Posts tagged ‘War on Terror’

August 6, 2011

Let’s get rid of terrorism! – by Ailia Zehra

by Ailia Zehra


It has been rather disturbing how sectarian violence is badly dominating our society. Persecution of Ahmedi and Shia Muslims is at its peak. 

If we analyze the situation deeply, It seems it is a planned game to destabilize the country, by creating differences among its people.
Pakistan today is engaged with a guerrilla war and its importance in

December 23, 2010

A post on how to bring to end the conflict in Afghanistan – by TLW

by admin

Specially contributed to the LUBP, this post was first published at These Long Wars blog

Pakistan, Iran and Russia. The middle one completely hated by the US, the former and latter, sort of trusted. Russia must bring pressure to bear on it’s guys, remnants of the Northern Alliance, the Iranians have influence with the people who control Herat, and Pakistan has some very obvious links with the Taliban. All three agree, they don’t fight once the US leaves.

Chinese money is already in Afghanistan.

I don’t think they want to annex Afghanistan.

But the Chinese would like “stability” in Afghanistan.

India can continue to build roads, electricity poles,

Now there are a million things that could go wrong with a plan like this. The Order of Battle For Jihadi Islam Across the Durand Line covers the obvious suspects.

But as well as them, there are more people who can make things go off the rails.

1) The Pakistan military may either become expansionist (through it`s Taliban allies), the officers may be “swept along” by Taliban victories and want to let the Taliban move forward, or the Indian presence may be too provocative (prove to be an easy target), or the Indians may seem too powerful, and the Pakistanis just start attacking them wantonly, precipitating a Taliban drive for power.

2) Younger commanders on the ground start doing their own thing (killing opponents) whilst paying lip service to Mullah Umar (still in Pakistan). Sort of like how MQM sector commanders say they listen to their leaders at the top of the party, but kill local rivals nonetheless, physically strengthening the MQM’s position, whilst simultaneously threatening a larger war with either the government, the ANP or the PPP. The younger Taliban commanders could start killing off local rivals, threatening an escalation to a larger war.

3) The Americans may simply go apeshit at the prospect of peace at the hands of the Iranians and Russians. Although why they would scuttle this only as a matter of pride or irrationality is inexplicable, although expectable considering their past involving Iraq 2003.

4) There is also the fact that the success of the Taliban in Afghanistan was bought on the backs of regiments of Pakistani soldiers who were ordered to use their mechanised equipment, and provide close air support to the Taliban. It was this developed military approach that bought the Taliban success against the Northern Alliance. How easy or difficult would it be for the Pakistan Military to restart such a program, where they bought their equipment into Afghanistan and used it to pound the Afghan National Army until it collapsed?

There are possible answers to these troubling scenarios.

1) Pakistan has suffered multiple casualties at the hands of religious extremists; there may be little tolerance for more religious nutjobs to take the helm of Afghanistan, killing fellow Afghans AFTER the US withdraws.

2) The Afghan Taliban may keep themselves “together” (or as much together as a disparate guerrilla movement can) and the younger commanders may be reeled in by the now, very old, 90’s Taliban leadership, who *might* be feeling tired of war. That is a big *might*. Much of the senior leadership has fought in the Soviet-Afghan Jihad, the Afghan civil war, and now the US occupation of Afghanistan. They have faced down the Warsaw Pact, all manner of other Afghans and NATO. It just might be possible that they may be feeling tired of war. A wild card would be the question, would Pakistan provide the same sort of all around military support for a new drive by the Afghan Taliban? I will adress that as well.

3) The Americans cannot possibly be this stupid, as to toss away peace in Afghanistan, especially when they give the impression of being trapped there, and news leaking out constantly of them negotiating with the Taliban. Even fakers like the silly greedy “Mullah” Mansoor, of Quetta shopkeeping fame. Now the Americans are pounding the Afghan border and Khyber Agency in frustration, whilst the young commanders are quietly in hiding.

4) This is the hardest, would the Pakistan military bring in it’s artillery, tanks and close air support to aid the Afghan Taliban. You’re asking me to predict the future, and to be honest, maybe, one could hope that not this time around. The Pakistan military must be reminded of it’s mental limitations, it’s capacity for stupidity at every turn, and told to keep away from adventures in Afghanistan. For God’s sake, tell them to look at their casualty lists for just the last three years.

Peace in Afghanistan, and the regularisation of FATA’s status (possibly as a separate province, but also possibly as a place where regular law applies, that could join Pakhtunkhwa) must be made a serious, serious policy plank of the PML-N, the PPP, the ANP, the MQM and just about every Baloch political organisation that exists. Only together can they make the Pakistan military comply. I appeal to the PPP, the PML-N, the ANP, the MQM, and the electoral competitors of Balochistan to pressure and fight towards this. It is our future.

