Criticism mounts in Pakistani Twitter on a campaign in #Iran that links #Pakistan to alleged #Panjshir/#Afghanistan [This meme is viral: ]. But a self-censorship persists in Pak media on critiquing Iranian foreign policy. I explore this in this #thread /1
Near total [unofficial] blackout on this story in #Pakistan media [] (incl on statements by Iranian MFA spox; ex-pres #Ahmadinejad in Indian media). This self-censorship is unusual; leads to questions like this journo to Minister: /2
#Iran's regional outlook, incl on #Afghanistan, needs better study in #Pakistan. The policy of self-censorship on discussing Iran on Pak media should end. Also, decouple Iran study/analysis from religion/sect; and decouple it from our #GCC relations. /3
Academic critique of Iran's policies should be allowed in #Pakistan media/thinktanks, like #Iraq+#Azerbaijan. This self-imposed taboo robs Pak policy professionals of necessary insights into Iranian policy at critical junctures; like now on #Panjshir. /4
We in #Pakistan are the only country where #Iran policy has unprecedented insularity and impunity from critique, an advantage not given to the Iranian govt even in the media of #Iraq+#Azerbaijan [both shia-majority Muslim nations]. /5
Here an example of something I wrote on imp developments in #Pakistan-#Iran relations last year [a preview to what's happening now on #Afghanistan] but could not be published in Pak media, despite being taken up in #Kabul parliament & media at the time. /6

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More from @_AhmedQuraishi

16 Sep
#Pakistan was never a "hired gun" in any war, and it has entered many wars - near and far - for its interests, like any other nation. The narrative of a hired gun is a claptrap; earns political points, but is demeaning for the country, insulting, and self-defeating. /1
History is debatable, but #Pakistan smartly dragged the #US and the free world into a war against the Soviet Union in #Afghanistan; & rightly so. Pak benefited from the project, and also paid a heavy price. The actions of a smart nation that effectively defended its interests. /2
#Pakistan joined the #Bosnia war vs #Serbia+#Russia; helped #Azerbaijan vs #Armenia, #Kuwait vs #Iraq; #Jordan vs militants; supported freedom movements in #Algeria+#Tunisia; backed Western allies in Suez Crisis, helped Kashmiris, & helped counter communism in Arab countries. /3
Read 6 tweets
16 Sep
In #Dushanbe, PM @ImranKhanPTI met for the first time with #Iran's new President #Raisi, and encouraged him to seize the opportunity to help in ending the war in #Afghanistan, in a delicate attempt to overcome #Tehran's recent criticism of alleged Pak military role in #Kabul. /1
The quadrilateral meeting between #Russia #China #Pakistan #Iran on the sidelines of the #Dushanbe summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization #SCO provided another opportunity for Islamabad and Tehran to clear the air, with Russian & Chinese help. /2

On the day PM @ImranKhanPTI & Pres #Raisi met in #Dushanbe, SL #Khamenei-linked Kayhan newspaper accused #Pakistan's spy agency #ISI of dividing #Afghanistan's people & called on #Taliban to distance itself from Pak claiming Afghans "hate" the neighbor /3

Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
#Israel unmasks secret #Iran based where the #IRGC trains and distributes drone technologies to proxy militias across the region.


#Iran counters the negative publicity today centered on #Israel revealing the location of secret Iranian base that trains proxy regional militias by making public this decision: granting visual access to IAEA to Iranian installations

The #US embassy in #Iraq raises alarm on the drone attack at #ErbilAirport

Read 4 tweets
18 Jul
#Pakistan foreign minister visits Chinese citizens injured in bus blast, with #China Amb, at military hospital. This #thread includes observations on China's keenness to get involved militarily in combating terrorism, its policy shortcomings, & FM+Amb statement. /1
After the blast, #China is emitting signals that it is exerting pressure for more antiterror action in #Pakistan, including possibly joint missions with Pakistani forces. /2
One example is how quickly #China recast the bus incident as a terrorist attack after #Pakistan initially downplayed the incident. And quickly floated Chinese security assistance "if #Islamabad has any need to combat terrorism." /3
Read 7 tweets
18 Jul
After taking over the border crossing with #Pakistan, Taliban replace #Afghanistan’s flag with Islamic Emirate's. Pakistani diplomats struggle to distance the country from the militant group, but the nation has to cope with a bitter reality. Taliban way of life is also...
.. unacceptable to most Pakistanis. There is strong criticism of Taliban in Pakistan but it gets buried by a twisted national discourse hijacked by anti-West/anti-US/extremist elements jubilant over perceived US/international defeat. Hardly any serious discussion on how US exit.. detrimental to Pakistani strategic interests, precipitates a regional proxy war, and enhances Iran & India's influence in Afghanistan, with which Islamabad struggled in 1990s. Jubilation over perceived US defeat also wastes energies that could have been used in explaining..
Read 4 tweets
25 Jun
Yesterday 25 June 2021 was the 25th anniversary of #Alkhobar bombing in #SaudiArabia that killed 19 #US servicemen, injured 500+ from several nationalities, incl #Saudis #Pakistanis #Egyptians. Marked a shift for #Iran #IRGC's ops inside #KSA; close to ARAMCO & a major mil base.
Crater is where a sewage tanker truck detonated nearly 14,000 Kg of explosives. Bomb was a mixture of petrol & explosive powder placed in the tank of the truck. The material was smuggled in exported fruit trucks from #Lebanon and hidden underground in #Qatif, near #Alkhboar.
That day, I was with a group of journalists in #Kuwait waiting for a #US heli to take us to a #Saudi base for a briefing related to the situation with #Iraq. We waited for half a day. After #Alkhobar, US military disconnected for the next 72 hours. [Pic: briefing; Kuwaiti desert]
Read 6 tweets

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