Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Spreading Disinformation about Islam


Everyone has the right to follow a particular faith and defend it against the opposite beliefs. But one should be honest in analyzing one's own faith and should not twist facts as a means to spread disinformation about other's faith and religions. For truth always stands tall and cannot be hidden from the audience.

Before proceeding further, let me differentiate between disinformation and misinformation: Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false.

I usually come across many sites maintained by Christians which in order to uphold their viewpoint on Christianity and let down the religion of Islam, take help of out of context verses from the Holy Qur'an with a view to spread disinformation not only in others' mind, but also to mislead their own Christian brethren by feeding them disinformation. Naturally the Christians will not cross check references and will believe for sure that the information given is correct and would thus remain disinformed for their lives, unless someone ventures to find the truth.

And those who find the truth, accept Islam!! 

Let me now insert here referees and disinformation as contained in one of the sites. However it may be borne in mind that the purpose here is not to refute what Bible says or what Christians believe in. The purpose here is to remove any disinformation which being felt from the sites and answer the quires in the light of information contained in the Holy Qur'an. It is up to the reader to find the truth:

Case 1
Christianity: God is One in Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Islam: Allah is One; he has no Son. The Holy Spirit does not exist.
Commentary:  Yes, we in Islam firmly believe in oneness of Allah and we denounce the notion that Allah could have a son and also believe that there is no concept of the Holy spirit.  In fact this is the main difference between Islam and Christianity. If this claim is accepted as false, then the whole concept of Christianity would crumble. 
  • We Muslims do believe in the extra ordinary circumstances of the birth of Prophet Isa (Christ, peace be upon him). In fact complete chapters (Surah Aal e Imran, Surah Maryam and Surah Nuh) have been dedicated to this effect. I have already deliberated upon the extraordinary birth of Prophet Isa separately which explains in detail our view point.
  • When Maryam (Mary, mother of Isa) was asked about the birth of a baby boy when she had not been married, she pointed towards her son who said: [Eesa] said, "Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. (Al Quran Surah Noah, 19:30) And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive. And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. (Al Quran Surah Noah, 19:31-32)
  • The above is the first answer as to the birth of Christ and acceptance of his being a prophet in his own words.
  • As for he being son of God, the Holy Qur'an explicitly explains status of Allah: "Say (O'Muhammad), He is Allah, (the) One (Ahad - In Arabic Ahad means One). Allah, the Absolute.  He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” [Chapter 112 Sūra al-Ikhlāṣ - The Declaration of Oneness of Allah]
  • and if the words of Qur'an were not true, why every year so many Christians revert to Islam - it is because they find the word of Qur'an more convincing and carrying the ultimate truth.
Case 2
Christianity: God loves all people, including Muslims. Allah and God cannot possibly be one and the same.
Islam: Allah hates apostates and blasphemers.  Allah and God are one and the same.
Commentary: From the above said comparison an impression has been given as if Christianity is all love and Islam is region that "hates" and that Allah and God cannot possibly be one and the same thing. Here is my view point as a Muslim:
  • Yes Allah is different from the Gods Christian worship. We Muslims believe that Allah is monotheist and so do all religions before Christianity believe so including the Jews. In fact including anyone in the domain of oneness of Allah is a great sin as far Islam is concerned. Thus concept of the Father, son and the Holy Ghost (which constitute God in Christianity) is simply unimaginable for Allah is not a human to have wife and son. 
  • Therefore we Muslims believe that God and only He without inclusion of any humans into His Godly domain is our God. Allah is only the Arabic translation of the word God. It may be added that in all Arabic translated Bibles, the word Allah is sued for God.
  • Yes in Islam we do renounce apostates and blasphemers, for there cannot be anyone equal to Allah nor can anyone claim to be so. 
  • Islam like all religions is a religion of peace and does not in any way propagate violence. The islamophobia is creation of the sick people who have deliberately used Muslims to be become paid mercenaries and to disturb the world peace. No Muslim, except those "conditioned" to to play in hands of the disturbers of world peace, subscribe to the idea of terrorism. 
  • The world has started to release that the terrorists like IS and Taliban are but puppets that play the tune of those who want to project Islam as violent and explosive.
Case 3
Christianity: God commands all people to love him and love one another, even their enemies.
Islam: Allah commands Muslims to “Fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah sees all that they do.” (Qur’an 8:39)
Commentary: 
  • It is interesting to find this comparison. If God commands all people to love him and love one an other, even their enemies - how come there be any enemies among Christian world if this contention is taken as true? The two World Wars were fought between Christians that ended in killing of millions, all Christians. Then why didn't the Christians obey their God?
  • Yes Allah commanded Muslims to fight when being oppressed. In the early years of Islam, Muslims in Makkah were oppressed and mocked, but there was no Divine order to fight back. And in the height of oppression, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) decided to migrate to Medina. It was then when the pagans of Makkah came laced with sinews of war that Muslims were allowed to fight back at the Battle of Badr. 
  • Even after the Battle of Badr, those infidels who were captured were never harmed and instead were asked to teach Muslims and were then freed. This is how Muslims treat prisoners of war and not like what the Americans did at the Abu Gharib prison, where Muslims were stripped naked and were photographed - even women soldiers posed with them. How unfortunate. Is this the show of love as propagated?
  • And this did not mean always to resort to war and killing if the opposing pagans gave in. The capture of Makkah is a classic example of restraint shown on the part of the Muslims when they asked Makkans to lay down their arms and they would be safe. And the world witnessed contingents of Muslims entering city of Makkah without anyone being hurt. In fact it was announced by the Prophet of Allah that anyone who sought refuge in the house of Abu Sufyan (an arch enemy of Muslims) will be safe.
  • This is how Islam teaches tolerance, peace and patience.




