Has the U.S. taken on a hidden struggle in Pakistan?
On February 10, Pakistani activist Kareem Khan was kidnapped a few days before a scheduled speech to the European parliament, where he was going to tell about the victims of U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan.
According to the activist?s lawyer, Khan planned to present a report on the impact of drone strikes in the country's territory, but last week, the unknowns in military uniforms kidnapped the activist from his home in Rawalpindi, and since then, nothing is known about him.
Probably, someone does not want to let Kareem Khan speak. Activist for more than four years has studied the dynamics of the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan. The reason for this was one of the strikes in the province of North Waziristan that killed his son and brother. Khan arguments were supported by many human rights activists who have repeatedly stated that over the past few years hundreds of Pakistanis have become victims of attacks. Washington, for its part, argues that drones are playing a very important role in the fight against Taliban militants and al-Qaeda.
However, the policy of Islamabad, as judged by national publications in the last month, is not aimed at fighting but at establishing peaceful relations with the Taliban, and in this case the American use of drones just impedes this. Thus, on February 11, Pakistani authorities announced that they would discharge from prison at the Bagram military base 65 members of the Taliban whose involvement in the commission of any crime was not proven. In this connection it was planned in January to release more Talibs, but Pakistan faced resistance of the U.S. and NATO and was forced to make some concessions. Put it differently, Islamabad?s internal activities does not suit the American leadership, because it represents a kind of threat to Washington.
Pakistan's foreign policy too does not fully meet the U.S. strategic priorities. In the early part of the week, Pakistani officials announced their intention to strengthen military cooperation with China, signing a contract for delivery of six S20 submarines, an improved version of the Type 039 submarine of the Chinese Navy (by NATO classification - Yuan-class). The talks are expected to be completed in the near future, and by the end of the year the parties will sign a delivery agreement. Note that currently the Pakistan Navy has five old submarines purchased from France: three were purchased in the 90s, and two in the late 70s of the last century.
Other media publications speak for the intensification of cooperation in all fields with China, which is a serious competitor to the U.S. in the region. In particular, it is reported about China's plans to deploy its naval base in the Pakistani port of Gwadar. In addition, China invests in the Pakistani energy - the major part of expenses of five new nuclear power plants construction in Pakistan is covered by the Chinese funding. There are a number of other agreements facilitating consolidation of the China-Pakistan liaison in the region.
In this context, Washington has to find new ways of forcing interests and hide the sensitive for the U.S. information. Some experts believe that U.S. special operations forces are the very unknowns who had kidnapped Khan. After all, America does have the covert operations experience. This is indirectly indicated by the information disseminated by the French Le Figaro. According to the newspaper, Washington opened a new front in the war on terrorism - U.S. Delta Group Special Forces, passing as Bedouins, conduct pointed antiterrorist operations in southern Libya with the aim of destroying the Islamist groups members associated with al-Qaeda.
A natural question arises: What does prevent Delta group or other American special unit from conducting pointed operations in Pakistan, disguising themselves as Pakistani police or military, and creating provocative situations? For in this case the U.S. will be able to achieve many objectives, whereas the Taliban, or, as such is the custom - the terrorists of al-Qaeda, will be guilty.