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Haider Mehdi |

King Salman, by elevating his son, the 31 years Mohammed Bin Salman, or MBS, as Crown Prince, may actually have signed MBS’s death warrant, leading to the downfall of the Al Saud regime!

Whether this will remain undisputed or challenged overtly or covertly, by others, Royal, non-royal and the highly militant jihadists, is a question mark. There are unconfirmed reports of serious infighting amongst the Royal family. It’s MBS’s ascent into Chaos!

Then there is the second Prince. Mohammed Bin Zayed, (MBZ) Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of UAE. His elder brother, the current President, Khalifa Bin Zayed, who suffered a stroke in January 2014 has not been seen in public, since.

My view it will be challenged and increasingly so from within the Saudi establishment.  Despite all the power that MBS has, the politics of patronage by previous kings and decades of loyalties from their cliques will eventually result in an inevitable showdown.

But hugely worrying, is the potential for greater instability and heightened conflict in the Region. And the two main antagonists, Iran and Saudi Arabia, getting ready for a series of destabilizing events, triggered by this fresh prince and the total chaos that will inevitably follow MBS’s departure and the end of the Al Saud ruling regime!  One shudder’s to think of the post-Al Saud anarchy and violence! But this, to me, clearly is the beginning of the end!

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Then there is the second Prince. Mohammed Bin Zayed, (MBZ) Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of UAE. His elder brother, the current President, Khalifa Bin Zayed, who suffered a stroke in January 2014 has not been seen in public, since.

MBZ is a major supporter of the Al Saud in their battle against Iran, and the prime interlocutor in bringing Israel and Saudi Arabia, closer.  UAE already has strong, warm and friendly relations with Israel, just short of formal diplomatic ties.  It’s their insurance policy against their common enemy, Iran and the perceived existential threat from them.

Were the Saudi regime to fall, the next likely domino after Bahrain would be the Al Nahyan of UAE. Kuwait may survive because of its fairly robust democratic framework and Qatar and Oman, likely much later.  Qatar because of US troops presence, but were the USA to change policy, Qatar would fall in months. Oman, much longer, because it’s likely moving towards a Constitutional monarchy.

Read more: Gulf crisis ties global soccer governance into knots

In the next 5 years, the landscape of Monarchist Middle East will change dramatically!

The third Prince to make up the threesome is the ruler of Qatar, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.Though technically not a Prince, he behaves like the other two, trying to punch well above his weight and all three attempting to stave off the inevitable demise of their monarchies. He deposed his father, Sheikh Hamad, in a palace coup, politely described as an “abdication” in his favor.

Another common national interest binding the Saudis and the Emiratis are their deep animosity for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  This despite the safe haven, Saudi Arabia provided to them in the mid 60’s, when they were fleeing Gamal Nasser’s crackdown and their leader, Syed Qutb was hanged. But the MB members, such as Mohammed Qutb, brother of Syed Qutb, who relocated to Saudi Arabia, along with many others laid the seeds of Al Qaeda, which called for the overthrow of the Saudi regime. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and others were the product of this indoctrination!

UAE got a big scare in January 2013, when they uncovered and arrested 11 Egyptians, many long-term residents of the UAE and 94 Emirati citizens, all member of a UAE-based Al Islah party, with ties to the MB in Egypt. They were charged with conspiring to overthrow the ruling Al Nahyan monarchy and replace it with an Islamist government. This sent shock waves within the ruling Nahyan, fearing an Iranian or Egyptian type upheaval to overthrow them. They subsequently heavily funded and supported the anti-Morsi uprising, which leads to the Sisi coup.

Read more: Gulf crisis: A cash cow for the United States?

The third Prince to make up the threesome is the ruler of Qatar, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.Though technically not a Prince, he behaves like the other two, trying to punch well above his weight and all three attempting to stave off the inevitable demise of their monarchies. He deposed his father, Sheikh Hamad, in a palace coup, politely described as an “abdication” in his favor.

Qatar has always been one of the two GCC outliers, the other being Oman. And despite being a staunch Hanbali / Wahabi/Salafi society, the country has, or at least till now, enjoyed good relations with Iran, with whom they share a common gas field and simultaneously have relations with Israel, Hamas, and even Hezbollah! This amazing set of bedfellows is a mystery that only their massive wealth can explain which also explains why they decided to venture into the minefield of Middle Eastern geopolitics and increase their influence.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, in Qatar, they established close ties with the royal family and were recruited by the hundreds, as teachers to develop Qatar’s educational system. Youssef Al Qaradawi, a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, is Qatar’s most well-known religious figure.

