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Regional Realities of Gulf Security and Transnational Concerns

By Imtiaz Gul

 Manama, Bahrain, June 13, 2012

Pakistan – fighting many wars – suffering partly because of skewed and short-sighted domestic and foreign policies its military pursued for long. It is also suffering because the United States twice partnered with illegitimate military rulers stating its National Interests.Pakistan is also suffering because both Saudi Arabia and Iran turned
it into a battleground for the sunni- shia proxy war and Generals willfully opted to become partners in the anti-soviet, anti-al-Qaeda and the shia-sunni proxy wars.

Externalisation of internal factors. It is wrong but must remember that external factors do precipitate internal problems and perpetuate crisis of accountability and poor governance.

Let us contextualize Pakistan’s current crisis to see , how beside its own follies and failures, the USA-led western geo-politics has contributed to its decline. This decline also ties into Al-Qaeda’s anti-West, anti-democracy narrative.

Clinton ABC show Nov 13, 2011

“Part of what we are fighting against right now, the United States created. We created the Mujahidin force against the Soviet Union (in Afghanistan). We trained them, we equipped them, we funded them, including somebody named Osama bin Laden. And it didn’t work out so well for us,” she said.

The Secretary of the State also acknowledged in the same interview that  Pakistan was paying a “big price” for supporting the US war against terror groups in their own national interest.

“I think it is important to note that as they have made these adjustments in their own assessment of their national interests,they’re paying a big price for it,” Ms Clinton said. “And it’s not aneasy calculation for them to make.Hardly an recognition of that cost:

Also before Senate Foreign Relations Committee  on 24th April 2009 :

‘We can point fingers at the Pakistanis.And it’s merited because we are wondering why they just don’t go out there and deal with these people.‘But the problems we face now to some extent we have to take responsibility for, having contributed to it. We also have a history of kind of moving in and out of Pakistan,’

Charlie Wilson’s Wars by George Crile

A meeting between William Casey, the then CIA Director, and the Saudi King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz in early 1980 at Jeddah had served as the foundation for the CIA and the Saudi Arabian Intelligence to fund the anti-Moscow campaign in Afghanistan.

‘What can you do to help us? Casey had asked King Fahd. But Fahd, no stranger to the workings of American politics, had countered by introducing a note of reality into the discussion. ‘That’s not a fair question. What I tell you, I will do. But you have your Congress to deal with, so you do what you can, and I’ll match it. Knowing the king’s vast
resources,’ Casey had sprung to his feet, arms extended, saying: ‘Youhave got a deal.’

The anti-Svoiet jihad, funded by the US and Saudi Arabia, and facilitated by Pakistan, indeed opened the flood-gates of money for all those Islamists who were overflowing with a passion to fight the infidels  the Russian communists – regardless of who they were and where they were.

This is what Robert Dreyfuss explains in his Devil’s Games;  This book too explains how America’s ‘historic alliance with the Islamic right is greatly to blame for the emergence of Islamist terrorism in the 1990’.

Since yesterday, we also heard a lot about political Islam.

# Political Islam or Islamists do not necessarily distinguish between the shia or sunni sects because for all pan-Islamists the US-led  West is the major rival and not a particular sect of Islam. It draws  the justification for its socalled trans-boundary struggle from the
history of questionable and contradictory US-led western involvement with religious groups in the Gulf and the Middle East and South Asia (Devil’s Games, and Confessions an Economic Hitmen, and Unholy Wars,John Cooley). That is the fuel for Islamists which they use to exploit political oppression and denial of rights in the Muslim world.

So,  I would submit that
#Embedding a political discourse in religion, or Looking at political conflicts through the sectarian prism,
Looking for sectarian recipes to put down essentially political movements  for inclusion and fundamental rights,
Or attempts to give a sectarian color to socio-political or nationalistic movements can entail extremely disastrous results

# Stop dismissing valid criticism of and reservations about the US-NATO global missions as misplaced perceptions in the Arab or Muslim world
# Beyond a shade of doubt, NATO has increasingly become a tool for enforcing the US global geo-political objectives which primarily mean protecting the commercial interests of corporate America and Europe,particularly the American and the British-French  Military IndustrialComplex
# Please stop disguising geo-political ambitions and the drive for protecting commercial interests as a selfless  service of the free world. The real challenge at hand is the trans-border nature of the Islamists. And the answer to them does not lie in mounting military
assaults. This requires all-encompassing inclusive security i.e.educating masses,  across the board socio-economic opportunities,democratic freedoms and state services for all citizens regardless of their cast or creed , or beliefs.

We should all help Muslim countries overcome divisions and weaknesses rather than dividing them into sectarian and ethnic blocs.

The western duplicitous moral standards and paradoxical justifications for its relations with dictatorial regimes on the one hand and theadvocacy for democracy  shall also have to end to create space for equitable socio-political systems in many Muslim countries, without resorting to the military options. Build their capacities rather than denying them technology for the lack of capacity

Email: imtiaz@crss.pk