By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
We are hearing lot of hue and cry about the ‘national interests of Pakistan’ and everyone wanted to have a debate in the parliament if Pakistan should join the 34 nations alliance against terrorism or not? Well Pakistan is already partner of NATO alliance against the war on terror and nobody want to debate about it because if they do their visas and green cards will be cancelled as well as all ill wealth and properties will be seized in NATO alliance countries as well as friends of NATO.
Military and Defense attaches posted abroad traditionally report to their ‘premier intelligence agency’ back home which means everything goes on abroad is reported back. It seems Pakistani intelligence completely failed when Iranian intelligence launched their ‘honey trapping’ operation against Pakistan’s Defense Secretary Colonel Iskander Mirza by Iranian intelligence agent Nahid Afghamy who was stationed in Pakistan as wife of Colonel Afghamy Military Attaché’ at the Iranian Embassy in Pakistan – Karachi.
The question is what was the ISI, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau doing at the time? How on earth Nahid Afghamy allowed to trap Pakistan’s Defense Secretary, got married to her and she later become first lady of Pakistan. We see General Ayub Khan chief of army staff saluting the first lady. Was General Ayub too naïve that he couldn’t figure out what was going on?
Her country woman and relative Nusrat Isphani was already married to Zulifqar Ali Bhutto the future prime minister of Pakistan. It was both Mirza and Bhutto’s second marriage with younger women from Iran. By the way Irdsher Cowasjee was the financial supporter and witness of jobless ZA Bhutto when he was staying in metropole hotel with his new wife Nusrat Isphani. Iskander Mirza with Shia background was great grandson of traitor Mir Jafar of Bengal who betrayed Nawab Sirajudala in the Battle of Plassey against British and laid foundations of 250 years of British Rule in India. Sometimes generations pay the price of treachery if one not careful.
All kinds of tricks are used in the world of espionage and it is the state institutions responsibility to keep their assets safe from the enemy attacks. British Ministry of Defense (MOD) issued a warning to armed forces officials ‘No sex with Russians or Chinese girls as it could be a honey trap.
“No sex with Russian or Chinese girls – UK Defence Ministry warns staff”, The London Post, published 3rd January 2015
Few years ago late Brigadier Usman Khalid a great intellectual and strategist told me that: my close friend General Imtiaz (military secretary to ZA Bhutto) and I were in Paris and we met Begum Nusrat Bhutto and her Iranian sister Mrs Heriri in the hotel lobby where we were staying. Begum Bhutto somewhat was surprised to see me and asked: ‘Usman how are you and what you doing here’? I replied to her that (General) Imtiaz and I were visiting someone and staying in this hotel too. She was in a hurry and rushed out. General Imtiaz told me that “they Begum Bhutto and Mrs Heriri with her husband were going to meet the son of a Jewish friend of ZA Bhutto who kept the money approximately over US$1.5 million received in commission due to the arms and air force jet sale to Pakistan”. It was legal in France to give commission on arms deals. It was the same time when ‘Bhuttos’ bought villas in France and their lifestyle changed. General Imtiaz always stayed with Brigadier Usman Khalid whenever he visited London.
Coming back to Nahid Afghamy’s honey trapping of Pakistan’s Defence Secretary and becoming first lady of Pakistan without anyone raising eyebrows or having a debate in the parliament shows that: (a) Pakistani society is non-sectarian (b) inter marriage between Shias and Sunnis are common (c) Pakistani Shias are not like Sunnis in Iran said Khurshaid Kasuri to Iranian Foreign Minister.
The question is what was the mission of Nahid Afghamy? Well we need to see carefully what happened or what not happened since. (1) Pakistan did not do any oil and gas exploring in the areas bordering Iran in the Baluchistan province. (2) Pakistan have not done exploring in Baluchistan since 2000 and before. The question is Why?
“Not much is known about Nahid’s background except that she was the wife of one Lieutenant Colonel Afghamy – the Military Attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Pakistan. Also not known are the time and the circumstances under which Colonel Iskander Mirza and Nahid Afghamy had first met. It is a matter of conjecture that perhaps as Military Attaché Colonel Afghamy had frequent dealings with the Pakistan Ministry of Defence and also with Secretary Iskander Mirza”.
