Bisecting Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan’s insurgency for its funding source

The United States squarely puts the blame for the failure of the War on Terror and anything related to the Taliban and the Al Qaeda on Pakistan. Unfortunately the bubble is blown by none other than a US congressman. Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher claimed “The Taliban was a construct of the CIA and was armed by the CIA” Let’s explore how far this is true.

In a 1998 interview, Zbigniew Brezinski, Carter’s national security adviser admitted that U.S. aid to the mujahideen factions began before the December 1979 invasion and played a role in inviting the Russians into the region. The entire plan had been to trap the Russians in Afghanistan and use factions such as the Taliban to fight their war for them. According to Brezinski the first ruling for secret aid to the mujahideen came on July 3, 1979 under President Carter himself. Soon after that an American delegation was sent to Pakistan to use it as a puppet to fight their war against the Soviets for them. Pakistan took almost all the losses for the war and the blame for arming the Taliban which could never have been possible without American financing and naturally when the war was over so was the assistance that Pakistan had been promised by the United States. Today Pakistan faces the fallout of what happened back then in the face of a raging insurgency fuelled further by the American presence in Afghanistan that has killed over 2500 Pakistani soldiers and over 8000 Pakistani civilians with over 20000 Pakistanis grievously wounded.

Certain media outlets are telling the World that Pakistan is receiving ‘huge amounts of aid’ and may be supporting the militants to milk that aid. However they aren’t telling the World what makes this theory implausible. According to Pakistan’s Interior Ministry the damage caused to the Nation in the loss of infrastructure and life was $35 Billion in up to July 2009. This was based on a conservative estimate but for lack of other figures we will use this. Since there has been no real let up in the violence from that period the current estimates put the damage to well over $42 Billion in return for a meagre and reluctant American compensation. The exact figure of aid is still unknown and various estimates put it from 4 Billion to 17 Billion. So from being in the War on Terror Pakistan is already at a loss financially without counting the loss in investment and the loss of developing markets for Pakistani exporters.

In any case to have caused such much major damage the Tehreek E Taliban would need to be exceptionally well organized, very well armed and extremely well funded. The well funded and well armed bit specially stands surprisingly true since around 86% of the Taliban have never gone to a college or university before and 40% have only studied till Matric (About 9th grade) or even less. Most of the Taliban soldiers are completely illiterate and can barely sign their names on a piece of paper. The riddle of where the money may be coming from in a country where about 70% of the population lives below $2 a day or even how the major commanders seem to have evaded capture every time Pakistan launches an operation still remains unsolved.

To give the Taliban their due however they have indeed developed a source of funding in Pakistan over time. According to analysts the primary known sources of the Taliban’s wealth are donations from its sympathizers, looting of supply convoys, kidnap for ransom and extortion of protection money. Recent reports indicate that Taliban are even involved in bank robberies in major Pakistani cities such as Karachi while it has also been speculated that a great deal of the poppy growth cultivation in Afghanistan directly benefits the Pakistani Taliban. According to the past governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this reserve seems to be increasing by approximately $45 Million annually. This in itself is a large figure. In fact it is actually just about half of what the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has been capable of spending on the war on terror. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government spent about $89.5 Million on law and order according to the 2009-10 National budget.

According to analysts the Taliban has also accumulated around $250-400 Million of wealth over time. Therefore the word that the Taliban is operating its own government with its own standing finances stands correct.

If any further evidence of this is required, according to a report from Dawn a single Pakistani police constable makes about $80 a month while a Taliban foot soldier in Pakistan makes $170 per month. Even in death the government cannot match up to the Taliban. The heir of a dead policeman receives about $6000 while a suicide bombers family is often given sums of over $20000. The total number of Taliban troops and terrorists associated with other radical organizations operating under the umbrella of the Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan is 35,000. Using the figures and multiplying the yearly expenditure of the Taliban on salaries for its fighters and compensation for the families of suicide bombers the figures add to $72 Million. This is more than the $45 Million they are earning.

Given that the organization has spent approximately $72 Million of its wealth to pay their bombers and their foot soldiers it still leaves the question of acquisition of arms, weaponry and other expenses for its fighters. If that isn’t enough to prove that the Taliban is a power to be reckoned with even bolder is the announcement of Hakeemullah Mahsud the Taliban commander that the Taliban can give $20 Million in aid to the government to provide for the flood victims of Pakistan if the American aid for the floods is rejected.

It is certainly clear that the Taliban is earning more than $45 Million annually and that money is not enough to maintain the group’s terrorist activities. It is also clear that to spend $72 Million yearly they would have to have another income source. This definitely means that either someone from outside is supporting the Taliban or the Taliban have even more sources of income that have not come under the scrutiny of Pakistani analysts and officials.

Pakistan becomes a punching bag: Blaming the ISI

The ISI has been the target of the blame for the monster we face today. Many writers and journalists even within Pakistan have begun taking a page from the American media and questioning whether it is certain Pakistani generals and the ISI secretly supplying the terrorists. The question is could this be true today and if so have these same generals or the ISI actually benefitted from the current situation of Pakistan?

Even if the claim that sympathetic generals within the army are supporting the insurgents holds true the question still remains how can the insurgent’s have estimated wealth reserves of around$250-400 Million when it comprises of a group of ragtag and illiterate men, most of whom cannot read a single passage in any language. If the ISI is responsible, as the US media would have us believe, well then it’s for sure that the agencies entire staff’s salary is being handed over to the Taliban for the group’s sustenance while the agencies own agents and operatives are going home without their salaries. Not to say they are perfectly happy with the murder of their own fellow countrymen by the Taliban. The funds available to the ISI are classified but for an impoverished country like Pakistan it is likely to be much less than $250 Million.

Nonetheless ‘rogue agents’ from the ISI are the focus of the blame. The fact that totally makes this theory baseless is how severely the same intelligence set up of the country has been targeted. A small count of the attacks on the ISI in the country will reveal this.

-The attack in Multan on the ISI building kills 8.

-The attack in Peshawar on the ISI kills around 10.

-ISI provincial headquarters in Lahore attacked on 28th May killing 35 and wounding over 300.

-The brutal murder of 2 main ISI agents Khalid Khwaja and Colonel Imam by the Taliban, the two very same people often blamed for supporting the Taliban were killed by the very people the US media alleged they were supporting.

-The very recent bombing of the ISI building in Faisalabad.

This proves that ISI is losing both men and is suffering severe financial losses in the War on Terror. These are some of the bomb attacks that are known but there are more deaths that are going unaccounted for by the media.

According to an unnamed official many agents and operatives have been sent to the North and South Waziristan region to collect intelligence and have wound up dead. The ISI keeps mum about its losses officially which sometimes makes it hard for people to understand that it has also taken losses in this war.

If the losses are compared to other intelligence agencies the results are strikingly different. Well known CIA operations remain intact in Afghanistan and it’s a surprise that the militants would so selectively attack the locations of the countries intelligence agencies and that also with absolute impunity. What is even more surprising is that many ordinary citizens of Pakistan do not know the locations of the ISI, yet the Taliban have attacked their headquarters in almost every major city.

Another whipping boy: The Pakistani Military

The military has suffered even more financial loss than the ISI. No doubt much of the American aid and assistance is militaristic in nature and ends up in the hands of the Pakistan army however on the other hand this same institution is the primary loser in the violence that has gripped the country.

Asad Khalil a self styled analyst who is trying to get a hold on the real figure on army losses both in terms of finances and personnel claims that the army has suffered at least $7 Billion in losses in the war on terror. If so even the army is losing more financially than it is gaining.

It is made further senseless to suggest that the Pakistani military is supporting terrorism when even videos tapes are revealing that terrorists are being tortured and shot by soldiers themselves enraged by the deaths of their comrades at the hands of the militants. A person just has to walk through any military building to see the fury military men have towards the terrorists.

Furthermore no matter how much we blame the mistakes of the past on our own military including Pakistan’s role in the Afghan civil war it is clear that the military could not have dreamed of facing the Soviets without US support, $4 Billion which were handed over to militants. Would it be sensible for Pakistan to face a superpower of that time such as the Soviets without support and would our leadership have taken the same decision if an American delegation had not come up and demanded help against the Soviets? So perhaps the United States is more to blame for the creation of terrorists than Pakistanis because in reality Pakistan was just used as a puppet state for an American war at that time.

Foreign Support to the Taliban

When it comes to certain Right Wing media groups they have continuously stood up and taken every opportunity to say that terrorism is being sponsored by various intelligence agencies of certain countries that are against the ideal of Pakistan.

The United States has sometimes been blamed for both directly or indirectly supporting terrorism in Pakistan but there has been no real official claim and nothing recorded from an official source. The USA’s activities in Pakistan would quite successfully have evaded the radar when it comes to supporting militants due to the deal the Pakistani government has made with them. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for the Pakistanis the country woke up from its slumber when a man operating in Pakistan as Raymond Davis murdered two Pakistanis on the streets of Lahore in broad daylight. That’s when reports of contacts on his cell phone came up, the gadgets in his car and photographs from his camera containing sensitive locations. There were 33 calls on his cell phone of which 27 were to known or suspected militants.

It appears Davis has been in contact with militants. According to Shakil Ahmed a journalist, Davis was only one of 1200 Blackwater agents spread out across the country. Police officials from Lahore further backed up these claims saying he had close links to militants and was instrumental in recruiting youth for the terrorists. Furthermore the ISI which according to the agreement with CIA is to keep tabs on all agents present in the country does not have Davis in its records.

Many people believe it was unfortunate what happened that day but perhaps it was lucky as it allowed Pakistanis to understand just what is going on in their country.

India has also been blamed and in this case rare examples of politicians, or media supporting these claims have come up. An article in late 2009 appeared claiming India was supporting terrorism in Pakistan and had funnelled $650 to the Taliban insurgents in Pakistan, a fact which was revealed by three captured militants themselves.

Another video appeared on the internet briefly where a militant commander admits to have been paid by India to fuel sectarianism in Pakistan on the television screen. Also after the Sri Lankan cricket team attack a report was made public that had been received by the local police in Lahore. This report can be seen here.

It is also imminent to mention here that India has four consulates in Afghanistan. This is more than the number of consulates a country would want to have in such an impoverished country. What is most alarming for Pakistan is that three of these consulates are right across the border. India has continuously been blamed for fomenting unrest in Baluchistan.

