eventual hiding of the details of the event by Americans in order to avoid any confrontation with Pakistan at that time, sheds light on overall worsening of diplomatic ties which made this exposure possible. The timing is important.

But apart from all this diplomatic meneauvoring, an anatomy of the event is necessary to understand what makes the current episode important and how potential it can be in shaping the future scenario.

Two articles published on 23th of september 2011 by Michael Semple and Jeffery Dressler on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy respectively are important in two way. One, the projection of Haqqani network from mere militia status based in North Waziristan, carrying out cross-border attacks against Americans in Afghanistan ,to more bigger entity supervising " North Waziristan Militant Complex". Second, enjoining an autonomy on it regarding the execution of its operations with no approval whatsoever from the main Taliban leaders in its recent attacks. This indeed is going to cause serious problem to Pakistan. Haqqani Network is being referred to as one among those militant organization who are going to profit from the war and have no plan to engage politically. This distinct categorization of Haqqani Nerwork from Taliban have major implications for Pakistan because of its alleged association with the Network. Since 2008, 15 major attacks have been attributed to Haqqani network. These include july 2008 attack on Indian Embassy, Intercontinental hotel in Kabul, 20 hour long assault on American Embassy on 13th of September 2011 . Americans are frustrated. The domestic politics of America have major say in the events unfolding at the moment. Obama has to give his public something before election. The economic situation at home is not going to allow much flexibility in carrying the war further. The important point here is that, if the attacks on Americans do not cease and Pakistan fails to take any action against the Haqqani network, will America be forced to take stronger action than it has been taking till now?
On 23th of September, 3 days after Admiral Mike Mullen briefing to the Senate, a drone attack in North Waziritan killed 6 militants from Haqqani network. The latest attack occurring on 27th of the same month.
The gravity of the accusations were timely comprehended by Pakistan. Apart from the apparent display of anger, Pakistan sought the help of Saudia Arabia and China in diffusing tension with USA. Pakistan situation is becoming extremely complex. In fact, the complexity originates from the failure of Pakistan in producing a coherent viable strategy regarding Afghanistan. To date, its still not sure what exactly are Pakistan's objective. In response to American accusations against Pakistan, Pakistan Today reported on 28th of September, that Pakistan has shown willingness to help mediating between Haqqani and US. The offer is not new as Pakistan has repeatedly refused to take military action in North Waziristan against Haqqani and have insisted for opting for negotiations, which American probably finds suspicious. Marc Grossman's, US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, call to Hussein Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to USA, in response to the offer throws light on the dilemma Americans face as well. They can't survive in Afghanistan without Pakistan. But domestic political and economic imperatives have also to be taken into account.

So what's important here is that, will America government be able to pressurize Pakistani's enough to force them to take action against Haqqani network, failing to do, what exactly will be their response? They can not afford the cross-border attacks against them.These attacks, which cast doubt to any American claim of even minimal victory in Afghanistan, require taking action against Haqqani, but they can not afford to lose Pakistan as well. The former objective requires confrontational strategy whereas latter one requires her to bring her tone down. Pakistan's dilemma is that its failure to revise its policy of strategic depth ultimately push her in supporting the militias and keep them as assets. So, if Pakistan does not revise its policy, keeps on sticking to its confrontational tactics, keep her utility alive through proxies instead of constructive political engagement and trying to enforce Pushtuns ( Taliban), who makes up 40 percent of total afghan population, over the other ethnic group, how will she be able to confront the pressure of USA? The cross-border attacks won't cease. Its seems unlikely, given the above scenario, that Americans and Pakistanis can pursue their objectives together. Its a dead-end situation. Its an alliance of entirely divergent objectives.Even if the tension is diffuse for sometime, it can't be avoided indefinitely. How long can Pakistan keep off the pressure of USA, that is to see, but Pakistan is running short of time.

No comments:

Post a Comment