By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
Iran is perfectly capable and smart enough in looking after its national and international interests. Iran is not isolated at all as it has Russia, China, India and many EU countries on its side – this is not isolation.
Some paid and prostitute type elements in Pakistan keep on banging about the ‘Isolation of Iran’ as if Iran is a teen age virgin. Pakistan is Iran’s natural trade partner due to the land and sea borders but Iran’s trade with India is much higher.
One sided love with Iran is ‘harming and damaging’ Pakistan and that is only possible if self-harming leaders of Pakistan allow it to happen. That is successful foreign policy. No? For example, pro Iran Asif Zardari signed a very overpriced gas agreement with Iran. The price was agreed $12 per MMBTU and if you add pipeline rent it comes to $14 per MMBTU.
If we look at it in today’s prices it comes down to $10 MMBTU. Iran is not ready to review the agreement after Indian refusal to join in, although ‘reviewing’ is part of the agreement. How the hell one can even imagine. If this has happened in UK or USA, signatory would have been in prison by now. This is a day light robbery and sound like a pawn shop agreement by crooks in place?
In the world, open market same gas is available as much as $3 MMBTU. It seems that Iran is very confident that pro Iran Shia elements in the Pakistani establishment and system will allow this self-harming and damaging Agreement to continue.
Over 2 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia and about 3 million in Sunni countries in Gulf and UAE and only about 25000 in Iran. Pakistani economic and strategic interests are predominantly in the Sunni world which cannot ignored due to sectarian policies of Iran?
Iranians have signed nuclear deal with the US and others and have restored diplomatic relations with UK. Over $30 billion India-Iran military and civil cooperation deal is obviously against Pakistan’s interests.
Those who have worked with Iranians know that: “they are the most sophisticated and articulate people in the world now and in the past”. Iranian media or academia never asked its government as why it is having over $30 billion worth of defence and economic contracts with India staunch enemy of Pakistan?
It is only in Pakistan some people are so worried about Iran that they have forgotten that when it comes to business Iranians don’t care about this slogan of brotherly Islamic Pakistan be it over priced gas agreement with Pakistan or buying of arms during the 1965 war, they, meant business.
Pakistan has supported Iran silently when it did not object when Iran recruited Pakistani Shias to fight in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. According to Iranian General Retired General Mohammad Ali Falaki, who said: “We formed Shiite army to fight in Iraq, Syria and Yemen” “The Shiite Liberation Army is currently fighting on three fronts – Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” he told Mashregh news agency, which is close to the IRGC, in an interview. He said Pakistanis have their ‘Zeynabioun’ militia group, Iraqis have their ‘Heydarioun’ while the Lebanese have Hezbollah.”
Read More: Iranian general: We formed Shiite army to fight in Iraq, Syria and Yemen
What is isolating Iran in the rest of Muslim World is its own constitution and policy and that Iran is a Shia State according to Article 12 of its constitution on the other hand Pakistan is Islamic Republic and its constitution does not specify which ‘fiqah’ (Islamic code of Jurisprudence) to follow as all are equal and has same rights.
Article 12 of the Iranian constitution States:
“The official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelver Ja’fari school [in usual al-Din and fiqh], and this principle will remain eternally immutable…”
Pakistan is liberal state when it comes to religious tolerance and harmony and that is why Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri said to his Iran counterpart: “Pakistani Shias are not like Sunnis in Iran”. Pakistan always say Iran as brotherly Islamic country. The important question is where Iran place Pakistan on trade, economy, military, Kashmir and foreign policy.
Obviously, Iranians have chosen to form a military and economic alliance with India apart from Indian Amy’s killings in Indian held Kashmir, demolishing of Babri Masjid and genocide of Muslims in Gujrat and Kashmir. Therefore, all is not moral and ethically up to the preached standards in the Iranian foreign policy.
The good thing about Iranian smartness is that they have been able to ‘plant and cultivate a powerful pro Iran lobby in Pakistan almost free of cost’. The Iranian narrative flows down from the clerics route to all its assets be in media, security and establishment.
They are however, funding clerics and training certain terrorist elements of Pakistani society exporting them the theory of ‘Velyat e Fiqh’ which has its political and security implications as this does not recognise international boundaries or borders. That is the root cause of nervousness in the rest of Muslim world. As far as US and others are concerned, all are happy because they can sell arms to both Iran and other Muslim countries as they don’t care if the dead victim is a Sunni or Shia?
US General Wesley Clark admitted and said: “It was US who supported Shia groups in Iraq against (US supported Saddam regime) and policy to destabilise the whole region goes as far as 1990s”.
Iranians had played its cards very intelligently in the post 9/11 world with the silent US support. Well Iran has successfully used US military interventions in its favours or US has supported in eliminating its staunch enemies i.e. Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussain in Iraq.
“For All his faults, Assad is the Devil we know” The Jerusalem Post wrote on March 23, 2011 :
For those who thinks US and Israel are enemy of Iran and Asad Regime – In fact they have saved Bashar al-Asad but destroyed the country as that was the objective. They have dragged Iran and Russia into Syria. Otherwise how Iran can come to Syria without crossing US occupied Iraq?
Finally Iran has managed to save itself from damage with it pro active foreign policy and smart use of its planted assets every where.
(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 is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University)
Views expressed are not of The London Post.