December 15, 2010

Obama and the Pakistan Dilemma -by Matthew Kaminski

by admin

America can’t win in Afghanistan as long as assorted Taliban insurgents find safe haven in Pakistan. That’s the no-brainer dressed up as revelation in leaks this week about the latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate regarding both countries.

The proposed solution is tidy, too: Lean on Pakistan to cut links to extremists in the tribal regions along Afghanistan’s eastern border and in southern Baluchistan, even as the CIA ramps up the number of covert drone strikes on those groups.

The assumption is that Pakistan can bring the extremists to heel at its pleasure. After all, the Pakistani military began nurturing Afghan and other jihadists in the 1980s and has kept them on as “strategic assets” throughout the American long war brought about by 9/11. So, we think, if Islamabad cuts its support and makes life difficult for the jihadists, this unfortunate genie can be put back in the bottle. President Obama might even meet his self-imposed deadlines for drawing down the 98,000 American troops in Afghanistan.

This is all a useful fiction, maybe even a necessary one. American bribes, threats and pleas have prompted Pakistan into its own troop surge in the tribal regions. Over the past 18 months the Pakistanis have more than quadrupled their presence there, to 140,000, and have taken heavy casualties. Last year the Pakistani army cleared Swat Valley and South Waziristan, which had been overrun by militants.

Today’s White House review of the war, which comes a year into the Obama surge, will likely highlight such progress. The president can consider his administration’s spirited engagement with Pakistan a foreign policy success. Credit is also due to “bulldozer” diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who developed close relations with the Pakistani civilian leadership before his untimely death Monday evening.

But Pakistan hasn’t turned. The insurgents who kill American troops in Afghanistan—principally the Taliban, whose leadership is in Baluchistan, and the militants loyal to the legendary fighter Jalaluddin Haqqani in the tribal regions—operate all too freely from Pakistan. President Obama should note that, too, today.

The year ends sourly for U.S.-Pakistani military relations. American frustration with Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has grown over broken Pakistani promises and a perceived lack of urgency. Summer floods diverted Pakistani troops away from the tribal areas, but the military doesn’t have that excuse now. The Pakistanis have also denied American requests to expand drone coverage to the area around Quetta, the city in Baluchistan that is the heaquarters-in-exile of the Taliban.

Pakistani officials say that Gen. Kayani will move his forces into North Waziristan, the tribal region that hosts the Haqqani network, in his own time. Some 50,000 troops are said to be ready to go in. No one wants them to lose, but they could against Haqqani’s respected force. A U.S. official says, “We don’t want them to do it if they’re not ready, but we don’t want them to think it’s not important.”

The Pakistanis may have found a way out. Analysts here say that the military is giving Haqqani time to relocate to a neighboring tribal region, Kurram, before soldiers go in to “clear” North Waziristan. A U.S. defense official here says that he’s seen no evidence to back the claim. But in the past most insurgents have simply melted away in the face of Pakistani advances.

Haqqani also figures as a trusted ally in Islamabad’s plans for a postwar Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and some American officials are open to talks with the Taliban, if they bring peace in exchange for power sharing. Also, who knows, America may get fed up and pull out before it wins. With all that in mind, Pakistani leaders may protect Haqqani, their favorite “asset,” thinking he and his Taliban allies may get power in Kabul one way or another.

Instead of sending drones over Quetta, the CIA this summer was allowed to set up shop on the ground. Across Pakistan, several such “fusion cells” pair CIA operatives with officials from Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. A Pakistani official says that this takes courage, as “ISI officers are murdered for helping Americans.”

Many circles here welcome U.S. pressure on the military and state to act. Islamic extremists are putting down deep roots in society, to the consternation of educated and moderate Pakistanis. This goes well beyond the mountainous regions that are the traditional home to religious warrior tribes. The state is losing its grip on Baluchistan. The country’s largest city, Karachi, is a militant hotbed. Parts of all Pakistani provinces have been radicalized, including the most populous, Punjab. Terrorism now touches all Pakistanis.

Pakistan is becoming more like Afghanistan—only with a more advanced economy and nuclear weapons. The people who cross the porous border between them, an arbitrary line drawn up by the British in the 1890s—already consider them the same country. Pakistan’s military has yet to show that it wants to—or that it can—control the Islamist wave. Many groups have slipped their leash and look at their old patron, the ISI, with distrust.

Gen. David Petraeus, the American commander in Afghanistan, certainly has contingency plans for Pakistan that go beyond extra doses of drones or diplomacy. Putting American boots in Waziristan is an obvious idea. But, like so many options, it is unappealing. The fallout in Pakistan would be hard to predict.