Case 4
Christianity: All Biblical scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true. Abiding by its unchanging words brings peace of mind and heart.
Islam: Jews and Christians corrupted the Bible by removing verses that foretold Muhammad’s coming and adding verses to establish Jesus’ divinity.
Commentary: The very opener of the Christian view point above accepts that all holy scriptures are inspired by God - the only God. IF God is the originator of all holy scriptures, how can there be anyone else who can be called God too?
  • If everyone abides by the teachings of Allah, as called God above, there would never been any disputes. The Jews would not have crucified the Christ and tolerated him as a prophet.
  • But instead of targeting Jews for what they did to Christ, the Christians "move forward" to target Islam for Islam denounces the concept of Trinity.
  • As for the Muslims' claim that Jes and Christians have corrupted the Bible be removing verses that foretold Prophet Muhammad's coming, this is not absolutely true. In fact we say there are signs which Christians desist to accept, which foretell the coming of a Prophet
There are several citations in the Bible prophesying the coming of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. 
Isaiah 42:4 says, "He will not fail nor be discouraged, till he has established justice in the earth." The Ministry of Jesus, peace be upon him, lasted only three years and at the time of his departure from this world it could not be truthfully said that 'he established justice in the earth'. However, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, preached for 23 years and most certainly 'established justice in the earth' before he departed from the earth. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that verses 1-13 refer to the coming of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him.
Deuteronomy 18:18 "I will raise for them a Prophet like you (Moses) from among their brethren and will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them, all that I command him."
New Testament: "15. If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another 'comforter' (helper in other versions), that he may abide with you forever." Also John 15:26-27, John 16:5-8 and John 16:12-14. 
Let us analyze the above mentions:
  • Christians believe that this is a reference to Jesus, peace be upon him. One important word here is "Prophet". Christians believe Jesus is the son of God not a prophet of God. So if they accept Jesus as a prophet, why then create an innovation and assume him to be son of God? Something very misleading and because of this dichotomy why many Christians accept the Qur'anic version of Jesus being prophet of Allah and absolutely not Allah's son.
  • Another important word is "brethren". If it were Jesus the word would have been "children" because Jesus, peace be upon him, came from the children of Isaac. Since Ishmael, peace be upon him, was the brother of Isaac, peace be upon him, the reference is therefore to the children of Prophet Ishmael, peace be upon him, who will be brethren to the children of Isaac, peace be upon him. 
  • Again the only Prophet from the brethren of the Jews and the Christians was Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. 
  • The next important phrase is " ... like you (Moses)". Even a cursory comparison will show us that Jesus, peace be upon him, was very unlike Prophet Moses, peace be upon him. Prophet Moses' birth was natural whereas the birth of Jesus was miraculous without a father, to a virgin, peace be upon her. Prophet Moses married and had children, Jesus did not marry and of course did not have any children. The ministry of Jesus, peace be upon him, lasted three years and did not see the laws of God establish in his time. Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, preached the law of God for many decades and saw in his time, the law of God established. Comparing Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, with Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, brings out an amazing similarity. Muhammad's birth was natural, he was married and had children; preached the law of God for 23 years and saw in his own time God's Law established in his land.
  • The phrase: "I will put My words in his mouth", takes on great significance because Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, was unlettered; he did not know how to read or write. Normally God would put the message in the Prophet's mind. In this case attention is drawn towards "words" being put into the "mouth". Prophet Muhammad's sayings as well as eye witness accounts describe his receiving the verses of the Holy Qur'an, and his tongue moving with the words being put in his mouth. [Read details of first five verses of Surah Al Alaq - the first verses ever revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him]
Case 5
Christianity: Jesus said, “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
Islam: Allah gives Muslims the ability and authority to judge between men. (Qur’an 4:105; 5:49)
Commentary:
  • Now this is simply absurd. The above verse of Qur'an should have been quoted in full to truly reveal its meaning intended.
  • The complete verse reads: "Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth so you may judge between the people by that which Allah has shown you. So do not dispute on behalf of the dishonest." [Surah An Nisah 105]
  • The matter of the fact is that this verse was raveled for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to decide the case on merit even if it entailed a decision in the favour of a non Muslim.
  • The incident involved a person called Tu'mah or Bashir ibn Ubayriq of the Banu Zafar tribe of the Ansar (Muslims of Medina). This man stole an Ansari's coat of mail. While the investigation was in progress, he put the coat of mail in the house of a Jew. Its owner approached the Prophet (peace be on him) and expressed his suspicion about Tu'mah. But Tu'mah, his kinsmen and many of the Banu Zafar colluded to ascribe the guilt to the Jew. When the Jew concerned was asked about the matter he pleaded that he was not guilty. Tu'mah's supporters, on the other hand, waged a vigorous propaganda campaign to save Tu'mah's skin. They argued that the wicked Jew, who had denied the Truth and disbelieved in God and the Prophet (peace be on him), was absolutely untrustworthy, and his statement ought to be rejected outright. 
  • It was at this point of decision that this verse was revealed to guide the Prophet (peace be on him) to judge the case on merit and not taking side of His own people. 
  • False evidence is given in order to obtain wrong verdicts. The time when this case came up for decision was a time of severe conflict between Islam and unbelief. Had the Prophet (peace be on him) issued a wrong judgment on the basis of the evidence before him, it would have provided the opponents of Islam with an effective weapon against the Prophet (peace be on him) as well as against the entire Islamic community, and even Islam itself. They could have spread the word that the Prophet (peace be on him) and his followers were not concerned about right and justice: it would have been claimed that they were guilty of the same prejudice and chauvinism against which they had themselves been preaching. It was specifically to prevent this situation that God intervened in this particular case. 
  • In this and the following verse the Muslims were strongly censured for supporting criminals for no other reason than either family or tribal solidarity and were told that they should not allow prejudice to interfere with the principle of equal justice for all. Man's instinctive honesty revolts against the idea of supporting one's own kin even when they are wrong, and denying others their legitimate rights.
Case 6
Christianity: Jews are God’s chosen people. God will never allow them to be destroyed.
Islam: Jews are descendants of apes and pigs. It is a sacred duty of Muslims to convert, enslave or murder every Jew.
Commentary:
  • Quoting reference out of context always spreads disinformation. It is no where written in the Holy Qur'an that Jews are the descendants of monkeys and apes. However an incident is quoted through a verse in the Qur'an: “….those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, and those of whom He transformed into monkeys and swine, and those who worshipped Taghoot….”
  • In the above verse, there is a mention of people who were cursed by Allah because of the wrong things that they were doing. Being cursed by Allah means being deprived of His mercy. And the punishment is mentioned that they were inflicted with. They were transformed into monkeys and swine. Why were they given this punishment? We read earlier in Surah al-Baqarah, the incident of Sabbath.
  • The main business of the Jews was fishery. They were forbidden to be occupied with their business on Saturday that was chosen as their religious day. To test them in their faith, this was also the day when most fish swam in the sea. The Jews couldn't let go of this opportunity. They saw profits. Therefore, in order to take benefit  they would lay their nets on Friday night while being away for their Saturday prayers. They were not physically conducting their business, but mentally they were occupied in something other than worship. 
  • For their disobedience, Allah transformed them into monkeys. Monkeys are not actually humans, but they act like them. Similarly, a swine cannot differentiate between his need and lust. He eats everything including its children and its own filth. Thus their reward and punishment is similar to the act performed.
  • They were cursed and transformed into monkeys and swine. And what is worst? That they worshiped Taghoot  - that is anything taken as deity other than Allah.
  • Hence based on this one incident, the Jews cannot be described as descendants of apes and monkeys.
This is not the end - one can go on and on to list disinformation substance as spread by the Christians to mislead their own people about the truth which they tried to hide with deceit as mentioned above. I hope the explanations would be adequate to open the eyes of those who have wisdom and can differentiate between misinformation and disinformation, for latter is deceit intended to mislead.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | Compare Christianity with Islam
This post was originally posted by me in my blog My Ultimate Decision. For more follow us on Facebook


Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Rapist India rapes an Eight years old Muslim girl Asifa


India though boasting of its secularism is in fact far from its very basic meaning in reality. Its track record of mistreatment of non Hindus is so bad that one shivers to see videos of the treatment meted out to non Hindus specially the Muslims. The world seems to have closed their eyes on the atrocities being committed in India for bashing Muslims is a playful thing for them too.

