Rumour mill overdrive | Pakistan Today

Rumour mill overdrive

US birdies all around

The readers will recall that last week I mentioned an analyst Spengler’s article in connection with American plans for the region and his revelation that the US would ‘now export instability into Pakistan.’ This ‘campaign’ was then in its initial phase. Later, Mansoor Ijaz came forth with another article which was laden with new allegations. Along with that, he was also featured on the CNN in a special interview where he criticised the ISI to his heart’s content. If it had been any other country, the ramblings of such a non-state actor would not have been paid heed to. But Pakistan is fertile ground for hearsay and rumours. And we are more than an eager and receptive audience for the same.

Up till now, we had been rowing with India. We had neither the experience of squaring off with the US or quite frankly the cojones to. But the cruelty of fate brought us to such a point that we have to become the US’ target despite our best wishes. The US knows that we can’t hold a candle to it militarily or deal with its pressure otherwise due to our economic compunctions. This is why it is cranking the pressure up and wants us to take its dictation with regards to the Afghan endgame. We are not doing so and it is, thus, trying to push us off the instability ledge.

Let’s focus on Mansoor the menace here. This man wrote a feature for the Financial Times six or seven months after the Abbottabad operation which wasn’t given much importance. But that piece suddenly became the eye of the storm when it was taken up by the Pakistani media three weeks later. During this furore, the ISI chief had a clandestine meeting with him in London. Why did the ISI chief decide upon this rendezvous? I think if he reviews the events that followed, the chief could ascertain whether the chain of happenings that culminated in their one-on-one might have been manufactured.

A review of the events is necessary. The first person who acknowledged the alleged Mansoor Ijaz memo was Admiral Mullen. After that, General James John. Following that, another one of Mr Ijaz’s write-ups graced the pages of Newsweek. That was followed by the interview on CNN. People aware of how things work in the American system know well that such campaigns cannot take off without the patronage of the State Department and Pentagon. This same Mansoor Ijaz has been touring the world on self-appointed missions but never has he been accorded this kind of importance except now that he has started spewing allegations against Pakistan. He is part of these well-laid American plans, the freshest manifestaion of which is what happened on 6th December.

President Zardari went to Dubai for medical reasons. Elements under US influence suddenly put their rumour mills in top gear. Many stories were concocted. The one that was most widely circulated was that President Zardari wanted to go to Dubai but the army leadership took him to the armed forces’ Cardiology Centre for verification where doctors deemed him a hundred percent fit. Another rumour was that the president was told that PML(N) and its affiliates would boycott his speech to the joint session of the parliament. But the truth is that he met no one important on the 8th, 9th and 10th of Muharram. Who could’ve told him this? He only met PM Gilani and Chairman Senate Farooq Naek before going to Dubai. His check-up date in Dubai had been pre-fixed as he is a heart patient who has already undergone angioplasty in New York and has been advised to undergo regular check-ups.

There are a lot of dignitaries who go abroad for their check-ups and these include CM Punjab, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and many others. Similarly, the president too had to go abroad on such a matter. He was supposed to go on the 6th but he was a little reluctant to travel. He wasn’t feeling quite well due to which some doctors, which included military surgeons, checked him up and advised him to go for his check-up. Because the president was still reticent, his son Bilawal was called in who finally persuaded his father to go to Dubai. Bilawal wanted to accompany him but he was stopped from doing so by the president. One report states that the president said to Bilawal that he should stay back to prove that they were not people who would shy away easily.

Events surrounding this incident are proof of the US campaign to destabilise Pakistan. After the entire memo fracas in which Admiral Mullen and General Jones had jumped in followed by the interview of Mansoor ‘the-enemy-of-Pakistan-army’ Ijaz on CNN, the magazine Foreign Policy also stoked the fire by publishing a rumour-ridden report which said President Zardari had gone to Dubai due to being unwell and might resign. It further stated that someone from the PPP would take his place while no such reports were circulating in Pakistan in the wake of the president’s departure. The FP magazine is a well-respected periodical. A report that is filled with so many unverified claims being published in this magazine gives credence to the notion that the US is trying to destabilise Pakistan and is not above using such ‘credible’ journals for its ploys. If we still don’t get why this deluge of Pakistan-related stories is coming from the US, then God save us. The point being stressed in this campaign of allegations is that the civilian government of Pakistan is totally helpless and that the army is the one calling the shots and wants to remove this so-called democratic government.

If one is to even think about it a little, it is apparent that there couldn’t be a worst, more inopportune and dangerous moment for the army to take over. Even if the army is invited to do so, it will not take over right now. Have our experts on military affairs not realised that our army is being maligned deliberately for the past many months by the repeated accusations that it does not let any democratic government work in the country and why would it take over when such things are being said about it? In the current scenario, if any institution is most willing to save the current setup, it is the military. But the Americans somehow want to push the army to take over. Because after that, they can truly up the ante on destabilising Pakistan.