So for the moment, America gets to pretend that Pakistan can do this on its own. A successful terrorist attack on the U.S. with a Pakistani return address might quickly change that.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

December 14, 2010

Pakistani media coverage of Daniel Pearl’s abduction and assassination in Karachi – by Kazim Aizaz Alam

by admin

American Journalist Daniel Pearl, beheaded in Karachi, Pakistan.


American journalist Daniel Pearl was killed in early 2002 in Karachi. This essay will review the coverage of the abduction and assassination of the Wall Street Journal’s South Asia bureau chief in Pakistani newspapers. It will also discuss the reasons behind the angled media coverage of Pearl’s assassination.

A brief background:

At the time of his beheading, Daniel Pearl was investigating the alleged links between Richard Reid – the “Show Bomber” – and Al Qaeda. [1]

With the help of a fixer, who was also a reporter for a local Urdu newspaper, Pearl had arranged a meeting with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, the “spiritual leader” of the “Show Bomber”. On January 23, he left for Village Restaurant in downtown Karachi. He was abducted on his way. [2] His arrest was claimed by a shady group that called itself “The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty”. The group said Pearl was a CIA agent and demanded that the United States should free all the Pakistani detainees at Guantanamo and release the withheld shipment of F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistani government.

Nine days later (February 1), Pearl was beheaded. His body was found on May 16 in 10 pieces on the outskirts of Karachi.

The videotape of his assassination was released on February 21, 2002, and was titled “The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl”. It was three minutes and 36 seconds long. [3]

Just before the beheading, the video shows Pearl saying: “My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel. Back in the town of Bnei Brak there is a street named after my great grandfather Chaim Pearl who is one of the founders of the town… Not knowing anything about my situation… not being able to communicate with anybody… only now do I think about some of the people in Guantanamo Bay must be in a similar situation… and I’ve come to realize that… We Americans cannot continue to bear the consequences of our government’s actions, such as the unconditional support given to the state of Israel. Twenty-four uses of the veto power to justify massacres of children. And the support for the dictatorial regimes in the Arab and left-wing world. And also the continued American military presence in Afghanistan.” [4]

Three people were arrested on charges of killing Pearl on February 6, 2002. [5] The mastermind of the plot, Omar Saeed Sheikh, surrendered to an ex-ISI official, Ijaz Shah, a retired brigadier-general of the Pakistan Army who was then the home secretary of the Punjab province, on March 5. [6]

Omar Saeed Sheikh: the mastermind behind Pearl's assassination

However, Shah kept Sheikh’s surrender secret and didn’t share the information with the police till March 12. Years later, on March 10, 2007, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, reportedly number three in the Al Qaeda hierarchy, claimed responsibility, before his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, for the murder of Daniel Pearl. He said, “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan.” [7]

Pearl’s Assassination and the Pakistani print media:

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the role of the Pakistani media during, and in the aftermath of, the Daniel Pearl abduction was highly regrettable. The mainstream media portrayed Pearl as a Jewish American, affiliated with the CIA, and even Mossad, who was investigating the clandestine nuclear proliferation network of the Pakistani state. [8]

Jews are always in danger in Pakistan. That’s no secret, and the people at the Wall Street Journal, Pearl’s parents, sisters and wife knew well that his Jewish identity had to be kept secret. Till January 27, i.e. three days into Pearl’s abduction, nobody in the Pakistani media knew Pearl was Jewish. The Wall Street Journal had “made it a priority to keep Judea and Ruth Pearl [Daniel Pearl’s parents] out of view and to convince the American media not to mention Danny’s background.” [Pearl, 100]

On January 27, the front page of the largest newspaper of Pakistan, Jang, printed Pearl’s photo with an Urdu caption. It said that Pearl was suspected of being a Mossad agent and of having ‘relations’ with the Indian intelligence agency, RAW. [Pearl, 101]

This was a disaster. Not only the revelation of Pearl’s religious identity was likely to turn the public opinion against him, it could also possibly encourage his abductors to believe that he indeed was a Mossad/RAW agent.

The Pearl family was upset over this insinuation of the Pakistani press, and his wife, Mariane Pearl, noted in her book that “In this part of the world, it’s bad enough to publicly identify somebody as Jewish. To say he is a member of Israeli intelligence – of the hated Mossad – is tantamount to signing his death warrant. Not only does Arab-Israeli tension fuel the anger, but it is widely believed that Mossad has been supporting India against Pakistan in Kashmir.” [Pearl, 101]

In addition to the Jew-Mossad-CIA-RAW connection, Pearl received further bad press because of the fact that he, along with his wife, was staying in Karachi with a female friend and colleague from Wall Street Journal, Asra Q. Nomani. Nomani was an Indian-born Muslim who grew up in West Virginia. [Pearl, 7] She was staying in Pakistan to complete research on her book.

