The NATO tankers’ imbroglio

PAKISTAN is being blamed for not protecting the NATO tankers transiting through its territory. The problem became highlighted after the US helicopters attacked forward posts in Pakistan, in which Pakistani soldiers got killed. Indeed there was hiatus in the media as the attack was considered as premeditated and a deliberate violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. Conspiracy theorists construed that in a bid to arm twist Pakistan to conduct attacks on the alleged Taliban/Al-Qaeda strongholds in North Waziristan. US and NATO have been exasperated by the attacks on their troops in Afghanistan and blame the Taliban/Al-Qaeda combo which they feel is having sanctuaries in the tribal belt. Pakistan, which has had its hands tied because of the commitment of the troops in South Waziristan, Swat and now in flood relief, have neither been able to spare additional troops nor withdraw its sentinels at the Eastern frontier with India, has been blamed of dragging its feet. The fact is the NATO and US planners view the problem with their own ethnocentric view, which in fact for Pakistan is myopic. The US has been urging Pakistan that it should have no grouse with India, nor is there imminent danger, so it should be able to withdraw its troops from the eastern frontier. The Kashmir problem has become extremely heated up and there is a possibility of it exploding into heightened tension, which can spill over. Especially since India is blaming Pakistan for fomenting trouble and being the prime mover in the indigenous liberation struggle of the Kashmiris. The fact is that Indian belligerence and threats have caused Pakistan to heighten its security and maintain vigilance rather than withdraw its troops from the eastern boundaries, much to the chagrin of US war-planners. Thus the dichotomy. Following the attack on the Pakistani posts by US helicopters, Pakistan got concerned regarding the safety of the NATO logistic supply route from the Torkham border as there was bound to be retaliation from the terrorists. Its worst fears were proved right and there have been numerous attacks on the NATO tankers, causing considerable damage. Pakistani security agencies have suspended the route till adequate measures can be taken to ensure their safety.