Pentagon Vs Pindi?
Filed Under: Opinion, World | Posted: 01/16/2012 at 9:37AM
Comments | Region: Pakistan
As psychological war between Pentagon and Pindi keeps lingering, tides of uncertainty and conspiracy theories within the political and diplomatic corridors of Islamabad rumble on without any solution in sight especially when democratic government is claiming to have been cornered not only by the Supreme Commanders of judiciary but also by the new-found and former friends of country’s establishment—referring to Khan and Sharifs.
Attending various social gatherings of diplomatic corps where so often you manage to come across various politicians, foreign office geeks and sometime Khaki envoys lurking around if none else than at least British and American viceroys to get a clue about the millions of question making rounds in Islamabad—What Next? Will Army take over? Who is prompting a meek like Gilani to pounce on the same big guns for which he had to appear late night on national TV to announce a three year extension in service? What card (provided he is left with any) President Zardari will play in this complexity? How Americans and even British are trying to keep this game of bitterness flourish? Will Arabs remain busy with their own spring and will China with SCO power block jump into the foray?
There are as many responses to these queries as there are guest in these gatherings. Listening and sometimes contributing to such discussions hardly takes you to any conclusions rather plunges you deeper into confusion. Take is yours and let me share with you that every take is as convincing as all the pastors playing verbosity games on our TV screens all night. None will share less than ‘horse’s mouth’ stuff and everyone has access to nothing less than Mansoor Ejaz, Hussain Haqqani, Gen. Kiyani, Gen. Pasha, Gilani, President Zardari or else Hilary Clinton, Cameron Munter, Adam Thompson, etc. etc.
Whether anyone has an answer to such queries is unclear but one thing is for sure that although country has seen a comparative lull in terrorist activities but the mayhem inflicted upon this country is proving out to be nothing less than an economic and social terrorism. Country’s political, administrative including judicial and economic activity has almost come to a grinding halt and whatever chances of recovery from financial hardships were there, seem to have evaporated into thin air mainly due panicked and ferociously incompetent and corrupt ministers dealing with energy issues or for that matter governance.
Now looking at the severity of the situation and the sensation developed around this by a certain media group and its holy anchors as well as by over-ambitious budding politicians, one thing remains clear that Mr. Gilani seems to have either over estimated the subtle support for democracy from US and British quarters or is finding it appropriate to play along those lines to keep the crux of the Memogate alive and kicking.
Had it not been the case than we certainly would not have heard the Prime Minister posing hard questions to the Khakis. First while standing in the national Assembly and then taking on a planted retired General as Secretary Defense and thus sending a strong message to the Chinese during Gen. Kiyani’s visit there that political entity is not quitting rather is here to play the game till the end.
Whether Gilani and President Zardari wants to take the government towards political salvation by offering their government for chopping—especially after failing to give any kind of governance—or they are trying to become a pawn in the hands of Pentagon to pressurize Khakis is yet to be seen. With Supreme Commanders of judiciary making it once again their life-mission to rub as much salt in the wounds of the PPP government, and rising third political option in the form of Imran Khan plus the paradoxically indecisive Sharifs all siding behind the Black robes, our foreign office Babus believe that Gilani government is left with no option but to cling on to abysmally thin hope emanating from Washington and conveyed to them via usual channels of some spring-kings.
No matter how we look at it but heart of the matter in this entire episode remains Afghanistan. The way things have shaped up since the introduction of the infamous Kerry Lugar Berman (KLB) Act and the simmering mistrust between Pentagon and Pindi over the issue of Afghan exit strategy, its’ just a matter of time when both have to sit together and sort out the mess between themselves. The political and even judicial actors playing to various tunes of their likings might have nothing to gain from this but at least for now they are showing their alignments and interests very unequivocally.
With new Pakistani ambassador to US, Sherry Rehman coming into this these developing frame of things, one can assume that with a change of face in the leading intelligence agency of Pakistan (by March this year when Gen. Pasha might have to hang his boots), chances of resuming meaningful talks and setting the bargaining table might unfold as well.