The real axis of evil?
Mohammad Jamil


India continues with its propaganda blitz against Pakistan. Its think tanks, the RAW, embedded journalists and media have stepped up their campaign after the relations between the US and Pakistan became strained when US Special Forces conducted operation at Abbottabad compound.

Though many Indian think tanks and organizations are part of the malicious onslaught on Pakistan, yet the ‘South Asia Analysis Group’ (SAAG) is producing reports on almost daily basis. B. Raman, who served the RAW for 28 years and former additional secretary of the Cabinet Secretariat, is the main contributor to the SAAG. Answering questions in his recent interview with the Newsweek, he said: “We can assist Afghanistan in strengthening the capabilities of its armed forces….My assessment is that Haqqani network no longer operates from North Waziristan; it now operates from Pakistan’s Kurram Agency…What we are worried about is the increasing strategic threat from the developing Sino-Pakistani axis. This axis is the real axis of evil”. It is unfortunate that Pakistani think tanks, media and other organizations instead of exposing the real axis of evil – the US, India and Afghanistan – believe the American and Indian propaganda and start criticizing Pakistan’s agencies.

B. Raman, in his latest paper no 741 under the caption ‘Many more Abbottabads waiting to be discovered in Pakistan’, referred to arrests of Abu Zubaidah, Ramzi Binalshib, Khalid Sheikh in Pakistan; and Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad. He then conjectured: “Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has taken over the leadership of Al Qaeda, Jallaludin and Serajuddin Haqqani of the so-called Haqqani network, Mulla Mohammad Omar of the Afghan Taliban, and Hakimullah Mehsud of the Pakistani Taliban are also in Pakistan”. India is playing upon the follies of the Pakistani journalists and pseudo-intellectuals who relish discussing Pakistan’s weaknesses and differences between the political parties and organs of the state. Although there is nothing wrong in having different perceptions over security and foreign policy matters but it is the pernicious way these are presented and interpreted to the detriment of Pakistan, of which India takes advantage. On the other hand, Indian propaganda against Pakistan continues. In June 2004, a report titled “Pakistan’s Provinces” had been published by a think-tank of India under the name and style of “Strategic Foresight Group”. Given the nature of study, it appears that this organization is the wing of Research and Analysis Wing.

The malafide intentions behind the so-called free intellectual enquiry were obvious from glancing through the preface by Sundeep Waslekar - the president of the group. He explained the reason for discussing the provinces instead of Pakistan and explained that the bottom-up approach has been adopted in view of the multitude of cultures that coexist. “In 2004, political discourse is increasingly references to the 1971 situation. It does not mean that provinces will secede in 2004 or 2005, yet it remains to be seen whether they will be together until 2010,” he asks the question, which speaks volumes about the purpose of the book. Secondly, the book had come at a time when India and Pakistan dialogue was passing through the crucial stage, and they had already taken a number of confidence-building measures. But one could infer from the double-speak and India’s rhetoric about resolving all the disputes with Pakistan including the core issue of Kashmir that all this is meant for the US and West’s consumption only. Working on ‘bottom-up approach’, the authors had allocated four chapters to four provinces.

At the end of each chapter, they have given under the sub-headings - Forecast, Trend, Discontinuity and Wild Card. What they had presaged was figment of their imagination, or reflective of the Indian leadership’s wish that Balochistan, Sindh and NWFP would seek separation because Punjab was exploiting them. In the chapter Punjab, the report said: “Punjab would be devastated, as the next war with India will see concentration of the Indian assault on Punjab. Making Punjab the battleground will greatly affect Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan’s retaliation can be more aggressive and might take the form of nuclear warfare”. Concluding the report, the authors had given four future scenarios. In the first scenario, they discussed the ideal situation visualizing that democratic government embarking upon a reorganization of provinces, creating many more provinces and giving them autonomy, containing jihadi activities, as such internal stability will bring investment leading to development. Relations with neighbouring countries could also improve, which would realize the benefits of good relations with Pakistan. The other scenarios in one way or the other portended gloom and disaster.

The India’s intent is obvious from the fact that it wants to keep the focus entirely spotted on Pakistan to demonise it as a state, denigrate its agencies and its military, to project it as a state sponsoring terrorism globally, to isolate it internationally with a view to reaping a big harvest of consequent gains. But this path is fraught with dangers because the escalation of tensions and then war between the two nuclear states is not an option. It is therefore in the best interest of both India and Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues and resume composite dialogue process in real earnest, when it has been established that Pakistan as a state was not involved in any of terrorist acts in India. Indian leadership has to bear in mind that there are more contradictions between the states and the center in India. There are separatist movements in a dozen states. India has indeed achieved prodigious economic growth but the awning gap between the rich and the poor, festering caste system and domination of Hindu majority over the minorities, the scenario is dismal.

And once the course of disintegration is set rolling, India is much more vulnerable to disintegration than Pakistan. A lot of books have been written in India and in the West. A brief survey of the shelves of any bookshop will among others show books on India such as “The Corrupt Society”, “Foul play: Chronicles of Corruption 1947-97” and so on. Pakistan should expose Indian RAW’s thuggish activities in FATA, Swat and Balochistan. Pakistan’s foreign office should abandon the habit of being on the defensive and always responding to India’s allegations. It should stop playing on the back foot and play on the front foot to bring India’s machinations and artifices to destabilize Pakistan to the attention of international community. Since the US and Indian interests converge in the region, it is almost certain that the propaganda blitz against Pakistan has also the wink from the former. There is a perception that the strategic partnership agreement signed between India and Afghanistan has America’s blessings, and the latter wants to exert pressure on Pakistan to do more.