India is notrious of rapes, specially of many tourists who were raped and even killed but tourists still like to be among the rapists as one's chasisty doesnt mean much to them.

However, the recent gang rape of a eight years old Kashmir Muslim girl, Asifa, is a slap on the secular India face. Not only the girl was brutally gang raped for four days before being killed, the Hindu population an d even the lawyers have demanded release of all rapists for raping a non Hindu girl doesn't matter to them at all.



Body of Asia, the eight year old Bakerwal girl, Asifa in Rassana village Hiranagar, Kathua, was found in forest of the area with torture marks and broken legs. But right from onset, police was reluctant to register a case. However upon building a extreme pressure, Police finally arrested eight men, including a retired government official, four police officers and a juvenile in connection with Asifa's death.  However, the  lawyers tried to stop police entering the court to file a charge sheet and two ministers from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attended a rally in support of the accused.

According to the investigators, Asifa was confined in a local temple for several days and given sedatives that kept her unconscious. The charge sheet alleges that she was "raped for days, tortured and then finally murdered". She was strangled to death and then hit on the head twice with a stone, reports BBC. An early investigation reveals that Sanji Ram, a 60-year-old retired government officer, allegedly planned the crime with the help of police officers Surender Verma, Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Mr Khajuria.

Local Muslims believe that the accused wished to terrorize the Gujjar community into leaving Jammu. The shepherds, the family of the raped Afia,  use public and forest land in Jammu for grazing, for they think that Muslim nomads were trying to alter the demographics of Jammu. The locals even did not allow burial of the dead body even in the land they had purchased and had to walk away miles to bury her in another village.

Wake up world for atrocities committed on Muslims, specially in Kashmir, where an indigenous struggle for freedom is taking place by the local Kashmiri Muslim population to get rid of the yoke of Indian domination.
If you like the Fire Within, follow us on Facebook

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bajwa Doctrine


The new buzzword for Pakistan is the Bajwa Doctrine! It has not been officially announced yet its contours are being discussed in mostly the Western world. As the name suggests it is inspired from the Pakistan Army Chief – Gen Bajwa. The personality and views of the COAS shape the Doctrine, besides valuable input from a variety of sources.

The COAS Gen. Bajwa is professional, astute and balanced. Besides being well read is well placed to craft a doctrine as per the zeitgeist. RUSI considered the dictator timid and Gen. Bajwa bold in withstanding American pressure from Afghanistan effectively. RUSI, Catham House, IISS are the British strategic view think tanks, globally acclaimed. But to view the Bajwa Doctrine as merely strategic defiance of USA is myopic. Firstly, USA is not considered hostile despite historical roller coaster like relations. Secondly, Pakistan has many other serious issues besides the trajectory of relations with Washington.

So what could Pakistan be seeking after two decades of turbulence. Firstly – internal stability. Destroying the network of Frankenstein terrorism along with big criminal / mafias. Putting the house in order within the present political / national system. Secondly – external security. Securing the Pak-Afghan Border with fences and management. Dignified return of nearly 3 million Afghan refugees (highlighted in Munich Security Conference with the apt motto to the brink and back?).

Responding pro actively to Indian attacks in Kashmir-LOC which is brutally targeting Pakistani civilians. Thirdly balanced military diplomacy with China, Russia, USA (West). Sending troops to Saudi Arabia while cordial ties with Iran and cementing with Turkey and supported from Sri Lanka to Japan.

Fourthly – completing Gwadar-CPEC. The geo-economic future of Pakistan (inspired from my first book – Gwadar on the Global Chessboard). Fifthly – the geopolitical contest with India is expanding (more of that in a subsequent article). A Nationalist and prudent doctrine is the need of the hour, while Pakistan’s political elite remains embroiled in endless petty political squabbles!

Conversely the Indian Army chief Sunderji’s doctrine lead to Operation Brasstacks’ failure. While Gen Rawat present Indian Army Chief’s doctrine about Two Front War with China and Pakistan will be a complete disaster if implemented by Delhi.

Pakistan while seeking geo-political and geo-economic autonomy from USA/West remains cooperative and a friend. The world needs Pakistan is a global truism! The Bajwa Doctrine is less visible but more effective, low on fanfare but highly result-oriented. It appears that it will become more apparent In future!

Author
Brigadier Nadir Mir (retd), is decorated with Sitar-e-Imtiaz (Military) for his outstanding abilities and devotion to the army. He had his high schooling from the Quetta Grammer School,St Anthony's and later the Aithchison and FC colleges Lahore. He is also a graduate of Command and Staff Colleges Pakistan and Turkey, besides the National Defence University. He is an authority on the military and economic strategy and has a vast experience of dealing with sensitive and important issues related to geo-politics. Presently he chairs PNRM

If you like the Fire Within, follow us on Facebook

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

US Failures in Afghanistan - what to do?


The biggest threat to US National Security is strategic miscalculation. In Afghanistan, the battle was an internally oriented conflict; but it had a confused and open ended definition to it. The US insisted in calling it COIN (counter Insurgency Operations) when it was not. The US method to madness unfolded from one dimension to another, ignoring geography, history, culture and ideology. In their enthusiasm the United States jumped from one plan to another in search of strategy as they lumbered on, never listened to anyone while they continued to do what they thought was the way forward. Ignorance and arrogance never go together. The result that with total air supremacy, against an enemy that had no tanks, artillery or air defence; the United States manged to put themselves into a losing situation. 

