Monday, January 12, 2009
WHAT WILL COME FIRST: AN ISLAMIC REVOLUTION IN PAKISTAN AIDED BY PAK ARMY OR A TERRORIST HIT IN USA?
Before we go into the main article, it will be prudent to look at the Iranian revolution and what can we infer from this.
The Iranian Revolution began when many Iranian citizens within Iran were very dissatisfied with the rule of the Iranian King, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. He replaced his father on the throne on September 16th, 1941.
The Iranian Revolution was a bottom – up approach with the citizens hating the King’s rule. The Shah (or King) relied on manipulation and fear to lead the people. He established a “secret police” SAVAK: spy on people and report back to the Shah. SAVAK (secret police) set fire to the Cinema Rex in August, 1978, in Abadan. 400 people in the Cinema died.
Moreover, the Shah closely identified himself with the West (U.S.) which was clashing with the Iranian Muslim traditions.
In 1978, the Shah turned to the United States for help and support. Iran had been pro America for quite a while, and Iran was important to America due to the Great Game in Central Asia. Therefore when the U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski repeatedly told the Shah that the U.S. would support him 100%, it was no surprise. HOWEVER,the U.S. soon realized that the revolution was virtually unstoppable and therefore concluded that associating itself further in Iran would be unwise for them. Nonetheless, the U.S. sent in some military troops anyway to help stabilize Iran. Thus Iran was ruling through America’s military and financial support.
1963: The Shah proposes “White Revolution”. This is a six point reform bill to be put to a nation wide vote. However, Khomeini denounces the Shah’s plans and the Shah exiles him and puts him under surveillance in Tehran. On February 9th, 1979, millions of Iranians came on to the streets of Teheran to welcome the return of the religious leader Ayatollah. He helped overthrow the much hated regime of the Shah. It was one of the largest demonstration in human history (this shows how many people hated the Shah).
The revolution officially started in 1978 with the first major demonstration to overthrow the Shah. In December 1979, the Revolution finally concluded with the Shah removed as the ruler of Iran and with the approval of the new theocratic constitution. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the place of the Shah with the approval of Iran.
In November 1979, Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took the employees hostage. The young men held the employees captive for 444 days.
Hence to loosely draw a few points from above:
1. The Iranian revolution was a bottom up approach – it started with mass disenchantment of populace against the rule of the King
2. The secret police and the State brutalized the citizens (setting fire at cinema halls, protestors were killed)- distancing the Iranians away from the State.
3. On Jan 7th 1978, in a newspaper called “Black and Red Imperialism”, was an article written about Khomeini proposing he was homosexual. On Jan 9th – a demonstration of 4000 people against the article resulted in the death of many students.
4. Angry students and religious leaders in Qom, Iran, demonstrated against a false story attacking Khomeini (the man helping overthrowing the Shah) in the official press. The army was sent in, and killed many of the students.
5. The Iranians turned to religion and it clashed with the Western values that the king was trying to impose on the citizens, widening the divide further
Facts against an Islamic Revolution in Pakistan:
Lot of analysts have said that none of the above “ Iranian ingredients” are present in Pakistan today and all talks of “Islamic revolution” is hogwash. If anything, it is the Army & Secret Service (the ISI) that are protectors of the state of Pakistan and are not a hated entity as SAVAK was. Also in the recent parliamentary elections, the moderate factions have won handsomely over the Islamic factions (eg: ANP wins etc).
Islamic extremism in Pakistan is not a grass-roots phenomenon as it has been in many states in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Pakistan's founding fathers, led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, preceded by the Indian sub-continent's British colonial rulers and India's Mughal rulers, laid the foundation for Pakistan to be led by the rule of law and moderate Islam.
However, every country is unique and what is good for Iran may not be good for Pakistan. While Islamic revolution was a bottom – up approach in IRAN, in PAKISTAN it is a “top – down approach”. I should also state that Taliban and other terror agencies are killing off ANP and other secular politicians and their families.
