Nawaz Sharif's Anti-Military Rhetoric; Moeed Yusuf on Indian Sponsored Terror in Pakistan

Former Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif has alleged that the Pakistan Army Chief and the ISI leader orchestrated his conviction on corruption charges and his subsequent ouster. In a clear departure from prior allegations against "the establishment", Mr. Sharif has named names of the chiefs of the Army and the ISI in his anti-military address over the telephone from London to a joint opposition rally in Gujranwala. Where does he go from here? Is he following in the footsteps of MQM founder Altaf Husain? Has Sharif given up on any hope of returning to claim power in Pakistan? Is the end of his political career for all practical purposes? 

Pakistan's two major political parties PMLN and PPP have joined Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) as the joint opposition movement under Maulana Fazlur Rehman go from here. In a show of strength, PDM has held two big political parties in Gujranwala and Karachi. Their objective is to force Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation, followed by fresh general elections. How far will the PDM leadership go to achieve this objective? Will they succeed in bringing large numbers of people on the streets to create chaos? How will the Pakistani military respond to it? Will the majority of Pakistanis support any military intervention to end chaos and bring order? Will such intervention be a direct military takeover of power or will it be in support of Prime Minister Imran Khan's government? 

Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Prime Minister Imran Khan's National Security Advisor, has said that "we have evidence to the T" of India's links to several terrorist attacks in Pakistan. In an interview with Indian journalist Karan Thapar, Dr. Yusuf mentioned specific terrorist incidents with Indian intelligence agency's fingerprints on them. Specifically, he mentioned terrorist attacks on Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 149 people including 132 schoolchildren. “Malik Faridoon who masterminded the attack from Jalalabad (in Afghanistan) was in touch with handlers at the Indian consulate as children were massacred in broad daylight,” he said. Yusuf also mentioned India's links to terrorist attacks on Chinese consulate, Pakistan Stock Exchange and Gwadar 5-star hotel. Kulbhushan Jadhav "has been caught with his pants down" India recently spent $1 million to bring about TTP, 4 other militant organizations' merger in Afghanistan Kashmiris should be made 3rd party in any India-Pakistan talks. 

Is Dr. Yusuf beginning to build a common Pakistan narrative on Indian sponsorship of terror in Pakistan?  Can he do it with without it getting politicized in Pakistan by anti-military and anti-ISI politicians and activists? 

Pakistan's economy has been hit hard by one-two punch: a balance-of-payments crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. Food prices have soared in Pakistan and the world as uncertainty about the pandemic has increased speculation and hoarding of basic foods. Bloomberg Agriculture Subindex, a measure of key farm goods futures contracts, is up almost 20% since June. There's anger and impatience among Pakistanis that is creating an opportunity for PDM to direct it at Prime Minister Imran Khan's government. Will the PTI government be able to address these issues and survive the Opposition's onslaught? 

ALKS host Faraz Darvesh discusses these issues with Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, Sabahat Ashraf (iFaqir) and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com).

https://youtu.be/THKiOsYdbC8

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Comment by Riaz Haq on October 23, 2020 at 8:05am

Breaking an old taboo, Pakistan begins to reckon with its powerful military


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-military...

Sharif shocked the country by denouncing the army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, at the first rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement. In a stunning departure from Pakistani norms, the three-time premier accused Bajwa of backing his removal from office on corruption charges in 2017 and rigging the 2018 elections. It was the first time an establishment politician had ever made such accusations.

“General Qamar Javed Bajwa, you packed up our government and put the nation at the altar of your wishes,” Sharif said in Urdu. “You rejected the people’s choice in the elections and installed an inefficient and incapable group of people,” leading to an economic catastrophe. “General Bajwa, you will have to answer for inflated electricity bills, shortage of medicines and poor people suffering.”

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There are also signs that some alliance members are not comfortable with Sharif’s anti-military diatribe. On Saturday, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and son of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, called the military establishment “part of history” and said it was “regrettable” that Sharif had mentioned any of its generals by name.

“We do not want their morale to go down,” he said of the armed forces. “We want a real and complete democracy, but we do not look to the umpire’s finger, we look to the people’s signal.”

Even Sharif’s outspoken daughter, Maryam, who lives in Pakistan and whose husband was arrested briefly Monday after the rally in Karachi, has stressed that she is not “anti-military.”

Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst in Lahore, predicted that while the current confrontation could weaken Khan politically, it might actually increase the military’s influence.

“Traditionally, Pakistan has been a security state whose survival was the foremost concern,” Rizvi said. He noted that even today, “inefficient” civilian rulers continue to rely on the army for emergency and humanitarian interventions.

