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PM should step down until JIT completes probe, says Imran

Thief PM Nawaz Must Go Behind Bars For Life

PM should step down until JIT completes probe, says Imran

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Thursday has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should step down until the JIT completes its investigation. 

Speaking to reporters following the Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Leaks case, Khan said Sharif no longer had any moral authority to continue as prime minister of the country.

“What respect will he have when a government officer calls the prime minister for a criminal inquiry,” he said.

Terming the verdict “a historic judgment in Pakistan’s history”, he said that all five members of the bench have rejected PM Sharif’s explanation of the money trail that led to his children’s offshore holdings.

“I demand Nawaz Sharif to resign today. Sharif should resign because he will not allow an impartial investigation,” he said.

“If Sharif is cleared in 60 days after the joint investigation team’s report, he can continue to serve as the prime minister, but at the moment he has no ethical right to serve on this position,” said the chairman of the PTI.

Imran said that only two of the institutions whose members will be part of the JIT fall under the Chief of Army Staff, while the rest come under the prime minister.

“Hence, he must resign immediately in order for an impartial investigation to be conducted,” said the PTI chairman.

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ONCORE ARTICLE: Propaganda of genocide and rapes in Bangladesh

Propaganda of genocide and rapes in Bangladesh

Asif Haroon Raja

After the demise of Quaid-e-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan, regionalism raised its ugly head in smaller provinces particularly in East Pakistan where India started a whispering campaign to poison the minds of the youth and seculars against West Pakistan. India exploited the cultural affinity between East and West Bengal by underplaying Allama Iqbal and promoting poetry of Tagore. Since over 90% posts of teachers and professors were held by Hindus, they played a key role in subverting the minds of students and making them hate West Pakistanis. History books of the subcontinent were distorted to paint Muslim rulers in poor light and ancient Hindu rule glamorised. Their hatred against Hindus was gradually mellowed and converted into amiability. Cultural programs and stage dramas enacted by Hindus helped in bringing a change in the mindset of the Muslim Bengalis. Bengali nationalism was stirred by agitating language issue. Politics of agitation was introduced through frequent strikes and mob violence.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had nurtured the dream of independent Bengal from early days came into prominence in East Pakistan during the language riots in 1948. He again took an active part in 1952 language riots. His rebellious stance against West Pakistan Establishment made him popular among Bengalis. He joined Awami League (AL) as a disciple of Suhrawardy. After the death of Suhrawardy in 1964, he maintained his pro-India stance and went astray.

He and his henchmen got in touch with Indian intelligence agencies and during one of the meetings in Agartala, finalised the plan to detach East Pakistan from rest of Pakistan. Under the garb of remedying political and economic grievances of East Pakistan, he formulated six points formula and fanned Bengali nationalism. The unearthing of Agartala conspiracy case in 1968 turned the secessionist into a hero in the eyes of Bengalis. Indian media was instrumental in lionising Mujib.

Breakup of One-Unit Scheme, one-man-one-vote and change of separate electorate to joint electorate by Gen Yahya Khan so as to appease the agitating Bengalis gave the AL electoral victory in a platter. Year-long election campaign allowed Mujib to use high-handed tactics to not only intimidate the people of East Pakistan but also inflame Bengali nationalism. Indian media and secular Bengali intellectuals presented West Pakistan as a villain and publicized Mujib’s six point program as a panacea for all the problems of East Pakistan, which in actuality amounted to secession. All criminal and illegal acts of AL thugs were ignored under the policy of appeasement.

After sweeping the elections through massive rigging, Mujib and his henchmen became more arrogant and uncompromising. They stubbornly maintained that new constitution will be framed strictly in accordance with six points and refused to accommodate viewpoint of second largest party PPP. The situation became uncontrollable in Dacca on 1 March after Yahya unwisely postponed inaugural session scheduled in Dacca on 3 March on the insistence of Bhutto and hawkish Generals. It sparked horrible conflagration and let loose genie of Bengali nationalism. On late evening of 2 March, Army was called in aid of civil power to control the situation at the request of Mujib. Bengali officers conveyed to Mujib that troops were under order not to open fire unless physically assaulted. Accordingly, Mujib directed his militants to fearlessly violate curfew.

