Our Announcements

Not Found

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

Archive for category ISRAEL

The New Arab Coronavirus: Israel’s spy agency Mossad admits to stealing face masks overseas amid global PPE shortage

Israel‘s spy agency Mossad has admitted to resorting to theft to obtain face masks and other medical supplies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mossad official made the revelation during an interview with Israeli media.The intelligence agency has and will use all means to procure necessary equipment during the pandemic, according to Ilana Dayan, host of Channel 12‘s “Fact”.

Mossad is currently involved in efforts to procure supplies ranging from face masks to the mechanical ventilators required to keep some Covid-19 patients alive.

When asked whether those efforts have included theft, the head of the intelligence agency’s technology division, identified by “Fact” only as H., affirmed: “We stole, but only a little.”

Read also: Israeli forces ‘steal coronavirus food aid for needy Palestinians, beat aid workers’

“The citizens of Israel will have no shortage,” he said according to Haaretz. “In the world in general there will be a great shortage. People are dying because of a lack of equipment. In Israel people won’t go without.”

H. did not elaborate further on what methods the Mossad has used to procure medical equipment.

A number of countries worldwide have blocked the export of face masks and other medical supplies in order to preserve their own stocks as they come face to face with the highly contagious virus.

Mossad’s role in confronting the coronavirus crisis came to light last month when the agency’s director, Yossi Cohen, quarantined himself following close contact with Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, who had tested positive for Covid-19.

[Click to enlarge]

In early March, the agency set up a command and control centre to handle procurement and distribution of supplies in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and a military intelligence division, the New York Times reported.

Six current or former officials with knowledge of Mossad’s counter-coronavirus operations told the NYT it had “used international contacts” to avert possible shortages of equipment and prevent Israel’s healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

The intelligence agency had been able to procure supplies and equipment Israel’s own health ministry could not, the six people said on condition of anonymity.

Arab media had earlier reported that Mossad had been involved in procuring thousands of coronavirus tests from countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations. 

Read also: Gaza factories consider exporting masks to Israel as enclave ramps up homemade coronavirus response

As well as bringing in 1.5 million surgical masks, tens of thousands of N-95 masks and other supplies, Mossad has obtained technology and expertise from outside of Israel that will be used to scale up coronavirus testing and boost local production of ventilators and face masks, one high-ranking official said.

The intelligence agency’s efforts were easier in countries with authoritarian rulers, another senior official said. Intelligence agencies in such countries generally have strong ties with leaders, and in turn those agencies sometimes have existing relations with Mossad.

In some cases, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen even spoke directly with ruling politicians, the official added.

Israel has reported more than 11,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 117 deaths.

Courtesy-

, , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Did Israel’s Mossad, U. S. Gov’t Mastermind 9/11 Attacks In New York?

mossad-911.jpg

 

wolfowitz-rumsfield-clark_03-22-216.jpg

Rabbi Michael Lerner once wrote of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith) that, “The ADL, like the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, has built its financial appeal to Jews on its ability to portray the Jewish people as surrounded by enemies who are on the verge of launching threatening anti-Semitic campaigns. It has a professional stake in exaggerating the dangers, and sometimes allows existing racial or political prejudices in the Jewish world to influence how it will portray the potential dangers.”

Well, it must be fundraising time again because the anti-Farrakhan brigade has emerged once again within the ADL to renew the stitching on the thread to the scarlet letter “A” that they long ago affixed to the public mentioning of the name of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.  That “A” of course stands for “anti-Semite,” even though as a Black man and a Muslim the Minister fits the definition of a Semitic person and would be rather insane to be anti his own kind.

This time they have done so due to the strong words of the Minister spoken recently in part 2 of his magnificent Saviours’ Day address.  In part 2 the Minister forcefully spoke to questions about the roots of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York.  This narrative questions the role of Muslims and questions Israel’s role in the WTC bombings.

In reaction to the ADL’s recent write-up, Minister Farrakhan sat for an interview with Final Call Editor-In- Chief Richard Muhammad to discuss the issues at hand. In this interview the Minister reiterated his narrative from his part 2 Saviours’ Day address by stating, Paul Wolfowitz talking to General Wesley Clark 10 years before 9/11 telling him they were going to clean out the Middle East. And then 10 days after 9/11, a general in the Pentagon pointed out to Mr. Clark a memo that contained plans to take down seven Muslim nations in five years. … The ADL understands, that once the American people know that this country or the government and some members of it are, in fact, a party to the conspiracy to take down the Twin Towers in a false flag operation that was designed to create a situation that would so frighten, alarm, and anger the American people that they could direct that anger against the Muslim World and bring the war effort to take down seven Muslim nations in five years. Facts are now coming to light that show Muslims were not responsible for 9/11.”

