Enunciating the AfPak Strategy, President Obama, emphasised "the role of India and Iran, to deal with terrorism," with its epicentre in Pakistan. He named it as the 'Contact Group' which has been assigned "the big task." What exactly is the task, needs to be examined, in the context of the geo-strategic changes, which have occurred during the last thirty years in this region, creating a new security paradigm, for Pakistan and its neighbours. The cataclysmic events, which took place in our region, since 1979, together have created effects, creating new geo-political realities. Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the eight years War of Liberation; the Iranian Islamic Revolution and eight years long Iran-Iraq War; the first Gulf War; Occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by the Americans and the Allies, and the ongoing war of attrition, have created new Centres of Power, competing with each other to carve-out a space for themselves, hence the clash of interests, and the machinations of the dominant power - United States of America to accentuate such conflicts to their advantage. The Centres of Power are: The Islamic Resistance: The Resistance grew out of the Afghan War of Liberation, waged by the mujahideen, drawn from all over the world. This covert war, was conducted by CIA and ISI, in a most overt manner and succeeded in forcing the Soviets out of Afghanistan. When the Soviets withdrew, there were "over sixty thousand hardened freedom fighters drawn from seventy countries of the world" and another forty thousand came from Pakistan. They all returned to their lands, except Osama and his followers, who were not allowed to go back, because they were considered too dangerous. They were betrayed and became the non-citizens of the world, turning their guns on United States whom they considered as the betrayer. This power base has a global reach, playing its due role in the existing wars of liberations, from Chechnya to Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir. It's the "Shadow Army led by committed believers" and has defeated the mightiest of the mighty, during the last thirty years. The Islamic Resistance, in fact determines the contours of the emerging world order and acts as the arbiter, for establishing the peace paradigm from Iraq to Kashmir. The ISI Syndrome: The eight years Afghan War of Liberation provided the window to the ISI to demonstrate its prowess and potential to out-smart the CIA, in the conduct of the covert operations. In the process, it developed contacts with foreign freedom fighters, thus gaining global reach. The Americans were over-awed by the new-found capability of the ISI and acted to cut it to size. In 1989, they forced the PPP government to disengage ISI from Afghanistan, which they did, losing valuable contacts in Afghanistan. In 1994, again the PPP was forced to purge the ISI by removing over 100 officers and men, including two dozen directors and deputy directors, depriving it of the very valuable years of expertise and experience. Thus, it turned inwards, concentrating more on domestic politics. In 2003, when the invading forces had fully occupied Afghanistan, General Musharraf gave a free hand to the American marines, CIA and the FBI to operate in the bordering tribal areas of Pakistan, while the ISI was kept out. Taking advantage of the 'free-hand', the CIA and the FBI softened-up the entire border belt, creating a number of agents and support groups, assisted by the huge spy-network, India meanwhile had created, in Afghanistan, against Pakistan and the neighbouring countries. In 2004, Musharraf was led to believe, that the two attempts on his life, near Rawalpindi, were made by the 'mastermind' in Waziristan. Musharraf took the bait, and out of vengeance unleashed the army on Waziristan, with consequences, Pakistan continues to suffer till today. Prior to 2004, our tribals did not fire even a single bullet towards Pakistan. They are loyal Pakistani and remain so even now, despite all the brutality committed on them. The change came in 2008, when the democratically elected government, decided to induct the ISI, into the tribal areas, pushing out the American marines, CIA and the FBI, which caused great concern to the Americans, hence the blame on ISI and the demand from President Obama, for ISI to severe all connections with the freedom fighters or else. This is a long order, which cannot be met. The myopic view ignores the patent reality that ISI is the bastion of our strength and any attempt to cut it to size would be perilous for Pakistan. If you want to know the answer why it cannot be done, visit the Pak-Afghan borders, where hundred thousand Pakistani troops are deployed to check and control the movement. The Shia Crescent has emerged as a new power base, extending from Iran to Iraq and the Shia minority areas of the Gulf region and Pakistan, with a definite role and interest in the region. The Americans are now trying to woo Iran and make them partners with India, as the 'Contact Group' to help establish American power and influence in the region. In 2005, USA entered into strategic partnership with India and declared Afghanistan as part of South Asia, with intent to establish Indian hegemony over the areas from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka and "to contain and curb the rising power of China and the Islamic Resistance." The task would have been easy for the Contact Group, had there been no 'Pakhtun Power'. As described by the advisor to Obama - David Kilcullen: "A Greater Pakhtunistan, straddling Pakistan to Hindukush Mountains, is unacceptable, and therefore dialogue with Iran is indispensable, recognising the legitimacy of its aspirations to play a regional role." The Pakhtun Power, draws its strength from the Islamic Resistance, Pakhtun Nationalism and Pak-Afghan national ethos. The spirit of defiance, which rose from this area has defeated the mightiest of the mighty during the last thirty years. In fact Pakhtun Power forms the core strength of the Islamic Resistance. It is essentially Sunni in outlook, and belongs to Pakistan, as much as to Afghanistan, as a factor of unity. The Americans want the Shia Crescent to be pitched against it and India has emerged as the willing partner to accomplish the mission. No doubt, the "Iranians and the USA have some common interests in strategic stability" - Holbrook, but the Iranians certainly do not have such "common interests" with USA to seek confrontation with the Pakhtun Power, sharing common history and heritage. "The American policy is now coming down the road like a monster struck," thus, "Pakistan faces a double threat from Al-Qaeda and the United States," said a renowned columnist. The New York Times report says: "Zardaris' Days are Numbered," is a malicious and crude attempt to brow-beat Zardari who has already struck a deal with the tribals in Swat and Bajaur, and will soon extend it to Waziristan and Balochistan. He is winning, supported by the ISI. This is his first line of defence. His second line of defence is the Pakhtun Power, the core strength of the Islamic Resistance. Zardari is not the man to be cowed-down. He is winning, and will complete his tenure of five years. The New Great Game, the United States and their allies want to play with the help of the Contact Group, is destined to fail because, the Islamic Resistance, the Shia Crescent and the Pakhtun Power, draw their strength from the trio - i.e. Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, sharing common values, traditions and history, as a factor of unity. History is a witness to the fact that it is not in the bones and marrows of any of these self-respecting nations to accept servility. In fact these three elements of power, reflect the inner strength of the Trio and the bond of unity, shaping into a union, as the bastion of power of the Muslim World, thus achieving the essential elements of "Strategic Depth" - to provide depth of security, interests, values and traditions. A thought which was a dream in 1988, is shaping into a reality Thanks to global aggressors, the Soviet Union, the United States of America, the European Union and the allies, who made it possible. Allah be praised. The writer is a former chief of army staff E-mail: friendsfoundation@live.co.uk