On the afternoon of 3 March, Mujib demanded immediate return of troops to barracks and to hand over security of Dacca to him, or else his men would resist them. He also demanded cessation of flow of reinforcement from West Pakistan and disarming of non-Bengalis. Eastern Command Commander Lt Gen Sahibzada Yaqub capitulated to his wrongful demands, which was a blunder. Gen Gul Hassan said that to allow Mujib to restore calm was ‘somewhat like leaving a virgin in the care of a habitual rapist’.

A state within state was created and Bengalis took orders from Mujib only. Everywhere the chanting of ‘Joi Bangla’ could be heard. New Bangladesh flag was hoisted. Mujib’s hostile tantrums amounted to virtual independence. In order to provoke Gen Yahya to use force and thus give an excuse to start a popular civil war aided by India, a planned massacre of non-Bengalis including Biharis and pro-government Bengalis and rape of West Pakistani girls was unleashed. Their properties were torched and valuables looted. The madness continued till 25 March filling the roads and streets of Dacca and other major towns with blood. Stench of the dead bodies littered on the roads unattended became unbearable and it became difficult to breathe. Over 100,000 people, mostly Biharis were hacked to death. Stories of ‘torture to death’ are too horrifying and blood curdling to narrate and have been narrated in hundreds of books.

Non-Bengali and loyal elements butchery continued with unabated venom. None came to the rescue of the hounded. They were baffled and found themselves at the mercy of hounding wolves. They had no weapons to fend for themselves and no place to hide and as such got slaughtered like sheep. Even our media was blanked on the ill-conceived ground that broadcasting of atrocities would evoke a severe backlash against Bengalis in West Pakistan. The biased western media team located in Dacca turned a blind eye to the carnage of non-Bengalis. It also turned a blind eye to India’s meddling and induction of 90,000 Indian soldiers in West Bengal in March 1971.

The troops confined to barracks in Dacca, Sylhet, Saidpur, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Jessore, Khulna and Chittagong kept hearing the savageries committed on men in uniform and their families with impotent rage. It had become extremely difficult for those living inside cantonment areas to procure fresh food items from markets. Deprived of electric and water supply, conservancy and other essential services for three weeks, Pak troops were virtually living on tinned rations while the children remained deprived of milk. PAF special transport aircraft from West Pakistan provided essential supplies. Attacks on Army pickets were stepped up and the Army jeered at. Soldiers were spat upon and called Yahya dogs.

Sizeable number of men in Khaki and their families particularly those serving in East Pakistan Rifles (EPR) and East Pakistan Civil Armed Forces were hacked to death. By such acts, the Army was being deliberately provoked to lose patience and to take punitive action. This would have given Mujib and his henchmen a weapon to whip up anti-Army emotions thereby dubbing the Army as an occupation Army. It would have paved the way for civil war thereby fulfilling the requirement of India.

Yahya’s regime was subjected to extreme criticism for its procrastinating attitude and its passivity to confront Bengali defiance against the state. All those who mattered in West Pakistan and pro-Pakistan Bengalis exerted extreme pressure on President Yahya to take punitive action against the dissidents. Even Bhutto prodded him to use full force regardless of casualties before it was too late. But Yahya had already made too many mistakes by granting unreasonable concessions to Mujib and in the process had badly messed up things.

During the ten-day negotiations in Dacca in March 1971, Yahya team trying to find a way out of impasse remained totally defensive and apologetic and had no card to play. They kept giving in and got nothing in return. No political leader including Bhutto could soften up Mujib. The Mujib led team on the other hand maintained a highly belligerent and uncompromising posture. It was amply clear that AL simply didn’t want a constitutional agreement conducive to the retention of national identity. His mentors had briefed him not to agree on any point or concession offered at any cost. He was told to force Yahya to use force so that India could convince the world that it was Pakistan Army that had first denied them their constitutional right to takeover power and had now opted to crush them under their boots. Under the circumstances, AL would have a convincing case to pick up arms in defence and also gain sympathy of the world. Military action would pave the way for India to organize a civil war in East Pakistan leading towards secession. 