What the Minister has stated about General Clark is true 

Gen. Clark sat down for an interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman in 2007 and an excerpt of that interview contains the following: “I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper, And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

Mossad Behind 9/11

Author Walt Gelles discusses how some international government officials have also pointed to Israeli Mossad as being behind the 9/11 attacks. According to the Gelles’ article U.S., Italy, Germany All Agree–9/11 Was An Inside Job, several reputable government insiders questioned who was responsible for 9/11 and some blamed American government insiders and Mossad, the Israeli spy agency. Gelles writes, “Andreas von Bulow—former German defence minister, cabinet technology minister in Helmut Schmidt’s administration, and member of the German parliament for 25 years. In 2003 he told the U.K. Daily Telegraph why he believes the U.S. government carried out the September 11 attacks in its quest to achieve global domination.  “If what I say is right, the whole U.S. government should end up behind bars,  They have hidden behind a veil of secrecy and destroyed the evidence—that they invented the story of 19 Muslims working within Osama bin Laden’s al-Qa’eda—in order to hide the truth of their own covert operation.”

Von Bulow asserted that the World Trade Center collapsed due to explosives, not the impact of airplanes, according to Gelles. Von Bulow said that no planes flew into the Pentagon or crashed in Pennsylvania and that mobile phone calls made by those on the latter flight were simulated by the CIA.  He also claimed that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, was involved in the attacks and that it warned Israelis to avoid the Twin Towers in the days before 9/11, Gelles reported.

According to the Gelles piece, Francesco Cossiga, former President of Italy (1985-1992) and former Prime Minister, told Italy’s most respected newspaper, Corriere Della Sera, that the 9/11 attacks were run by the CIA and by Israel’s spy agency Mossad and that this was common knowledge among global intelligence agencies.  In November 2007, Cossiga declared:  “… All the [intelligence services] of America and Europe … now know well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized by the American CIA and the Mossad with the aid of the Zionist world in order to falsely incriminate Arabic countries and to persuade the Western Powers to intervene in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Gelles said.

The writer also cites Alan Sabrosky, former Director of Studies at the U.S. Army War College–Strategic Studies Institute. “I am also absolutely certain as a strategic analyst that 9/11 itself, from which all else flows, was a classic Mossad-orchestrated operation. But Mossad did not do it alone. They needed local help within America (and perhaps elsewhere) and they had it, principally from some alumni of PNAC (the misnamed Project for a New American Century) and their affiliates within and outside of the U.S. Government (USG), who in the 9/11 attacks got the ‘catalytic event’ they needed and craved to take the U.S. to war on Israel’s behalf, only eight months after coming into office,” Gelles quotes Sabrosky as saying.

Alan Hart is “an author, former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Independent Television News, and former BBC Panorama presenter specializing in the Middle East. He has authored the three-part series Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews. Hart believes that the destruction of the World Trade Center was destroyed by planes that had been fitted with transponders and that Israeli Mossad agents guided them into the towers.” Oberlin Professor Joy Karega has also discussed Israeli involvement in 9/11 in her extramural commentaries.

These are just a sampling of the experts and officials whose on the record admissions raise issues Minister Farrakhan has raised and issues the ADL objects to. Minister Farrakhan’s exposure of hidden truths finds him in the company of global truth-tellers, who are courageously awakening the masses of the people. By contrast, the ADL is continuing it’s long ugly, yet profitable, history of character assassinations on the critics of Israel and the Jewish people.

Thank God for Minister Farrakhan! For as the sun of truth continues to rise and shine, the ADL’s carnal efforts to hide and destroy the truth become more and more transparent; for theirs is a losing battle against the encroachment of truth whose time has finally come.

Reference

, ,

No Comments

Is Israel becoming a mafia state? by SIMONA WEINGLASS

 

Courtesy – Times of Israel

Is Israel becoming a mafia state?

Some 25% of the revenue of Israel’s lauded high-tech sector comes from shady or fraudulent industries; three-quarters of MKs are said to be in thrall to special interest groups

Simona Weinglass

Israel has become one of the world’s leading exporters of investment scams, with fraudsters stealing an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion per year from victims worldwide. (Illustrative photo: iStock)

Israel has become one of the world’s leading exporters of investment scams, with fraudsters stealing an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion per year from victims worldwide. (Illustrative photo: iStock)

The other day, I was sitting at a picnic with several friends when someone referred to Vladimir Putin’s Russia as a “mafia state.”

A Russian-born woman objected: “That is really offensive. Russia is a country of 140 million people. It is wrong to say they are all mafia.”

“I am not referring to the people,” said the first speaker. “The majority of Russians are good people. Most are victims of the regime they live under. But it is a fact that there is an overlapping corrupt elite that permeates the entire political and economic system as well as all major centers of decision-making. And this elite is connected to organized crime groups.”

With striking similarity, on a recent vacation in Washington, DC, I found myself talking to a Jewish woman who works in the US government. “I don’t understand,” she said with dismay. “In America, Jewish people are upstanding citizens. What is happening in Israel?”

