A Pakistani-American went to the Af-Pak border area of North Waziristan. He stayed there for 5 months and learned the rudiments of building a bomb. He returned to Connecticut and built a bomb in his home. He drove to New York City, parked his SUV in Times Square and set off the bomb. By the grace of God, the bomb failed and a catastrophe was averted.
This happened while the “cooperation” between Pakistani Army and American Forces is the best it has ever been. The Obama Administration has declared the Pakistani Army as its critical ally and its indispensable partner in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Army is doing its best, according to the American Generals, to fight the extremists inside Pakistan’s de facto boundaries.
If a solitary man can do all of this under the best of American-Pakistani circumstances, what could others do after America leaves Afghanistan and the Taleban end up controlling the Afghan government?
You don’t have to go far to find the answers. Read what Ahmed Rashid wrote in the Washington Post last week:
- “North Waziristan is the hub of so many terrorist groups and so much terrorist plotting and planning that neither the CIA nor the ISI seems to have much clue about what is going on there. What is happening in North Waziristan is having a global impact. Something has to be done about a region that has become an even greater terrorist hub than Afghanistan was before 2001”.
If the feared Pakistani ISI does not have a clue of what is going on in North Waziristan, an area under Pakistani administrative control, does any one really believe that the Pakistani ISI can figure out what happens inside Afghanistan once the American forces leave? Isn’t it a real possibility that Afghanistan under the control of the Taleban would become a larger and more capable version of today’s North Waziristan?
The Obama Administration has convinced itself that there are “good” Taleban and that it has the smarts to figure out who the “good” Taleban are. Their plan is to allow the “good” Taleban to take over Afghanistan. They should read the New York Times article that writes:
- “Those (Talebani) groups have “morphed,…. Their common agenda, training and resource sharing have made it increasingly difficult to distinguish one from another. The alliances have also added to their skills and tactics and list of shared targets.”
- “The Taliban is the local partner of Al Qaeda in Pakistan.” – Amir Rana, director of Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.
Despite this, the Pakistani Army refuses to attack the Pakistani Taleban inside North Waziristan, an area under its control. Instead as Ahmed Rashid writes, the Pakistani “army has struck deals with the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan not to attack Pakistani forces“. This reminds us of the deal that Saudi Arabia struck with Osama Bin Laden in the late 1990s in which the Saudis reportedly told Bin Laden that he should leave Saudi Arabia alone and Saudis will leave him alone.
Both Saudi Arabia and Bin Laden kept their part of the bargain. The result? The attack on America on 9/11.
The Pakistani Army and ISI have believed from the beginning that they could distinguish between the “good or pro-Pakistani” Taleban and the “bad or anti-Pakistani” Taleban. Today, all the Talebani groups seem to be helping each other. According to the New York Times, even Sirajuddin Haqqani. Pakistani Army’s most favorite Taleban leader, “recently indicated support for the Al Qaeda agenda“.
What has been the impact of this deal on the people under the Pakistani Army regime? Ahmed Rashid writes:
- A sense of despair and helplessness has come to grip the Pakistani public, which faces more suicide bomb attacks each day than even the Afghans next door. Major cities like Peshawar, where more than 100 police officers have been killed this year, are under siege by the Pakistani Taliban.
Despite all this evidence, the Obama Administration remains confident that it can select the “good Taleban” to be a crucial part of the post-American regime in Afghanistan. If they prove to be wrong, then post-America Afghanistan will become a much larger and more lethal version of today’s North Waziristan.
We shudder to think what that would mean for New York City and America!
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