Saturday 18 May 2013

Imran Khan: Favourite of NATO & Taliban (PO)

M D Nalapat

Friday, May 17, 2013 - It is the easiest task in the world to influence commentators in the NATO bloc. Any individual who socialises with them, breaks bread, quaffs wine and enjoys the company of the opposite sex is seen as a “liberal”, a “person like us (PLU)”, thereby deserving of support. Or, if the mannerisms and lifestyles of such favoured folk deviate from the NATO-bloc norm, all that is needed to win the favour of media in the military bloc is to endlessly repeat such catch phrases as “human rights”, “freedom” or “self-determination”. Libya is a recent example of the way in which groups whose core ideology is toxic to western precepts won the backing of a gullible and reckless Nicholas Sarkozy.

Sadly, there is no statue in Benghazi or Tripoli to commemorate the man who was instrumental in the downfall of Muammar Kadhafi, the leader who followed the advice of his son Saif to surrender his WMD and his secrets to the UK and the US in exchange for protection. That amnesty lasted for less than nine years. By 2011,Kaddafy’s 2003 surrender of his fighting capacity was forgotten, and money, training and weapons given to the groups warring against his regime. Paris was only responding to the cues tossed in their direction by big buyers of French armaments (as well as fripperies). Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE wanted Kadhafi to go, a desire shared by Turkey, which has under R T Erdogan adopted the same geopolitical vision as the GCC. Forgotten is the fact that the ruling families of the GCC have reached their eminence because they were willing to fight against Turkey during the time of the Ottoman Empire. As discussed, the reason why Francois Hollande backs the same groiups supported by the Ankara-Doha-Riyadh alliance (or ADR for short) is his anxiety to please some of the largest buyers of French defense equipment.

Now that India is paying out more than $20 billion to purchase French military aircraft, thereby saving the industry from closure at the expense of jobs in India, the other likely markets are mostly within the GCC and ASEAN, and Hollande is hoping that the lifting of the EU arms embargo on Syria will quickly be followed by orders for defense equipment from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

As for the UK, it is no secret that London is the destination of much of the moneys made by the GCC countries from the sale of oil. To ensure that these important customers of the high-cost and clearly risky UK financial markets continue to trust London with their immense capital hoard, it is vital that David Cameron fulfill the desire of these capitals to get the EU embargo lifted. Although Germany does sell defense equipment to the GCC, as well as act as a magnet for some GCC cash, it is to the credit of Chancellor Angela Merkel that this self-interest has not prevented her from being open about the risks involved in arming those who are visibly cannibalistic in their nature. Tragically, such fiends use the name of a great religion to boost their support base, when each of their actions is wholly contrary to the great faith of Islam.

France and the UK have joined US Secretary of State John Kerry (who has the same outlook as the Clintons when it comes to foreign policy, that only Europe counts and within the rest, only those with cash to spare matter). It was Hillary Clinton who caused the long-term disaster to US interests that is the “Arab Spring” and the Libya-Syria intervention, and it will be John Kerry who continues down the path blazed by Hillary Clinton, the spouse of the US President who enabled the Taliban to take power in Kabul in 1996.

It was, again, Hillary Clinton who ceaselessly weakened the civilian government of Asif Ali Zardari by her hidden and overt interventions in matters internal to Pakistan, and it was Hillary who had a distaste for Mian Nawaz Sharif, the new civilian leader of Pakistan. Had Hillary her say, it would have been Imran Khan and his party who would have got a majority in the Pakistan National Assembly. The handsome and articulate Niazi Pathan leader knows how to mix and mingle in NATO-bloc society, just as Benazir Bhutto did in the past. However, the fact is that Imran Khan has been assisted in his electoral quest by none other than the Taliban, which exempted his party from the murderous assaults to which it subjected the others.

Several million voters who favoured the ANP and the PPP in particular were afraid to come out and vote because of the fear that they would not return from the exercise alive. This, plus the boost given to Imran Khan’s party, ensured that they were hopelessly weakened, while the electoral victory of the Lion of the Punjab, Mian Nawaz Sharif, was a borderline triumph rather than the comfortable majority he would have won, had voters not been confused and intimidated by the Taliban and the groups supported by them. Watching the crowds of affluent youth waltzing along with Imran Khan, it is impossible not to be reminded of the way similar youth joined hands with Ayatollah Khomeini to throw out the Shah of Iran, only to find themselves in a worse position than before.

Those in the NATO bloc who are admirers of Imran Khan — and this columnist was recently in London, and noted that the English countryside is dotted with stately homes where boosters of the Niazi Pathan leader stay — will need to look at the way he manages Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, now that he has seized the province from the ANP. His well-wishers, the Taliban, will seek to enforce their own version of law in the province, and make it a safe haven for their fighters. Imran Khan will very soon come face to face with the reality that Pakistan has far more dangerous elements than those backing Asif Ali Zardari or Nawaz Sharif. In the view of this columnist, the former cricketer has entered into a Faustian bargain with groups that seek nothing less than the destruction of the Pakistan state.

It was telling that Imran was the only major politician specifically exempted from the Taliban’s vicious assault on democracy. Not that any of his NATO-bloc admirers bothered about such a choice of friends. Indeed, in his rush to come to power, Imran Khan has made compromises that will severely limit his freedom of action in the province that he now controls. Should he convert Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa into a Taliban stronghold, rather than join hands with the ANP to weaken and in time eliminate the militia, he will be doing a disservice to Pakistan.

Of course, guided as they are by the extremist-infiltrated intelligence agencies of some of the West Asian states, the NATO bloc is likely to turn as blind an eye to this development as they did to the steady and largely silent growth of the Taliban in Afghanistan during 2005-7. However, for the many well-intentioned people who supported him in the elections, the way he administers this crucial frontier state will be core in deciding whether, by dancing with wolves, Imran Khan has become a problem rather than a solution.

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