By Waqar Kazmi
Now that Pakistan’s military under civilian leadership has started taking on the Jihadi-Taliban enterprise its apologists are crying foul. It is easier to turn the people of Pakistan against the US than in favor of Taliban after all the Taliban did in Swat and Malakand.
So the Shireen Mazari- Ahmed Qureshi Jihadi Support Network keeps coming up with new excuses. The Truth is, and every true Pakistani nationalist knows it, that Pakistan has to fight the Jihadis to save Pakistan. This is a fight for Pakistan’s soul. The US role in this fight is incidental.
However conspiracy theorists and pseudo-patriots like Mazari and Qureshi keep trying to turn the attention of Pakistanis away from the true problems facing our nation. For the last one year Ahmed Qureshi has been screaming aloud about how the US has a nefarious grand strategy for Pakistan. According to Qureshi this plan entails breaking up Pakistan and as part of this plan the Americans will not only take over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons but also send in undercover American soldiers into Pakistan
How is it that for the eight years that General Musharraf was in power, when the US-Pakistan collaboration was extremely close, when Pakistan handed over people to U.S. for cash (as Musharraf admits in his book) and when the American aid totaled to $10 billion Qureshi never feared any American takeover? Now that Pakistan has a civilian government which follows transparent policies, puts forth its views before the Americans, disagrees openly with them and will only get $1.5 billion annually Qureshi suddenly fears an American takeover of Pakistan?
Qureshi’s co-Conspiracy Theorist and Pseudo-Nationalist Shireen Mazari too never feared any American conspiracy during the Musharraf years. Now that she is no longer the Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies she suddenly sees Americans everywhere. If her article is not published by a newspaper the Americans must be behind it? If she is no longer Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies the Americans must be behind it? In this scenario one must ask Ms. Mazari if her recent appointment as Editor to The Nation was also under American dictat?
Ahmed Qureshi’s latest piece titled ‘US Plans Will Lead to a Pakistani Civil War’ refers in a very benign tone to the jihadis in Southern Punjab. Qureshi claims they are being targeted only because they hurt American interests. What Jihadi-Apologist Mr. Qureshi does not say is that groups like Sipaha-e-Sahaba have killed more Pakistanis than Indians or Americans. They are Pakistan’s enemies first and foremost and every Pakistani knows that. Various polls conducted in the last few months have shown that most Pakistanis want their army and police to take on these extremists and rid Pakistan of this evil. Several thousand Pakistanis have been killed in the last two decades in sectarian warfare. Our army’s jawans have laid down their lives to save us from these groups, the same groups Mr. Qureshi is protecting. Who are these people – like Qureshi and Mazari – trying to fool by playing to deep rooted Anti-American sentiments in Pakistan?
And how wrong is Mr Qureshi when he says that the Americans are attempting to destabilize Pakistan and lead it towards a ‘Civil War’! The real civil war in Pakistan, which has been on for many years, is between the Sunni extremists who kill innocent Shias in mosques and Shia extremists who blow up and kill innocent Sunnis. This is the Real Civil War. A war which our state, our army, our intelligence machinery has been fighting. Our brave intelligence officers have been killed by these extremists, by the Taliban and Al Qaeda for standing up to these jihadis. Our army has lost numerous men in its fight against extremism and jihad. This is the Real Civil War. But unfortunately jihadi-extremist supporters and apologists like Mazari and Qureshi and their followers will never understand this.