Today President Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, will meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Shortly afterwards US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Beijing to talk with Chinese leaders. Speaking to CNN on Sunday Dr Henry Kissinger stressed once again that the present global meltdown makes imperative that America and China preserve and strengthen their close alliance, which he had forged during the Nixon presidency. Kissinger advised Secretary of State Clinton to do everything possible to win China’s trust for confronting the challenge jointly with the US.
One hopes that Mr Pranab Mukherjee in his private talks with Holbrooke will be blunt enough to point out that Dr Kissinger’s concerns reflecting corporate America may be in serious conflict with Holbrooke’s own responsibility to protect America’s, and the world’s, security. To accomplish that Mr Mukherjee in the seclusion of private conversation should remind the US envoy of some home truths.
Such as, that Pakistan is a failed state artificially propped up by big powers. Its economy has collapsed. If the foreign aid tap is turned off it could be brought to its knees within days. It is the acknowledged hub of global terrorism hosting training camps for terrorists. Its civilian government is impotent. Its army and secret service are openly colluding with international terrorism. Its public, fed on chauvinistic Islamic slogans, is in a state of perpetual denial. Its nuclear proliferation record and links to global terrorism render it a threat to world peace. It confronts decades old insurgency and separatism in Baluchistan. It has lost authority in its NWFP province.
According to credible sources, Pakistan’s nuclear-proliferator-in-chief AQ Khan along with his nuclear scientist colleague Murad Qasim met Osama bin Laden as recently as April 2003. Now Khan has been released from house arrest in a barely concealed deal with the government by which he would not divulge the Pakistan establishment’s complicity in creating the international nuclear arms bazaar. Despite this, the world is helpless. America, which could bomb and occupy Iraq without justification, cannot act beyond mumbling unhappy statements. Why?
The answer is obvious. Pakistan for all practical purposes is China’s puppet. The evidence to conclude this is so overwhelming that it does not bear repetition. Pakistan’s nuclear programme was created by China. China’s aid and training to Islamist terrorists is decades old. All this has been recorded. Yet the US remains mute. David Sanger and William J Broad reported for the New York Times, quoting CIA documents, how the agency monitored Khan’s movements in China when he received crucial nuclear know-how from Beijing. Yet the newspaper editorially continues to keep alive the fiction that Pakistan was ultimately responsible for nuclear proliferation! American laboratory scientist Thomas Reed has disclosed how Beijing conducted Pakistan’s nuclear test. Official America ignores the disclosure.
Decades ago Yossef Bodansky, director of the US Congress Anti-Terrorism Task Force, wrote an official paper for the Congress adducing evidence of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) funding and aiding Islamist terrorists in Southeast Asia through Iran and Pakistan as well as separatists in India’s northeast through Pakistan’s ISI.
Yet America turns a blind eye. The Wall Street Journal reported how China’s PLA signed a memorandum of understanding with Afghanistan’s Taliban government headed by Mullah Omar on 9/11 itself for setting up Afghanistan’s telecommunication system. Later reports from credible researchers established that PLA leaders met with Mullah Omar’s son-in-law Osama too. The deal was that in exchange for the telecom aid Al Qaida would not support the separatists in Xingjian. A little later Osama described America, Russia, India and Israel as the enemies of Islam. He did not name China despite the Uighur trouble in Xingjian. China officially did not deny the MOU signed with the Taliban on 9/11 but dismissed it as of no consequence. Much more evidence can be summoned to establish the links between China and Pakistan’s army and ISI which unleashed adventurism against India in Kashmir and its northeast states. Despite such evidence, America seems helpless to confront China. Why?
Is it so because US policies after 1978 economically joined America and China at the hip? They sink or swim together. To his credit President Bush did try to reverse US policies in his second term although the vested interests opposing him were extremely powerful. He did lay a shaky foundation for President Obama to work on to create a genuine new world order. The challenge facing the Obama administration today is to demolish the negative forces within China without fatal damage to Sino-US economic ties. The incredibly talented and industrious Chinese people would not be averse to democracy if they were not repressed by a ruthless one party dictatorship. Now conditions have reached a crisis point that impels the US with the help of liberal elements inside China to take on the negative forces. The time has come for President Obama to override influential voices, such as of Dr Henry Kissinger, reflecting the concerns of a greedy corporate America to persist with current policies towards China.
Dr AQ Khan’s release provides President Obama with his litmus test. It is time to call a spade a spade and act decisively no matter whose feelings get hurt in Beijing or in Islamabad. The prospect of a future nuclear terrorist strike in India or the US is a real threat. So, how will America act?
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