Matiur Rahman in his book ‘Bangladesh Today’ writes, ‘It was indeed most mind boggling to note that while Yahya Khan and his team persistently offered power to Mujib, the latter constantly hedged, refused to agree to any settlement, shifted his position from six points and refused to accept any formula within the framework of a united Pakistan’. Mujib had made up his mind to part ways and that too through violent means.

It was on the evening of 24 March 1971 when Yahya got convinced that Mujib didn’t want anything short of confederation that he gave green signal to Gen Tikka Khan to save the federation. Orders to unit commanders were passed verbally on the morning of 25th March. The toughest challenge was in Dacca where the outcome of crackdown would have decided the fate of East Pakistan. The city and its suburbs housed heaviest concentration of armed rebels followed by Chittagong. As per foreign press reports, there were 200,000 weapons with the militants in East Pakistan.    

Despite extremely heavy odds, the troops numbering 12000 went into action and by early morning of 26th, Dacca was cleared of miscreants and in next few days all other critical towns were also taken over since the rebels had fled. Reinforcement from West Pakistan were rushed in only when it was found that EBR, EPR and Police had also rebelled and rebellion had got transformed into a well-planned civil war supported by India.

When the prejudiced foreign journalists were ousted from Dacca by Gen Tikka, the jilted journalists got settled in Calcutta and played into the hands of Indian media. Indo-western media cooked up fabricated stories of all kinds of atrocities and quoted highly bloated figures of those killed in Army action on 25thMarch and subsequently. There were reports published in foreign newspapers of razing of whole villages and machine-gunning all the inhabitants. Rapes were also drummed up. Idea was to demonize Pak Army and paint the soldiers as human eating monsters and rapists. So-called genocide drummed up by Indian media was magnified by western media. AL propaganda machinery added fuel to fire by churning out series of horror stories of killings and rapes.

All this was done to smoke-screen the large-scale atrocities committed by AL urchins and anti-social elements. What was termed as genocide during week-long disturbances all over the province, in actuality only 172 persons lost lives while 358 got injured! The next round of killings and rapes was undertaken by Mukti Bahini after 23 November 1971, later joined by Indian forces. Raping of Bengali girls and women at a mass scale was undertaken by Indian Army and BSF soldiers in the refugee camps in India during their confinement period of over nine months.     

Interestingly, figures of three million Bengalis and raping of 300,000 women by Pak soldiers in East Pakistan were never mentioned throughout the civil war and Indo-Pak war. These figures were first uttered by Sheikh Mujib after he was released from prison in West Pakistan in January 1972. In my next write up, I will try to dispel the myth of these incredible figures.

It is ironic that today the AL led government at the behest of India is demanding apology from Pakistan for the so-called war crimes, and is convicting aged Jamaat-e-Islami members through Kangaroo courts, who had played their honorable part to save their motherland, but is completely ignoring the barbarities of its own members against Biharis and West Pakistanis and their collaboration with hostile India.

Can we notice the footsteps of India in Balochistan and in Karachi where quite a few similarities with former East Pakistan crisis can be discerned? Will the final battle be fought in Karachi as I had stated in one of my articles in 2008? Are we alive to the two brewing lavas which are primed to burst? The only thing which probably has frustrated the designs of our adversaries is that the Army kept itself aloof. Hence the story of ‘genocide’ couldn’t be played. ‘Missing persons’ story played up in Balochistan didn’t prove so tantalizing to evoke an international outcry, particularly when ground checks negated the stance of propagandists.          

The writer is a retired Brig, a defence analyst and a columnist. Email:asifharoonraja@gmail.com


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Hussain Haqqani admits facilitation of CIA operatives in Pakistan With Asif Zardari’s Co-Operation

Hussain Haqqani admits facilitation of CIA operatives in Pakistan With Asif Zardari’s Co-Operation

WASHINGTON – Former Pakistani ambassador to Washington Hussain Haqqani has admitted that he helped the United States to station a large number of CIA operatives in Pakistan with the authorization of the then civilian government.

