Pak won’t face any negative outcome if it doesn’t free Davis despite US pressure: Gul

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LAHORE - Pakistan will not have to face any kind of negative consequences in case it refuses to release double murder-accused American official Raymond Davis despite growing US pressure, former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General Hameed Gul has said.

“They [US] can’t afford to abandon Pakistan if it stands up to them in full length, because their lines of communications go from Pakistan to Afghanistan. The NATO is already face-to-face with defeat in the battlefield. It will be a disaster for them if the vulnerable lines of communications are choked,” The Nation quoted Gul, as saying in an interview.

“But my inner wish is that they should break up ties with Pakistan so that we can breathe freely. Let there be no doubt that Pakistan has all the wherewithal to survive as a free and honourable state. If we are isolated, it will be good for us,” he added.

If tiny countries like Cuba and North Korea could withstand US sanctions or pressures, there was no reason why Pakistan could not do so, Gul argued, adding that isolation “sometimes is a blessing in disguise. Maybe, this is what is needed by Pakistan to move forward.”

When asked whether he thought the Pakistan’s government’s initiative to hold a Round Table Conference would serve any useful purpose at a time when all political parties had representation in parliament, Gul replied: “I think the proposed RTC is being held only on the issue of Raymond Davis, the US national who killed two innocent Pakistanis.”

“Instead of discharging its duty by taking any decision on the issue of his immunity, it [government] is shirking its responsibility. They want the burden shared by everybody. This is dishonesty - to say the least. I don’t approve of the RTC in this case, because if the RTC says ‘yes’ to the immunity issue, the entire leadership will stand discredited. And this is not good for democracy,” he added.

Talking about US drone attacks in Pakistan, the former ISI chief said that they were part of an “invisible war against Pakistan”.

“If drone attacks are abrasive to tribal traditions which arouse people to take revenge, the attacks carried out by people like Raymond Davis and mercenaries are part of efforts to denuclearize Pakistan and cast it into image of a terrorist state. The enemies want to cut Pakistan to size and also denuclearize it,” he added.

Gul also said that as if drone attacks were not sufficient, now “Raymond Davis attacks” were also being carried out.

“How many people are involved in these attacks, nobody can say at this stage. But I have no doubt that there are people who are out to portray Pakistan as a failed state, not capable of keeping nuclear arsenals. This is the image of Pakistan they want to portray. It’s a monumental conspiracy against the state and people of Pakistan,” added the former ISI chief. (ANI)

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