Dismantling Pakistan:Game On Hai…

By Brig Samson Sharaf(R)

The appointment of John Brennan as CIA chief is a reward for his role in Salala and Abbottabad. Washington will use John Kerry as a lollypop while it coerces Pakistan from all sides.

On the same day that terrorist bombings ripped through Quetta and Swat, killing more than a hundred Pakistani citizens, a retired officer of Pakistan Army published a prescient analysis of the effort to slowly dismantle Pakistan– or ‘deconstruct’ it, in the officer’s own words.

The op-ed by retired Brigadier Simon Samson Sharaf in The Nation discussed the ‘Long March’ by Dr. Tahir Qadri, the bombings, Pakistani elections and the new appointments of US secretary of defense and Director Central Intelligence Agency and what they mean for Pakistan. Here’s a quick look on his insightful take on those issues.


Sharaf says that Elections 2013 in Pakistan will be highly influenced by American meddling in the hope that the new government formed after the election will be a fresh version of the pro-US government of President Zardari with the MQM and ANP as coalition partners, possibly peppered with some new faces as cosmetic change:

“Elections in Pakistan favorable to US policies in the region are crucial to US interests in the region. As discussed earlier in these columns, the US in the past with help from the Pakistani establishment succeeded to influence electoral results in its favor. This means coalescing and backing a group of apparently liberal, secular, anti-right, progressive, tolerant inclusive groups. The most obvious choice is the continuation of the NRO coalition boosted with a few old and new rising political stars.”

Sharaf hints at the foreign links of Dr. Qadri, and raises a question on the role of the Sharifs, asking whether the family will join the NRO bandwagon or reconcile with foes like PTI for Pakistan’s interests:

“It also appears that the new scene of destabilization and agitations will focus on Punjab, the Clausewitzian center of gravity of Pakistan. If this is not the case, then why all long marches must begin from Lahore and not Karachi. Much will depend on how Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz reacts to this scenario? Will it like the NRO, join the bandwagon or will it as a reassertion of patriotism hold out an olive branch in the best interests of the country to its political opponents who do not share the American dream?”

Sharaf says bad governance is destroying Pakistan from the inside while terrorist agents of external powers destabilize the country. He stops short of openly accusing India of having a hand in most terrorism inside Pakistan:

“The de-construction of the state through bad governance, faulty policies, use of proxies and non-state actors will continue. These are the auxiliary operations to eat the state from within like a moth. This reminds me of my favorite strategist Chanakya Kautilya, who said that to dismember a state, it is best to get into the very womb and disembowel it. This is what is happening to Pakistan.”

Interestingly, two days after The Nation published this op-ed, British-based chief of MQM launched a diatribe against Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and tried to tarnish the image of the revered leader of Pakistan Independence Movement. Sharaf returned to the online page of the op-ed to write that Altaf Hussain’s remarks were part of the effort to dismantle Pakistan:

“Altaf’s promised drone on Qaid-e-Azam is one of the demonic portals on deconstruction of Pakistan.”

He says the chances of proxy wars by enemies against Pakistan are enhanced by the fact that we possess nuclear weapons:

“Pakistan’s security planners realize that the nuclear capability minimizes the risk of a conventional conflict with India and enhances the probabilities of proxy wars. In fact, it has been asserted in these columns for many years that Pakistan is under siege through economic hit-men, diplomatic adventurists and non-state actors for a very long time. With the military inextricably involved in counter-terrorism operations and the limited capability of law enforcement agencies, it will be a nightmare to control the mushrooms of rising levels of violence. The use of remote control detonations in Karachi and Balochistan is a reminder that either the militants are changing their tactics or new ones have entered the melee.”