The woman was referring to the massive growth of organized crime in Israel over the past ten years, as well as the fact that Israel has become one of the world’s leading exporters of investment scams, stealing an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion per year from victims worldwide.

Despite the fact that Israeli police recently announced that these investment scams are largely run by organized crime, which has grown to “monstrous proportions” as a consequence of little to no law enforcement for years, the Israeli government, parliament and authorities have to date proved unwilling or unable to shut them down, in part because these fraudulent industries have a powerful lobby in the Knesset.

“Most Israelis are good people,” I told the Washington woman in Israel’s defense. “It’s just the system that is broken.”

Police Superintendent Gabi Biton, left, at an August 2, 2017, Knesset panel devoted to a proposed law to ban Israel’s binary options industry. Biton told the panel that organized crime in Israel had grown to ‘monstrous proportions’ as a result of online investment fraud. (Simona Weinglass/Times of Israel)

Indeed, Israel’s democratic system has become riddled with the corruption of late. Analysts who study Israel’s high-tech sector (and who were unwilling to talk on the record for fear of angering their colleagues) told The Times of Israel last year that an estimated 25 percent of the revenue of Israel’s lauded high-tech sector comes from shady or fraudulent industries, including online gambling, binary options, forex, downloaders/injectors (companies that put malevolent software on your computer without your knowledge), and the payment, affiliate marketing and adtech companies that service these industries.

Israel’s Finance Ministry recently issued a report showing that the cost of nearly every consumer product, with the exception of education and produce, is significantly higher in Israel than the OECD average. Analysts attribute this high cost to monopolists and rent seekers who pull strings and lobby the government to block competition in industry after industry.

Meanwhile, apartment prices have risen 118% in the last ten years, for reasons economists cannot fully explain. Recently, the sale of new apartments has slowed, which a report in The Marker by Nimrod Bousso attributes to a recent crackdown on money laundering in Israeli banks ordered by the Bank of Israel’s Supervisor of the Banks. The report suggests that rampant money laundering was a significant factor in the rise of apartment prices in the first place.

The average price of a three-bedroom apartment in Tel Aviv is close to $1 million (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Dr. Avichai Snir, an economist at Bar-Ilan University, published a paper on the impact of money laundering on rising apartment prices in October 2014. He used the modified cash-deposits ratio method — an approach employed by economists to assess the size of a country’s shadow economy, based on how much cash is in circulation — and calculated that between the years 2008 and 2014, Israel’s off-the-books economy soared from approximately 22% to 28% of the country’s GDP. This is an astounding jump. The first figure puts Israel in the company of countries like Italy and Spain; the second resembles economies like those of Romania and Bulgaria.

Snir has yet to calculate percentages for the years 2014 to 2017 but told The Times of Israel he intends to explore new methods of measuring money laundering that has its origins online.

On a separate but related note, a Knesset member recently told The Times of Israel that three-quarters of the 120 parliamentarians here are in thrall to special interest groups, whose lobbyists and PR flaks crowd the halls of the Knesset, and are relentlessly pressured to the point where the public interest, this MK lamented, becomes a weak voice in the back of their heads. The Times of Israel’s editor, sitting next to me as the MK in question delivered this shattering assessment of 90 colleagues was so horrified that he asked for it be repeated, to be sure he had heard correctly.

Tzvika Graiver, a lawyer for the Keep Olim in Israel Movement, told The Times of Israel recently that when he attends Knesset panels to advocate on behalf of steps that would ease life for new immigrants, he invariably finds himself seated alone amid an army of lobbyists and indifferent government bureaucrats.

For instance, in November 2016 there was a Knesset panel on the “black market” of driving instructors who demanded hefty sums of money from new immigrants before agreeing to set a date for a driver’s test. “It was our non-profit against an array of lobbyists for the driving teacher’s association, the licensing bureau and others.”

Tzvika Graiver, lawyer and advocate for new immigrants from the Keep Olim in Israel movement (Photo credit: Facebook)

Graiver actually won that battle against the driving instructors’ lobby, but his accumulated experience has left him with a feeling that the deck is stacked against the public interest in Israel’s parliament.

“Lobbyists control the Knesset; they set the agenda and they usually win,” he said. “There is no question that the majority of Knesset members today work on behalf of lobbyists and not the people.”

Earlier this year, draft legislation that would have banned all of Israel’s fraudulent online trading companies, and not just the part of the industry called “binary options,” was watered down in the course of behind-the-scenes consultations among the Israel Securities Authority, the Justice Ministry and the online trading industry itself. Anti-fraud advocates were stunned to arrive at the Reforms Committee meeting where the legislation was being debated to discover that the bill had been constricted and truncated without their knowledge, as a direct consequence of input from the very industries it was originally formulated to target.

