Securing Pakistan – Iran – Afghanistan Future

By General Mirza Aslam Beg

Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan are passing through a very historic moment, as their future is being challenged by forces of aggression, attempting to weaken their commitment to their “value system”, and “national purpose”. Their struggle against the forces of evil, for the last thirty years in particular, has determined the threshold of their tolerance and resistance against such threats. They have made great sacrifices, now culminating into a new era, which promises a bright future for them. A few incidents of the recent past would explain the point.

In 1979 encouraged by the West, Iraq invaded Iran, to defeat the Islamic Revolution. General Zia called an emergent meeting of the cabinet, to formulate Pakistan’s foreign policy options. I was called to attend the meeting, to represent GHQ, in my capacity as the Chief of the General Staff. The discussion lasted for over three hours and general consensus emerged that: ‘Iraqi armed forces would sweep across Iran, defeating the resistance and the Islamic Revolution, in a matter of days, and therefore Pakistan should be prepared to deploy a peace keeping force in Iran, under the UN mandate.’ I had not spoken by then, and sought the permission of the chair to put forward my argument. I said:

  • “The war is not going to end in a matter of days or weeks, rather it would be a long protracted war, lasting over several years, with Iran emerging as the victor, and the Revolution would consolidate. The famous Chinese saying will prove right: “Never take-on the revolutionaries unless you have an ideology stronger than theirs.” And there is no ideology stronger than the ideology of Islam.
  • “Historically, the Iranians have always stood united against foreign aggression. No doubt Raza Shah’s armed forces have been dismantled and are locked-up in their barracks, but they will rise, as one, to defend the country, supported by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, who would avail the opportunity to consolidate the Revolution.
  • “The Iraqi armed forces, no doubt, have a modern military machine, but their higher military leadership, lacks the professional ability of the German General Staff, to launch breakthrough battles and blitzkrieg operations deep into the enemy territory. The boggy areas in the South and the mountainous region in the north would restrict deep maneuvers. Thus there would be no major gains or losses and only slow slogging series of battles causing heavy casualties.
  • “In the first few days of war, Iraqi armed forces will lose sight of the main objective of war, i.e., to defeat the Iranians, while the Iranians will continue to fight with greater resolve and on a high moral ground, i.e., to defeat the aggressor. Ultimately the Iranians would emerge victorious. I therefore submit that, we formulate our policy for both the options, i.e., a short war ending into Iraq’s victory and a long war, with Iran emerging as the victor.”

General Zia listened to my arguments attentively, gave a broad smile and said: “I agree with you. We prepare for both the eventualities.” And there was ‘the silence of the lamb’. No one spoke and the meeting ended.

Eight years later, Iranian armed forces crossed Shatt-el-Arab and as they concentrated in the Fao peninsula, poised for offensive towards Basra, Saddam attacked with chemical weapons, provided by the civilized West. Iran suffered heavy casualties and having no defense against this weapon, called for seize fire. Ever since, Iran has remained under great pressure on one issue or the other. Now the UNSC has imposed sanctions, for the fourth time, testing the national resilience of Iran. The Israelis are provoking Iran, by deploying their nuclear submarine in the region. This provocation resembles the Indian nuclear intimidation of 1974 and 1998, which left no option for Pakistan, but to prepare for retaliation with overt posture. What are the options for Iran now?

September 2001, General Musharraf succumbed to Richard Armitage’s undiplomatic warning and sheepishly accepted all the conditionalities to join the American war on Afghanistan. Having taken this decision, he decided to call the politicians, scholars, media men and diplomats in groups, to explain and justify the decision. I was invited, with one such group for the 22 September 2001 meeting. His monologue and the discussion lasted for over four hours. I had not spoken. He invited my comments. I said:

  • “You have taken the decision and therefore there is no point in justifying it now. The critical issue is, of joining the war, having no moral or ethical ground. The Afghans have never done any harm to us, nor do we have a defense pact with America to join them. We have to see how far we can go, so that the red line is not crossed to harm our national interests.”
  • “In a matter of weeks, the invading forces will occupy Afghanistan and the Taliban will fall back to the line – Jalalabad – Kandahar, from where they had started in 1996, and would link-up with their support bases in Pakistan. Ultimately they will regroup, forming an alliance with the old Mujahideen and supported by the new grown up lot from Pakistan and other countries, will build-up a formidable resistance against the occupation forces.”
  • “As the resistance develops, the conflict zone would expand to our border region, reversing the war on Pakistan. This would be a difficult period for Pakistan, facing a two-front war.”
  • “No doubt the Americans and their allies will take full control of Afghanistan in a matter of weeks but ultimately it will turn into Vietnam for them. They cannot win. They will lose the war.”
  • “The Afghans, Pakistani jihadis and many freedom fighters, from many countries of the world, have embraced Shahadat for the Afghan cause. For Pakistan to join the American war in Afghanistan, would amount to compromising and bartering away the blood and sacrifices of the martyrs (Shuhada) – an unforgivable sin and God knows, how to punish the sinner.”

On hearing my comments, General Musharraf’s face turned pale. He mumbled something which I could not comprehend. The meeting ended, abruptly. That was my last meeting with him. We never met again, as we were two poles apart.