Sharaf says the recent CIA drone attacks on two pro-Pakistan militants in FATA raises eyebrows and indicates that American post-withdrawal planning probably goes beyond Afghan borders to include Pakistan:

“Though Pakistan, as suggested in these columns, has facilitated negotiations by releasing some Afghan Taliban, it appears that either the USA wants Pakistan to ‘do more’ or that its objectives relate to a scenario beyond Afghanistan. It is interesting to note that in two recent incidences of drone attacks the USA has targeted Mullah Nazir and Waliur Rehman Mehsud; two individuals challenging Hakimullah Mehsud of TTP in the Fata region. As the withdrawal timeframe closes, the USA will not hesitate to use its relatively secure bases in Afghanistan for ‘Cold Start Operations’ inside Pakistan. The civil unrest and failure of state institutions is designed to give an impetus to instability in Pakistan and, therefore, completion of USA’s agenda in the region.”


Sharaf says the appointment of Chuck Hagel as US Defense Secretary would mean an increase in the chances that Washington will try to ‘co-opt’ Iran and exploit the Pakistani-Iranian divergence on the future role of Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan. Sharaf predicts that Washington will try to use Iran to limit Pakistani influence in Afghanistan:

“The new team that President Barack Obama has appointed is diverse in nature. The main focus seems to be Middle East and Pakistan. Its composition and frame of reference is obvious in its structural threat. Chuck Hegel, the newly appointed Defense Secretary, is known for his strong positions on Israel and soft stance on Iran. As the top man of National Security, his appointment means that work on co-opting Iran in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria and Lebanon) and post-withdrawal Afghanistan is already well on its way. The USA will also exploit differences between Pakistan and Iran over the Afghan Taliban to counter Pakistan’s influence north of Kandahar. In AfPak, the Secretary of Defense will play minion to the State Department and CIA.”

The appointment of John Brennan as CIA director, says Sharaf, could be a reward for his role not just in executing the Abbottabad attack but also a reward for the Salala attack of November 2011 where 25 Pakistani soldiers were hunted down by American commandos in a two-hour battle:

“Appointment of the old CIA veteran John Brennan as head of CIA is a reward for his planning of the Abbottabad Raid, handling of the Arab Spring operations, targeted killings in Yemen, enhanced and crueler interrogation techniques and, perhaps, also Salala. His appointment is an explicit message to Pakistan’s security establishment about the levels of ruthlessness and violence the USA could go to in pursuit of its objectives in the region. The appointment also means that the major feature of operations in AfPak will be higher intensity intelligence-led sting, covert, drone and military operations in tandem with Pakistan’s internal instability.”

Will John Kerry play a balancing role in Pak-American relationship? Not so, says Sharaf. Kerry will only ‘placate’ and ‘persuade’:

“John Kerry, apparently soft on Pakistan, will be used to placate and persuade within the construct of a compellence strategy framed to make a constantly under pressure Pakistan, pliable and compliant. This strategy is considered most appropriate to control and subsequently defang a nuclear Pakistan without resorting to the dangerous and flat trajectory of a nuclear escalation. Compellence methods will involve diverse trajectories of violence, drones, economics, diplomacy, internal instability, unrest in Balochistan and mundane propaganda against Pakistan Army.”

A cross post: http://paknationalists.blogspot.com/2013/01/brig-sharaf-on-dismantling-pakistan.html

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  • M Saleem chaudhry  On January 15, 2013 at 3:40 am

    A big hotch potch of ugly rationalization for the continuity of the current breed of rulers,installed through the nefarious tool of NRO, coined by Musharaf,Bush and the late BenazirBhutto for their ulterior objectives. However amidst the influx of media and I.T tools, this game plan won’t work as it didn’t in Egypt and Tunasia and Libya as per the wishes and vision of the forces of the vested interest, both internal and external.

  • Nasim  On January 16, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Pakistani,s are notorious for conspiracy theories. It always stems
    from our dear Puunnjab . We need change & have no other thoughts in
    mind . Why is political elite worried about. As H.S. Suharwardy said
    once a Nation is carved out on the world,s Map , it is the people who
    keep it in tact & its not possible to erase it , . People now are out
    of their status quo shell & its bound to surge ahead . Names are no
    more important now . Who cares if its Qadri or else . People have
    come out. Pakistan Paindabad & . Best Wishes Nasim

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