Haqqani, who had served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US from Apr 2008 to Nov 2011 before being ousted in the purview of memo


gate scandal made the disclosure in his piece published in The Washington Post on Friday.

‘Among the security establishment’s grievances against me was the charge that I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives who helped track down bin Laden without the knowledge of Pakistan’s army — even though I had acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders’ he wrote in his article.

‘The relationships I forged with members of Obama’s campaign team led to closer cooperation between Pakistan and the United States in fighting terrorism over the 31/2 years I served as ambassador’ said Haqqani.

He expressed that these connections eventually enabled the United States to discover and eliminate bin Laden without depending on Pakistan’s intelligence service or military, which were suspected of sympathy toward Islamist militants.

“Friends I made from the Obama campaign were able to ask, three years later, as National Security Council officials, for help in stationing U.S. Special Operations and intelligence personnel on the ground in Pakistan. I brought the request directly to Pakistan’s civilian leaders, who approved,” he added.

Haqqani expressed that from Obama’s public positions and from his meetings with his aides, it was clear that a democratic, civilian government in Pakistan could join with him to help attain his objectives in Afghanistan in exchange for support of consolidation of democracy with greater U.S. economic assistance.

‘I sent this message to my bosses in Islamabad and told Obama’s campaign team that we would be willing to play ball. Once Obama took office, this is exactly what happened: Civilian aid to Pakistan was enhanced to record levels in an effort to secure greater cooperation in defeating the Taliban’ he stated in his article.

The former ambassador claimed that Pakistan was not apprised of the operation ‘Neptune Spear’ which led to the killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

‘Although the United States kept us officially out of the loop about the operation, these locally stationed Americans proved invaluable when Obama decided to send in Navy SEAL Team 6 without notifying Pakistan,’ he said.

Haqqani, who is labeled as a controversial personality in Pakistan went on and expressed that unfortunately, the United States did not attain victory in Afghanistan, and the Pakistani government’s behavior toward militant Islamists did not change on a permanent basis but for the period he was in office, the two nations worked jointly toward their common goals — the essence of diplomacy.

The former Pakistani envoy said that he was forced to resign as ambassador after Pakistan’s military-intelligence apparatus gained the upper hand in the country’s perennial power struggle.



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Asia’s quiet superpower: Pakistan Army’s teetering balance between Saudi and Iran by Kamal Alam

Courtesy Middle East Eye

With a Pakistani general leading a Saudi-led terror-fighting force, Islamabad has the chance once again to be the region’s final guarantor

When one thinks of the Pakistan Army, one does not instinctively think of a force that is relevant to conflicts in the Middle East. Yet increasingly – and without actually being involved in any operations – it is the most influential military in the region. 

Who will lead the Islamic NATO, a new Saudi-led, terrorist-fighting military alliance? None other than Pakistan’s General Raheel Sharif

It has trained more Arab armies than any other country and has been present both in a combat role in the Arab-Israeli wars in 1967 and 1973 and also provided mentorship as the Gulf countries’ armies were founded.

This is mostly thanks to the legacy of the British Indian Army, which was one-third Muslim, and which the British relied on to pacify the hostility of Arab Muslims when it marched through Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad. After India’s partition in 1947, these troops became the founders of the Pakistan military and thus began a long relationship that exists to this day.

The British Indian Army enter Baghdad in 1917 with Lt Gen Federick Stanley Maude (Wikicommons)

After the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi army, and Iran’s rising influence across the Middle East, the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, have looked to Pakistan as the final guarantor.

When the current Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa recently stated that Pakistan views Saudi Arabia’s protection as its own, it was seen as an indirect warning to Iran and the terrorist groups threatening Saudi Arabia.

And who will lead the “Islamic NATO”, a new Saudi-led, terrorist-fighting military alliance? None other than Pakistan’s General Raheel Sharif.