Asked how this happened, one Israeli forex company owner told The Times of Israel, “You have no idea who you are dealing with. This is an industry that has way too much money and influence. Do not concern yourself over such things.”

Moises Naim, a Washington DC-based thinker who penned the watershed essay “Mafia States,” has delineated several stages through which a state descends into mafia statehood. The first is called “criminal penetration,” when a criminal organization is able to place “one of its own” in the state structure. The second is “criminal infiltration,” which Naim defines as “when the infection has spread throughout the state apparatus within the given country, and the linkages to external illicit networks proliferate.”

Finally, there is a stage called “criminal capture” which is defined as “the condition of dysfunctional governance in which criminal agents are so sufficiently prominent in positions of state authority that their criminal actions cannot effectively be restrained by the state. At some point, it may become part of state or substate institutional doctrine to engage in illicit activity.”

One notorious example of alleged criminal penetration occurred in Israel in 2003, when Inbal Gavrieli was elected to the Knesset for the Likud party. In a 2009 cable leaked by Wikileaks, the US ambassador to Israel wrote, “The election of Inbal Gavrieli to the Knesset in 2003 as a member of Likud raised concerns about organized crime influence in the party’s Central Committee. Gavrieli is the daughter of a suspected crime boss, and she attempted to use her parliamentary immunity to block investigations into her father’s business.”

A Rolls Royce car parked at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa port, on November 15, 2014. (Nati SHohat/Flash90)

Naim cites Russia and Venezuela as examples of countries with criminal infiltration, while Guinea-Bissau is an example of complete state capture.

It is unclear where Israel falls on this spectrum. In 2009, the US Embassy wrote of a “growing problem” of organized crime elements “penetrating the Israeli establishment and corrupting public officials.”

In his book “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life,” Len Fisher describes the problem of corruption as akin to the “Stag Hunt” scenario in game theory: A group of people set out to hunt a stag. If they all cooperate, they are likely to be successful. But if a few decide not to hunt stag but to hunt hares, which are easier to catch, for their own personal benefit, the entire enterprise fails and more and more stag hunters decide they are better off looking out only for themselves and hunting hares.

Once you have a society where most people are hunting hares, it is very difficult to evolve back to the stag hunting (non-corrupt) scenario. Even if a few hare hunters stop being selfish and decide to cooperate, the group dynamic quickly reverts back to the default of hare hunting. But not all hope is lost, because societies of stag hunters have in fact spontaneously emerged in history, and this, said Fisher, is often because many individuals change their minds about what other members of society will do and begin to trust each other.

It is clearly in Israel’s interest to enforce the rule of law and uproot criminality, among other reasons because corrupt states suffer dire economic consequences. (Russia’s economy is shrinking, despite the constant supply of income from oil.) But there appear to be too many hare hunters in today’s Israel, looking after their own interests, and not enough stag hunters. This could change if more ordinary Israelis got involved in the battle to fight corruption. While the system shows signs of being broken, most Israelis are decent people, emphatically deserving of a society in which the rule of law is enforced and criminality is relentlessly faced down and uprooted.

, ,

No Comments

Interview with an Israeli General’s Son by Jonas E. Alexis and Miko Peled in Veterans Today


Interview with an Israeli General’s Son

Miko Peled: “Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland. For Israelis and Palestinians alike, the latter path promises a bright future.”

By

Jonas E. Alexis

 

 

…by Jonas E. Alexis and Miko Peled

[ Editor’s Note: Dear readers, This is a fabulous start of the year interview by Jonas. His work has been superlative in that too many writers take the commentary only route, and they are now a dime a dozen.

The real work comes in showing what your commentary is based upon. That is how you establish your street cred in the internet world. With not professional journalism, Jonas just blew by that by getting out there and doing the work.

And frankly his writing now is better, more solid than the majority of mainstream journalists, as he does not shy away from the red line areas, and VT readers all know what those are… Jim W. Dean ]

*

Miko Peled is an Israeli-American activist and author of the best-selling book The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2016). He grew up in a Zionist family. His father fought in the 1948 war and served as a general in the war of 1967. Peled believes that “Israel has been on a mission to destroy the Palestinian people for over six decades.” Peled wrote in the LA Times in 2012:

“Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland. For Israelis and Palestinians alike, the latter path promises a bright future.”[1]

Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple, writes in the introduction of Peled’s The General’s Son:

“I feel immense relief, and gratitude. Someone must take responsibility for being the grown-ups of our human Universe. There must be people, in all walks of life, who decide: Enough’s enough; there are children here.

Peled’s next book, Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five, is scheduled to be released next month.

JEA: I have been following your work for quite some time, and you have been a great inspiration to many, including myself. What are the challenges that the Palestinians are actually facing in places like Gaza and the West Bank?

MP: In my opinion ,he major challenge is that Palestinians are facing an ongoing genocide by a powerful settler colonial state (Israel). Israel has received worldwide legitimacy and recognition and this is very difficult to reverse. In order for Palestinians to gain their rights, their land and their freedom this recognition and legitimization needs to be reversed.

In order to free Palestine the international community will have to get behind a serious campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, to isolate Israel so that like South Africa it can make way for a real democracy with equal rights.

JEA: What is your take on Trump’s Jerusalem decision? Will it actually lead to peace in the Middle East? Do you think Trump actually knows what he is doing?

MP: Trump may or may not know what he is doing, I am sure that he is unaware of the complexity of the issue. It was a poor decision with far reaching consequences which are yet to unfold. What is clear now is that his declaration has emboldened Israel and Palestinians have been paying a heavy price through massive arrests, countless injured and dead by Israeli forces.

Peace in the Middle East is a misleading term. The Middle East is a big place with many issues that need to be resolved. Peace in the entire region is not going to happen because of a single issue being resolved.

The issue of Jerusalem is a uniting factor and Trump’s decision has brought about condemnation by all Arab, Muslim and most European countries.

JEA: Let’s get this clear: what do you make of the anti-Semitism accusation that gets thrown in the media whenever a person criticizes the Israeli policies toward the Palestinians? Back in 2012, I corresponded with Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post and I challenged her to provide serious evidence that John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago is an anti-Semite.

Our conversation revolved around a number of issues, but I finally asked her, “If an American criticizes the policies of the United States, does that mean that the person is anti-American?” “NO,” she responded. Then I proceeded to say, “Then how can Mearsheimer, who is Jewish, be an anti-Semite when he simply criticizes the incoherent policies of the Israeli government?” To this very day, she never responded to that question. What is really at stake here?

MP: It’s about legitimacy. They cannot allow criticism of Israel for fear that it will lead to the inevitable delegitimization of Israel and Zionism as a whole.

Since there is no legitimate argument to support the existence of Israel and the ongoing persecution of Palestinians by Israel they resort to name calling. Hence the term anti-Semitic is thrown freely.

This is now true for the BDS movement although the call for BDS and the demands of the BDS movement activists are all about equality, justice and freedom.

JEA: I was watching a debate between Alan Dershowitz and Cornel West on this very issue, and I was simply appalled that Dershowitz pulled out the anti-Semitism card on West! In any event, you are an activist and you often travel to Israel. Have you seen some positive changes over the years?

MP: There is no reason to expect positive changes on the ground yet. Israel is powerful and has a blank check from the US and the U.K. Israel had created a reality where it is undefeatable militarily and diplomatically. This is why the BDS movement, which is a grassroots civil society based resistance movement, is gaining ground and that is possibly the only positive change one can point to at this time.

JEA: What responses have you received from the Israel government about your activity? Do you think some officials have read your book? Do they know who you are? Have you been threatened?

MP: There has been no official response or reaction by Israel to my work whatsoever.

JEA: Let’s just hope that people will continue to rise against the genocidal regime in Israel in 2018. Let us also work toward peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

[1] Miko Peled, “Six Days in Israel, 45 Years Ago,” LA Times, June 6, 2012.

, , ,

No Comments

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and Current Challenges By Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and Current Challenges

Asif Haroon Raja

Overview

Pakistan has, since birth, been faced with one crisis after another. The tense geopolitical environment created by hostile India and unfriendly Afghanistan was the motivating factor which impelled our leaders to accord preference to security over developing institutions and strengthening the economy. Security concerns governed our foreign policy.

Pakistan joined Western pacts mainly to find an umbrella to mitigate its security concerns. But the US never became a trustworthy and sincere ally, as was the case of former the Soviet Union with India. The western pacts proved elusive when Pakistan was truncated in 1971.

India had been working upon East Bengal since 1948 with the aim of subverting the minds of Bengalis and poisoning their minds against people of West Pakistan through an orchestrated subversion plan. It wanted to disprove Two-Nation theory. India in collusion with the former-the Soviet Union and supported by several other countries hatched the gory plan of the dismemberment of Pakistan. After nine months insurgency, Indian military jumped in to cut Pakistan to size and create Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi chortled that Two-Nation theory had been sunk into the Bay of Bengal.

In the aftermath of 9/11, another international conspiracy was hatched to dismember Pakistan. This time the conspiracy was much larger in scope and more dangerous in intent. Pakistan was to be befriended and then cut into four quasi-states. In this, India is being supported by USA, Afghanistan, Britain, Israel and the West in general. The tools in use are TTP, BLA, BRA, BLF, MQM and segment of media bolstered by bloggers, foreign paid NGOs and international media. Daesh is the latest group added to their arsenal.   

The goals are to destabilize, de-Islamise, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan using covert means and psychological operations.

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan was made to fight terrorism on its soil, then accused of harboring terrorists in safe havens in FATA and aiding cross border terrorism in Afghanistan, occupied Kashmir and India, and then constantly pressed to do more. The terrorist groups in FATA, Baluchistan were funded, equipped and trained to fight and exhaust Pak security forces. MQM was funded and its militants trained in India to make Karachi lawless.

