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Archive for May, 2018

A journey back into Pakistan’s convoluted history by Brig(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

A journey back into Pakistan’s convoluted history

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

Pakistan’s years of infancy

The establishment of Pakistan, on August 14, 1947, was the result of the democratic struggle of Indian Muslims during the Pakistan movement under the leadership of All India Muslim League. After the creation of Pakistan, various domestic and international factors impeded the growth of democracy in Pakistan. After the untimely demise of Quaid-e-Azam in September 1948, it had to struggle hard for its existence and survival because of the innate animosity of India and that of Afghanistan, espousing greater Pakhtunistan, along with the former Soviet Union’s tilt toward India.

Heightened security concerns and political instability after the murder of Liaqat Ali Khan disallowed earlier leaders to achieve specific goals to make Pakistan politically stable, economically strong and secure. The tense geopolitical environment also impelled Pakistan to place all its eggs in the basket of the USA.  It was due to the leadership crisis, the East-West political wrangling and the frequent change of Prime Ministers which delayed constitution making for nine years and impelled President Iskandar Mirza to impose martial law in 1958.

Gen Ayub and Gen Yahya eras

The 1956 Constitution was abrogated and the National Assembly was dissolved. After deposing Mirza, Gen Ayub Khan assumed power and became the President through a referendum in 1960. He gave the new constitution in 1962 which introduced the presidential system, vesting all powers in the institution of President. The political parties made various types of alliances against Ayub Khan, who resigned in March 1969 and handed over his power to Gen Yahya Khan who imposed martial law and held first general elections in December 1970. Pakistan went through the traumatic experience of severance of its Eastern limb by India, helped by former USSR in 1971.

At his behest, DG FIA Asghar and Additional DG FIA Rahman Malik handed over Arab militants and Pak Jihadists involved in the Afghan war to the USA and also fed information about the Kahuta plant.

ZAB’s rule

After the separation of East Pakistan, the People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP) under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) formed its government. Charismatic and popular, ZAB galvanized the depressed nation. He terrorized the military through the Hamoodur Rahman Commission probe, terrified his political opponents through FSF and the Dalai torture camp. Pakistan then carried the baggage of ruinous nationalization scheme of ZAB. To get rid of him, an alliance of political and religious parties known as the PNA movement, espousing Nizam-e-Mustafa, sprouted in April 1977.

Gen Zia ul Haq’s rule

When the two sides couldn’t arrive at a political solution to break the logjam, the Army, under Gen Ziaul Haq, seized power in July 1977 and imposed martial law in Pakistan. Zia had to face the 10-year Afghan war, the RAW-KGB-KHAD-AlZulfiqar sabotage, series of political disturbances including the MRD movements in 1981 and 1983, but he remained firmly in his saddle and kept Islamizing the society till his death in a mysterious air crash.

In regard to this, In reaction to the hanging of their father on April 4, 1979, after the verdict of the Supreme Court, Al-Zulfiqar –  a militant wing of the PPP, led by the two sons of ZAB – came into being and it was assisted by Syria, Libya, Russia, Afghanistan, and India to undertake sabotage and subversion in Pakistan. The PPP stalwart Mustafa Khar, during his exile in London, was in contact with RAW to smuggle arms into Pakistan and when the Soviet forces occupied Afghanistan in December 1979, he stated that if Soviet tanks roll into Pakistan he will garland them and come riding on them.

Although the ten-year Afghan war helped Gen Zia in legitimizing his regime and prolonging his rule to 11 years, the Afghan war ended on a mix of happy and unhappy notes for Pakistan. It enabled Gen Zia to complete its nuclear program and carry out a cold test; victory in Afghanistan enhanced his and Pakistan’s prestige substantially; it enthused the entire Muslim world; it drew in over $ 3.5 billion US assistance, which helped in upping GDP to 8% and in inducting F-16s.

After the creation of Pakistan, various domestic and international factors impeded the growth of democracy in Pakistan.

On the negative side, Pakistan was callously ditched by the USA and put under harsh sanctions. Pakistan was burdened with 5 million Afghan refugees and the fallout effects brought in Jihadism, Kalashnikov and drug cultures. Abandoned Afghanistan became more explosive because of infighting among Mujahideen groups for power with negative consequences for Pakistan.

Benazir Bhutto (BB), during her period of exile in London, had made friends in the UK and the US higher circles. CIA and MI-6 cultivated her and once she fell in line and agreed to tow their line if brought to power, the pressure was mounted on Gen Zia and PM Junejo to let her return to Pakistan and start her political career. She was welcomed by a mammoth crowd at Lahore in April 1986. Her growing popularity didn’t upset the military as long as Gen Zia held the reins of power. But the situation took a dramatic turn after his death in a plane crash on August 7, 1988, which was masterminded by CIA.

There was a power vacuum since the country was without a president and PM. The military vacuum was quickly filled up by Vice Army Chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, and Chairman Senate Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) took over as Acting President, but in order to fill the political vacuum, it was decided to hold elections in October that year.

Benazir Bhutto’s first stint in power

Alarmed by the rising popularity of BB owing to success of her narrative that her father had been judicially murdered by the military dictator, which had generated a huge sympathy wave in Punjab and Sindh, the civil and military establishment decided to form a countervailing force in the form of IJI in 1988 to prevent PPP from gaining two-thirds majority and usher in controlled democracy. The ISI, under late Lt Gen Hamid Gul, played a key role in this regard.

The list helped India in crushing the movement which was well poised to get linked with the liberation movement in Kashmir.

The main reason for taking this unpalatable act was that it had been ascertained that BB had been fed with an agenda to roll back the nuclear program, roll back the victory of Afghan Mujahideen, and keep Kashmir issue on a back burner and to befriend India. Despite the IJI, PPP managed to win a simple majority but found it difficult to form the federal govt. BB was allowed to take the reins of power under the conditions that GIK will be allowed to contest the presidential election, Lt Gen Sahibzada Yaqub will continue as Foreign Minister, there will be no change in Afghan and Kashmir policies, and that the military will control the nuclear program.

