By Dr Shahid Qureshi-:
On 30th July 2017, Hina Rabbani Khar former foreign minister of Pakistan said on Al-Jazeera: “I have seen physical evidence as foreign minister that India is damaging Pakistan via Afghanistan”.
Earlier this year the alleged involvement of an Afghan national in the Lahore Bombing of 13th February 2017 raised many questions for the security establishment of Pakistan. Fingers were pointed towards Indian intelligence Agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) run terrorist group in this bombing which killed senior police officers and citizens as well as injuring dozens. Obviously, the Afghan government is protecting TTP terrorist leadership in Afghanistan with the support of its allies. On the other hand, Pakistani politicians like Nawaz Sharif, Abdul Achakzai, Asfandyar Wali, Altaf Hussain and others are complicit in damaging the state of Pakistan and its institutions.
The obvious target of these pro India politicians is CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) projects and relations with China. After the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister and that might give some space to clear out Indian Agents from the ruling elite. The volume 10 of the evidence submitted in the supreme court of Pakistan by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is about Nawaz Sharif family’s wheeling and dealing with the India (RAW).
Indian sponsored Afghan Army attacked on the Torkham Border post and killed a Pakistani major and injured few soldiers. Nawaz Sharif dis not uttered a word. He is totally numbed since the arrest of active RAW agent Kulbushan Yadav Indian Navy Officer aka (Kulbhushan Naqvi) code named ‘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.
“Indians are establishing and running Madrasas in Afghanistan with the full knowledge and support of the other stake holders. What you doing about it”? I asked General (Rtd) Javeed Ashraf Qazi former head of the ISI of Pakistan and Aftab Sher Pao Interior Minister of Pakistan at ‘Afghanistan Conference’ held at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) in London few years ago, they both seems surprised and almost shocked.
This is what people say: “your ignorance is their (enemies) power”. While looking at the media reports it sounds like that Indians and others are only working on Sunni groups. That is not the case. They are also funding and supporting Shia groups in Pakistan with collaboration of other players but that is not reported in media and it sounds like only Sunni groups are involved in terrorism. US Navy Professor and academic Vali Nasar has already presented US strategy for the Shias in Pakistan in his book.
I wrote in my article on 11th November 2016, “Vali Nasr’s Shia Revival in Pakistan and Sunnis of Iran”. “Interestingly the wizard of the US policy on Shias and Sunnis is Vali Nasar son of Husain Nasr who was close to Shah of Iran. He is Professor at the US Naval Academy, Postgraduate School, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He tells people what they want to hear not what they should know! Vali Nasr wrote his book ‘The Shia Revival’, How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future’, in 2006 and published in USA by Publisher: W.W. Norton – ISBN 0393062112.”
The real issue is how to deal with it intelligently and to some extent Pakistani agencies are dealing with it very smartly to avoid confrontation and tensions among 97% percent Sunnis and 3% Shias. As part of national action plan a strong action is needed against the hate speech and abusive material which needed to be removed in all shape and forms. Few months ago, while Pakistani military doing clean up and anti-terrorist operations in Kurum Agency and Shia dominated Para Chanar, they destroyed some training camps allegedly run by the Iranians. MWM (Majlis Wahdat Mulimeen), a pro Iran Shia group called on a strike in Gilgit and blocked the main road connecting China and Pakistan. Obviously Pakistani security establishment reacted quickly and strike was called off and plan to block the China-Pakistan road was toppled. The point is not only India is against the Gawadar Port and CPEC but Iran is also part of that nexus. Iranian port of Chbahar built by the Indians situated about 80 km from Gawadar Port is a competitor.
I said to the Iranian ambassador to Kazakhstan on 23rd June 2017 in capital Astana: “Pakistan is Iran’s natural trade partner with approximately 900 km land and sea borders but your country’s highest trade is with India a declared enemy of Pakistan. India has killed over 120,000 Kashmiri Muslims and that is another question about your ethical foreign policy”.
A high-ranking security official said to me in 2006: “we can deal with these terrorist attacks and stop them in 24 hours only if we are allowed to respond in kind and take them back to the doors of the perpetrators”. That is what Pakistani security establishment should do or probably they are already doing it.
There is a saying, “never give priority to those who takes you as an option”, the major problem with Pakistani establishment is their inconsistency in building confidence and credibility with relevant people ‘assets’ all over the world. In any relationship respect is the foundation and rest follow. They are good at making good friends and later making them enemies. That sounds childish and myopic. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Hussain Haqqani former ambassador of Pakistan to USA both were created, supported and nurtured under the military establishment and both are now in enemy baskets. No? You need consistency and continuity as well as protection of asset policy. This reactive and firefighting policy damage in the end. Nip the evils in the bud.
Talking about British policy of asset management famous British writer and former diplomat Craig Murray said to me at his book launch in London in November 2016 that: “British establishment is still using the same assets cultivated in 18th century in Afghanistan, take for example the tribe of Hamid Karazi the former President of Afghanistan. On the other hand, he and his family was protected by Pakistan but he turned against Pakistan on all forums.
While President Hamid Karzai was making ‘venomous comments’ about Pakistan at a Press Conference standing with the British Prime Minister in No: 10 Downing Street in 2006, the official residence of The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, I asked him Mr President “when are taking your 3 million refugees back to Afghanistan”? He literally had tears in his eyes and said: “I am grateful to my Pakistani brothers and sisters for their support and assistance”.
Those people who support, assist and help them in the time of need are not their priority and they don’t even acknowledge the effort. This is called ‘failure in asset management’. So, if you do not respect people, they will go to those who do.
Take for example Hussain Haqqani former Pakistani Ambassador to US. He was involved in ‘Memogate’ but the asset managers made sure he is safe and protected. He was taken out of Pakistan by his handlers and now he is singing from the Indian Hymn Sheet. Same is the case with Altaf Hussain of MQM-A. British establishment will never give Altaf Husain to Pakistan whatever colour warrant you have. It is not because they love Altaf Hussain or he cannot be replaced but to assure and re assure ‘assets’ all over the world, we will protect you. That was very reason British sent special forces to rescue injured Hamid Karazi from Taliban and he remembered this all his life.
But like an abused wife suffering from ‘battered wife syndrome, Pakistani policy makers keep going back to those people ‘over and over’ again, who kick them in the teeth. It is like same old same old. Human resource development in the international arena needs prioritising, investment of time, money and consistency because there is no such thing as ‘Free Lunch’.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He speaks at Cambridge University on international politics. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He speaks at Cambridge University).
Views expressed are not of The London Post