Dec 30, 2008

Shut Down CIA Station In Islamabad

A war with Pakistan is India's opportunity to legitimize action
beyond its borders –which is what superpowers do – and launch its new
career as a U.S.-propped [and Bollywood-propped] 'superpower'.
Pakistan will have to match the challenge or accept Indian hegemony
for the rest of the century. And while at it, time for Pakistani
government and military to order the closure of CIA station in the
Pakistani capital. The new American agenda in the region contradicts
Pakistani interests. How can this be done? Please learn how the
Saudis tamed Edward W. Gnehm.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Pakistan will have to learn from Turkey, Saudi
Arabia, Egypt and other U.S. friendly
Figure 1: Mr. Quraishi with Mr. Gnehm, NYC, 1996
nations how to push back American interference. This is important for
us to be able to also understand how to push back the Indians. India
appears set to launch its new career as an interventionist power at
Pakistan's expense. It will fall to Pakistan to help the Indian
warmongers understand the limits of their designs. Pakistan will need
a government that can match and not succumb.

Indian provocations need to be matched. We need to also recognize
that the rise in tensions in the region is happening with the direct
nod from our ally, the United States. Pakistani appeasement has
emboldened our detractors. Polite statements from the Pakistani
leadership will not do. Sonia Gandhi and Pranab Mukherjee must be put
in their places.

I saw this happen firsthand. Ambassador Edward W. Gnehm's aggressive
interference in Kuwaiti affairs was the first sign of United States'
coming preemptive policy in the Gulf region. It was 1992 and the U.S.
military had just expelled Iraqi forces from the oil-rich
emirate. 'Skip' Gnehm, as friends and colleagues called him, strutted
all over the country encouraging Kuwaitis to limit the powers of the
ruling family. He was so effective in exploiting Kuwait's
insecurities and extracting concessions that Washington decided in
1996 to appoint him in Riyadh. That's when the coldest spell in Saudi-
U.S. relations began. There was no American envoy in Riyadh for
almost two years because the Saudis had put their feet down and
refused to accept Mr. Gnehm's papers. Washington had to budge
eventually. The Turks and the Egyptians have also survived many U.S.
attempts at belligerent arm twisting.

A word also about CIA presence in Pakistan. Several nations in the
region moved after 9/11 to gradually limit the operations of secret
CIA stations on their soil. That's because governments became
suspicious of American designs to redraw the borders in the Middle
East. An old Cold War ally, CIA had now become a threat. There was a
conflict of interest. In Pakistan, we have long entered that stage.
CIA's station office in Islamabad used to be one of the biggest. With
the American policy of empowering anti-Pakistan elements in
Afghanistan and the region in full swing, our American friends must
begin to feel unwelcome in Pakistan's corridors of power. The current
Pakistani government needs to show as much concern about CIA presence
here as it has shown on ISI to appease the Americans.

The Indian 'evidence' against Pakistan for Mumbai attacks is
inadmissible in any court of law. Yet New Delhi is using it to bully
Pakistan with full American and British support. Pakistani officials
must understand that India wants to use Mumbai to launch a new career
as an aggressive superpower. Mumbai is India's opportunity to
legitimize action beyond its borders, which is what superpowers do.
Evidence here doesn't matter.

Pakistan will have to either match Indian bullying or accept Indian
hegemony for the rest of this century. President Zardari and Prime
Minister Gilani's calm reactions to Indian provocations were
partially acceptable in the initial stages. But there is no excuse
now for turning the other cheek. Pakistani reluctance to call
India's bluff and forcefully present its case has emboldened the
Indians. Beginning with the Indian blockade on Pakistan's water from
Kashmir, which is an act of war. Subsequent Indian actions, visa
restrictions on Pakistanis, cancellation of talks, freezing sports
events and harassing Pakistani visitors to India are all signs that
New Delhi is convinced about Pakistani weakness. The weakness of the
Pakistani government is feeding this misconception. Aside from some
statements by our Foreign Minister, Pakistani officials are yet to
pay the Indians in the same coin. We need to hear a stronger reaction
to the childish and provocative statements of Ms. Gandhi and her
foreign minister. Also, where is the government's media machine? Is
it all reserved for PPP anniversaries and events? When will the state-
run media wake up and realize we are staring into a possible war? Why
our media and diplomats abroad have failed to show the world the
immature and bellicose behavior of the Indian government? Why no
Pakistani official has come out to condemn how Pakistani artists and
visitors to India were harassed and turned back? And why Indian
movies are still playing in a cinema hall right next to Pakistani
military headquarters?

It is also a matter of concern that the rise in Indian hostilities is
coinciding with mysterious riots in Karachi, an ill timed attempt to
generate controversy over renaming NWFP, and now the Balochistan
chief minister's sudden challenge to the rest of the country to prove
Indian interference in the province, whose evidence was shared with
no less than the U.S. military chief himself.

© 2007-2008. All rights reserved. The News International & & PakNationalists
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