Can't connect right now! retry
Opinion
Saturday Jun 10 2017
By

Saudi-led alliance: Decision time for Pakistan

Sartaj Aziz, the Prime Minister’s advisor on Foreign Affairs, recently told the Senate that although retired Army chief, General Raheel Sharif, is heading the 41-nation Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism, no Terms of Reference or mechanism have been developed for the coalition as yet. He also said that the Pakistan army will not be deployed outside Saudi Arabia and the impression that the alliance will attack Iran is misplaced.

Unfortunately, Aziz forgot, or choose not to mention what Saudi Arabia’s King Shah Salman and the American President Donald Trump said last month at the US-Arab-Islamic Summit. Trump accused Iran of “fuelling the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.” Further adding that until Iran is willing to “be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate it.” King Salman, on the other hand, called the rival country the “spearhead of global terrorism.”

In the light of these statements, Aziz’s remarks on the Senate floor look comically clueless.

The most important leaders at the summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.summit, were the two mentioned above. Hence, their words carry a lot of weightage. The focal point at the summit was Iran.

It seems, from the words chosen by Trump that America has a single, focused intention for the Alliance. Not only does American want Saudi Arabia to further isolate Iran, but also it wants other countries to end all form of ties with it. Here is the conundrum we are finding ourselves in. If, God forbid, the alliance chooses to engage in conventional warfare with Iran, where will we be standing? How will our soldiers, stationed in Saudi Arabia react? Will Gen. Sharif’s nationality be a bone of contention? After all, the orders for action will have to come directly from the commander.

Aziz insists that Pakistan has a balanced and peaceful regional policy. If Iran considers the Islamic Military Alliance a threat, and a Pakistani army officer leads that alliance, how can the region remain peaceful?

A coalition of Islamic states should instead direct its efforts towards Israel, for its brutality towards Palestinians. But this seems to not even be on the agenda.

Israel neither cared for nor paid any attention to the summit.

Judging from the past, it is clear what is about to come next. International forces formed the militant outfit, al Qaeda. Then, Afghanistan was attacked. Afterwards, Indian influence in Afghanistan was increased to destabilize the only nuclear-armed Muslim country, Pakistan, which subsequently lost thousands of citizens and soldiers in the war on terror.

Later, Iraq was falsely accused of hiding weapons of mass destruction. Then, Iraq too was attacked. Its oil fields were badly affected. A few years ago, Daesh was put together and as a result Syria was destroyed. Over in Libya, Colonel Qaddafi, who was an opponent of American policies, was killed and Libya pushed to chaos.

Pakistan should take a good hard look at what is happening around it. It should be wary of what may come next. In the Muslim region, Iran is a powerful country. Just like Iraq was accused of harboring WMDs, Iran is similarly being blamed without proof of promoting terrorism and sectarianism. If Iran is attacked on the basis of this unfounded allegation, then a very dangerous crisis of sectarianism is about to unfold.

That said General Raheel Sharif is a professional soldier and an able commander. He has experience of defeating terrorism. I am confident, and hopeful, that he will avoid all such ill-informed plans.