The Afghan freedom movement now has reached a point where the occupation forces are suffering from failure of nerves, inducting more troops only to reinforce their defeat. The irony is that the occupation forces, which stand defeated, are trying to lay down the conditions for peace, which is the privilege of the Taliban, who have emerged as winners. It would, therefore be proper to focus on Afghanistan, the people, their culture, their national ethos, their sense of honour and value system, which lend resilience to the cause of freedom. The occupation forces must accept the reality that they have failed to read the complex tribal and societal relationship of the Afghans. They must not repeat the mistakes of 1990 and 2001, of denying the fruits of victory to the Afghans, i.e., to share power and form a government. There will be no peace, if any other course is adopted. Taliban are now strong enough to snatch away their freedom, which they have won with such a great sacrifice.

The people know the predicament of the occupation forces and the tenuousness of the routes of supply to Afghanistan. The attack on the NATO supply convey near Islamabad and the turmoil in Kyrgyzstan to disrupt the daily supply of over forty five thousand liters of oil daily from the Manas air base, is meant to check-mate the occupation forces. Who is responsible for these acts? Certainly, not the Taliban from Afghanistan or the American haters of Pakistan! Not difficult to make a fair guess!!

The Americans and the allies have to take a bold decision in Afghanistan, same as years earlier, wisdom demanded that timely intervention in Bosnia was necessary to check the spread of jehadism in Europe. In Afghanistan, the Americans themselves have become part of the problem, yet it is not too late to intercede now. Jehadism is a phenomenon by itself, which needs to be understood. It has special message for the believers in the ideology of Islam: “Nothing should stop the believers from reaching out to protect the helpless men, women and children being brutalized, who are crying for help to Allah, to send the redeemers.” The redeemers who converged on to Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Chechnya, Palestine and Kashmir, will return to their hearth and home, only when brutality comes to an end. Jehadis pose no threat to other ideologies, civilizations or culture. And yet there is the element of Terrorism, growing out of this movement, over the years, which is the common threat for all, but will gradually fade away, as occupation, oppression and injustice come to their logical end. Read more of this post

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Pak – Afghan Friendship

New song by Rahim shah with his great voice for Pakistan Afghanistan friendship!
He rocks !!!

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“War on Terror” as a Cover for US Terrorism

“Dissent is no longer the duty of the engaged citizen but is becoming an act of terrorism ” – Chris Hedges

By Paul J | It’s ironic. It’s hypocritical. It’s a fraud. The “war on terrorism” branded by America is a propaganda cover for the worst terrorists in the world.

What was the invasion and occupation of Iraq but an act of terrorism? Everyone now knows that the faux war was born of a fraud. The deception had no legitimate purpose except to terrorize countries that (a) produce oil, (b) harbour Al-Qaeda or (c) threaten Israel.

Even the invasion of Afghanistan, considered a legitimate response to 9/11, could have been avoided. The Taliban appropriately asked the US to provide evidence of Osama bin Laden’s complicity in the 9/11 affair before deporting him.

Instead, we attacked Afghanistan to the cheers of terrorizing avengers. “We’ll show you what we do to those who terrorize America!” was the mantra. The USA is still terrorizing Afghanistan, thereby increasing Al-Qaeda cells.

The icing on the spread-fear cake has involved the USA terrorizing Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Not only are the countries America bombs terrorized. Every other country that might disobey our commands is threatened and made to fear for its existence.

Human life outside America and its stooges isn’t worth a tinker’s damn to terrorist America. Some 567,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died from American sanctions on Iraq. On 60 minutes in 1996, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said: “We think the price is worth it.”

As of January 2010 and since the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, 1,366,350 Iraqi lives have been lost to terrorist slaughterers. “Never mind,” you say? “The price is worth it. Beside, they’re only Muslims who want to multiply and take over the world.”

Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and rendition programmes have been nothing but terrorizing to plant fear in the hearts and minds of any Arab or Muslim with negative feelings toward America.

Something about being a terrorist of “lesser breeds” tends to become a mindset that disregards national identities. Even Americans can become the objects of American terrorists. American Arabs and Muslims have been the objects of terrorism ever since 9/11.

According to Chris Hedges, “An Arab American, Syed Fahad Hashmi, made provocative statements, including calling America “the biggest terrorist in the world”. That led to his arrest and prosecution on trumped up charges, in much the same way that Professor Sami al-Aryan lost his job and freedom for being an outspoken critic of US and Israeli policy.

Hedges relates the terrorizing effect of these prosecutions even of American citizens. “The state,” he says, “can detain and prosecute people not for what they have done, or even for what they are planning to do, but for holding religious or political beliefs that the state deems seditious. The first of those targeted have been observant Muslims, but they will not be the last.

Chris Floyd points to incidents in countless towns and villages across America’s terror war fronts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen where a multitude of grieving, angry Iraqis are further embittered against the American occupation by America’s terrorist killings.

“You want to stop the ‘radicalization’ of young Muslims? Chris asks. “It’s simple: stop killing innocent Muslims in wars of domination all over the world. Stop running ‘covert ops’ in every nation of the world (as Obama’s ‘special envoy’ Richard Holbrooke admitted last week) – murders, kidnappings, corruption and deception that make a howling mockery of the very ‘civilized values’ these wars and ops purport to defend.”

If America wants to stop terrorism, it needs to stop terrorizing the world.


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