“The political forces were always weak and divided,” he said. “Now this division is getting wider, which will harm democratic institutions, too.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 23, 2020 at 9:41am

Pakistan fighting war in India’s hinterland without weapons. That’s sixth-generation warfare
Pakistan Army needs one more coup or mutiny. This time for its reforms.

By Major General Amarjit Singh, VSM (Retd) commanded a Division in the Northern Sector

https://theprint.in/opinion/pakistan-fighting-war-in-indias-hinterl...

The next generation of warfare moves away from the customary objectives of territory, destruction of war-waging capability, and capturing prisoners. The overarching goal of overpowering the will of the enemy will still be the ultimate objective, but the method adopted will aim to impact the mind of the populace with the use of a number of psychological means to alter its core cultural values and beliefs. Western civilisation lays importance to life and wealth whereas a radicalised civilisation values ‘faith’ over life and the way it is lived.

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The ends of warfare have shifted from a territorial concept of physical domination to the domination of minds of the population. The Arab Spring is an example of a well-orchestrated psychological campaign. The domination of the mind is by terror, coercion or through psychological bribery. The weapons and strategy of this kind of war are totally new and the country that can deploy these at the earliest will be the future power of the world. Hard weapons have been replaced by weapons of the mind and information. The narrative of the war itself will be the most lethal weapon.

Military analysts have already started writing about the sixth generation of warfare. The demonstration of this war by Pakistan can be seen by the number of minds it controls in Kashmir and how it is capturing the minds of radical Muslims in other parts of India. The de-militarisation of Siachen demonstrates the neighbour’s capacity to influence the leadership and the intellectuals of India. Pakistan is now fighting the ‘war’ in India’s hinterland and making use of the fault lines that exist within the country to de-stabilise it internally, so that in the end, India becomes incapable of responding to an invasion from within for the capture of Kashmir.


Few countries have understood the emergence of this new warfare. The US understood it after burning its fingers in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia has been studying this concept for the last 15 years and has demonstrated its prowess in Crimea and Chechnya, and through the purported meddling in the last US elections. The Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov had said in 2013 that “The role of non-military means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of weapons in their effectiveness”. Russia’s forethought and strategic culture of being a great power is reflected in its recent victories in the new war of information and irregularity. Russia is now the third pole in the hybrid war that the US is fighting against the radicals in the Middle East and Afghanistan. China, very strategically, has unveiled its prowess in this new type of warfare and is engaged with the US in a new Cold War where it is not the threat of nuclear weapons that is paramount, but the economy.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 14, 2020 at 7:31am

#Pakistan says it has evidence of #India sponsoring #terror attacks. FM Qureshi: "We have irrefutable facts that we will present before the nation and international community" #CPEC #Balochistan #Karachi #Peshawar #Modi #Terrorism https://aje.io/xsjzn via @AJEnglish

Pakistan says India is sponsoring “terrorism” aimed at destabilising the country and targeting its economic partnership with China, accusations top Pakistani officials delivered at a news conference.

Pakistan and India routinely accuse each other of targeting the other, but this was a rare time Pakistani officials said they prepared a mountain of evidence to back up the allegations against their South Asian rival.

In a joint news conference on Saturday in the capital Islamabad, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, along with military spokesman Major-General Babar Iftikhar, said Indian intelligence agents were operating out of neighbouring Afghanistan to plan attacks within Pakistani borders.

“India was allowing its land to be used against Pakistan for terrorism,” said Qureshi, adding that New Delhi was also planning attacks from “neighbouring countries”.

Qureshi said Pakistan is sending its evidence to the United Nations demanding India be censured, warning “without international intervention it is difficult to guarantee peace in nuclear South Asia”, a region where both India and Pakistan possess nuclear weapons.

“We have irrefutable facts that we will present before the nation and international community through this dossier,” the minister claimed.

The news conference comes a day after Pakistan’s military said five civilians and an army soldier were killed by shelling from Indian troops across the highly militarised border that separates the Pakistani and Indian sides of Kashmir.

The disputed border in the Himalayan region is a source of long-standing conflict between the two powers.

Iftikhar, who heads the media and public relations office for Pakistan’s armed forces, presented some of the dossier’s evidence purporting to show India’s involvement in attacks within Pakistan, including bank receipts showing funding and photos showing alleged perpetrators of attacks inside the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

He also played an audio clip purporting to record a conversation between an Indian intelligence official and Allah Nazar, who is the top leader of Baloch separatist fighters in southwest Pakistan.

