Express Tribune’s Report on: Millat Thinkers’ Forum’s Inaugural Session

Thy brother’s welfare: Forum formed to counter ‘anti-Islam’

forces

Published: July 20, 2014

A number of lawyers and several Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders attended the launch of Millat Thinkers’ Forum on Friday. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

LAHORE: The Millat brand launched an ‘independent’ think tank Millat Thinkers’ Forum on Friday, four years after it had launched Millatfacebook to provide an alternative to social networking service Facebook.

Millatfacebook was launched in 2010 after Lahore High Court had ordered closure of Facebook in Pakistan on account of alleged blasphemy.

Its sponsors call Millatfacebook “the sole rival of” Facebook.

Although Millatfacebook has not attracted a comparable number of users, its administration has received endorsement from some religious leaders who called the use of Facebook “un-Islamic”.

A number of lawyers and several Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders attended the launch of Millat Thinkers’ Forum on Friday.

The participants were handed a document carrying an introduction of the forum. The document highlights the importance of funding think-tanks and exempting them from tax.

It said think tanks were classified on the basis of their ideological perspective, sources of funding and prospective beneficiaries. Apart from governments the corporate sector funds think thanks in developed countries, it said.

It said most think tanks in Pakistan were limited by their patrons’ interests. Advocate Mian Khalid Habib Elahi, Advocate Zaheer Ahmad Meer, Omar Meer and Wajihur Rehman are some of the sponsors of the new forum.

In his presentation on ISIS: Implications for Pakistan and the Way Forward, Omar Meer said the US and Israel had formed the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

He said ISIS head Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi alias Dr Ibrahim had been captured by American security agencies and released later to set up the “anti-Islam” organisation. “If the organisation comes to Pakistan, there would be serious implications for the country.”

Meer said Millat Thinkers’ Forum would meet every month, identify problems facing Muslims and give its recommendations. He said minutes of the meetings would be uploaded on Millatfacebook.

Millat Thinkers’ Forum patron-in-chief Zaheer Ahmed Meer regretted that research was not given due importance in Pakistan.

“Through this think tank, we are trying to highlight several issues, including un-Islamic banking and respect for women.”

Co-patron Khalid Habib said the formation of Millat Thinkers’ Forum was timely.

PTI leader Asad Umar said there was room for improvement in every sphere of life. He said if the Millat Thinkers’ Forum could change people’s way of thinking, it would be a great success.

Advocate Ahmed Awais said discussions behind closed doors were not enough. “For so long, we have failed to identify our enemy. The forum should play its role in this regard,” he said.

Mehnaz Rafi said opportunists in important places had had landed the country in all sorts of problems for their personal gains. “We need the Pakistan the Quaid-i-Azam aspired.”

PTI leader Hamid Khan said one reason for lack of research in Pakistan was people’s lack of interest in reading. He said another problem was that policies were being run on an adhoc basis. He said no political party had a permanent think thank to debate major issues facing the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.

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Note of Thank & Corrections:

We at Millat Thinkers’ Forum would like to thank ET for the coverage and point out two factual inaccuracies for the correction of record as below:

1. The eminent dignitaries and members of Millat Thinkers’ Forum (MTF) included high-profile people from all walks of life including Top Defense Officials, Bureaucrats, Journalists, Top Professionals, Presidents of Professional Bodies including Bars, Social Workers, Educationists, Doctors, Businessmen, Politicians, e.t.c. Some of the honorable personalities to grace MTF’s inaugural session included:

