UAE’s Secret Mission to Iran

UAE’s Secret Mission to Iran

By David Hearst – Middle East Eye

Tahnoun bin Zayed, the national security adviser of the United Arab Emirates and the crown prince’s younger brother, has been in Tehran for the last 48 hours on a secret mission aiming to defuse the Gulf crisis, a senior security source in the UAE told the Middle East Eye.

Tahnoun’s secret mission is the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the crisis broke out.

It comes amid multiple signs of the UAE following its own, softer line with Tehran, after four tankers were attacked off the Emirati port of Fujairah earlier this year.

Although Admiral Michael Gilday, director of the US Joint Staff, said US intelligence had concluded that Iran’s revolutionary Guard Corps was “directly responsible” for the attacks, the UAE itself has never pointed the finger of blame at Iran for that attack.

Instead, it sent navy officers to meet their counterparts in Iran, a visit that was announced. This weekend’s mission has been kept secret.

When the UK, Germany and France attempted to counter US efforts to step up the military confrontation in the Gulf, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash praised their diplomatic efforts.

Gargash said: “At every turn, the UAE has avoided conflict with Iran. We will continue to take all measures to de-escalate tensions and reduce the potential for hostilities. When necessary, we are prepared to act in self-defense, but always proportionately, judiciously and with restraint. We seek a pragmatic, diplomatic path to lowering tensions and creating an opening for meaningful talks.”

The secret mission comes amid of flurry back channel attempts to get talks going between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Saudis have called on Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi to pass messages to Tehran.

As the MEE revealed on 1 October, Abbas al-Hasnawi, an official in the Iraqi prime minister’s office, confirmed that Abdul Mahdi was mediating between the leaderships in Riyadh and Tehran and had communicated each side’s conditions for talks to the other.

Since then, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has become involved and is to shuttle between Tehran and Riyadh this week.

Two senior Pakistani government officials confirmed to Reuters that Khan was going to Tehran to try to defuse tensions between the two rivals, after US President Donald Trump asked for his help.

Khan had told reporters last month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly: “President Trump asked me if we could de-escalate the situation and maybe come up with another deal. So, I did convey this [to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani] and yes, we are trying our best. It’s an ongoing thing so I can’t reveal more than that.”

The UAE has recently shown more than one sign of pursuing its own path with Iran. It recently announced it was pulling its troops out of Yemen, and has publicly backed southern separatists in southern port city of Aden splitting the country in two.

…Recently, the Yemeni Ansarullah and the Emirati-backed southern separatists took part in a prisoner exchange, which has not happened with forces loyal to Hadi.

On Friday, the Pentagon said that about 2,000 additional troops would be sent to Saudi Arabia, along with jet fighter squadrons, one air expeditionary wing and air defense personnel. This would be the second troop increase related to recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

The Pentagon said it was also sending two additional Patriot batteries and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system [THAAD].

“Taken together with other deployments, this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorized within the last month,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.

لبنان الهدف الرابع في أهداف العاصفة الأميركية؟

أكتوبر 12, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

تتواصل المحاولات الأميركية لعرقلة تثبيت النتائج السياسية لحروبها الخاسرة التي لا تزال مندلعة في ميادين الشرق الاوسط.

لذلك فإن تفحص هذه الحركات الأميركية الجديدة يبين انها تنتقل من بلد الى آخر في محور المقاومة لإعادة التوتر اليه وإرباك أطرافه وإرجاء الحلول السياسية النهائية الى مراحل بعيدة يكون الأميركيون جددوا فيها آلياتهم المحلية.

هذا النهج الجديد ابتدأ بالدخول على خط تظاهرات شعبية في العراق كانت تطالب بمعالجة الفساد السياسي والإفقار. وهذه احتجاجات حقيقية وصادقة اندس فيها مئات المرتزقة الذين أحدثوا اعمال تخريب وتقول السلطات العراقية إن قناصة منهم استهدفوا المتظاهرين لإشعال فتيل حرب داخلية بين المدنيين العراقيين وجيشهم والحشد الشعبي، معتمدين على نظرية «التقليد» بين أفراد الحشود العامة التي يضعف فيها العقل عادة وتشتدّ الغريزة.

لكن تدخل أطراف عراقية وازنة دينياً وسياسياً عطل مؤقتاً هذه الاحتجاجات على امل ان تهتم الدولة بمطالب الناس بسرعة، ما أدى الى انكفاء التورط الأميركي هناك مؤقتاً.

إلا انه لم يتوقف منتقلاً الى شمال سورية، حيث شجّع الاتراك على اقتحامه متخلياً عن آلياته في منظمة قسد الكردية التي اصيبت بإحباط كبير، والقصد الأميركي هنا يبدأ بمحاولة إعادة الاتراك الى الحظيرة الأميركية والتأسيس لمعارك سورية تركية في شمال سورية وإدلب وعفرين والباب قد يجد الروسي نفسه مضطراً للانخراط فيها الى جانب سورية للمحافظة على مكتسباته السورية وبالتالي الإقليمية.

لكن القيادة الروسية تحاول استيعاب الموقف بدفع سورية وتركيا الى حوار مع ضغطها على الرئيس التركي أردوغان لوقف جيشه عند الخطوط التي تسمح بها معاهدة أضنة مع اضافة بسيطة الى عمق عشرة كيلومترات.

فبذلك تبقى حليفة لسورية والطامحة الى الاستحواذ على الدور التركي في آن معاً في حرب تركية مفتوحة ليست لها اوقات محددة.

لجهة إيران فهي الهدف الأميركي الثالث. فجرى قصف ناقلة إيرانية كانت تبحر مقابل مدينة جدة السعودية على بعد ستين ميلاً بحرياً منها، وكأنها تريد الإيحاء بأنها رد سعودي على قصف مصفاة ارامكو، وكانت السعودية اتهمت إيران بالقصف على الرغم من اعلان الدولة اليمنية في صنعاء، أن طائراتها المسيّرة وصواريخها هي التي قصفت اهم مصفاة في السعودية.

المطلوب اذاً من هذه الضربة جرّ إيران الى حرب او ضربات متواصلة على اهداف سعودية جديدة، تؤدي الى نقل الصراع بين البلدين من سياسي متوتر تتخلله بعض النكسات العسكرية الى حرب عسكرية مقفلة الأفق سياسياً.

هذا ما يشجّع على الاعتقاد بأن قصف الناقلة الإيرانية هو عمل أميركي اسرائيلي يريد تعطيل مشروع المصالحة الذي يحمله معه اليوم الى طهران رئيس وزراء باكستان عمران خان.

وسواء أكان قصف الباخرة الإيرانية من بعض الاجنحة المتشدّدة في السعودية او من الأميركيين او الإسرائيليين فإن مراميه المباشرة تريد تعطيل أي لقاء سعودي إيراني، لأنه ينعكس فوراً على مستوى الشرق الأوسط مقلصاً من مدى الدور الأميركي في زواياه، فهل جرى إجهاض المبادرة الباكستانية قبل ان تبدأ؟ لا شك في أنها قد تسيء الى الوساطة لكن الخبرة الإيرانية السياسية بوسعها أن تحتويها.

لجهة اليمن، فالحروب فيه مستعرة منذ خمسة اعوام لم تتوقف فيها يوماً واحداً بشكل لا يتبقى في الاهداف الأميركية إلا مواصلة التآمر في ساحات العراق وسورية واليمن مع التركيز على لبنان، لوجود حزب الله فيه، بما يعنيه من رأس حربة المقاومة في الاقليم والصامدين في وجه الكيان الاسرائيلي عند حدود لبنان الجنوبية والداعم لسورية في وجه الارهاب.

هذه الاعتبارات تدفع الأميركيين الى اتخاذ اجراءات تشبه حصاراً اقتصادياً قاسياً ابتدأ منذ شهر تقريباً على شكل التضييق على حركة اتصال المصارف الداخلية بالخارجية، والتضييق على حركة تحويلات المغتربين اللبنانيين الى أهاليهم ومنع المصارف الداخلية من التعامل مع أي زبائن إلا بعد الموافقات الأميركية المسبقة وإلغاء حسابات قديمة لزبائن لا ينتمون الى الفلك الأميركي او مؤيدين لخط المقاومة.

لم يكتفِ الأميركيون بهذه الإجراءات التي تكاد تفجر الشارع اللبناني لأنها تسببت بارتفاع سعر الدولار في بلد يستورد بقيمة عشرين مليار دولار ولا يصدّر الا بحدود ثلاثة مليارات، ما ادى الى حركة غلاء قاسية وإضرابات لأفران ومحطات وقود لأنها لم تعد تستطيع الدفع بالدولار.

بالمقابل يعمل الأميركيون على التنسيق بين جهود القوى اللبنانية المرتبطة بهم، وذلك لمنع اي طريقة بوسعها إنقاذ التدهور في الاقتصاد اللبناني.

فحزب القوات اللبنانية الحليف الموثوق للأميركيين يرفض التنسيق الاقتصادي مع سورية وأي تفاوض مع المسؤولين فيها بذريعة ان هذا النظام قتل شعبه! وهذا منطق «إسرائيل» لحزب يغطي الجرائم الأميركية والإرهابية التي فتكت بملايين المدنيين من افغانستان الى لبنان.

واذا كانت دول العالم بأسره أدانت الهجوم التركي على سورية فإن لبنان المجاور لسورية انتقد بدوره هذا الهجوم، لكن الوزير وائل ابو فاعور الممثل للحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي انتقد موقف الحكومة وطالبها بالالتزام بالحيادية! وذلك لارتباط حزبه بالأميركيين.

وهكذا يتساوى ابوفاعور مع وزارة الدفاع في قطر التي أيّدت من ناحيتها الهجوم التركي. هذا ما يكشف أن الخطة الأميركية لخنق لبنان تقوم على خنقه اقتصادياً من الداخل وحركة اتصالاته بالخارج. ومنع أي محاولة لبنانية للانفتاح على سورية اقتصادياً، لأن هذا العمل يفتح اسواق لبنان على العراق والاردن والخليج من خلال الحدود السورية.

وتعتقد الخطة الأميركية أن خاتمة هذا الخنق تنتج حروباً داخلية بين الاحزاب الداخلية الموالية لأميركا وبين حزب الله بما يؤدي تلقائياً الى تعطيل دوره في الاقليم وتفجير حلف المقاومة.

هذا هو التخطيط الأميركي، لكن لحلف المقاومة رأياً آخر يرى ان المتاعب الاقتصادية لجمهوره قابلة للحل ببيارق مقاومة تجمع بين الوطنية والحقوق الاقتصادية الضرورية.

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Afghan Peace: A Pre-requisite for Prosperity in Eurasia Region

Afghan Peace: A Pre-requisite for Prosperity in Eurasia Region

October 10, 2019

by Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan for The Saker blog

Afghanistan is a landlocked country located within South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China. With its population of 35 million approximately, having a GDP (nominal) of 22 billion US dollars in total, and per capita income of 600 Dollars only. Rich with minerals and natural resources, and well-known for its fruits and nuts, still suffering and laying among the least developed country of the world, ranked 177. Four decades of war have damaged the whole country and the whole nation is a victim of war imposed on them.

Its geopolitical location is vital for the whole Eurasian region, as it connects Central Asia, Iran, China, and Russia, with Pakistan, leading towards Warm Waters – the Arabian Sea or the Indian Ocean. All of the countries are suffering due to instability in Afghanistan and desires a long-lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Very unfortunate! Afghanistan is under war or war-like situation for the last 4 decades. Are Afghans are people of lesser God??? No sufficient food, No education, No health care, severe shortage of electricity, Shortage of fuel, are witnessed in Afghanistan. It seems the sufferings of Afghans are going to end. The world has realized that it is enough and now think in the restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan. The common man has suffered for more than 4 decades, which started with the former USSR entry of Afghanistan on the 25th of December 1979 and then internal power struggle among various factions of Afghanistan and finally after 9-11 incident happened in the US, NATO and allied forces entered into Afghanistan. NATO allies have been fighting in Afghanistan for 18 long years, but are still without control anywhere in the country. Even now, the US Army cannot move freely and fearlessly outside of Bagram Airbase. Taliban forces still control major parts of the country. After spending trillion Dollars, killing thousands of innocent people, testing and dumping tons of explosives, finally, the US has understood that they cannot win in Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, the US economy cannot sustain anymore, such as heavy and expensive wars. That is why the US has also decided to withdraw its troops from Syria too.

In fact, Afghanistan was never totally ruled by foreign powers, although in the country’s history many misadventures happened. The people of Afghanistan always defeated invaders. It has been invaded by Alexander the Great, Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets and since 2001, by the United States with NATO-allied countries. But it has proved itself unconquerable. Afghans are brave people and believe in freedom only.

All of the regional countries, including Central Asian States, Russia, Iran, China, and Pakistan were trying to bring Peace and Stability in Afghanistan. Several initiatives for peace in Afghanistan were taken in the past, but none as successful as they were not involved or owned by locals –Taliban and were opposed by the US and its allies. The US-backed elected Governments in Afghanistan, do not enjoy popularity among masses and may not represent the voice of common Afghan nationals.

Pakistan, being neighbors with a long common border, understands Afghanistan well. We share rivers, mountains and a common culture, language and ethnicity, and language. That is why we understand Afghanistan much better than anybody else. The role which Pakistan can play, no other nation can. There is no other country to substitute Pakistan in this regard. The US was trying to involve India in Afghan Issues, but due to the reason it does not have any land linkage, neither any cultural or ethnic commonalities with Afghan, cannot understand their society or issues and helpless in resolving their issues. The world may acknowledge Pakistan’s sacrifices and positive role in this region. Pakistan sincerely wishes for peace and stability in Afghanistan, and as we have suffered losses of around 75,000 lives and $250 billion due to unrest in Afghanistan. We will be the first nation to support peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistan was a very close ally with the US-led West alliance, for almost seven decades. We were partners during the Cold War against “Communism Threat” and a frontline state against the USSR invasion of Afghanistan, a strong supporter and close ally during the war on terror. Pakistan was strongest ally with West out-side NATO. Pakistan can play a vital role in a sustainable solution to the Afghan conflict. Complete withdrawal and an Afghan-led solution is the only permanent way out. Pakistan can facilitate an honorable and safe passage for US withdrawal.

Prime Minister, Imran Khan, a longtime critic of the Afghan war, is in the driving seat in Pakistan. In his maiden speech after winning the election on July 26, he expressed his wish to resolve Afghan issues. His stance, though very unpopular a few years ago, is extremely popular now, domestically as well as internationally, especially coincides with the currently emerged Americans approach. The US government knows that Pakistan under Khan’s leadership can woo the Taliban into accepting some kind of long-term ceasefire.

Pakistan wants to help with the Afghan peace process; peace in Afghanistan would be the best thing that could happen to Pakistan in decades, but certainly not at Pakistan’s expense. The US has asked Pakistan to bring the Taliban back to the table. How can Pakistan do this when the US had previously intentionally derailed the peace process? Recently U-turns by President Trump is even a major obstacle as a credibility issue. Yet, Pakistan did a lot to bring the Taliban on the negotiating table. But the peace process needs sincerity and persistence.

The US has to wake up to the realities in Pakistan. It cannot expect on one hand to harm Pakistan’s core interests and on the other hand strengthening its ties with India, especially after the Indian accession of Kashmir on the 5th of August 2019.

Criticizing Pakistan only, while ignoring Israel and India, who are engaged in genocide and worst atrocities against muslin and other minorities in their countries. On one hand, the US objects to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and resists Pakistan’s economic takeoff. And not extending any support to Pakistan to overcome its economic crisis.