Surprise announcements

Though it was rumoured for a good year before his retirement, when Defence Minister Khwaja Asif confirmed Sharif’s appointment to the “Muslim NATO” a few weeks ago, it came as a surprise to the Pakistani parliament in much the same way as the announcement two years ago that Pakistan was to participate in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

There was a furore in the GCC when, after the surprise announcement, the Pakistani military eventually refused the role in Yemen in 2015. The UAE even canceled visa waivers for Pakistani military officials, a process that had existed for decades, while leading Kuwait and Saudi state-owned media attacked Pakistan and how it had back-stabbed its “brothers” in the Gulf.

In June 2014, Pakistan army soldiers gather before the start of a military operation against the Taliban in the main town of Miranshah in North Waziristan (AFP)

Pakistan itself has split down the middle over Yemen. The majority of the military was apparently in favour of the army’s participation. However, given Operation Zarb e Azb, in which the army was targeting cross-border violence and domestic terrorist groups on the Afghan border in North Waziristan, the military was overstretched fighting its own war on terror.

Ultimately, Pakistan did not take part in Yemen with troops on the ground but did provide border support to guard Saudi sovereignty and offer advice during the air campaign.

However, two years down the line, with Pakistan military’s operations winding down in the northwest of its country, there is increased stability within the army and, tactically speaking, troops are now available. So the question of a more active role for Pakistan in Yemen may arise again. 

One of the main reasons Saudi Arabia is going back to Pakistan for help, despite its previous refusal in Yemen, is that Pakistan and General Raheel Sharif himself warned that ground operations in Yemen were futile given the terrain, and proximity to the sea making impractical the use of the hammer and anvil tactic – and they were proven right.

While Pakistan will definitely not put troops in Yemen (Sharif has made that clear), the army can help by mediating conflict resolution mechanisms it used with success in Waziristan and Swat Valley. 

The obvious choice

General Raheel Sharif is an obvious choice for the Muslim NATO role given his tremendous popularity in the Arab world particularly in Saudi.

For decades, the Saudis and other Gulf royals have treated the Pakistan Army and its chief as special guests

As army chief, he has made six official visits to Saudi Arabia, brought the Qataris into Pakistan’s military orbit and put the Egyptian-Pakistan relationship back on track by becoming the first Pakistani in his position to visit Cairo in over two decades. In 2014, Sharif was the only non-head of state present at the GCC military exercise, Abdullah’s Shield.

There are also close historic ties between Saudi and Pakistan that make Sharif an easy choice. For decades, the Saudis and other Gulf royals have treated the Pakistan Army and its chief as special guests; there has been a talk of Pakistan providing a nuclear umbrella against Iran, and a potential hammer if one were needed to protect the GCC.

Indeed in Bahrain, Iran and several international organisations accused Pakistan of supporting the suppression of protestors at the behest of the Saudis.

When the Saudi embassy was attacked by a mob in Tehran last year after the execution of a prominent Shia cleric, Sharif undertook a three-day diplomatic initiative that led him first to Saudi and then to Iran to mediate between the two countries and calm fears of an escalation given already fraught relations over the Syrian and Yemen conflicts.

An Iranian protester holds a sign bearing the name of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a protest against his execution by Saudi authorities on 3 January 2016, outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran (AFP)

There were also unconfirmed reports bordering on fake news that Pakistan had threatened to nuke Iran if it dared to attack Saudi Arabia.  

At this moment, there are 158 Saudi military cadets in the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, Abbottabad, a record of any overseas force in any military academy in the world. There is also another historic first for the Pakistan Army: it has become the first Muslim country to have a permanent instructor at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. The instructor, Major Uqbah Malik, is a platoon commander with several Arab cadets under his command along with British cadets. 

For the last two years, the chief guests at the Pakistan Air Force’s Academy in Risalpur have been the heads of the Iraqi and Saudi defence forces. There were a dozen Iraqi cadets last year and more this year.

Similarly, in Damascus, Pakistan sent one of its top air force generals as ambassador to smooth tensions and act as a back-door mediator between Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Sharif’s successor, current army chief Qamar Bajwa’s first official overseas trip was a recent three-day visit to Saudi Arabia. It was no coincidence that Sharif was also in Saudi at the same time performing his Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage at the invitation of the Saudi king. There were also many videos shared over social media of Raheel Sharif being mobbed as a hero as Saudi Special Forces guarded him.