Although the patriotic men and women of Pakistan are prepared to believe these reports and are eager to find out just what exactly they are facing in the shape of an extremely powerful, never ending insurgency and just who exactly is supporting them to destroy Pakistan, the only issue is none of this subject matter related to intelligence is discussed by our politicians and rarely have these claims been backed up.

All this can only mean that India and the United States are both working together to destabilize Pakistan. At this stage the people of Pakistan just want to know what they are facing.

The biggest question is why and how plausible is this theory?

The grim reality is that the Taliban is both earning and spending much more than was initially believed. Someone has to find out from where that money is actually coming from and come out clean once and for all about who is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.

The natural suspicion within Pakistan is and if the government tells us what is going on people are willing to actually believe or will it be seen as just another conspiracy theory as anything said against America these days is? The only way to make people believe is to prove it.

Why would the United States betray a key ally like Pakistan?  Many Pakistanis however reply to this question by saying hasn’t it done that in the past by abandoning the Pakistanis in terms of aid and economic support and the Afghans at the mercy of the Taliban whom they used to defeat the Soviets?

The fact is the USA is gaining from terrorism across the World and using it as an excuse to occupy lands where they had no presence in the past. It is also not taking most of the direct losses in the war which are rather pushed on to the local people of the regions where the wars are being fought yet these same allies are also the focus of blame. The United States is clearly hiding a huge secret here. It is more than time for that secret to be revealed and solid concrete proof presentable in the court of law must be brought forward detailing the countries support for terrorism.

If an agreement has been formed between India and USA in this regard this information must be revealed.

Whatever the case the Military is not coming out about who is sponsoring the insurgents while Pakistan is being made a scapegoat for a failing war on terror. At the same time it is surprisingly taking almost all the losses even when the militant groups claim to be fighting Americans.

This is creating a very dangerous situation for Pakistan and the stage is being set to abandon Pakistan again just like it was when it was used as a puppet against the Soviets to defeat them in Afghanistan. Pakistan cannot let the past repeat itself by following the American line again especially if this is some arm twisting manoeuvre where we are being forced even when we know the Americans are supporting terrorism.

Citation

Will present soon

Before dismissing this as a conspiracy theory learn this is a well researched piece for which I contacted 64 different sources. Why go through all this? Because I want to get to the bottom of what is going on in my country and I know for sure swearing on my own life that someone is supporting the Taliban very heavily. To defeat this insurgency that financial support has to be cut.

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By Havi Zayed

Lord Zerab Salamat the supreme leader of the Pakistan Nationalist Association has released a statement saying that the Nationalists would rest at nothing less than the hanging of American agent Raymond Davis who was arrested for cold blooded murder of two Pakistanis on the streets of Lahore. Another car belonging to the American embassy mowed down a Pakistani motorcyclist while heading towards Davis.

Pakistani annoyance with America has been reaching its peak as the country continually blames Pakistan for its own mistakes and has been treating Pakistan as a pet dog rather than as an equal ally. After the American invasion of Afghanistan the insurgency the United States created to fight the Soviets has spilt into Pakistan. Yet Pakistan is being made the focus of International blame due to the American media despite both its losses and the fact that without the United States the country could not even have thought of facing the Soviets.

Pew Global Polls a US based research group shows that the image of the United States in the country is still highly negative and has fallen from 60% of the population holding negative views of USA in 2005 to 68%. At the same time positive views of the country have also fallen. The recent incident is sure to ensure that the trend continues or is perhaps excelled.

Zerab Salamats Speech

To a gathered crowd of about 300 young Pakistani men and women in Muqaddar Mansion, Zerab gave a fiery statement in regard to the brutal killings by Raymond Davis which the US government is trying to cover with the excuse of diplomatic immunity.

The speech which lasted about 12 minutes answered a number of questions present in the minds of many Nationalists about the movements regards to foreign interference.

It was also a lashing attack on American behaviour in the region. He said that Pakistan was important to the rest of the World and if the USA did not stop treating Pakistan as a colony the people of the country may get sick of the behaviour and rise up in revolt. At the same time he made it clear that terrorism was a major threat that had to be dealt with or without the presence of the USA. “It would be a great pleasure not to have allies that betray their friends but it is clear that the militants are a threat and are just waiting to be used (by foreign powers). They must be eliminated for daring to wage war against the country. They have shown their true face as the betrayers they are by blowing up their own people. If their war was against the US why are they attacking us and weakening our country?” This reiterated the point that the Taliban and USA’s hypocritical attitude towards Pakistan is equal in Nationalist eyes.

To a question concerning American links to Taliban activities in the region the veteran replied “there is no doubt about it that the Americans are hiding something and we know well that their embassies are hotspots for their secret operatives whom they cover as staff. We also know that the US has worked with the terrorists in the past and forced us on the path (Soviet Afghan War) and are now trying their best to pin the blame on our revered institutions. We understand someone is clearly supporting the Taliban both monetarily and with weapons as the findings of our commission reveal. Since we have limited access to the region we have been unable to find out who but it is clear that such a thing can be done by a traitorous ally who can use the traitorous Taliban as puppets for its gains (Referring to the Soviet era).”

