US cannot afford to open another front


Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul was director-general of the ISI from 1987 to 1989, at the end of a mujahideen war, covertly funded by the United States and Saudi Arabia, to drive the Soviet army out of Afghanistan.

Hamid Gul “The goals that the U.S. wants to achieve are not in Pakistan’s interest. The U.S. wants Indian supremacy in Afghanistan.”
“9/11 was basically a pretext for the Americans to establish a permanent presence in Afghanistan, as this is a central strategic location. From here, the Americans can contain China, control the Middle East and South Asia, and keep an eye on Central Asia. Pakistan represents their central target.”
“Our problem was that we didn’t have any alternative [to the U.S.]. Luckily we now have an alternative in the form of China. China will become an economic superpower without firing a single bullet. China will be the biggest beneficiary when U.S. troops leave the region.”
“The U.S. divided the Pakistani nation and has asked India to provide weapons to Tehreek-e-Taliban in Pakistan. They are the ones responsible for destabilizing Karachi. In addition to this, India is fragmenting. Take it from me, their democracy is falling apart and voices of revolution are coming out of India. An alternative to the democratic system has to emerge, and that can come from Islamic sources.”

The News: What do you think of the Haqqani network’s strength and reach? Is it capable of defeating the US forces in Afghanistan?
Hameed Gul: Haqqani network is an integral part of Taliban which is the national resistance      
force of Afghanistan and Mulla Omar is the flag-bearer of it. Jalaluddin Haqqani has a religious commitment to follow his orders. Haqqani network is, in fact, based in North Waziristan in Pakistan and when America blames them, it actually blames Pakistan.

It is true that Taliban and Haqqani network are involved in many attacks on the allied forces in Afghanistan, including the latest Kabul attacks. They are doing so to show the actual security situation of their country after ten years of American occupation. They have shown many times that they can attack whenever and wherever they want in Afghanistan.

Obama, in fact, wants an early withdrawal from Afghanistan to get political benefits in the next presidential elections. But, there are some countries and lobbies which do not want early withdrawal because it will diminish their role there. India and Israel want America to stay in Afghanistan for maximum years and they are trying to create such a situation.

American authorities, including Mullen, have quoted an intelligence report of Afghanistan National Security Directorate’s (NSD) that during Kabul attack, the attackers were in contact with their masterminds in Pakistan like they did in Mumbai. Everybody knows the credibility and capability of NSD; it is the same agency that gave the information that Hameed Gul has been killed on Afghanistan border while transporting Mulla Omar there a few months back. This agency is supported by RAW.

TNS: Is Haqqani network an asset or a baggage of the past for Pakistan?

HG: Those who consider them a baggage of the past are fools. Can America stay in Afghanistan on a

permanent basis? No, it can’t, it will have to leave it latest by 2014 and then it will become a story of the past. The present puppet government of Afghanistan cannot survive without American support. So, what is the future of Afghanistan? Taliban and Haqqanis are the future of Afghanistan. They are also likely to come into power in Afghanistan after occupied forces leave.

TNS: The Pakistan army has ruled out military action in North Waziristan for the time being. Can America go for a surgical strike alone?

HG: No way. No military option is available for US right now and if they go for it, it will lose allies. They are not in a position to open a new front and that too with Pakistan, from where more than 60 per cent of their supplies to Afghanistan pass through. All we have to do is to close Karachi terminal. Robert Gates has already said that the US cannot afford to open another front while Henry Kissinger in a recent interview warned the US government to not push Pakistan to the wall because it can lead to third world war.

TNS: What will be the consequences if Pakistan launches operation against Haqqani network and TTP in North Waziristan?
HG: At present, more than 150000 Pakistani troops along with scouts are deployed at Western borders of Pakistan. To go for a full-fledged military operation in North Waziristan, Pakistan will have to send at least 100,000 more troops there. We will have to withdraw them from our eastern borders. We cannot afford that. At present, it is being tried to convey to Pakistan that India is not a threat. Once it is proved we will be asked to shun our nuclear programme.

TNS: Can Pakistan survive a conflict, both military and diplomatic, with the US? Do you think China would support Pakistan in such situation?

HG: I am overruling that American would go for a military option and if it does so, China would definitely support us because Pakistan is very important strategically for China. We don’t need its physical support but we need military hardware from it and China has never disappointed us in the past.

It is true that US can squeeze us economically but if countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran help us fulfill our energy needs, we can easily survive it. The economic conditions of US are not good.

Pakistan being an Islamic country also has another very important option in its hands and that is the declaration of Jihad in the wake of an American attack. And if it goes for this option, we don’t need anything else to fight America.

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