USA –– Time of Reckoning is Nigh!

An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 14 June 2002

In a way the recent visit of US secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld to India and Pakistan has been most significant by the fact that what was being said on the sidelines for the last so many months has now been acknowledged from the horse’s mouth. And that piece of truth is – Al Qaeda elements are now very much in Kashmir. In his own words, “We have seen indications that the Al-Qaeda is operating in areas near the LoC but do not have "any hard evidence of who, how many or where". The Indian intelligence agencies’ reports and Government’s fear are more or less confirmed by no other person than one who is leading the American war against Al Qaeda and is charged with the task of, “We will find them wherever they are and rid the world of their evil designs”, as entrusted by the President of his country. Of course Pakistan has lost no time in denying this statement but that it has been doing since the battle in Tora Bora from where it stealthily airlifted hundreds of its nationals who were fighting for Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Now we come to what prescient statement a US columnist had made in Dec – “From here on, the war seems certain to become increasingly uncomfortable for some of Washington's allies –– notably Pakistan, where the military government has an unpleasant recent history of making covert use of its terrorist friends in the battle to control Kashmir.” Of course then President Bush still maintained, “Everyone around the world wants to use the war on terrorism to settle some kind of old grudge." He cited the battles over Kashmir, a Palestinian state and Chechnya. But in terms of American long-term goals he was quite clear, “American power will be used against all terrorists of global reach but patience will be needed.” The Indian leadership has displayed nothing but patience in the face of dire provocations –– the attack on Parliament in Dec and a military camp in Jammu where 35 civilians mostly women and children were put to death in May.

The time of reckoning for USA has come. Both in the case of Palestine and Chechnya, the US administration has accepted Israel’s and Russia’s right to defend and use the principle of ‘hot pre-emptive’ action. Now that it is neither a secret nor there’s any ambiguity about the presence of Al Qaeda in Pak occupied Kashmir (POK), a territory over which Pakistan neither has nor claims any sovereign right, a ‘hot pre-emptive’ action against Bin Laden’s soldiers by US would not only be in order but a continuation of the avowed aim of the first phase of ’war for freedom’.

Let not the world feel that the champions of liberty took no action against Al Qaeda even after locating them! It is America’s own assessment that Al Qaeda amongst many other terrorist organizations is the most vicious and universal in its reach with declared enemy No 1 as USA, No 2 as Israel, No 3 as Russia and No 4 as India.

Grant them that they have no evil designs in Kashmir then what will they do sitting in PoK? A land that is devoid of any pleasure –– they can only hatch evil plots against the US homeland, a sample of which has just been discovered from the arrest of Jose Padilla, the hatcher of the ‘dirty bomb’ plot.

Certainly US should not allow al Qaeda safety and time at a known location well within its reach. Even if the choice is between Musharraf and Al Qaeda, the world expects Bush to go for the latter lest it should be said that a tin pot military dictator of a third rate state called the world’s only super duper power’s bluff!

The way that Rumsfeld has been blowing hot and cold on the presence of Al Qaeda in POK, it certainly seems that the dictator’s ploy is working!

It is time for the sole super power to deliver on its avowed aim to rid the world of terrorists.

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