Falshim Amerat another very famous leader of the Organization who was contacted also called for action against American mercenary groups. “Pakistan is not a tool for the west to use and abandon. This is our land and they will realize that even if they have bought the government they cannot challenge the might of Pakistani law or the entire country will rise up. Davis must be hanged. We often find ourselves at odds with the religious parties when it comes to how much of a role religion should have in the country’s rule but here we agree completely. A traitor is a traitor whether American, Indian or a separatist and there is no doubt in our minds how one of such breed should be treated. CIA must stop all activities in Pakistan.”

This is indeed a very important point in Pakistani American relations that will decide the countries future. Either the Americans back off and accept the will of the Pakistani people or understand that this government is about to fall and may be replaced by one much less accommodating to American demands.

Years of unrelenting terror and its local fallout

Despite the success of the army operations in Swat and Malakand there have been continual complaints from the local people over the fact that many militant commanders still remain at large. This is one of the many factors contributing to the fear that the militants will take control of the region when the army will leave. The fact that the militants are still capable of continually bombing their cities and attacking their elders is also contributing to this fear.

However the biggest issue is how the militant organizations have been able to survive time after time despite constant operations launched for the purpose of eradicating them seemingly coming out again and again to claim assassinations and bomb attacks. This has resulted in resentment locally and much speculation from neo liberal anchors and media persons very used to following the traditional US line who question whether the Pakistan Army is serious about eliminating the militants. Since the media has no hope to offer much of this frustration is carried on to the common man who is exasperated that the insurgency simply does not seem to end and the war that makes their lives so miserable goes on unrelenting.

As a result many people even within the areas where terrorists have made local lives difficult making military operations imminent blame the government or the army for many of their problems including the war on terror which many people feel their country has no reason to be in. There is a reason to this dissatisfaction. People within the areas where war is being waged are frustrated by constant curfews which hurt locals and the shelling and aerial bombardment that often lead to civilian causalities.

To make it worse many issues the people face are even turned a blind eye further aggravating the situation. This in turn puts the idea in their minds that the Pakistan Army is playing a double game to milk western aid and killing its own people to earn it rather than terrorists who are few in number and manage to escape. A theory that would be very plausible had Pakistan not suffered $48 Billion of damage in acts of terrorism till today with the army suffering at least $4 Billion of those losses.

In any case the local causalities are indeed giving the impression that is already common in most Pakistani minds that the government is fighting a war it has no stake in, killing its own people and selling the Nation just so that it can fill its own pockets with American Dollars.

The situation truly needs to be addressed and people need to feel the army is on their side but the question remains who gains from this situation where the trust between the army and certain segments of the public has been reduced to such an extent where some people are not willing to trust the same men whose principle is supposed to be to protect the very lives of Pakistan’s public?

Pakistan becomes a scapegoat

While the USA ups the ante and continues blaming Pakistan for an insurgency the United States own money helped fund and create many generals within the Pakistan Army themselves strongly believe that their so called ally has been supporting local terrorists in Pakistan through the supply of arms, ammunition and various forms of financial support. To the liberals this may sound far-fetched but in reality it’s not very hard to believe considering the United States has done so in the past funnelling over 4 Billion dollars which included lump sums to commanders, arms, ammunition and training to the many mujahedeen groups during the Afghan Soviet War.

Much of the aid naturally happened to reach the Taliban with the full support and blessing of the CIA according to now declassified CIA documents but the powerful American media flanked by its Indian cohorts has successfully made Pakistan the scapegoat. This isn’t a difficult task since Pakistan is the country that had been passing on the United States assistance to the Taliban as the intermediary throughout all this time. The fact that Pakistan has a weaker media that still finds it difficult to take a Nationalist stand and show the Pakistani side of the picture while American media such as The Times or Fox News continues to portray Pakistan as a country that is playing a double game does little to reduce this perception.

Learning Lessons from the Afghan/Soviet War

The result of years of living under a terrorist threat that does not seem to disappear but just bounces back with every action the country takes is clear. Certain small and frustrated segments of society have cropped up to put the entire blame squarely on the ISI and the Army without thought. However according to most of Pakistan’s elite and middle class the blame often goes to Zia Ul Haq for creating the kind of mindset organizations such as the Taliban thrive on but few seem to remember that it was the Americans who came to him promising their full cooperation and opening up the doors of military aid and economic assistance to Pakistan in return for support against the Soviets. If this was the case at that time how different was it after the 9/11 attacks when the Americans came to Pakistan again demanding us to fight the same people they funded and created. If we were used at that time taking all the losses and took the blame later isn’t that exactly what’s happening again and what guarantee do we have that we are not going to be abandoned when the war is over like we were in past?

Zia Ul Haq today is Pakistan’s scapegoat with much of the population blaming his Islamicization for the problems we face today. This is indeed true but we fail to realize that he was used by the Americans in their war and made the very same mistake we are making today. He trusted the Americans over their claims that they would support Pakistan both economically and militarily. The support as it turned out lasted until the Soviets withdrew.

Zia Ul Haq even in his dreams would not have thought of facing the Soviets in the 1980’s if not for the insistence of the greatest superpower in the World, a superpower that awarded his country’s dedication to supporting them with the Presler Amendment, arms embargoes and an end to economic aid when it was handling an influx of 3 Million Afghan refugees other than the fact that about 70% of its own population were living in difficult economic conditions.

