[The following depressingly realistic report details pretty accurately, the terrors that are scheduled for Pakistan this year. If this is not the year that the majority of Pakistanis join some sort of anti-military/militant resistance (anti-Taliban/anti-Imperialist), then it will mark the full Talibanization of the country, as the Wahhabi/Deobandi plague spreads from the Tribal Regions to the farthest corner of Karachi City Limits and the port of Gwadar.
This has been the ultimate goal of American foreign policy from the beginning of its Sunni "jihad," to first complete the process of Talibanization of all Afghanistan, then to cause reverse-Talibanization, turning the jihadi tsunami back onto its Pakistani source. This will achieve the American objective of converting our Pakistani ally into the next "legitimate target" in the American terror war, making it possible to repeat the violent Imperialist colonization process that we have been forced to watch recently in Libya and Syria. The Imperialist mind-controllers have distracted most of us for the past ten years from realizing that their plan has always been to attack upon Pakistan, using insane Zionist threats against Iran to distract us, giving substance to an imaginary, impossible "attack on Iran." This has all been an American/Israeli smokescreen, to distract the world's attention away from the real target--the nuclear-armed Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
It is no coincidence that America and the so-called Pakistani Taliban have the same goals, but for opposite reasons. ISI created the TTP while working for the CIA, forging that particular terrorist outfit from the most radical offshoots of previous terrorist outfits Lashkar e-Jhangvi and Sipah e-Sahaba, otherwise known as the "Punjabi Taliban."" The CIA then used Saudi/Arab money to bribe rogue elements within the military and ISI (along with other foreign spy agencies), to obtain control of the TTP's Mehsud leadership. Under CIA coordination, since 2007, this terrorist outfit has waged war on the Pakistani state and incited sectarian war by attacking local Shiites. An attack upon any Shia is equated to an attack upon Iran, as far as the anti-Iranian neocons are concerned.
The "Taliban" gambit, just like its companion farcical tragedy, the "al-Qaeda" gambit, were originally joint CIA/ISI PsyOps, run by the ISI for us, to manufacture a legitimate terrorist threat, which translated into opportunity for President Bush, then Obama, to wage "defensive war" within Pakistan. Thanks to the American media war on Truth, the American side has been able to use Pakistan's own creation against it, turning the tables on Pakistan by shifting all the blame for radical Sunni terrorism onto Pakistan's shoulders. This double-cross was only possible because of the cooperation or silence of Pakistan's powerful generals and political Establishment.
Gen. Kayani, and before him, the Dictator Musharraf, have helped America to set Pakistan up for the big free-fall that it is now being sucked into. The Generals have turned Pakistan into the ultimate "Patsy" state, intended to take the ultimate fall for all American crimes against humanity (that have been committed in the creation of the Sunni Islamist terror machinery) and to become the next American theater of war, as designated by George Bush in July, 2008.
Pakistan has one chance to get out of the trap it finds itself in--Resist the Army/Islamists or learn Taliban "Shariah."]
What to expect for Pakistan in 2013.
By Khaled Ahmed
Aamir Qureshi / AFP
We can reach you wherever you are, we are in control. This is what the Taliban signaled with the Dec. 22 assassination of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s senior minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour. The province is the most terrorized region in the country, its ruling-party leaders subject to target killing. Six days after Bilour’s murder, the Taliban kidnapped 23 paramilitary militiamen from three checkpoints near Peshawar. Two escaped, one died at hospital; and 21 bullet-riddled bodies were discovered in the frontier region of the provincial capital on the Sunday before last. The adjoining tribal areas, even when not controlled by the Taliban, are at the mercy of their suicide bombers. In 2013, terrorism will continue to haunt Pakistan.
The other province where the year will unfold in the midst of sectarian carnage is Balochistan, where governance has already broken down under pressure from the Baloch insurgency, which can’t be put down for the same reason that terrorism in general can’t be tackled: a deliberate misdiagnosis of the phenomenon by the state. Balochistan is supposed to be under attack from covert war by India while Islamabad is involved in a process of normalization of relations with New Delhi.
