The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road to safety or ruin. Therefore, it is a subject that must be thoroughly studied. (Sun Tzu)

It was 500 BC when the Chinese scholar said what remains absolutely true even today. I selected this saying to further my viewpoint presented in an article ‘The Changing Winds’ that was published in JWT May 2014 issue. It is a fashion to make sequels of films. In real life, however, it is seldom that the events match the early happenings. If they do, then one must dread it. Events unfolding in and around Pakistan should be of serious concern to all able-minded persons.

ISIL or ISIS or Daaish Movement in Iraq and Syria is a band of terrorists. The amount of atrocities being committed by them is unassailable. Who is funding them? Who is the ultimate beneficiary in their success? The American whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has revealed that Abu-Bakr AL Baghdadi is an agent of Israel. He was trained by Mossad, the Israeli spying agency. Events unfolding in Syria and Iraq strengthen this point of view. ISIL captured Mosul and looted the Mosul branch of Iraq’s central bank and took away over four billion US dollars. They have killed mercilessly the Yazidis. Over 400 Yazidi women have been included in the ‘harem’.  They have destroyed the schools, hospitals, infrastructure in the areas under their control. They have imposed the views of their school of thought and their brand of ‘shariah’. They blew off the holy shrines of Prophet Younus (AS), Hazrat Owais Qarni (RA) and caused immense damage to the shrine of Hazrat Bibi Zainab (RA).

Turkey, among other countries of the region is too under threat. Egypt is practically in the American pocket. Libya is in total turmoil. Hezbollah is tied down completely. Their threat to Israel is almost nullified. The, who is the beneficiary?

Israel’s action in Gaza against Hamas was calculated. A strong message has been sent to Iran. IAEA confirmation of Iran destroying its enriched weapon-grade Uranium is the result of this pressure. It’s Iran’s diplomatic ascendency to keep them at bay from the brewing storm but at the same time ‘the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) now has a complex mix of asymmetric air-sea-missile ground forces dedicated to challenging Iran’s neighbours and the United States, as well as a branch called the al Quds Force dedicated to working with non-state actors in other countries to challenge unfriendly regimes’ observed Anthony H. Cordesman. Involvement in Balochistan is evident.

Situation in Afghanistan is extremely fluid. John Kerry has somewhat convinced Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani to make a coalition government, but it might not sustain. Karzai must be waiting in the wings to impose emergency in the first instance if unrest erupts. Come what may, if coalition government does come in effect, will this marriage of inconvenience bring peace to the region?

Pakistan Army is fully engaged in North Waziristan. Despite all efforts, Afghanistan has not shown any inclination towards taking a comprehensive action against the Taliban (TTP) leaders in Kunar rather they have complete protection of Afghan Army/Government with active support of the Indians. TTP is being helped and armed to attack Pakistan Army posts in Upper Dir and adjoining areas. Americans are only giving lip service towards this situation. They have carried out drone attacks reportedly on the Haqqani network, which is said to be supportive of Pakistan. Why this action at this point of time when Pakistan Army is taking action against the terrorists?

US President Barak Obama has said, ‘United States and India are the strategic Partners. Joint statement after John Kerry’s visit to India reads, ‘Minister Swaraj and Secretary Kerry reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating terrorist networks including Al-Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The leaders called for Pakistan to work toward bringing the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice’.

Indian Army Chief threatens Pakistan in his inaugural speech. Modi visits Siachen and reiterates the same old rhetoric against Pakistan. Once again the hype is being created. Indian Army has increased its violations on the Line of Control. Are we not aware of writing on the wall?

There is turmoil within Pakistan. Politics is at its worst. Economy is in the nosedive. Depreciation and deprivation are on the rise.

100 victories in 100 battles is simply ridiculous. Anyone who excels in defeating his enemies must triumph before his enemy’s threats become real, wrote Sun Tzu in BC 500.


By:Col (R) Khawar Munir Haroon, SI (M)

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