Qatar has actively supported Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and was the main source of funding of the uprising against Hosni Mubarak and subsequent aid to ex-President Morsi’s government.

The dissent between Qatar, who supported Morsi and the MB and the Saudi Arabia/ UAE combine, who opposed them and MB, erupted in full force in 2012 when Hosni Mubarak was overthrown and Morsi came to power.

Read more: Gulf crisis: A new tale or a recap of the Southeast…

And It’s important to understand why Qatar supports the MB.

This dates back to when MB members were fleeing Gamal Nasser’s crackdown and also found safe haven in Qatar.  Unlike Saudi Arabia, in Qatar, they established close ties with the royal family and were recruited by the hundreds, as teachers to develop Qatar’s educational system. Youssef Al Qaradawi, a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, is Qatar’s most well-known religious figure.

In 2014, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and UAE recalled their ambassadors from Qatar, one demand by them was for Qatar to expel him.  Two others were the closing down of Al Jazeera and the Middle Eastern office of the Brookings Institute.  The latter two highly critical of the Saudi regime in particular.  And the big one was to break ties with Iran. Qatar refused all 4. The US stepped in to patch up!

Read more: Pressure from global players: Will the Gulf crisis be resolved through…

But it was in the Syrian conflict when Qatar supported those anti-Assad groups who while fighting Assad, also fought against groups backed and funded by Saudi Arabia and UAE. The GCC members were now involved in a proxy war against each other. The Syrian civil war is more complicated than a spaghetti bowl with sometimes a group fighting with itself!

The Gulf Cooperation Council or the GCC has split right down the middle.  Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain on one side. And Kuwait and Oman refusing to break ties with Qatar.

An incident in 2015, caused Saudi Arabia great distress. Qatar paid $1 billion in ransom to groups in Iraq for the release of 26 members of the Qatari Royal family who had been kidnapped, while on a hunting expedition inside Iraq.  These groups were closely allied with Iran, and Saudi Arabia and UAE believe this ransom money, eventually reached Iran.

So Qatar was clearly in their crosshairs now and had to be sorted out.  The inevitable had to happen in June 2017, when these two and others broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar.

So there we have it.

Saudi Arabia and UAE and tiny Bahrain, in a Sikkim and Bhutan like a relationship with Saudi Arabia, have now broken ties with Qatar.  Many reasons.  But the real big one was their refusal to support Trump’s and Saudi Arabia’s call to target Iran. The Gulf Cooperation Council or the GCC has split right down the middle.  Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain on one side. And Kuwait and Oman refusing to break ties with Qatar.

Read more: Gulf crisis and new alliances: Where does Pakistan stand?

And in all this melee, The Trumpeter signs a $300 Billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia and a few weeks later, a $12 Billion fighter aircraft deal with Qatar.  What a guy!

So how did the Region get into this “Royal” mess?

A likely answer lies somewhere in the key events of the last 4 decades, starting in the mid 70’s and leading to the recent ones, with religion, sectarianism, and ethnicity being used by all to achieve their geopolitical objectives.  Here then is a brief gallop across the decades, which helps us understand the major reasons behind the Iran – Saudi conflict and the current imbroglio!

More than 5000 Shias have been killed in Pakistan as a result of Saudi influence. Most of them professionals, doctors, engineers, lawyers and corporate leaders. TTP caused the loss of over 60,000 Pakistanis.  Mostly Sunnis. And more than 6000 officers and men of the Pakistan Army. Such was the gift from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan in addition to their petrodollars.

In 1973, OPEC imposed an Oil embargo on the West and Saudi oil revenues quadrupled. As a result, in 1975, a 4 decade long proselytizing of the Saudi /Wahabi version of Islam, commenced across the Muslim world, especially Pakistan, as well as across Europe and North America.  This was later to morph into terror groups like Al Qaeda, Daesh and their proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan.

