By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
No one knows if too compromised lame duck President Zardari is part of the problem or part of the solution keeping in view the challenges Pakistan facing at the moment? Murder of Benazir Bhutto changed the political scene of Pakistan. Her launching and removal from the scene was part of a plot because a dead Bhutto is far more effective then alive? Some people say Bhuttos are cursed like Ghandis and Kennedys? But it is not as simple as it seems, all of them were used and removed with perfect timings?
Re-launching of Benazir Bhutto (and now Zardari) has another dimension which was about to be aired soon. Wikipedia encyclopedia wrote, Bhutto was the eldest child of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a Pakistani of Sindhi descent and Shia Muslim by faith, and Begum Nusrat Bhutto, a Pakistani of Iranian-Kurdish descent, of similarly Shia Muslim by faith. Her husband Mr. Asif Zardari also belongs to Shia faith. Indo-US lobby is stronger in Pakistan then pro Pakistan lobby in Pakistan.
Benazir Bhutto a half-Iranian, Shia Prime Minister of a 90% Sunni Pakistan and now Zardari Inc, and others are chosen for many reasons? Ms. Bhutto might be aware of with some reasons but not all of them? Benazir and Zardaris links with Zionist lobby and complete reliance on foreign actors is a sign of mistrust on Pakistani institutions especially ISI and Army?
To demolish or undermine a country one does not need hammers? Sometimes removing a competent official and replacing with untrained, ignorant, uneducated, uniformed official or leaving the post vacant at time of crisis serves the purpose? For example when Zardari replaced a well trained professional Ambassador Munir Akram from Pakistan’s UN mission with a crony Haroon Hussein who deliberately failed himself in representing the case of Pakistan at the time of passing of UN Security Council Resolution without a debate after Mumbai Bombings is sign of treachery?
Now at a time when winning media war is crucial this government has failed to appoint a Press Minister in Washington for the past six months and recently well connected London High Commission’s Press Minister Imaran Gardezi was recalled to Islamabad to work as Minister Press with the Prime Minister Yousaf Reza Gillani who reportedly personally asked his close friend and relative Imran Garedezi.
Why would someone leave important stations like London and Washington without senior Press Minister vacant at this crucial time? The rumor is that London press office might be replaced with some crony who has pro India and anti- military views. Well Indo-US lobby is much stronger in Pakistan then pro Pakistan lobby in Pakistan? Otherwise who would tolerate with Salman Tasser former husband/partner of anti-Pakistan Indian journalist Talveen Singh?
According a senior analyst the game plan being followed seems to be: (a) Installation of a Government surrounded by people from apparently Shia minority, President Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, Sherry Rehman, Hussein Haqani his wife Farah Isphani, Abida Hussein (General Musharafs National Security Advisor (Qadiyani) Tariq Aziz sold his horses in a rush to Abida Husain and took millions in foreign accounts) and various others inner golden circle of the regime are either Shias or Qadiyani influenced like Rehman Malik relative of Tariq Aziz and Governor Punjab Salman Taseer. (b) Appointments and postings of handpicked Shia officers/cronies irrelevant of political affiliations in the embassies, important missions, provincial, federal departments, police and intelligence services. (That helps Rehman Malik to keep his foreign job and money safe?). The policy of divide and rule is in practice for long time and still in practice all needed is to see through it?
Zafar Hashmi in an article published on 11th January 2005 titled, The Shia Strategy in Iraq and Pakistan, states, The Pakistani Shias were also delighted to see the back of Taleban who had given shelter and refuge to the terrorists of Sipha-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jangvi (LJ). These two organizations are involved in the killings of hundreds of Shia professionals in Pakistan. However in the post September 11th scenario the American foreign policy for whatever reason has directly benefited the Shias especially in Iraq.
Why would someone leave important stations like London and Washington without a senior Press Minister vacant at this crucial time?
Afghanistan and Pakistan (and this is an undeniable fact!). If we use our heads and follow a sensible policy then we can change the course of history in our favour and if we don’t then history will never forgive us. The collapse of Taliban and Saddam regime has impacted the Shias more than any other group of people in this world. The Shias of Afghanistan and Iraq are finally free to practice and follow their religion without the fear of being killed or put in jail.
