Pakistan’s government is quite hopeful that they will convince Washington that the unilateral U.S. attacks on militant dwelling near the Afghan border only arouse sentiment against leaders of both countries. Thus Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gillani very generously and pragmatically has said, “”It is not that we will launch any attack. We will try to convince America, we will try to convince Britain that they should respect the sovereignty of Pakistan, and God willing, we will be able to convince them.”
Defense Minister Ahmad Mukhtar claimed Washington already has settled to curb its military activities against militants in Pakistan, however a missile strike Friday killed at least 12 people; that has been widely protested. “As far as my information, we have taken it up at the highest level with the State Department and Pentagon,” Mukhtar said in an apparent reference to the U.S. using ground forces. “They have given us assurance that it would not be repeated. The agreement we have with them is that we will exchange information and the Pakistan military or (paramilitary) forces will take action against terrorists in Pakistan,” Mukhtar added. This has been seconded by the prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.
The White House declined comment on the remarks, as it largely has done since it was revealed in Washington that President Bush had given the go-ahead last July to American troops in Afghanistan to attack targets (they call resurgent Taliban) inside Pakistan without informing them or asking them. Unfortunately aggressive cross-border operations have been started hitting Pakistani areas where most of the U.S. cross-border activity has been restricted to missiles fired by unmanned drone aircrafts. But in a Sept. 3 attack, helicopter-borne U.S. ground forces were used in an operation that killed at least 15, an escalation of U.S. military force. Since Aug. 13, at least seven missile strikes have been reported, other than the ground forces operation, in tribally governed territory where the government has little control.
US has developed a pretext on which they are try to include Pakistan into its Afghanistan strategy to win war is that the border region mainly the tribal areas is considered a likely hiding place for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri. However for me it looks weird to treat Pakistan equivalent to Afghanistan as to Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff had recently remarked that militants were seeping into Afghanistan more freely this year compared to last year because Pakistan’s government and military were not putting enough pressure on insurgents and threatened more strikes in case the militants are not stopped.
However Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Kayani has said that Pakistan would retaliate and protect the country’s sovereignty “at all cost.” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has supported his statement and said “we will not allow any incursion in our country” told media men Friday that “Pakistan would prefer to resolve any issue with Washington through diplomatic fronts”, he added that Pakistan will take this issue for discussion to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York later this month. He was of the point that these attacks would increase the antagonistic sentiments among people against US and people would start joining militant group and that can hamper our efforts to curb militants activities.
Pakistan has been a trusted ally of US in war on terror and all issues regarding any thing should have been discussed on diplomatic fronts. In this regard Pakistan Ambassador in US Hussain Haqani has informed Pakistani Government that he had have meetings with high official in White House and they have assured; they would not take any action in Pakistan. Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar reiterated Pakistan’s intention that it is doing all it can to fight militancy and has suffered a lot as a result, with more than 1,000 security forces killed since the country after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks even Former Prime Minister of Pakistan ms. Benazir Bhutto has lost her life in this fight. Moreover recently The news from Bajaur is that Pakistan army has killed 100 terrorists, most of them foreigners, in a series of air attacks on the Taliban and Al Qaeda command centres same day.
Interestingly a NATO spokesman in Brussels made it clear Thursday that NATO would not take part in the proposed US strategy of conducting raids into Pakistan from Afghanistan against Taliban and Al Qaeda militants.
Dangerous signs can be clearly felt as to several demonstrations against these unilateral US attacks have been noticed in Lahore, Quetta and karachi even a group of tribal leaders including Malik Nasrullah from North Waziristan area, where most of the missile attacks have occurred, informed Saturday to join forces with Taliban militants in Afghanistan; If America doesn’t stop attacks in tribal areas”. Intelligentsia in Pakistan has informed that war against Al Qaeda in Pakistan can be won only if Pakistan cooperates with the NATO-ISAF forces;Furthermore the US cannot have the same understanding of the situation inside Pakistan’s Tribal Areas as the Pakistan government.
Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has denounced a reported US move to conduct raids into Pakistani territory, saying such incursions from across the Afghan border flout international law and endanger world security. Instead, the former presidential candidate advocated the “situation requires intense diplomacy,” and urged Congress to intervene legislatively to block pursuance of the dangerous path.
Only solution with Pakistan is to activate its diplomatic channels to resolve this issue that has raised questions on the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan. War with US will not be pragmatic for Pakistan as to it is a nuclear state. However to protect the sovereignty is also inevitable for the country. Pakistanis are civilized people and believe in peace thus promote idea of solving Bush Administration’s decision to make unilateral attacks in Pakistani territory on diplomatic fronts. However it is also important for foreign nations to understand and respect the boarders of Pakistan.