Book: Avoiding Armageddon: America, India, and Pakistan to the Brink and Back
Author: Bruce Riedel Pages: 230 Publisher: HarperCollins
“Those who want a more peaceful world,” wrote USA President Richard Nixon in 1971 about Pakistan, “in the generation to come will forever be in your debt.” Four decades later in 2009, Washington Post, staff writer Karen DeYoung wrote that President Barack Obama’s aim is to “destroy Al Qaeda in Pakistan”. (Obama Plans More Funding For Afghan War, March 27, 2009). Bruce Riedel, a high profile ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ official, who advised four American Presidents, tells that in Afghanistan US and its allied troops are fighting proxy war with Pakistan.
Pakistan is perhaps the only country in the world that negotiated its existence on table without any army or insurgency. Dismembered in 1971 Pakistan became a nuclear power after that. How many countries in the world can boost that? But for author Pakistan cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons because religious fundamentalism is taking root there. Really! Israel, a fanatic Jewish State, despite being surrounded by impotent regimes, can have nuclear weapons but Pakistan encased by belligerent neighbour cannot have it. When have fundamentalist Muslims leashed violence like World Wars. Religious violence is an aberration. The two monster imperialistic wars that were fought in the 20th century and which the States ironical call “Great World War” have not been questioned. Why are the wars of imperialism referred as “Great World War”? The Atom bomb was dropped not by a fanatic country but by secular Statist politicians. Yet the religion of Pakistan is a threat! Riedel, like most politicians, while defending the violence of their territorial State warn or advice Muslims not to indulge in religious fundamentalism. Muslim fundamentalism is being touted as the greatest danger on the earth. Yet he may not be able to answer why the former English Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has started tonyblairfaithfoundation.com after butchering millions of Muslims in connivance with US. Religion is dangerous only when Muslims start to follow the Islamic system rather than any model of governance.
Riedel, though, confesses that US is pushing for Pakistan’s exclusion from world community. It was US that pushed “India Israel military entente in 2000”, writes author. He is also candid in admitting that India is willing for US intervention in Kashmir as America is in favour of status quo. And in the words of Riedel “Kashmir is not soluble in territorial terms.” He also admits that the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was murdered after she had entered into a deal with then President Pervez Musharraf at the instance of USA.
Riedel’s book is riddled with factual inaccuracies. Kashmir has a population of 7 million but not 4.7 million. Indian Parliament was attacked on Dec 13, 2001 not in 2000. He has blamed the attack on Pakistan where as the fact is that it is still unknown who attacked it. Same goes when he accuses that “Muslim mob” attacked a train filled with Hindu pilgrims at Godhra. A disputed claim which the Indian investigations rubbish themselves. Osama Bin Laden was deposed to Sudan not gone to self-exile, as Riedel writes. He further writes that American’s occupation was an “intervention in the Afghan civil war”. Pakistan never ceded any territory of Kashmir to China, as alleged by the author. The author also alleges that Pakistan orchestrated the hijacking of Indian airlines in 1971. “What made the affair curious,” wrote Col Anil Athale, a former Joint Director of War History, Ministry of Defence, “was the fact that Ganga was one of the oldest aircraft in the Indian Airline fleet and was already withdrawn from service but was re-inducted days before the ‘hijack’.” He writes further that surprisingly all the passengers were either Indian service personnel or their families. They were released without any pre-condition. Three months later India uses this pretext to mount operation against Pakistan and successfully dismembers Pakistan into two parts. The person who hijacked aircraft turned out to be a ‘Border Security Force’ trooper. He was helped by Indian intelligence agency to carry out this operation to lunch war against Pakistan (“Did India plant 1965 war plans? http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/jun/02spec11.htm).
“Avoiding Armageddon” is another book in the long list, which sees Pakistan as a dangerous country. Dangerous: because it is an Islamic country whose majority is increasingly seeding toward Islamic system. Pakistan is dangerous for the world community because it is the only Muslim country that has nuclear bombs. It is dangerous for the world community that Pakistan has survived dismemberment and humongous competition from its largest neighbour. That is why Pakistan is being pasted with drone attacks. A number of insurgencies are being encouraged in Pakistan so that it is reduced to the level of Protectorate State, as envisaged by American Neocons. (Ralph Peters, “Blood borders: How a better Middle East would look”). From 1979 upto now Pakistan is continuously been engaged in war. The efforts to destabilise it have been going at full throttle, as Riedel confesses.
(Inam ul Rehman is a ‘failed journalist’)