Recently, a news item caught my attention that by opening NATO supply routes, Pakistan will earn $365 million annually. By the time you will be reading these lines, re-opening of supply routes might have been finalized. The issue was a bone of contention in Pak –US relationship since the Salala check post incident on 26th November 2011. The present democratic regime may take the credit for bringing the US administration on table talks which was not the case in Musharraf’s regime. The decision to re-open the supply routes is an unpopular one and will attract criticism from opposition, religious parties and public alike.
Since 2001, Pakistan has been serving as a front line ally of the US in its War on Terror (read error). In terms of cost-benefit analysis, Pakistan has lost more than it has gained. In monetary terms, we have incurred losses amounting Rs. 68 billion whereas if we talk about human losses it translates to roughly 40,000 precious lives. In this case, the math is simple; earning $365 million per annum at the cost of 24 soldiers. How is it different from “blood money”?
Talking of blood money reminds me of the famous Lockerbie bombing case, a precedent set by the US itself. If we take into account the money paid by Libya for the loss of life of one US citizen on the hijacked plane then the same value should have been assigned to the human loss that we have incurred in the form of drone strikes and bombings. The US claims that drone strikes are inevitable. Not surprisingly, in order to support their ailing economy, Pentagon has ordered General Atomic to increase their production that makes $4 million on every drone produced.
The ‘war on terror’ and ‘promoting democracy’ are the 21st century equivalents of the 19th century British gobbledygook. American Late Neo-colonialism purveys them as moral justification and uses as political cover for intervening and, where necessary, invading resource-rich and strategic countries to overthrow nationalist leaders install puppet regimes and ravage the countries’ wealth. And of course the US is by far the most powerful terrorist force. But the American War in Afghanistan has turned out to be an amazing circus of military ineptitude. NATO’s problem in Afghanistan is how to get out without losing too much face. In this scenario, US needed a scapegoat and who else could be a better one than Pakistan.
Oil lies at the center of the War on (T) error. Failure to recognize this and its full implications has distracted and muddled our thinking and debates into “smoke screen” issues. The real objective of the US is to achieve complete military domination over oil resources and routes. The latest estimate of the US spending on “oil wars” is around $2-2.5 trillion. One has to be completely blind to believe that the US is spending this amount just to fight terrorism or bring democracy in Iraq & Afghanistan. In its pursuit of achieving military primacy, the US has devastated Iraq & Afghanistan. Now, Pakistan is in danger of
becoming a “collateral damage” of the US pursuit of global energy control and military domination if Pakistan Army and establishment continue to fight its so-called “war on (t)error”. This War has brought Pakistan to the greatest crisis since 1971, a crisis that can result in the disintegration or Balkanization of Pakistan (God forbid).
The people of Pakistan will not tolerate foreign hegemony under any circumstances. On the basis of the self-same logic, they would never agree to an internal hegemony by any institution of the state. The two hegemonies compliment each other. If our people meekly submit to internal hegemony, they will have to submit to external hegemony. This is so because the strength and power of external hegemony is far greater than that of internal hegemony. If the people are too terrified to resist the weaker force, it is not possible for them to resist the stronger force. The acceptance of or acquiescence in internal hegemony means submission to external hegemony.
Fear is no policy, surrender is not an option William Francis Butler once said, “The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.”
The saying above aptly describes the situation in Pakistan post NATO killings. I think that the major cause of instability in Pakistan is the American led War on (T) error. Our government should revisit its foreign policy and rely more on regional strategic partners like China and Iran. I think that the US should leave the treachery of aiding us on the face and stabbing us at our backs. It’s time to let them know that we will not tolerate any foreign interventions, in any form whatsoever at all. If a country like Iran could flout sanctions and send supplies to Syria, why couldn’t we? Boycotting the Chicago Summit could have been our first step in tactfully wiggling out of this alliance by clearly shifting our stance from “Do more” to “No more”.