Being the South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, Pearl was based in Mumbai, India. Staying in a house with an unmarried woman of Indian origin meant more controversy for a person of Jewish faith belonging to the United States, especially when he had been suspected of being a Mossad agent by the largest newspaper of a conservative Muslim country like Pakistan.

Writing in the January 30 edition of English-language The News, the sister publication of Jang, Pakistan’s top reporter Kamran Khan said, “Some Pakistani security officials… are privately searching for answers as to why a Jewish American reporter was exceeding ‘his limits’ to investigate Pakistani religious group [sic]. These official [sic] are also guessing, rather loudly, as to why Pearl decided to bring an Indian journalist as his full time assistant in Pakistan, Ansa [sic] Nomani, an American passport holder Indian-Muslim lady who had come from Mumbai to Karachi with Pearl, [and] was working as his full time assistant in the country. The same group of officials is also intrigued as to why an American newspaper reporter based in Mumbai would also establish a full time residence in Karachi by renting a resident [sic]. ‘An India based Jewish reporter serving a largely Jewish media organization should have known the hazards of exposing himself to radical Islamic groups, particularly those who recently got crushed under American military might,’ remarked a senior Pakistani official.” [Pearl, 147]

The duplicity of Pakistani reporters doesn’t stop here. The same Kamran Khan, who fumed over Pearl’s ‘nosiness’ and Jewish background in a Pakistani newspaper on January 30, wrote another story along with Molly Moore for The Washington Post on the same day under the headline “Kidnappers Set Elaborate Trap For Journalist.” [9]

Khan didn’t say anything about the Jewish factor or Indian connection in his Post story.

Khan’s reason for writing for Pakistani and foreign readers with different angles is not difficult to understand. While no respected foreign publication would allow virulent commentary on its pages, Pakistani reporters don’t want to lose any opportunity to win brownie points with the military either.

Writing two stories for the domestic and international media with different angles was easy to get away with in 2002 when the Internet wasn’t widely available to Pakistani readers. But with the emergence of powerful social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and a hyperactive blogosphere in Pakistan, few mainstream journalists are now likely to succeed in playing on both sides of the fence.

In addition to trickery and deception, another factor behind the media’s lack of sympathy for Pearl was the alleged pressure from the ISI that according to many people tried to hamper independent investigations into Pearl’s murder. A case in point is Bernard-Henri Levy’s book on the subject. Levy is a French investigative reporter who wrote a 450-page book titled “Who Killed Daniel Pearl?” The book is a remarkable piece of investigative journalism. Levy’s findings are too many, and too long, to share here. But given the scope of the essay, quoting a few references to the Pakistani media from his book wouldn’t be out of place.

Levy said when he reached the office of Jang to meet journalist Hamid Mir, he was rudely told off. Although Levy had already talked to Mir and had an appointment with arguably the most influential journalist of Pakistan — who is the official biographer of Osama bin Laden and has interviewed the Al Qaeda chief before as well as after 9/11– Mir harshly accused Levy of working for western interests and refused to talk. This was in stark contrast with the polite tone of Mir on the phone just a few hours ago. Levy detailed in his book how he felt the presence of ISI spooks in the office. He asserted that within a few hours between the phone conversion and his arrival at Mir’s office, the ISI had ordered Mir not to talk to him. Hence the cold shoulder and sudden allegations of working on a foreign agenda. But on the other hand, Levy praises in the following words probably the only Pakistani journalist who bravely took up the case of Pearl: “Shaheen Sehbai, the courageous editor of the Karachi News threatened with death by the secret service for going too far on, precisely, the Pearl affair.” [Levy, 9]

Levy quotes an editorial from weekly Zarb-e-Momin, without giving the date of publication, wherein a religious leader warns the government that should the rulers give in to the “American Zionists”, the whole nation will rise up in protest. [Levy, 438]

Levy quotes another newspaper that published the “declaration” of a most senior mufti of Pakistan, Nizamuddin Shamzai, the rector of Binori Town Mosque, that condemned “treacherous non-proliferation treaties that the Zionist enemy is imposing” on Pakistan. The mufti called the likely signing of the treaty by the government an act of “high treason,” a “non-Islamic” action and “a rebellion against the commandments of almighty Allah.” [Levy, 439] Levy wonders if there is any other country in the world where a bomb has gained importance in religious terms.

Conclusion:

There is little that suggests that the Pakistani print media (there were no private TV channels at the time) played a positive, let alone neutral, role in the Pearl case. Mariane Pearl’s utter disgust for the Pakistani media can be felt by her reaction when the crime reporter for Jang approached her for the abduction details.