  1. Mr. Asad Umar (Renowned Economist, Businessman & MNA),
  2. Gen (R) Ziauddin Butt (ex DG ISI & COAS),
  3. Mr. Absar Abdul Ali (Director, Hameed Nizami Press Institute),
  4. Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali (ex Foreign Minister, Pakistan),
  5. Justice (R) Sharif Hussain Bukhari,
  6. Mr Hamid Khan (ex Chairman & Vice Chairman of Pak BC, ex V.Chairman of Pun BC, ex President SCBAP. ex President LHCBA),
  7. Mr. Arif Masud Mirza (President ACCA (UK) – Pakistan),
  8. Mr. Arif Nizami (Renowned Anchor, Columnist & Editor Pakistan Today),
  9. Mr. Khurram Khosa (Advocate SCP & President PPP Lawyers’ Forum),
  10. Dr. Farzana Nazir (Doctor & MPA),
  11. Dr. Nousheen Hamid Miraj (Doctor & MPA),
  12. Mr. Mansoor Ur Rehman Afridi (Advocate SC & ex holder of several senior bar positions),
  13. Mrs. Mehnaz Rafih (Renowned Social worker, Intellectual & Political activist),
  14. Mrs. Ayesha Qazi (President Lahore Tax Bar Association),
  15. Mr. Hamid Zaman (Leading Industrialist),
  16. Sardar Arif Rasheed (ex Minister Irrigation, Agriculture, Forest & Fisheries),
  17. Mr. Walid Iqbal (Grandson of Allama Iqbal),
  18. Mr. Shahab Jafri (A. Editor Pakistan Today), e.t.c.

2. The statement attributed to me that  “the US and Israel had formed the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)” was in effect the claim of Mr. Edward Snowden and properly referred to in the keynote presentation during the Millat Thinkers’ Forum session.

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Millat Thinkers’ Forum – Introduction

 FINAL LOGO

Introduction

  • Thanks for attending the formal Inaugural session of Millat Thinkers’ Forum (MTF).
  • Think tanks vary by ideological perspectives, sources of funding, topical emphasis and prospective consumers. In developed countries not only the Governments but corporate sector funds the think tanks too. Their importance is realized to such an extent that many countries allow tax-exemptions to these institutions.
  • Pakistan, however has lagged behind in this area. Unfortunately the culture of research has not been properly developed in Pakistan. The value of research and development is highly under-rated if realized at all in the circles making key decisions.
  • As if that was not enough, the few think-tanks that do exist, are mostly handicapped by their patronage’s interests, mostly foreign. Keeping these issues as well as the importance of independent think-tanks to the development of a country in view, Millat Thinkers’ Forum (MTF) was constituted.
  • MTF is the first totally ingenious, independent and international standard think-tank of Pakistan.
  • Millat Thinkers’ Forum has been working informally for some time and has even assisted some policy makers during this time and is to be formally inaugurated now.
  • The mission statement of Millat Thinkers’ forum is Diagnose (the issues), Deliberate (on the different aspects and complexities) and Decode (to understand and recommend/develop a solution).
  • Membership is restricted and focuses on high quality induction to ensure accomplishment of the objective of meeting international standards.
  • Founding team includes Mr. Zaheer Ahmad Meer (Chairman Professionals’ Social Network & Senior Advocate), Mr. Omer Meer (Chairman Liaison Committee LTBA, Qualified FCA & Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), Mian Khalid Habib Elahi (Advocate Supreme Court & ex- Deputy Attorney General Pun),  and Mr. Wajih Ur Rehman (Agriculturalist and Social Worker).
  • The members include top professionals, successful businessmen, scholars, media personalities, parliamentarians, social workers, academics, e.t.c.
  •  Some of the eminent members to grace our events include:
    1. Mr. Asad Umar (Renowned Economist, Businessman & MNA),
    2. Gen (R) Ziauddin Butt (ex DG ISI & COAS),
    3. Mr. Absar Abdul Ali (Director, Hameed Nizami Press Institute),
    4. Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali (ex Foreign Minister, Pakistan),
    5. Justice (R) Sharif Hussain Bukhari,
    6. Mr Hamid Khan (ex Chairman & Vice Chairman of Pak BC, ex V.Chairman of Pun BC, ex President SCBAP. ex President LHCBA),
    7. Mr. Arif Masud Mirza (President ACCA (UK) – Pakistan),
    8. Mr. Arif Nizami (Renowned Anchor, Columnist & Editor Pakistan Today),
    9. Mr. Khurram Khosa (Advocate SCP & President PPP Lawyers’ Forum),
    10. Dr. Farzana Nazir (Doctor & MPA),
    11. Dr. Nousheen Hamid Miraj (Doctor & MPA),
    12. Mr. Mansoor Ur Rehman Afridi (Advocate SC & ex holder of several senior bar positions),
    13. Mrs. Mehnaz Rafih (Renowned Social worker, Intellectual & Political activist),
    14. Mrs. Ayesha Qazi (President Lahore Tax Bar Association),
    15. Mr. Hamid Zaman (Leading Industrialist),
    16. Sardar Arif Rasheed (ex Minister Irrigation, Agriculture, Forest & Fisheries),
    17. Mr. Walid Iqbal (Grandson of Allama Iqbal),
    18. Mr. Shahab Jafri (A. Editor Pakistan Today), e.t.c.
  • MTF’s model involves quality research by a highly competent research team followed by monthly events where the best brains of the country would be brought together to provide their inputs. The finalized reports would than form the basis of MTF’s recommendations.
  • Information related to Millat Thinkers’ Forum including event information, pictures, videos, research and even finalized reports will be shared on Millat Facebook (www.MyMFB.com), the largest social network ever by Muslims.