It is my analysis that President Zardari, PM Gilani and the army are opposing this US campaign to create instability in Pakistan vehemently and they are all united in their effort to save democracy. And it should be that the entire nation be united to save democracy at this hour. We can solve our internal spats later but we shouldn’t allow these schisms to be exploited by foreign powers. How ill was President Zardari is pretty apparent from the fact that his daughters were away in Britain while his son was back in Islamabad. But, rumours were still aplenty.

As a closing statement, I would like to say that the most potent attack of the US will be where it tries to divide our armed forces. We should be prepared…

The writer is one of Pakistan’s most widely read columnists.

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  1. asim said:

    I believe the author is well aware of the contribution of the so called democracy.Morethan 20b$ debt have been accumulated in the past 3 years so the Total debt moves to 60b$ plus. Moreover this is no democracy at all where only certain families are ruling the country.It is really shame for the pakistan that the head of state goes abroad for simple medical treatment….

    • Wasim said:

      Mr. Asim dont give inflated figures to prove ur point. When in 60 years history of Pakistan debt hv not been taken? Past govts accumulated more debts percentage wise. At one point during Nawaz Sharif govt in 1998 debt was 60% of GDP.

      • asim said:

        Dear waseem this govt took highest loan in the history ever 20b$ plus in just 3 years. then IMF refused last year else it would have been more.Plus taxes on massess plus internal loans…I am not supporter of Nawaz Sharif…He speaks of democracy also but does'nt know ABC of democracy.His brother is CM punjab, his son an MNA,now daughter coming, son in law also in politics, in total 22 falimy memebers in politics. Many districts in Pakistan with no representation.
        All familes running pakistan. They call this democracy.The real irony comes when educated people support them for their vested interests.

    • Yasser Masood said:

      That doesn't mean that an elected government should be uprooted illegally…

      • asim said:

        Its very clear now 35m votes out of 80m casted were fake.No credibility exists.
        Unless a french type revolution takes place this class never gonna disappear.Entire systems needs to be overhauled.All great nations made progress onl through mass revolution.

  2. Yasser Masood said:

    I think this is sound analysis, I want this government to complete its tenure, appoint a transitional government to ensure fair elections and let the next player take position. Keep the ball rolling…

  3. Hamid Butt said:

    USA is not enemy of Pakistan. Its a secular democracy with freedom of speech and religion.

    Pakistan is a Sunni Islam theocracy with no freedom of speech or religion. All we know about Islam written 200 years after Mohammad death in 632 AD, who himself used violence to spread his new religion by invading other countries. Mr. Nagi what you say about it?

    You can criticize Politicians but can you write against Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff if you have complete freedom of speech? Forget about writing any truth about spread of Islam.

    • R. khan said:

      your Knowledge of Islamic history is enviable. How come you are still stuck with your name?

      • Anon said:

        Names are knowledge independent. You don't disagree! Right?

      • Hamid said:

        I am amazed Mr. Naji did not reply. My friend, name has nothing to do with the truth on ground. All told to us in Pakistan about religion as children were fiction & lies. See Imam Bokhari, most authentic Islamic historian came 350 years after Mohammad. How can you write anything authentic after 350 years of an event?

        Truth is Islam was spread by the sword not by dialogue. Enemies were killed and their wives were taken as s*x slaves. Mohammad’s permitted their rape. Mohammad pursued power as any dictator today. He dictated the Quran to suit his own power struggle, which is a main source of violence today.

        Mohammad spent more time with women like marrying 6 yrs. Old Aisha and wife of his own stepson. He accepted a girl Maria as a present from King of Habsha. He never married her but had a son from her. He took wives of his enemies same day he killed them as Jewish chief wife Safia. How could these women have accepted Islam when their husbands, fathers & brothers were beheaded same day?

        Mohammad was the first person who claimed to be a Prophet of God but was not a Jew. All prophets including Jesus were Jews only. No Maulvi will tell these historical facts to you in Pakistan.

  4. sundaram said:

    Quote : "People aware of how things work in the American system know well that such campaigns cannot take off without the patronage of the State Department and Pentagon" – this is really outlandish. I have lived and worked in the US for over 30 years and have been interacting with a wide range of Americans both in professional and social environments. I have never, ever heard such an opinion from the staunchest of Republicans or Democrats or Independents, or, for that matter, those who don't care for politics at all.
    If such ignorance and paranoia flow out of the keyboard of "Pakistan's most widely read columnist" Pakistan's future is indeed rather bleak.

    • Anon said:

      Don't blame him. He never heard of 'committee hearings' in senate and congress, where such luminaries as defense and state secretaries answers to unscripted questions on a regular basis. But otherwise Nazir Naji is able to see thru the woods…

  5. Ahad said:

    Mr Nazir Naji is self educated columnist, who is himself notorious for all the wrong reasons and hardly qualifies to be an intellectual, unless of course intellectuals are required to be abusive with a bottle of you know what in their hand, half falling out of their seat.

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