Sindh can also be jolted out of kilter by what terrorism does to Karachi, Pakistan’s single megacity where several types of émigré communities are trying to find modus vivendi with one another. The coming year will see the rise, and final dominance, of the Taliban as pledged by them in an announcement from North Waziristan, headquarters of local and foreign terrorists that the Pakistan Army is unable to attack in defiance of all arguments advanced by its international allies and now by the long-suffering government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Punjab has been more or less exempted from attacks by the Taliban and their Punjabi affiliates because Lahore has chosen to look the other way as terrorism’s sectarian thirst is slaked through attacks on minority communities. Yet, the Taliban will attack at will its “enemies,” such as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa policemen training in Lahore and Army personnel out on routine duty in Gujrat. Punjab is expected to be as peaceful as it was in 2012. Note the sectarian nom de guerre of the Punjabi Taliban spokesman, Asmat Muawiya, who said in December: “We don’t have any conflict with either [the ruling] PMLN or [Imran Khan’s] PTI; but for peaceful coexistence with the Taliban, Pakistan should stop supporting the U.S.” The keyword is coexistence and that could decide the tenor for the next few months. This bilateral tolerance may seriously affect parties other than the likes of PMLN and PTI in the upcoming elections.
Pakistan’s economy will come under more pressure from terrorism’s well-known instruments: kidnappings for ransom, and bank holdups. Pressure on the economy will also emanate from another source: the International Monetary Fund. Pakistan has to retire $7.6 billion to the IMF by the end of 2015. In 2011, Pakistan failed to repay $11.3 billion it had agreed to remit. Pakistan’s total external debt is expected to swell beyond $67 billion. It will go on printing currency notes to the tune of Rs. 1.5 billion to Rs. 3 billion daily until after the elections. The value of the Pakistani rupee will erode beyond Rs. 100 to a dollar. After February, Pakistan will find it tough paying back the next installment of over $2 billion to the IMF.
Pakistan will spend 2013 settling down to a normal equation with the United States after the reset of relations that happened toward the end of 2012. Pakistan’s inability to comprehend Washington’s traditional adherence to realistic foreign policy remains chronic. The Army continues to view AmPak relations as hostile because of their transactional nature. Pakistan will have to put to test some national assumptions of “strategic depth” in Afghanistan, but may find that it commands little loyalty among the Afghan Taliban and may have destroyed its chances to exploit the concessions made to it by Washington in the Afghan endgame by letting its own Taliban have a free run in Pakistan.
The endgame may actually mean another civil war in Afghanistan hastened by the withdrawal of NATO forces—this is scheduled for 2014 but will most likely start in 2013. Civil war will unleash a parallel war between the Afghan National Army and Pakistani nonstate actors, who will cross the border to fight the Northern Alliance, as they did in 1998. As noted by Newsweek last week, “The crowning irony is that Afghanistan’s fate in 2013 may very well be determined not by the Afghans themselves but by the Pakistanis next door.”
Roberto Schmidt / AFP
The U.S. and its allies will leave behind a 352,000-strong security force. That will be the largest army Afghanistan has ever fielded. The last biggest army belonged to the Soviet-backed president Mohammad Najibullah, who actually fielded 45,000 troops who defeated the Pakistan-backed mujahideen in Jalalabad in 1989. The Afghan Taliban will have around 25,000 men, counting on the basis of the maximum muster managed so far. The uneven battlefield will be equalized by inserting additional fighters from Pakistan. Tehrik-e-Taliban will raid across the Durand Line, but the manpower it mobilizes may not suffice. Pakistan expects the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami, and ragtag warlords from the federally-administered tribal areas and Malakand to battle an Afghan Army already inclined to defection. As Pakistan grows weaker after elections and the months required for the new government to stabilize, it may find that 2013, not 2014, has become the critical year.
Mobilization for the Afghan civil war will put added pressure on Pakistan’s battered economy: the jihadists will have to increase abductions and bank robberies to top up their war chests. Anticipating war, half the Pakhtun population of Afghanistan will cross over into Pakistan joining the millions that entered earlier but never went back. The Punjabi Taliban in the shape of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, already enjoying coexistence with the Punjab government, will become a power to reckon with, driving the Shia community to despair and subordinating the state to the will of Al Qaeda.
The state will not be able to turn its attention to the plight of the isolated Shia communities in Parachinar in the Kurram Agency and the region of Gilgit-Baltistan. Gilgit’s Shia majority can expect more sectarian violence. In Balochistan’s capital Quetta, the Hazara community will go on being decimated by elements paid to implement the strategic decisions of regional states rivaling Iran. Quetta, Parachinar, and Gilgit qualify as border cities with important logistics value to the Pakistan Army as well. The Hazaras of Quetta threaten the future plans of consolidating strategic advantages in Afghanistan; Parachinar sits athwart a very important route into Afghanistan used by Pakistani mujahideen in the past; and Gilgit will remain important as it did during the 1999 incursion of nonstate actors into Kargil in India-administered Kashmir.
