‘We are all Muslims’

The Russian President while talking to our President at Tashkent recently, said “we are all Muslims” meaning thereby that, we all have a common “tormentor” who, during the last three decades, has destroyed more than half a dozen Muslim countries, killing over two million of them. Now it has turned towards Russia to destroy its economy, by imposing unwarranted sanctions’ and blocking the oil supply life-lines. Thus the Muslims and the Russians are the oppressed people, with a common cause, to stand together, to fight the evil of global barbarity.

Thus a new conflict spectrum is now developing, determining the contours of the global geo-strategic order. It is similar to the Cold War order of the past, but is different in its dimensions as it pulls and gravitate towards it almost all the geo-economic centers of power of the world, masked by US Pivot to Asia Strategy. Thus the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been forged to counter Chinese rising economic and military power, which challenges US hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region. The non-aligned India has signed the Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with Washington on 29 August 2016, which provides facilities to the armed forces of the two countries to operate from either country military bases. India never allowed foreign powers to operate from its military bases, yet it now accepts a complete shift from non-alignment. India now is one of the biggest buyers of advanced weaponry and USA is equally a big vendor. It is a marriage of convenience, with USA expected to sell military hardware worth over 150 billion dollars in the near future. India is dreaming to become a super-power of the world with more than 600 million Indians living below the poverty line.

The Americans lost their longest war in Afghanistan despite the support from NATO and the allies with combat troops, armed with most modern weapon technology. They do no accept defeat as the Soviets did in 1989. They lack the grace to accept the reality and are engaged in conspiracies and deceit to prevent the establishment of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, under the Taliban. Now they have formed US-India-Afghanistan Partnership (UIAP) to stabilise Ashraf Ghani’s government tottering on its feet. They are destined to lose, because they have failed to understand the Afghans, who are fighting their war of liberation for the last thirty five years, defending their ideology, their values and traditions. The Americans and the allies have challenged their ideology, ignoring the logic of the Chinese saying, “Do not take-on the revolutionaries, unless you have an ideology, stronger than theirs.” And there is no ideology, stronger than the ideology of Islam, embraced by the Afghans.

The specter of US-India-Afghanistan Partnership (UIAP) thus has prompted the Russians, the Chinese and the Pakistanis, to form a regional alliance, also to be joined by Iran, now disenchanted with the Americans, after the nuclear deal. Iran has already allowed the Russians to use their Hamadan Airbase against the Syrian rebels. Afghan Taliban have developed good relations with Russia, China and Iran and have not drifted away from Pakistan either, despite Pakistan joining against them as a coalition partner of USA, in war against Afghanistan. Mullah Omar reminded Pakistan in very clear terms “you have joined our enemy in their war on us, yet we regard you as friends, because our national interests and destiny are linked.” His words provide the logic to Pakistan to join the regional alliance of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan (RCPIA) to counter the machinations of LEMOA and UIAP and restore balance in the region. In my article, titled “Afghanistan after Mullah Omar” I wrote last year:

“The cross-currents of interests of the Global powers and regional countries make the Afghan situation more complex. The American and their coalition partners want Afghanistan destabilised, so that the emerging coalition of Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran does not materialize, and the China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) benefits, do not extend beyond Pakistan. India is particularly perturbed about the impact of CPEC, on the Khalistan Movement in Punjab and the freedom movement in Kashmir, because both the regions and the movements complement each other, and find themselves deprived of the economic benefits of the CPEC, so long as Pakistan does not grant the ‘Most Favoured Nation Status’ to India, whose ‘Look North Policy’ thus would remain unrealised. An intriguing situation indeed, which could undermine the geo-political realities of the region.”

The geo-political realities of the region beckon Pakistan, to shake-off American baggage and accept Putins offer of joining the ranks and files of the oppressed Muslim world, as partners in distress, to share Putins vision for overcoming the logic of conflict in tomorrows world.

Gen (r) Mirza Aslam Beg

The writer is a former COAS, Pakistan. He can be reached at friendsfoundation@live.co.uk

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