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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The Kalash People of Pakistan

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Lahore Bombings: Indians Are Suspects, So Are Americans

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US Ambassador complains to Pakistani Government that media reports have exposed the location of American residences inside Lahore’s military zone, but fails to mention why US personnel with diplomatic cover have been found at wrong places, sometimes carrying weapons that diplomats are not supposed to

Lahore’s military zone is not only exposed to covert Indian operatives but also to undercover US agents with their suspicious heavy-duty equipment placed in several houses inside a gated community right in the heart of the city’s military area. This has been going on since 2007.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The eastern city of Lahore is exposed not only to the Indians who have been sending terrorists to plant bombs in public places for the past quarter of a century, but also to the Americans who expanded their covert presence inside Pakistan in the last three years of President Musharraf’s rule.  After the return to democracy in 2008, the US presence [beyond diplomatic requirements or disguised under diplomatic cover] is reported to have increased manifold.

Last year, Pakistanis were stunned to watch several incidents where US citizens were caught by the Military Police at checkpoints leading up to the city’s military zone known as Cantt.  Most of the time, these US individuals refused to say what business took them to the military area. The US Consulate in Lahore is located far away from this zone, which compounded the mystery. These US nationals also refused to allow the police to check their vehicles, which is a standard procedure that all Pakistanis undergo considering the terrorist attacks. On a couple of occasions, US vehicles whose drivers refused to cooperate with MP caused long queues at checkpoints. Military Police officers impounded these vehicles. This led to US officials complaining to their media that Pakistan was ‘harassing’ US diplomats.

But the truth is that the Americans have covertly maintained an outpost of several houses in a gated community right in the heart of the city’s military zone. This zone is so sensitive that a half-constructed Sheraton Hotel lies abandoned on one of Cantt’s main streets because the Pakistani military complained that the new hotel’s upper floors provided an easy view of the residence of the commander of the Pakistan Army Corp that guards Pakistan’s northeastern border with India.

This makes the covert US presence in this area intriguing to say the least. The exact location of these houses, in the elite Sarwar Colony, is shown in the pictures that accompany this report. Most of the residents of this colony are senior retired Pakistani military officers. A handful of them have apparently leased out their homes to the Americans at exorbitant rates that far exceed the normal level of leased property rates in the Colony, according to a fascinating expose published by TheNation and is reproduced below in full.

Why are we talking about a few houses rented out by Americans linked to US government in a sensitive part of the eastern city?

The reason is a wave of terror targeting Lahore over the past two years. This is not to suggest that the US government has something to do with this.  The suspicion centers on local terrorists indirectly or directly aided by intelligence operatives from multiple countries based in Afghanistan.  The point here is that the city of Lahore is exposed not only to local terrorists working with foreign handlers, but also to Indians and possibly to private American security contractors. These contractors expanded their presence in Pakistan in the past two years, mostly using diplomatic cover. The US Embassy in Islamabad under the incumbent Ambassador has been instrumental in pushing for an expanded role for private US defense contractors in Pakistan over the past two years.

Many Pakistanis feel that such penetration of Pakistan by foreign countries is detrimental to our national security and has unnecessarily exposed us to outsiders pursuing interests that may not overlap with our own.

Today, the US Embassy in Islamabad leaked key points of a letter that US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson has sent to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. In the letter, Ambassador Patterson complained about TheNation report on the American presence in Cantt, Lahore. More interestingly, she made a veiled threat that Pak-US relations would suffer if those Americans became targets for a terror attack. The letter was leaked to the Dawn newspaper.

The most interesting part of her letter was an acknowledgement on her part that the security of US diplomats in Pakistan is the responsibility of the Government of Pakistan. This is important because it was Ms Patterson who only a year ago was lobbying the Pakistani government to allow US private defense contractors into Pakistan and was running from one government office to another to ensure that these private US contractors are allowed to carry banned weapons anywhere in the country.

When Ms. Patterson was asked why she needed these private security contractors, she said it was to protect US diplomats. Critics said that was the responsibility of the Government of Pakistan and that the Ambassador should not cross a line. Her acknowledgement of this indicates a shift. Probably it has to do with recent understandings between Army Chief Gen. Kayani and US military officials where the army chief reportedly asked US to stop indirect methods of coercion, including media leaks, the role of private contractors in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the role of CIA in the region.

So how did the Pakistani military allow such a breach to occur in a sensitive area of Lahore?
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Chinese girl sings Pakistan’s National Anthem

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After US and India, Karzai Changes His Tone

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‘India is a close friend of Afghanistan, but Pakistan is a twin brother’ – Karzai


Foreword by Ahmed Quraishi: This coming from the same man who spent the past eight years working closely with the Indians and CIA to build BLA and TTP and send terrorists to Pakistan. But thanks to Afghan Taliban, they all had a falling out and everyone wants to save his hind. That’s why all of a sudden US is ready to ditch India to appease Pakistan and Karzai says India is a friend but Pakistan is a ‘brother, a twin’. We Pakistanis are certainly brothers and twins of our cousins the brave Afghans, but certainly not of the snakes planted there by others.

Reuters – Afghanistan does not want a proxy war between Pakistan and India or anybody else fought on its soil, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday during a visit to Pakistan.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan are vying for influence in Afghanistan, complicating U.S.-led efforts to end an intensifying Taliban insurgency and bring stability to Afghanistan more than eight years after the Taliban were ousted.

Karzai said he did not want any country using Afghanistan against another. His visit comes after Pakistan has intensified efforts to fight militancy, winning U.S. praise.

“The bottom line is, Afghanistan does not want any proxy wars on its territory,” Karzai told a news conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

“It does not want a proxy war between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan, it does not want a proxy war between Iran and the United States in Afghanistan,” he said.

India has developed close relations with Karzai’s government while ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been fraught with tension over recent years, mostly over Afghan suspicion Pakistan is quietly helping the Taliban.

Analysts say Pakistan sees the Afghan Taliban as a tool to promote its interests in Afghanistan, where it wants to see a friendly government in power and to limit India’s influence.

While India accuses Pakistan of backing militants who attack its interests in Afghanistan, Pakistan accuses India of using its diplomatic missions in Afghanistan to help separatist militants in its southwestern province of Baluchistan.

“TWINS”

Karzai said India was a very close friend and had given much support but Pakistan was like a brother.

“India is a close friend of Afghanistan but Pakistan is a brother of Afghanistan. Pakistan is a twin brother … we’re conjoined twins, there’s no separation,” he said.
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Why a True Pakistani Loves Pakistan?

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If you are a Pakistani Parent, a Pakistani Teacher or Professor or anyone else who has a responsibility to guide the future generations of Pakistan, then i beg you to transmit the message of this video to our younger generations as much as you can. There is a need to convey the importance and the value of this great gift of Pakistan which is given to us by our elders after crossing an ocean of Fire and sword. Nobody had given us this Pakistan on a plate, our forefathers had snatched the blessings of liberty from the jaws of slavery for us.

Today it looks very easy to sit in an Air conditioned room and point out the problems of Pakistan one by one without doing an effort to solve them out. In my opinion just taking birth in Pakistan is not good enough reason to entitle yourself as a Pakistani. This is not just a nationality, this is the name of a title, honor and respect which could only be achieved after deserving it.

Our elders left their everything to call themselves a Pakistani, what we have done till now???? Think please !!!

ہم لاۓ ہیں طوفاں سے کشتی نکال کے
اس مُلک کو رکھنا میرے بچو سمبھال کے

پاکستان زندہ باد
Long Live Pakistan

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Patriotism in Pakistan’s Balochistan

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The international realization of this strategic importance of Balochistan has deprived its people of their calm and peace.


By Ali Sukhanver

My moon is every body’s moon; this poetic phrase seems no more limited to the expression of love between a lover and the beloved; with the passage of time it has become more appropriate and more suitable for the sincere and truthful lands like that of Balochistan. Located on the northern tip of straits of Hormuz, Balochistan has no doubt become ever body’s moon. This is the area through which much of the world’s oil supply passes. Moreover it is God giftedly rich in natural resources with an estimated 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 6 trillion barrels of oil reserves. Therefore, many countries including USA, Russia and India see Balochistan as a strategically important zone of influence.

