The following are interview questions submitted to Adam Garrie by Pakistan’s HAQEEQAT TV followed by his answers
1. After oil drilling in Pakistan, government announced that there is no oil/petroleum at drilling sites, do you think there are oil reserves in Pakistan, if yes then why government is denying their presence?
The news was of course deeply disappointing for many in Pakistan as well as for those who would have hoped that Pakistan’s economic fortunes could have been assisted by the discovery of major offshore oil reserves. It is never wise to base political (or personal) decisions on hopeful assumptions and therefore one must conclude that reports and official statements about a lack of oil resources are true.
There is of course always the possibility that the government is denying the presence of oil as a means of shielding Pakistan from further aggression from neighbouring states and terrorist organisations. However, due to the fact that major foreign oil companies have withdrawn from the exploration projects, one leans towards accepting the truth behind the official statements.
2. Do you think after elections India is again preparing a war against Pakistan?
No rational government would seek to engage in or provoke a war with a nuclear armed neighbour. That being said, the BJP’s government which appears to have been re-elected (according to initial exit polls) has a history of being deeply irrational on highly crucial matters. The key for Pakistan is threefold.
First of all, Pakistan’s Army must be given every last resource it needs to defend against any potential aggression. Although some will argue against this on economic grounds, if there is a new India-Pakistan war, this would set the Pakistani economy back far more than giving added resources to the Army so that an attack can be deterred and thus avoided. One mustn’t be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to national survival. A resource given to the Army today means a shield against threats to Pakistan’s people and infrastructure in the future.
Secondly, arrogant sectors of elite society should stop questioning the Army’s motives and ethics. If not for the heroic stand of the Army against terrorist groups in the first decades of the 21st century, there would have been a very real possibility that Pakistan would have been destroyed by the terrorists. The Army is a great dam holding back the floodwaters of terror, foreign state aggression and 5th generation hybrid war. If Pakistani elites believe that the grave dangers facing Pakistan can be fought with slogans and speeches about abstract political theories, it means that they are both delusional and dangerous.
Thirdly and perhaps most crucially, Pakistan must become better versed in articulating the threats against it to international audiences. The reason that some outside of south Asia assume that Pakistan is a villain when in reality it has been a victim, is because multiple leaders, officials and spokesmen in Islamabad have been insufficiently capable of articulating Pakistan’s concerns, goals and cultural characteristics to international audiences. This must be rectified at once.
3. Do you think Imran Khan’s government will complete 5 years?
The only thing that could foreseeably bring down the PTI government in less than five years is an act of overt or covert sabotage. I have no doubt that Imran Khan cares greatly about the people and has demonstrated a supreme devotion to his duties. Where some strive for power in order to take from the people, Imran Khan has clearly decided to forgo a life of pleasantness in order to give to the people.
There are of course problems with his government but these problems should be met with constructive advice, not hysteria, violence or the mania associated with certain avaricious “opposition parties”.
To believe in Imran Khan is to believe that things can be better tomorrow than they are today. To criticise some decisions of the government from a helpful perspective should be akin to brotherly advice from a position of compassion rather than one of hatred.
4. You have written in an article that Pakistani nation is sleeping, politicians are sleeping, while they do not know they are in war, what war are you talking about?
When Afghanistan does not recognise Pakistan’s borders, this is a clear act of war. In this specific case, the best defence is rapidly completing the border fence that could have saved thousands of lives had it been built 20 years ago or more. Afghanistan’s multiple failed regimes have a singular goal of eroding Pakistan’s territorial unity. Islamabad must acknowledge this rather than dance around the issue.
Likewise, the threats of a false flag (pinned on Pakistan) in IoK will only become more intensified over the coming years. Pakistan must mentally prepare the world and logistically prepare its forces to defend against Indian aggression which could be triggered in a supine fashion by RAW on the orders of politicians in New Delhi who fear that their domestic popularity is under threat.
While Pakistan is largely at peace internally, liberals mistake the hard won battles against terror for a war being won. The war is in fact still ongoing as the recent despicable BLA attack in Gwadar proved.
A nation at war must necessarily be on a different economic and sociological footing than one at peace. Just because most of Pakistan is placid does not mean that Pakistan is not at war. It is not a war Pakistan wants and it is not a war Pakistan caused, but it is one that the country must defend against. until it is totally won.
