Pakistani's extraordinary article on BBC's website
On 24 November, 2009 the BBC published an article by a Pakistani writer Ahmed Rashid. If you are not told the author's name you would probably think it comes straight out of the USA's propaganda machinery. This article is noteworthy for wanton distortion of facts and for defending the interests of the USA and India at the expense of Pakistan's. My e-mailed a reply to BBC was:
The author seems quite ill informed and biased. His lack of intellectual honesty shows through in many of his comments, especially his reference to a "retired senior army officer" claiming that Hakimullah Mehsood has been whisked to safety by the Americans. This "officer" is none other than General Mirza Aslam Beg, the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, 1988-1992. He enjoys considerable prestige and is acknowledged to have reliable contacts in the Army and elsewhere. His claim is that the USA has been playing a double game against Pakistan which, I think, is apparent from the chain of events over the past few years and the mass of evidence unearthed by the Pakistan Army this year.
The action of Pakistan's armed forces in Swat and South Waziristan has resulted in the capture of huge quantities of weapons manufactured in India and the USA. The capture of rebels and mercenaries has revealed the extent to which non-Pashtun mercenaries from Afghanistan and elsewhere have infiltrated Pakistani territory with the active assistance of Indians and Americans who have flooded Afghanistan.
The loud propaganda by India and the USA has drowned the truth to the extent that the evidence that Pakistan Army has presented to the world has been ignored. Pakistan's corrupt and weak government, which was imposed on the country by a secret deal put together by the USA, is beholden to its foreign benefactors and says little. In my opinion, a lot of Pakistan's problems stem from the USA's attempt to keep a firm hold on those who rule Pakistan: after the fall of the unspeakable Musharraf they are probably delighted to have found a near-clone Zardari. However, the USA'a grip on Pakistan's armed forces is no longer as strong as it was under Musharraf. The current Army Chief, General Kayani, seems to have a genuine desire to follow a strategy which, in his judgment, is in the interests of Pakistan. I think he has many enemies within the country and without and his room for manoeuvre is limited.
That Pakistan is entitled to pursue policies that are in its own interests is a sentiment that is beyond the comprehension of people like Ahmed Rashid. The USA is pursuing its own interests in Central Asia - what is good for it is not necessarily good for Pakistan. And vice versa. Of the key personalities in Pakistan who have a hand on the reins of power, only General Kayani seems to understand this. But his freedom of action appears to be limited. You can read more in "An Open Letter to General Kayani" in my blog:
Dekha jo kha ke teer kamee.n gaah ki taraf
Apnay hi dosto.n se mulaaqaat ho ga'ee !
Apparently, the BBC did not have the courage to publish the most critical part of my response. It only published the first and the last paragraphs, leaving out the two middle ones. You can read the original article, and readers' comments, by clicking this link: