THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PAKISTANI MILITARY IN THE MIDDLE EAST — IDENTIFYING THE UNDERGIRD IN MANAGING MIDDLE EASTERN PEACE -
IS THERE A LEARNING FROM THE CHAPTERS OF HISTORY?
**By: Gholam Mujtaba, Ed.D., M.D.**
Pakistan army, the eleventh leading military laden with nukes has had been a great source of undergird in serving global interests towards restoring peace and stability. It played a key role in defeating the expansion of communism of the former Soviet Union. The terrorist organizations, such as the Al Qaeda and Taliban proliferations in the Middle East was foiled through the active efforts of the Pakistani military.
Had there been a missing support from the Pakistani military, the Soviet Union’s communist expansionism would have seized the entire Middle East, and the United States hegemony could have been obliterated by now. Ms. Joanne King Herring and Congressman Charlie Wilson were justified in advising the Reagan administration to engage Pakistan in the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
Ms. Herring and Congressman Wilson created an alliance with CIA operative Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymor Hoffman) launching a successful clandestine operation backing up the Mujahedeen in dismantling the Soviet empire.
The then President of Pakistan, General Zia ul Haq, a trusted Pakistani leader honored the advises of Ms. Herring during engagements in Afghanistan.
History was made.
Going further back into the history, the Black September of 1970 in Arab history was a month when the Kingdom of Hashmiah of King Hussein of Jordan quashed the autonomy of the Palestinian organizations, while restoring monarchy’s rule over the country. It resulted in violence, and the deaths of tens of thousands of people of Palestinian origin. This violent conflict lasted until July 1971, and the PLO and thousands of Palestinian fighters were sent to Lebanon.
King Hussain declared Martial Law on September 15, 1971. The next day, Jordanian tanks of the 60th Armored Brigade attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organization in Amman, and their camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh, Baq’aa, Wehdat and Zarqa. The then, Pakistani Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq who later became the Chief of Army Staff and President of Pakistan, took command of the 2nd division, whereas, the Iraqi army in Jordan also supported the Jordanian army.
Pakistan and Israel are ideological states adherent to a traditional doctrine of Abraham, common among the faithful of the three great monotheistic religions. Taking out Judaism from Israel is like taking out Islam from Pakistan, the state will collapse. General Zia had a practical vision in resolving Middle Eastern peace process when he surprised many observers in 1986 calling the PLO to recognize the Jewish state.
General Zia of Pakistan played the pivotal role under advice from Congressman Charlie Wilson and Ms. Joanne Herring in dismantling the Soviet Union. He had the experience of capturing Soviet weapons from the PLO in Jordan, and Wilson successfully convinced the CIA to buy the Soviet weapons from Israelis captured by them from Lebanon and pass it to Afghans through Zia. However, a pragmatist Zia joked not to put Star of David on the boxes.
In the current hybrid warfare with the rogue states, Pakistani military has a role to play vital to regional interest. Though, there are indicators that Iranian interest may have penetrated into the Pakistani instruments of the statecraft bringing policies detrimental to democracy, liberty, rule of law, forbearance and tolerance. Yet, engagements with the military is vital to regional peace.
Pakistan is facing a countrywide election by the end of this month, and an eagle’s eye is needed to avert the influence of rogue states to use Pakistan as a hot spot to forestall defeat in Syria and Yemen. Defeating Pakistan’s ideological boundaries may collapse the entire foundation of the country. Such options are detrimental to the security of Pakistan, GCC, Israel and the United States.
*** Dr. Gholam Mujtaba has had a long career in politics across America and Pakistan. Currently, a Central Leader to the Republican Party of the United States of America and Chairman of Pakistani Policy Institute, USA, he is an expert on conflict management and Pakistani leadership. He holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and a Doctorate in Medicine. Recipient of the United States Congressional Recognition Award in 2015, Dr. Mujtaba has previously held such highly regarded positions as the Central Vice President of the All Pakistan Muslim League and an Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh, a cabinet position in Pakistan.