Former Pakistani army chief Mirza Aslam Beg says the people of Iran have successfully withstood the mounting pressure from the United States and its allies, have become self-sufficient, and have proved that they are able to determine their own destiny.
He made the remarks in an email interview with the Tehran Times earlier this month.
“The sanctions and embargos have caused misery to the people of Iran, particularly on the issue of acquiring nuclear technology for peaceful purposes,” Beg said.
“I reckon that Iran has achieved, what they wanted to, and now they should declare to the world, come and see, what we have achieved, and how honest we have been in saying that, our quest had been for the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only,” he added.
Beg was appointed the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army after General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, President and Chief of Army Staff as well, died in an air crash on August 17, 1988. After receiving confirmation from then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Beg continued to hold the powerful post of Chief of Army Staff till 1991.
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: What do you think about the continued drone attacks by the U.S. on Pakistani soil?
A: Drone attacks have proved to be counterproductive for the reasons, that these attacks have killed more innocent men, women and children, than the terrorists, thus creating greater hatred against the Americans and their allies, have resulted into devastating retaliatory attacks against “Red-Zone fortresses” of Kabul, Kandhar and Helmand, which proves the fact that the Taliban have the capability to breach all fortresses, established by the occupation forces and have antagonized the people of Pakistan as a whole.
The world opinion is growing stronger against these attacks, as seen on October 6, 2012, when several international human rights activists joined Imran Khan's protest march.
In fact, Pakistan must move the International Court of Justice, to stop this inhuman practice, which is totally unjust, immoral and grossly violates the territorial integrity of Pakistan.
Q: You have argued that the 9/11 episode was designed and planned to dominate the Middle East and launch an all-out war on the Muslim world. Has the U.S. government succeeded in realizing its objectives of isolating the Muslim nations of the Middle East and North Africa and plundering their natural resources, including the vast oil reserves of Iraq?
A: The 9/11 episode was a hoax. Several books have been written to this effect. The recent comments by Henry Kissinger, exposes the treachery of the Zionists. In fact, Kissinger very vividly describes the Zionist complicity for dragging the USA into war against Afghanistan and Iraq, which has caused colossal damage to U.S. prestige, power and position globally, with the result that USA is now a declining power and Israel itself is fast moving towards “collapse and disintegration, during a ten years period”, as Kissinger has prophesied.
No doubt, the Muslims have faced brutal assault by the non-Muslims states, during the last three decades, which awakened the “Spirit of Jihad” and defeated the oppressors of the world, determining the new contours of the global order. This ideological force of the Muslims, against tyranny has rightly been called by M.J. Akbar, as “Shadow armies led by committed believers, which have defeated the mightiest of the mighty” is the new phenomenon -- the resistance by the Muslim world defamed as terrorism by the West. The resistance is called “the asymmetric war” which has humbled two superpowers and two regional powers, in a short period of thirty years. Allah be praised.
Surprisingly the Muslim countries have had no role in defeating the aggression by the non-Muslims. On the contrary, the countries like Pakistan joined the Americans in their fight against the Afghan freedom fighters and both the aggressors, now stand shamed and defeated.
Q: What's your idea regarding the May 2, 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad? You called it a big lie and a hoax. Would you please tell us more about that?
A: I do hold the view that May 2, 2011 was a hoax, and a big lie. Please read my article, titled “Attack on Abbottabad House -- New Revelations.” I am sure that May 2, 2011 episode would soon, see the light of the day as 9/11 episode of 2001, exposing the conspiracy and the deceit.
Q: How will the foreign policy issues influence the upcoming U.S. presidential elections? Obama had promised a new beginning with the Muslim world in his 2009 Cairo speech, but he seemingly failed to adhere to his promise of change. What's your idea?
A: Obama lacks the qualities of a leader of a country like USA. During his election campaign he made a few promises:
- He will get engaged with the Kashmir problem and its early solution, but he reneged on it.
- Hamas was being brutalized by Israel at that time but Obama closed his eyes, ears and mouth.
