‘Collusion’ against Pak-Iranian Relations
Pak-Iranian relations are rapidly strengthening day by day. During the visit of Iran’s Vice President for International Affairs Ali Seedlou, both the countries signed three agreements on November 13, this year as part of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to promote economic cooperation, timely completion of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project and electricity import from Iran. Both the sides agreed to increase bilateral trade to $5 billion mark.
Iran which already completed its portion of gas pipeline has decided to invest $500 million assistance in building Pakistani part of the project. In this respect, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to visit Pakistan very soon.
In the third trilateral summit at Islamabad, on February 17, 2012, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Afghan President Hamid Karzai put their heads together to forge regional cooperation in multifaceted areas. They pledged to eradicate terrorism and militancy from the region.
In response to Karzai’s blame game regarding cross-border terrorism, Zardari had clarified, “I deny this notion that any of our armed forces are directly or indirectly involved.” He stated, without naming America, “Who was the owner and financer of former chief of Tehreek-e-Talban Pakistan Baitulllah Mahsood.”
Zardari vowed to fight US pressure on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, saying that the “external forces can not undermine bilateral relations.” Notably, Pakistan also assured to support Tehran, if the US or Israel launches a military attack on Iran.While hinting towards the US, the Iranian president revealed that the problem in the region had no local roots, but it was imposed from external fronts.
In fact, Pakistan and Iran are quite sincere about regional cooperation among the three countries including stability in Afghanistan, but Hamid Karzai has been implementing American secret diplomacy in the region.
However, Pak-Iranian relationship cannot be seen in isolation as it relates to major powers. In this regard, after the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014, US which signed an agreement of strategic cooperation with Kabul has decided to establish six military bases in Afghanistan, having eyes on the energy resources of Central Asia, with multiple strategic designs against Pakistan, Iran, China, and Russia. In this context, on January 5, 2012, US President Obama unveiled a new defence strategy which calls for greater US military presence in Asia.
Besides China, Pakistan has also cultivated its relationship with the Russian Federation. In this respect, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Islamabad on October 3 and on the same day, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani left for Moscow. The main aim of these visits was the reorientation of Pak-Russian Relationship by concluding strategic partnership in the long run.
In 2010, President Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which includes Russia, China, four Central Asian Republics as permenent members, and Pakistan and Iran as observers. Pakistan’s President Zardari participated in the summit of the SCO held in Beijing, this year. In their speeches, hinting towards US secret designs, Chinese president Hu Jintao and President Putin stated, “Only when SCO member states remain united can they effectively cope with emerging challenges-enhancing security cooperation.”
In various summits, the SCO leaders displayed strength against the US rising dominance in the region and military presence in Afghanistan, near Central Asia.
Nevertheless, US new defence strategy is part of Indo-US hidden agenda in Afghanistan. First of all US seeks to protect the puppet regime of Karzai and Indian influence in Afghanistan under the umbrella of its military presence because it knows that otherwise, Taliban militants will topple the Karzai regime, also forcing India to withdraw its network from Afghanistan. India which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, signed a strategic partnership agreement with that country on on october 5, 2011, wants to further fortify its grip there to get strategic depth against Islamabad.
US bases in Afghanistan and the Gulf will also enhance its ability to gather intelligence on Iran. In December, 2011, Iranian authorities recovered a CIA surveillance drone which had been launched from Afghanistan. Although US President Barrack Obama has asked Israel to postpone invasion of Tehran, yet a war-like situation exists between Iran and America over the nuclear programme of Tehran, which is for energy-purposes. In the recent past, Russia and China rejected US-led western sanctions against Iran and asked America to resolve the question of Iran’s nuclear programme peacefully.
It is notable that US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008, intends to make India a super power of Asia to contain China and destablise Pakistan as well as Iran. Balochistan where China has invested billion of dollars to develop Gwadar seaport is considered a greater threat by these hostile powers.
Meanwhile, during the visit of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Kayani to Kabul, Pakistan, ISAF and Afghanistan on November 20, this year signed an agreement of the Tripartite Border Coordination Mechanism in the wake of cross-border firing and militant infiltration from the Afghan side. But US is playing double game with Islamabad. Sometimes, it praises Pak sacrifices regarding war on terror, sometimes, admits that stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan without the help of Pakistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops, sometimes, realises that US wants to work to put its relationship with Pakistan on a stronger footing, also requesting the latter to play key role for Afghan peace deal with the Taliban, but at the same time, it blames Islamabad for safe-havens of militants and cross-border attacks in Afghanistan. Especially, US has been supporting cross-border infiltration in Pakistan with the assistance of American CIA, Indian intelligence agency, RAW and Israeli secret agency, Mossad which have well-established their network in Afghanistan to ‘denuclearise’ Pakistan. For this purpose highly trained militants, equipped with sophisticated weapons are being sent to Pakistan, who are regularly conducting subversive acts and sectarian violence in various regions of the country.
Besides, reality behind the deteriorating situation and the missing persons of Balochistan is that CIA, RAW and Mossad have perennial been backing bomb blasts, suicide attacks, abductions, target killings, ethnic and sectarian violence in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (God’s soldiers), and Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) in order to fulfill their secret strategic designs so as to dismember Pakistan and Iran.
Pakistan’s Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik disclosed in his recent statements that he showed proof about training camps being run in Afghanistan, and supply of arms and ammunition by the Afghan government to Baloch separatists inside Balochistan.
However, BLA and Jundollah are also working against the cordial relationship of Pakistan with Iran and China. In the past few years, their militants kidnapped and killed many Iranian and Chinese nationals in Pakistan. Notably, Jundullah conducted several subversive acts in the Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan. Particularly, Tehran has repeatedly pointed out US and CIA for patronage and funding of those terrorist attacks.
In this context, the former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi had stated, “It is obvious that the same forces which are working in Pakistani Balochistan are also working in Iranian Sistan.” While, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had indicated, “The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.”
It is mentionable that on February 8, 2012, the hearing of the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Dana Rohrabacher favoured an independent Balochistan. And military scholar Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, while writing in the June 2006 issue of The Armed Forces Journal of the US had suggested Washington about the creation of a “Greater Balochistan” which would integrate the Baloch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran—and the Frontier Province should be incorporated into Afghanistan.
Nonetheless, although Pakistan and Iran seek to further strengthen their cooperation, yet US, India and Israel intend to weaken their relations as part of the collusion.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations