Pakistan elites urge PM to halt militant export to Syria

Pakistan elites urge PM to halt militant export to Syria
Sat May 31, 2014 11:01:53

Pakistani civil society figures have urged the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not to train and deploy Pakistani extremists to fight against the Syrian government.

The concerns were raised in speeches at a seminar organized by National Center for Regional Studies (NCRS) on Friday.

Senior journalist Amjad Warriach expressed his dismay over the large number of Syrians displaced by the ongoing insurgency war between foreign-backed militants and the Syrian government.

The journalist said the US had played an influential role in the Middle East region. Warriach condemned uninvited external intervention to influence domestic politics. He said when there is turmoil in the Muslim world, Pakistan also feels the pain and it is thus affected by the spillover.

Pakistani political analyst Abdullah Malik also said the events in the US-led war on Iraq further demonstrated vested interests of the United States and other international powers that joined in the military occupation of Iraq despite the fact that there was no proof of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in that country.

He said Pakistan needed to evaluate the situation in Syria cautiously since ramifications of the intervention would be felt in Pakistan's northwestern Waziristan region, which is the main base of al-Qaeda-linked radical militants in the area.

He said Pakistan’s involvement in training militants to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan in 1979 had created a fiery brand of terrorism in the region. Malik further noted that the situation in Syria had a political basis and could not be viewed through a religious lens of sectarian violence.

The expert said Pakistan’s destiny was tied to the future of Middle Eastern countries, and thus Pakistani government should refrain from sending its people to fight alongside terrorist groups in Syria.

He also insisted that the United Nations was being abused by the big powers and that they did not hold any respect for its mandate.

Malik said that the US was spreading propaganda that the conflict in Syria was of a religious sectarian kind to further its control over the Middle East region.

Senior journalist Salman Abid also said the big international powers were playing a messy role in Syria and this should be a matter of concern for all people. He then emphasized that the rift in the Middle East region was benefiting the Israeli regime.

Moreover, a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), Allama Muhammad Amin Shaheedi, also agreed with other speakers of the event and said President al-Assad’s father had been a popular leader and contributed to the progress of Syria. He said more than 20,000 extremists trained in Pakistan by the Taliban were already collaborating with al-Qaeda in Syria today.

Middle East expert Farrukh Sohail Goindi further emphasized that the big power game in Syria was part of a larger Middle East reshaping agenda.


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