Is American preparing war against Pakistan? Latest conspiracy theory in The News

Jul 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, The News

The News (Jang Group)This has been an inauspicious year for Pakistan. Governor of Punjab and a Cabinet Minister assassinated. World’s most wanted terrorist discovered living in Abbottabad. PNS Mehran attacked by Taliban militants. Karachi enflamed by target killings. Clearly this all points to one possible outcome…war with America? That’s right. According to Aijaz Zaka Syed, Pakistan is the next front in America’s war.

In a piece published by The News (Jang Group), Aijaz Zaka claims that all signs point to an imminent attack on Pakistan by American forces.

Only two months ago, Aijaz was singing a different tune. After Osama bin Laden was killed in the Abbottabad opertion, Aijaz wrote a piece for The News that started by denying that Osama was responsible (even though Osama himself confessed to the attack), and then said that now American President Barack Obama has an opportunity to “turn the page” and start fresh with the Islamic world.

Obama has a momentous opportunity to turn the page on America’s disastrous decade and make a fresh start with the Muslim world. He has repeatedly talked about seeking “a new way forward” with the Islamic world. It’s time to show he means it. The so-called Islamic extremism as represented by the likes of Bin Laden is merely a symptom of a far serious disease. And the source of the disease lies elsewhere – in the Middle East. Obama would drive home this message when he hosts Israel’s Netanyahu later this month, if he really believes in what he says.

It should be noted here that Obama did exactly as Aijaz wished, telling Israel’s Netanyahu that he should pull back to the 1967 borders. The American president even went further stating clearly that “The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

Aijaz Zaka SyedIn light of these facts, we might expect Aijaz Zaka to praise Obama! But actually Obama is not mentioned in his latest piece at all. Rather, Aijaz reaches back in time to dust off the relic of “Bush’s Crusaders”. Nevermind the facts, though, they are inconvenient to this “crazy, outrageous idea” that Aijaz has concocted in his mind.

And this isn’t the only inconsistency in Aijaz’s analysis. In May he wrote that “the departure of one long isolated and ailing figure changes nothing”. Today, Aijaz sees the raid on Osama’s compound in a much more sinister light.

The US military-industrial establishment, the Israeli lobby and Muslim-bashers on the Hill have been looking for an excuse to take the war to Pakistan, the only Muslim state with a nuclear arsenal. And they got it when Osama bin Laden was conveniently discovered, not in a cold cave along the Afghan frontier but living cheek-by-jowl with Pakistan’s elite military academy.

That’s right – the OBL raid was a precursor to a war on Pakistan! Nevermind that the raid was months ago and since then America actually has less personnel in Pakistan. According to Aijaz, a war has been in the works for some time. Further evidence for this can be found in the US withholding $800 Million in military aid and Adm Mullen accusing ISI of being in cahoots with terrorists.

Only, there are a few problems here also.

First, if the OBL raid was just an excuse to invade Pakistan…why haven’t the Americans invaded? In fact, ever since that day American officials including President Obama and Adm Mullen have gone out of their way to praise Pakistan and say that there is no evidence of complicity.

Second, the Americans continue to say that the $800 Million is only on hold – not cut – until the trainings that the money was meant to pay for resume. Otherwise the rest of the the $2.7 Billion is still flowing to Pakistan military. Are we to believe that the US is funding the Army it is preparing to fight?

Third, despite the sensational newspaper headlines, Amd Mullen never blamed ISI for killing Saleem Shahzad. Though it remains a mystery to many journalists, the fact is that American officials post unedited transcripts of their statements on government websites – a very helpful tool for fact checkers and something editors may want to start actually using. In this case, we can look at what Adm Mullen actually said about Saleem Shahzad

Q: Admiral Mullen, you said, I haven’t seen anything to disabuse those reports. Which reports? The reports that the – the journalist killed, or the reports that the ISI was involved?

ADM. MULLEN: The reports that – the reports that the – that he was killed and that there were government officials who sanctioned that.

Q: Actually, the reports said that the ISI did it. Is that what you’re talking about?

ADM. MULLEN: The – this is the – The New York Times report?

Q: Just this Times story a couple of days ago – the ISI effectively murdered him.

ADM. MULLEN: Yeah. And I haven’t – I haven’t seen anything where I could confirm that.

Q: (Wait a minute ?).

MODERATOR: That it was the ISI?

ADM. MULLEN: That it was the ISI.

Q: You haven’t seen anything that can confirm that?


Q: But you said – but you had said, now you couldn’t disabuse the report.

ADM. MULLEN: I – in specifically identifying who did it, you know, I just – I just don’t have that. I haven’t seen anything –

Q: But it was the – but it was the government.

ADM. MULLEN: Yeah, that it was sanctioned by the government, yeah.

Q: So your answer do that is that you can’t – OK. It’s the opposite of whatever I said originally.

ADM. MULLEN: No, no, no, no. I mean, they did – I have not seen anything to disabuse the report that the government knew about this. I cannot – you know, I would not be able to walk in and say, you know, here’s the string of evidence I have to confirm it.

Further, Adm Mullen’s statements about ISI were that he told Dawn, “It is fairly well known that ISI had a relationship with the Haqqani network”. This is certainly different that how it was sensationalised by Aijaz Zaka. Also, here is a photo of formder DG ISI Gen Hamid Gul with Jalaluddin Haqqani.

Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gen Hamid Gul

ISPR recently reported that present DG ISI Gen Pasha visited the US and reported that relations between the two powers are improving despite media sensationalism.

He said a range of issues was discussed in a congenial environment to improve mutual understanding between the two sides. Contrary to the speculative reporting in a section of the press, the USPR DG said neither doubts were raised nor aspersions cast on the functioning of the ISI and both sides focused on the way forward.

Aijaz also suggests that the arrest of Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai this week “is part of the plot”. According to Aijaz Khan, Dr Fai was arrested “for lobbying for the Pakistani government in a city where every other guy is a lobbyist”. Actually, according to Dawn, Dr Fai was arrested for acting as a front organisation for the ISI. Whether or not we are sympathetic with Dr Fai, do we really expect the Americans to allow foreign agents to operate in their capital? Imagine if someone was caught running a CIA front organisation in Islamabad. Would Aijaz Khan be so forgiving then?

It appears that Aijaz Khan is twisting the facts in order to present the Americans as a bogey. Ironically, turning to the Business page of the same newspaper that features Aijaz Khan’s latest screed, readers will see the following headline: ‘United States top trading partner of Pakistan. Let me tell you, this is a strange way to prepare for war.

Aijaz concludes his piece by saying that, “I’m no sucker for conspiracy theories, but I wish for once this was merely a conspiracy theory of idle pundits.”

Sir, your wish is granted.

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