In Pakistan their biggest manifestations were the TTP, later joined by sectarian groups like the Sipah Sahaba, Lashkar Jhangvi, and Ahle Sunnat Waal Jammat.  But its biggest impact was the transformation of Pakistani from a predominantly Sunni Barelvi Sufi version of Islam, who had no problems with the Shias, to the harsh, exclusivist and violent, Wahabi version, who considered and consider Shias infidels. This resulted in the subsequent large-scale targeted killing of Shias by these Wahabi sectarian groups.

Read more: Gulf crisis and the future of Middle East

More than 5000 Shias have been killed in Pakistan as a result of Saudi influence. Most of them professionals, doctors, engineers, lawyers and corporate leaders. TTP caused the loss of over 60,000 Pakistanis.  Mostly Sunnis. And more than 6000 officers and men of the Pakistan Army. Such was the gift from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan in addition to their petrodollars.

Estimates range from 100 billion US $ to 120 billion US$ spent by Saudi Arabia since 1975 on this effort to propagate Wahhabism, across the Muslim world and the globe.

This is more than twice what the world’s most renowned brand, Coca-Cola has ever spent in its entire existence on building its brand! Al Qaeda and Daesh, being the most visible brands of this Saudi proselytizing!

In 1979 three events happened which supercharged this Saudi effort.

Read more: Saudi Arabia or Qatar: Pakistan’s search for neutrality in the Gulf…

1979, Islamic Revolution in Iran, which resulted in very aggressive and provocative Shia proselytizing, in response to the Saudi propagation. Iran targeted the Shia populations in the Shia majority Eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia, Shia majorities in Bahrain and Iraq, than under Saddam and Shias in Lebanon and Pakistan. Thus commenced, in earnest this sectarian battle, enveloping not just the Region, but the Muslim world.

In 1980, the Saudis spurred Saddam to launch an invasion against the Iranian fledgling revolutionary regime. The objective was to oust the regime of the Ayatollahs and replaced by a more benign regime, which would no longer pose a threat to the Saudi regime and or inspire Saudi extremists to oust the Al Saud.

In November 1979, a group of hardcore Wahhabi fundamentalists, taking a cue from the Islamists who had overthrown the Shah of Iran in Iran, took over the Holy Kaaba, proclaiming their leader as the Promised Mehdi.  They called for the overthrow of the Al Saud ruling family, labeling them “corrupt and degenerate”! The Saudis ruling regime was taken by complete surprise.

Though the uprising was crushed, it left a fear in them, of an Iran type copycat revolution in Saudi Arabia by hardcore Saudi extremists. Hence this visible symbol of an Iranian Shia Islamic State was seen as a constant threat to the Saudi regime and therefore had to be eliminated.

In December 1979, the Russians invaded Afghanistan, providing a golden opportunity for Saudi Arabia to extend its influence. They funded the war against the USSR, the USA provided the weapons and Pakistan trained the Mujahedeen as they were then called. Also providing the staging ground for them to fight against the Soviets.  It also provided an opportunity for the Saudis to “export” (good riddance in their eyes) the hardcore militants and extremists, to Afghanistan.  More than 25,000 Saudi fighters eventually made their way to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.

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In 1980, the Saudis spurred Saddam to launch an invasion against the Iranian fledgling revolutionary regime. The objective was to oust the regime of the Ayatollahs and replaced by a more benign regime, which would no longer pose a threat to the Saudi regime and or inspire Saudi extremists to oust the Al Saud.

The USA was more than happy to see the Iranian clerics dethroned, incensed at the attack on their embassy and their staff was taken, hostage.

In 1993, after the Soviet-sponsored regime in Afghanistan collapsed, both Saudi Arabia and Iran, backed opposing groups in the ensuing civil war and again faced each other in military conflict through their proxies in Afghanistan. This continued till the Taliban were ousted by the USA invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Saddam was also worried at the restiveness of the Shia majority in Iraq, actively being provoked by Iran to overthrow him.  He viewed this Saudi request as a golden opportunity to replace Iran as the policeman of the Gulf and also permanently annex some of the oil rich areas of Iran. It seemed like a slam dunk operation, expected to end in a few months with a triumphant Iraqi army entering Tehran, overthrowing the Ayatollahs and installing a liberal regime, or whatever was acceptable to him and the Saudis.

Funded by a 37 $ Billion war chest from Saudi Arabia, Saddam invaded Iran in September 1980.