India and Afghanistan were projected as victims of terrorism and Pakistan as an incubator of terrorism. The covert war launched from Afghan soil in 2002 has incurred a loss of 60,000 fatalities, injuries to tens of thousands, destruction of property, $ 118 billion financial loss and immense social trauma.

Pakistan has come under a foreign debt of $70 billion.  

The US imposed War on Terror has heightened ethnicity, sectarianism, extremism, provincialism, political instability, economic fragility and moral degeneration of society as a whole.

As a result of these frailties, Pakistan which is a nuclear power with robust armed forces that are second to none has abundant resources and resilient manpower, it has become vulnerable to foreign coercion, manipulation, and aggression.

Of all the crisis faced by Pakistan in its 70 years history, the present one is perhaps the most dangerous, both in terms of its nature and its possible consequences. Without a doubt, Pakistan is in the vortex of grave dangers and the country today stands at the cusp of survival and disaster. The Titans that have marked Pakistan as a target are impatient to fragment it. 

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

Having given the background and overall geopolitical environment, I shall now discuss the five stages through which Pakistan’s foreign policy has moved forward to confront multiple challenges.

Quaid-e-Azam MA Jinnah had spelled out Pakistan’s foreign policy soon after the birth of Pakistan in these words:

 “Our objective should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbors and with world at large. We have no aggressive designs against any one. We stand by the United Nations Charter and will gladly make our contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.” 

Our foreign policy is one of the friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in the principle of honesty and fair-play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter.” 
Pakistan opened diplomatic relations with all the countries of the world except Israel owing to Palestinian dispute.  Successive regimes made concerted efforts to normalize relations with India but failed because of unresolved Kashmir dispute and India not reconciling to the existence of Pakistan. In its desire to become the unchallenged big power of South Asia, India whipped up a frenzy against all its neighbors. It applied multiple pressures on Pakistan and went to war thrice so as to force Pakistan to accept its hegemony and become its vassal state.

Pakistan in search of security and recognition

Pakistan started its journey as a nonaligned nation and remained the member of Non-Aligned Movement from 1947 till 1954. In the first 15 years of Pakistan’s life, the founding leaders remained deeply engrossed in establishing credentials of Pakistan’s statehood in the face of massive propaganda of India that Pakistan was a monstrosity. It was described as a transient phenomenon and Indian economic wizards had given six months life to Pakistan. International recognition was sought and obtained in those agonizing years. 

In its formative years, Pakistan attached importance to relations with Muslim countries and championed Muslim causes. Its efforts to build Muslim unity couldn’t make any headway. It cultivated special ties with Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan joined Western pacts

Aggressive posturing of India, its expansionist designs and intentions to absorb Kashmir, together with Afghanistan’s enmity, former USSR’s heavy tilt towards India, deepening economic crisis in early 1950s, sense of isolation, and the UN and Commonwealth failing to resolve the Kashmir dispute were some of the reasons which impelled Pakistan to join the US created SEATO and Baghdad Pact/CENTO in 1954/55. Thereon, its foreign policy was governed by the US interests.

Pakistan became part of the US defensive arc stretching to Iran and Turkey to contain the spread of communism in South Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan did so despite the fact that it had no direct clash with USSR, and had to pay a heavy price for it. When Pakistan acted as a conduit in 1971 to bring China closer to the USA, it further antagonized Moscow and it decided to teach Pakistan a lesson.

Alignment with the USA however, helped Pakistan in improving its economy and defense capability phenomenally during the 10-year Ayub’s golden era.

Tilt towards China

After the Indo-Sino border clash in 1962, in the wake of Moscow, Washington and the West providing arms to India at the cost of disturbing the regional military balance, Ayub Khan started tilting towards China and Russia. This move was seen as an act of defiance by the USA and it decided to penalize him. The US discriminatory attitude was discernible in the 1965 War with India when it stopped extending economic and military assistance including the supply of spare parts, whereas Russia kept supplying arms to India.

It is believed that both ZA Bhutto and Sheikh Mujib were cultivated to trigger agitations in both the wings to bring down Ayub regime and then pave the way for the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971.

Southwestern Asian Identity and policy of Bilateralism

After the 1971 tragedy, ZA Bhutto scrapped SEATO pact and membership of Commonwealth stating that those had proved worthless. He then tried to carve out Southwest Asian identity so as to draw economic strength and security from oil rich Arab States. This tilt towards the Gulf States brought in financial bonanza and job opportunities for Pakistan in the 1970s and also gave an opportunity to Pak military to make inroads into the GCC States. Saudi Arabia never hesitated to extend financial support to Pakistan in its testing times.