The only worthwhile ally, Pakistan, who could have helped the US win this conflict and bring stability to Afghanistan was cast aside and the alliance was broken through a successful man oeuvre of manipulation by an enemy that would have made Napoleon Bonaparte swell with pride. Breaking an alliance was Napoleon’s forte and was an obvious first step that an enemy would have taken in this case too. Who was this enemy, other than our very own? The US, leader of the world, commander of all Armies now cannot whine and blame others for their own failures, they must now behave the part and take responsibility of all that came to pass. It comes with the leadership role that the US loves to play. Well here are some very obvious things that need to be explained:

1. Political
  • Removal of the Taliban government, which had a Pushtun leaning. The Pushtuns represent about 50 to 60 % of the Afghan population.
  • Replacing them with a Northern Alliance biased government that represented less than 40% of the people.
  • Introduced a universally unacceptable constitution, hoping that it would catch on. It did not.
  • Tried a reconciliation process; top down approach.
  • Tried integration; bottoms up approach.
  • Wanted to negotiate with the Taliban but never considered speaking to the Pushtuns. The former believe in an ideological discourse, the latter a political one. Though most Taliban are Pushtun, but a strictly Pushtun dialogue would keep out the foreign spoilers.
  • Assassinated any Taliban leader willing to talk through drone attacks.
  • Insisted that Pakistan arrange the negotiation and when they did, destroyed their credibility by killing Taliban commanders in Pakistan who had been asked to come for the negotiation. 
  • Setting up a ‘Unity Government’; it’s neither here or there and remains a confused, artificial structure that has no jurisdiction beyond the precincts of Kabul.
  • Out of the three parties, the Taliban, the government and the US, the weakest is the government. That is why this government is probably the only known government to invite a foreign occupation, because it lacks in capacity, authority and legality.



2. Military
  1. Based operations on garrisoning troops. Failed to secure lines of communication and relied on air rather ground.
  2. Lost liberty of action and freedom of movement by not dominating spaces.
  3. Continuity in such operations is necessary and not a choice. The US rotated troops every year and as such were never familiar with the terrain or the environment.
  4. The limited understanding of the combat zone cannot be made up through ‘google maps’.
  5. Operations of this kind are based on accurate intel. The US depended on Northern Alliance intel and interpreters. These people let their hatred for Pakistan take them away from any meaningful information. Salalah type operations were the product of misleading the US troops.
  6. Raising an Army in a few years is unrealistic, it resulted in the highest rate of desertions and causalities. The NDS has still no capacity to stand ground regardless of the ‘feel good’ propaganda emanating from TOLO News. 
  7. The two areas that needed US presence was ignored despite making promises, i.e. Nuristan/Kunar valley, where the US pulled out unilaterally and Paktia where the US always complained of cross border Haqqani battle groups moving into their area.
  8. Not shutting down mobile networks along the Afghan Border despite requests to do so. SIMs are still functional while Pakistan had shut theirs down a while ago. Not blocking Thuriaya Communication which is based in Dubai and can easily be controlled.
  9. Not supporting Pakistani Operation in North Waziristan with a US brigade during the surge to block the border though having promised to do so through four different commands. This caused the ‘revolving door’ effect. 
  10. Suffering reverses by small tactical groups and blaming Pakistan instead of holding enquiries as to what went wrong. We have not heard a single case of tactical failure being attributed to incompetence or bad procedures. It’s as if no American can do wrong, though the US have lost this war and all because of the enemy!!! A really humorous conclusion.
3. Corruption
  • Please read the SIGAR report. 
  • A drug trade developed under the nose of ISAF that is now doing roaring business of anything up to $80 Billion annually. No one likes to quote these figures and everyone looks the other way as if it is inconsequential. Let it be clearly understood, the Taliban are being resourced by this drug money.
  • Corruption in the government has caused the people to be highly critical of it.
4. Miscellaneous 
  • The ISAF found it easier to justify their failures by blaming Pakistan. The lies were repeated and broadcasted so often that the US and their Coalition partners now believe it to be true.
  • Losing about 50% of the space in Afghanistan where there is no government writ. The Taliban have signed $3Billion worth of contracts with the Chinese. Why would the Taliban need space in Pakistan when the resources and the area is available to them right there?
  • Bringing in India, an enemy state into Afghanistan, and then expecting Pakistan to celebrate it.
  • Resisting Pakistan’s attempt at border fencing when the charge against Pakistan was cross border movement.
  • Insisting that Pakistan keep the millions of Afghan Refugees, whereas Pakistan has been continually complaining of the security problems because of it.
  • Blaming Pakistan for the indigenous movement in Kashmir; singing India’s song!!
  • Stating that the CPEC route was going through a disputed area, whereas, such a statement was highly uncalled for.
  • Inserting ISIL into Afghanistan to challenge the Taliban. Bad idea. Russia has openly stated that they support the Taliban because of this and so do Iran. The US still remains conveniently quiet on the Russo Shura and the Iranian Shura.
5. Conclusions
  • That Pakistan be coerced into fighting the war for the US and ‘do more’. It is clear that it is no longer about the War on Terror but more about containing China, disrupting CPEC and supporting India. Pakistan needs to be beaten into submission in phase 1.
  • Pakistan cannot find it within itself to support the US. There is not a single reason, moral, political or military where Pakistan sees its national interest being served by cooperating with the US.
  • It has now come full circle and Pakistan’s national interest can only be served by a comprehensive defeat of the US in Afghanistan if things do jot change for the better. There was a time when US success was in line with Pakistan's interest; not any more.
  • That the US public are not aware of what all has happened or is happening and need to be informed of how the US have bungled here in Afghanistan.
  • That a public joint enquiry is recommended where US and Pakistani military commanders be questioned and must be directed to explain their positions during their respective tenures. It is guaranteed to be very entertaining. 
  • The people of the United States must restrain and contain their government in taking up a highly immoral position. If democracy has any substance to it, then a mechanism has to be put into place where the other side of the story is heard as well. Do the Americans have the courage to hear the truth?
6. Future
  • If Pakistan stands its ground, the US and Pakistan can improve their relations though it will take a while that both would trust each other.
  • The US can be part of CPEC rather than resist it. Becoming a strategic partner with China would make better sense now than becoming a competitor in a world/region where the US is a stranger in town.
  • This could be of immense value to Afghanistan as well and they too could benefit from CPEC.
  • Understandably India would not get what it is looking for, but then, should the US make a fool of itself in support of India?
  • The US can only benefit fro  m the current crisis by being the leader it ought to be, having the moral courage to call a spade a spade, and the wisdom to promote stability rather than chaos.
About the Author
Lieutenant general Tariq Khan (Retired), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), winner of the Sword of Honour from Pakistan Military Academy, graduate of the prestigious National Defense University of Pakistan, has a long experience of fighting the War on Terror in the tribal areas of Pakistan and along the Pakistan- Afghanistan border. He has extensive interaction with the allied commanders employed in Afghanistan and working with top US military elite at CENTCOM. He has been one of the few Pakistan Army officers awarded with the Legion of Merit by the USA. He also has the honour of commanding one of the strike corps of Pakistan Army. He is a well read military analyst who often shares his view points, incisive and thought provoking analysis on national and international affairs. His views on international / national affairs can be read on Facebook

(The views expressed above are personal of the author and do not necessarily express the opinion of the admin of this blog)
If you like the Fire Within, follow us on Facebook

Sunday, January 7, 2018

What must Pakistan do after Donald Trump's Tweet


The recent controversial tweet by the US president Trump against Pakistan seems a one man response as it seems that he stands alone while many others in the US tend to support Pakistan's stance and its countless efforts and sacrifices, both in human losses and material damage, to fight a war on terror that has never been its own. Pakistan has taken a heavy toll  after 'invasion' by US troops of Afghanistan as a collateral damage and effect. 