The Iranians fought back with ferocity. After the initial setbacks, they regained lost ground. And the war continued for 8 futile years,  finally ending in 1988. Iran lost nearly 800,000 dead. Iraq, 500,000. Over 1.3 million killed and an economic loss of nearly $1.3 trillion to both countries.

Read more: Gulf crisis: Is Saudi Arabia the only bad guy here?

Iran, to this day, has not forgiven, Saudi Arabia for instigating and inciting this massive bloodbath!

In 1993, after the Soviet-sponsored regime in Afghanistan collapsed, both Saudi Arabia and Iran, backed opposing groups in the ensuing civil war and again faced each other in military conflict through their proxies in Afghanistan. This continued till the Taliban were ousted by the USA invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

In 2002, courtesy George Bush Jr, Iran became part of the “Axis of Evil”, along with North Korea and Saddam Hussain, now no longer a US ally.

A grateful Iran, on its knees and close to economic and political collapse, accepted India’s request to sign a defense pact with them. India’s geo- political slap on Pakistan’s face! Pakistan was taken aback and thus Pakistan lost its third neighbor.

Saudis had been successful in internationally isolating the Iranians who had been under US economic sanctions since the revolution in 1979.  These were expanded in 1995 and further in 2006 when the UN passed a resolution expanding the sanctions to their oil, gas, and petrochemicals sectors and all exports of refined petroleum products, and any business dealings with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Also included were banking and insurance transactions, including the Central Bank of Iran, shipping, web-hosting services for commercial endeavors, and domain name registration services.

In other words, Iran was choked.

Pakistan, once a good friend, but now firmly in the Saudi and USA camp, refused to buy Iranian goods, especially oil, offered at cheaper rates than the Saudis. It scuttled Iranian overtures to sell power, citing the US and UN sanctions. And in stepped India, sensing an opportunity of a lifetime to establish close ties with a country on Pakistan’s borders and woo them even further away from us.

Read more: Turkish troops march for Qatar’s support: Escalation in the Gulf crisis?

They disdainfully flouted all sanctions, both USA and UN, given their economic clout, buying and buying Iranian oil and goods, pouring hard foreign currency investments into a starving, desperate Iran, at the brink of economic meltdown. A grateful Iran, on its knees and close to economic and political collapse, accepted India’s request to sign a defense pact with them. India’s geo- political slap on Pakistan’s face! Pakistan was taken aback and thus Pakistan lost its third neighbor.

In 2011, after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, Iran established diplomatic ties with Egypt, severed in 1980 because of Egypt’s recognition of Israel and for giving safe haven to the deposed Shah of Iran. This brought them closer to Qatar and against the Saudi / UAE axis. Then President Morsi also visited Iran.

While President Sisi has not been actively anti-Iran, but on the Qatar issue, he fully threw his weight behind Saudi Arabia, thankful of the massive financial support from Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Syria became the target of Saudi and UAE efforts to overthrow Assad, from the minority Alawite sect and to be replaced by a friendlier Sunni regime. This brought the Saudi – Iran conflict center stage.

In 2011, the so-called Arab Spring, now more the Arab winter, ousted four dictatorships.That of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. It seemed the Gulf Monarchies would be next.

Saudi Arabia, now under serious pressure from both its Sunni majority and Shia minority decided to launch a campaign to reduce Iran’s influence in the Region.

Iran, for years surrounded by hostile neighbors, now had a friendly Iraq, a friendly Assad in Syria, strong support in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen, Saudis soft southern underbelly. Iran, in the eyes of the Al Saud regime, had encircled them.  The Shia crescent was now a full moon! And the Saudis were panicking!

So, Syria became the target of Saudi and UAE efforts to overthrow Assad, from the minority Alawite sect and to be replaced by a friendlier Sunni regime. This brought the Saudi – Iran conflict center stage.

Read more: Iran sits pretty as the Qatar crisis continues to loom

Along with Jordan and Turkey, the latter who had their own ax to grind with the Kurds, they funded, armed, trained and unleashed the anti-Assad forces against the Syrian Army. These groups were predominantly offshoots of Al Qaeda. And one such offshoot became Daesh.

