American, Indian and Israeli agent but Why? by Anas Abbas
May 24, 2011
Terrorists armed with rockets and grenades attacked the headquarters of Pakistan’s naval air force in Karachi, triggering gunbattles that killed five military personnel, three weeks after the US killing of Osama bin Laden.
Once again TTP claimed responsibility in retaliation to Pakistan’s alliance with the West in War on Terror and the killing of Osama by U.S. Navy Seal. According to TTP’s ideology, attacks against Pakistan Army are justified since it is ostensibly assisting America against Al – Qaeda.
Despite TTP’s open confessions and alliance with Al- Qaeda and Mullah Omer, a conspiracy theory exist in Pakistan that TTP has been funded by U.S., Israel and India and its agenda is to weaken Pakistani state. This theory is now a popular belief in the country and is being heavily promoted in both electronic and print media by best rated anchors and journalists.
Agenda of the Theory (Part 1): To defend the image of pro Pakistan Militants or Jihadists and Pakistan Army.
Pakistan formed the Afghan Taliban after U.S. conveniently left Afghanistan in dilapidated condition. In order to protect its regional rivalry with India (that was supporting Northern Alliance), Pakistan has supported the Taliban since the beginning to influence Afghanistan’s domestic and foreign policies. While the Taliban continued to pummel Afghani women and children as well as men, the women elite of Pakistan continued to party away late into the nights with their partners… life was lavish. Most of the masses in Pakistan had no idea about the existence of Taliban and their brutal tactics which was to spill onto their lives a few years later.
However, things dramatically changed after 9/11 with U.S.’s War on Terror. Pakistan was forced to rethink its policy towards the Taliban due to American pressure and strategic reasons, and a general consensus against them was formed the world over. The Taliban were brought to the forefront and their dirty deeds were exposed through the internet and the media.
At the same time, under Musharraf, Pakistani media became relatively free which led to the scrutiny of Pakistan’s relations with the Taliban. Images of public beatings of women, killings and executions in soccer grounds were all over TV channels. This contributed towards forming a negative image of the Taliban among the Pakistani people. (Except the conservatives, extremists and political parties such as Jamait e Islami)
Specifically after the TV Boom in Pakistan which also happened simultaneously, the new free media and the newly hosted Talk Shows exposed the role of the Military in the formation of the Taliban or militants through prominent politicians who came up and spoke out. Military rule came under fire as Pakistan’s history of exploitative politics and ISI’s role in it came to light through critics in talk shows and electronic media.
Thus a negative perception of the military was also created.
By 2007 Pakistan came under the strain of excessive bombings by a newly formed TTP. This group was formed on the same ideological lines as the Afghan Taliban i.e. to enforce puritanical Sharia in Pakistan and to fight against any occupying forces. However, it differs operationally from Afghan Taliban as the latter is fighting in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO forces and the former is in war against Pakistan who is supporting the occupying forces. They are both controlled by Al-Qaida and are mostly collaborate together.
Soon after the suicide bombings in 2007, TTP (Pakistani Taliban) openly started to claim responsibility for the attacks and got significant coverage by the electronic media. In these circumstances it became increasingly difficult for the extremists and the conspiracy theorists to openly defend the Islamist militant organizations and to simultaneously have the Afghan Taliban and Kashmiri militants as a regional lever for control. Since the Pakistani Taliban were openly claiming on television to have carried out suicide bombings in Pakistan in the name of Jihad, ISI and its Islamist allies became increasingly worried as this was tainting the image of “mujahids” (Islamic Fighters), Jihad (a motivational weapon of Army) and spreading the perception that the militants were retaliating against Pakistan because of the indiscriminate bombings by the Pakistani army in tribal areas.
In addition to this, the Lawyers Movement added fuel to the fire and acted as a catalyst in forming a negative image of the military. The Military however had to come up with a plan which was politically safe in the short run and which also served their interests in the long run.
To counter all this, Pakistan establishment, Islamists, and allied conspiracy theorists devised a plan to launch a conspiracy theory that would easily blame all the attacks in Pakistan on India, Israel and the U.S. Hence TTP and any other affiliated militant group that was attacking Pakistan was then tagged by these conspiracy theorists as Indian or American agents working in disguise as Taliban to malign the reputation of the “Taliban” and jihad in particular.
The Establishment did not stop here however. They launched a proponent agent in the public: someone who would act as a defender as well as a promoter. Right about that time, and apparently without any associations to the army, Zaid Hamid appeared on the horizon and took two stances that the army was in dire need of. In order to rally support for his perspective, he gave his ideas a religious aspect insofar as glorification of the army was concerned. Briefly mentioned, his views are firstly that the army is sacred and can do no wrong, secondly, that our army is destined to overpower the whole world, and lastly, Ghazwa-e-hind i.e. we have to defeat India and we are religiously destined to do so one day.
Agenda of the Theory (Part 2): To boost the morale of the armed forces and the general population when the army sees a need for any military operation or intervention.
Before any Military operation, it is a tendency of the army to label its adversaries as Indians or Zionist agents. This is because the army is predominantly trained and indoctrinated to fight against the Hindus (“infidels Indians”).
A common exploitative tactic is to give a conflict a religious context e.g. by presenting the ‘enemy’ as enemies of Islam. Before the 1971 operation for East Pakistan (operation searchlight) Bangalese were targeted by issuances of fatwas for their ‘infidel activities’, thus painting the Bangalese as unfaithful and conspirators against Islam. This ideological manipulation influences the public sentiment by projecting a unislamic and imperialist image of foreign country/peoples. Prejudiced and censored history also makes the public vulnerable, making it easy to get their support for a military operation. The 1992 operation against MQM is a textbook case. Members of the MQM were portrayed as traitors who were secretly plotting to create a separate state with the help of the Indians. Similar strategy is employed in Swat and Waziristan operations where with the help of conspiracy theorists such as Zaid Hamid, the army is successful in gaining public support and motivation for troops.