The October 18 terrorist attack by Jundullah in Pishin in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan revealed the criminal nature not only of the perpetrators but also their backers, the US, Britain, and Pakistan. Jundullah terrorists targeted a meeting between the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders and tribal leaders belonging to both Shia and Sunni communities. The terrorist attack killed 42 people among them six IRGC commanders. General Nourali Shoushtari, deputy head of IRGC, and General Rajabali Mohammadzadeh, head of IRGC in Sistan-Baluchistan, were among those martyred. That Jundullah would target a meeting that included both Shia and Sunni community leaders reveals its true nature.
It is however, Jundullah’s backers that stand exposed as terrorists. Jundullah is coached and financed by the US and Britain. Iran’s leaders also accused elements within Pakistan’s intelligence agencies of supporting the group. Hitherto, Iran had not named Pakistan publicly but with the latest terrorist act, Iran’s patience seems to have snapped. President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad called his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and demanded that Jundullah terrorists be apprehended. Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Najjar met his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik in Islamabad on October 24 and the following day Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani. Najjar made a blunt demand: Pakistan must apprehend and hand over the Jundullah terrorists to Iran.
Pakistan’s former chief of the Army, General Aslam Beg said in an October 25 interview that the Jundullah terrorist outfit is backed and financed by the US. General Beg said that since the US faces imminent defeat in Afghanistan it was getting desperate, hence its attack on Iran through Baluchistan. General Beg said that the US wanted to instigate sectarian conflict between Iran and Pakistan that would prove deadly for the Ummah. He said the US aim was to ease pressure on its forces in Afghanistan. The Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei also warned against the sectarian threat on two separate occasions: October 19 and October 26. On the first occasion, he offered condolences to families of the martyrs, while in the second he told guests leaving for Hajj to ensure that sectarianism did not tear up the unity of the Ummah.
While Iran’s leaders have shown great restraint in the face of such dastardly crimes, the same cannot be said for Pakistani officials. Interior Minister Malik who is directly responsibly for such matters is a shady character. Many in Pakistan also distrust him. For instance, he was barred from entering the GHQ following the October 10 attack on Pakistan’s military headquarters in Rawalpindi. Then students pelted his car with stones when he visited the site of a bomb attack at the Islamic University in Islamabad. Behind such anger lies a deeper problem in Pakistan. Most officials are agents of the US. There is widespread feeling in Pakistan that Malik works both for the US as well as Israel.
Pakistani newspaper reports add credence to this perception. In a letter to the Inspector General of Police, the commandant of the Police Academy in Sihala (outside Islamabad) Nasir Khan Durrani complained about the Americans keeping a large area of the academy out of bounds for Pakistani personnel. The Americans are ostensibly there to train Pakistani police in anti-terrorism tactics. They have imparted no such training for several months but have demanded expansion of the area for their operations. Durrani called for an investigation into their activities because he felt the Americans were spying on the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan’s premier nuclear research facilities located a mere seven miles from the academy. Durrani’s concerns needed immediate attention and thorough investigation. Instead Malik reprimanded him for raising the issue in writing. He was told verbal communication would have sufficed since putting it in writing would arouse unnecessary attention, especially from the media. Why would Malik want to keep the Americans’ activities under wraps, especially when dealing with such a sensitive issue as Pakistan’s nuclear program that has been the target of American, British, French, and Zionist sabotage activities for decades? Only a few weeks earlier, several American diplomats were caught in the vicinity of the KRL in suspicious circumstances. They were released through the intervention of retired Pakistani army officers working for the US Embassy in Islamabad.
Pakistan’s tragedy is that most officials, serving and retired are American and Zionist agents. Jundullah’s terrorist activities against Iran must be seen against this backdrop. Even American networks, for instance, ABC television, have reported that the US is financing Jundullah. Abdul Hamid Rigi, brother of Abdul Malik Rigi, head of Jundullah, has admitted to Iranian officials that their group has received training, money and weapons from the Americans. While the US claims it is fighting terrorism and presses other governments to target people it accuses of terrorist activities, Washington is in bed with terrorists of the worst kind.
There is an even more sinister plan at work. Baluchistan is the most sensitive province of Pakistan. The US is exerting pressure on Islamabad to launch military operations there. Jundullah’s activities appear to be part of this plan. Instigating conflict between Iran and Pakistan would play into the American and Zionist hands thereby advancing the US agenda of stoking irredentist tendencies in the province. It is no secret that the US would like to detach Baluchistan from Pakistan. This would achieve several US objectives: destabilize Iran and Pakistan as well as block China’s access to the warm water port at Gwadar that it has leased from Pakistan.
Islamic Iran needs to handle this very carefully and not walk into a US-laid trap. It must pursue the Jundullah terrorists vigorously without providing any pretext to the US –” and indeed its agents in Pakistan –” to stoke sectarian conflict.