Obama’s Af-Pak plan disastrous for Pakistan: experts

April 3rd, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Islamabad, April 3 (IANS) US President Barack Obama’s new strategy for Pakistan’s troubled tribal areas and Afghanistan is a recipe for disaster from Islamabad’s point of view, say experts.
They also lamented that “short-sighted people at the helm of affairs” in Islamabad were jubilant over the $1.5 billion yearly reward for implementation of the plan that Obama has promised Pakistan for the next five years.

“Pakistan would be reduced to a battlefield if our leadership accedes to Obama’s strategy,” Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former interior secretary and a former ambassador to Afghanistan, was quoted as saying in The News.

Brig (retd) Mehmud Shah, a former secretary of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), was of the view these were testing times for political as well as military leaders, “who are expected to defend Pakistan against a sinister Zionist conspiracy to destabilise and denuclearise Pakistan”.

Rahimullah Yousafzai, a widely respected journalist, warned that the Obama strategy would lead to instability in Pakistan.

“There would be an open war in the fields and streets of every city and town of Pakistan,” he contended, adding the armed forces might not be in a position to support the new approach.

According to the experts, the US, “which has completely failed to bring peace to Afghanistan or vanquish the Taliban movement, is hell-bent on pushing its war inside Pakistan and wants to expand it beyond the tribal region”.

Mohmand said peace in Afghanistan could not be ensured without the replacement of the occupying US and NATO forces with peacekeepers.

Instead of understanding the sensitivities that came with the Obama strategy for Pakistan’s future, the country’s leadership was happy to receive American dollars at the expense of stability, Mohmand maintained.

“I have information our rulers are thinking on these lines,” he added, warning that Pakistan was being pushed towards destabilisation.

Mohmand pointed out the US was also involving Iran, India, China and Russia in pressurising Pakistan to fall in line.

Arguing that the US war on terror was never Pakistan’s war, he said “now we have been pushed into a situation where terrorism and extremism has become a key challenge for us”.

Post-9/11 policies, in his view, had fuelled the insurgency in the tribal belt, which had remained calm and peaceful throughout the Pakistan-US war against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

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