The Taliban have been very clear in their demands from the very beginning, and that is a complete withdrawal of the US and its allied forces from Afghanistan. However, the US cannot sustain economic pressure and have to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan just like Syria. There are people in the US who think that after spending trillions of dollars, and still no achievement on the ground, is a blunder. Taxpayer are asking the government for accountability of heavy expenditures and wastage of their tax collected money. We hope, in the wider interest of humanity, the US may show flexibility and seriously consider the Afghan Peace Process. It will be good for Afghanistan, the region and over-all for the whole world.

Instability in Afghanistan makes many of its people flee into Pakistan, which has hosted up to 5 million Afghan refugees at peak times. No other country has accepted such a huge number of refugees, while Pakistan, a country with meager resources and a weak economy has accommodated them for such long 4 decades.

Pakistan was in the past a very tolerant and peace-loving, balanced society, but during the 1980s war in Afghanistan, Pakistan suffered extremism, intolerance, terrorism, gun culture, and drug culture. For four decades, the war in Afghanistan pushed Pakistan to give the highest priority to its defense and ignore other sectors such as education, health, science and technology, and innovation, as well as the social sector and developmental sectors. As a result, the nation was pushed backward.

In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s Pakistan’s economy was performing very well – it was one of the most rapidly developing countries in South Asia. Singapore, South Korea, and Malaysia wanted to learn from Pakistan and its development model. The Pakistani passport was well respected in the world, with many countries offering us visas on arrival.

But since December 25, 1979, with the situation in Afghanistan has impacted Pakistan severely. Terrorism reached extreme levels and bombings, suicidal attacks and insecurity were witnessed everywhere.

After a school attack on December 16, 2016, in Peshawar, Pakistan formulated a National Action Plan (NAP). With the implementation of this program, Pakistan has achieved significant improvement in the country’s overall security landscape in recent years.

However, while Pakistan is successfully fighting the terrorists on its soil, it also expects the US, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Afghan forces to do the same in Afghanistan.

Several Peace initiatives are witnessed recently, either it is Doha talks, Moscow Format, Beijing or Islamabad talks, Talban’s are serious and moving forward with a hope to restore peace in Afghanistan permanently. Talban’s are the actual pillar of Power in Afghanistan, who holds major part of the country in their control and enjoys popularity inside Afghanistan. The US administrations has also realized their power and believes talking with them directly. A peaceful and developed Afghanistan is vital for the whole Eurasian region. It will promote trade and economic activities and change the whole pattern of trade around the world. Beneficiary will be not only Afghanistan only, but the whole Eurasian region.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist, ex-Diplomate, Academician, Researcher, Peace-activist, Geo-analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), Islamabad, Pakistan. E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com)

Watch Imran Khan’s Full Speech Before the UN General Assembly — Eurasia Future

The post Watch Imran Khan’s Full Speech Before the UN General Assembly appeared first on Eurasia Future.

Imran Khan on ‘genocide’ in Kashmir and possible war with India

Pakistan’s prime minister discusses his government’s controversies as well as foreign and domestic policies.

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2019/09/imran-khan-genocide-kashmir-war-india-190913134545416.html

It has been a year since the former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan became Pakistan’s prime minister.

Khan’s campaign slogan was “Naya Pakistan” or “New Pakistan“, a reflection of his promises to turn the country’s economy around and end corruption.

But the first year of his premiership has not gone as smoothly as he may have hoped or even expected, especially in terms of the economy. The Pakistani rupee has lost 35 percent of its value during his time in office.

Khan’s critics call him the prime minister of u-turns, as he has been forced to go back on many of his campaign pledges in an attempt to rescue the situation.

“I’m glad they say I’m a prime minister of u-turns. Only an idiot doesn’t do any u-turns,” Khan tells Al Jazeera. “Only a moron, when he’s on a course and he comes across a brick wall, only that stupid idiot keeps banging his head against a brick wall. An intelligent person immediately revises his strategy and goes around it.”

But have any of these “u-turns” had a positive impact on the country?

In terms of foreign affairs, Pakistan is closer than ever to its neighbour, China. But relations with its other neighbour, India, are at a new low.

Asked whether these two nuclear countries are at risk of another major conflict, or even war, Khan tells Al Jazeera he “absolutely” believes war with India could be a possibility.