Now that the US has taken a very serious stance against Pakistan despite Pakistan have always been doing more and more as demanded by Pakistan and stopping all sorts of aid to Pakistan, Lieutenant General Tariq Khan (retired), a seasoned veteran who has had a front line experience of fighting the terrorists in the areas adjoining Afghanistan, speaks out what others in US think about Pakistan and what should Pakistan do to safeguard its interests:

Hillary Clinton said on record before the Congress that Pakistan had been let down by the US, David Petraeus, ex Director of the CIA said there was no evidence of Pakistan’s role in destabilizing Afghanistan, Chuck Hagel, while he was Secretary De fence stated, that India creates problems in Pakistan, Mattis the current Secretary defence, warned India to cool down in their support to the TTP. These were all heavy weights and there were others too in the US administration, military system and Congress who have tried to clear Pakistan’s name. It had no effect. Yet our own stalwarts are trying to find ways and means to ‘explain’ to the US government what our real position is. Others call it a ‘misunderstanding’. Such foolish scraping and fawning is probably unique to our very own alone. 

It must be clearly understood that the US is neither searching for a clarification nor is interested in seeing one. The US has decided to embark on a course of action and its decision cannot be sacrificed at the altar of the truth or reality on the ground. With a maniac as the US President, the ‘establishment’ is having a field day as they project personal agendas and spit in the face of the world. The insignificant Dana Rohrabacher and Ted Poe types find their relevance today in discovering a cause in the separation of Baluchistan. We are unreliable, we are two faced. Our stalwarts scream that we are not, our parliament is offended, our ministers are angry, everyone is disappointed and the country is shocked.

First of all, the Untied States has only done what it always does, abandon Pakistan when Pakistan is no longer needed. This should be no surprise to anyone and this fact should be clearly noted, underscored and advertised, only so that our future leaders can get the message and learn from history. Secondly, so far the United States has withdrawn monetary assistance; how can we demand that they support us financially. That is their prerogative and if they have decided to stop supporting us, why are we crying hoarse, it is neither our right nor are we employed by them. Live with it.

Now we come to this nonsense that this was not our war and that we fought for the United States. Please take into cognizance, I have been in combat the longest and during that time we cleared 35,000 sq kms out of 48,000 sq kms. We did not do this for the United States, the Indus Highway was closed, the Peshawar Airport was shut down, the KP Government was about to shift to Abbottabad, the businesses in Peshawar were moving out, our Agencies were no go, Bajaur had an Afghan flag and Afghan currency. We made deals and negotiated ourselves into every corner hoping that it would bring peace. We even disgracefully surrendered the people of Swat to Sufi Muhammad in the hope that we could ‘give peace a chance’. I saw people then shivering and quivering when militants entered Margalla Hills. 

With short memories we forget the APS carnage, we forget the attacks on our airbases and the naval Base. We ignore the attack on GHQ, we look the other way as the airport in Karachi was hit. We then have been saying that this was all because of joining the US war in Afghanistan and was the product of our policies? We cannot be more wrong, how does one explain the 2000 sectarian deaths in Pakistan before 9/11? Besides, despite being members of the United Nations and having signed the unanimous UN Resolution 1377 of 12th November 2001 which should be read by all, ours was the only Army that had no one under US Command and we never operated beyond our own territory. What do these critics want that Pakistan should have fought on behalf of the Taliban?

After all, what were the demands of the Pakistan Government to all foreigners in Pakistani territory? It was to register with the authorities, settle into designated areas and disarm or then report to centers for repatriation to their respective countries. Was this unfair? Not only did they refuse but insisted on waging war from Pakistani territory when the State had decided not to engage in Afghanistan. They said it was their right to fight a Jihad in Afghanistan. The whole story seems upside down. It’s these foreigners and our very own sold out militants who connived together for pelf and place that brought the war to Pakistan. Now we hypocritically say we have sacrificed 70,000 lives; did we do it for the United States? No, these lives were lost in the battle for Pakistan, as we secured our country against a Raw initiated insurgency and a CIA supported terrorism. We must not belittle our achievements which were the highest in the world just to win a cheap and irrelevant argument. We secured 3500 Kms of Lines of Communications, we established the writ of the government, we have cleared our areas of all militants and we did this for Pakistan and not the United States.

Our falling out with the United States is a function of a failed foreign policy. This was recognized time and again. A government without a foreign minister for four years allowed an Indian walk-over at the Capitol Hill. This has to be acknowledged and cannot be just brushed aside. Our PM, then, claimed he was the Foreign Minister, well then that’s where the buck stops. We had Haqqani as our ambassador, we had Fatmi as our advisor!!! We are further compromised because of the debt we have incurred, the money that we so wantonly stole and distributed amongst relatives and friends; that the very foundations of the State have been shaken up. The PM refused to even mention Kulbashan at the UN, Jindal turns up without a visa, Modi is invited to the PM’s house for a wedding. Well done!! Our leader entertains the enemies of the State even when they threaten to cut us into four pieces. This all then leads to the Dawn Leaks; an attempt to declare the Pakistan Army as a Terrorist Organization. Having gone through all this we are shocked when the US now withholds assistance!!!



Nowadays everyone (including me) seems to have some solution to the crisis we are going through. The diplomatic scene is out since we have nothing to offer and have exhausted any space we have had thanks to this highly incompetent government. Talking our way through in search of peace is exactly like surrendering to Sufi Muhammad in Swat. Nothing to talk about!! We need to first acquire the space for any meaningful talks. Just simply saying ‘let’s negotiate’, makes no sense and is not that easy. We are suffering the consequences of huge capacity issues in our government.

