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December 20, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8423

Pakistan's Islamist Urdu Daily Alleges Israeli Influence In Saudi Arabia, Says Pakistani Military And Government Leaders Thwarted 'Zionist' Conspiracies

December 20, 2019
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 8423

On December 17, 2019, Pakistan's leading Islamist Urdu-language newspaper, Roznama Ummat, published a front-page report, in which it alleges that Pakistani government leaders have foiled attempts by Israel and Israeli firms to influence the rulers of Saudi Arabia.

The title of the report is "Pakistan alerts Saudi [Arabia] about Israeli conspiracies – Zionist companies establishing feet in the Kingdom were active to have [former Pakistan Army chief] General Raheel and Pakistani forces sent back; the objective is to break up Saudi Arabia and cast dirty eyes on the Holy Places [i.e. the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina]."

General Raheel Sharif, Pakistan's army chief from 2013 to 2016, serves as the commander-in-chief of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition, a 39-nation alliance of Muslim countries headquartered in Riyadh. Pakistani armed forces are also stationed in Saudi Arabia to provide security to the Saudi royal family.

Following is the text of the Roznama Ummat report:

"Pakistani Officials Informed The Saudi Crown Prince And Other Officials That This [Israeli] Conspiracy Has Been Hatched To Endanger The Existence Of The Saudi Government And State"

"Jeddah (special representative): The local religious circles here are caught in a unique concern over the increasing, silent influence and reach of Israeli institutions. The Saudi government is taking advice in many matters from Israeli companies whose leading positions are held by senior officers of Israeli secret institutions. These [officers] are helping the government to keep eye on the increasing religious unease against the government and those members of the royal family who are unhappy with the decisions of the Crown Prince [Mohammed bin Salman].

"Important sources say these very Israeli officials had even tried to warn the Saudi crown prince that the appointment of General Raheel Sharif as the commander of the Muslim nations' military coalition and to give the responsibility of training the Saudi armed forces was not a correct decision because Pakistan's military institutions have a long history of dismissing civilian governments and of establishing their own government.

"And if such influences enter the Saudi armed forces, then the royal family's rule could face a threat from their own militaries. Therefore [it was advised by the Israeli officials] that it is better that General Raheel Sharif be sent back and someone else be given his position [as the commander-in-chief of the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition].

"Diplomatic sources say that the government of Pakistan and its military became aware of this conspiracy. Immediately therefore, [the current Pakistani] army chief General [Qamar Javed] Bajwa visited the United Arab Emirates [on December 14, 2019,] and Prime Minister Imran Khan Saudi Arabia [also on December 14, 2019, for his fourth trip to Jeddah since May 2019] and thwarted this conspiracy.

"According to sources, Pakistani officials informed the Saudi crown prince and other officials that this conspiracy has been hatched to endanger the existence of the Saudi government and state because if the squads of the Pakistan military and General Raheel returned [to Pakistan], then no strong military force will remain in the region to defend the state of Saudi Arabia. And this is what Israel wants so that by spreading chaos and civil war in Saudi Arabia not only it break the state into pieces but also to bring the Holy Places into the path of internal conflicts."

[The Presence In Saudi Arabia Of Former Pakistan Army Chief] "Raheel Sharif And The Pakistani [Military] Squads Are Needling Like A Thorn In The Eyes Of Israel And America"

"For this objective, Israel can instigate many such tribal conflicts that can destroy the Saudi stability in days. According to the [unidentified] sources, Pakistani officials also gave some important evidence in this regard to the Saudi authorities. However, the sources declined to reveal details about these [the evidence]. The sources say that Raheel Sharif and the Pakistani [military] squads are needling like a thorn in the eyes of Israel and America.

"Pakistani armed forces are a major obstacle to blackmailing the Saudi government or to projects for likely alterations to the borders of the Saudi state. According to the sources, General Raheel, exasperated by these conspiracies, wanted to return home. However, he was told by the Pakistani [military] institutions and the government at the higher level that his presence in Saudi Arabia is essential for the protection of the Holy Places and Saudi state and for the Pakistani interest; therefore, he should not abandon his front.

"However, the sources say that the government [led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman], speeding on the path of progressive thought, faces the real threat from those decisions with whose aid it wants to change the mindset of the Saudi society and through these it wants to break the current of ulema [Islamic scholars], organizations, institutions, and thought.

"According to a diplomat, a state whose foundation is based on religion, the blind attempts to bring Western culture and progressive thought in the place of religion are tantamount to demolishing the state. And the crown prince himself is doing this job. The diplomat's analysis is that if there is any threat to the Saudi government and state, it is from those decisions which cause the expansion of people's restlessness. If this restlessness was not rid of, then any external enemy can, benefiting from it, stoke fire."

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