“Eight million Muslims in Kashmir are under siege for almost now six weeks. And why this can become a flashpoint between India and Pakistan is because what we already know India is trying to do is divert attention from their illegal annexation and their impending genocide on Kashmir,” he says. “They are taking the attention away by blaming Pakistan for terrorism.”

“Pakistan would never start a war, and I am clear: I am a pacifist, I am anti-war, I believe that wars do not solve any problems,” he says.

But, he adds: “When two nuclear-armed countries fight, if they fight a conventional war, there is every possibility that it is going to end up into nuclear war. The unthinkable.”

“If say Pakistan, God forbid, we are fighting a conventional war, we are losing, and if a country is stuck between the choice: either you surrender or you fight ’til death for your freedom, I know Pakistanis will fight to death for their freedom. So when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, to the death, it has consequences.”

“So that’s why we have approached the United Nations, we are approaching every international forum, that they must act right now because this is a potential disaster that would go way beyond the Indian subcontinent.”

Until recently, Pakistan had made attempts to open dialogue with India “to live as civilised neighbours, to resolve our difference [over Kashmir] …  through a political settlement”, but according to Khan, this is no longer the case.

“We discovered that while we were trying to have dialogue, they were trying to push us in the blacklist in FATF [Financial Action Task Force] … If Pakistan is pushed into the blacklist of FATF that means there will be sanctions on Pakistan. So they were trying to bankrupt us economically, so that’s when we pulled back. And that’s when we realised that this government is on an agenda … to push Pakistan to disaster,” says Khan.

“There is no question of talking to the Indian government right now after they revoked this article 370 of their own constitution and they annexed Kashmir illegally against the UN Security Council resolution which had guaranteed the people that they would be able to hold a referendum, a plebiscite, to decide their destiny.”

Khan has not only faced criticism about the country’s ailing economy and his u-turns. Civil rights acitivists and journalists are saying that the space for dissent and freedom of expression has shrunk and that there was a crackdown against the media since he took office.

“This is utter and utter nonsense,” Khan says. “Pakistan is one of the freest places in the world in media …. the freedom that journalists have in this country is unprecedented.”

Asked about his government’s achievements after its first year in office, Khan says: “We are already in a new Pakistan … This government has done things which no government has done before. But, as they say, Rome was not built in a day. When you start making these massive changes, reforms, it takes time. The time to judge a government is five years … The first year was the most difficult period, but from now onwards people will start seeing the difference … the direction of the country is now right.”

Source: Al-Jazeera

Imran Khan: The World Can’t Ignore Kashmir. We Are All in Danger.

By Imran Khan
Mr. Khan is the prime minister of Pakistan.

Source

If the world does nothing to stop the Indian assault on Kashmir and its people, two nuclear-armed states will get ever closer to a direct military confrontation.

 

29Khan-Print-superJumbo.jpg
Credit Atul Loke for The New York Times

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — After I was elected prime minister of Pakistan last August, one of my foremost priorities was to work for lasting and just peace in South Asia. India and Pakistan, despite our difficult history, confront similar challenges of poverty, unemployment and climate change, especially the threat of melting glaciers and scarcity of water for hundreds of millions of our citizens.

I wanted to normalize relations with India through trade and by settling the Kashmir dispute, the foremost impediment to the normalization of relations between us.

On July 26, 2018, in my first televised address to Pakistan after winning the elections, I stated we wanted peace with India and if it took one step forward, we would take two steps. After that, a meeting between our two foreign ministers was arranged on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in September 2018, but India canceled the meeting. That September I also wrote my first of three letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for dialogue and peace.

Unfortunately, all my efforts to start a dialogue for peace were rebuffed by India. Initially, we assumed that Mr. Modi’s increasingly hard-line positions and his rhetoric against Pakistan were aimed to whip up a nationalist frenzy among the Indian voters with an eye on the Indian elections in May.

On Feb. 14, a few months before those elections, a young Kashmiri man carried out a suicide attack against Indian troops in Indian-occupied Kashmir. The Indian government promptly blamed Pakistan.

