US counter-terrorism strategy is a threat to peace in South Asia

A recently adopted US National Strategy for Counter-Terrorism (NSCT) brands Iran as the “principal state sponsor of terrorism”.  It also targets Pakistan and calls for strengthening cooperation with India to advance the American “counter-terrorism” strategy.The unveiling of this strategy has been accompanied by statements of US President Trump blaming Pakistan for supporting terrorists and misusing American aid.

It was under the name of countering terrorism that the US invaded and occupied Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.  It has been supporting armed rebel groups in Syria also under the same banner. Historical experience shows that counter-terrorism is a smokescreen to hide the aggressive American pursuit of conquering Asia and dominating the world. 

Analysis of historical facts also reveals the hand of US imperialism behind most of the terrorist groups which operate from the soil of Pakistan.

Following the Iranian revolution which overthrew the pro-American regime of Shah Pahlavi in 1979, the US and its intelligence agencies concentrated on turning Pakistan into a base in their rivalry with the then Soviet Union. The US spent billions of dollars to train various armed groups in Pakistan.  They were indoctrinated to fight first against the pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan, and later on against the Soviet occupation forces in that country, which was portrayed as an “enemy of Islam”.  The US manipulated the liberation struggle of the Afghan people against the Soviet occupiers to serve its own aims. 

Those who were mobilised to allegedly fight a holy war in the name of Islam had to be kept ignorant of the fact that they were actually carrying out the agenda of the US.  Hence the US worked through the state of Pakistan.  Operating through the ISI of Pakistan, the American CIA organised to create an entire network of trained terrorists, called Al Qaeda.After the Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan, this terrorist network hasbeen used to achieve US political goals in other places (See Box).

Over the past four decades, the US intelligence agencies have penetrated deeply into the Pakistani state. Following the military occupation of Afghanistan by US led NATO forces, the US has turned Afghanistan too into a base for training terrorist groups to target Its neighbours — Pakistan, Iran, Russia and the Central Asian Republics. These terrorist groups are implementing the agenda of destabilising all the countries of the region, by unleashing anarchy and violence, and massacring innocent people. CIA trained terrorist groups are now operating from both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Terrorist attacks in Pakistan and India are being organised to prevent unity and cooperation between India and Pakistan.  The Mumbai terrorist attacks of 2008, the Pathankot attack of 2016 as well as the most recent incidents in Amritsar and Karachi need to be seen in this light.

Some telling facts about US-sponsored terrorism

Starting around 1990, many Saudi and other Arab nationals who had been recruited into Al Qaeda, were brought on CIA aircrafts into Azerbaijan.  The CIA also brought armed groups into Yugoslavia to fan the flames of war there, from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Kosovo. They were smuggled into Chechnya and Dagestan to sabotage Russian oil pipeline routes.

Iqbal Ahmad, Political Scientist, in a speech at the University of Colorado, Boulder in October 1998, said:

“In Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last 400 years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. … CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.”

Ms. Hillary Clinton, when she was Secretary of State of the US Government, in an interview to Fox News in 2009, said:

“We had helped to create the problem …  We had this brilliant idea that we were going to come to Pakistan and create a force of mujahideen and equip them with Stinger missiles and everything else to go after the Soviets inside Afghanistan.”

The US Government headed by Barack Obama openly confirmed its support for “Syrian rebels”, mainly for Al Nusrah, a terrorist network financed by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel in close consultation with NATO and the Pentagon.

The terrorist group ISIS was established by the US as part of its plan to redraw the map of West Asia, by inciting Sunnui-Shia confict. This terrorist group became a household word when YouTube video clips were circulated all over the world, showing the alleged beheading of an American journalist.  This video clip was later forensically proven to have been manufactured using hired actors.  At the time is was circulated, however, it served to create public opinion in favour of a fresh round of US-led NATO military action in Iraq and Syria.

The US specializes in what are called “false flag operations”.  The CIA organizes terrorist acts for which someone else is blamed.  Then such acts are used as the excuse to launch open armed actions in the name of countering terrorism.

One of the immediate aims of the US is to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).  It does not want the CPEC to flourish as a stable and safe economic zone, because that would strengthen the Chinese sphere of influence in Asia.  Repeated incidence of terrorist attacks and “counter-terrorist” strikes serve to keep the region aflame and scare away potential investors.

The US is trying to rope in India as a key partner in its dangerous and diabolical strategy.Will the rulers of India commit the same mistake that the rulers of Pakistan did 40 years ago?  It will be disastrous for the Indian people if this happens.

The interests of the Indian people and the cause of peace in South Asia will not be served if the Indian state cooperates with the US in its so-called counter-terrorism strategy.  On the contrary, the cause of peace and the interests of all the peoples of South Asia will be best served if India breaks all ties with the US intelligence and war machinery.  It will be best served by India building friendly relations with Pakistan and cooperating with all neighbouring countries to block the path to increasing US interference in South Asia.

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US counter-terrorism    strategy    Peace in South Asia    Dec 1-15 2018    World/Geopolitics    Rights     War & Peace     2018   

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