Kind Regards,

MTF Team

Gaza: Holocaust version 2014

The following article is published in the Sunday edition (DNA) of Pakistan Today, dated 20th July 2014

(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/07/19/comment/gaza-holocaust-version-2014/ )

(For published version: Page 6  at:  http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_33/4?e=3820687/8669388    )

Gaza: Holocaust version 2014

Zionist occupiers’ atrocities against Palestinian women, children and elderly make Hitler seem like an angel.

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

The author is a Director of the think-tank “Millat Thinkers’ Forum”. He is a leading economist, qualified accountant and anti-money laundering expert with international exposure who can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer  or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk

A sad tragedy ensues when the oppressed becomes the oppressor. Even worse is when it bites the hand that fed it in its worst hour of need. That is precisely the tragedy unfolding in occupied Palestine under the so-called Israeli occupation forces.

The disproportionate use of power is of least concern in a conflict where all international laws are floundered. Banned and illegal weapons like phosphorus, in addition to other internationally banned chemical weapons, are routinely used on civilian populations. Innocent civilians are routinely targeted and killed as are innocent family members of “alleged” Palestinian resistance members. Entire families are wiped out in such Israeli attacks. Children as young as just a few months old are slaughtered while women of all ages are butchered along with the elderly in what is termed collateral damage by Israel. A policy of collective punishment is being pursued by blockading 17 million human beings for eight long years, effectively turning Gaza into the largest open-air prison on the planet.

This Palestinian occupation is truly an asymmetrical conflict with Israel’s sophisticated, top of the range, highly destructive and even internationally banned chemical arsenal largely met with rag-tag home-made crude Palestinian rockets. The comparatively slightly better Palestinian rockets are extremely limited and used rarely by the resistance. Compared to a bomb shelter in almost every new house built in Israel, there is none in Gaza. Only recently the first Israeli fatality of the conflict incurred in over a week compared to over 200 innocent Palestinian children, women and elderly slaughtered in addition to young men. The only Israeli fatality so far was a Zionist volunteer delivering food to Israeli occupation soldiers near the Gaza border. The billions of dollars of annual military aid to Israel by the USA can be compared to a naught for Palestine.

Holocaust, as described by various Jewish as well as Zionist authors, was the alleged systematic and state-sponsored persecution and annihilation of millions of Jews by Nazi Germany.

It is worth mentioning here that present day Imperialist Israel is a fruit of political Zionism whose brutalities against Palestinian civilians are opposed even by moderate Jews across the globe. The genocide of and war crimes against Palestinians perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces, particularly in Gaza, has made atrocities of Nazi Germany seem lighter in comparison.

Let’s visit recent history to draw comparisons. The Nazis believed in racial superiority of Germans, deemed “inferior” Jewish and other non-German races as an alien threat to their survival and supremacy. This is pretty much the same attitude as that showcased by present day Israel against non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs, effectively treating them as a threat to Zionist “supremacy”. It’s even worse since most Israeli Zionists, particularly the impressionable youth, call for the annihilation of even innocent Palestinian children (widely available on social media), unlike Nazi Germany where people even helped Jewish women and children.

Holocaust, as described by various Jewish as well as Zionist authors, was the alleged systematic and state-sponsored persecution and annihilation of millions of Jews by Nazi Germany. The “Holocaust version 2014” by Israel is even worse. Not only are Palestinian Arab Muslims massacred systematically by the occupying Zionist regime, the imperialist state of Israel also controls their life by applying a total blockade particularly on Gaza, where the local population cannot even have emergency medical journeys without a cumbersome process requiring Israeli permission.

What is ironic and perhaps lesser known today is the fact that it was under the Muslim Ottoman rule that Jews fleeing from across the globe were provided sanctuaries and opportunities to prosper. The Jews were heavily persecuted by Byzantines after Christianity was declared the official religion (408 – 450) by Theodosius 11. Forceful conversions of Jews to Christianity were the norm.

With the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Bursa in 1324, a golden era ensued for the previously oppressed Jewish community. The Jews treated the Ottomans as their saviours. The toleration was to the extent that not only were Jews given high public offices, but also allowed to build huge synagogues like the Etz Ha-Hayyim (Tree of Life). Jews from all over Europe came and settled in Muslim Ottoman lands; from Hungary in 1376, France in 1394, Sicily in the early 15th century, Salonika in 1420, Spain in 1492 after Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand expelled the Jews during brutal Spanish Inquisition, and from many more places.

Now let us fast forward to the present era. The memory of the Israeli attack on the Turkish Flotilla carrying civilian aid to Gaza is not too old. More more recent is the case when Israel started bombarding civilians yet again in Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on the planet. An ultimatum was given to people in northern and eastern Gaza to leave their homes, raising fear of the worst atrocities to come. However, the fleeing civilians were forced deep within the already congested and tiny Gaza strip by Israel and its ally Egypt, refusing to open border crossings thereby denying them safety. The blockade of Palestinians, resulting in deaths due to starvation and a crippling economy for eight years, has conveniently been forgotten by the world.

With the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Bursa in 1324, a golden era ensued for the previously oppressed Jewish community. The Jews treated the Ottomans as their saviours.

Perhaps it is time that moderate Jews across the globe rise up to confront the extremist Zionists of Israel for the Muslim rulers seem to be sleeping, barring the lip service of a few. These Muslim rulers are so busy in their sectarian fights and protection of their rule that this human tragedy fails to evoke a serious response from them. While people around the world including Europe and North America have shown their discontent over what is commonly referred to as a brutal massacre by Israel, Muslim governments have continued to show little material support for oppressed Palestinians in Gaza.

A lesser explored aspect of the recent turmoil in Gaza is the political maneuvering of Netanyahu with allegations that the Israeli government knew about the whereabouts of the kidnapped illegal Israeli settlers in occupied Palestinian territory but decided to use it for political mileage. The incident was used to incite hatred, culminating in the abduction and brutal burning to death of an innocent Palestinian teen legally living in Jerusalem, by Zionist right-wingers. This observation is supported by the gag-order regarding the incident barring even the Israelis from having access to information about it. Furthermore, there were reports of raids on the Palestinian suspects’ homes two weeks before the occupying Israeli Government announced the names. All these indicate manipulation. Truly right-wing extremist Israelis led by Netanyahu gained the most at the expense of everyone else.

This is not the first atrocity against the Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, nor can it be expected to be the last. What we should strive for is to create awareness and help the helpless, enslaved population of Gaza.

The big question is will moderate Jews recall the favours granted to them by Muslims, which ensued their golden era, and rise up with them to confront the Zionist monster which has unleashed its own version of Holocaust, only upon Muslims this time.