Another change in Pakistan’s foreign policy was affected by the Simla agreement in 1972 which led to the policy of bilateralism and non-alignment. Ceasefire line in Kashmir was renamed as LoC and Kashmir issue put on the back burner. India however, maintained its belligerent policy and carried out the nuclear test at Pokhran in August 1974, which impelled ZA Bhutto to go nuclear.

Afghan war (1980-1989)

Pakistan-US relations nosedived when Pakistan under Gen Ziaul Haq was put under sanctions in April 1979 by Carter regime on account of suspicion that it was pursuing nuclear program covertly. However, the Afghan war in the 1980s once again made Pakistan a close ally of USA and was bestowed with $3.5 billion assistance and F-16 jets.

Pakistan had to face Russo-Afghan-India nexus and Al-Zulfiqar terrorism (militant wing of PPP). The Afghan war brought Pakistan coolness in Pak-Iran relations but brought Afghanistan under Mujahideen very close to Pakistan. Both talked of providing strategic depth to each other.

Pakistan’s challenges in Post-cold war era

After the breakup of USSR in 1991 and end of Cold War era, Pakistan was faced with multiple foreign policy issues. The US abandoned Pakistan, imposed sanctions on it under Pressler Amendment and befriended India.

Pakistan was up against Indo-US-Israeli nexus geared toward destroying Kahuta plant.

The other issue was the fallout effects of the Afghan war in the form of Kalashnikov and drug cultures, the load of 3.5 million refugees, the radicalization of the society and sectarianism fomented by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The other was the armed uprising in occupied Kashmir which forced India to pump in 750,000 security forces to quell the insurgency and to propagate that Pakistan was abetting it.

Pakistan had to bear with the domino effect of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).

And lastly, nuclear explosions by the two arch rivals in May 1998. Pakistan’s external climbed up. These challenges made the democratic era weak and uninspiring. Despite being repeatedly betrayed, Pakistan didn’t deem it fit to diversify its foreign policy and kept its hopes alive to get into the good books of USA.

Impact of 9/11

9/11 changed the global politics and Pakistan was once again befriended by the USA and made a coalition partner to fight the global war on terror as a frontline state. Pakistan for a second time shifted all its eggs in the basket of USA.

Between 2004 and 2008, Indo-Pak relations improved as a result of the peace treaty and resumption of dialogue, giving rise to optimism that core disputes will be resolved. Euphoria died down after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 when India blamed Pakistan. Indo-Pak relations have hit rock bottom after Modi led BJP regime espousing Hindutva came to power in June 2014.

Ongoing fast changing global dynamics and ever growing strategic partnership between USA and India has impelled Pakistan policy makers to revisit the foreign policy and suitably modify it to meet the future challenges.

Pakistan’s current challenges

India has not reconciled to the existence of Pakistan and strives to reduce it to the status of a Satellite State.

India is a strategic partner of the US, Israel, Afghanistan and is the darling of the west. The trio is pursuing common objective of destroying Pakistan.

India is making concerted efforts to destabilize Pakistan through covert war, encircle Pakistan by consolidating its presence in Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics (CARs), building North-South Corridor linking Mumbai with Bandar Abbas; and connecting Chabahar with Afghanistan-CARs.

India is working hard to isolate Pakistan by tarnishing its image and spoiling its relations with Afghanistan, Iran, Gulf States and the US.

Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute but India stubbornly maintains that it is its integral part well knowing that the Kashmiris hate Indians and want freedom at all cost.

To keep Pakistan on the defensive and force it to forget Kashmir, India is playing terrorism card, Baluchistan and Sindh cards, and water terrorism to bend Pakistan on its knees.

India’s Cold Start doctrine is aimed at offsetting Pakistan’s strategic nuclear doctrine and executing it at a time when the bulk of Pak forces had got pinned down in designated restive areas.

The upturn of Pakistan’s sunk economy and its image, control over energy crisis and terrorism coupled with development works and fast progressing CPEC have increased the anxieties of India. To give vent to its frustrations, it is carrying out unprovoked firing across the LoC and working boundary in Kashmir relentlessly.

For all practical purposes, Pakistan has fallen from the grace of USA and time is not far when it will be once again be ditched and put under harsh sanctions.

Indo-US-Israel agenda of disabling Pakistan’s nuclear program, or as a minimum curtailing its minimum deterrence capability remain unchanged.

Afghanistan under Hamid Karzai remained aligned with India and hostile to Pakistan. Afghan Unity government under Ghani-Abdullah is far worse.

Pak-Iran relations are frosty and practically, Iran is more close to India and Afghanistan.

Net outcome in 2017

Pakistan foreign policy makers are faced with perpetually hostile India, near hostile Afghanistan, and the changed attitude of the US. Washington has callously whipped Pakistan under its ‘do more’ policy and is now hurling warnings. It’s heavy tilt towards India is a matter of anxiety for Pakistan.

Iran nurtures grouses on account of Pakistan’s closeness with Saudi Arabia, and for sending Gen Raheel to Riyadh to head 41-member Sunni Muslim States Alliance.

