Pakistanis have gone berserk over Iran’s missile and drone strikes at the terrorist bases in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Iran said it attacked the terrorist group Jaysh al-Adl (referred to as Jaysh al-Dhulm in Iran) on January 17.
According to Pakistani government sources, the attack killed two children and injured three girls.
Pakistan’s official position, echoed in both the army-financed media as well as social media is, that it is a grave violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The Pakistani armed forces will give a fitting response to this “unprovoked” and “unjustified” attack, say these voices.
Pakistan has recalled its ambassador from Tehran and told the Iranian ambassador who was already in Tehran to not return for the moment.
Let us consider the issue of Pakistani sovereignty before considering why Iran carried out the strike.
Pakistani sovereignty is rather flexible.
On January 27, 2011, a CIA contractor Raymond Davis operating in Pakistan shot and killed two ISI agents in broad daylight in Lahore.
Far from charging the American terrorist with murder, Pakistan’s then ISI director, Ahmed Shuja Pasha pressured the families of the victims to accept blood money and withdraw the charges.
The American terrorist was let go and he left Pakistan the same day.
In May 2011, American helicopters attacked a house in Abbotabad, in earshot of the military academy at Kakul.
The Americans shot and killed Osama bin Laden and took his body away.
The Pakistani military and government did nothing to challenge the violation of its sovereignty.
The US envoy in Islamabad was not asked to leave, nor did Pakistan withdraw its ambassador from Washington.
On November 26, 2011, US helicopters attacked two Pakistani check posts at Salala in Mahmond agency (KP province) killing 24 soldiers and wounding 12 others.
The helicopters had flown from Afghanistan where the US military was involved in fighting the Taliban.
The year 2011 was rather a bad year for Pakistani sovereignty.
In fact, Pakistani sovereignty was being violated almost every day since the US launched its so-called war on terror in 2001.
While Pakistan was a supposed ally, its people were being droned on a daily basis.
From 2001 to 2018, American drones killed more than 80,000 Pakistanis—soldiers and civilians.
Did the Pakistanis protest this gross violation of their sovereignty?
Even worse was to come.
On March 7, 2022, a third-ranking State department official, one Donald Lu, demanded that the Pakistan army remove Imran Khan from power otherwise there would be serious consequences for Pakistan.
The army, then headed by General Qamar Javed Bajwa, duly complied.
A popularly elected government was unceremoniously removed from office to appease America.
Where was Pakistan’s sovereignty?
So, why so much jingoism over Iran’s strike at terrorist bases in Balochistan province?
It is well known that the terrorist outfit Jaysh al-Adl is being financed by the Americans and the Israelis.
On numerous occasions, Iran raised the issue of the terrorist outfit Jaysh al-Adl carrying out terrorist operations in Iran and then returning to their bases in Pakistan.
In fact, on January 17, in the latest terrorist attack inside Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province, Colonel Hossein-Ali Javdanfar of the Revolutionary Guards was killed outside Zahedan, the provincial capital.
The same day, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards also engaged Jaysh al-Adl terrorists near the Pakistan border killing one of them while the rest fled across the border into Pakistani Balochistan.
If Iran knew of the Jaysh al-Adl terrorist bases in Balochistan, were Pakistani intelligence agencies unaware?
The fact that the US is financing this outfit which comprises Balochis from Sistan-Baluchistan (i.e., they are Iranian citizens), is also a violation of Pakistani sovereignty.
Let us hear from the media talking heads and other jingoistic Pakistani nationalists to give a fitting response to the Americans.
Instead of indulging in jingoism and chest-thumping, the issue needs to be resolved diplomatically.
Iran has already taken the lead in this regard with its Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian calling his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani and told him that Iran did not attack any Pakistani citizens.
The terrorists it struck were Irani citizens.
It is important for cooler heads to prevail for all concerned.
Pakistan’s relations with India have always been hostile.
It has no diplomatic relations with Afghanistan.
And now it has withdrawn its ambassador from Tehran as well.
Even with China, Pakistan’s relations are not very cordial despite claims of its being our “all-weather friend”.
Pakistan cannot afford to open another front, this time against Iran.
It will benefit no one, least of all, Pakistan.