Pakistan president 1,000 per cent sure?

Tuesday

When the president says that he is 1000 per cent sure that foreign hands and agencies are working to destabilise Pakistan generally and Balochistan specifically (he was visiting Quetta when he made the comment) you may be sure that he probably knows something that we don't. There are more foreign intelligence agencies poking around inside Pakistan than there have ever been and we may be certain that the Indians, the Americans, the British, the Afghans, the Bangladeshis, the Saudis, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Iranians and Iraqis to name but a few all have active intelligence gathering operations going on inside our borders. (By the same token we may expect our own agencies to be doing the same in all those places, and if they are not then they are not doing their job!) They will all have slightly different agendas depending on their national interests and may well be competing for the same information. Intelligence agencies do not only gather information, some of them seek to influence events and there can be little doubt that the Americans, Afghans and the Indians are doing just that, every hour of every day.
Of particular concern to our own agencies is the apparent double game being played by the Americans who on the one hand point out a trust deficit when it comes to sharing information - 'We give you information and ten minutes later the bad guys are out the door' – and on the other not acting when Pakistan provided the US with precise coordinates for the location of Baitullah Mehsud. It would have been a relatively simple matter to vector a Predator loaded with a Hellfire missile to target and eliminate a man who has done as much for the instability of Pakistan as anybody else in recent times. Yet that did not happen. It is further alleged that Mr Mehsud is in possession of encrypting communications equipment that enables him to get real-time information on the movement of Pakistani troops. Now who supplied him with that, we wonder? Could it have been rogue elements in out own services…or the Indians…or the Americans? Who knows…we don't. We may not know but we may have reasonable suspicion, and wonder if a level of managed instability within Pakistan might be in the interests of several of our neighbours. Neither India nor Afghanistan has much investment in a strong and stable Pakistan, and America will eternally play both ends against the middle. It should be no surprise to us then if it seems that the US may be supporting – or at least not actively hindering – the work of one or more 'hidden hands' . As Oscar Wilde remarked… 'Your friends stab you in the front'.
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