It is obvious that the US must be in the complete know that it is losing the war in Afghanistan on account of its own limited capacity and incompetence and that Pakistan is the least of the causes. Despite knowing this, it continually blames Pakistan and that serves two purposes, first, it creates a credible justification for US failure and secondly it provides the US a casus-bellie to prosecute Pakistan. It is important to understand as to why the US would want to bring pressure on to Pakistan and what are its objectives:
Regional Objectives:
  • Contain Chinese economic growth.
  • Challenge Russian military relevance.
  • Observe Iran
  • Retain regional influence through physical presence.
  • Setup and support India as a proxy.
  • Local Objectives. Since Pakistan is an obstacle because of CPEC and that it contains Indian influence, Pakistan has to be dealt with effectively first:
  • Create conditions to denuclearize Pakistan.
  • Scuttle the CPEC through Indian subversion in Baluchistan and GB.
  • Reward India by allowing free license in Kashmir.
  • Destabilize FATA and encourage Afghan claims using TTP and Daesh.
Conduct. To use incremental pressure, testing for effects.
  • Impact on Pakistan’s economic vulnerability by withdrawing financial support and influencing international institutions for calling in the debt.
  • Hoping the government would be willing to trade: financial relief for nuclear capping.
  • Declare Pakistan Army a terrorist group and extend international travel bans on its personal.
  • May step up drones attacks and encourage India to undertake ‘surgical strikes’ which India has already been claiming it has been doing. India thus already has a tacit approval of everyone to undertake such operations.
  • Finding no credible response the US may extend bombing campaigns into settled areas with intent to create discord, lack of government writ and disharmony.
  • Having created the chaos and instability, may undertake boots on ground operations and encourage separatist movements in Baluchistan and GB.
Pakistan’s responses. The first and foremost that people generally recommend is appeasement and an abject surrender. I may even go along with it, if it could save the State. It will not. The US and India will not be satisfied without attaining the objectives listed above. Thus diplomacy, talking etc. may sound good in a drawing room discussion, may prove that some of us more intellectual than the rest, but the fact of the matter is, that they will not resolve anything. Such peaceful gestures can only come after having created the grounds for diplomacy. Recommended response:

Immediate
  • Reduce US presence in the country to a skeleton staff at the embassy.
  • Kick out all US based NGOs.
  • Renegotiate GLOCs (ground access to Afghanistan)
Concurrent
  • Inform the Security Council that India by its own self-confessed statements has committed an act of war and that Pakistan retains the right to respond at a time and place of its own choosing.
  • If India resorts to any more verbal surgical strikes, to physically respond in areas of Pathankot, Madhupur, Jammu etc.
  • Also bring to the Security Council’s notice that US has threatened Pakistan militarily with unilateral action and that Pakistan has the right to self-defence.
  • Inform Afghanistan that any act of hostility would trigger a response at Jalalabad, Kandahar, Kabul and Bagram.
Future
  • Find common interest with Iran.
  • Speed up Russo-Pak military collaboration.
  • Enhance Chinese involvement along Kashmir.
  • Begin an aggressive Kashmir campaign.
  • Stock up on fuel and food starting now.
  • Work out a debt retirement scheme through a credible and honest programme involving the people of Pakistan.
  • Begin a proper accountability to bring closure to Memo gate, Dawn leaks, Kargil operations, Abbottabad Commission, theft and corruption.
  • Structure a proper lobby team to build the country’s relevance and image
The US may not be ready for a physical fight beyond a certain escalation. Measured confrontation may force the US to step back. I used the term incremental pressure above. It was deliberate. At every stage where the US is not challenged, the pressure will shift and increase, step by step. By putting out our best foot we may be able to bring them to the table for talks which is what everyone wants. Talks are only done when there is mutual respect. No one respects a loser. For now its brinkmanship and we need to see who is going to blink first. 

If the US is willing to come to some understanding we can offer them assistance in an honourable withdrawal, a role in the CPEC, business opportunities in the country. It is not necessary to fight the US if it can be helped. However, acquiescing is not the answer and we must not sell our selves short as we usually do. We have to go through some difficult times but that is what nations are made up of; to stand up for themselves, their sovereignty and their independence. I am convinced if we stand up to the US our relations can improve. 

On the other hand, there is a lot of cleaning up to do at home as well, without which we can never be sovereign nation and first and foremost is to remove all maulvi influence. They shall never let this country be independent, self-sustaining and respectable. Religion has no place in the affairs of States and the sooner we realise this the quicker we shall be on the way to redemption. Catering to a belligerent but semi educated, opinionated preacher will always bring us into an ideological conflict not only amongst ourselves but with everyone around us. We shall be fighting a never ending Jihad. The best service we can do for Islam is to follow it in our individual sense and not pass judgments on others. Till religiosity is not removed from our political, administrative and diplomatic policies we shall always be hostage to the maulvi who has brought us to where we are.

About the Author
Lieutenant general Tariq Khan (Retired), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), winner of the Sword of Honour from Pakistan Military Academy, graduate of the prestigious National Defense University of Pakistan, has a long experience of fighting the War on Terror in the tribal areas of Pakistan and along the Pakistan- Afghanistan border. He has extensive interaction with the allied commanders employed in Afghanistan and working with top US military elite at CENTCOM. He has been one of the few Pakistan Army officers awarded with the Legion of Merit by the USA. He also has the honour of commanding one of the strike corps of Pakistan Army. He is a well read military analyst who often shares his view points, incisive and thought provoking analysis on national and international affairs. His views on international / national affairs can be read on Facebook

(The views expressed above are personal of the author and do not necessarily express the opinion of the admin of this blog)
Photo
If you like the Fire Within, follow us on Facebook

Friday, January 5, 2018

Pakistan’s Asymmetrical Response To Trump - A Clever Way To Flip The Tables On Afghanistan


Written by Andrew KORYBKO

Pakistan’s announcement that it will seek the expulsion of over 1,5 million Afghan refugees in the next 30 days is being tacitly justified by Trump’s tweet and channels his zero-tolerance stance towards immigration from “terrorist”-prone states, but it also represents the employment of reverse-“Weapons of Mass Migration” in pushing Kabul closer towards the edge of collapse and consequently filling the Taliban’s rank of supporters.

Donald J. Trump
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
Trump is going to soon regret what he tweeted about Pakistan on New Year’s Day in accusing it of “giving safe haven to terrorists”, since Islamabad is poised to hit Washington with an asymmetrical counter punch that it surely won’t forget.

The Pakistani government just announced that over 1,5 million Afghan refugees must leave the country within the next 30 days, a plan that it’s been working on for a while but which just received a fresh impetus and internationally-acceptable justification with Trump’s tweet.

Had it not been for the American President’s zero-tolerance towards immigration from what his administration labels as “terrorist”-prone countries, which crucially includes Afghanistan for substantial and not political reasons (as the latter relates to Iran’s inclusion and Saudi Arabia’s exclusion), then Pakistan would have risked drawing heavy pressure from the State Department on exaggerated claims that it’s “violating the human rights” of the refugees.

