Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran’s Arms Are in Pakistan and it Has Established Hundreds of Sectarian Universities and Cultural Centres | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hezbollah train

Iran has sought to expand its influence in Pakistan where people did not often differentiate between Shiites and Sunnis and they intermarried without objections on the grounds of doctrine before Khomeini’s revolution in 1979.

However, since the advent of the Khomeini revolution Shitte mullahs have started to talk a lot about injustice and the necessity of taking control of Pakistan by force. Iran has sought to establish cultural centres in all major cities in Pakistan and have sent representatives to manage them over the past 35 years. Iran has also established 300 Shiite seminaries in various Pakistani cities.

Iran has established 54 sectarian universities in Pakistan that work to attract Shiite students and to give them scholarships to study in Iran. The Iranian government has granted thousands of Pakistani Shiites Iranian citizenship annually in order to use them in Iran’s expansionist policy. Iran has also encouraged Shiites who dominate the media in Pakistan and supports them financially and there are now more than five television channels that are pro-Iran.

Lebanese Hezbollah sent a group of fighters to train Shiite fighters in Iran after the war in Lebanon in 2006 and after the people’s revolution in Syria, the Revolutionary Guards recruited thousands of young Pakistani Shiites known as the Zanbion Brigade which controls the Al-Hamidiyah Souq and Sayyidah Zaynab areas in the capital Damascus.

The area of Pakistan is approximately one million square kilometres and has a population of nearly 200 million people which include people of different ethnicities, sects and religions and the Pakistani constitution represents all religious minorities of Pakistan in parliament where there are seats for Hindus Sikhs, Christians and Qadianis who are considered a non-Muslim minority in Pakistan. However, Pakistani law does not differentiate between Muslims despite differences in schools of thought and sects.