After assuming power as the first woman PM of a Muslim country, BB appointed a retired general as DG ISI, closed the Afghan and Kashmir desks in ISI and curtailed funding to the nuclear program. She fraternized with her Oxford friend Rajiv Gandhi and provided a list of Sikh leaders involved in the Khalistan movement to India in 1989. The list helped India in crushing the movement which was well poised to get linked with the liberation movement in Kashmir. To appease the Army, she awarded democracy medals to all ranks of the army and also initiated guided missile program. Zardari dented her popularity after he earned the nickname of Mr. 10% due to his craze for corruption. Mounting complaints of corruption, inefficiency and security concerns impelled GIK to apply the draconian Article 58 (2-B) and sack the govt in August 1990.

Political engineering in 1990

In order to make sure that the PPP doesn’t regain power in next elections, GIK directed COAS Gen Mirza and DG ISI Lt Gen Asad Durrani to arrange money and buy the loyalties of the politicians. The ISI arranged Rs 140 million through Mehran Bank manager Habib Yunis, who obtained a loan from Habib Bank. The amount was distributed among several politicians. Political engineering enabled IJI, under Nawaz Sharif, (NS) to win the elections and form a govt. NS fell from the grace of the President and he was booted out in April 1993. He was restored by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah, but he and the President had to abdicate power once Gen Wahid Kakar umpired the match between the two titans.

PPP second tenure

The PPP once again captured power in the next elections in 1994 but could survive only till 1996. This time her own party loyalist and her handpicked President Laghari dismissed her since Zardari’s corruption rating had upped to 20% along with the surfacing of mega scandals such as the Surrey Palace, the diamond necklace, the Swiss bank accounts, and several other scandals. At his behest, DG FIA Asghar and Additional DG FIA Rahman Malik handed over Arab militants and Pak Jihadists involved in the Afghan war to the USA and also fed information about the Kahuta plant.

There was a total intelligence vacuum in Karachi, Baluchistan, FATA and settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), allowing full liberty of action to proscribed groups to strike targets of choice.

In 1996, Lt Gen Asad Durrani who had been appointed an ambassador in Germany by the PPP govt, handed over a signed affidavit to Rahman Malik acknowledging that he had distributed money to politicians to ensure the defeat of the PPP. The then Interior Minister retired Maj Gen Naseerullah Babar stated on the floor of the parliament that money had been doled out to politicians in 1990.

Based on this revelation, late Air Marshal Asghar Khan heading Tehrik Istiqlal of which Imran Khan was the member, informed Chief Justice Nasim about pre-poll rigging and distribution of money to politicians to manipulate election results in 1990. The apex court, however, didn’t pursue the case and put it in a cold storage until it was reactivated by Chief Justice Iftikhar in October 2012. He ruled that the 1990 elections were rigged and directed FIA to proceed against the two generals involved in the racket. GIK by then was no more in the world.

Gen Mirza and Gen Asad went into appeals against the court’s decision and the case were once again frozen. The 22-year old case was re-energized by the incumbent Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on May 4, 2018, in spite of the fact that the plaintiff Asghar Khan had passed away in January 2018. Notices were sent to the accused to restart the proceedings. On May 7, Saqib and other two judges, after reviewing their petitions against October 2012 judgment, rejected them. The govt has been asked to inform the court how to proceed against the accused.

Events from 1996 – 2018

In the intervening period between 1996 and 2018, major changes took place on the political front. Starting with the victory of PML-N in February 1997 elections with a heavy mandate, Ehtesab Commission was also opened and corruption cases against the royal couple and others were initiated. In May 1988, Pakistan became nuclear. NS rightly took the credit for it along with for the first ever Islamabad-Lahore Highway and for terminating floor crossing by passing 13th Amendment. However, by making Pakistan a nuclear power, he, as well as Pakistan became the eye of the storm. He was demonized by his opponents, captioning him as Ameerul Momineen.

NS fell from the grace of the President and he was booted out in April 1993. He was restored by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah, but he and the President had to abdicate power once Gen Wahid Kakar umpired the match between the two titans.

The Kargil route was taken by his own appointee Gen Musharraf to dethrone his two-thirds majority govt on October 12, 1999. NS was awarded life sentence but was rescued by the Saudi King Saud and he and his family were deported and banished from politics for the next 10 years. It was during his period of exile in which he and his sons purchased Azizya steel mills and Gulf steel mills in Saudi Arabia/Dubai and Avenfield apartments in London.

Democratic era (1988 – 1999)

The chaotic ten-year democratic era nosedived the economy, increased debt burden, made Pakistan dependent upon foreign financial institutions, heightened sectarianism, ethnicity and religious extremism and decomposed moral values of the society. PPP and PML-N ruled two times each but only for shortened tenures ranging from 20 months to 2 ½ years.

Gen Musharraf’s nine-year rule

The Supreme Court legitimized Musharraf’s take over and gave him 3 years to amend the constitution and then hold elections. His 7-point agenda had germs of success and the potential to rid Pakistan of its chronic diseases, but it was never implemented. So was the NAB, which was created for across the board accountability.

9/11 changed the whole dynamics of global politics. New laws were framed by the US and its strategic partners to undermine Islam and neo-colonize the Muslim world through the Muslim specific war on terror. Pakistan was among the listed target countries but it was made an ally and a tactical partner to achieve short-term objectives and subsequently was to be destabilized and denuclearized and Balkanized through the covert war.

NS rightly took the credit for it along with for the first ever Islamabad-Lahore Highway and for terminating floor crossing by passing 13th Amendment.

Gen Musharraf, in his quest for legitimacy and to gain the goodwill of the USA, readily accepted all the seven demands of Washington for which Pakistan had to pay a very heavy price and is still paying. Having roped in Pakistan to act as a frontline state to fight the war on terror, the insurgency was ignited by CIA and FBI in FATA and interior Baluchistan and subsequently the flames of terrorism were gradually spread to all parts of Pakistan.

While Pak security forces got engaged in fighting, the foreign-funded and equipped terrorists – India under a pre-planned program blamed Pakistan for all the acts of terror in India from 2001 to 2008, starting with an engineered attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 to culminating in Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008. Likewise, Afghan President Karzai blamed Pakistan for all the attacks in Afghanistan from 2004 onward. The purpose was to build a narrative that the Pak Army and ISI were rogue outfits and Pakistan an abettor of terrorism while India, Afghanistan, and ISAF were victims of terrorism.

