What is the purpose of Bahraini ruler's six-day visit to Pakistan and why did he meet Pakistan's top military officials? Speculation is rife that he wants the Pakistan military to protect his tottering regime, the same as the Saudis. There was also a large protest against his visit and condemnation of the killings of Bahraini civilians by its security forces, many of them recruited from Pakistan.
Thursday March 20, 2014, 17:29 DST
While Pakistani officials from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif down have been ecstatic about the visit of Bahraini ruler, Hamad bin Khalifa, not everyone in Pakistan is so enthused. On a six-day visit to Pakistan where Shaykh Hamad met military as well as civilian leaders, there was also a large protest rally against his visit.
Organized by the Majlis Wahdat ul-Muslimeen, demonstrators chanted slogans against the Khalifa regime that has murdered hundreds of peaceful protesters since February 2011. The people of Bahrain, a vast majority of them Shias, have been demanding their fundamental rights. Instead, the minority Khalifa ruling family has unleashed a reign of terror.
The Khalifa regime has recruited thousands of former Pakistani soldiers and policemen and has also given them citizenship in order to crush the people’s aspirations for their fundamental rights.
There is widespread speculation in Pakistan that the Khalifa regime wants Pakistani troops for protection. Shaykh Hamad’s meeting with top military officials at the GHQ in Rawalpindi has strengthened such speculation.
Prime Minister Sharif issued a statement today denying any such deal and also said Pakistan had not agreed to send its army to Saudi Arabia either. What he left unsaid was whether the Saudis had asked Pakistan to train the Syrian rebels many of them terrorists.
Islamabad has been coy about what it has promised to Saudi Arabia. Last week, it was announced that Pakistan had received $1.5 billion from two friendly Arab countries without divulging their names or the reason for such gifts. According to Pakistani sources, the two benefactors were believed to be Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Retired Pakistani soldiers and policemen recruited by Bahrain have indulged in widespread human rights abuses, according to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR). Many of them are hardcore Deobandi/Wahhabis that carry strong anti-Shia feelings. They take particular pleasure in attacking and beating up the Shias in Bahrain.
Bahrain has been under Saudi/Emirati military occupation since March 2011. The Saudis are in the forefront of this campaign seeing Bahrain as a frontline of their own defence.
With the election of Sharif as Prime Minister last May, the Saudis are trying to entice the Pakistanis, especially its military with billion of dollars to get them entangled in Riyadh’s meddling policies in the region.