Iran-Saudi mediator?

Along with its vast military resources, deployed over the last decades to fight on behalf of various Arab states and its role as the largest trainer of Arab armies, Pakistan’s role as a peacemaker between several warring capitals has been crucial.

In fact, the UN Centre of Excellence on COIN and peacekeeping is in Islamabad, where the Pakistan army trains other armies from around the world on how to do conflict resolution in war time.

Sharif has made it clear he will only carry on in his current job if Iran is included in the military alliance so it does not just become a Sunni alliance

Could Pakistan play such a role in mediating between Saudi and Iran?

Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran of 1979, Pakistan has drifted away from Tehran and has been seen as too close to the Saudis to be an honest peace broker between Riyadh and Tehran.

Two decades ago, Pakistan’s army played a leading role in mediating an end to the Iraq-Iran war, something the late Iranian president Rafsanjani specifically appreciated.

While for some, Sharif’s appointment has been seen as a message to Iran that Pakistan is abandoning its neutral role between the two countries, it would seem that an opportunity has again presented the Pakistan military to take a lead. Sharif has made it clear he will only carry on in his role as head of the military alliance if Iran is included so it does not just become a Sunni front.

Then Pakistan Army Chief of Staff General Raheel Sharif arrives for a visit in Sri Lanka in June 2015 (AFP)

Notably, the Pakistan army is the only non-sectarian army in the Muslim world – it has had Shia Hazara chief of staffs, Sunnis, and several Christian generals. Given this, Pakistan is well-positioned to balance Iran and Saudi Arabia’s tensions.

There are potential opportunities and problems for Pakistan here. If it is not careful and is seen as being too close to Saudi, it could further exacerbate its fragile domestic sectarian balance and make trouble for Pakistan domestically.

But if the new alliance holds, Pakistan stands to benefit greatly, especially with the Turkish support of the country.

– Kamal Alam is a Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). He specialises in the contemporary military history of the Arab world and Pakistan, he is a Fellow for Syrian Affairs at The Institute for Statecraft and is a visiting lecturer at several military staff colleges across the Middle East, Pakistan and the UK.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: In January 2016, then Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif (R) meets with Deputy Crown Prince and Saudi Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman in Rawalpindi, Pakistan (AFP)

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Rejoinder to Dr. Subhash Kapila by Brig,(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Rejoinder to Dr. Subhash Kapila


Asif Haroon Raja


Dr. Subhash Kapila has written an article in Eurasia Review the theme of which is,Afghanistan cannot be abandoned to China-Pakistan-Russia Troika. A highly melancholic and distressful picture has been painted by the writer in a bid to remind Donald Trump Administration that Afghanistan is slipping out of the hands of the US and unless urgent and immediate measures are taken to forestall the impending strategic loss, Afghanistan would be lost for good which will have grave consequences for the sole super power. A persuasive wake-up call has been given to inviting Trump to act before it is too late.





Subhash malevolently suggests that China-Pakistan axis now complemented by Russia will overturn the stability of the region. He has rung alarm bells that amidst the din of US Presidential election, Afghanistan has seemingly disappeared from the radar screen of USA and the Troika has fully exploited the vacuum to exploit it to its own advantage and to the disadvantage of Washington.




He sprinkles salt on the emotive feelings of USA by lamenting that the US huge investment and loss of lives of thousands of American soldiers have all gone waste owing to double dealing of Pakistan which the US has been claiming to be its strategic ally. He warned the new US policy makers that the Troika is fully poised to seize the strategic turf of Afghanistan and thus deprive the USA of its influence in Central Asia and Southwest Asia.

One may ask Subhash as to why no concern was shown by him or any Indian writer when the Troika of USA-India-Afghanistan assisted by UK and Israel was formed in 2002 to target Pakistan. The Troika that has caused excessive pain and anguish to Pakistan and its people is still active. All these years, Pakistan was maliciously maligned, ridiculed and discredited and mercilessly bled without any remorse. The objective of the Troika and its supporters was to create chaos and destabilize the whole region which was peaceful till 9/11.