We asked for evidence, but Mr. Modi sent Indian Air Force fighter planes across the border to Pakistan. Our Air Force brought down an Indian plane and captured the pilot. We struck back to signal we could defend ourselves but chose not to strike a target that would cause loss of life. I made a conscious decision to show that Pakistan had no intent of aggravating the conflict between two nuclear-armed states. We returned the captured Indian pilot, with no preconditions.

On May 23, after Mr. Modi’s re-election, I congratulated him and hoped we could work for “peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia.” In June, I sent another letter to Mr. Modi offering dialogue to work toward peace. Again, India chose not to respond. And we found out that while I was making peace overtures, India had been lobbying to get Pakistan placed on the “blacklist” at the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, which could lead to severe economic sanctions and push us toward bankruptcy.

Evidently Mr. Modi had mistaken our desire for peace in a nuclear neighborhood as appeasement. We were not simply up against a hostile government. We were up against a “New India,” which is governed by leaders and a party that are the products of the Hindu supremacist mother ship, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or the R.S.S.

The Indian prime minister and several ministers of his government continue to be members of the R.S.S., whose founding fathers expressed their admiration for Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Mr. Modi has written with great love and reverence about M.S. Golwalkar, the second supreme leader of the R.S.S., and has referred to Mr. Golwakar as “Pujiniya Shri Guruji (Guru Worthy of Worship).”

Mr. Modi’s guru wrote admiringly about the Final Solution in “We, Our Nationhood Defined,” his 1939 book: “To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races — the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan for us to learn and profit by.”

I had hoped that being elected prime minister might lead Mr. Modi to cast aside his old ways as the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, when he gained global notoriety for the 2002 pogrom against local Muslims on his watch and was denied a visa to travelto the United States under its International Religious Freedom Act — a list of visa denials that included associates of Slobodan Milosevic.

Mr. Modi’s first term as prime minister had been marked by lynching of Muslims, Christians and Dalits by extremist Hindu mobs. In Indian-occupied Kashmir, we have witnessed increased state violence against defiant Kashmiris. Pellet-firing shotguns were introduced and aimed at the eyes of young Kashmiri protesters, blinding hundreds.

On Aug. 5, in its most brazen and egregious move, Mr. Modi’s government altered the status of Indian-occupied Kashmir through the revocation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution. The move is illegal under the Constitution of India, but more important, it is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.

And Mr. Modi’s “New India” chose to do this by imposing a military curfew in Kashmir, imprisoning its population in their homes and cutting off their phone, internet and television connections, rendering them without news of the world or their loved ones. The siege was followed by a purge: Thousands of Kashmiris have been arrested and thrown into prisons across India. A blood bath is feared in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted. Already, Kashmiris coming out in defiance of the curfew are being shot and killed.

If the world does nothing to stop the Indian assault on Kashmir and its people, there will be consequences for the whole world as two nuclear-armed states get ever closer to a direct military confrontation. India’s defense minister has issued a not-so-veiled nuclear threat to Pakistan by saying that the future of India’s “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons will “depend on circumstances.” Similar statements have been made by Indian leaders periodically. Pakistan has long viewed India’s “no first use” claims with skepticism.

With the nuclear shadow hovering over South Asia, we realize that Pakistan and India have to move out of a zero-sum mind-set to begin dialogue on Kashmir, various strategic matters and trade. On Kashmir, the dialogue must include all stakeholders, especially the Kashmiris. We have already prepared multiple options that can be worked on while honoring the right to self-determination the Kashmiris were promised by the Security Council resolutions and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Through dialogue and negotiations, the stakeholders can arrive at a viable solution to end the decades of suffering of the Kashmiri people and move toward a stable and just peace in the region. But dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks.

It is imperative that the international community think beyond trade and business advantages. World War II happened because of appeasement at Munich. A similar threat looms over the world again, but this time under the nuclear shadow.

