Israel Middle East

Why Pakistan Is A Bigger Threat To Israel Than Iran

While the United States and Israel incessantly obsess with the possibility of a future nuclear Iran, they barely ever raise such concerns about Iran’s next door Islamic neighbour Pakistan that brandishes its nuclear weapons with Islamic zeal and barely concealed contempt for the “kufaar” — Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists and other non-Muslims.

But there are others inside Pakistan who do not share America and Israel’s myopia. The country’s leading anti-nuclear activist, physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy in his book Confronting the Bomb, has this to say about Pakistan’s nukes:

“The fear of loose [nuclear] weapons comes from the fact that Pakistan’s armed forces harbour a hidden enemy within their ranks. Those wearing the cloak of religion freely walk in and out of top security nuclear installations every day … The fear of the insider is ubiquitous and well-founded.”

Prof. Hoodbhoy is able to see through the complexity of his country’s nuclear arsenal that both the White House and Jerusalem either choose to overlook or are grossly ignorant about. Hoodbhoy maintains that there are two Pakistani armies. One led by General Pervez Ashraf Kayani and the other by Allah. “It is difficult to find another example where the defence apparatus of a modern state has been rendered so vulnerable by the threat posed by military insiders.” Even non-fundamentalist elements are “soft Islamists,” he says. Hoodbhoy describes the Pakistani army as “a heavily Islamicised rank-and-file brimming with seditious thoughts.”

As a friend of the Jewish people as well as the Arabs, the thought of a nuclear devise exploding over Israel gives me the jitters. The fact is, millions of Arabs too will be eviscerated in a nuclear attack on the Jewish State.

In meeting with leading Jewish intellectuals and academia in North America and some in Israel itself, I am struck by the lack of knowledge they have about Pakistan, let alone its nuclear program. Few write about the internal dynamics of Pakistan that has emerged as the world’s number one source of jihadi suicide bombers and ground zero for the training of Islamic terrorists.

Pakistan is not an easy subject. It is a multi-ethnic country with a multi-lingual population dominated by Punjab; a civil war in Balochistan; a disputed border with Afghanistan; hundreds of thousands of troops on war footing at the Kashmir Line of Control against India; a slow slaughter of the country’s Shia population and China’s strategic interests at the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz.

All of this makes the study of Pakistan a daunting task for any outsider. Even Britain and the USA who helped create the country to install a buffer state between the advancing USSR and India after the Second World War, have not been able to read the tea leaves with any degree of accuracy.

As I write this essay, Pakistan produces more nuclear bombs than any other nuclear power while developing longer-range missiles. On paper, these nuclear warheads and missiles are India-centric and pointed towards the east. However, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is not at a static location and the warheads as well as missiles are constantly on the move, and if there is one country that the Pakistan’s politicians, both on the right as well as the left, hate more than India, it is Israel.

Are Israelis aware of the vulnerabilities in Pakistan’s nuclear program that make it possible for non-state jihadi actors to strike at the Jewish State? I doubt it.

Pakistan is a society based on the hatred of the “other.” Since its creation, the Hindu and the Jew, (“Hanood wa Yahood” in the popular street lexicon of the Urdu language) has been cultivated as the enemy of the country and Islam.

In a culture of violence, three million fellow Muslims were killed in genocide in 1971 in Bangladesh. With the liquidation of the Hindu population and the total absence of Jews, the addiction to killing the “other” is now consuming the Pakistanis from within.

Just in the three years leading up to the 2011 capture and death of Osama Bin Laden in Abbotabad, Pakistan, there were 225 suicide bombings in the country killing over 3,900 people, and all of them in politically motivated attacks by Sunni Muslim jihadis. All the victims — from Ahmadi Muslims to Shia Muslims — are accused of serving the Zionist cause and thus eliminated.


Shia vs. Sunni

The irony is that while Israel considers Shia Iran as its primary enemy and nurtures a cold peace with Jordan and Egypt, the Shias of Iran are often branded as a secret Jewish sect by Sunni Muslim clerics in both Egypt and Jordan. Jews around the world seem to oblivious to this fact as they read about the slaughter of Shias in Pakistan and the open hostility towards them from places as far apart as Indonesia to Indiana (home to America’s Islamist organisation ISNA ).

If one were to study the sources of Jew-hatred, they are invariably rooted in Pakistan and the Arab World. If it comes to terrorist attacks carried out around the globe, almost all of them have either originated in Pakistan, were carried out by young men of Pakistani ancestry or by jihadi terrorists who were trained on Pakistani soil. Else, they were planned and executed by Islamabad’s intelligence agency, the ISI and its sponsored terrorist organizations. Yet, in the eyes of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, it is Iran that is the anti-Semitic capital of the world, hell-bent on destroying the Jewish State.

Let me catalogue the role Pakistan has played in international terrorism, long before its territory was used by Osama Bin Laden and Khaled Sheikh Mohammed to plan and execute the 9/11 attack on the United States.  For more on this article click huffingtonpost