He wrote, The two most repressive governments from the Shia point of view i.e. the government of Taleban and the regime of Saddam Hussein have disappeared and the state sponsor killings and massacres of the Shias have come to an end in both Afghanistan and Iraq. However a new evil in the form of Wahabbi sponsored terrorism has become the biggest threat and challenge to the lives of ordinary Shias especially in Iraq and Pakistan. The deadly suicide attacks on Ashoora in Karbala and Khadmiya, the massacre of Shias on the same day in Quetta Pakistan, and the subsequent massacre of Shias in Karachi Imambargahs are a testimony to the distorted ideology of Wahabbism.
I (Zafar Hashmi) suggest a two pronged strategy:
(A) SHIAS MUST INFILTRATE SSP TO GATHER INTELLIGENCE
The only way to prevent suicide bombings is through intelligence gathering of the enemy or in other words we have to infiltrate SSP and keep an eye on their activities. This should ideally be the work of countries intelligence agencies. Unfortunately Pakistan being a third world country, its intelligence agencies are not as efficient or well paid as they should be and often lack the professionalism and discipline needed to nab the terrorists. Hence the onus is on us to do the work of the intelligence agencies and save ourselves from these inhumane acts of terrorism.
A few Shias in every city, town and village would have to join and become part of SSP. These Shias would have to visit and pray in mosques controlled by SSP, attend their meetings and gatherings and pretend to be inspired by the ideology of Haq Nawaz Jhangvi. These Shias would effectively be working as spies on behalf of the community. Once these Shias have gained the trust and the confidence of the local SSP activists it would be easy to find out what these guys are up to.
If some of our brothers join and infiltrated SSP or LJ then we can keep track of their activities and plans. This would allow us to pre-empt any attacks which are eminent or are in the pipeline. SSP has stalked and harassed the Shia community for decades in Pakistan and its about time we do the same by infiltrating their organization and acting as informers. This is the only way to fight SSP. I really don’t see any other way of preventing suicide bombings except through intelligence gathering on the activities of SSP and LJ.
General Musharraf is USA’s linchpin in its war on terror against Taleban and Al-Qaeda. The Pakistani army and its security services are collaborating with the American intelligence to nab the terrorists of Al-Qaeda and Taleban. We (Shias) can easily use the war on terror in our favour. As far as the West is concerned Taleban, Al-Qaeda, SSP and LJ are all one. This indeed is true for us too, since all these groups share the same anti-Shia ideology and have killed hundreds and thousands of Shias one way or the other.
Any intelligence that we gather on SSP or LJ can be simply passed to the Pakistani security agencies who are closely working with the Americans. In this way we neither have to kill, attack, injure or hurt anybody. All we are doing is passing the information and the rest is done by the agencies themselves. This is exactly what the Wahabbis did after the Iranian revolution; they collaborated with the Americans to fight Shiaism in every corner of the globe. Its time we treat them with their own medicine!
(B) DEVELOP A PRAGMATIC APPROACH TOWARDS AMERICA (USA):
Since the Iranian revolution of 1979 some Shia organizations like Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) and Tehrik-e-Jaferria Pakistan (TJP) have been advocating an extremely anti American line in Pakistan. Any incidents of Shia killings in Pakistan become a justification for anti-American rallies, protests, speeches and slogans. We are told that the killings of the Shia is a Jewish-American conspiracy to harm the Muslim unity. America is singled out as the great satan which wants Muslims to be divided so that they cannot challenge the American might. Fiery anti-American speeches are delivered and Israeli and American flags are burned and trampled over to show our hatred for America and Israel.
These conspiracy theories may have had some truth in eighties and the early nineties at the peak of Iranian revolution but the reality could not be more different now. All those forces (the Wahabbis of Saudi Arabia and the Deobandis of SSP) which conspired against the Shias in Pakistan have become Americas number one enemy after September 11th. America is now hunting down Taleban and the Wahabbis of Al-Qaeda in every corner of the globe. As America has shifted its foreign policy towards our worst enemies it would only be logical if we also reconsider our position towards the American establishment.
