The recent events in Pakistan leaves no one in surprise except perhaps some ill informed patriotic Pakistanis. How embarrassing and humiliating must it be to be a Pakistani today !
A event like the insertion of US Seals inside Pakistan though startling does not come as a surprise to those outside Pakistan for a number of reasons. For the sake of argument I would not like to consider the civilian leadership in Pakistan led by Zardari who is quite like the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar whose writ ran only within the Red Fort.
US troops are already based in Pakistan , Drones have been operating from within Pakistan hitting targets inside Pakistan with impunity . Pak Generals occasionally made noises but their complicity has been long established. The ISI formed part of the ‘ compliant ‘group – collecting money for the selective intel provided – quite like a mini skirt which kept the essentials covered and showed only enough to keep the interest alive.
It was long known that the ISI ran a double game. The game ran not only internationally but also within Pak. This was evident even when the Soviets were in Af. Having tasted success then , the same stratagem has been applied all along with those at the helm of ISI then patting themselves on their backs for what they did ,little realizing the permanent damage they were doing to themselves & their nation. The US for want of options has played along coupled with arm twisting which led to deployment of PA on its Western borders . Only when its ‘ most vital’ interests were concerned the US chose not to share info with a leaky ISI and went it alone. The results are for the world to see.
Where does one go from here ?
Two situations need consideration. Firstly the retaliation that shall invariably follow from AQ. Bombings, hijacking etc are routine but what is worrisome is the possibility of a Dirty Bomb being triggered off in Europe , US or elsewhere. Should these get traced back to Pak – ISI / AQ Khan then the results would be serious. This would serve as a reason for the civilized world to take control of Pak nukes one way or the other and de- fang the ISI.
Secondly, Pak is relevant to the west for engaging Af, but having been established as a two timer Pak now shall be on the back foot. Pak on its part needs two things form the US –funds and support to prop up a wobbly Govt in Islamabad. Without this the ‘ other’ Govt in Rawalpindi would once again overthrow that in Islamabad. For both these reasons Pak will have to tow the US line with a show of self determination for the gallery.
All this in the backdrop of fundamentalist threats. The ISI must be working double time now to ensure no immediate retaliatory strike takes place within Pak by any of its ‘ strategic assets’. It remains to be seen how long this restraint will last.
All in all a very messy situation. The PA & ISI have by their actions dropped the towel Pak had wrapped around itself and it now stand exposed.