Azadi march

The following article is published in the Sunday edition (DNA) of Pakistan Today, dated 13th July 2014

(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/07/12/featured/azadi-march/ )

(For published version: Page 6 at:   http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_32/7?e=3820687/8589798  )

Azadi march

Sane heads should prevail, or the fallout can be disastrous

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

The author is a Director of the think-tank “Millat Thinkers’ Forum”. He is a leading economist, qualified accountant and anti-money laundering expert with international exposure who can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer  or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk

Once again Imran Khan takes a stand that will take serious convincing for many even within his ranks to go along. Decisions made out of necessity are understandable, but fully believing in them is an entirely different phenomenon.

Let us revisit some recent history. We’re not prepared for this yet. Think about it, we just had a massive success in Lahore which can go to waste. Going to Karachi after this is just too risky. That’s MQM’s territory. We don’t even have a proper organisational structure there. MQM is too strong and its militants would never allow us to hold a successful “Jalsa”.

These were some of the “rational” responses from senior Karachi-based PTI politicians when Imran Khan’s intent to go to Karachi after the infamous 30th October Jalsa in Lahore was made clear to them. None of them could comprehend it. It just did not make any sense to them. Why take such a big risk when you had it your way and that too after a long wait? Khan’s response to them was not to think what may be lost but rather to think what may be gained. He turned out to be the eventual winner that time. The same story was repeated in different manners earlier in Lahore and later in Quetta, Rawalpindi, Waziristan, etc. All those times he turned out to be a winner though the odds always seemed to be stacked against him.

He has now announced a million-march towards Islamabad on the independence day of Pakistan, 14th August 2014. Many within and outside Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf are questioning the timing for the call of this long-march. They point out the human tragedy unfolding from the displacement of over 800,000 IDP’s (per recent reports), possible ramifications for operation Zarb-e-Azb, and limited time available to prepare for such a mega event. Some even point towards the possibility of another coup.

We need to remember that a million-strong show is something that even PTI, despite its massive popularity, has not achieved to date and if successful would add another dimension to the perception of its street-power, leaving every other party behind by miles.

Khan’s formal stance is straightforward. He’s been asking for verification of votes in four (4) constituencies for over a year to no avail and is not prepared to give this government any more time. Imran’s reason is that if the federal government does not have anything to hide than why did it go to such pains to ensure that the verification of the symbolic four constituencies did not take place? The treatment of the presumably independent ex-head of NADRA is cited as are the verification results of NA-118, proving manipulation and the disgraceful act of stuffing up bags with fake votes, which was proved in court. Furthermore, 14th August holds special significance. The potential for coup seems a distant possibility with over-stretched establishment as well as a relatively active judiciary. Also, Khan seems to believe that the IDP issue has been manipulated by the federal government by keeping not only him but also the provincial government of KPK in the dark regarding the operation, thereby not allowing them to prepare for the fallout. An interesting question here would be how aware and in control of the operation was the federal government, but it warrants detailed analysis.

We need to remember that a million-strong show is something that even PTI, despite its massive popularity, has not achieved to date and if successful would add another dimension to the perception of its street-power, leaving every other party behind by miles.

Having said that, perhaps there is more to this “tsunami” march which was more recently termed “Azadi” march by Imran Khan at an event hosted by PTI Punjab. After all, what difference does waiting for another month make after waiting for fifteen months?

First and foremost, by raising its voice PTI has given an outlet to the masses suffering from rising inflation, high load-shedding during an extremely hot summer and the ever-increasing menace of unemployment. The pressure on the government in Islamabad can be taken to the boiling point. The recent series of successful “Jalsas” have rejuvenated faith of some key leaders within PTI who were badly shaken following the 11th May election results. Also, perhaps lesser known is the fact that internal rifts within PTI have also subsided. As is natural, the key support-base of PTI, particularly the youth, has been motivated to face an external “foe”.

By raising its voice PTI has given an outlet to the masses suffering from rising inflation, high load-shedding during an extremely hot summer and the ever-increasing menace of unemployment.

