Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – South Asia Theatre – Jammu – Kashmir: Tehran – Baku – Islamabad/New Delhi; India Rejects OIC Support of Pakistan – Baku Conference Justifies Pakistan Position on Conflict – Extension of Khomeini
Night Watch: BAKU – “We regret that the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) has once again chosen to comment upon Jammu and Kashmir at the OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting in Baku in Azerbaijan.” That was the critical response from India External Affairs Ministry to the OIC meeting that openly called for an early solution to the ongoing conflict between New Delhi/Islamabad over the contested territory. The External Affairs Ministry didn’t end there, “Jammu and Kashmir is an intergral part of India and the OIC has no locus standi in matters concerning India’s internal affairs.” In plainer language New Delhi was actually saying the OIC and its position can go to hell. [IRNA]
This is obviously not the first time the OIC has called for a solution but it may be the first time they have called for an early one. The meeting was chaired by Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and attended by the Foreign Ministers of Niger, Turkey, Pakistan and by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia. The President of Paksitan occupied Kashmir (PoK) General Anwar Khan (ret.) was also present. They said India refused their call for a “fact-finding” mission to visit the disputed region to have been led by the OIC Special Representative Izzat Kamal Mufti.
The Foreign Ministers are aware that Islamabad stated last year they want the Kashmir issue settled by December 2006 and, given New Delhi’s historical, entrenched position a diplomatic settlement or by referendum is out of the question. The Ministers also know that as a result of the impact of the Khomeini revolution in Iran 1979, which set off the current wave of Islamic radicalism-militarism, that Pakistan will have more than just diplomatic sympathy, but also military and financial support.
Without Khomeini there would be no government in Tehran supporting Islamabad both militarily and financially, as Iran prepares units, land-sea-air, that will join the fighting. The nuclear network established by the Pakistani scientist has probably long been incorporated by Tehran. The day after Islamabad concluded its nuclear explosions in 1998, in response to New Delhi, Iran’s then Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi visited Paksitan and praised what he called the Islamic bomb. Tehran, during its 20 year nuclear program, employing Russian-Chinese technicians working with the ballistic missiles exported from Pyongyang, have been preparing nuclear warheads for those missiles, some of them targeted for India.
In the meantime the false front of working with India on economic pipeline projects maintains the myth of regional cooperation. Tehran has been able to engage in such long term, strategic preparations by working in underground installations constructed by the engineering firm headquarted in San Francisco that CNN showed invited to Iran through its London branch office the day after the Gulf War ended, virtually identical to the underground complexes constructed for Saudi Arabia during the 1980’s. That rules out London-Washington having a major impact on the conflict and in maintaining regional security. Their corruption is actually Tehran’s greatest weapon.
Riyadh has answered the same call by purchasing, 20 years ago from Beijing, 50-60 CSS-2 missiles, each one having a 2,500 mile (4,000 km) range and capable of striking all of India. In December 2004 this site reported Saudi Arabia-Pakistan conducted ground forces maneuvers in Pakistan. For years the two governments have been holding naval exercises. Naval action around the sub-continent will put maritime traffic in the region at extreme risk, similar to the attacks against international shipping in the Persian Gulf during the eight year Iran/Iraq War 1980-88. Warlords from Aghanistan may also answer the call and head south, for a chance to rule whatever they can conquer. Non-Islamic investments in India, even those concentrated in southern India, could flee the country, which could place more of India under the control of the Islamic investment community.
Saudi Arabia is just one of many economic powerhouses within the OIC that can and have been underwriting Pakistan’s research and development. Islamabad knows they have never had this kind of support before and have to take advantage of it. That is probably why Islamabad last year celebrated the 40th anniversary of their September 1965 war with New Delhi over Jammu-Kashmir. Though Pakistan lost they by no means believe they will lose this time. I suspect Pakistan’s government has privately thanked those in the West who thought they could use the Ayatollah Khomeini, not realizing his influence would reach into South Asia. I would not be surprised if this next major war begins again in September this year.
New Delhi is virtually alone in this. Though India has long established military relations with Russia any direct role Moscow can play in this theatre will be extremely limited since its resources are concentrated in the Caucasus-Central Asia. What Moscow can do is exert more pressure on Tehran by being successful north of Iran which would eventually severely limit further troop commitments and resources Tehran may have been considering against India. The major supporter of Russia’s role is Berlin both in financial and industrial assistance. Brussels-EU-NATO will be more concerned about meeting the Jihad in the Balkans – Mediterranean than in any role in south Asia and in order for London-Washington to become directly involved may require Tehran-Riyadh’s permission.
The best Asian support for India may come from Tokyo-Canberra-Singapore. Ever since Tehran announced, late 2004, that they wanted Beijing to be the main importer of Iranian oil-gas, replacing Tokyo, Japan changed its military policy and made it more offensive. Since then Japan has maintained non-stop serious diplomatic contact with Iran and I suspect made it plain to Tehran that Tokyo is willing to be part of the Allied war effort to maintain trade routes from the Far East to the Persian Gulf. Japan cannot afford to do without access to Persian Gulf states. Economic lifelines are at stake.
Expressing the same realistic economic concerns will be Australia-Singapore-Jakarta. Though Australia is not as dependent on oil from the Middle East they do not want to see international shipping attacked threatening their economic links to India- Asia and beyond. Though Singapore does not have a large military they can be used as an extremely strategic Allied base of intelligence and operations.
One of the few Islamic countries that could be against a devasting war in South Asia is Indonesia. Their President General Susilo Yudhoyono Bambang seems to be serious about wanting to not only improve Indonesia’s image as economically reliable but also to be active in combating regional terrorism. President Bambang could be one of the first Islamic heads of state to seriously call for an end to the fighting, even if it means being ostracized by the OIC. Indonesia could be a center of economic competition between the Islamic Axis and Allied nations.
I suspect Kuala Lumpur, which has made no secret of it being at the center of the Islamic world’s nuclear network, would not mind at all if New Delhi is defeated. There may even be Malaysian ships involved in the action around India in an attempt to cut them off economically.
Fortunately there is something in Tehran’s Persian mentality that can help the Allied effort. Islamabad found this out recently when Tehran initiated a new price for its gas that shocked Pakistan. I believe Tehran termed it an “adjustment”, but it sent economic shock-waves through Pakistan’s economy. Societies retain their character. Persia has a tendency to be very dictatorial and demanding economically. That is why, though the Islamic world wants to see a successful Jihad, and doesn’t mind Tehran leading it, they do not want to see a second Persian Empire. They remember the first one.