By Senator A Rehman Malik
Former Federal Interior Minister
Originally Published By The News
To the president of United States
Mr. President, I am taking this opportunity to write you in response to your new strategy with relation to Afghanistan and Pakistan, announced recently and to draw your attention to the factual situation from the hard facts, which should be in the notice of the people of America in general and in particular in your kind notice as President of America.
Mr. President, unfortunate incident of 9/11 had jolted the whole world. I will not go into various theories and reports on this incident but fact remain that USA directly suffered because of this act of terrorism. The investigations reveal that none of 19 terrorists involved in this heinous crime was of Pakistani origin. In retaliation, the US President Bush decided to attack the terrorists including Osama Bin Laden inside Afghanistan who, reportedly, was the mastermind behind the 9/11 incident and sought the help of President General Musharraf who agreed to cooperate in the larger interest of the global security. The Government of Pakistan, consequently, allowed the space both on ground and air.
Similarly, in the past USA used the soil of Pakistan to fight its war against the erstwhile Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The meeting of Mr. William Casey, the then Director of CIA and Mr. Akhtar A. Rehman, the then DG ISI is also a part of record and this was another favour to USA by helping America in this war. Pakistan became ally both times in good faith and to help the international community on the said war against terrorism.
As a result of Pakistan’s engagement in the war on terror, the terrorists (Taliban) became enemies of Pakistan for helping USA and the war shifted from Afghanistan to the soil of Pakistan and we lost Malakand, Swat another area of Fata to Taliban.
History is a stanch witness to the sacrifices of Pakistan in fighting this war which was imposed on us in a bid to do more and more for USA and its allies. We had been nursing, feeding more than 5.8 million refugees with additional financial burden on account of hosting millions of Afghan refugees. Is it not doing more for Afghanistan apart from helping Afghanistan in their war on terrorism?
Mr. President, this is only Pakistan and Afghanistan where there is no international border control and more than 7000 Afghans move freely to Pakistan on daily basis but Afghanistan never acknowledged and appreciated this generosity of Pakistan rather blamed Pakistan.
It is a matter of fact that Pakistan has always given full support to USA starting from provision of logistic support, facility of air space, sharing of intelligence and conducted many common operations on the Pak-Afghan border.
Pakistan shares the concerns of the international community vis-à-vis fragile political and security situation of Afghanistan and Pakistan would, at the same time, remind the international community including USA that Pakistan had played its due and sincere role in the war on terror despite its own financial constraints.
If the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating coupled with frequent terrorist attacks against the US and Afghan personnel and installations despite the heavy presence of US and allied forces in Afghanistan and pumping of billions of dollars then the US Administration is advised to look for the causes and solutions inside Afghanistan rather than Pakistan. Afghanistan has, in fact, become hotbed of terrorism and the terrorist activities inside Pakistan are planned and executed from the soil of Afghanistan contrary to the claim made by you Mr. President.
Mr. President, it is also matter of record that before the start of Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan had warned Afghanistan to seal the borders to deny the opportunity to the terrorists to cross border in Afghanistan but unfortunately Afghanistan did not cooperate. Now these terrorists are playing in the hands of RAW and NSD, who are being funded and trained by these agencies to carry out terrorist activities inside Pakistan. It is, therefore, absolutely out of context to blame Pakistan for any failure of Afghanistan and allied forces in that country.
Afghanistan is contributing 42% of the drugs to the world and supplying the direct death to European countries and Afghanistan despite having all the support of law enforcement approach have so far failed to stop this growth and supply of drugs.
The US rhetoric vis-à-vis ‘Do More’ had been non-ending despite the facts that Pakistan has done everything possible to combat the terrorists at the cost of its own security and sovereignty. The decision for use of drone attacks on Pakistan soil was a unilateral decision of USA and protest was made against the drone attacks to Mr. Holbrooke, the then Ambassador of USA to Pakistan and Afghanistan. I proposed at that time that drone attacks in Pakistani territory are counterproductive and the local innocent victims are also joining the terrorist organisations, hence drone attacks should be stopped by USA and let Pakistan and USA both to device a common strategy to deal the terrorists both aerial and on ground. USA never agreed to have a common counter-terrorism strategy against the common enemy means terrorists.
I in the capacity of former federal interior minister of Pakistan and having dealt with the issues directly can confirm to you that I have always been advocating with President Bush, President Barack Obama, Ms. Condoleezza Rice and Mr. John Kerry for a common strategy to fight against these terrorists. I have always been giving the suggestion of common counter-terrorism strategy being an ally of USA for which I have been persistently talking on media, writing to all forums including yourself but no attention was given in the past on my suggestion.
I refer to my article published in Pakistan leading English Newspaper “The News” dated 20th August, 2017 titled “Do More Pakistan’ syndromes of USA” and my earlier eight points advice sent to you on 19th May, 2017, wherein I had requested you to please take along the entire Muslim community to fight against few terrorists and you will have full support of Muslims against terrorists.
Mr. President, your threat to the Pakistani nation had been viewed as a callous as Pakistan was expecting that you will treat Pakistan as victim of war and would appreciate its sacrifices in the war on terror. Despite threats from eastern borders, Pakistan has focused its resources both in terms of personnel and finances, on fighting against terrorists inside Pakistan and along Pak-Afghan border. The claim that US has provided billions of dollars to Pakistan has been made out of context as it was never been financial aid but payment against services provided by Pakistan to US forces.
I really appreciated your idea of common strategy for fighting the war against terrorism. People of Pakistan will welcome the outlines of your common strategy against the common enemy and Pakistan will not hesitate to continue to fight against the terrorists and contribute in your common strategy to weed out these enemies of humanity.
Mr. President, Pakistan is a peaceful nation and has suffered a lot since 1979 being supporter of USA – both in Soviet-Afghan war and now in this war on terror — and instead of asking us to do more, I propose Mr. President you do more and we will contribute our more input in your new strategy to fight against the terrorism for the sake of international peace and to make the world peaceful and terrorism free.
Last but not the least, we are a sovereign state which has always helped USA in this war hence, please do not lend your ears to the Indian Prime Minister Modi as he is inimical against Pakistan and kindly review Mr. Modi’s record being a terrorist having once banned to visit USA. He functions through RSS of India, which has a motto to inflict Pakistan at all forums. People of Pakistan will always support any strategy against the terrorists under your vision and we expect that this menace can only be finished with collective wisdom and collective common strategy at all levels to smash these terrorists.
With Best Regards,
Senator A. Rehman Malik
Former Federal Interior Minister of Pakistan.
The writer is former Interior minister of Pakistan and chairman of think tank “global eye”
@Email: rmalik1212@gmail .com
Twitter @Senrehmanmalik , @GlobalEye_GSA