Volcano finally erupts!
Haqqani stated that this was done with the approval from the then sitting Pakistani leadership, comprising of PPP leaders, namely former President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, and the Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar
The volcano boiling with undisclosed secrets under the cover of Pak-US ties finally erupted as Hussain Haqqani, former PPP leader, and former ambassador to the United States, disclosed facts that were being brushed under the carpet for years. With these acerbic disclosures, the nightmare of US intelligence agencies operating in Pakistan that haunted the nation for longhas proved to be true. The former, in his article published in the Washington Post, admitted his role in the provision of visas to US spies during his tenure as ambassador to the US, and facilitating their way into Pakistan to pursue their undercover spying assignments.The National Security Council officials from the Obama Administration asked for Haqqani’s assistance in on-ground stationing of US intelligence officials in Pakistan, a request that was then brought before the country’s governmental leadership.
Haqqani stated that this was done with the approval from the then sitting Pakistani leadership, comprising of PPP leaders, namely former President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, and the Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar.
This eventually enabled the US to spot and hunt down the world’s most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden, in the city of Abbottabad through an operation conducted by the Navy seals, without having to depend on the assistance from Pakistan’s military or intelligence agencies.
In his published article, Haqqani also claimed that as ambassador he was able to strengthen the ties between Pakistan and US by bridging the gap caused by mistrust on both sides.
Ironically, despite all efforts and extension of every possible means of assistance, the mistrust remained on the US side, as Islamabad remained unaware of the US navy seals stepping on the ground in Pakistan to hunt bin Laden.
The information leaked by Haqqani has received immense criticism from the local leadership and the opposition in the National Assembly. The House unanimously agreed to the demand made by Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif to form a commission to probe in to the matter as it is a breach of national security, and maligns the front line national institutionsfor ensuring the same.
Hussain Haqqani, on the other hand, if asked in writing, has expressed willingness to present himself for responding to the queries of a parliamentary commission, if constituted, to investigate the matter in detail.
Our players, their play
At the national level, we have been occupied by the speculations that our politicians, bureaucracy, and military establishments, more than national, prioritise interests of world powers, engage in their persuasion at the cost of national priorities, and this wild speculation has remained the core foundation of national mistrust on the system of governance in Pakistan. These speculations, more than ever, have now been strengthened by the revelations made by the ex-Pakistani ambassador to US.
The immature democracy at home already struggling to stand on its own feet without any external support now has another challenge to deal with, along with the institutions responsible for ensuring fool proof national security, as their credibility may also succumb to the aforementioned impression of playing the other’s play despite their impeccable services and sacrifices in establishment of national security. Concurrent to weakening the position of democratic forces, and national institutions, Haqqani’s claims can also trigger disruption in the odd-couple (Pak-US) relations, and will strengthen the anti-US view point of extremist forces, providing them with yet another opportunity to attract the public to their vicious agenda.
The real threat?
Dealing with threats remains impossible unless the real threats are identified first. In Pakistan, where has always found itself in the line of international fire, and surrounded by numerous threats, it is imperative to identify the realest threat to our national security.
We may raise our fingers in different directions in order to point out to the supposed threats, let us face the bitter reality, if there is a real threat to our national security it is our own incapability to deal with the threats we face. Not to point out or blame any one particular for this evil, but as a whole our own incapability to foresee things, and deal with them appropriately is what exposes us to other existing dangers, and jeopardises our national security.
Identifying the loop holes existing in our structures, and systems, closing the gaps, enhancing efficiency, and intercepting such anomalies are necessary prerequisites to strengthening our national security
In case of stationing US spies on ground in Pakistan, for instance, the real threat was not treason committed by a person or a political party, but the incapability of our systems to foresee and intercept the treason being committed, irrespective of whom the culprit was.
When we live in a forest, we are surrounded by predators and threats. Blaming them will not ensure our survival, but it is our own fitness that will.
Time to wake up
In these perilous and testing times, it is essential for us as a nation along with our governing system to wake up to the challenges we face, and the threats that are very real. Continuing on the paths of the past will not guarantee our prevalence.
Identifying the loop holes existing in our structures, and systems, closing the gaps, enhancing efficiency, and intercepting such anomalies are necessary prerequisites to strengthening our national security. Without ensuring the right measures in place, assuming that our national security cannot be breached, is equivalent to living in a fool’s paradise.
A parliamentary commission must be formed to investigate the facts of Haqqani’s leaks, and must gain access to Hussain Haqqani directly, willing to provide all details if asked to, in order to gain complete insight into the matter. Reports on Abbottabad commission, Memogate, and details on issuance of visas to US citizens are also issues that must be inquired in order to unveil the undiscovered linkages thus far.
Let there be no excuses this time.