5. Do you think Pakistan, Russia, China, Turkey and Afghan Taliban are going to make a huge block in future?
China and Pakistan’s all-weather friendship continues to strengthen and I have no doubt that this will continue long into the future. Always fraternal relations with Turkey are also in a very good state but the two countries could mutually benefit from expanded economic connectivity. As Pakistan formally invited Turkey to join CPEC related projects, it is now up to both Islamabad and Ankara to take vital action steps to strengthen this fraternal partnership.
Russia and Pakistan continue to improve ties even though many pretend otherwise. Pakistan must continue to press Russia to sell Islamabad modern defensive weapons systems up to and including the S-400s. Once India takes delivery of its S-400s, Pakistan can make a strong case that as defensive weapons, S-400s in both India and Pakistan could bolster regional peace through the phenomenon of mutually assured defence (the other side of the coin in respect of mutually assured destruction).
Finally, if peace talks succeed and some multi-party government forms in Kabul in which a reformed Afghan Taliban would necessarily play a vital role, it is possible that Pakistan and Afghanistan could develop normal relations. This however depends on the nature and trajectory of the peace process. Right now it is still very early days in this respect.
6. Will America push this entire region into war before leaving Afghanistan?
It is becoming increasingly clear that Donald Trump does not plan to launch a conventional “shock and awe” style war on Iran. Instead, he plans to wage economic and hybrid warfare through a combination of sanctions and weaponizing various separatist groups that threaten the core of Iran’s territorial integrity.
Although India has long weaponised separatist terrorism against Pakistan, the cooler heads in the US realise that an all-out India-Pakistan war would be bad for regional business (aka America’s economic interests). Pakistan’s diplomats in Washington should emphasise this to the US and convince them that while there is probably no going back from America’s increasingly warm ties with New Delhi, America ought to act in its own interests by restraining India from acting provocatively against a Pakistan that the US is relying on to help deliver long term peace to Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of India’s aggression against Pakistan stemming from the Pulwama incident, the US along with China and Russia called for restraint. The BJP may well appear like a mad dog in terms of its foreign policy but even the US knows that a mad dog must be restrained when its bark turns into a “surgical bite”.
7. Do you think Pakistan Army and ISI will be governing Pakistan in future?
All healthy countries with strong military and intelligence agencies have close cooperation between the military and the civilian government. In the US, Pentagon officials have profiles that are often higher than most legislators and almost as high as many presidents. There is nothing wrong with close cooperation between the civilian government on the one hand and the Army and ISI on the other. This does not mean that the Army and ISI run the country. This is just a childish conspiracy theory.
8. Do you think freedom of Kashmir is near and there is a state of war being created in Kashmir?
Pakistan must do far more to raise international awareness of the plight of Kashmiris living under the world’s most brutal occupation. Pakistan must look to how Palestinian civil society has been able to internationalise the cause of Palestinian justice to the point that even western musicians are now actively supporting Palestine.
Kashmiri freedom will be one step closer if Pakistan can help explain that the issue is one of apartheid and neo-colonialism. If Pakistan does not do this for Kashmir, who will? The answer is that this is a matter of great urgency for the world and Pakistan has a unique responsibility to internationalise the issue.
9. Do you see Pakistan and India going on a nuclear war?
However irrational Modi and his cohorts are, I believe that nuclear weapons have actually kept the world safe because ultimately, everyone has been afraid to use them since 1945. The nuclear deterrent may well be the only thing preventing another 1971 style war in the region. Mutually assured destruction is nothing to be laughed it.
10. Can disputes between Arab countries result in Arab-Iran war and Israel is conspiring all this?
If the US is not going to launch a traditional war on Iran, no Arab country would dare do so and history has shown that Israel is more comfortable goading the US into regional wars than it is keen on fighting major conflicts itself.
If for example Saudi Arabia and Iran went to war, Saudi’s oil infrastructure would be targeted by Iran. This would be a lose-lose. I believe that the entire global crisis over Iran will ultimately lead to one of protracted economic war between the US and its allies against Iran. Any war between Arab countries and Iran is therefore unlikely and Israel would not ultimately dare to act unilaterally against Iran.