The truth is it’s great to look within and accept the problems in our society. It is an undeniable truth that there is intolerance and bigotry in our society which needs to be eradicated. It is clear that whenever our army has taken part in an internal operation it has often left more grievances and only partially solved the problem. The formation of Bangladesh and the simmering resentment in Baluchistan are clear examples. It is also evident that Pakistan has no business physically interfering in the affairs of another country no matter how bad things may appear.

Finally it’s imminent for us to understand that we cannot let foreign Nations continue to interfere in our country and influence our policies for their own benefits. Zia Ul Haq got the push to support the insurgency in Afghanistan from the United States, an insurgency Pakistan should never have had a part in as it produced only radicalism and if it was senseless to join that war on American insistence, Pakistan should never have had a part in the war today.

Although many Americans have a great hatred for their government’s lifelong allies the Al Qaeda and Taliban the policies of the two groups are very similar. The violence and bloodshed they are both capable of in order to complete their objectives and strategic interests are starkly similar.

When considering the Taliban was formed by the CIA and trained in causing maximum bloodshed including car bombings and assassinations it isn’t hard to understand where their barbarism actually comes from.

While one side may see itself as highly civilized the barbarism they represent is starkly similar to the Taliban. The terrorists are well known to use immense brutality against innocent civilians and non combatants without regard for humanity. In fact the brutality of the Taliban and the ideal of massacring all who come in their way or even those who don’t is very similar to the use of force USA uses against its enemies. The same recklessness is seen in the Taliban who massacre Afghan and Pakistani civilians in the name of the War against the occupying forces or even worse “The war for Islam”

However it must be noted being more technologically advanced the USA has managed to get much further ahead in terms of genocide of civilians and is the only Nation in the World that has used nuclear weapons. The Atom bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed over 220,000 people stand as a clear example of how much violence the Nation can use and how many innocents can be slaughtered for the USA to complete its goals and objectives. When Michael Walzer suggested that the attack was War terrorism and genocide a typical “proud” American Robert Newman came in to defend the bombings that destroyed thousands of lives.

Can a Cold Nation be an upholder of World Peace?

A question that almost instantly comes to mind is who in the World made the same irresponsible Nation that took part in the murder of over 3.5 Million civilians in Vietnam because it could not accept the will of the Vietnamese people? Who made the Nation that used nuclear weapons to bring a painful death to 220,000 civilians simply for the survival of 10,000-30,000 of its own soldiers the upholder of World Peace? Can that same Nation even squeak about Iran, Pakistan or North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons? How can that Nation still continue directing World Policy?

It is hard to understand who is a worse enemy of humanity. A terrorist country that bombs innocent’s, massacres Millions in their own homeland and then uses its monetary power and influence to bully the rest of the Nations of the World into submission or the terrorist organizations that fall into the trap and allow themselves to get used by the United States.

Who Suffers?

In the end who suffers? Not the USA but people within those countries where they interfere. It is painful to see that day after day Afghans, Iraqis and Pakistanis are falling prey to American foreign policy that once created the terrorists, used them for their own gains and abandoned them after profoundly betraying them leaving them to oppress the local people.

The ideal of the USA to purposely incite and enrage the Islamic World by continuously supporting Israel and showing great discrimination towards Islamic states and interfering in their affairs is to incite terrorism. With increasing rage and frustration against American double sided policies towards Muslims the rage will only increase and the ranks of the terrorists will increase. The process is never ending and the local population will continue suffering until one side relents.

The terrorists will continue using the excuse of foreign occupation and their atrocities to recruit new members to wage their pathetic war while the US will continue waging a war that is hurting the Nations they are occupying in the name of a brutal war that has no end. There is no end to the War on Terror because unfortunately the  upholders of peace themselves are the terrorizers of distant populations who have nothing to do with either the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Is there an end?

To bring World peace USA’s support for terrorism needs to end completely and its policies need a huge shift.

USA must stop using the Taliban to fulfill its strategic goals in the region and adopt a policy of letting other Nations live peacefully without interference in their affairs or sponsoring insurgencies in their land as an excuse to occupy them. The CIA specially needs to be curbed.

Perhaps the only way to bring back the American name it is sensible they should adopt an isolationist policy and stop scaring their own people into believing that terrorists are about to blow them up or if they don’t interfere in Afghanistan or Iraq everyday will be a 9/11. Those from the lands where this insurgency is being waged can very clearly say this is completely false. The victims of this war are our people who have taken more losses than America. Afghan, Iraqi and recently even Pakistani causalities have crossed American causalities including those in the 9/11 Attacks. Therefore the United States must stop victimizing itself. Even if it is the victim it has made others a much worse victim of its own policies.

The fact that the USA is hated worldwide speaks a great deal about who is seen as the aggressor today. There is no use denying it even if it is out of courtesy. We have been too courteous to the United States because its actions only call for us to treat it as a rogue selfish state that has made a mess of the World we live in now.

The immense dislike of the US does not come from support for the Taliban. It comes from US double standards and policies over the years. Until the United States understands the World and stops interfering in World Affairs where it has no business it will continue being seen as an evil and ignorant Nation.