However what concrete political mileage can PTI gain from this march is not clear to many. What makes sense is the “competition” with Tahirul Qadri. Although not a match for PTI, either in terms of popularity, street-power or even parliamentary strength, Mr Qadri posed the threat of swaying at least some of the PTI support base as well as the disgruntled general populace. By announcing the Azadi march before Qadri, PTI and has out-maneuvered the latter.

There are, however, important considerations that PTI should to take into account too. One key lesson any student of politics can highlight is that mere agitation has never been able to shake any government in Pakistan without the implicit or explicit support of the establishment. As of now, the establishment is not only bogged down in a multitude of serious problems but over-stretched too. The Nawaz government’s relationship with it has also improved and it is not as sour as it was a few weeks ago. If anything, the placating of the establishment, particularly regarding Operation “Zarb-e-Azb” by PMLN, has helped bring them out of the negative ambit they were in. Therefore clarity is needed as to what PTI plans to achieve from this Azadi march politically and what exact road-map they want to follow. Not many seem too certain about it right now.

PMLN’s government is also in a political fix over this issue. If they cede to Imran’s demands they risk opening up a Pandora’s box which may put in question the legitimacy of the entire electoral process and thereby the government itself. If they continue to hide behind technical excuses such as claiming the issue at hand should be dealt by the Election Commission, while pressuring, transferring and even removing key officials including tribunal judges, then they have to face a possible barrage of street protests by the most popular party of the youth of this country. Add to this the Qadri factor and it makes for a perfect quagmire for the incumbent government. How PMLN deals with it would define what course the matter would take. One hopes wisdom prevails and a repeat of the Model Town incident is avoided.

ISIS: Safeguard Pakistan

The following article is published in the Sunday edition (DNA) of Pakistan Today, dated 6th July 2014

(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/07/05/comment/isis-safeguard-pakistan/ )

(For published version: Page 8 at:   http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_31_new/9?e=3820687/8511302  )

ISIS: Safeguard Pakistan

All is not as it seems about the new caliphate in Iraq

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

The author is a Director of the think-tank “Millat Thinkers’ Forum”. He is a leading economist, qualified accountant and anti-money laundering expert with international exposure who can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer  or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk

There are tactical maneuverings in geo-politics and there are games. Then there are great games. It seems like another one is unfolding with critical consequences for the world in general and Muslim countries in particular. Pakistan, as has become the custom lately, seems to be the vanguard for the fallout. The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria) has literally come out of oblivion with surprising tenacity, resources and success. It is an extreme sectarian group with such extreme ideas that Al-Qaeda divorced it early this year. A few months later, the same ISIS has swept across major towns of Iraq while having a strong hold in areas of Syria. It is estimated to have a net worth of over $2 billion with funding from “sources” in KSA, Kuwait and Qatar, all strong regional allies of USA. It is now moving towards financial “independence” with recent gains on the ground.

A non-entity before their recent mega-arrival on the global scene, ISIS was initially ISI (Islamic State in Iraq) which was born out of the US invasion of Iraq. Its current leader Abu-Baker al Baghdadi is a little known shadowy figure who is hardly ever pictured and relies on audio rather than video messages. The little known history of Mr Baghdadi includes him being a highly qualified individual who served time in the infamous American “terror” prisons. He was released quietly by the US after which he became active in ISIS. Without suggesting any connection let us add to this the fact that US Vice President Joe Biden suggested division of Iraq a few years back into sunni, shia and Kurdish states. This is exactly what’s happening now with ISIS focusing on capturing mainly sunni areas while the Kurds have already attained significant autonomy. Although USA denied Biden’s statement after the ensuing outcry, many journalists and writers continue to vouch for its validity. This should help you start putting pieces together.

The little known history of Mr Baghdadi includes him being a highly qualified individual who served time in the infamous American “terror” prisons. He was released quietly by the US after which he became active in ISIS.

