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The Dilemma of Imran Khan

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Pakistan’s enigmatic Prime Minister Imran Khan, charismatic and outspoken, has, it seems, tasked himself with rewriting the rule book on relations inside the Islamic world.

His trips to Saudi Arabia and now Iran confuse watchers and pundits. With $20 billion in Saudi financial backing on the table for Pakistan, money needed since Trump cut off military aid, Khan’s subsequent visit to Iran is seemingly inexplicable.

This is unless Khan has a broader agenda, a balancing act between India, China, Russia and America, while remaining on needed good terms with both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

To accomplish this, a number of Pakistan’s vulnerabilities will have to be minimized. A relationship with Russia, meaning a face-to-face between Khan and Putin will be key.

Behind the scenes, Russia’s need to reenlist India in the SU57 5th generation fighter program, which Turkey may also be joining, puts Russia into a balancing act as well. The real issue, however, may well hinge on Baluchistan.

Baluchistan, Pakistan’s most remote governate, is a key staging ground for destabilization efforts against, not just Iran but Pakistan as well. Broad accusations have been floated that the US, along with India and Israel, are arming, funding and even advising separatists groups such as Jundallah and its various offshoots, inside both Pakistan and Iran.

In 2005, the Bush administration asked the FBI to investigate charges that the CIA has involved itself in a “private enterprise” there, aided by Israel’s Mossad and India’s RAW. A report was written, “no collusion.”

The truth, however, as is almost always the case, was utterly different. By 2008, our sources, including private military contractors working illegally in Baluchistan, told us that an airfield north of Gwadar was a major distribution center for, originally opium and by that time processed heroin.

In general, we were able to discern that the region was awash with mischief, a meeting ground for the CIA/USAID, MI 6 and two proxy wars, one against Iran, the other against Pakistan.

Similar operations against Pakistan were being staged from within Afghanistan where training centers near the Pakistan border, run by RAW personnel existed openly with the tacit approval of both Kabul and Washington. As late as 2016, Pakistan asked for US help in stemming attacks that have thus far killed over 50,000 in Pakistan. From Dawn:

“Pakistan on Wednesday conveyed to the United States that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) are patronising terrorists groups to attack soft targets in the country.

National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua........

© New Eastern Outlook