This ignorance is where the terrorists draw their support from. And their victims are the Pakistanis and Afghans because they are the ones who are now in a precarious position right in the middle of the two.

A recent survey conducted by Pew Global Attitudes (a project of a research center in Washington) in Pakistan has proven that the 64% of the people of Pakistan despise the USA and see it as one of the greatest threats to Pakistan. On the other hand only about 9% believe that the US can ever be Pakistan’s allies. However 70% of the Pakistanis who were questioned are absolutely against the Taliban and seek their utter elimination. Another survey conducted for the international broadcaster Al Jazeera by Gallup Pakistan found that 59 percent of Pakistanis felt the greatest threat to the country was the United States rather than the Taliban.

As the report suggests Pakistanis despise the USA but do not side with the Taliban or Al Qaeda. Generally Pakistanis view them unfavourably but they see both of them as two sides of the same coin.

Unfortunately the Americans cannot come to understand why Pakistanis see them as their foremost enemy rather than the terrorists. On the other hand Pakistanis feel they have been constantly betrayed despite seeing the Americans as allies. They believe they have been used to accomplish USA’s strategic goals and interests in the region and then abandoned.

A look at history

The Taliban were formed, supported and funded by the USA in the 1980’s in order to drive away the Soviets from Afghanistan and offset the defeat they suffered to the Communists in the Vietnam War. According to newly opened CIA files USA wanted the Soviets to intervene in Afghanistan and aid was being transferred to Anti communist elements since July 1979 which was before the Soviets had officially invaded.

Pakistan was not always keen to join the war and did so upon USA’s insistence. Sources even claim that Zia Ul Haq did not want to get involved in the war but many promises of opening up military and economic assistance were offered to President Zia by American diplomats for joining the war. This and the promise of a long lasting relationship with the USA convinced Pakistanis.

However by directly interfering in neighbouring Afghanistan on the behest of American urging Pakistan suffered over 120 incidents of terrorism which killed many citizens. One such bombing was the Islamabad depot bombings were blamed on Najibullah’s government. USA suffered no losses as they had no troops on the ground and were too far away from the region.

Not surprisingly when the war was over Pakistan was not needed and the country was abandoned. In 1990 military and economic ties were cut off with Pakistan under the Presler Amendment which required proof that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear weapon.

Unfortunately the fact that America itself has one of the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the World and is the only Nation to have used them is ignored when talking about the nuclear aspirations of other Nations.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Tests

India conducted its first surprise nuclear test in 1974 known as the “Smiling Buddha.” USA turned a blind eye to the first test but India’s second test in 1998 which followed a similar test by Pakistan almost immediately received international condemnation. Initially sanctions were imposed on both India and Pakistan.

However after a few months the sanctions on India were removed while those on Pakistan remained. Certain military sanctions specially relating to nuclear technology continue till today however no such sanctions are being imposed on India. The differential treatment annoys Pakistanis as India has 10 times Pakistan’s population and is much larger than Pakistan. The military as well is larger than Pakistan’s own.

Furthermore Pakistanis can also not understand why USA signed a nuclear deal with India but is not willing to sign the exact same deal with Islamabad which has sent clear signals that it wants a peaceful nuclear deal with the USA for power generation purposes. Pakistan is facing crippling power shortages that are affecting the daily life of its citizens. In major cities people have to make do without 4-8 hours of electricity in a day.

The relationship today

Americans believe that the aid they are giving Pakistan in the War on Terror is more than enough and is a message to Pakistan to forget the past and move on. However what they don’t seem to understand is that the losses of Pakistan in the WOT have crossed $35.5 Billion in damages to Pakistan (These figures are from January 2009 and the figure may now be more than 48 Billion). The aid does not compensate Pakistan for the losses given that $11 Billion is not even a quarter of this figure.

To aggravate things further much of the aid given to Pakistan has still not been delivered and much of it will be eaten up by the administrative costs of the USA.

In addition the Americans have expressed no sympathy for the 8000 Pakistani civilians and 2000 soldiers killed in a highly unpopular war but have always pushed Pakistan to do more as if it were their colony.

Many Pakistanis as a result believe that USA is supporting terrorism in their country. The fact that the US has released several Taliban commanders from its custody such as Abdullah Mehsud who have attacked Pakistani Nationals soon after their release has further supported this belief. The latest addition to the long list of such commanders is Mehdi-Mohammed Ghazali who was captured in Pakistan recently and is a Swedish National released from Guantanamo Bay.

The American media has a way of aggravating the situation and pouring salt to the fresh wounds of the Nation. The baseless suggestion that Pakistani nukes may fall in the hands of terrorists only fuels rage and in turn is seen as a scheme to take possession of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. On the other hand the constant campaigns of accusations aimed at Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency the ISI and the military are seen as an attempt to isolate and destroy the military and ISI so that it cannot stop CIA’s designs in the region.

When it is stated that Pakistan is not serious in the War on Terror despite the death of thousands of its own people it also fuels Anti Americanism. The Pakistanis have now become even more suspicious of the USA because of these media campaigns.

Due to the American policies towards Pakistan in the past and those that still continue today many Pakistanis simply see the terrorist organizations as American agents. For the majority of Pakistanis the USA and Taliban are basically two sides of the same coin.

Can US-Pakistani ties ever develop?