The international realization of this strategic importance of Balochistan has deprived its people of their calm and peace by pushing them into an artificially created series of trials and tribulations. Mercilessly exploding bombs and cruelly piercing bullets have targeted nothing but the atmospheric serenity and tranquility of this land. A few days back, all newspapers and electronic media channels were replete with the news of two boxers from Balochistan, Naimatullah Khan and Mohammad Waseem who won gold and silver medals, respectively, at the South Asian Games. Talking on the occasion, the medalists said that they are very happy that they secured medals for their country Pakistan and promised that they would work more hard in the same spirit to win more honour and respect for their motherland in future. Silver medalist Waseem said that justice was not done with him in the final because he is a Pakistani and he was winning the contest against an Indian boxer.
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Wake Up Pakistan (FULL Islamabad Episode)

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Watch The ARY NEWS Version | Watch The UNCUT Version

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Balochistan: CIA’s Crumbling Project

Ahmed Quraishi:

A photograph has surfaced that shows a terrorist wanted by Iran visiting a US military base in Afghanistan. Another terrorist wanted by Pakistan has also been spotted meeting Indian spies under American watch—in Afghanistan.  Iran arrests one such terrorist but Pakistan’s pro-US government refuses to take a stand on a terrorist insurgency openly backed by rogue US elements, with Indian support.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—After occupying Afghanistan, rogue CIA elements launched a campaign to create a new state of Balochistan out of two conjoined provinces in Pakistan and Iran.

This was done to create the shortest possible supply route from the sea to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

The Sunni-Shia divide was exploited in Iran and a language-based divide was used in Pakistan. In other words, the result was a sectarian Balochi insurgency in Iran and an ethnic one in Pakistan.

This is how Jundullah was born in Iran and Balochistan Liberation Army in Pakistan. Both were armed and supported by CIA using the Afghan soil.

But this American terror infrastructure is now crumbling. Fast.

The idea of using Afghan soil for regional US strategies – against Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China, as the need be – has failed miserably. One reason is exposure. Eight years is enough time for everyone to understand the double game being played in the region in the name of war on terror, which is America’s war no matter how many millions of dollars the US government invests in propaganda in the region to convince the people it is otherwise.

Despite a pliant Pakistani government, Pakistan, for example, is not ready to cooperate with the United States if Pakistani interests are not protected along with US interests. Pakistan took a long time to take a stand. But it has come around finally. Of course CIA was not operating alone. It enlisted the help of India and several Western intelligence agencies, turning Afghanistan into a source of regional destabilization. That’s exactly what al-Qaeda was doing before 2002.

The arrest of the ringleader of CIA-backed Jundullah group, Mr. Abdolmalek Rigi, is a major development. Iran’s intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi showed damning evidence today to the media, confirming beyond doubt the terror group’s link to US intelligence in Afghanistan:

In a press conference Moslehi showed a photograph of the leader of the group, Abdulmalek Rigi, 24 hours before his arrest at a US troops camp in Afghanistan, as well as an ID card, an Afghan passport and a Dubai visa belonging to Rigi and prepared by the US to facilitate his travels in the region as evidence to show the terrorist leader’s cooperation with Washington and certain other countries.

Last year, his younger brother Abdolhamid Rigi was arrested by Pakistani intelligence and handed over to Iran. The younger Rigi admitted on television to meeting US diplomats, or possible intelligence agents, in Karachi and Islamabad.

The worst part of the story is that former President Musharraf might have allowed CIA-backed Jundullah to use Pakistani soil, along with Afghanistan’s, to mount operations inside Iran. Of course there were times when Iran did the same: organize and arm sectarian militant groups inside Pakistan as part of Iran’s policy of militarizing Shia minorities in neighboring countries. But that was a different time. What the Americans were doing in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan was tied to the parallel terror insurgency in Pakistani Balochistan.

It is possible that this was one more concession that Mr. Musharraf granted US in Pakistan. But it is Pakistan and its intelligence that arrested and handed over Jundullah leader’s younger brother to Iran last year. Pakistani intelligence might have had something to do with the arrest of the elder Rigi too. But Iranian officials are denying that Pakistan helped them in any way in this arrest, and won’t say where Abdolhamid Rigi was seized. Read more of this post

Fear Is No Policy Surrender Is No Option: Gen (R) Hamid Gul

The former head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency – ISI – in conversation with Al Jazeera’s Kamahl Santamaria..

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