By Matteo Bergamini
The lush hilly lands of Pakistan are as mysterious as its allegiance in the current Afghanistan conflict. Thanks to wikilinks this politically unstable land has been hit with another tremor which could send the Pakistan government falling into an abyss of chaos.
Following wikilinks, Prime Minister David Cameron stated: “We cannot Tolerate in any sense the idea that Pakistan is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror – whether to India, whether to Afghanistan or to anywhere else in the world.” This was Cameron’s public statement about Pakistan, which makes us ask the question, what side is Pakistan on?? The most clear answer would be both, which strengthens the belief that war is never simply about side A fighting side B. The truth about Pakistan however is very complex: having such a troubled and unstable government such as the one Pakistan currently has, houses a gap for other factions to rise as powerful as the government itself, or even more powerful in some cases. In this case that other faction is ISI, which is non other than Pakistan’s supposed Military intelligence service, which has been regularly accused of sending US aid to the Taliban, sheltering Taliban and arming them.
Does this sound shocking? Well it shouldn’t considering this is the same ISI that supported the Mujahideen in the Soviet/Afghan conflict of 1979 thanks to US and British funding. So consequently the West is asking ISI to switch sides after helping the same side [The Mujahideen] for over 30 years. They played Afghan sides against each other and were said to be behind the Jalalabad war. Money and weapons turned ISI into one of the most influential factions in Pakistan. Sources say they were behind the bombing of the Indian embassy and the Mumbai massacre. This leaves the US feeling some guilt over the ISI’s outcome as it was US money that made ISI into what it has become today. In the 1980’s it was the CIA’s biggest covert operation, running into billions of US dollars which helped fuel its proxy war with the Soviets through ISI and consequently through the Mujahideen. What the US didn’t know however is that ISI sent the money and arms to the most extremist and anti-American leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, while lying to the Americans saying his men were the most affective fighters..
So why does the West and namely the USA need Pakistan’s alliance? When it is Pakistan that turned Quetta, one of its region capitals into a Taliban recruitment centre. The answer is simple, with Pakistan being a major nuclear power with massive Taliban connections, if its unstable government were to descend into chaos, who is to say what will happen to those nuclear weapons?
They could end up anywhere, threatening all the countries nearby, like their great enemy India or even the West. The reality is that an unstable Afghanistan is less of a threat than a collapsed nuclear Pakistan.