The very attitude of the USA towards Pakistan leaves lingering resentment and rage amongst Pakistanis. It does nothing but make terrorist organizations more powerful.

Where yesterday only a section of the population believed no productive ties could ever develop between Pakistan and USA today this phenomenon is noticeable even amongst the moderates as they see the USA as their sworn enemy.

USA’s foreign policy is based on egotism and to protect their self interest the Americans are willing to cross any limit. For Pakistan it is the moment to take a tougher stance with the USA and design a policy that is in turn beneficial to the Nation.

Most Pakistanis are already suggesting that either the Pakistanis take a tougher stance towards the USA and demand to be treated with the respect they deserve or withdraw from the War completely declaring themselves neutral to both the USA and the Afghan Taliban.

Whatever the case it is high time for Pakistan to present itself on an equal footing as the USA otherwise it will continue to be taken for granted and will be used and abandoned as has been the case in the past. Pakistan cannot have a relationship with the USA where Pakistan’s sovereignty itself is lost. After all Pakistan is not a colony but an Independent Nation.

Strategic Allies or Hostile Enemies?

Many people who have constantly been brainwashed by the typical Fox News type media channels may wonder why any sane person would even think of questioning the almost understood fact that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are sworn enemies of the United States Government who is trying to eliminate them in the War on Terror. However the World often forgets or purposely ignores the fact that it is the United States itself that has not only created but also raised and nurtured the monster we see today. In this case it is not very hard to see how the Taliban and United States can work together for their own interests and how their interests meet in many aspects.

Background of the Afghan Civil War & USA’s role:

In the 1980’s the fanatics who we call Taliban or Al Qaeda today were funded and used by the Americans to attack the Soviets and drive them away from Afghanistan for their own gains. When the Soviets withdrew from the region and the task was over the USA stopped all aid to Afghanistan leaving the country war torn and destroyed after using it as a battleground. USA did absolutely nothing to stabilize the region or develop Afghanistan at par with other Nations in the World nor did it deal with the miseries of the people that started because America used Afghanistan for its own vested interests, forming and supporting the Taliban against the Soviets and abandoning them when their task was done.

The Afghan people in turn were left at the mercy of the Taliban who slowly took control of the Nation unleashing a reign of terror on the local people. The poorer sections of Afghan society became more and more fanatical as they had no one to turn to in order to address their needs except the Taliban. The USA did nothing except give the militants a free hand as they seized power, slowly strengthened themselves and imposed their rule on the Afghans. Under the Taliban there was only one Women’s Hospital in Kabul for the entire countries female population. The militants ordered women to be locked up in their homes and treated their people brutally. In one case they locked up Pakistani and Iranian businessmen in containers and suffocated them. Furthermore they ordered an end to all entertainment in Afghanistan banning music and any form of leisure confining the Afghan public to their homes. The local culture was absolutely destroyed and the entertainment industry ruined. The effects of the Taliban’s actions were directly felt on the already war-ravaged economy of Afghanistan.

Unfortunately all this is very conveniently polished over by the US media but since the USA needs a scapegoat they use the ruse of Iranian support to the Taliban or the old rant that “Pakistan is not doing enough to curb terror” denying all responsibility for the pitiful condition Afghans find themselves in.

Although the US media and several delusional bloggers continue to deny responsibility the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” even goes as far as to glorify the way Afghanistan was used as a killing field and its people massacred in Millions with Millions others fleeing the Nation as refugees. Unfortunately unlike what is shown in “Charlie Wilsons War” very little of the money sent by USA reached National Hero Ahmed Shah Masoud or the more moderate Afghan groups involved in fighting the Soviets but it was some of the worst fanatics that got the money.

The US-Taliban Relationship Today

It is unlikely that a Superpower like the USA could not predict that in the future these same people they had used as Proxies against the Soviets would be radicalized to such an extent that they would be their enemies in the future. Keeping that in mind it is unthinkable to accept that President Jimmy Carter did not know he was raising a monster and creating immense hatred for USA itself amongst many Afghans who would find themselves as great targets for the CIA formed terrorist organizations such as the Taliban. In this case it is also safe to assume that they knew that they could somehow utilize this growing hatred for themselves to fulfill their own goals in the region and increase their influence.

This may seem like a wild allegation for many but there are a number of questionable actions by the USA that completely support this school of thought.

Taliban Commanders linked to USA

The history of certain Taliban commanders is one of the biggest embarrassments for the government of USA. Abdullah Mehsud was one such commander who in the past received American support in their war designed against the Soviet’s. When USA attacked Afghanistan in 2001 using the Taliban and Al Qaeda as an excuse Abdullah Mehsud was captured and sent to Guantanamo Bay Prison. Surprisingly Mr Mehsud who was known to have committed certain attrocities was released from Guantanamo Bay and the first thing he did upon his returning to his home country Pakistan was attack Chinese civilians and massacre several Pakistanis in a blast in Islamabad. Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar too was captured by the US and sent to Guantanamo but he was later released and the first thing he did was attack Afghan civilians and police officials. The one question that lies waiting to be asked in both these cases is that if both these men were such dangerous terrorists then why were they released in the first place and why in both the cases they attacked Pakistani, Chinese and Afghans civilians rather than the occupying US forces they claim to be fighting after being released. The US has never been willing to answer these question’s but their actions of releasing these Terrorists have led to losses for these Nations which have a limited Nationalist media to question such actions.

