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SOUTH ASIA: Indo-U.S. Alliance Destabilizes Pakistan

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India is among those nations relishing, if not fuelling, the stand-off between Pakistan and its senior NATO ally USA. American tough stand against Pakistan owes much to its desire to keep India in good humours as per their secret deal.

Pakistan's powerful army institution, particularly its spy agency ISI, closely linked to CIA and Pentagon networks, has long been accused of destabilizing the country's civilian governments to pave the way for military coups. Critics indoors and abroad frequently refer to the ISI as a state within the state. But no Pakistani civilian government has ever dared to confront it for fear of losing power mainly because of US interference.

The "memo gate" issue over a secret memo sent to Washington earlier this year asking for help in averting a supposed military coup, along with NATO attack on Pakistani military, killing at least 24 solders, has also complicated the relations of the regime with military. Pakistani premier Yousuf R. Gilani has alleged there is a conspiracy to dislodge his coalition government and accused the country's powerful ISI spy agency of behaving like a "state within the state".

In actual terms, Gilani has sought to show that he has crossed the ISI bridge, raising tensions between his coalition government and country's military. Hours after alleging there is a conspiracy to oust his government, Gilani told the national parliament that the military must operate under the control of the government and not to try to control the regime. They have to be answerable to this parliament. All the institutions of this country, they are answerable to this parliament and nobody is above law. "There can't be a state within the state," said Gilani.

But Gilani also reminded the parliament that his government extended "solid support" to the army and its intelligence agency, the ISI, following the raid. Conspiracies are being hatched to pack up the elected government. This is a sign of growing tension of parliament with the army as well.

It has been the habit of Pakistani leadership to criticize military role just it s condemns US-NATO terrorism in Pakistan as a ploy for more aid, and the developments in Pakistan testify that very vividly. Gilani's final comments are a sharp turn for the prime minister, rejecting the notion of a standoff between the army and the civilian leadership less than a week ago.

Gilani's criticism is likely to worsen tensions between his increasingly unpopular government and the military. The strained relations stem from a secret presidential memo through Pakistan's then ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani allegedly asking Washington for help in preventing a military coup following the US raid earlier this year that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison city. Haqqani reportedly delivered the "memo" to the top US military official at the time - Admiral Mike Mullen. Haqqani was subsequently forced to resign as ambassador.

The Zardari regime has rejected links to the memo, calling it a non-issue. Gilani counter-attacked in his speech to parliament, criticizing the military for failing to track down the world's most wanted man hiding right under its nose. However, the army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and Lieutenant-General Shuja Pasha, the head of the ISI spy agency, both insist the memo is real and have urged the Supreme Court to investigate the matter.

The military army in Pakistan is considered the strongest institution in Pakistan and has ruled the country for much of its 64-year history after carrying out a series of military coups. Many analysts have expressed doubt that a coup is likely at this time, but the memo scandal has exacerbated already strained ties between the army and the government.

The conflict between the army and the government intensified further after the Supreme Court began a hearing into the scandal, which has already forced Pakistan's ambassador to the US to resign and also threatens the president. The Supreme Court opened its hearing into the scandal and demanded a reply from President Asif Ali Zardari. His government has questioned the need for the court hearing, saying the parliament is already investigating the matter.

For years now, USA and its terror allies have had a free existence using entire Pakistan as their terror sanctuary. The raid against bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town enraged the army because it was not told about it beforehand. But it also humiliated the force because it was not able to stop the operation.

There seems to be no other way for peace and prosperity for Islamabad than ending the illegal terror based anti-Islamic ties with USA. The political crisis comes as Pakistan is already facing a failing economy, a violently threatening NATO which weakens sovereignty of the nation, severe tensions with its most important imperialist ally, the unilateral and dictatorial USA over NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

The NATO terror syndicate has not come to Pakistan to serve the people there. Unless Pakistanis stick to their guns in post-NATO airstrikes, NATO rogues would continue to exploit them, kill them. After all, western terrorists are in Islamabad on payment basis.

Pakistani regime has placed the nation and people under deadly NATO threat. Before its is too late, Islamabad should wake up to restore order in the country. The seat on the notorious UNSC should be used to protect the nation and people.

It is not always possible for chances to reoccur.

The choice of course is theirs. [Source: Agora Cosmopolitan]

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