On March 6th Iskander Mirza was elected as President and the constitution was promulgated on March 23, 1956. Three days later on March 26, 1956 with Nahid on his side Iskander Mirza took the oath as President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan… Thus in a passage of two years, mostly through palace intrigues and backroom dealings, an ex-soldier and a career bureaucrat rose from the level of a department head to the position of the Head of the State. And the Iranian born Nahid Afghamy, the wife of a Military Attaché lifted by a government Secretary of the host country, became the First Lady of Pakistan. For the next two and half years Nahid Mirza as wife of the President will play significant role in the national and international affairs of Pakistan.
The Mirza family was an extremely influential and wealthy feudal family in Bengal, with close ties with British monarchy. His father, Fateh Ali Mirza belong to the ruling house of Murshidabad, grandson of the first Nawab Mansur Ali Khan. His paternal ancestor was Mir Jafar, generally known to Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis as a quisling. Mir Jafar had played an integral role bringing down Siraj ud-Daulah of Bengal, with the British East India Company serving as the informant and leading provider of intelligence to company official Robert Clive.
To further add insult to injury his son was not too bad. In the month of October 1954 brings some more dramatic developments for Iskander Mirza. His son Humayun is in the USA getting ready to marry the daughter of Horace A. Hildreth, American Ambassador to Pakistan.
According to Pakistani historians “Iskander Mirza lived in exile in London, England, until his death. It is reported that Mirza struggled financially while living in London trying to run a small Pakistan cuisine hotel. Here he lived in poverty until his death. His only regular income was an annual pension of £3,000 as a former military officer and president. People like the Ispahanis, Ardeshir Zahedi, the ambassador and later Foreign Minister of Iran, the Shah of Iran, Lord Inchcape, Lord Hume and other heads of European governments made his life in exile tolerable. At the London hospital where he died, he once said to his wife, Nahid: “We cannot afford medical treatment, so just let me die.
He died of a heart attack on November 13, 1969. President Yahya Khan denied him a burial in Pakistan. The Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi sent his personal plane to London to bring President Mirza’s body to Tehran, where he was given a State Funeral. Hundreds of Iranians, including Prime Minister Abbas Hoveyda, and Pakistani expatriates in Iran bade farewell and offered their prayers.” The question is why? What a Pakistani citizen and President did for Iran? His photo could be hanging on the ‘wall of honour’ in the Iranian Intelligence Headquarters?
The influence of Iranian (Shia) women on Pakistani politics did not stop as few years earlier another Iranian born Nusrat Isphani (Bhutto) become 2nd wife of Zulifqar Ali Bhutto who become President and Prime Minister of Pakistan and later his daughter Benazir and her husband Asif Ali Zardari to-date
“The late Begum Nusrat Bhutto, hailing from Iran’s wealthy Ispahani family, was one of the two Iranian-born first ladies that Pakistan has had since 1947. The first one, of course, was Begum Nahid Mirza, the second wife of Pakistan’s first President and fourth Governor General, Iskander Mirza. Both Iranian-born first ladies of Pakistan were of Kurdish descent and became the second wives of their husbands, who had then gone on to become the country’s Presidents. Nusrat Bhutto was a cousin of Nahid Mirza. Although Nusrat was 15 years younger to Nahid, she got married a few years earlier than her elder relative in September 1951”.
Well that series continued with Farahnaz Ispahani wife of Hussain Haqqani ‘memo gate’ character and former Pakistani ambassador to USA who reportedly issued thousands of visas to Blackwater and Xe Inc mercenaries and earning from Pakistan bashing in India. Surely those who (Zardari) installed him and kept his wife (Farah Isphani (MNA) Member National Assembly) in the President House for five years are equally responsible?