The list of commanders not only includes those that were released from Guantanamo Bay but also others who studied or worked in the USA but found Pakistanis or Afghans a convenient target to strike at instead of the US forces responsible for much of the plight of Afghans. One of the most shocking revelations comes from the spokesman for Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan, Muslim Khan. This major terrorist works for the Tehreek E Taliban Movement and is responsible for the massacre of hundreds in Pakistan and for the displacement of over 3 Million people from their own land. Surprisingly this man has lived an amazing life in the USA and was working as a painter in the USA, whose history of fighting in Afghanistan in the past alongside the Afghan Taliban was well known. However after the War on Terror was launched instead of attacking Americans who would be the obvious target granting the fact that officially the Taliban claim to be fighting them, he very conveniently moved to Pakistan and massacred hundreds upon hundreds of Pakistanis and became the spokesman for the countries most feared terrorist organization.

The actions of such people and the very fact that they have lived in or had links to the USA even though they are responsible for the massacre of Pakistanis and Afghans expose what the Taliban really are and make the American role in Afghanistan dubious at best.

Terrorism and how it benefits USA’s regional objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan

It is well known that the United States has the largest presence of Armed Forces across the World. As of 2008 USA has 761 military bases around the World and this number is increasing. Not surprisingly the USA has used the terrorist threat to expand their regional objectives and confirmed they will establish permanent bases in Afghanistan as well. After the completion of several bases in Central Asia the total number of Nations with US Military bases will be 70. In addition to this there are 156 other countries in which US forces are present but there are no bases. This means the United States Military can strike at any location in the World at any time they please. However to build these bases an excuse is needed and today the excuse is the same terrorism the United States started in order to defeat their arch enemy the Soviet Union. In other places it has been “democracy” or replacing “dictatorial rule”

The USA released a statement recently saying that it would create permanent US bases in Afghanistan to ‘stabilize the country.’ According to USA the justification for building these permanent bases of course is the terrorist presence. That is all regardless of what the people of so called “Democratic Afghanistan” want. According to Afghan media sources 76% of Afghans want US forces out of their country. This is a much lower figure than the actual one because of fear of the occupying forces amongst the Afghans. The arrest of journalists such as Mohammed Nader and more recently Rahmatullah Nekzad who are simply doing their job proves how hard it can be to even have a different opinion than the US forces. In any case how the Afghans see the occupation does not seem to be a matter of concern for “Democratic USA”.

Other than creating permanent bases in Afghanistan and ignoring the wishes of the Afghan people it is also often debated whether the USA’s invasion of Afghanistan was about the oil pipeline that will carry oil from Central Asian states and Azerbaijan to Afghanistan from where it will go to Pakistan and then India. This is another benefit the USA has in occupying Afghanistan.

Where the terrorists stand in all this is simply that their subversive activities kill mostly Afghan civilians while they continue to try and use the policies of USA to recruit youth by claiming to be defend Islam or fight the USA. It is a fact that both the Taliban and the Al Qaeda have killed more locals than any foreigners. For every one of their attacks the proportion of Afghans killed by both the US military and the Taliban are much higher than the causalities on either of the two sides. However since they were brought to power in Afghanistan by the USA itself the terrorist commanders know they need the US occupation to continue the so called “Jihad” where inevitably only the Pakistanis or Afghans actually suffer.

The fact that is understood by both the USA and their Taliban allies is that if either side relents and leaves the country alone or refuses to drain the blood of innocent people in the country then there will be no reason for the occupation of Afghanistan. Neither side will ever do this since it does not serve their interests. Therefore it is understood that both of them need each other to occupy the Country and draw support for it even if it may be limited. It is also indisputable that the USA has benefited most from the murderous activities of the Taliban within the country and that if they could once form, fund and bring them to power then they can use them today as enemies in order to reach their goals. This common interest is what brings the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the USA on the same side.

Will we still stay silent?

It should be an understood fact that if the USA formed the Taliban and used them as their allies simply to fulfill their own gains in a petty war against Communist USSR then they can also use them as their so called “enemies” in order to fulfill their interests in the region.

This may be brushed off as a “conspiracy theory” by many Americans who ignore the fact that the USA has used horrible means to gain its objectives including the use of Nuclear Weapons that resulted in the death of 220,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If the horrible genocide can be justified as “necessary” by the US government then why can the American soldiers killed in Afghanistan to fulfill US objectives not be “necessary causalities” in increasing the Global American muscle and influence?

Many Americans will brush this off just like they brushed off the questions they should have been asking when plane after plane hit the CN Towers. They will again ignore their mistakes and try to deny them and in the future they will once again be faced with another so called “enemy” which is formed, funded and supported by their own government. They will selfishly ignore the thousands of Afghan and Iraqi civilians who have died to date in the War on Terror while raising a hue and cry for the American soldiers who die in Afghanistan claiming that they are proof that the USA stands against the terrorists. As the saying goes arrogance has no limits however this arrogance has been the reason of the fall of every great empire.

If American respect across the World is to be restored the country has to develop a policy of non interference in foreign affairs and stop playing with the lives of innocent people.