Musharraf committed the same mistake of his military predecessors by inviting the discarded and corrupt politicians to form a King’s Party in 2002 and leaning upon the shady bureaucrats and foreign imported Finance Minister cum PM Shaukat Aziz. Relief given by consumerism oriented economy proved short-lived. None realized that a country ridden with corruption, terrorism, moral decay and devoid of genuine leadership and true democracy can never progress.

2007, a precarious year

2007 proved to be a heavy year for Musharraf. The downslide in law and order, urban terrorism, economy, energy, and extremism began after the lawyer’s movement in March 2007. Lawyers, civil society, politicians and religious forces ganged up against Musharraf. The year saw the May 12, 2007 carnage in Karachi, Lal Masjid episode, birth of Punjabi Taliban, creation of TTP, sudden upsurge in urban terrorism, signing of NRO which dry cleaned PPP-MQM leaders and imposition of emergency. Civil-military relations soured and Musharraf became the most hated man while Army’s image dipped. It became difficult for officers and men to go to the market or travel in uniform, or display star plate/flag on an official vehicle.

The worst was when the judiciary unseated NS in July 2017, deprived him of his seat of party head and disqualified him from politics for life on Iqama and not in thePanama case.

NRO allowed Musharraf to rule for the next five years in uniform. Thanks to the patronage of Musharraf, MQM gained full control over Karachi-Hyderabad and expanded its influence in other urban centers in Sindh. The insurgency in Baluchistan morphed into a separatist movement. There was a total intelligence vacuum in Karachi, Baluchistan, FATA and settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), allowing full liberty of action to proscribed groups to strike targets of choice. The murderous attack took place on BB on October 17 in Karachi and on December 27, she was murdered in Pindi. There was mayhem in Sindh; over Rs 4 billion worth property was destroyed by the hooligans and Pakistan ‘Na Khapey’ slogan was chanted by angry Jayalas in Sindh.

PPP returns to power

Zardari’s slogan of ‘Pakistan Khapey’ dimmed the volatility in Sindh, enabling him to hijack his party with ease and take part in elections after getting himself absolved of all charges. The fragility of the state enabled the USA to install a dream team after March 2008 elections, making Zardari the all-powerful president. The PML-N govt in Punjab was the only eyesore. The coalition govt of PPP-MQM-ANP zealously pursued the US agenda to civilianize ISI, emasculate the Army, disable the nuclear program and make Pakistan wholly dependent.

Rahman Malik and NSA Mahmud Durrani docilely accepted the Indian claim that Pakistan soil was used for launching non-state actors into Mumbai in November 2008. Former admitted that the sole surviving accused Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani and Anchor Hamid Mir traced his village in Faridpur. Although NRO was nullified by the Chief Justice in 2009, Zardari protected himself behind immunity shield and used his authority to bailout Rahman Malik and to let Hussain Haqqani (HH) fly out in 2012.

The Army couldn’t dismantle terrorism even after launching big operations in Swat, Shangla, Malakand, Dir, Buner, and six tribal agencies in FATA from 2009 to 2011. The reason was obvious; the proscribed militant groups had the full support of foreign agencies, but Pakistan danced to the tunes of the USA. Gen Kayani put a break on ‘Do More’ mantra by refusing to enter North Waziristan despite extreme pressure. Pakistan was punished for its defiance by way of the raid on Abbottabad on May 2 and the Salala attack on November 26, 2011.

The purpose was to build a narrative that the Pak Army and ISI were rogue outfits and Pakistan an abettor of terrorism while India, Afghanistan, and ISAF were victims of terrorism.   

The arrest of Raymond Davis in January that year followed by these two incidents, Memogate scandal, and monitoring of HH, Pak ambassador in Washington, opened the eyes of the security establishment. They realized how deeply the CIA and Blackwater had established their network in Pakistan. Over 8000 CIA contractors in different guises had been secretly settled in Pakistan between 2008 and 2011, and 400 houses rented in Islamabad, besides expanding the US Embassy in Islamabad beyond all proportions. The Interior Minister Rahman Malik assisted HH, and several MNAs/MPAs in KP were in touch with CIA.

What could the military do when all its so-called allies were playing a double game in the garb of friends and our own government was in cahoots with the enemies of Pakistan, wanting to enervate the military?

How could terrorism be defeated when the regime was aligned with the USA which had marked Pakistan as a target and was using terrorism as a tool to disable the Pak nuclear program? How could terrorism be reined in when the judges had no heart to hang terrorists and target killers and get hold of that financing terrorism? How could corruption be curbed when the ones indulging in loot and plunder could not be convicted? Chief Justice Iftikhar’s suo motos were aimed at self-projection only.

The dangerous plan to denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan was scuttled by the Army and ISI, but the vultures clawed away the meat and reduced Pakistan into a carcass in their 5-year inglorious rule.

India has so far not furnished any proof to substantiate its allegations, but NS cockeyed statement given in angst which is being hyped by Indian media will bolster Indo-US anti-Pakistan narrative.

PML-N captures power

When PML-N took over power in June 2013, it had inherited an empty national kitty, heavy debt burden, crippled state corporations, a depressed economy teetering at the edge of collapse, the worst energy crisis and a sunk image of the country. Law, order and the security situation was dismal and morality of the society had degenerated. In short, everything was topsy-turvy. It was an uphill task for the new govt to put everything back on the rails. NS wore the crown studded with thorns.

To the utter surprise of his critics, things started to improve dramatically within one year which alarmed his political opponents. Tangible results were achieved in the fields of economy, terrorism, law, and order, energy crisis and development due to better governance, financial management and launching intelligence-based targeted operations in Karachi, Baluchistan and North Waziristan.

Nawaz Sharif’s downhill journey

The PML-N’s development agenda made visible progress despite series of impediments created by PTI from June 2014 onward through politics of agitation and non-cooperation. The worst was when the judiciary unseated NS in July 2017, deprived him of his seat of party head and disqualified him from politics for life on Iqama and not in the Panama case. Law Minister Zahid Hamid was forced to resign, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar implicated in a corruption case sought refuge abroad, while the Foreign Minister was disqualified.