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s interface cities like Kohat, Hangu, and Bannu, the Pakistan-plus-Taliban diarchy will become more problematic as the demand for the release of terrorists in Pakistani jails becomes more vehement. Peshawar itself came under attack in December in what looked like a Taliban attempt to take over the city’s airport. The invading terrorists came from the adjoining Khyber tribal agency, where the Taliban coexist with a local warlord who obliges by targeting Pakistani troops right at the mouth of the Khyber Pass, once the most important passage to Afghanistan. The near collapse of the Awami National Party-led government creates an important opening for the terrorists as they muster for the civil war across the Durand Line.
Tithe For Tat
The great battle for Pakistan may be fought in Karachi, nerve center of Pakistan’s semi-comatose economy. The Taliban first warned that they would soon be masters of the city; then proved in December that they could strangulate its economy through target killings and extraction of protection money, shifting the loyalty of citizens away from one of its secular enemies, Muttahida Qaumi Movement. The Taliban are already well established in important sections of the city between Orangi in the west and the northern edge of North Nazimabad, successfully challenging police and Rangers who have tacitly accepted certain localities like Manghopir, Sultanabad, Pakhtunabad, Kunwari Colony, and Pirabad as no-go areas where they will not accompany reporters.
As if anticipating the financial contingencies of 2013, the Taliban are collecting big money in Karachi. Their writ there will soon resemble what they enjoy in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Kohat, Bannu, and Hangu. The Taliban will step up their fundraising through extortion for what they call the Pakhtun Aman Jirga. An office of the jirga already exists behind Malik Agha Hotel near Al-Asif Square in Sohrab Goth. The business community in this area is already receiving and responding tamely to demands for money. ANP, which traditionally commanded the loyalty of Pakhtuns in these areas, will accept that it cannot compete with the Taliban. Its flags and other symbols already disappeared in 2012 from the Pakhtun areas between Nazimabad and Orangi.
Pakistan will skate on thin ice relying on the strategic verbalization of the Foreign Hand doctrine—covering up dereliction by accusing the trio of the U.S., India, and Israel of paying the Pakistani Taliban and Baloch insurgents to terrorize Pakistan. As the U.S. and its allies withdraw from Afghanistan, AmPak relations will deteriorate and the only consideration the U.S. will have for continuing to deal with Islamabad and GHQ in Rawalpindi will be Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, made more dangerous by the development of easily transportable (and therefore more vulnerable to Al Qaeda capture) tactical nukes.
So-called peace talks with the Taliban begun in Paris will go nowhere and Mullah Omar’s negotiators at Qatar will most probably return without agreement on the setting up of an interim government in Kabul in post-drawdown Afghanistan. The U.S. will be compelled to rely more heavily on the policy of operating drones over territories infested with Taliban and Al Qaeda warriors in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan will not mount a cleanup operation in North Waziristan, from where the Tehrik-e-Taliban and Haqqani network will plan attacks on withdrawing ISAF-NATO forces, for fear of blowback.
There Goes the Neighborhood
Arif Ali / AFP
The only good development of 2012—the incipient normalization of relations with India on the basis of free trade and visa liberalization—may suddenly come to a halt in 2013 because of lack of Indian trust in Pakistan or because of another incident of terrorism in India by Pakistan’s nonstate actors. The Defense of Pakistan Council
, whose warriors routinely penetrate India and will now be tempted to enter Afghanistan, will likely become more active, armed with the additional charge made by the Pakistani establishment against India of stealing Pakistan’s river waters in violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.
At the regional level, Iran in the west and the Central Asian states in the north will become alarmed at the prospect of another Pakistan-backed Taliban condominium in Afghanistan which resulted in global terrorism in the past. Iran will become more outspoken about the killings of the Shia; and Uzbekistan, with some support from Turkey, will demand that Pakistan take action against Uzbek warriors located in the safe haven of North Waziristan. The possibility of terrorism fanning out across Central Asia will alarm Russia, too, as Pakistan loses control over the terrorists it did not challenge on its territory.
Pakistan will continue to be politically unstable as the new elected government tries to settle down. The three institutions—executive, judiciary, and Army—that have caused instability by clashing with one another will be led by the same controversial personalities until the end of the year when the Army chief’s extension in service concludes and the chief justice retires. Chances are that their successors will find reason to continue the same fractious policies. Pakistan will be internally troubled and externally mired in isolation with more enemies than friends, the remaining few of whom will incline toward neutrality in a world challenged by terrorism radiating from Pakistan. For sure, 2013 is going to be a bumpy ride.