Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran Seeks to Form a Military Force in Pakistan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An Iranian border guard is seen at Pak-Iran border. (AFP)

Riyadh – Pakistani MP Abdul Karim Bakhesh warned that Iran is trying to extend its power in Pakistan.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Bakhesh said that Tehran is aiming to influence the Pakistani political arena through hosting prominent political and religious figures and fund Shi’ite institutions.

The MP explained that Iran provided 4,000 scholarships to Pakistani students last year. The number of Bloch students in Iran reached over 22,000, mainly of Sunnis.

According to the MP, Iran sought methods to mislead the public through funding parties that don’t seem to be linked to Iran.

Pakistani sources added that Iran created a special operations room in Zahedan, 500 Km from Pakistan.

They said that Iran also activated it cultural office in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, and started providing food supplies and monetary aids to families.

Over 35 years ago, Iran established cultural centers in all major Pakistani cities and sent delegates to run these centers and recruit personnel.

Iran and Pakistani Shi’ites also established about 300 Shi’ite religious institutions in different Pakistani cities.

Between 2002 and 2013, Iran built 54 secular universities in Pakistan that attract Shi’ite students of all majors and grant them scholarships.

In addition, Iranian government granted thousands of Pakistani Shi’ites the Iranian citizenship and used them in its expansion projects.

There are over five TV channels that are loyal to Iran with Iranian government funding a number of journalists and media outlets.

After 2006, Iran sent a group of members of the so-called Lebanese Hezbollah to train Pakistani Shi’ite members in a tribal area called Parachinar.

After the Syrian revolution against Bashar Assad regime, the Revolutionary Guards recruited thousands of Pakistani Shi’ites in Zaynabeyoun brigade that is located in Damascus, Syria.