“I distrust all the Pakistani press, which seems to have no tradition of objectivity or neutrality… [the crime reporter] is doing a poor job at disguising the fact that Danny’s abduction represents a real scoop for him. He intends to make his mark with this story… I see [him] turn into a vulture, with his little eyes emptied of all humanity.” [Pearl, 67-68]

Works Cited
[1] Time Magazine. On the Trail of Daniel Pearl. Deren Fonda. December 2, 2010.

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,490640,00.html

[2] In the Line of Fire: A Memoir, Pervez Musharraf, Simon and Schuster, 2006, December 2, 2010.
[3] The Guardian. Body parts believed to be of murdered US reporter. Rory McCarthy. December 2, 2010.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2002/may/18/pressandpublishing.pakistan

[4] Wretch.cc. December 2, 2010.

http://www.wretch.cc/video/f0806449k&func=single&vid=5836976

[5] The Guardian. Pakistan holds three as net closes on US reporter’s kidnappers. Rory McCarthy. December 2, 2010.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2002/feb/06/pressandpublishing.pakistan

[6] Wikipedia. Ijaz Shah. December 2, 2010.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ijaz_Shah

[7] Jurist. Militant convicted of Pearl killing to rely on KSM Guantanamo confession on appeal. December 2, 2010.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/03/militant-convicted-of-pearl-killing-to.php

[8] The BBC. Pearl ‘killed over secrets’. December 2, 2010.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2989053.stm

Pearl, Mariane. A Mighty Heart:The Brave Life and Death of My Husban Danny Pearl. 1st ed. Scribner, 2003. December 2, 2010.
[9] The Washington Post. Kidnappers Set Elaborate Trap For Journalist. Kamran Khan and Molly Moore. December 2, 2010.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2002-01-30/news/0201290594_1_karachi-police-daniel-pearl-pakistani-islamic

Levy, Bernard-Henri. Who Killed Daniel Pearl? 2nd ed. Melville House Publishing, 2003. December 2, 2010.

Source:

December 12, 2010

Pakistan "not willing " to obliterate terrorist havens on its soil: US intelligence report

by admin

Related article:

Online factories of suicide bombers: An ISI production

Amrullah Saleh, who led Afghanistan’s spy agency from 2004 until earlier this year, told a Washington conference Thursday that the key to defeating the Taliban is cutting off its support from Pakistan.

“Demobilize them, disarm them, take their headquarters out of the Pakistani intelligence’s basements,” Saleh said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, in no uncertain terms, castigated Pakistan for using terror as a tool to fulfill its political objectives.

Addressing a joint press conference with visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Merkel said Germany would extend its fullest cooperation to India in battling militancy.

She added: “Our intention is also to talk to Pakistan to make clear that terror is not a means to an end when it comes to helping solve political problems. It is unacceptable and that Germany will cooperate with India very closely in this particular area.”

The German Chancellor said that during her one-to-one talks with the Indian Prime Minister and the delegation-level talks that followed, the situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region was discussed in great detail, as also the future of enhancing security in South Asia.

Pak not willing to destroy terrorists’ havens:

Meanwhile New U.S. intelligence reports paint a bleak picture of the security conditions in Afghanistan and say the war cannot be won unless Pakistan roots out militants on its side of the border, according to several U.S. officials who have been briefed on the findings.

The reports, one on Afghanistan, the other on Pakistan, could complicate the Obama administration’s plans to claim this week that the war is turning a corner. But U.S. military commanders have challenged the conclusions, saying they are based on outdated information that does not take into account progress made in the fall, says a senior U.S. official who is part of the review process.

The analyses were detailed in briefings to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, and some of the findings were shared with members of the House Intelligence Committee, officials said.

All the officials interviewed spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the classified documents.

The reports, known as National Intelligence Estimates, are prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and used by policymakers as high up as the president to understand trends in a region. The new reports are the first ones done in two years on Afghanistan and six years on Pakistan, officials said. Neither the director’s office nor the CIA would comment on either report.

The new report on Afghanistan cites progress in “inkspots” where there are enough U.S. or NATO troops to maintain security, such as Kabul and parts of Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Much of the rest of the country remains Taliban-controlled, or at least vulnerable to Taliban infiltration, according to an official who read the executive summary.

The report contains public opinion polling that finds Afghans are ambivalent – as willing to cut a deal with the Taliban as they are to work with the Americans, the official said.

It also shows U.S. efforts are lagging to build infrastructure and get trained security forces to areas where they are needed, the official said. And it says the war cannot be won unless Pakistan is willing to obliterate terrorist safe havens in its lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.