Historically, “Vengeful Shiites volunteered help to the Mongols in Mosul and other places along their march. The caliph’s vizier, or chief minister, was himself a Shiite of uncertain loyalty. Islamic opinion afterward held that the vizier, al-Alkamzi, vilely betrayed the caliph and conspired with the Mongols; an exhortation in Muslim school books used to say, “Let him be cursed of God who curses not al-Alkamzi.” As fighting began, Hulagu (Khan), acknowledging the importance of Shiite support, prudently posted guard detachments of a hundred Mongol horsemen at the most sacred Shiite shrines in Najef and Karbala” wrote Ian Frazier on 25th April, 2005 in The New Yorker.
To counter the sectarian plan against Pakistan is (a) it is time to eliminate all abusive materials books, (b) all audio and video material against the holy personalities of Islam must be removed and banned (c) hate speech must be declared criminal offence (d) Government must introduce the ‘spouse policy’ for example in Kazakhstan foreign ministry officials are not allowed to marry a foreign national due to national security. (e) Pakistan must reduce the number of officials coming into Pakistan from neighbouring countries to same as Pakistanis are stationed in those countries (f) diplomatic protocols must be adhered too and diplomats must not be allowed to move around freely unless they reciprocate the same liberty to Pakistani officials in their country.
Pakistan is viewed as an important country with all kind of potentials. When it has many friends it also has many hidden and open enemies who keep any eye on Pakistan sometimes directly and sometimes via their friends coming to Pakistan in various guises.
“Iran may be bombastic but Pakistan has the Bomb”, wrote Douglas Bloomfield in The Jerusalem Post on 3rd September 2008, “Iran may boast of great strides in its pursuit of nuclear, missile and satellite technology, but analysts say its progress is no match for its overblown rhetoric. But Pakistan doesn’t need to boast. It already has a stockpile estimated at 60 or more nuclear warheads and North Korean ballistic missiles and US-made F-16s to deliver them.”
All in all Iran is back in the US good books after the nuclear deal, has restored diplomatic relations with Britain, signed over $30 billion deal with India, successfully eliminated its enemies Saddam Hussain in Iraq and Taliban in Afghanistan with the US help off course?
The question is why no one is debated this issue that the kind of space Iranians have been given in Pakistan is not reciprocated by Iran. The recruitment and training of terrorists of ‘Sipha Mohammad’ continues from Iranian soil. There are reports that Pakistanis are going to Syria to join hands with the Asad regime forces against the criminal ‘Daesh’. The question is if Sunni Pakistanis joining Daesh is a crime than why Shias allowed to go to Syria?
Pakistani agencies have arrested terrorists trained in Iran who were involved in target killings and bombings in Pakistan but it was damp down due to the ‘sectarian blackmail’. Pakistan is a sovereign state and no one should be allowed to live in Pakistan but sing from Iranian or Saudi hymn sheets. Shia dominated Pakistani media must not damage the national interests of Pakistan as their ‘over doing’ is back firing.
In 2009 Iranians attacked Pakistan embassy in Tehran and burn Pakistani flag as they burnt down Saudi embassy in Tehran in 2016. Iran must understand that it does not have sovereign rights over all the Shias living in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere? It must stay in the UN recognized boundaries and borders.
One must admit that Iranians are smart enough to plant their female agent (Naheed Afgahmy so called wife Col- Afghamy Iranian Military Attaché in Pakistan) Who later become First Lady of Pakistan and 2nd wife of President Sikandar Miraza and another woman Nusrat Isphani (Bhutto) her cousin (2nd wife of ZA Bhutto) she become first lady of Prime Minister Bhutto and later her half Iranian daughter Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister and later her husband Asif Zardari President of Pakistan.
Is anyone thinking that Iranian network is weak in Pakistan? Well they have sent over 5000 Pakistani Shias to Syria and those who were killed, their families are receiving Pension and have obtained Iranian nationality. This how you protect your assets. Iranian have used a Pakistanis for spying.This Iranian use of Shias in Muslim countries as asset is main bone of contention with rest of the Muslim world. This is exactly Israeli model of using Jews as assets worldwide.
Pakistani agencies must now look for the new Nahid Afghamies and Skindar Mirzas within its own back yard. That is the internal threat Pakistan facing that its citizens are openly hired and recruited by foreign agencies and nobody is saying anything?
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and 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 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 Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is a PhD and also studied Law at a British University)