In his review of Pakistan’s Urdu press, Khaled Ahmed quite rightly takes apart Aslam Beg’s arguments
Quoted in ‘Nawa-e-Waqt’ (29 April 2004), ex-army chief Aslam Beg said that if the mujahideen got freed from Afghanistan, Kashmir could be conquered in minutes. He said America would have to retreat in Iraq and will drown (doobay ga) in Afghanistan. He said in 2005 actions against America will hit another peak and that already 60,000 mujahideen had spread out in the entire world against America. He said in the next few years Kashmir and Palestine would be resolved and after 25 years the world would have no energy sources left, which was why the Americans were planning to control oil in the world.
If anyone in Pakistan deserves to be called a wag it is Aslam Beg. Starting with the First Gulf war, his pearls of ‘strategic defiance’ have blinded the nation to reality. He has been proved wrong so many times that people who once hated America have started loving it simply to avoid getting short-changed by Aslam Beg’s analyses. How will America ‘doobay ga’ in Afghanistan only Aslam Beg should know…
The next pearl is that once America is trounced in Afghanistan and the mujahideen are freed from there, Kashmir would be won ‘in minutes’. Predicting ‘victory at hand’ in Pakistan has been the pastime of many. Pakistani scholar Iffat Malik, currently senior research fellow at Islamabad’s Institute of Strategic Studies, is the author of the best recent book on Kashmir, ‘Kashmir Ethnic Conflict International Dispute’ (OUP 2002). According to her, the anti-India rhetoric has sunk deep into the national psyche: ‘In the 1991 election campaign, for instance, one of the promises made by the IJI, which helped secure its victory, was the liberation of Indian Jammu & Kashmir within three months of taking power’. Aslam Beg should start reading something other than his own half-digested articles. [Daily Times]
There’s just one problem. General Aslam Beg is a former chief of Pakistan’s army – and there are probably more of his sort still in its ranks.