Iftikhar added Indian intelligence agents were especially targeting Chinese development projects that have come with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He alleged the attackers who led a deadly assault on a luxury hotel in the southwestern city of Gwadar in October 2016 were in telephone contact with Indian intelligence handlers before and during the assault.


Chinese companies operate the Pakistani city’s key port facilities and it is considered a keystone of major Pakistani-Chinese trade projects.

The military spokesman also accused India of sponsoring banned organisations including UN-designated “terrorist” groups Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, and Allah Nazar’s Baloch Liberation Army.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s foreign ministry, Gran Hewad, said on Saturday Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is planning to visit Afghanistan next week.

The foreign ministry said this will be Khan’s first visit to Kabul as Pakistan’s prime minister. It was not mentioned whether he would raise Pakistan’s allegations of Indian interference.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 14, 2020 at 6:26pm

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi accused India of spreading terrorism, Qureshi claimed that RAW had given 80 billion rupees to ruin China’s dream project. Presentation of the Islamabad dossier 
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and army spokesman, backed by sharp retaliation from the army in Jammu and Kashmir, accused India of spreading terrorism in Balochistan. Qureshi claimed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, Indian intelligence agency RAW donated Rs 80 billion and prepared 700 terrorists to destroy the Dream Project’s China-Pakistan economic corridor. 

Pakistan’s foreign minister, who referred to terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir, presented the dossier on alleged Indian terrorism on Saturday. Qureshi said India gave 80 billion rupees to ruin the CPEC. India has formed a militia of 700 who will continue to target CPEC in Balochistan. India tried to spread nationalism there ahead of the Gilgit-Baltistan elections. Even after the elections, India’s intention is not noble. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 18, 2020 at 7:27am

A new report highlighting India’s disinformation campaign against Pakistan could help rebuild Pakistan’s international image. However, that is a tall order.

By Hassan Aslam Shad

https://thediplomat.com/2020/12/indian-chronicles-a-new-war-of-narr...

In November, Pakistan handed over its dossier on India’s terror campaign to the United Nations, the P5 members of the U.N. Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Countries claiming that it had “irrefutable evidence” of India financing, training, harboring and supplying weapons to terrorists operating in and against Pakistan. The U.N. Secretary General is said to have promised to study the dossier and take appropriate action. Pakistan is also reported to have warned the U.N. Secretary General that it “reserves the right to act in self-defence.”

It is too early to tell how Pakistan’s lawfare against India will pan out. However, some options it could likely exercise against India are the following.

First, Pakistan will most likely supplement its dossier with the “third party perspective” presented in the EU DisinfoLab report, something that was previously missing in its anti-India narrative. Second, Pakistan will engage with world powers traditionally hostile to Pakistan’s perspective to make them “soften” their stance towards Pakistan. Third, it will try to convince international organizations to pursue legal action against Indian natural and juristic persons named in the EU report who made representations before those organizations. Lastly, Pakistan’s best bet would be to table a resolution against India at the United Nations General Assembly with the hope of obtaining a resolution condemning India for its actions.

Despite the timing of the European NGO report, which comes right after Pakistan’s own dossier, it will find it hard to undo fossilized narratives about itself and India. India’s drift towards extremism – condemnable no less – does not automatically elevate Pakistan’s international stature. This is where the truth lies for Pakistan, and it will face an uphill task in convincing the world to see it through a new lens as the victim of Indian aggression.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 18, 2020 at 5:28pm

Pakistan, India, China tensions spike in 2020
Experts do not see thaw in relations between 3 nuclear neighbors in near future

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/pakistan-india-china-tensions...

The relations between three Asian nuclear neighbors – Pakistan, India, and China – plummeted to new depths in 2020, with experts foreseeing no “detente” next year either.

The tumultuous year saw the first deadly clash between Indian and Chinese armies in the last 45 years in the mountainous Ladakh region in June. The ties between Pakistan India also remained at odds amid frequent clashes along with the disputed Jammu and Kashmir border.

The military standoff followed New Delhi’s unilateral decision to separate Ladakh from disputed Jammu and Kashmir and revoke the Himalayan region’s semi-autonomous status in August last year, a move vehemently opposed by Beijing and Islamabad.

Ladakh region which borders China and Pakistan serves as the world’s only “nuclear trijunction.”

In another rare development in November Pakistan released a dossier accusing India of “actively planning, promoting, aiding, abetting, financing and execution of terrorist activities” on its soil.

India, however, denied the charges and accused Islamabad of “patronizing” terrorism.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary said tensions between China and India owed origin to New Delhi’s August 2019 move of carving out a separate centrally administered Ladakh region.

