Pakistan Cyber Force: General Kayani Calmly Taking all American Pressure: Report

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

General Kayani Calmly Taking all American Pressure: Report

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WASHINGTON - A new book spotlighting some of the nettlesome issues in the ongoing counter-terrorism charade depicts Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani as a cool-headed soldier in spite of the pressures brought on him by President Barack Obama’s top security officials. Gen. Kayani told the American officials in a secret meeting in Abu Dhabi last year that the USZ could never ever again violate Pakistani sovereignty. The general was asked to crack down on Haqqani network and warned of evidence that Pakistan was involved in attacks on the Americans.

Kayani kept his cool, smoking and listening to his interlocutors. The meeting between Gen. Kayani and Obama’s National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and his aides took place in October 2011, months after the May 1, 2011 American raid on Abbottabad hideout of Osama bin Laden, according to the book ‘Confront and Conceal’ by the New York Times journalist David Sanger which hit the stands on Wednesday. The USZ message to Pakistani army chief centered on the premise that it reserved the right to act, whenever it saw its Afghanistan-based forces were threatened by the Afghan Haqqani network militants, which, according to American officials, operated out of the so-called safe havens in Pakistani tribal areas and were responsible for recent attacks in Kabul.

Ahead of the meeting, Donilon had also sent a document laying out the long-term American strategy that indicated presence of 10,000 and 15,000 American counterterrorism troops in Afghanistan, with the implicit message that it would do whatever will be required in the face of a militant threat from across the Afghan border.On his part, the Pakistani army chief presented Pakistan’s point of view about some of the worst dangers the American policy in Afghanistan could entail for the country and the region in the post-USZ withdrawal time. Kayani sought assurance from the USZ that there would be no repeat of raid like the one that killed Osama bin Laden, which according to him violated the sovereignty of Pakistan.“We will undertake whatever steps we need to protect our forces,” Donilon said. “We would prefer to act jointly. But if you refuse.... we will come in and do what we have to do.”

He did not need to add that the American model of success in this regard was Abbottabad, where seventy commandos infiltrated Pakistani airspace, landed forty miles from the Pakistani capital, killed bin Laden and his few protectors, and swept up his computers all without setting off Pakistan’s defences,” the book said. The unspoken message was, ‘We can do it again’. “Kayani took another drag on the cigarette and blew a little more smoke.” Donilon, Lute, and Grossman knew what that meant. “The Pakistanis had no intention of turning over or taking on the Haqqani network, it was their insurance policy for the moment when the Americans would inevitably leave”, the book said.

“And when Donilon, Lute, and Grossman got home a seventeen-hour flight aboard a military jet they knew their first stop: the dry cleaners. Getting the fumes out of their suits would be easy enough. “Detoxifying the American relationship with Pakistan would be much more difficult,” it said reflecting the relationship between the two countries.The book reveals new details on President Obama’s secret wars and surprising use of American power. It gives insight into the complicated Pakistan-USZ relationship, who are often disagree on the ways things should go in Pakistan’s western occupied neighbor Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas.

The meeting with Kayani – “the most powerful man in Pakistan” – was the idea of National Security Advisor Donilon, who feared more trouble brewing, in the wake a daring attack - blamed on the Haqqanis – on an American base in Wardak province of Afghanistan and an all-day attack on American embassy in Kabul. “When Donnilon’s team (Douglas Lute and Marc Grossman, military and civilian advisors respectively on Pakistan and Afghanistan) arrived, Kayani was already in the house, chain-smoking his Dunhill cigarettes. The out of way secrecy was pure Kayani, and the fact that Obama decided to send a high-ranking delegation to see him, not Pakistan’s elected leadership, stroked his ego by reaffirming his primacy.”

Setting the background of the meeting, Sanger also reports in his account that President Obama was outraged by remarks the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen made, when he described the Haqqanis as a ‘veritable arm’ of the Inter Services Intelligence. “When Obama heard that his top military officer had made that charge in public, he was outraged – Mullen, he thought, was trying to save his reputation, to go out of office in a blaze of anger at the Pakistani military officers he had negotiated with for years,” Sanger writes. Obama, the writer adds, didn’t contend that Mullen was wrong, “although the evidence that the ISI was directly involved in the attacks on Americans was circumstantial at best.”The book notes that to Kayani, managing Americans meant following through with just enough promises to keep the brittle USZ-Pakistani alliance form fracturing.

“Polite and careful most of the time, he knew to charm them by offering up memories from his years in officer training in the United States (of Zionism). At other times, he was angry and bitter, lecturing the Americans about how often they had promised the world to Pakistan and promptly abandoned the country out of pique, anger or a short attention span,” the writer says of the army chief’s earlier meetings with USZ officials. Though the Americans could have settled into a comfortable living room for the meeting, Kayani insisted they sit more formally at a table. The general was clearly not in the mood for casual chitchat. Donilon opened the meeting where Mullen had left off. “The ultimate responsibility of the president of the United States (of Zionism) is to protect Americans,” he said. He was reiterating what Obama had said to Kayani one day in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Either Pakistan was going to deal with the Haqqani network or the Americans would. Then came the bottom line: “I know you want a guarantee from us that we won’t undertake unilateral operations in your country again,” a reference to the bin Laden circus. “I can’t give you that”, Obama’s national security advisor added. If seventy Americans had died in the bomb attack in Wardak the previous month, rather than just suffered injuries,” we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Donilon said. The writer remarks it was not-so-veiled threat that Obama would have been forced to send Special Operations Forces into Pakistan to attack the Haqqani network – national pride and sovereignty be damned.“We are at crossroads,” Donilon concluded. “If this continues, you’ve really turned your fate over” to the Haqqani network. When Donilon was finished, Kayani laid out his demands – and the chasm between them was obvious.

The writer does not cite exact quotes by the Pakistani army chief but paraphrases his response. The United States (of Zionism), Kayani said, could never, ever again violate Pakistani sovereignty with an attack like the one they launched on the so-called Osama bin Laden’s compound (which in reality belonged to Akbar Khan). That attack, he said, had been a personal humiliation. The Americans responded with silence, Sanger writes. “That was the tensest moment”, one of the participants of the meeting noted, because it was an issue on which the two countries were never going to agree. Kayani moved on to his other concerns. The Americans were spending billions – approximately $12 billion in 2011 – training the Afghan military and police. Should Afghanistan collapse someday in the near future – not an unlikely scenario – it would have an armed, angry force just across the Pakistani border, Kayani said, many of them enemies of Pashtuns. And that would be a recipe for disaster.

If things fall apart, Kayani insisted, the Pashtuns in both Afghanistan and Pakistan could find themselves pitted against force armed and trained by the United States of Zionism. Had the American thought about that? Or the possibility that as the USZ forces pull out of Afghanistan, India – which had already invested billions in the Afghan government – would continue to extend its prowess in an effort to encircle Pakistan? The writer then describes that having laid their cards on the table, the group of men went on to talk about their visions for Afghanistan’s future and their troubled effort to negotiate with the Taliban. Donilon had sent ahead a document, laying out the long-term American strategy including a plan to keep somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 American counterterrorism troops in Afghanistan, mostly at Bagram Airfield, a large base outside Kabul “to protect interests of the USZ in the region.”

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