Trump, however, said that Pakistan was “giving safe haven to terrorists”, and since the US formally regards Afghan refugees as being too much of a potential security hazard to allow into its own country, it’s forced to accept Pakistan’s expulsion of 1,5 million of them on the implicit basis that they also constitute a serious terrorist threat to the state such as the one that the President just tweeted about.

This isn't at all what Trump meant when he issued his tweet, nor the reaction that he was expecting, but by cleverly exploiting the President’s own policies at home and the suggestion he was making towards Pakistan abroad, Islamabad found a creative way to asymmetrically strike back at Washington.



Not only could Pakistan soon rid itself of actual terrorist sleeper cells and societal malcontents who have long overstayed their welcome in the neighboring country, it will also be catalyzing a series of cascading crises for Kabul through the employment of what can be described as reverse-“Weapons of Mass Migration”.

To briefly explain, Ivy League researcher Kelly M. Greenhill introduced the concept of “Weapons of Mass Migration” in 2010 to describe the ways through which large-scale population movements — whether “naturally occurring”, engineered, or exploited — impact on their origin, transit, and destination societies, theorizing that this phenomenon can have a strategic use in some instances.

Of relevance, the influx of millions of Afghan “Weapons of Mass Migration” into Pakistan since 1979 had the effect of destabilizing the host country’s border communities and eventually contributing to the spree of terrorist attacks that have since claimed over 60,000 lives in the past 15 years, but now the large-scale and rapid return of these “weapons” to their country of origin will also inevitably destabilize Afghanistan.

The landlocked and war-torn country is utterly unable to accommodate for what amounts to a roughly 3% increase in its total population in the next 30 days, especially seeing as how the Kabul government exerts little influence beyond the capital and has no sway in the approximate half of the country that’s under the control of the Taliban.

The US-backed Afghan government is already failing its citizens as it is and that’s why so many of them have either joined the Taliban or sympathize with it in the first place, so the odds of the returned refugees successfully reintegrating into their homeland’s socio-economic fabric and becoming “model citizens” is close to nil, meaning that it should be expected that the vast majority of these 1,5 million people will more than likely come to side with the Taliban than Kabul and consequently make the country much more difficult for the US to control.

In essence, what Pakistan has done is throw Trump’s tweet right back at him by using it as the internationally plausible pretext for initiating this long-planned move that was originally predicated on solely apolitical security-centric domestic interests but has now pertinently come to embody geo-strategic contours by powerfully turning the tables against the US in Afghanistan through the employment of reverse-“Weapons of Mass Migration”.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.
If you like the Fire Within, follow us on Facebook

Friday, December 8, 2017

USA's Afghan Exit Strategy and Pakistan: Another Viewpoint


America thinks Pakistan should do more. They want to ‘win’ the war as Trump has said. ‘Winning’ now could be as little as a ‘graceful exit’ or as much as ‘killing all the Taliban’. We don’t know what the American strategy is and how the end state is envisioned. We can at best hypothesize as following: 

  • Option 1 - US wins the peace and exits, 
  • Option 2 - US wins the peace but does not exit, 
  • Option 3 – the US does not win the peace by design. 

We also don’t know what drives US strategy; their obsession in containing China, their opposition to CPEC or their enthusiasm in promoting India as their proxy or even a combination of all three. We further do not know how regional initiatives affect the US presence in Afghanistan; the Russian support for the Taliban, the Chinese securing mining rights from the Taliban or the Iranian assistance to the Taliban.

With so many unknowns, what do we actually know? First that the Taliban are in control of 40 % of the territory. Second, they now have a roaring global drug trade that is turning over a $70 Billion independent economy. The Taliban are also securing international mining contracts independent of the Afghan Government in areas under their control. The combination of these ‘facts’ precludes any logical reason why the Taliban would need safe havens in Pakistan. We also know that if there was any movement into Afghanistan it have to be by movement across the border, but Afghanistan does not recognize the border and the US does not support its demarcation and fencing. We further know that the Afghan refugees in Pakistan compound the problem and remain a constant source of acrimony where the international community is reluctant to move them back to their country and Afghanistan is averse to accommodate them. It is also very clear that the so called US surge numerically does not commensurate with a defined objective of winning the war against the Taliban.

Putting the knowns and unknowns together, it seems that the US will persecute the Taliban through punitive stand-off weapon systems, punishing them enough to come to the table but not enough to annihilate them. The negotiation thereon may either lead to abandoning the unity government and striking a deal with the Taliban or then establishing an environment of indefinite end-state but with controlled instability: regulated and contained, justifying a US presence. However, this presupposes that the US is in a position to manage the tempo of the conflict in Afghanistan and that does not appear to be have any currency at present. US presence with the present troop strength necessitates assistance from the Indians and maybe some from NATO and more of such initiatives are likely to be seen in the coming days. As such, Afghanistan will continue to languish in turmoil in the near future and may even become a battle ground for a proxy war between a Russo-Persian alliance against the Indo-US alliance. This would mean a simmering conflict between Taliban supported by the former against Daesh/ISIL supported by the latter.

The containment of China shall become a major objective in such a scenario. To arrive at such an objective, scuttling CPEC will have intermediary gains for the US and would be one objective of the many more envisaged. Here India would be extended a regional status to challenge China but could be delegated a major role in disrupting the CPEC project. India would welcome such a role and would see it as an opportunity to find a resolution to its Kashmir problems on the one hand and cut Pakistan to size on the other. However, India would be wary of any military role in light of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence and Pakistan’s nuclear capacity would have to be neutralized before embarking on such a task by the Indians. The possibility of capping and dismantling Pakistan’s nuclear capability could be arrived easiest through stripping Pakistan of any economic sovereignty and then through an internal political process in conflict with the security apparatus of the country, leading to a denuclearized Pakistan as an outcome of Pakistan’s own internal fissures and instability. The bogey of extremists over-running a nuclear facility as well as proliferations charges would add to the arguments that Pakistan is a danger to the world. Thus a political decision to give up the nuclear capability would not only hold a promise of more financial assistance but the world would accolade the ‘reasonableness’ of Pakistan’s democratic process, praising the government’s courage in standing up to the rogue Establishment. However, though there has been some success in entrapping Pakistan into an economic debt-cycle, yet, the internal political conflict never paid the dividends that were envisaged.

