Proxy war and politics in Pakistan

The proxy war in 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 lost its charm. Business activities are dying down, capital is flowing out, and fear and despondency have gripped the nation. It is, however, 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, which was established in 2001 under the RAW and supported by the CIA, Mossad, MI-6 and BND, has been targeting all the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan, and succeeded in turning the war against it by the year 2005. Since then, our army has been 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. Earlier, I wrote about this network operating against Pakistan in the article titled Global Conspiracies against Pakistan, published on August 14, 2007: Sarobi near Kabul is the nerve centre headed by an Indian General officer, who also commands the Border Road Organisation (BRO). Its forward bases are Ghazni, Khowst, Gardez, Jalalabad, Asadabad, Wakhan and Faizabad. The Faizabad training camp depicts a Pakistani camp for Chinese dissidents, with Muslim mullahs, trainers and guards. BRO has built an all-weather road from Sarobi to Asadabad to Faizabad. The Sarobi network targets the province of NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), 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 the Chinese working in the province, particularly at Gwadar, Sandak and Hab. From the anchorages, on the Pakistani coast at Jiwani and Kot Kalamat, the Americans jointly plan operations with BLA inside Balochistan. They also use the Pakistani outposts at Mand for operations inside Iran. The American warships in the Arabian Sea and their intelligence bases in Muscat, provide the backup 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 destabilise Balochistan and Iran. The proxy war in Sindh presents a different picture, as it targets Karachi - the nerve centre of Pakistan - and when mixed with politics, it presents a very dangerous situation. The factors, such as the 'demographic imbalance caused by the influx of Pashtuns from the north and the flood affected internally displaced persons from Punjab; and Sindhis and Balochis seeking refuge in Karachi add to the social disorder being exploited by foreign hands. The politics in Sindh is hostage to Mutahida Quami Movements (MQM) hold over Karachi and Hyderabad, which is being challenged by other political and ethnic groups who want to create space for themselves in the areas that the Movement considers as their exclusive preserve. The clash of interests, thus, has resulted into violence and bloodshed. It took a new turn when the MQM decided to split with the government at both the federal and provincial levels. This split was totally unexpected and was viewed as a conspiracy for 'regime change because USAs 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 in order to get rid of the government in power. But President Asif 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 that took many lives and Karachi shuddered. Zardari returned to Karachi and passed orders to cut MQM to size. Under the presidential notification, the local bodys ordinance was changed denying power, privileges and projects to MQM; the new Karachi-Hyderabad constituency demarcation order was repealed reducing about 30 percent seats, which the MQM could win in the next elections. At the same time, intelligence reports about the MQMs gung-ho politics were sent to London. It, 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 scapegoated. The Americans and the British diplomats came rushing to Karachi to 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. The 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. The Pakistani nation is facing a multidimensional threat to its security and this is not the time to rock the boat. Undoubtedly, change is needed, but through the constitutional process because the 'hidden hands that 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 northwest 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 and start a movement in real earnest, rather than giving hollow statements that have no meaning at all. The opposition leaders could provide the lead and many would follow them. But they have to do a lot of homework to carefully prepare 'the bill to be tabled in the National Assembly. The bill must initiate the policy and 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 to 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. The writer is former chief of army staff, Pakistan. Email:

Gen (r) Mirza Aslam Beg

The writer is a former COAS, Pakistan. He can be reached at

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