The Pakistan military and intelligence agencies have employed Islamic extremism as a tool for their policies. As such, extremist Islam has emerged as a top-down phenomena. Pakistan Army believes that Islam is the binding force that keeps Pakistan intact as it overrules the enthno-language-cultural aspirations of sub-actors in pakistan (Pashto - Baloch - Sindh etc).
During the 1980s, president Zia ul-Haq, backed by the United States, used Islamic extremism to fan the mujahideen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
During the 1990s, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and successive governments employed Islamic extremism to challenge the Indian claim to Kashmir by undermining India's conventional military superiority with asymmetrical attacks on soft and symbolic targets in Kashmir.
The ISI also attempted to gain "strategic depth" with regard to India by creating an arc of influence from Central Asia to Afghanistan. It has not hesitated in using Islamic extremism to battle its enemies. This was seen in Pakistan's support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan until September 11, 2001, and support for Islamic extremist groups in Kashmir (LeT, JeM etc etc).
Under President Pervez Musharraf, Islamic extremists entered Pakistan's mainstream political sphere as Musharraf empowered extremists in order to marginalize Pakistan's secular opposition parties while using the growth of Islamic extremism to justify his non-democratic rule.
International terrorist and extremist groups have become increasingly localized, as seen by the rise of the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law), led by pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah in the Swat Valley in NWFP and the Tehrek-e-Taliban-Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban) based in the South Waziristan tribal area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, led by Baitullah Meshud.
Pakistan's Islamic identity has not been sufficient to quell strains between its major ethnic groups and accusations that the national government's policies are dictated by the interests of Punjab province.
India's federalist structure of government, which devolved power to the states, also facilitated in undermining separatist tendencies. A similar empowerment of Pakistan's ethnic and religious minorities would weaken separatist tendencies in Balochistan, NWFP and the tribal areas and help to quell sectarian and ethnic violence on the streets of Pakistan's major cities. But this will not be done.
Majority of the Army and terrorist cadres come from the Punjab province of Pakistan and they will not “devolve” power. And thus the Pakistan Army, with the glue of Islam in one hand and the threat of terrorists and ISI on the other hand, has been able to keep the citizens of Balochistan, Sindh, Pashtun areas under a “modicum of control”.
To see how the glue of Islam works - Baitullah Mehsud from terrorist to a true patriot :
Baitullah Mehsud was attacking Pakistan Army and killing its cadres, so much so that Pakistan Army had to call truce a couple of times to release its captured soldiers. Many Pakistanis were saying that Mehsud is funded by CIA & RAW as he (and his TTP )was attacking the state of Pakistan.
Right after 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the terrorist network all across stated that they will fight alongside the Pakistan Army to defeat India.
And the present ISI chief, Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, described Baitullah Mehsud, the Tehrik- e- Taliban leader whom the Pakistan Army was supposedly battling, as a true patriot.
Baitullah Mehsud has transformed from a terrorist to a true patriot – certified by ISI.
Pakistan is witnessing true hegemony of one province (Punjab) over the rest of Pakistan and hegemony of one sect (Sunni) over other sects of Islam – all done under the garb of “Islam” on one hand and “terrorism” on the other – aided and abetted by Pakistan Army.
The main player is the Punjabi dominated Pakistan Army. It passes on the dirty tricks to ISI – itself filled with Punjabi officers. And for the ultimate covert ops – ISI passes on the job to its “terror children” – be it LeT, JeM or others.
There are 25 feudal families in Pakistan that own much of privately owned enterprises and wealth in Pakistan. However, there is one entity whose business interests and net worth far exceeds that of all these 25 feudal families put together.
And that entity is Pakistan Army.
Pakistan’s armed forces have accumulated billions of dollars’ worth of private assets and business interests in Pakistan, ranging from construction firms to breakfast cereal. This military business (milbus) accounts for more than 6% of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP). This milbus feeds 9 percent of the nation’s population, it generates taxes, and it creates jobs for veterans. By any accounts, this is huge.
Where in Pakistan does one find this military capital?
According to Ayesha Siddiqa’s new book, Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy, Siddiqa argued that the structure of the military’s economic presence has three levels.
1) One level is institutional and comprises army-controlled public sector organizations such as the Frontier Works Organization and the National Logistic Cell (transport and construction “giants”), as well as smaller cooperatives (such as bakeries, cinemas, and gas stations).
2) Military subsidiaries comprise the second level of Pakistan’s military capital. The Fauji Foundation (established for the welfare of veterans) is, according to Siddiqa, one of Pakistan’s largest business conglomerates. Additionally, the army (Army Welfare Trust), air force (Shaheen Foundation), and navy (Bahria Foundation) boast welfare foundations that enjoy holdings in agriculture, cement, the airline industry, and construction. These subsidiaries, Siddiqa asserted, are largely controlled by the armed forces.
3) Finally, the third type of military capital can be found on an individual level, where perks are doled out to the “military fraternity.” Land, jobs, and influential positions in corporations are provided to those currently in uniform, to retired servicemen, and to “beneficiaries of the military/business complex.
Indeed, Siddiqa contended that this economic clout, coupled with their formidable political power, reinforces and perpetuates the armed forces’ central role in Pakistan’s politics. The military’s political power hastens its involvement in the economy, and its involvement in the economy enhances its political power. As a result, the military has little incentive to withdraw to the barracks. Furthermore, Siddiqa suggested that Pakistan’s non-ruling political elite has its own reasons for supporting a military that remains entrenched at the forefront of Pakistan’s political scene, because under the status quo this elite derives benefits and resources from the military economy.
Ultimately, therefore, to understand Pakistan today, “you must understand the nature of military capital and the nature of the politics that revolve around this capital.”
Therefore, before proceeding further, let us try to answer the following?
1. Who has most economic stake in Pakistan?
Answer : Pakistan Army
2. Who is the real power in Pakistan?
Answer: Pakistan Army
3. Who does the ISI report to?
Answer: Pakistan Army
4. Who do the terror organizations report to?
Answer:Terror groups report in to ISI which in turn reports to Pakistan Army
5. Pakistan Army comprises of officers and soldiers mainly drawn from which province of Pakistan?
Answer : Punjab
6. How does Pakistan Army keep control of the entity of Pakistan?
Answer: In order to retain the primacy of Punjab province from where Pakistan Army drives most of its recruits, and also of its vast business interests, Pakistan Army plays two cards: 1) the fire of Islam and 2) the sword of terrorists. Which is why you will see most of the terrorist organizations are Punjabi based (LeT, JeM etc) and that all provinces of Pakistan are wracked with militancy, but not Punjab.
Note: I find it funny that Lashkar e Taiba which is wholly Punjabi dominated actually had been formed by ISI for insurgency in Kashmir. ISI never trusted the local Kashmiri mujahideens to listen to it or even fight India, hence Punjabi terrorists run the Kashmir show. The truth stared back at Pakistan and the world, when the earthquake shook Kashmir and the world realized how impoverished the Pakistan Occupied Kashmiris actually were. The Punjabi faction of Pakistan will never allow “other” provinces to rise above it.
Many ISI veterans and current generals have gone native with the interests of Taliban. The idea was running a covert war in both Afghanistan and Kashmir by embedding Paksitan Army soldiers with the Taliban, However senior Pakistan Army generals went native. It is for this very reason that Maj Gen Alavi of SSG was murdered, when he went to unmask this unholy alliance between Pakistan Army and Taliban.
By creating “Talibanistan”, Paksitan Army has ensured that its western borders are safe and no forces can come into Pakistan from Afghanistan. However, this Taliban “ideology” has crept in from the hills of west into the main cities of Pakistan. Artists, cinema halls, century old mujra houses, dance festivals are getting bombed and threats on a daily basis. Sectarian violence is endemic and terrorists of banned outfits can be seen openly roaming in main Pakistan cities brandishing Army issued firearms.
