“Prejudice Dominates Christine Discourse”

It seems that propaganda against Pakistan has become pastime activity with so called intellectuals of the US who know very little about actual conditions in Pakistan and are bent upon making Pak-US engagement impossible. C. Christine Fair, well known for her Pakistan bashing, came up with yet another anti-Pakistan write-up titled “Groundhog Day in US-Pakistan Relations” published in an online web source, i.e. “War on the Rocks” on April 9, 2015. The article is full of Pakistan bashing. The article comes after US sanctioned purchase of latest military hardware including “attack helicopters, missiles, and communications equipment” to Pakistan. Ms. Christine criticizes the US decision and terms it counterproductive. Whereas the State Department justified this decision by arguing that the “proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the [US] by helping to improve the security of a country vital to US foreign policy…” There are number of baseless points, raised by her, which need clarification to put things in right perspective as she deliberately told the one side of the story only.

She writes that “Pakistan’s problem is not a lack of capability to fight the various terrorists…rather the will to do so comprehensively.” Pakistan is the only country, which stands the most affected in the US-led global war on terror (GWOT) than any other state even the US. Pakistan became a “frontline state” in the GWOT and was awarded the recognition of being a “major non-NATO ally” due to its role and efforts. On Pakistan’s role in countering terrorism and Taliban activities, Pakistan adopted both hard and soft strategies/power to deal with terrorism and extremism problem. Hard power included entering FATA (2001-02), South Waziristan (2004 & 2005), North Waziristan (2007), operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat (2007), operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan (2009), operation Khyber-1 in Bara (2014), operation Khyber-2 in Tirah and operation Zarb-e-Azab in North Waziristan (2014-15). Soft power included rehabilitation centres, no hate speech and no extremist material, no misuse of worship places, no media glorification of terrorists, denying them abuse of internet and social media, choking financial support, reforms in FATA, registration of madrassas and illegal refugees and political approach to countries sponsoring terrorism. What else Ms. Christine wants Pakistan to do to please and satisfy the US, which even the US being the sole super power (militarily & economically) could not do in more than 14 years.

She boasts by saying that “since FY 2002, the [US] has provided Pakistan US$ 7.6 billion in security-related assistance, US$ 13.0 billion in lucrative reimbursements under the dubiously-named ‘Coalition Support Fund’ program, and another US$ 10.5 billion in economic assistance.” But to remind her that as compared to losses Pakistan suffered and continues to suffer these funds are not more than peanuts. According to Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Maryam Aurangzeb, Pakistan has suffered a loss of almost US$ 80 billion. Christine Fair also alleges that “Pakistan has persistently supported the Afghan Taliban, responsible for the deaths of 2,356 US military personnel, another 677 coalition military deaths, and the deaths of thousands of civilian contractors…more than 21,000 Afghan civilians who have died since 2001.” This is totally rubbish as she did not mention Pak army’s and civilian sacrifices and gave an impression that all those causalities are due to Pakistan. This can be termed as intellectual dishonesty at its best. She deliberately forgets to mention the loss of more than 50,000 precious lives of civilians and law enforcement agencies during the decade long war against terrorism and more than 28,561 people sustained injuries in various blasts in the past six years in Pakistan.

She is totally ignorant of the world disputes and the UN resolutions on those issues too when she says that “since 1947, Pakistan has used Islamist militants in an effort to wrest Kashmir from India. It has used Islamist militants in Afghanistan since 1974, if not earlier.” Christine Fair probably does not know about UN resolutions on Kashmir recognizing it a disputed territory between Pakistan and India. Kashmir is not part of India. Pakistan supports Kashmiri cause diplomatically at all levels including UN but not militarily. Why she said so in the article is due to the fact that soon after 9/11, Indian scholars with the support of some anti-Pakistan pseudo intellectuals from the West tried their level best to link indigenous Kashmiri freedom fighting struggle with terrorism but they all failed utterly. Overall, it looks the author blames Pakistan for all failures of the mighty West in Afghanistan and beyond.

Published by: Pakistan Observer, May 3, 2015

Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the writer and are not necessarily reflective of IPRI policy.

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About the Author

Khalid Hussain Chandio has been working as Research Fellow at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). Previously, he had joined IPRI as Assistant Research Officer (ARO) in October 2007. He was then promoted as Research Officer (RO) in February 2013. Before joining IPRI, he worked in different capacities i.e., Media Analyst and Junior Analyst in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Pakistan, which gave him greater insight in the research and analysis fields. His areas of research include the United States of America (USA) [Its Foreign and Defence Policy, Pak-US Relations, Role of Lobbies in the USA, and Domestic Politics in the USA]. Khalid regularly contributes articles on current strategic issues in English Dailies of Pakistan. He holds M.Phil in International Relations (IR) from School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR), Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, Pakistan and M.Sc in Defence and Strategic Studies (DSS) from the same university.

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