…about the plot to bomb the Indian embassy in Kabul
The New York Times reveals that “Analysts at the CIA. and other American spy and security agencies believe not only that the bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in July by militants was aided by ISI operatives, but also that the highest levels of Pakistan’s security apparatus—including the army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani—had knowledge of the plot.”
No, you won’t find too many people in India going et tu Ashfaq! But what is interesting is that this nugget of information is cited in a report whose main story is that President George W Bush personally authorised the raid by US special forces into Pakistani territory. So seven years after 9/11, the US government has decided that it has to be more assertive with its major non-NATO ally, and the new policy is to notify Pakistan when they conduct limited ground attacks…but that they will not ask for its permission.”
With this report of General Kayani’s knowledge—but not culpability—the US authorities have come to the last, tantalising stage of the narrative strip tease over the Kabul embassy blasts. Reports started with the ISI having a hand in the bombings. They have now come to General Kayani knowing about them beforehand. There’s only one small bit of fabric covering the General’s modesty. His latest remarks—that Pakistan’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity…would be defended at all costs”—indicate just why it has come to this stage. The US revelations on the one hand serve to put pressure on him to accept US military incursions. On the other, they also make him less endearing to India, thus circumscribing how much comfort Pakistan’s political leaders can have on their eastern frontiers.
So as General Kayani goes into a huddle with his corps commanders today, the image, as one astute observer put is of the US and Pakistan squeezing each others’ throats (yes, it was a different part of the body in the original). The Pakistani army has already begun squeezing the West’s supply routes to Afganistan, at Kurram. While this will make life difficult for US and NATO soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, the US could retaliate by squeezing the dollar flow to Pakistan. It then becomes a question of who can bear more pain, and bear it longer.
Related Link: Chidanand Rajghatta’s report in TOI