We need to critically evaluate the claims being released by unnamed Afghan and Western officials in Wall Street Journal and Guardian. We cannot blame these papers because they are being told by ‘unnamed officials’ however Pakistani Papers like Express Tribune and Media channels and the even public should evaluate these claims so that our arguments and positions remain fact-based and realistic…
Narratives are important; poor and under-developed sides, like Pakistan, in a conflict of interest with rich and highly developed side like the United States, suffer from an inability to put forward a convincing point of view. It is not because the point of view is not true or convincing but because weaker sides don’t have the capacity and the skills to take their point of view across. That is why Pakistan continues to suffer from an ‘image problem’ which is then used to justify more aggression against Pakistani state and people and its vital interests in this region. The same is happening with this tragic incident in which 25 Pakistani officers and soldiers have died and another 13-14 are seriously injured. NATO, of course, cannot come forward and admit that we wanted to send a message to Pakistani military or punish them so they have to come up with an explanation, but it’s upto us to critically evaluate their claims, not to allow us to be dragged into a mindless debate on how bad the Americans are; we need to pin NATO officials down on their lies and disinformation; and here are some facts to help all of you…we need to have international & American public opinion on our side instead of just condemning; we exist inside a context and we must operate inside that context….
First, If Pakistanis were firing on Afghan or American forces then what is the Time Line Evidence of that firing? Since NATO determined the origins of that fire and attacked the source of fire then there has to be credible verifiable evidence of that fire and its intensity? How many Afghan soldiers or western soldiers were injured or hurt by that fire? or have they fired & killed almost 38 Pakistani soldiers (25+13) and destroyed two known, hill top visible, GPS determined positions, on the basis of a hunch? what kind of professionalism is that from world’s most advanced military?
It is not because the point of view is not true or convincing but because weaker sides don’t have the capacity and the skills to take their point of view across. That is why Pakistan continues to suffer from an ‘image problem’ which is then used to justifiy more aggression against Pakistani state and people and its vital interests in this region.
Two, Self-defence is the most primitive form of defence; it’s claimed in most homicide cases before Police and courts; evidence has to be examined as to what kind of threat and force was being faced by the Afghans and NATO to which they were responding?..remember Raymond Davis claimed ‘self-defence’ for his rash actions in Lahore; few weeks ago his actions inside United States help understand what might have happened in Lahore…
Three, border communication and coordination has been under debate for several months; in the past several years more than 70 Pakistani soldiers or FC Jawans have died as a result of NATO fire. As a result GPS positioning of all Pakistani posts are given to NATO; these GPS coordinates are fed into the Map Grids of NATO Weapon Systems; operators when they are about to open fire get “alerts” from their systems that “friendly posts” are on target. Unless targets are cleared from some one above, such operators won’t open fire on Paksitanis…
Four, Pakistani officials were in touch with the NATO Regional commanders as soon as the firing started; telling that our posts are under attack from your side and please stop, but firing and attack continued for more than an hour or so, how come such lack of coordination and ignoring such information input from Pakistani side?
Five, who is talking and explaining facts from the NATO side? just compare that whereas DG ISPR, the head of the Information wing of the Pakistani military is presenting facts to the whole world and has expressed doubts that this NATO attack could be ‘deliberate’ ..the NATO point of view is being leaked into the public space and minds of the unaware public by ‘unnamed Afghan & western officials’…what does it tell you?
Six, every time some thing happens Pakistan is condemend or disbelived on the basis of a generalized negative narrative spun around Pakistan. But every incident that feeds and fuels and builds upon that narrative has serious elements of lies and exaggerations in the first place. Now compare, if a few Taliban attackers attacked the out-skirts of US Embassy in Kabul, which is 2-3 hours deep inside Afghanistan then US media blames Pakistan for that and it becomes a reference point for all discussions, for justifying hatred against Pakistan and for policy changes but here we have a tragedy created by the US lead NATO forces and the US and western media is creating doubts as to what might have happened? …solution is that Pakistani media needs to develop its capacity to analyze, dissect and critically evaluate and they are not going to do it unless the aware citizens like you force them to learn and improve….
Moeed Pirzada is prominent TV Anchor & commentator; he studied international relations at Columbia Univ, New York and law at London School of Economics. Twitter: MoeedNj. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy. This piece was first published in Moeed Pirzada’s official page. It has been reproduced with permission.