“The year 2020 witnessed continued tensions between Pakistan and India as the latter remained in a disengagement mood, and did not agree to hold a dialogue on the outstanding issues,” he said.

The year also saw nearly daily clashes between the two militaries along the Line of Control (LoC) -- a de facto border that divides the picturesque Jammu and Kashmir between the two nuclear neighbors.

Dozens of soldiers and civilians from both sides were killed, while scores of others were injured in the clashes, which have taken a toll on the inhabitants of bordering areas.

Relations slide

Islamabad, over the past 12 months, left no stone unturned to raise alleged human rights violations in the disputed region, particularly after New Delhi revoked constitutional special status.

Jammu and Kashmir -- a Muslim majority region -- is held by Pakistan and India in parts but claimed in full. A small silver of the territory is held by China.

Several pro-freedom groups have been fighting Indian troops for either uniting with Pakistan or independence.

“The slide which began in India Pakistan relations in August 2019, worsened in 2020, and it is unlikely to improve shortly,” said Sameer Patil, a fellow at the Gateway House, a Mumbai-based think tank.

“Pakistan's frequent attempts to highlight the Kashmir issue at the international level have only caused further Indian intransigence,” he said.

“Pakistan’s continued greylisting by the Financial Action task Force -- a global money-laundering watchdog -- has given confidence to India that its strategy of pressuring and isolating Islamabad is working,” he added.

Islamabad has been on the global money-laundering watchdog's radar since June 2018, when it was placed on its gray list for terrorist financing and money laundering risks after an assessment of the country's financial system and security mechanism.

Another Pakistani former Foreign Secretary, Salman Bashir said that Indian “obsession” with Pakistan witnessed new escalatory measures by “intensifying active hostilities across the LoC and propaganda blitz extinguishing hopes for regional cooperation”.

He said that during the year Pakistan remained “mired” in domestic political squabbles, trying to fix governance and facing the brunt of global power play with attendant regional implications.

Both Indian and Pakistani analysts do not see any possibility of a thaw in relations in near future.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 18, 2020 at 5:29pm

Pakistan, India, China tensions spike in 2020
Experts do not see thaw in relations between 3 nuclear neighbors in near future

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/pakistan-india-china-tensions...

US tilt towards India

Chaudhry, who heads the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), an Islamabad-based think tank, said since India does not seem to change its policies towards Kashmir and neighbors, there is hardly any scope for improvement in relations.

Further, he said, the recent US tilt towards India has emboldened New Delhi to continue its “belligerent” approach towards its neighbors.

Rajiv Ranjan, who teaches international relations at Shanghai University maintains that India-China relations were also at the “lowest point”.

“India-China engagement is at its lowest point today. And, I expect that frequent clashes [between the two sides] will be a new normal not only along the undefined border since border infrastructures improved but inherent competition in the region and beyond to shape the regional and global politics,” he said.

He added that the current deterioration in the bilateral engagement between the two countries is resultant of a combination of unsettled boundaries and strategic antagonism. He asked countries to restructure dialogue mechanisms to achieve a stable engagement.

“Both countries must restructure dialogue mechanisms, settle the foundational irritants of their bilateral relationship and realign interests if they want to achieve any meaningful and stable engagement,” said Ranjan.

Beijing push for globalism

Chaudhry, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary, observed that Beijing is likely to continue to push for “globalism”, and “multilateralism” with an economic emphasis, mainly on its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“India has long been opposing the BRI, and likely to continue the same policy in years to come,” he said.

Bashir, who also served as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India from 2012-14 described 2020 as a “transformational” year as established assumptions about states, societies, and interstate conduct in South Asia were challenged.

“India, suffered immense reputational loss, unprecedented economic slump, social turmoil and lost its credentials as a secular democracy with rule of law and a modicum of enlightened values and justice, “said Bashir, who also served as Pakistan’s top diplomat in China.

“Pakistan deepened its relations with Russia and China and intensified efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, “he said.

Bashir also referred to Islamabad’s crucial role in the ongoing reconciliation process in Afghanistan, which aims to end Washington’s longest war in recent history through a political settlement.

“Three geographically contiguous nuclear powers -- India, China, and Pakistan -- must learn to live with each other and devote themselves to higher ideals and cooperation for development, “he added.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 31, 2020 at 9:01pm

Whatever #Indian diplomats tell you about #Pakistan has no credibility. #IndianChronicles have exposed #India’s “firehose of falsehood” for the whole world to see. And Pakistan’s dossier on India sponsored terror has also exposed #Modi #Doval duo https://www.riazhaq.com/2020/12/indias-firehose-of-falsehood-propag...

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1344863679443976192?s=20

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