Iran responded with equal ferocity sending its elite troops to fight alongside Assad’s troops, realizing the consequences of Assad’s defeat and ouster. The Russians who had been watching from the sidelines, fearing the threat from a Daesh dominated Syria, stepped in and salvaged Assad from certain defeat.

In 2015, Iran signed its nuclear deal with the 5 permanent Security Council members, USA, UK, Russia, France, and China, plus Germany, and the European Union, comprising 29 European countries.  This deal, at that time, signaled the end of Iran’s international isolation and economic sanctions.

Over half a million have died in this senseless conflict. Mostly victims of the carnage and genocide inflicted by Daesh and Al Qaeda and their proxies.

In the south, the Saudis with UAE support, attacked Yemen, their abjectly poor Arab neighbor, with full force and anger, to defeat the Houthis, causing widespread devastation. More than 10,000 people have died, mostly civilians in aerial bombardments by Saudi and UAE jets.

And MBS was the prime architect of this terrible campaign.

In 2015, Iran signed its nuclear deal with the 5 permanent Security Council members, USA, UK, Russia, France, and China, plus Germany, and the European Union, comprising 29 European countries.  This deal, at that time, signaled the end of Iran’s international isolation and economic sanctions.  But as was expected, it caused major consternation in Saudi circles of a stronger, resurgent Iran, possibly now an even bigger threat to the rule of the Al Saud and the other Gulf Monarchies.

Read more: Pakistan’s PM, Finance Minister & Army Chief on trip to resolve…

The Saudi regime, once the USA’s blue eyed boy, now found themselves cold-shouldered by the USA and watched with seething anger the ever warming relationship between Iran and the USA, personified in the close personal relationship between John Kerry, the then US Secretary of State and Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.

But in 2017, fate bowled a “Doosra” and Trump was elected President and brought with it a major shift in US policy. Trump, threw his weight behind the Saudis, threatening to undo the nuclear deal, and targeting Iran as the source of all terrorism much to Saudi delight.

The Saudis and Iran are not coming together soon. Both consider each other’s regimes, existential threats. For the Al Saud ruling regime, the threat to their rule is far greater than it is to the rule of the Clerics in Iran.

In his now infamous tongue lashing of 53 heads of the so-called Muslim Ummah, at the “Big Bash Muslim Ummah Summit” in Riyadh in May 2017, Trump laid out his war on terror policy. Iran!

53 Muslim heads of state listened meekly to the dressing down by Trump, lecturing them on terrorism, including the head of the best Army in the Muslim world, and the only nuclear power, Pakistan.

Read more: Diplomatic breakdown in the Gulf: Is Trump the only one to…

Only tiny Qatar, had the brass to object at Iran being targeted!

What, said the enraged Al Saud and the Nahyan of UAE?  How dare they!

And the rest is history! So now you know why Qatar got it!

Given all this background, one thing is clear.

The Saudis and Iran are not coming together soon. Both consider each other’s regimes, existential threats. For the Al Saud ruling regime, the threat to their rule is far greater than it is to the rule of the Clerics in Iran.

MBS will do anything and everything to hold onto power. Including starting a regional conflict.  The UAE knows that if the Al Saud domino falls, their turn is just around the corner. So does Egypt, now bolstered by money by these two. So does Bahrain.

For Pakistan, Iran’s close economic ties with India and the Kulbashan Yadav spy case has raised serious concerns.  Especially at the deep ingress of Indian intelligence, inside Iran.  This presents a strategic opportunity to the USA, Saudi Arabia, India and Israel, to widen this split between Pakistan and Iran.

What should Pakistan do?

Iran and Pakistan have progressively viewed each other with increasing suspicion for about a decade now.  Iranians have accused Pakistan of attacks on its border guards and terrorist attacks inside Iran, by hardcore Wahhabi sectarian terrorist outfits, allegedly, Saudi-funded, according to the Iranians, and operating from inside Pakistani, Baluchistan.

Some of these outfits are allegedly, operating in the gray murky zone of “quasi-establishment” support, to fight the Baloch insurgents and in return being “allowed” the space to attack Shia Hazaras and operate across the border, with the establishment, in many cases, looking the other way.

Read more: Saudi-UAE-Qatar crisis: Will the US’ mediation bear fruit?

However this seems to be changing since Gen. Bajwa’s took over, himself a victim of the ultra-right wing extremists and labeled an Ahmadi, just before he took over, by Prof. Sajid Mir, a coalition partner of PM Nawaz Sharif.

