The United States and its allies are using the pretext of their "war against terrorism" to try, gain and extend their foothold in the internal affairs of various Asian countries, and especially to extend control over military, intelligence and other important sectors. This campaign is beginning to face serious problems as opposition to such blatant interference mounts among the people and the ruling circles as well in Asia. In this connection there have been significant developments in Pakistan and Indonesia recently.
In the recently held elections in Pakistan, a six-party alliance which campaigned openly on the basis of opposition to America’s "war against terrorism" and its use of Pakistan as a base, swept to power in the two strategic provinces bordering Afghanistan, and also has significant representation in the National Assembly. A spokesman for the alliance said that "America should realise that the people here have given their decision in a strong manner against whatever steps it has taken in this region." Panicky elements in the official establishments of the US and some European countries have been quick to label this alliance as hard-core religious fundamentalist and terrorist in a bid to discredit them. However, the spokesman for the alliance made it clear that "neither shall we support terrorism nor will we allow anybody to use our soil for terrorism in any other country. But we shall ourselves do this work. We need no help or the presence of foreign troops to accomplish this task." He also said that they "wanted friendly contact and ties with the outside world keeping our independence and sovereignty secure."
In Indonesia, the US government was quick to label the horrific bomb blast that killed 180 foreign tourists on the island of Bali as the work of the Al-Qaeda, even though Indonesian authorities investigating the incident have not established that in any conclusive way. By labelling it as the work of the Al-Qaeda, the US is pitching for its right to take over the job of hunting down the perpetrators. This has greatly alarmed the Indonesian authorities. A senior minister in the Megawati Sukarnoputri government openly expressed on TV their opposition to the US or any other power using this incident to try and impose their dictate on Indonesia.
These developments show the cracks developing in the much-touted "alliance" of the US with what it calls "moderate Muslim countries" in pursuit of its hegemonistic aims under the signboard of "war against terrorism". These cracks are a product of mass resentment and anger in those countries against the US attempts to undermine their sovereignty and to use them for its own ends. The people are understanding that the presence of US troops, "advisors", spies, technical personnel, etc., in the name of helping these countries to counter the threat of terrorism, is in fact a noose around their necks. The need of the hour is that this mass consciousness of present-day US strategy in this region be extended and deepened, and every obstacle put in its way.