Pakistan managed to survive, maintain its cohesion and till now protect its nuclear capability. Having made no gains in attacking Pakistan’s nuclear capacity by facilitating and encouraging an internal conflict between the political elements and the Establishment (See Kerry Lugar Bill), the US now may prefer taking the kinetic route using a military option. Here a two sided combined initiative by the US and India may seem to be the most feasible way forward. The articulation of such an operation would be first, intelligence gathering followed by military strikes. A successful operation on these lines would facilitate Indian aggression in the Northern Areas, disrupting the CPEC. However, the lure of CPEC would keep US interests alive in the region and what may be denied to China could be undertaken by the US. This would not be possible in an environment where Pakistan remains on the map as it is.



For the US to gain access to Gwader and for India, its partner in crime, to be facilitated as a regional power, Baluchistan would have to be separated. The Free Baluchistan Movement as we are now witnessing as an international advertisement campaign and the sudden surfacing of the usual human rights groups let loose to defame and malign Pakistan, is a no brainer. Attention is drawn to the continued, unprecedented anti Pakistan campaign by US Senators such as Dana Rohrabacher and Ted Poe. Yet, a free Baluchistan would not be enough to allow connectivity with the Central Asian Republics and thus KP would have to be destabilised enough as well to demand a separate status. This may explain the reluctance of accepting a defined border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, both by the US as well as Afghanistan, though the general complaint against Pakistan focuses on cross border movement.

Such an endeavour was on the maps for a while. Pakistan was to be the first in the series of the Arab Spring turmoil and implosion. It did not work and Pakistan was able to pull back from the edge of the abyss while the rest of the world around it was smashed to pieces. Since the US is not going to accept failure easily, the US will try and wrest back the initiative through other means. This shall be through an organized attempt at destabilizing Pakistan through regulated terrorist activity directed at Baluchistan, KP and GB. And having managed a cause and a reason, the US will use the confusion and fluidity of the environment to attempt dismantling Pakistan’s nuclear capacity in close harmony with India through the military option. The casus-belie for undertaking military operations on Pakistani soil would be accusations of militant safe havens in Pakistan used against US forces in Afghanistan and that Pakistan facilitates terror in India, etc. etc. US accusations come in the wake of Chuck Hagel’s statement, the ex-secretary Defense, stating that India works at creating trouble in Pakistan, General Petrous, ex-director of the CIA, who stated publicly that there was no evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in destabilizing Afghanistan, Hillary Clinton, who made a congressional statement that the US had let down Pakistan and now even General Mattis, the sitting secretary defence, warning India to limit its support to the TTP. With such heavy weights making public announcements in favour of Pakistan or supporting its position, it is clearly indicative that Pakistan is not being blamed because its story has not been heard or understood but because Pakistan has to be cut to size by design. The US does not want to hear any justifications or explanations, it only wants to pursue whatever it needs to in its national interest and woe to anyone in its way. Thus demands for Pakistan to do more and to be beaten into submission to do what it is asked of.

Now in retrospect, The US presence in Afghanistan has had varying implications for Pakistan over the years. In the beginning, when Pakistan had the most-allied non-NATO status, a US victory in Afghanistan and a stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest. Pakistan did whatever it could to assist. However, a US success did not come about, instead a civil war came about with the Taliban winning back 40% of the territory. It ought to be kept in mind that it is always the weaker group that invites foreign occupation and here it is obvious that the weaker group is no other than the Afghan Government itself. In light of the developing situation, a US withdrawal from Afghanistan would have seen the end of the artificial unity government that was artificially propped up. Though that would have ushered in a period of instability, it would have eventually tapered off into a stable Afghanistan, albeit, not in keeping with international political values. Thus, the situation evolved so that now a US withdrawal from Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest. Since that too did not happen, the US, in order to retain some semblance of control, resorted to giving India a larger role in Afghanistan, introduced Daesh to challenge the Taliban, criticized and began to resist CPEC to contain China. Now, under these new present circumstances and the new threats created and presented by the US to Pakistan, as well as the instability the US is promoting within the region, it is very obvious that it is now in Pakistan’s interest to see the US defeated in Afghanistan - totally and unambiguously. As such if the US must pursue its own interest at all costs, how can one deny Pakistan or for that matter any other country, doing the same for its own survival? This will remain a moot point smothered under the inequality of nations, some stronger than others. The changing strategic paradigm in the Afghan Conflict has been mainly driven by an evolving US-Pakistan relationship. As this relationship became not only increasingly irrelevant but at cross purposes, Pakistani orientation became more Chinese specific while the US’s more India specific, creating competing spectrum. How does the US expect that Pakistan should now assist them in Afghanistan in propping up an artificial government that is working against the interests of Pakistan, help them in allowing an enemy State to establish itself in territories that are not strategically contiguous to them, and to permit, the NDS to accommodate the TTP in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan who continually attack Pakistan? In light of this reality, US expectations of Pakistan are not only highly exaggerated but very unrealistic.

Yet, in Pakistan’s interest, Pakistan’s best option is to try and pull the US back into a meaningful US-Pak relationship that is mutually relevant by integrating the US into the CPEC. It would be a huge diplomatic coup if it could. It would not only destroy a Chinese monopoly but would limit India’s influence from a potentially harmful alliance. Such a possibility is remote and not likely unless the US finds itself in a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which at this moment in time appears to be a credible possibility. The other things that Pakistan must do concurrently, is to remain very vigilant against a possible spate of terrorist attacks in the near future, containing them and limiting their effect so that the country remains cohesive and the will and moral of the nation remains intact. Pakistan must also work to remain stable and ensure that there are no further serious political upheavals, nor should players within the country be allowed to play games for vested interests. Pakistan must also build on its relationship with Russia, China and Turkey as much as it can. Getting the Gulf States to show some solidarity may be difficult but Pakistan must work on this too. 

Last of all whereas, it is clear that Pakistan is no position to challenge the US military might, yet it does have the capability to cause serious pain in a response to any aggression against it. This must be clear to all: Afghanistan, India and the US. Avoiding conflict is never the same as deterring it and requires different set of preparations. Pakistan must display a posture where it does not only clearly demonstrate its intent but also its capability and capacity.

About the Author
Lieutenant general Tariq Khan (Retired), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), winner of the Sword of Honour from Pakistan Military Academy and is a graduate of the prestigious National Defense University of Pakistan and has a long experience of fighting the War on Terror in the tribal areas of Pakistan and along the Pakistan- Afghanistan border. He has extensive interaction with the allied commanders employed in Afghanistan and working with top  military elite at CENTCOM. He has been one of the few Pakistan Army officers awarded with the Legion of Merit by the USA. He also has the honour of commanding one of the strike corps of Pakistan Army. He is a well read military analyst who often shares his view points, incisive and thought provoking analysis on national and international affairs. His views on international / national affairs can be read on Facebook

(The views expressed above are personal of the author and do not necessarily express the opinion of the admin of this blog)
If you like the Fire Within, follow us on Facebook

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More