The ‘Ajam’ Spring

General Mirza Aslam Beg

Former COAS, Pakistan

After the ‘Arab Spring’ now it is the Ajam Spring, sweeping Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran (The Non-Arabs). The Arabs revolted against their despotic rulers, while the Ajamis have revolted against the global hegemons. The resistance against the Soviet hegemony started early ’80, resulting into its defeat and disintegration. The same rag-tag Mujahideen, later known as Taliban, challenged American hegemony, and in a short period of ten years, have inflicted a shameful defeat on them, which the Americans are not prepared to accept, hence the Taliban are not willing to give them the safe-exit, they gave  to the Soviets in 1989. This is the dilemma, the Americans are facing now, while the Taliban, working on their new strategy, have struck at the political and military nerve centers of Kandahar and Kabul, putting the occupation forces in a state of disarray.

      Taliban’s new strategy started with Kandahar jail break, freeing over 500 of their hardened fighters, who, together with the lashkars have carried out massive attacks on American garrisons at Maidan Shahar and Kabul, the NATO HQ, the American Embassy, the Peace Committee HQs and the CIA HQ at Kabul, killing over 270 Americans in a short period of three months, which shook the American public, fed with claims of victory over the Taliban after Osama’s death. The CIA and the military command, who had been feeding the nation on false claims of victory, could provide no justifiable reason and decided to pass on the buck to the Pakistani intelligence, allegedly supporting the Haqqani Group, carrying out this carnage. The accusations were followed by diplomatic warnings, intimidations and outright threat of unilateral action against Pakistan. The pressure continued to build up, creating a state of fear of the unknown.

       Under such a situation of stress and strain,  I gave a television interview on Saturday, 24th September 2011, warning the nation of the impending threat and the urgent need for taking defensive measures.  I warned:“Mobilize the armed forces now to face the threat. Prepare the nation to solidly stand behind the armed forces; call  upon the tribals to join the Army and if Pakistan is attacked, carry the war into the Afghan territory, where the Taliban and the Afghan freedom fighters will join us to eliminate the occupation forces, who would not be able to face the furry of the Pak-Afghan surge. China and Iran are with us and Russia would prefer to watch the fun.”

      The very next day, Sunday 25th September, the armed forces moved into their battle locations on the Pak-Afghan borders. The Pak Air force was on high alert. The political leadership also rose to the occasion, mobilizing the public against the impending threat. As a result, the fear and despondency gave way to confidence and self assurance to the Pakistani nation. The American strategist, Henry Kissinger and the Taliban commander Sirajuddin Haqqani, had warned the hawks at Pentagon, against adventurism in Pakistan, because the conflict would expand, beyond control. The message was taken, and dialogue has been preferred. The timely action by the armed forces, deterred aggression, and has emboldened our political leadership to come out with brave statements. The Prime Minister has called the APC which is out of place, while the parliament is the right forum to discuss such issues of national interests. But the parliament itself has lost its élan, because two of its earlier resolutions on drone and Abbotabad attacks, are lying in the dust-bin. Under the circumstances, the best option for our political leadership, therefore  is to ‘follow the lead given by the armed forces’ whose commander, President Asif Ali Zardari prefers to maintain such mysterious silence. But behind this silence is the diplomatic feat he has achieved. Alhamdulillah, Pakistan is not alone and the credit goes to President Zardari for raising the ‘geo-political security cover’ for Pakistan, i.e., China and Iran’s unflinching support in our hour of need. In so doing Zardari has crossed the ‘red line’ as, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto did and earned the wrath of the hegemons. Zardari’s life is in danger. He better take care of himself. 

      While giving this message, I was reminded of the advice, I gave to General Musharraf, ten years back on this very day 24th September 2001, in a meeting. I had warned that: “His decision to join the American war against the brotherly country Afghanistan, was unethical and immoral, and that it would cause great harm to Pakistan. Ultimately the war would be reversed on Pakistan, with dangerous fall-out. And despite the odds, the Taliban would emerge victorious and the Americans and their allies would be defeated and their defeat would be worse than their defeat in Vietnam. And you as the President of the country and Chief of army Staff will suffer shame and disgrace for having compromised on the blood of thousands of Mujahideen, who have laid down their lives for the freedom of Afghanistan.” I was not far wrong.

