By: Agha Shaukat Jafri
As long as he is possessed by a passion for personal integrity and justice, coupled with noble intentions to serve fellow human beings in a fair and forthright manner, that he so sincerely exhibited while holding the highest post with the Pakistan’s powerful Armed forces, there is nothing improper in former general Raheel Sharif being granted an approval by the Government of Pakistan to be the head of a Saudi-led alliance. The Saudi Kingdom is hell-bent upon showcasing its might, as they remain determined to out-muscle the Islamic Republic of Iran at any cost. By excluding Iran, Iraq, and Syria from membership in this on-paper entity, the Saudis and its underlings in the gulf have grotesquely exposed themselves as a gang of gutless bigots and Takfiri cowards.
This ragtag coalition, hastily assembled by the Arab allies of the west, is nothing more than a rubber balloon, ready to burst by the littlest needle incision. If history is any guide, these same sultans of Arabia collaborated at various times in the past, to form one or another sort of alliance against Israel, a tiny but resilient nation that prides itself in handing out humiliating defeats to its Arab enemies; more than once. The stated mission of this alliance is to counter ISIS and Al-Qaida, entities which were founded and financed, for years, by the Saudi, Bahraini and Qatari treasure. The ulterior motive behind this evil exercise, though, is to inflict maximum harm upon the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Western powers, meanwhile, whose policy makers are proving to be increasingly imprudent and shortsighted, have become pawns of right wing politicians, its unfair and illicit media, and its think tanks that have been bought several times over by the powerful Saudi and Qatari lobbies. Flawed and fearsome foreign policies are being formulated for shallow and shameful gains with absolute disregard towards a safe and secure long term future of this troubled planet. Rather than taking a leadership role and urging the regional powers in the Middle East to behave in a responsible fashion, the West is busy dividing the regions of the World in a manner reminiscent of their colonial era fore bearers.
General Raheel Sharif must seize the opportunity of his lifetime, and show his moxie as well as his mettle to the Bedouin of Arabia. He can command their respect by persuading his Saudi bosses that the real essence of power and prestige is not manifested by being pompous and perilous, but rather by showing that humility, reverence for liberty, and fairness for all, are the traits that win the hearts and minds of most people. Stuffing down the throats of people an extremist and exclusionary brand of Wahhabi doctrine or lobbing U.S supplied cluster bombs on the helpless citizens of Yemen may avail them a sense of instant gratification, but the ultimate triumph belongs to those whose mission is to live a life of freedom, dignity, and honor.
Of course, General Sharif has the option of succumbing to the wishes of the Wahhabi warlords, and follow in the footsteps of another former Pakistani General Zia ul Haq, who was recruited in 1970 by the Hashemite King Hussain Ibn Tallal of Jordan to crack down on an alleged uprising staged by the Palestinians refugees living in Jordan. Thousands of people were maimed and massacred in that bloody episode, now known as”Black September”. General Zia ul Haq went on to become the head of Pakistan’s army. He finally became that country’s President by toppling the then civilian Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in a bloodless coup. The historians of the time have credited Zia ul Haq for earning the most abhorable honor of introducing the menace of present day Wahhabism in Pakistan !