Javed Rana: US Driven by “Might is Right” with Little Morality

Javed Rana: US Driven by “Might is Right” with Little Morality

TEHRAN (FNA)– Javed Rana, journalist and political analyst, says the US policy has been to conduct attacks on only the defenseless countries such as Libya, Iraq, Syria and even Afghanistan; but, it has avoided any military conflicts with nuclear armed states such as India or Pakistan.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with FNA, Javed Rana said Washington always overstates its military capabilities and achievements, saying,

“The US along with 40 other countries invaded Afghanistan in November 2001 to eliminate over 400 fighters of Alqaeda. 18 years down the line, the US is now literally begging Taliban who control 70 percent of the territory to let Pentagon withdraw from Afghanistan with some grace.”

Javed Rana has over two decades of journalistic experience, including a long stint with Al-Jazeera. He was the witness to countless monumental developments taking place in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East. He focuses on non-state armed actors, legal, political and geostrategic issues.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: Pakistan and India both are armed with nuclear weapons. Why has the US never confronted India and Pakistan?

A: The US needed Pakistan of 210 million people badly in 1980s to fight its cold war against the then communist Soviet Union which had occupied Afghanistan. Washington was pumping money and providing all kind of political support to Pakistan to help it to recruit jihadists to fight against the Soviets. Islamabad discreetly used this opportunity to complete its nuclear program in mid 1980s amid US suspicion. However, the US could not have pressurized Pakistan to a tipping point to cap its nuclear program. After the dismemberment of the USSR, the US did not take much time to place Pakistan under economic sanctions and withheld military hardware given its secret nature of nuclear program in early 1990s. In August 1998 Pakistan conducted seven nuclear tests in retaliation to similar tests by India. Again Islamabad came under heavy US economic sanctions. So did it happen with India. The geo-strategic situation changed after 9/11 attacks in the US and Washington lifted its all previous sanctions on Pakistan to help it overthrow Taliban government in Afghanistan. In 2008 the US opted Pakistan’s arch rival India to be its long term geo-strategic partner and decided to retain its bilateral relations with Pakistan on tactical basis to help it end 18 years long war in neighboring Afghanistan given Islamabad’s alleged support for the Taliban.

Pakistan remains de facto nuclear state but the US is short of conceding to grant the dejure status to India as a nuclear state after Washington signed commercial deal to provide New Delhi nuclear technology and later used its diplomatic leverage on nuclear watch dog – International Atomic Energy Agency – to have this agreement approved amid objections from Pakistan who wanted to be treated equally. The US opted to provide virtual dejure support to India to counterbalance rising China which has close military and economic cooperation with Pakistan.

Q: The US claims to be the world’s police in dealing with nuclear proliferation. How do you see its conflicting approaches in dealing with different countries?

A: The ancient principal “the might is right” is still in place; but, it has transformed into different shapes. The global geo-strategic politics is largely driven by hard facts and less by the moral principles which mostly end up of being consumed to propagate the stances of powerful western capitals. The US is bombing the countries which did not have or could have potentially nuclear weapons. Pentagon bombed Libya, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan because they did not have nuclear weapons. Iran is next target simply because it doesn’t have nuclear warheads. The US opted not to bomb Pakistan only because it has the third large stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world with the ability to nuke all American strategic installations in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. So is the case with North Korea. In case of Iran, the US is trying to choke it economically to pressurize Tehran to renegotiate 2015 nuclear deal, The US suspects that Iranian nuclear program could be used for military purposes after 2025 when the sunset clause of 2015 nuclear deal expires which may potentially allow Iran to increase enrichment of uranium to weapon grade.

Q: Do you believe such US policies will make this region safer?

A: The US along with 40 other countries invaded Afghanistan in November 2001 to eliminate over 400 fighters of Alqaeda. 18 years down the line, the US is now literally begging Taliban who control 70 percent of the territory to let Pentagon withdraw from Afghanistan with some grace. And now there is mushroom growth of militant groups across the region from Afghanistan to Middle East. Similarly if the US bombs Iran, there would be more terrorism and unrest in the region. While the US would create conditions that in case of war, Iran attacks Saudi Arabia who would give it a religious color to seek support from other Muslim countries. This could potentially trigger a sectarian conflict where Sunni-Shia could target each other elsewhere in the world.

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