Several leading lights of the ruling regime have been charge sheeted on account of contempt of court, while NAB has become super active in Punjab. The Railway Minister is under the axe, while the Interior Minister was shot and injured but narrowly survived. An orchestrated campaign was launched to defame NS and his family.

Over 8000 CIA contractors in different guises had been secretly settled in Pakistan between 2008 and 2011, and 400 houses rented in Islamabad, besides expanding the US Embassy in Islamabad beyond all proportions.

It looks as if a willful effort is underway to fragment the ruling party and pave the way for others to gain power in next elections. The political coup in Baluchistan and Senate elections have reinforced this impression.

For the judiciary, PTI, PPP and segment of media allegedly backed by the establishment, NS is the target. Sufficient progress has been made in maligning NS and his family in a corruption case and he has been unseated from two seats of power and disqualified to hold any public office for life. Decisions on three references filed against him and his family and his conviction are around the corner. As a consequence, PML-N which till April had stayed intact has begun to crack and over two dozen MNAs and MPAs have deserted the party.

NS was expected to throw in his towel after his unseating on July 28, 2017, but despite the hard blows he and his party leaders have suffered, he is still in a defiant mood. Since August 2 last year, he is on the offensive trying to build a narrative of innocence to garner the sympathy of the people. He is repeatedly asking as to why he was ousted and inciting his voters to help him in restoring the sanctity of vote that was frequently dishonoured.

Encouraged by the response, he is urging the people to wait for his call and then ask his detractors as to why he was wronged. He is exhorting the people to return his party to power with a heavy majority so that the constitution could be suitably amended to clips the wings of the overactive judiciary. After targeting the judiciary he is now openly blaming the establishment and tags it as ‘celestial beings’.

It is this fear of amending the constitution that had in all probability impelled the unseen powers to carry out a political coup in Baluchistan last January and then resort to horse trading in Senate elections to disallow the incumbent govt under Abbasi to perform the surgery. This apprehension together with reported linkage of NS with India, as was exposed in the Dawn leaks scandal, has brought the judiciary and establishment together. A hung Parliament comprising of several parties is probably what is desired. It is to this end that BAP and JSNM have come into being. PTI is treated as a Ladla while sins of PPP are being handled softly. PTI is fully supporting the judiciary and NAB and pressing them to speed up completion of trials against NS.

Taking advantage of the hullabaloo, the US managed to whisk away its blacklisted Defence Attaché Col Joseph involved in killing a Pakistani under the pretext of diplomatic immunity. 

What was not taken into account was NS’s counter-offensive and his narrative of ‘Mujhey Kyun Nikala’, which initially made him a laughing stock but gradually generated a sympathy wave in Punjab. In spite of the hurdles, injuries incurred and smear campaign, PML-N remains a popular entity. In case, Shahbaz Sharif remains in his chair, in a fair contest PML-N stands a good chance to again win in next elections even if NS is jailed.

Nawaz Sharif’s desperation

Pushed against the wall and realizing that time for his landing in jail has drawn near, it has made NS fidgety and desperate. After consistently naming the establishment as ‘celestial beings’, in desperation he has fallen to cheap tactics to degrade the military. On May 3, he said he had many secrets tucked away in his heart, and that when it becomes too unbearable for him to hold them, he will begin revealing them one by one.

According to Dawn newspaper dated May 12, in his interview with Cyril Almeida at Multan, NS stated: ‘Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors; should we allow them to cross the border and kill over 150 people in Mumbai. He questioned, “Should we allow them?” He asked as to why no action has been taken against them. These were calculated salvos against the military and the judiciary.

Mumbai attacks were a false flag operation jointly enacted by RAW-Mossad-CIA to get the Pak Army and ISI declared as rogue entities. This was admitted by Indian Home Ministry officials in 2012 and recently by a Jewish German journalist Elias Davidsson. He has given out full details of the gory drama in his book ‘The Betrayal of India’, concluding that the whole drama was cooked up and enacted with specific objectives to undermine Pakistan. India has so far not furnished any proof to substantiate its allegations, but NS cockeyed statement given in angst which is being hyped by Indian media will bolster Indo-US anti-Pakistan narrative. What is most worrying is the possibility of NS receiving a pat from enemies of Pakistan to issue this statement.

There is an uproar in Pakistan and NS who was already under a heavy fire of his opponents and haters is being fiercely censured. They eye him as a traitor promoting the sinister Indo-US agenda to gain the sympathy of the international establishment. Many are demanding his trial under Article 6.

He is exhorting the people to return his party to power with a heavy majority so that the constitution could be suitably amended to clips the wings of the overactive judiciary.

NSC meeting – May 14

The Dawn story was so damaging for Pakistan that an NSC meeting presided over by PM Abbasi was held on May 14 at the request of the Army. Before the meeting, Abbasi held a meeting with NS and the latter informed him that his interview had been distorted and he had never said that Pakistan had sent non-state actors to India. As regards his mention of non-state actors and need for their control, NS told Abbasi that this had frequently been cited by Musharraf, Rahman Malik, Mahmud Durrani and lot many journalists and academicians and there was nothing new he had said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The press release issued after the NSC meeting termed the interview published in Dawn malicious, misleading and incorrect. The participants unanimously rejected the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions. It was recalled that it was not Pakistan but India that had delayed the finalization of the case.

Abbasi held his own press briefing a little after the NSC meeting in which he tried to further tone down the negative effects of NS’s blooper in the light of his clarifications and stated that NS assertions were distorted and hyped by Indian media. NS in his public meeting in Buner in the afternoon didn’t express any regrets and stated that a national commission should be formed which should ascertain as to who all acted against national security, carry out trial and those found guilty should be publicly hanged.

Taking advantage of the hullabaloo, the US managed to whisk away its blacklisted Defence Attaché Col Joseph involved in killing a Pakistani under the pretext of diplomatic immunity.

 It seems NS has fatally shot himself in the foot at the wrong time when he was gaining an upper edge over chairman NAB on account of latter’s issuance of unverified press release insinuating NS for transferring $4.9 billion to India.

