Being unfair

Christine Fair’s latest iteration of Pakistan bashing appeared on 30 March in the National Interest as the Trump administration mulls her policy on West Asia and Greater Middle East. In her article titled ‘Pakistan is no friend to America’ she has joined the critics of Pakistan, already abundant in the western press and electronic media. It is based on a typical Pak-bashing formula fashionable with domestic and foreign journalists is in the market, woven on three major themes: Pakistani military and intelligence agencies play double games, Pakistan supports terror in Afghanistan and India, and, Pakistani state pursues liberal activists.

It is strange that this monotonous, stereotyped and almost boring mantra finds space in western and Indian press, as well as from their mouthpieces like Husain Haqqani and his cabal residing in cushy capitals of the west. Interestingly one third of Christine fair article was defending Hussain Haqqani.
The timing of this article may be significant as it was unleashed by none but the National Interest (with typical Jewish moorings pampered by the late Irving Kristol), taking pains to remind the powers that be that Pakistan was the epicenter of international terror and that all ills surrounding West Asia and Afghanistan were a product of the Pakistani establishment and intelligence agencies. So we have an echoing chorus of Modi, Haqqani and Fair, three in one, representing the typical stereotyping cabal of Pakistan bashers.

Fair, who sometime back admired Pakistan, has now become the second Carlotta Gall in the line of succession of Pak-bashers and has started spitting venom to implicate Pakistan in all the blunders of US foreign policy in the region. Unfortunately, the National Interest did not bother to check the historical details of the article and joined those who leave no stone unturned to exploit Pakistan’s status as the whipping boy of the West.
Quoting few excerpts from our earlier article published in the Pakistani press would be appropriate. “Back to some history lessons; not a very long time ago, there were states of Iraq, Syria and Libya – which, though dictatorships, were definitely much better than the cauldron of human tragedy that we witness today. The Bush-Rice doctrine of the Greater Middle East and social engineering experiment of democratisation of the region through a creative chaos strategy destroyed the livelihood of millions, displaced millions more from their homes and created a tsunami of refugees now entering the uncontrollable shores of Europe.

“Iraq was a test lab, where US occupation and induction of secret organisations like Blackwater paved the way for a sectarian conflict, something which laid the foundation of Isis. It is also not a coincidence that Blackwater came into being before 9/11 and was ready to be unleashed in the ungovernable areas of the Middle East after the governing structures and military machines of Iraq and Syria were dismantled by the mighty US.”
The West has probably forgotten that the Taliban are a by-product of the anti-Soviet jihad whose syllabus was prepared in Florida; that CIA-led campaign created thousands of madrassas across Pakistan to feed the engines of this asymmetric war.

Pakistan, with its establishment and intelligence agencies, has been always been made a scapegoat when things don’t go the West’s way. Fair’s latest mudslinging against Pakistan is reflection of this frustration. In her piece under discussion she writes: “The United States needs to right this course. Washington needs to demand that Pakistan knock off its jihad habit while at the same time working to ensure this relentless liberal witch hunt ends. The United States has many tools at its disposal, ranging from sanctions, to declaring Pakistan to be a state sponsor of terror, to significant curbs on military assistance. Washington needs to muster the intestinal fortitude to employ these tools—now.”

Unfortunately, such attitudes have not helped peace in the region, whether it be the Middle East or Afghanistan. In case of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s efforts to build a case for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process are clearly manifested in the diplomatic initiatives undertaken by the Pakistani leadership.

Why is Afghanistan so important to Pakistan? Here are some facts for Ms Fair. With almost 1,680,000 Afghan refugees, Pakistan tops the list of refugee hosts in the world. Pakistan is the main supplier of strategic food materials and supplies for Afghanistan. Afghan transit trade is the only viable option available to Afghanistan; Karachi serves as the main conduit for commerce and trade.
Also: Pakistan has suffered the most in the long war on terror launched by Uncle Sam in this part of the world. The Pakistani military has borne the brunt of terrorist attacks across the country and is rolling back the scourge of terror with one of the largest military operations in its tribal areas. Since 2003, the US-led NATO’s lifeline of strategic logistics not only passed through Pakistan but was also protected by the same military that Fair has been brazenly targeting. US military presence in Afghanistan was – and is – possible because of this facility provided by Pakistan.
Ms Fair may also realise that Hussain Haqqani is a turncoat available to the highest bidder, today it’s the US dollars, tomorrow it may be the Chinese Renminbi. If someone cannot be loyal to his own state, how can you trust him for US? Hussain Haqqani has outlived his shelf life and should be disposed of accordingly.

Christine fair is also advised to analyse the changing scene in Eurasia. Pakistan is being helped by China and Russia in economic spheres which is the best way to empower people and uplift the masses, indirectly defeating terrorism. President Trump has already indicated a positive stance towards Pakistan. Let’s work together and help the region in coming out of the morass of terrorism, instead of mudslinging and Pak-bashing which has become stereotyped and boring.