The new report on Pakistan concludes that the Pakistani government and military “are not willing to do that,” says one U.S. official briefed on the analysis.

The document says Pakistan’s government pays lip service to cooperating with U.S. efforts against the militants, and still secretly backs the Taliban as a way of hedging its bets in order to influence Afghanistan after a U.S. departure from the region.

In describing the Afghanistan report, military officials said there is a disconnect between the findings, completed in the fall, and separate battlefield assessments done by the war commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, and others that contain more up-to-date and sometimes more promising accounts.

A military official familiar with the reports said the gloomier prognosis in the Afghanistan report became a source of friction as a preliminary version was passed among government agencies.

Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged the contrast between the Afghan estimate and Petraeus’ reports.

“It’s a very disciplined, structured process, so it’s got a cutoff date that’s substantially earlier in the game than, say, the military review,” Cartwright said in a recent interview.

While the intelligence assessments show the Obama administration may still be struggling to change Pakistani behavior, former Obama war adviser Bruce Riedel disputes the hypothesis that the war cannot be won if Pakistan doesn’t close terrorist sanctuaries.

“If the U.S. continues to strengthen the Afghan state and army, that may force Pakistan to reconsider its support for the Taliban,” said Riedel, a former CIA officer and author of the forthcoming book, Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of the Global Jihad.

December 4, 2010

Leaks disclose secrets of in-camera sessions; is Pakistan really playing double game?

by admin

“It’s a bombshell,” says the historian Timothy Garton-Ash in a Guardian video on the released of the cables. “It’s the most extraordinary window into how American diplomacy works.”

Founded by secretive Australian Julian Assange, Wikileaks was originally based in Sweden and garnered 1.2 million leaked documents in time for its launch in January 2007. It taps in to the world’s web users’ desire either for justice or revenge on former employers or acquaintances, but its most significant stories have been held up as largely in the public interest.

The leaks are actual transcripts of messages exchanged among various governments. The founder of WikiLeaks did not conceive, concoct or formulate them. WikiLeaks are based on actual facts and ground realities and we including our military and civilian leadership know this very well.

According to recent dispatches from WikiLeaks besides its diplomatic disclosures, has also disclosed the secrets of in-camera sessions of the parliament pertaining to Kashmir and extremist elements in Pakistan, Geo News reported on Saturday.

In its disclosure, WikiLeaks, citing an anonymous source, has stated that ISI informed the parliamentarians and senior officials of the government about some qualities of Taliban elements. The spy agency also informed them about real extremists.

In the briefing, it was stated that some elements in the extremists’ groups would be useful in Kashmir or operation at some other places. The source said that there was difference of opinion among the participants of the in-camera session over this.

Earlier Wikileaks reveals Pakistan’s support for Taliban and the videos and report’s findings accuse the Pakistani establishment for playing double game, now a question is whether the Pakistani Establishment is playing double game? Or we believe on state’s stance that Pakistan is not supporting Taliban and it is a wrong notion.Let’s see one video(Wikileaks on the Pakistani double game) and related reports and try to examine what Wikileaks and foreign media really suggest and claim?

The revelations by WikiLeaks emerged as Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of greater NATO casualties in Afghanistan as violence mounts over the summer.

It also came as the Taliban said they were holding captive one of two U.S. servicemen who strayed into insurgent territory, and that the other had been killed. The reported capture will further erode domestic support for America’s 9-year-old war.

Contained in more than 90,000 classified documents, the Wikileaks revelations could fuel growing doubts in Congress about U.S. President Barack Obama’s war strategy at a time when the U.S. death toll is soaring…

Pakistan was actively collaborating with the Taliban in Afghanistan while accepting U.S. aid, new U.S. military reports showed, a disclosure likely to increase the pressure on Washington’s embattled ally.

The US military has launched an inquiry to find the source of tens of thousands of classified American documents on the war in Afghanistan that were leaked to the media (they’re from the US military, duh!) .

Wikileaks reveals Afghan civilian deaths – Thousands of secret military documents have been leaked, revealing details of incidents when civilians were killed by coalition troops in Afghanistan.

The cache contains more than 90,000 US records giving a blow-by-blow account of fighting between January 2004 and December 2009.