Blunder will prove costly for Nawaz

Whatever be the case, no amount of explanations will absolve NS of this blunder since his interview can have grave repercussions for Pakistan. He cannot justify his interview to Almeida, ill-reputed for distortions. It seems NS has fatally shot himself in the foot at the wrong time when he was gaining an upper edge over chairman NAB on account of latter’s issuance of unverified press release insinuating NS for transferring $4.9 billion to India. This ill-timed stupidity will prove costly for him. His future plans of energizing his voters to create law and order situation in Punjab may be jeopardized. It may also make a negative impact on PML-N’s performance in elections. This insanity has brightened the chances of PTI, which has already gathered the support of 70 electives in Punjab.

Future prospects

In case the PML-N loses the race in a peacefully conducted elections without political engineering in July, it will still retain Punjab. The next federal govt will possibly be a mix of several parties which will find it exceedingly difficult to pass bills for carrying out critical reforms. It will inherit a relatively healthy Pakistan and not a sick Pakistan as it was in 2013. Our GDP stands at 5.8 % and is likely to increase to 6%. Economic indicators are still in positive. CPEC by itself is an economic booster which has already sucked in $ 62 billion investment and much more is to come. Once CPEC becomes operational in next one year or so, with over 7000 cargo vehicles plying every month, and new investors flocking in, bags of money will pour in. Hence the prospects for the next set of legislators are much brighter.

This factor is watering the mouths of power seekers, particularly PPP, and hence their desperation to seize power. They want to be in control of the inflowing investments, taxpayer money and remittances from abroad so that they can undertake future development and social projects as well as personal enrichment. In the next five years, the ones sitting in corridors of power will multiply their fortunes. In their mad lust to amass maximum wealth, they will again lose sight of the welfare of masses for which they were elected. Service to people to better their lives will, as usual, be relegated to lowest priority and funds wasted on maintaining regal lifestyle, pomp and show and foreign visits. Tall promises will once again remain unaccomplished and gullible people would again wait for the arrival of a messiah.

The writer is a defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, vice chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 

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WE MOURN A PASSING OF Squadron Leader Abdul Ali Shaukat (Retd) إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ :Father of Our Commentator Sajjad Shaukat

Image result for PaKISTAN FLAG HALF STAFF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Obituary Note

About the Father of Sajjad Shaukat

   By Sajjad Shaukat

My father Squadron Leader Abdul Ali Shaukat (Retd)  إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْه&a إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ. who was 95 years old, passed away on Wednesday (On May 16, 2018). He served in the education branch of the Pakistan Air Force as a psychologist at the Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB) for more than 30 years. ISSB selects the candidates for the commissioned officers of Army, Air Force and Navy. My father was the only person who was granted 10 years extension in the service due to his excellent performance. He was sent to Saudi Arabia on deputation, where he served as Education Officer and Psychologist in the Royal Saudi Air Force for three years.

He was also a renowned poet of Pakistan. On the request of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, he translated her famous book, “Daughter of the East” in Urdu and former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s book, “If I Am Assassinated” in Urdu”. Both the books were written in the English language. Besides, he also translated Ms. Benazir Bhutto’s poem, “The Story of Benazir-From Marvi of Malir and Shah Abdul Latif” in Urdu poetry and she gave him a certificate of performance, issued with her signature.

It was because of my father’s guidance and teaching that I became a writer and an author.

Email: sajjad_logic_pak@hotmail.com

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Erdogan calls on Muslim countries to unite and confront Israel by Faisal Edroos, Al -Jazeera

Erdogan calls on Muslim countries to unite and confront Israel

Turkish president tells OIC leaders that Israel must be held accountable for the killing of Palestinians in Gaza Strip.

by Faisal Edroos
 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslim leaders to unite and confront Israel, days after scores of Palestinians were killed by Israeli snipers as they marked 70 years of Israeli occupation.

Speaking at an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday, Erdogan said Israel should be held accountable over the killings which drew widespread international condemnation and triggered a wave of protests from Asia, through the Middle East, to North Africa.

“To take action for Palestinians massacred by Israeli bandits is to show the whole world that humanity is not dead,” Erdogan told the group of Muslim leaders gathered in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.

The Turkish president described Israel’s killing of Palestinians as “thuggery, atrocity and state terror,” and said the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would inevitably haunt it.

‘US part of the problem

On Monday, just as the US went ahead with the controversial relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem, 62 Palestinians, including five children, were killed and more than 2,700 wounded as the Israeli army fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters who had assembled hundreds of metres from a 1949 armistice line between Gaza and Israel.

The protesters in the besieged enclave had gathered to commemorate Nakba Day – an event in 1948 when Zionist paramilitaries ethnically cleansed Palestinian cities and towns. About 750,000 people were forcibly expelled from historical Palestine.

WATCH: Turkey plays a major role in US Jerusalem move

The Istanbul summit was attended by several heads of state, but Saudi Arabia, the host of the 57-member OIC, sent only a senior foreign ministry official. Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE also deployed lower level ministers.

Speaking at the conference, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said the Palestinian cause had “become a symbol for oppressed peoples everywhere” and condemned Israel for “brutal massacre” of peaceful demonstrators.

“Who among us does not know the declared siege forced on Gaza Strip and collective punishment against its population?” the emir said.

“The Gaza Strip has been transformed into a large concentration camp for millions of people who are deprived of their most basic rights to travel, education, work and medical treatment.

“When their sons take arms they are called terrorists, and when they stage peaceful demonstrations they are called extremists, and are shot dead with live ammunition.”

For his part, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said the US had become “part of the problem and not the solution” and called the relocation of the embassy “an act of aggression against the Islamic nation, against Muslims and Christians”.

Jordanian King Abdullah II urged for the adoption of urgent measures to back “the resistance of Palestinians”, while Iranian President Hasan Rouhani called for economic and political measures against the US and Israel.

Late on Friday, the OIC issued a final communique calling on the United Nations to form an international investigation into the killings in Gaza; the creation of an international protection force for Palestinians, and for the OIC to place economic restrictions on any countries, companies or individuals who recognise Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.

Thousands protest in solidarity with Palestine

Earlier in the day, Erdogan told a raucous crowd of more than 10,000 people in Istanbul’s Yenikapi fairground that the Muslim world had to unite and “pull themselves back together”.