USA formally refers to this group as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) as greater Syria used to comprise of the region of Levant. Before going further let us examine the intentions proclaimed by ISIS/ISIL. Its name, “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” openly communicates the intention to establish an Islamic State in both these regions. We’re well aware of the region comprising Iraq, but not many people are aware of the composition of Levant and its significance. The Levant is the Eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt. In simple words, present day Levant consists of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and parts of southern Turkey.

This is significant as the stated aim of ISIS includes bringing Islamic rule to the so-called state of Israel. This is bound to arouse Muslim feelings reeling from the injustices of the World Order for a long time now. But one would expect such an attempt to seriously outrage the USA with its imperial doctrine threatened. But surprisingly we are hard pressed to see any mention of this threat let alone outrage from USA, its allies or even “Israel” itself. Instead the entire ISIS affair is painted as a shia-sunni conflict. In order to understand the subtleties, one has to compare this calm response on ISIS’s threat to Levant (Israel) with the ferociousness of USA’s responses on the smallest of perceived threats to Israel. USA and its allies always come out in force to support its poodle in the Middle-East, with Israel itself creating a lot of hue and cry; the latest example was the “global ire” over the deaths of three Israeli occupiers in occupied Palestinian territory following deaths of 15 Palestinians which were lost to the attention of the Imperialist powers. How is the USA so calm over the ISIS threat to Israel?

It is ironic that the USA even denied air-support to the Iraqi government against ISIS, citing potential civilian damage as this never prevented the USA before, not in its air raids on Iraq itself, not during the drone strikes in Pakistan and not in its bombing campaigns elsewhere. Moreover, the funding bases of ISIS are all within key allies of USA who are totally subservient to its will. However while the USA chooses to publicly condemn what it terms as the “terror” unleashed by ISIS, it prefers to look away instead of asking its allies to put a stop to ISIS funding. This treatment of ISIS by USA and its allies is not surprising considering the geo-political situation, the historical analogies and the existence of exploitable divide between sunnis and the shia.

Effectively with ISIS what we see is a strategy unleashed successfully several times before by different imperialists. The last high-profile use was elimination of the Ottoman “Khilafat” using the divide and rule policy along racial lines between Arabs and Turks.

 Effectively with ISIS what we see is a strategy unleashed successfully several times before by different imperialists. The last high-profile use was elimination of the Ottoman “Khilafat” using the divide and rule policy along racial lines between Arabs and Turks. This time the plan is to wedge the sectarian divide to weaken the Muslim world from within once again. This view is further strengthened by the way the USA is enticing Iran into the conflict despite a long history of animosity and still having concerns over Iran’s nuclear program threat to Israel. Furthermore smaller states divided along sectarian and/or ethnic lines are not only weaker and easier to “manage”, but their exploitation is also easier and less resisted.

The fallout of this strategy, however, can be disastrous for Pakistan, which has already been the unfortunate front-line battlefield for proxy wars between Saudia Arabia and Iran. With a sizeable shia population of between 5-15 per cent in a predominantly sunni country, Pakistan has to prepare for the consequences of this great “dirty” game. Further complicating the matters for Pakistan are the aspirations of some key “opinion makers” in USA openly proposing cutting the country to size by annexing Balochistan and KPK, both regions already boiling in trouble. Fortunately, Pakistanis at large are generally tolerant and used to co-existing. The overwhelming majority of Sunnis do not subscribe to the version propagated by ISIS. Moreover it has an organised and strong defence apparatus. However, of late sectarian divisions have been rising, mostly due to foreign sponsored programs and figures. Such troubles from within can weaken even the strongest of states and needs to be attended to with the utmost urgency. It is therefore critical that not only Pakistan cuts off foreign sectarian funding but also gives a strong call to both our brotherly countries to stop washing their dirty linen in our backyard.

Similarly, our friends in USA can be used to “persuade” the American establishment to alter its aspirations planned at the cost of Pakistan by emphasising the losses of an unfriendly nuclear-armed Pakistan to its regional interests, as well as the potential setbacks to its global position by a leading Muslim country joining the camp of its opponents. With China and Russia vying for increased global assertion it should not be too hard to understand.