Even organizations like ISO and TJP must accept the reality that America is no longer conspiring with the Wahabbis to kill the Shia in Pakistan or elsewhere. However Wahabbis and their jihadi prodigies are conspiring to kill American citizens and ordinary Shias all over the world. Its about time we drop the slogan of Death to America once and for all. We have not achieved anything through such hollow slogans. We should stop living in this Utopia and face the reality. Its time we close the foreign front against America and concentrate on the local enemy whose sole aim is the destruction of the Shias in Pakistan.
Shia Strategy in Iraq and Pakistan by Zafar Hashmi
The News reported on 28th July 2008, that (mostly Shia), Quetta’s ethnic Hazara minority is the most educated tribe in Balochistan. The literacy rate among Hazaras is 100 per cent up to the age of 35 years. With the population of over 0.2 million, a majority of Hazaras live in Quetta and thousands of others reside in Loralai, Khuzdar, Sibi and Mach towns in Balochistan. They contribute immensely to the development and progress of the province. The Hazaras in Quetta have been targeted repeatedly in the past. They suffered casualties which have been sectarian and ethnic biased. It is reported that the Americans are using Shia Hazars as interpreters in Afghanistan against Taliban and that could have led to attacks on them?
What need to be understood is that, are people settling their personal scores in the disguise of war on terror? India is very much involved in fanning ethnic and religious tensions in Pakistan. The consequences of following the above strategy are (a) that perception is being created in front of Pakistan’s friends in Middle East that a Sunni majority country is being taken over by tiny minority of Shias (b) banning of Jamat Dawah and detention of its members without proof and evidence is questionable and seems very loaded? Not to mention letting a resolution passed in UNSC without debate is even serious? (c) On the other hand probably Iranians already know that Pakistani leadership is corrupt and compromised and has become an American satellite state for a long time? (d) Zardaris China policy is not hidden apart from the usual lip service? Someone said, ‘if Pakistan is fighting War on Terror for its interests then why are we taking money from US?
A senior London based Military Analyst stated, enemies (of Pakistan) Steve Cohen included – want to turn political dissent into inter-provincial ethnic/sectarian polarization. No one seems to perceive the true nature of the danger; no one seems to be able to show leadership that such times require. But the February 2008 elections were neither the problem nor the solution. Look what we got as a result of elections the most corrupt regime in the world? Divide and rule agenda must be confronted at all levels.
The murderous campaign of Sunni militants against the Shia was counterproductive because the Shia are a minority well integrated in the society and the Sunni majority was just as awestruck by the murders of the Shia. However, if Asif Zardari seeks to put his Shia/Qadiyani cronies in all sensitive posts in politics, in the diplomatic corps, in bureaucracy and in the armed forces, there is bound to be Sunni backlash that could become violent and shake the very foundation of peace and stability in the country. It is a dangerous and sinister game the objective of which is to pitch the army against the Islamic forces like in Algeria.
Asif Zardari has ignored the advice of the military and hoodwinked the entire state apparatus to comply with the wishes if India to get UN sanctions imposed on former Mujahedeen, is a conclusive proof that he wants to destroy both the custodians of the polity of Pakistan – the Islamic and the Military forces – by pitting them against each other. That has already occurred in Swat- Asif Zardari with the help from India and America hopes to put the military on the spot by giving them the task of destroying the Islamic forces. That would start a civil war, which will be avoided by the alert military. Zardari may well become an early casualty of such an attempt.
The Shia Sunni solidarity in Pakistan is very strong. It could not be vitiated by Lashkar Jhangvi and it is not going to be undermined by cronyism. But we live in dangerous times. The world is still stunned by the ineptitude of India s black cats and America is desperate because of its line of communication to Afghanistan having been so seriously disrupted. In its desperation, the USA is eager to bury the hatchet with Iran and Syria, which is welcome.
But if Asif Zardari sees that as a signal for universal approval of Shia led US surrogates as rulers, he is mistaken. America did not see the backlash coming over Predator attacks on Pakistan. Its L of C to Afghanistan has been disrupted despite Asif Zardari wishing otherwise. His wishes to have the military fight patriotic forces are not going to be met either. The people know who are the Mujahedeen and who are the terrorists supported by the CIA and RAW. The Army will deal with the terrorists. And that is not a Shia Sunni thing; that is matter between patriots and anti-state enemy agents.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award winning investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London. He is senior analyst with BBC)