- He promised to pull-out troops from Afghanistan and bring peace, but instead allowed the surge of 30,000 troops, adding to greater death and destruction and a “No-win” situation, as of now, when the end-game in Afghanistan is so close. Added to the misery is the “green over blue” factor, forcing “war reversed front” on the occupation forces.
Obama has not adhered to his promise of change. He has little chance of re-election, unless the American voters, themselves go blind to the realities.
Q: The United States and Saudi Arabia in recent years have pressured Pakistan a great deal to abandon its energy deals with Iran and also pull out from the Peace Pipeline agreement with Iran in return for economic incentives. What do you make out of that? How do you see the future of Iran-Pakistan relations?
A: Despite all their failings, the government of Pakistan has withstood U.S. pressures, maintaining a balanced level of diplomacy with Iran, Afghanistan, China and Russia, which has caused much discomfort to the USA. The present day geo-political realities, demand different foreign policy priorities and orientation than the Cold War priorities, and that is precisely what is reflected in the diplomacy followed by Pakistan on the issues of Iran-Pakistan pipeline and the TAPI pipeline.
Q: What's your viewpoint regarding the future of India-Pakistan relations? Are there chances of an improved relationship through solving historical disputes in a peaceful, diplomatic manner? What's your solution for dispute over the Kashmir issue?
A: There is very little prospect of better relations with India, so long as India remains adamant on the issue of Kashmir; unlawful control over the rivers flowing into Pakistan; the Kishanganga hydro-electric power project blockade by India and the undiplomatic habit of Indian military, interfering in Pakistan, particularly from spy bases in Afghanistan. Please read my article titled “Global Conspiracies against Pakistan.”
Q: In the recent years, Iran has presented a model for resisting the U.S. imperialism, and this model is being increasingly used by independent nations in Latin America, Africa and Asia that don't want to bow down to the illegal demands of the United States and wish to stand on their own feet. What's your take on that?
A: The fact is that, the Americans are not happy with the Iranian Islamic Revolution and for the last thirty years have tried their best to suppress and defeat the revolution but they have failed. They have demonized Iran, as threat to the Sunni Muslim countries in the region, arming them with military hardware of over 170 billion U.S. dollars, accentuating Shia-Sunni divide, as reflected by interventions in Bahrain and Syria. Please read my article titled, “Our Sectarian Divide.”
Americans encouraged Israel to blow hot and cold against Iran, but that too has backfired, and both Israel and USA had to eat the humble pie.
The sanctions and embargos have caused misery to the people of Iran, particularly on the issue of acquiring Nuclear Technology for peaceful purposes. I reckon that Iran has achieved, what they wanted to, and now they should declare to the world “Come and see, what we have achieved, and how honest we have been in saying that, our quest had been for the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only.”
Q: What has been the position of Pakistani government and people toward the Arab Spring? Are Pakistanis happy that the U.S.-backed monarchs and dictators are being put aside one after the other and being replaced by democratically-elected politicians? What does Pakistan feel about this revolutionary wave in the Middle East and North Africa?
A: The contrived Arab Spring has gradually been overtaken by the rising force of Islamic Resurgence -- the revival of the moderate Silsila-e-Qadria and Silsila-e-Naqshbandi, which remained suppressed after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate. This Islamic upsurge gets the impetus from Kabul, Cairo, Baghdad and Istanbul, a phenomenal change, little understood by the West, lost into the dark alleys of the Cold War.
On the military front, West has faced defeat at the hands of the freedom fighters of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Q: Following the release of the anti-Islam movie in the United States, Pakistanis were among the first nations who voiced their protest and demanded the suspension of diplomatic ties with the U.S. and indictment of the people behind the blasphemous movie. A Pakistani minister also set a $100,000 bounty for the filmmaker. What do you think?
A: The Muslim world must take-up the matter with the International Court of Justice and the United Nations to get the law passed, that none should be allowed to defame other religions and personalities. In fact such nauseating expressions against the Muslims, betray the shame of defeat of the anti-Muslim countries in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. For the sake of global religious harmony, a collective move is necessary.
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