India was in the lead to destabilize, de-Islamize, denuclearize and fragment Pakistan.

The US installed puppet regimes of Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani wholly under the perverse influence of India played a lead role in bleeding Pakistan by allowing so many hostile agencies to use Afghan soil for the accomplishment of their ominous designs.

The vilest sin of the so-called allies of Pakistan was its pretension of friendship and continuously stabbing Pakistan in the guise of friends. Worst was that Pakistan was distrusted and asked to do more against the terrorists funded, trained and equipped by the Troika and was humiliated by saying that it was either incompetent or an accomplice.

Driven by the desire to become the unchallenged policeman of the region and a bulwark against China, India assisted by its strategic allies has been constantly weaving webs of intrigue and subversion and striving hard to encircle and isolate Pakistan.

Proxy wars were ignited in FATA, Baluchistan, and Karachi to politically destabilize Pakistan, weaken its economy and pin down a sizeable size of Army within the three conflict zones so as to create conducive conditions for launching India’s much trumped up Cold Start Doctrine and destroy Pakistan’s armed forces.

India’s national security adviser has admitted that Pakistan has been subjected to his defensive-offensive doctrine to dislocate it through covert war. India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh has vowed to break Pakistan into ten pieces. Modi has openly admitted that he has established direct links with anti-Pakistan elements in Baluchistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir. He confessed India’s central role in creating Bangladesh in 1971 and has often stated that pain will be caused to Pakistan. This is done by way of acts of terror against innocent civilians including school children, resorting to unprovoked firing across the LoC in Kashmir, and resorting to water terrorism. Pakistan has been repeatedly warned to lay its hands off Kashmir or else lose Baluchistan.

Pakistan has miraculously survived the onslaughts of the Troika and has stunned the world by controlling foreign supported terrorism after recapturing 19 administrative units from the TTP and its allied groups and up sticking all the bases in the northwest, breaking the back of separatist movement in Baluchistan and restoring order in lawless Karachi by dismantling the militant infrastructure of MQM and banned groups. Army, Rangers and Frontier Corps assisted by air force have achieved this miracle of re-establishing writ of the State in all parts of the country. Eighty-five of terrorism has been controlled.

Random terror attacks are now wholly planned and executed from Kunar and Nangarhar in Afghanistan under the patronage of RAW ad NDS and supervised by CIA.

Consequent to the new wave of terrorism last month, Operation Rad-e-Fasaad has been launched as a follow-up of Operation Zarb-e-Azb to net facilitators, handlers, and financiers of terrorists and to demolish sleeping cells in urban centres. The scope of this operation has been extended to all parts of the country, and all the three services are taking part in it to cleanse Pakistan from the presence of paid mercenaries and fifth columnists.

Implementation of 20 points of National Action Plan is being religiously expedited to eliminate the scourge of terrorism. Afghan refugees are being returned and management of western border radically improved to prevent infiltration of terrorists.

Terrorism can however not be rooted out unless root causes that heighten extremism are addressed, and the bases in Afghanistan, as well as the patrons stoking terrorism, remain operative.

Pakistan has overcome energy crisis, considerably improved its macroeconomics and its stature in the world. Operationalization of CPEC, hosting of ECO meeting and holding of PSL cricket finals in Lahore have broken the myth of isolation.

Pakistan has made its defense impregnable by raising the level of minimum nuclear deterrence to full spectrum deterrence. Robust conventional and nuclear capability together with stable political and economic conditions have thwarted India’s desire to attack Pakistan overtly.

India and its strategic allies have been stopped in their tracks and left with no choice but to contend with covert war supplemented with propaganda war and coercive tactics to give vent to their pent-up anger.

India which is the chief villain of peace is deeply perturbed and is shedding tears over its failures and loss of billions spent on proxies to detach FATA, Baluchistan, Karachi and AJK from Pakistan, or to disable Pakistan’s nuclear program. The rapid progress made by CPEC has made the deadly Troika more rancorous.