Warmth in a relationship with the GCC States has diluted because of Pakistan not agreeing to send troops to Saudi Arabia to ward off the threat from Yemen. Saudi-Qatar tiff is another challenge faced by Pakistan since it cannot afford to take sides.

Pakistan has been deliberately kept politically unstable by making it play the game of ladder and snake so that it remains economically dependent. It was pulled down whenever it grew economically strong. That is why it has been lurching from one crisis to another in its 70 years checkered history.

Pakistan can ill-afford political disharmony and disunity at this critical juncture when black clouds are hovering over its horizon.

Geopolitical realities

Pakistan is faced with multiple threats of Indo-US-Afghan covert war, India’s Cold Start Doctrine, the US Af-Pak doctrine, and Hybrid war and all these threats have now become menacing.

The threat to its security has heightened after the signing of three Indo-US defense agreements in 2016 and the US openly expressing its enmity against Pakistan and love for India.

India is getting unnerved on account of high-intensity freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir, which is slipping out of its hands and is endangering the unity of India. India has no other choice except to keep persecuting the Kashmiris ruthlessly, keep the LoC on fire and to diplomatically place Pakistan on the back foot.

Muslim Pakistan, laced with nuclear/missile power and now getting economically strong due to CPEC is unacceptable to USA, India, and Israel. The trio may go to any extent to disrupt CPEC.

Pakistan is faced with the threat of two-front war from east and west, inauspicious southwestern backyard, vulnerable seacoast, not so friendly Gulf States, together with the internal war on terror and internal war on terror

Pakistan’s viable nuclear cum missile capability deters India from waging an open war.

Nuclear factor has compelled India to resort to indirect strategy to weaken Pakistan from within through unrelenting covert war, discredit and isolate it through propaganda and diplomacy, extract its nuclear teeth clandestinely, and then apply the military instrument through Cold Start doctrine.

Having tried out all possible means short of war, the only other option left with enemies of Pakistan is to create political chaos and logjam, paralyze the government machinery and then trigger civil war as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Many are suspecting a game plan behind the current political imbroglio.

The success of $21 trillion One-Road-One-belt projects of China hinges on successful completion of CPEC. In view of China’s ambition to become leading economic power and its heavy economic stakes in CPEC, it is bound to come to the aid of Pakistan whenever its security is threatened.

Pakistan is a target and not an ally of USA. Earlier Pakistan gets out of the enchantment of USA, better it will be.

Inferences

Any expectation of goodwill and empathy from India, Afghanistan under Ghani and USA, which in pursuit of their common objectives have been inflicting tens of thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan and its people, will be foolhardy.

The newly appointed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in consultation with the new PM Khaqan Abbasi, CJCSC Gen Zubair Hayat, and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa need to revisit the foreign policy at the earliest to make appropriate changes after correctly identifying friends and foes and accordingly diversifying the policy to meet the upcoming challenges.

Foreign policy instead of being defensive, apologetic and reactive, should be infused with dynamism and pro-activeness.

The change in foreign policy should not be abrupt, but gradual and orderly without violent fluctuations. The change should be akin to autumn changing into winter, or winter into spring.

While maintaining a working relationship with the USA, Pakistan should draw closer to China, Russia, Central Asia, SCO, and ASEAN.

Pakistan should work hard to bring Iran in the loop of China-Russia peace-talks initiative, possibly draw in Turkey and conjointly work to restore peace in war torn Afghanistan.

Pakistan must strive to establish a friendly regime in Kabul.

Surging Afghan Taliban and not the corrupt and inept unity government in Kabul toeing Indo-US agenda should be kept in the loop.

Pakistan should continue to play a mediatory role in the Iran-Saudi ideological rivalry and in Saudi-Qatar tiff to narrow down their differences and also allay the misperceptions of Gulf States on account of Yemen crisis. It will be unwise to call back Gen Raheel and detach Pakistan from 41-member Muslim Alliance.

CPEC should be made use of as a strong magnet by our foreign policy makers to attract as many nations from Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe to ward off Indian inspired threat of isolation.

Gwadar-Chahbahar economic rivalry should be converted into an opportunity to complement each other’s strength.

Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan. Comprehensive and pragmatic Kashmir policy should be devised to keep the cause of Kashmir alive.

Conclusion. While many developing countries have raced ahead, Pakistan is still struggling and has neither become an Asian tiger or a secure country. Political parties are behaving irresponsibly and are advised to shun politics of agitation and division and promote the concept of “Unity in Diversity”. Strong and united home front is the best defense against internal and external challenges.

 

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defense and security analyst, columnist, author of five books. He is Director Measac Research Centre, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Editor-in-chief “Better Morrow’ magazine, editor of website group ‘The Patriots’. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

, , , , , , , , ,

No Comments


Skip to toolbar