Two recent statements by Taliban take the cake:
1. All girls to stop attending schools in SWAT and if found, will be killed. Deadline - Jan 15th, 2009.
2. Women to be made available for marriage to Taliban militia if he so chooses – the “bride’s” father will not have any say in the matter. And "Taliban has announced that if a girl above the age of seven is found outside her house, she would be slaughtered"
SWAT region in PAKISTAN
SWAT : Pakistan’s most popular tourist destination is now haunted by death and fear; few officials now dare to go and serve there.
Hence killing an innocent girl of eight if found loitering outside of her home is considered "normal" yet getting 72 virgins after killing innocents is considered a "welcome gift" on reaching heaven - such is the warped teachings in Madrassas. Nowhere in Quran it is stated, that killing innocents will pave way for 72 virgins. Ajmal Qasab even stated the LeT indoctrinated him and his fellow "terrorists" that after death their body will glow before going to heaven. Of course, he only saw the bodies rotting!
Vikram Sood, ex-RAW supremo, writes: “Pakistan today gives the impression of being a nation at war with itself not only in FATA but in the rest of the country. Muharram was commemorated under the protection of the gun and prohibitory orders. Hundreds of ulema - Shia and Sunni - were barred entry into several districts for fear that they would incite sectarian hatred in the days preceding Muharram.
Cities and towns were declared no go areas. As many as 30,000 places in 28 districts of the Punjab were declared sensitive and 58 ulema were banned from Attock district.
This, in a country which proclaims itself to be the home of all Muslims of the sub- continent, is a reflection of the state of affairs prevailing there.
Even otherwise, a strong Sunni hurricane is sweeping through Pakistan.
Originating in its current phase from FATA, it has spread outwards into NWFP and has reached Punjab and parts of Balochistan and even Karachi. The year that has gone by has been the most violent in Balochistan with more than 250 incidents.
Senator Sanaullah Baloch has alleged that the Pak Army is allowing the Taliban to settle in the province. Three Baloch groups fighting for Baloch rights have called off the ceasefire. The burgeoning population, especially the youth (over 50 per cent of the population will be below 18 in the next few years), will then get attracted to the facilities offered by the LeT and the Jamaat- e- Islami.
The education curriculum in many of the Dawa schools includes subjects like computer science, mathematics and English. It is not a jihadi curriculum and the students are from the middle class who will then form the backbone of the bureaucracy, politics and the military.
NOTE THIS IMPORTANT POINT WHICH MR. SOOD IS SAYING
Even today the recruitment source for the Army and the various jihadi groups operating from Punjab is the same. There is thus a much bigger cohesion of the mindsets of the jihadis and the Army.
This has immediate and long term implications for us. For one, we have not listened carefully and long enough to what the Pak Army's surrogates have been saying in different words at different places.
The message is - we will defeat you, we will annihilate you, because you are evil and you are not our God's men. Soon after the September 11 attacks, Fazlur Rahman Khalili, the Harkat ul Mujahedeen chief, told a press conference that "Osama's mission is our mission. It is a mission of the whole Islamic world." This sentiment is all pervasive. The jihadis want caliphates in India and the Army wants a revenge for 1971.
The important message is not that this will happen but that the mindset remains and the medium of the message is Mumbai.
Mumbai happened for two basic reasons: The mindset that prevails in Pakistan and insists that India must be bled, and the other, that it can be bled. The mastermind knew how we would react and gambled on this. For them it was a win- win situation either way.”
The process of Islamic Revolution in Pakistan is underway. It will not be a spontaneous explosion of public anger as was witnessed in Iran, but rather it will be deliberate, casual and slow in Pakistan.
Unlike Iran, in Pakistan this revolution will be a “controlled revolution” – controlled by Pakistan Army and ISI for purposes mentioned earlier. Before the world will realize, Taliban ideology will start ruling roost in many parts of Pakistan, including some major cities.
One needs two elements now. One is who will be the Ayatollah equivalent in Pakistan? Will it be Hafeez Sayeed or Maulana Masud Azhar or someone else?