“Muslims are way too busy fighting and disagreeing with themselves, and shy away when confronted by their enemies,” he told the audience.

“Since 1947, Israel has been free to do what it likes in this region. They do whatever they feel like. But this reality can be undone … if we unite.” 

Earlier this week, Turkey recalled its envoys to Israel and the US following the killings of the Palestinians and the relocation of Washington’s embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

Tolgar Memis, a German-Turk, said he came to the rally to support Erdogan’s recent remarks and policies against Israel.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years, all the injustice, and what happened earlier this week – it’s simply unacceptable.

“Erdogan has made great strides in defending the Palestinians, something he is obligated to do, and hopefully other leaders will follow his cue.”

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

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The London Post – Nawaz Sharif is Lying about ‘Mumbai Terrorist Attacks’ by Dr Shahid Qureshi

The London Post – Nawaz Sharif is Lying about ‘Mumbai Terrorist Attacks’

 by Dr Shahid Qureshi  

 

Nawaz Sharif’s recent comments about ‘Mumbai Attacks’ are based on lies and his delusional imagination as well as treacherous behaviour. I wrote on 9th August 2016, that Nawaz Sharif is a Raw Asset and damaging Pakistan from day one. The editor of Nawa-e-Waqat late Majid Nizami on the record called Nawaz Sharif a ‘bigger security risk’.

 Nawaz Sharif is a convicted and declared ‘Liar and Dishonest’ person by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. I don’t think his evidence or statement is acceptable in any court of law. The sad reality is that security establishment including army allowed him to continue damaging Pakistan. If General Raheel Sharif let the ‘Dawn Leaks’ have its logical end and culprits brought to justice, we would not be having this discussion today.

General Qamar Bajwa current army chief is also been very soft on Nawaz Sharif for reasons unknown to me and rest of Pakistan. To deal with crooks and mafias like Sharifs and Zardari’s Pakistan need a General with balls, not the ‘crystal ball’. The lower ranks officers who put their lives at risk on the front line in all civil or military services are demoralised when they see compromises without any logical explanations.

As far as Pakistan’s national intelligence agency ISI is concerned they must have reported all his (Nawaz Sharif’s) activities as they did in 1978 when he was actually hooked by RAW, the Indian Intelligence Agency.

A former ISI officer Commodore Tariq Majeed: wrote in his book “Air Massacre over Bahawalpur” page 341: “Nawaz Sharif’s Indian Connection: India’s RAW hosted Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Delhi in 1978 and cultivated him in some ways, but he had been picked up and programmed by RAW’s masters, CIA and Mossad, to serve, like Ms Bhutto, the Zionist interests. What gives special significance and authenticity to this disclosure is that its author was a member of the key staff in ISI when Nawaz was being hooked by RAW”.

That means the people on the job has done their ‘work’ and now senior decision-makers need to show some courage and bravery as well as punish the culprits by law of the land and in exceptional circumstance use exceptional mean to counter these elements.

Crimes of Sharifs are not simple and straightforward but also don’t need a NASA scientist to solve them. A simple junior rank SHO of Police is enough to deal with them and trust me they will talk like a parrot’. After all they are criminals from the bones.

This is not like a spy story of James bond 007 stealing a secret of the enemy. What Nawaz Sharif and others in his team are doing is much more sophisticated and subtle. In modern world agents like Nawaz Sharif serve their masters in a very subtle way for example:

“it was Nawaz Sharif who confirmed the identity of only surviving alleged terrorist of Mumbai Attacks which was quoted all over the world”.

On the other hand, former IG Police of Maharashtra said in his speech that: “Ajmal Kassab was in custody of the Indian Agency at the time of Mumbai Attacks. He is seeking reinvestigations of Mumbai Attacks and fighting the case in the Indian High Court and case, hearing is due in October 2016. I have spoken to him and he has confirmed to me that a trial hearing is due in October 2016 this year”.

To solve and understand Mumbai Terrorist Attacks one must know about the team of Indian army officers involved in the attacks on Samjohta Express, a train running between India and Pakistan

On 18th February 2018, it was the 11th anniversary of the tragic train bombing incident (Samjohta Express train running between India and Pakistan) by the serving Indian army officer Colonel Prohit and others. The firebombing killed 62 people including 42 Pakistani citizens. Nawaz Sharif regime did not raise this matter with India, in media and at international forums. Why not?

The Indian Hindu fundamentalist group run by the active Indian army officers placed 2 suitcases in the train and killed innocent passengers returning to Pakistan after meeting their relatives in India. Two bombs exploded at 23.52 as soon as the train left the ‘Dawana’ train station in Panipat district of Haryana. As a result, passengers, mostly Muslim Pakistanis were burnt alive in a caged train.

As usual, the Indian government blamed Pakistan for this terrorist attack but a brave Indian police officer, Hamant Karkara surprised the world by exposing the Hindu fundamentalist terrorist network and arrested Indian Army serving Colonel Prohit, Major Padia and Hindu cleric Anand Swami. They subsequently confessed in the court and Swami Aseemanand told the court that he staged this terrorist attack with the full support of Indian Army.

A traitor like Nawaz Sharif has undermined Pakistan from all sides be it economy, foreign affairs, defence or international image.  For example:

  1. Like an agent under oath, Nawaz Sharif did not utter a word about ‘occupied Kashmir’ and Indian army’s atrocities.
  2. He continuously damaged the armed forces of Pakistan with full force.
  3. He protected Indian interests all along. If a British prime minister were doing this kind of treachery, I can assure you he would be dumped in the bottom of River Thames’.
  4. He did not appoint a full-time Foreign Minister for four years who could deal with the matters at international level.
  5. Nawaz Sharif did not appoint a full-time Defence Minister.
  6. Nawaz Sharif’s finance minister Ishaq Dar a money launderer and a liar has business interests with the Indians in Dubai. He is the main defender of Indian terrorist group MQM-A.
  7. His closest ally Mahmood Khan Achakzai declared KPK province as part of Afghanistan in an interview with Afghan newspaper but Nawaz Sharif did not say anything to him or suspend his membership or called for an explanation.
  8. He has been supporting Indians on Kashmir issue and never raised this pressing matter at any international forum where Indian Prime Minister Modi was present from Russia to France to New York.
  9. Nawaz Sharif played well on the Indian lines and had all these messengers from singer Adnan Sami Khan to actress Sharmila Tagore visiting his estate in Raiwind.
  10. Nawaz Sharif did not utter a word. He is totally numbed since the arrest of active RAW agent Kulbushan Yadav aka (Kulbhushan Naqvi) codenamed ‘Monkey’.  Some analysists also believe that sudden eruption of movement in Kashmir is also linked with supporting Nawaz Sharif strategy to put pressure on Pakistan Army.