Wikileaks documents show Pakistan and Taliban link , Afghanistan war logs: our selection of significant incidents
and Key findings from the WikiLeaks “Afghan War Diaries” -

•The C.I.A.’s paramilitary operations are expanding in Afghanistan
•The Taliban has used portable, heat-seeking missiles against Western aircraft
Americans suspect Pakistan’s spy service of guiding Afghan insurgency

Mapping US drone and Islamic militant attacks in Pakistan
Daily View: WikiLeaks’ Afghanistan war logs
Wikileaks Afghanistan files: every IED attack, with co-ordinates
Wikileaks founder defends war files leak

Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It

Obituary:Benazir Bhutto – Benazir Bhutto followed her father into politics, and both of them died because of it – he was executed in 1979, she fell victim to an apparent suicide bomb attack.
Her two brothers also suffered violent deaths. Like the Nehru-Gandhi family in India, the Bhuttos of Pakistan are one of the world’s most famous political dynasties. Benazir’s father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was prime minister of Pakistan in the early 1970s.
His government was one of the few in the 30 years following independence that was not run by the army.

Report: Bin Laden Already Dead and Who’s keeping the terror myth alive?

Guardian.co.uk – one of the titles that was given access to the files before publication and collaborated with WikiLeaks in interpreting them – has a wide range of text and video coverage, a comprehensive map and a snappy video of the Frontline press conference.

What Taliban leader could tell about ISI: Classified By: Anne W. Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b) (d) Feb 26, 2010

American anxiety over the fate of Mullah Brader, a Taliban leader captured in Karachi in February 2010. A court decision preventing Brader’s extradition to Afghanistan comes amid renewed anti-American hostility in the media. The Americans speculate that the Pakistanis might swap Brader for a Baloch nationalist leader hiding in Kabul, but feel he ‘knows too much’.

The Beradar arrest was raised at a February 24 tripartite meeting of FBI Director Robert Mueller, Minister Rehman Malik of the Pakistan Ministry of Interior, and Minister Atmar Hanif of the Afghan Ministry of Interior in Islamabad. There was no agreement from either side about the transfer of “wanted persons.”

In the meeting, Malik provided a list of Pakistan’s Most Wanted to Atmar, and requested the same from Atmar. Malik named one of the Most Wanted, known Baloch separatist Bramdagh Bugti, and asked Atmar to assist in locating the individual and returning him to Pakistan. Malik also stated that both countries had expressed interest in passing prisoner lists naming the nationals of one country being detained by the other country. Atmar said his government did not know where the Baloch separatists were located and would need more information from the GOP (Government of Pakistan) to find them.

December 1, 2010

WikiLeaks unmasks who are our real puppet-masters?

by admin

Related articles:

US embassy cables: Pakistani army chief hints at unseating Zardari

Wikileaks on General Kayani and his ‘democratic’ puppets

General Kayani allowed US special forces to secretly operate in Pakistan

U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks make perfectly clear and straighten out Pakistan’s [strange] civil military relations, exposes various political conspiracies, the power of its army, it’s role in politics and alleged human rights abuses. It illustrates the supremacy of our unrepresentative institutions and control over representative institutions.It also confirms the [un]democratic intentions of various political stakeholders. And unmasks especially those [behind the scene]characters who are calling the shots? So, WikiLeaks documents confirm what we, as a nation, already know.

According to the Independent report: “But on the larger themes and broader issues, the cables offer only confirmation rather than surprise. “
“The diplomatic cables only serve to confirm what people have been worried about, especially in regard to the US fears about our nuclear assets.”

Here are some features and high points from the messages which appeared on Britain’s Guardian newspaper website, as well as some frame of reference on key issues covered in them.

Zardari feared coup, named sister as successor if assassinated:

* According to a cable from U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson dated Feb. 9, 2009, Zardari had raised the issue of his personal security in a meeting in Karachi.

“Zardari revealed that, if he was assassinated, he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as President,” said the cable.
President Asif Ali Zardari had spoken to former US ambassador Anne Patterson in 2009, saying that he had instructed his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to name his sister Faryal Talpur as President if he is assassinated.

In another cable quoted by the newspaper, US Vice President Joe Biden recounted to Britain’s then Prime Minister Gordon Brown a conversation with Zardari last year. Zardari told him that Kayani and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency “will take me out,” according to the cable.


Separately, President Zardari had told the then British foreign secretary David Miliband that his men (army officers and ISI) were keeping him unaware about critical information.

Pakistan army’s plan to oust Zardari:

The general at the top of Pakistan’s army proposed to topple President Asif Ali Zadari during internal wrangling last year, WikiLeaks has revealed.
General Ashfaq Kayani, floated the idea during meetings with the US Ambassador in March 2009 as thousands of supporters of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif took to the streets.

Cable sent by Ambassador Anne Patterson on March 12, 2009.

The ambassador had met Army chief Ashfaq Kayani on March 10 before a long march by lawyers on March 12 in a political crisis that threatened Zardari’s government.

Another memo cited in The New York Times quotes General Ashfaq Kayani, chief of the military, telling the US ambassador during a March 2009 meeting that he “might, however reluctantly,” pressure Zardari to resign.
Kayani was quoted as saying that he might support Asfandyar Wali Khan, leader of the Awami National League Party, as the new president — not Zardari’s arch-nemesis Nawaz Sharif.