And two, the hatred of Jews and America needs to be proportionally increased to bring about a “seamless” Sharia based ideology. For that American drone attacks is only causing anger in the tribal belt, not in Pakistan in general. For that, Pakistan has to be attacked by US or India or worse, Pakistan requests US troops inside its territory to stabilize it (see correlations to Iran).
ISI has the means to replicate 26/11 in USA by using natural born US citizens or British citizens that it has recruited from mosques. There were reports that US might stage the attacks themselves aka Operations Northwoods – however, this time this will be ISI-Al Qaeda operation (like the 9-11 was). And it is expected that the US will not bury the links to Pakistan to the attacks as it did with 9/11. Pakistan is expecting measured response from US – which will suit it well, if at the end of the day all US does is sending Tomahawks into Pakistan. Pakistan is gambling that US will not have the means to anything more. Hence, an attack on US mainland is all but certain. The response from US – that is not certain. If the response it measured - the Islamic revolution inside Pakistan will be fast forwarded.
A limited Indian military strike will also work wonders for Pakistan, in that, it will inflame public anger and Islam being the glue, will bring in all terrorist groups on the side of the Pakistan army – openly. A highly desirable scenario for Pakistan Army that wants to close shop in North West Frontier Provinces and indulge in mock fighting with most of the Taliban groups largely for western consumption.
There is the unstated nuclear angle - if Pakistan has deliverable nuclear assets, it may move out a few and those can then land up in the hands of "terrorists" - all beautifully choreographed by the Pakistan Army.
If Pakistan Army is “grooming” Hafeez Sayeed / Masood Azhar / ?? as the next Ayatollah equivalent, then India and US can kiss its chances of having any one of them in any custody good-bye.
HAMID GUL - ex ISI Chief and "Godfather of Taliban" in an interview to Adnkronos International stated: "Pakistan, wracked by terrorism and a deep economic crisis, an environment in which anti-Americanism is thriving, is facing collapse.
The implications of this situation for the fight against terrorism and the security of the country's nuclear arsenal, are dire, he said.
"The risk is real, there could be a civil war, even a revolution along the lines of the Iranian one. Personally, I hope for a revoultion but a soft one, like that the one born in America during the Vietnam war or like pacifist movements in Europe against the war in Iraq, " Gul stated.
Hamid Gul is famously quoted for many things. One of his classics: "The only reason Pakistan does not dismember India is because we never wanted to create problems with our Muslim population in India. India will give its land when it will be divided into many pieces. India will have to be break. If India does not give us our land we will go to war and divide India." Read the interview by clicking here.
1. Surgical strike at terrorist bases when they have been emptied out will make Paksitan Army stronger. The jehadi forces will get the upper hand over Pakistan. Hence, this option as the only option should be ruled out.
2. If at all, limited strikes should be made at “economic interests” of Pakistan Army – not military targets per se. Eg: Frontier Works Organization and the National Logistic Cell & other ther business interests of Pakistan Army.
3. Look out for grooming of Hafeez Sayeed (most likely) as the new Ayatollah of Pakistan. His tremendous charity work during the earthquake of Kashmir is being played out like a propaganda - his "terror role" all but dinned out by that propaganda.
For me, unless you hit the Pakistan Army interests, hitting out at empty terrorist camps will only give us “worse results”.
And lastly, the entire “nexus of evil” in our region is due to the strength of Pakistan Army. The civil society of Pakistan, largely, is not jehadi in outlook. If we do not stop the “Talibanisation” of Pakistan TODAY, at a later date, India will have to pay a far higher price for inactions of today.
The military might of Pakistan Army has to be eroded and eroded significantly. We in India should not shy away from getting a bloody nose in the bargain. If that means, the opponent has been KOed (knocked out), I can live with a bloody nose.
LATEST NEWS: PHALCON - THE FORCE MULTIPLIER HAS LANDED IN INDIA ON 11TH JAN'09.
FROM INDIAN ARMY WITH LOVE TO PAKISTAN ARMY
Jai Hind !