His businesses in India and illegal wealth abroad is a matter of security risk be in Britain or elsewhere. His arms can be twisted at any time and his wealth could be confiscated at any time as what is known in British law ‘Proceeds of Crimes’.  He has no receipts of his wealth and Panama leaks documents are enough to twist his both arms and wring his neck.

People of Pakistan are still in shock for some time with the actions of Nawaz Sharif on the issue of 18th Amendment when he seemingly forced to support pro-Indian agenda parties like ANP/MQM and PPP. His links with Indians are not as simple and transparent as it looks. He is apparently a fan of NDTV and Bombay Palace Restaurant in London. Nawaz Sharif asked me at an APC in London in 2006 ‘Have you seen NDTV reporter’, I replied No Mian sahib and can I help you at all’. His love for Indians is never-ending.

Image result for Nawaz Sharif Loves India

Photo Credit

 

 

Police officer Hemant Karkare was killed during the operation against the Mumbai terrorist attacks on 26 November 2008. Three governments have been changed since and all the culprits of this terrorist attack are free now. Swami Aseemanand is granted bail.

Now the question is for the security establishment in Pakistan how to deal with this issue as all Pakistani political governments including the current one has failed to take this matter at international forums. It is like scoring your own goal. This matter should have been at the UNSC like the Lockerbie bombing of the PanAm flight and case should have at a neutral place.

A senior retired officer said to me: “do you think Nawaz regime sympathisers are not in the elite institutions”. I said: I don’t know you tell me. As for Nawaz Sharif’s ‘buying and selling’ of individuals with state funds is concerned it is not new.  During the previous tenures, his wife and first lady were reported saying: ‘take a general’s wife for shopping and that is enough to tame the husband’.

Due to change of strategy now they make close relatives father, son or brother as business partners as investment keeping in view as one day son or brother will become the top man. To hell with the people.

All in all, Nawaz Sharif is the most disgraced and corrupt third-time prime minister of Pakistan. He has damaged Pakistan more than all the terrorist groups and enemy forces. He is an ally of Yadav and Modi in Pakistan.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior British analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as an analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Azerbaijan 2018 Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. At Government College Lahore he wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ and studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University. He is a visiting Professor at Hebe University in China.)

Reference

 
 

Read more: Mumbai Bombing Trial: David Hedley & Negligence of Zardari Regime

http://thelondonpost.net/mumbai-bombing-trial-david-hedley-negligence-of-zardari-regime/

Read More: Mumbai Bombings: Who is stopping Karkare Murder Investigations?

http://thelondonpost.net/mumbai-bombings-who-is-stopping-karkare-murder-investigations/

 

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Why Pakistan-US Ties Reached Point of No Return? By Sajjad Shaukat

Why Pakistan-US Ties Reached Point of No Return?

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

In the recent years, unbridgeable trust deficit existed between Pakistan and the United States because of America’s double game with Islamabad. But, President Donald Trump’s flawed strategy in South Asia, based upon anti-Pakistan moves, has taken the Pakistan-US ties to point of no return.

 

It is notable that during the heightened days of the Cold War, despite Pakistan’s membership of the US sponsored military alliances SEATO and CENTO, including Pak-US bilateral military agreement, America did not come to help Pakistan against India which separated East Pakistan in 1971.

 

After the end of the Cold War, the US left both Pakistan and Afghanistan to face the fallout of the Afghan war 1. By manipulating the nuclear programme of Islamabad, the US imposed various sanctions on Pakistan.

 

But, after the 9/11 tragedy, America, again, needed Pakistan’s help and President George W. Bush insisted upon Islamabad to join the US global war on terror. Pakistan was not only facing an acute financial crisis but was also depending upon foreign loans, while all the major financial institutes like IMF and World Bank are controlled by America. Besides, Pakistan was also facing hostile factor of India. Taking cognizance of all the related-factors, Islamabad decided to join the US war on terror.

 

Pakistan was also granted the status of the non-NATO ally by America due to the early successes, achieved by Pakistan’s Army and country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) against the Al-Qaeda militants.

 

Within a few years, when the US-led NATO forces felt that they are failing in coping with the stiff resistance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, they started accusing Pak Army and ISI of supporting the Afghan Taliban. US high officials and their media not only blamed Pakistan for cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan but also presumed that a plot to attack the US homeland would be prepared in FATA (Tribal areas) where safe-havens of Al-Qaeda exist. They constantly emphasized upon Pakistan to do more against the militants and continued the CIA-operated drone attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas by ignoring the internal backlash in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviving the double game as part of anti-Pakistan approach, President Donald Trump stated in his tweet on January 1, this year, “The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

 

Weeks earlier of this tweet, while, unveiling national security strategy, Trump had said, “We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.”

In his speech on August 21, 2017, while announcing the US new strategy regarding Afghanistan as part of the policy in South Asia, President Donald Trump, particularly, singled out Pakistan for criticism.

 

Using tough words against the US ally Pakistan, Trump revived the old blame game of his predecessors Bush and Obama regarding the cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan by saying Washington could “no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations”, and threatened to target the terrorists’ sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Trump stated, “We have been paying Pakistan billions of dollars, at the same time, they are housing the very terrorists we are fighting…that must change immediately.

 

As regards Pakistan’s regional rival India, Donald Trump added, “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan…We want them to help us more with Afghanistan.”

 

Meanwhile, on January 5, 2018, the US suspended $255 million of military aid to Islamabad as a condition to do more against terrorism.