For Pakistan, Iran’s close economic ties with India and the Kulbashan Yadav spy case has raised serious concerns.  Especially at the deep ingress of Indian intelligence, inside Iran.  This presents a strategic opportunity to the USA, Saudi Arabia, India, and Israel, to widen this split between Pakistan and Iran.  And, if I were one of them or all four, I would actively work towards this objective.

In my opinion, the Al Saud regime will not last long. What replaces them will be the start of another hellish nightmare, unless they move towards a constitutional monarchy and allow political freedom.

Pakistan and Iran have to be very careful that they don’t fall into this trap of being goaded against each other.  These are very sensitive times. Take the recent Threat by Iranian, Maj Gen Mohammed Baqeri to Pakistan to rein in these attacks.  Then the recent shooting down of an Iranian drone by Pakistan. All these show a visible escalation of the rhetoric and actions from both sides. And before we know it, could easily escalate to a much higher level of belligerence and conflict. An ideal outcome for the USA, Saudi Arabia, India, and Israel.

Therefore we cannot fall into this trap of getting into a conflict with Iran or take sides in this nearly 40-year conflict between the two. It will destroy us!

Read more: The Gulf tightening its noose: What are Qatar’s real options?

In my opinion, the Al Saud regime will not last long. What replaces them will be the start of another hellish nightmare, unless they move towards a constitutional monarchy and allow political freedom.

But the Iranian regime is here to stay. President Rouhani, by Iranian standards is a left wing revolutionary. Given another 5 years, Iran will be much more open and liberal.

India is using Iranian soil to destabilize Pakistan, unleashing the Kulbashan Yadav’s and creating friction between us.  Israel and the USA want to neuter both Iran and Pakistan. What better than to have them have a go at each other.

And then geography. Iran is our conjoined neighbor. Like it or not, we cannot have three countries on our borders as our enemies.  We need to re-establish ties with them and break them away from India’s embrace.  We need to ensure that they do not allow their land to be used against us or we allow ours to be used against them.

Saudi-funded sectarian outfits operating in Baluchistan are out to destabilize the Iranian regime and create major enmity between us. India is using Iranian soil to destabilize Pakistan, unleashing the Kulbashan Yadav’s and creating friction between us.  Israel and the USA want to neuter both Iran and Pakistan. What better than to have them have a go at each other.

Read more: Anti-Qatar media campaign in the Gulf: Cracks in the Islamic Military…

This game is so obvious, one would have to be as blind as a bat or as senile as Sartaj Aziz to not see through this!

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the Ummah. The Riyadh Summit proved it.

For Pakistan, only and only our own National interest must reign supreme. Not Iran’s. Not Saudi Arabia’s. Not the US’s. Not China’s. But ours and ours, alone.

There is no such thing as a Shia- Sunni Sectarian war.  The Iran – Iraq war, the Afghanistan tragedy, the heartbreaking Syrian Civil War and the devastation of Syria and Yemen and most importantly the Qatar crisis, proves it.

It is only power and dominance, and the desperate need to hold onto it and destroy anybody, anything and any country that threatens it, which drives all these countries towards Armageddon!

Our future lies in aligning with China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey! Not the USA, Israel, India, and Saudi nexus.

Read more: Ideological foundations and organizational structure of Islamic State

For Pakistan, only and only our own National interest must reign supreme. Not Iran’s. Not Saudi Arabia’s. Not the US’s. Not China’s. But ours and ours, alone.

And certainly not the personal vested interests of a tainted and compromised Prime Minister, held hostage by his corruption and his personal relationships with foreign rulers!

P.S.

And finally, we should send Zarrar Company to free Raheel from the Saudis!

Haider Mehdi is the current Convenor of The Strategy Study Group, founded by the late Col. S. G. Mehdi M. C, former Group Commander of Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG). Haider is a former Pakistan Army officer, corporate leader, management consultant, business trainer, and serial entrepreneur. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

Haider Mehdi is the current Convenor of The Strategy Study Group, founded by the late Col. S. G. Mehdi M. C, former Group Commander of Pakistan Army's Special Services Group (SSG). Haider is a former Pakistan Army officer, corporate leader, management consultant, business trainer, and serial entrepreneur.

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