Caught between US and Haqqanis

Published: September 27, 2011

Why are the common people of Pakistan in fear of war when President Obama and President Zaradari are cool, calm and collected? PHOTO: REUTERS

The US has publicly said that the Haqqani network targeted their embassy in Kabul with the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. This is perhaps the strongest accusation of double-dealing in the ten years since Pakistan chose to side with the US in its war on terror.

The charge that Pakistan is not fully on board in this conflict is somewhat unfair. After all it is Pakistan, a relatively poor country, which has lost over 35,000 innocent citizens and security personnel in this period. The US, the world’s sole superpower, has not suffered anywhere near this number of casualties. That said, America’s accusations and threats to attack safe havens cannot be ignored.

The US aims to leave Afghanistan by 2014. They need a scapegoat for their unsuccessful strategies in the country. It is also clear that Pakistan has its own problems that will not end even when the US withdraws from Afghanistan. In short, we need to put our own house in order first and see how we can improve our security.

Before this critical point the US had always asked Pakistan for assistance in Afghanistan and always praised Pakistan for its “sacrifices”. Today they are not only hurling serious accusations but also threatening that “all options” are on the table. The renewed US pressure on Pakistan to act against the Haqqani network should not only be a cause for concern for the state but also for all ordinary Pakistanis.

It is equally important for you and me. And this is because after fighting a ten-year war alongside the international community, why are we still tagged as terrorist supporters and a terrorist country? We should all demand answers from our government and the establishment.

What is the Haqqani network?

Does it operate from Pakistani soil?

Who will decide if the Haqqanis are with us or against us?

We should demand that the government ensure that all extremist and militant groups which have attacked Pakistan and killed our innocent people and troops are held accountable for their crimes. The most important issue should be when our powerful military gives a final blow to our real enemies. We cannot live in a fool’s paradise any longer.

Farhan Zaheer

Farhan Zaheer

A reporter on the business desk of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.