      These are historic moments and a turning point for the struggle by Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, against global hegemony. It bonds the three nations together for a common cause, ultimately forming into a union — the realization of my dream of ‘Strategic Depth’, which I first spelled out to my formation commanders and the officers of the Rawalpindi garrison on 25th August 1988:

“We are witnessing the dawn of a new era. Afghanistan is free after the defeat of the Soviet Union. Iran has emerged stronger after eight years of brutal war with Iraq and the Islamic Revolution has consolidated. Pakistan has opted for democracy after eleven years of military rule. This is the moment of ‘triumph of freedom’ for all the three countries. Freedom beckons us to unite and gain ‘Strategic Depth’ to safeguard our national security interests.”


      It has taken us thirty years of turmoil, treachery, brutal wars, death and destruction, pushing the three countries together into a common bond, to provide the much needed depth of security, in all its dimensions. The sun is rising, and we can feel the soft fragrant breeze of ‘The Ajam Spring’ comforting our tormented souls.


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  • shahbaz  On September 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    An interesting analysis;I attended his Address to offrs on 25th August 88′

  • MAB  On September 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    That sounds like King’s Speech !


  • Shahid  On September 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    General Aslam Baig has said and set the right course of action for Pakistan.Let’s stick to it.No one can take our freedom away,if we are resolved to fight and protect it.

    • S U Turkman  On October 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

      Let nobody take our freedom away … except for the Punjabi Policemen on our streets.

  • Parvez Amin  On October 1, 2011 at 12:59 am

    The Americans have been taught a lesson they are unlikely to forget. The single cause of their public humiliation? Greed. How can they atone for their misdeeds? Pay war reparations and send their young people to rebuild what they destroyed.

    • S U Turkman  On October 10, 2011 at 12:19 am

      What else has USA been paying Pakistan since 1950’s but Protection Money, Jiziyah or what you call War Reparations?
      Whole world has been scared of us since our birth.

      • Parvez Amin  On October 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

        The US has been buying protection on the cheap by bribing and corrupting our leaders. You should be aware that the person offering a bribe is as guilty as the one receiving it; I believe that US laws recognize that. Corrupting others is a moral crime – but who says that a country drops two atomic weapons is moral? It is pointless discussing this further. You stick to your opinion and I to mine. OK?

  • Minhaj  On October 1, 2011 at 2:38 am

    In my opinion, we are entering into an era of prelude to Ghzvah-e-Hind?

    • S U Turkman  On October 10, 2011 at 12:20 am

      That’s right, we have to fly our Flag at Red Fort in Delhi, now. Lets declare war at India immediately …!

  • Faisal Imam  On October 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    i like this.
    where will we be ten years down the road?
    will we be trading with Iran,Afghanistan?
    will we be a first world country?
    will we have a democratic State?
    will we have controlled our population?
    will we be getting clean water to drink?
    will all our kids get education?
    will there be justice and equity?
    or will Aslam Beg be around to pass money around to the political leaders of his choice?

    • Parvez Amin  On October 2, 2011 at 1:39 am

      Faisal Madadgar Pakistan, a new political party to bring prosperity has set out to deliver all you ask for and more. No money will be passed out by anybody. If you want to volunteer some time to help, contact me at
      Parvez Amin

    • S U Turkman  On October 10, 2011 at 12:26 am

      Please do not put down our great Gen. Baig like this. Not only all that but also he would have single handedly destroyed USA in one of his visit to USA if USA had not stopped issuing Visa to him because of my column published in Daily ‘Amn’, Karachi.

  • Mohammad Chaudhry  On October 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I hope that most of people know about Mirza’s own fixations, indoctrination and his personal scars and frustrations as well as his sub-conscious guilts. So his thinking to be taken with a pinch of salt and evaluated more analytically and objectively.

  • S U Turkman  On October 10, 2011 at 12:28 am

    I know sir, why you hate him. You hate him because he is a Mohajir and you are a Punjabi.


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