Gen Mirza Aslam Beg
Sunday, August 28, 2011 – The ‘Proxy War on Pakistan’ got mixed-up with politics, after the occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, creating an orgy of social violence, terror, corruption and bad governance. Day to day life in Pakistan thus, has lot its charm. Business activities are dying down; capital is flowing-out and fear and despondency have gripped the nation.
It is not difficult to identify the perpetrators of the proxy war, particularly in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Balochistan and Sindh. The spy network in Afghanistan, created in 2001, under RAW, supported by CIA, Mossad, MI-6 and BND, has been targeting all the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan, and succeeded in turning the war against Pakistan, by the year 2005. Since then, our army is engaged in a running battle with our own tribals. Swat Dir and Bajaur are relatively calm, but FATA is boiling. The insurgency in Balochistan is being fomented by the same spy network in Afghanistan. I wrote about this network operating against Pakistan, in the article titled: “Global Conspiracies against Pakistan”, published in national dailies on 14th August 2007:
“Sarobi near Kabul, is the nerve center headed by an Indian General officer, who also commands the Border Road Organization (BRO). Its forward bases are, Ghazni, Khowst, Gardez, Jalalabad, Asadabad, Wakhan and Faizabad. Faizabad training camp depicts a Pakistani camp for Chinese dissidents, with Muslim mullahs, trainers and guards. BRO has built anall weather road from Sarobi to Asadabad to Faizabad. Sarobi network, targets the province of NWFP, Pakistan. Dissidents from Pakistan are trained at Sarobi for missions inside NWFP. Wakhan salient has been infested with dozens of electronic outposts, covering Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.”
“Kandahar, with its forward bases, is targeting Balochistan. The dissidents from Balochistan are trained at Lashkargah for undertaking missions, with support of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). One of their tasks is to target Chinese working in the province, particularly at Gwadar, Sandak and Hab. From the anchorages, on the Pakistani coast at Jiwani and Kot-Kalamat, Americans jointly plan operations with BLA, inside Balochistan. They also use the Pakistani out-posts at Mand, for operations inside Iran. The American warships in the Arabian Sea and their intelligence bases in Muscat, provide the back-up support. The facilities at Jiwani and Kot-Kalamat were provided by Pakistan, as logistic support bases to the Americans for operation in Afghanistan, but the same are now being used to destabilize Balochistan and Iran.”
The proxy war in Sindh, presents a different picture, as it targets Karachi, the nerve centre of Pakistan and mixed with politics, presents a very dangerous situation. The factors, such as the ‘demographic imbalance’ caused by influx of Pashtuns from the North, and the flood affected internally displaced population from Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, seeking refuge inKarachi, add to the social disorder, being exploited by foreign hands. The politics in Sindh is hostage to MQM’s grid-hold overKarachi and Hyderabad, which is being challenged by other political and ethnic groups, who want to create political space for themselves, in areas, which MQM considers as their exclusive reserve. The clash of interests thus has resulted into violence and blood-letting and took a new turn, as MQM, decided to split with the government at federal and provincial levels. This split was totally unexpected and was viewed as a conspiracy for ‘Regime Change”, because, American relations with the government of Pakistan and the army had soared and the desperate situation for the Americans in Afghanistan, demanded ‘a Compliant government in Pakistan and an Army Chief, of choice.’
The ‘Conspiracy’ aimed at creating a grand alliance of the opposition and the demand for early elections, to get rid of the government in power. But President Zardari acted fast to pre-empt the regime change plan. While he was on a visit abroad, the opposition groups in Karachi were provided a field day against the MQM, claiming space for themselves, that took many lives and Karachi shuddered. Zardari returned to Karachi and passed orders to ‘cut MQM to size.’ Under the presidentialnotification, the local body’s ordinance was changed, denying power, privileges and projects to MQM; the new KarachiHyderabad constituency demarcation order was repealed, reducing about thirty percent seats, that MQM could win in the next elections. At the same time intelligence reports about MQM’s gung-ho politics were sent to London. The MQM thus found itself tricked and cheated by the British and American planners, whose plan for regime-change was foiled by Zardari.
Altaf Hussain in London cried-out for being scape-goated. The Americans and the British diplomats came rushing to Karachito negotiate peace. The Sindh government agreed to take MQM back into the fold. The governor returned to his seat and the ‘damaging presidential ordinances were withdrawn. MQM now, badly bruised and battered is expected to join the government. Zardari has won, conspiracy has failed, but many innocent Pakistanis have lost their lives at the alter of our ‘politics and proxy war’.
Pakistani nation is facing multi-dimensional threat to its security and this is not the time to rock the boat. No doubt change is needed but through the constitutional process, because the ‘hidden hands’ which destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, now are focusing on Libya and Syria and may soon return to strike at Pakistan. The ‘ruling junta’ in Pakistan is seeking ‘political consensus’ to complete the tenure and remains devoid of the political will to deal with the burning problems in the North-West region, Balochistan and Karachi. The Karachi turmoil has given the wake-up call to the people of Pakistan, to correct the course, before it is too late.
And in the absence of good ideas and options, for change, let our politicians have a look at the Anti-corruption movement of the Indian political activist, Anna Hazare (annahazare.com) and start a movement, in real earnest, than giving hollow statements, having no meaning at all. The opposition leaders could provide the lead and many would follow them. But they have to do a lot of home-work to carefully prepare ‘the Bill’ to be tabled in the national assembly. The bill must initiate the policy and the plan of action, ensuring that “it is forged-out of the utter failure of our representative democracy, and that the democratic institutions remain accessible to ordinary people.
Anna Hazare seems have a better understanding of the meaning of the words of God: “Thus have we placed leaders in every town, its wicked men, to plot (and burrow) there-in, but they only plot against their own souls and
they perceive it not.”—Surah Al-Annam. 123
—The writer is former Chief of Army Staff.