 

Taking cognizance of the latest tweet of President Trump, Pakistan’s civil and military leaders, including all the mainstream political parties united against the US aggressive stance against the country and offered a stark response to Trump’s false accusations.

 

In this regard, a high-level meeting of National Security Committee (NSC), which included senior civil-military leaders was held on January 2, this year to discuss US President Donald Trump’s latest allegations about Pakistan.

 

Similarly, on January 4, 2017, the in-camera session of Parliamentary Committee on National Security was convened under the chairmanship of Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in which all parties’ parliamentary leaders participated.

 

The meeting expressed concern at the assertion of the US President Trump and condemned it. After the meeting, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq told the journalists, “Pakistan wants to give a strong and balanced reaction on the US President’s statement…the parliament is not indifferent on defence of the country…all political parties have consensus on it and they are all on one page pertaining to national security, defence and prestige of Pakistan.”

 

After the committee’s meeting concluded, calling on the country to unite, Vice Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressed the media and pointed out that the pressure that Washington is exerting on Pakistan “will have implications on the entire region…We have to look at the situation in the Middle East, at relations between the US and Iran …We have to consider these things as they are part of the larger picture upon which our response must be formulated…Trump’s statement is of an unusual nature. We have to take it seriously…the figures put forward by Washington differ from the reality and that, during the fight against terror, Pakistan has taken up expenditures that the US is yet to reimburse.”

Defence Minister Ghulam Dastagir stated that, after 16 years of fighting terror, the US owed Pakistan $23 billion…of this amount, Pakistan has been paid $14bn and an amount of $9bn is pending.”

 

Besides, other politicians including PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif rejected Trump’s blame game.

 

Chairman Imran Khan said, “Just as India blames Pakistan for the indigenous Kashmiri uprisings when these are a result of its own failed policy of repression in the Indian Occupied Kashmir…So the US again blames Pakistan for its deeply flawed and failed Afghan policy stretching over a decade…We must also reject being made scapegoats for the policy failures of the US and India…The new US policy is aimed at de-nuclearising Pakistan…India’s major role in Afghanistan as per Trump administration’s new strategy for the region will have adverse impacts on Pakistan…Trump had threatened Pakistan in open words and undermined the country’s major contributions towards that war. It seems Trump has no knowledge of this region. He does not know the dynamics of over a decade-old war the US has been fighting in Afghanistan…The Trump’s new strategy will further weaken the US government and its economy…If you want peace in Afghanistan, you need Pakistan. More troops and money will not serve the purpose.”

 

Pakistan’s Foreign minister Khawaja Asif remarked, “Terrorist sanctuaries are present in East Afghanistan. It is from these safe havens inside Afghanistan that terrorist attacks are being launched on Pakistan…The claim by Trump regarding the funds, if we account for it, they include reimbursements too for the services rendered by Pakistan…Our land, roads, rail and, other different kinds of services were used for which we were reimbursed.”

 

According to the earlier statement of the ISPR, “Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa stated that “Pakistan was not looking for any material or financial assistance from the USA but trust, understanding and acknowledgement of our contributions…peace in Afghanistan is as important for Pakistan as for any other country.”

 

Trump’s tweets came a few days after the DG of ISPR Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan had done enough and it was time for the United States and Afghanistan to do more.” He also urged the US to “check India’s anti-Pakistan role not only from inside of Afghanistan but also through the enhanced and increased ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary”.

 

It is mentionable that that ideal strategic location of Pakistan’s province of Balochistan, its abundant mineral resources such as gas, coal and gold, and Pakistan’s close ties with China pinch the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some Western countries like the UK, who have been destabilizing Pakistan for their collective aims.

 

While, India was openly opposing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, the US also joined India in this respect.  On October 3, 2017, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)”

 

In fact, CPEC which is part of the OBOR infuriates these foreign powers and has become the special target of their intelligence agencies.  

 

Notably, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, the US-led India, Israel and some Western countries want to “denuclearize” Pakistan as part of the Zionist agenda.

 

Therefore, Pakistan was already on the hit-list of the US-led India and Israel, including some Western countries. But, after the shift of the Great Game from Central Asia to Pakistan, American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad, including British MI6 had been supporting target killings, suicide attacks, hostage-takings, sectarian and ethnic violence in various cities of the country, while backing separatist elements in Balochistan.

 

As part of the dual strategy, based in Afghanistan, these intelligence agencies which have well-established their covert networks there and are well-penetrated in the terrorist outfits like the ISIL, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and their affiliated Taliban groups, are using their terrorists to destabilize Tibetan regions of China, Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan and Pakistan’s Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities. 

 

While, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan and Karachi. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Karachi and Balochistan.

 

But, these foreign elements have, again, started terror attacks in Balochistan and other regions of the country which show that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel want to weaken Pakistan and to damage the CPEC.

 

Although American Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama manipulated the 9/11 tragedy and its drastic aftermath to secure the illegitimate interests of Israel through the fake global war on terror which was, in fact, a war against the Islamic countries and the Muslims, as ground realities have proved, yet President Donald Trump has crossed all the limits in protecting the political, economic and religious interests of the Jews and Tel Aviv at the cost of Muslims and even patriot Americans. What President Bush and President Obama were doing secretly, President Trump has been doing openly.

 

Overtly, American high officials remark that they seek stability in Pakistan, while praising military operations against terrorism, but covertly, they continue destabilizing it, especially with the assistance of India as part of the anti-Pakistan and anti-China diplomacy.

 

Taking note of the US double game, Islamabad which has already strengthened its relations with China has also been cultivating its ties with Russia. In the recent past, Pakistan’s top officials have paid a visit to Moscow. In this regard, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has openly stated that Islamabad will prefer Russia over America.

 

It is worth mentioning that in an interview to the “The Wall Street Journal” on January 5, 2018, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said, “He sees his country’s alliance with the US as over after the Trump administration announced the suspension of U.S. security-related aid to Pakistan…This is not how allies behave.”

 

Moreover, Pakistan is also improving its relations with Iran. At the end of last year, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa paid a visit to Tehran where he met Iranian civil and military high officials.

 

We may conclude that it is owing to the flawed strategy of President Donald Trump that Pakistan-US ties have reached the point of no return.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: the US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic_pak@hotmail.com

 

 

 

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