Finding that its nasty game plan has run into snags with little chance of recovery, and above all Afghanistan is slithering away because of a resurgence of Taliban and ostensible insouciance of Washington, India is once again making efforts to provoke Trump and ruffle his feathers, the way it had efficaciously prevailed upon George Bush and Obama. It is now working on a new theme of demonizing so-called Troika of China-Russia-Pakistan, which is so far not in existence and is an illusion. Subhash is among the propaganda brigade selling this illusory theme and is suggesting that the so-called Troika have hegemonic and military designs against Afghanistan.

CPEC is an economic venture aimed at promoting peace and friend socalled Troika have hegemony in the region as a whole. It promises goodwill, harmony, and mutual prosperity through connectivity. Both China and Pakistan shun war mongering, proxy wars and psy operations to disparage others. The duo is bereft of colonial or quasi-colonial designs against any country. Since its memo is altogether different from the imperialist agenda of Indo-US-Israel, it threatens to unravel the global ambitions of the trio.

Whereas Afghanistan has not accepted the British demarcated Durand Line as a border with Pakistan and has been supportive of Pakhtunistan stunt, Pakistan has no disputes with Afghanistan and has always treated it as a brotherly Muslim neighbor.

Repeated invitations to India and Afghanistan to join CPEC and reap its benefits have been turned down. Both are complacent that CPEC will be a non-starter without an inclusion of peaceful Afghanistan, ignoring the fact that they are getting isolated. Moreover, a new route from Kazakhstan via Wakhan corridor is in pipeline which will bypass Afghanistan.

While China and Pakistan have jointly embarked upon the journey of peace and friendship and are attracting many countries, Russia is still hesitant and has so far not formally joined the bandwagon of CPEC which has great potential and has grandiose plans to link South Asia with Central Asia, Middle East, and Africa and eventually Europe.

Russia’s hesitation is owing to the fear of losing defence and economic markets in India. However, seeing the bright scope of CPEC and motivated by its age-old quest for warm waters, Russia will sooner than later abandon India because of Indo-US military agreements and gravitate towards CPEC. Recent developments have given a loud message to India that Russia is tilting towards Pakistan.

One of the reasons of Russia’s tilt is worsening security situation in Afghanistan which has turned into a big mess and is beyond the capacity of USA and Ghani regime to sort it out. Growing presence of Daesh in Afghanistan has alarmed Moscow since the declared objective of this branch of Daesh is to re-establish ancient Khorasan, which comprised of parts of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. The runaway TTP leaders Fazlullah, Khalid Omar and several others have tagged their names with Khorasani and have made Kunar-Nuristan as the base camp for the making of Khorasan.

Russia knows that CIA, Mossad, and RAW are secretly aligned with Daesh and are killing two birds with one stone. The threat of Daesh has impelled Russia to evince greater interest in Afghan affairs and there are reports that it is supplying arms to the Taliban to enable them to tackle the new threat. Some are saying, that Moscow might intervene in Afghanistan the way it had intervened in Syria on the pretext of grappling with Daesh.

If so, it might trigger a proxy war between the two big powers which will prolong the agony of people of Afghanistan as well as of Pakistan because of the spillover effect. This is exactly what India wants so as to retain its nuisance value in Afghanistan.

Will Trump get enticed and blindly jump into the same inferno from which Obama had extracted 1, 30,000 troops in December 2014 with great difficulty, and lose whatever prestige the US is left with by reinforcing failure?

Or else, he will stick to his policy of curtailing defence expenditure and pull out the 12000 strong Resolute Support Group and stop paying $8.1 billion annually to the corrupt regime in Kabul and inept Afghan security forces?

Or he takes a saner decision by making USA part of Russia-China-Pakistan grouping to arrive at a political settlement in Afghanistan and also opt to join CPEC and improve the economy of USA?

Making a realistic appraisal of the ground situation, the last option seems more viable and profitable for the USA, while the second option is dicey, and the first option will spell disaster.

The writer is retired Brig, a war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, DG Measac Research Centre and Member Executive Council Ex-Servicemen Society. Takes part in TV programs. asifharoonraja@gmail.com       


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