Zardari felt lonely and threatened, said Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai once told a US Senate delegation that the Pakistani president felt “lonely, threatened and under siege” and urged the senators to secure strong US support for Asif Ali Zardari, says a cable released by WikiLeaks.

In a meeting with Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham in Dec 2008, Mr Karzai stressed the importance of US support for the Pakistan president,


calling Mr Zardari “a good man who wants to free his country from extremists”.

The Afghan president noted that he had an excellent relationship with Mr Zardari and felt the two had a special rapport, adding that “never in 60 years of Pakistan`s history have we had such good bilateral relations”.

Mr Karzai described how, when he arrived in Istanbul for trilateral talks in Dec 2008, Mr Zardari called him directly and asked to meet him privately before their official meeting the following day.

Mr Zardari came to Mr Karzai`s room where they chatted over dinner for hours, “covering all topics imaginable”.

Mr Zardari believed he received too little support from the international community, the Afghan president said. Mr Karzai explained that India was still wary because of historic enmity with Pakistan; Russia withheld its support because Pakistan had helped the Afghans defeat the Soviets; China disapproved of Mr Zardari`s close relationship with the US; and the Arab countries wouldn`t support him because he wasn`t “one of them”.

ISI chief conspired against Zardari:

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik had told then U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson that it was not chief of army staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani but ISI chief Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who was hatching conspiracies against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The U.S. embassy cables revealed that Mr. Malik sought an urgent appointment with Ms. Patterson in November 2009 and said that Gen. Pasha was hatching plots against Mr. Zardari, adding that the president needed political security, The News International reported.

However, Ms. Patterson was certain that the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) could not do it alone.

In yet another cable, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden told then British prime minister Gordon Brown about a conversation he had with Mr. Zardari in 2009.

Mr. Zardari told Mr. Biden that Gen. Kayani and the ISI “will take me out”, according to the cable, which added that Mr. Zardari had made extensive preparations in case he was killed.

Gen Kayani foiled US plan for civilian control over Army:

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani used the Pakistani civilian government for military purposes from behind the scenes and very effectively foiled the US plan to ensure civilian control over the military under the Kerry-Lugar Bill, according to a confidential diplomatic dispatch of the US embassy in Paris to the State Department on January 22, released by Wikileaks.

State Department cables: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH KAYANI AND PASHA ABOUT
Wednesday, 07 October 2009, 13:31
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 002427
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 10/06/2019
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PTER, PK
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH KAYANI AND PASHA ABOUT
KERRY-LUGAR
Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S) Summary: Ambassador heard a number of complaints about the Kerry-Lugar bill from COAS General Kayani and DGISI Pasha in a two-hour meeting October 6. These focused on the history of Pressler sanctions, particularly a fear that the waiver in Kerry-Lugar would not be used and aid would be suspended. There were several clauses in the bill, such as an American assessment of civilian control over military promotions and the chain of command, that rankled COAS Kayani. DGISI Pasha said Kayani was receiving criticism on the bill from the Corps Commanders. Ambassador emphasized the bill’s long-term commitment to Pakistan and made three points: provisions of the bill could be waived; the bill only requires certifications and “assessments;” and the bill does not apply to the large amounts in the Pakistan Counter-insurgency Fund or Coalition Support Fund but only, so far, to non-appropriated Foreign Military Financing. Pasha and Kayani repeated that the Army had taken huge steps this year in its bilateral cooperation with the US and in its campaign in Swat and Bajaur and was getting little public (or private) credit from the US for these historic steps. Kayani said he was considering a statement on the bill, but he was struggling with what to say. He realized that Senator Kerry and Vice President Biden, the original sponsor of the bill, were among Pakistan,s best friends. He predicted the parliamentary debate would be tough, but in the final analysis the government controlled the agenda. Kayani said the language in the bill could undermine political support for the Army’s anti-terrorist effort.

Civilian, military planners have different views on India:

Leaked secret cables from the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, just after the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai, reveal a more complex narrative than that chronicled so far.

The Pakistan government was willing to work with India; New Delhi was not painting Islamabad and the military nerve centre in Rawalpindi with the same brush, and the Europeans were initially keen on dousing any tensions that might have erupted.

The four WikiLeaks cables, though forming a narrow window, are a story of a missed opportunity for Pakistan to step up the friendship with India, being constructed through the comprehensive dialogue process.

“President [Asif Ali] Zardari, PM [Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza] Gilani and FM [Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood] Qureshi have made all the right public statements…Government of Pakistan is sending ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] chief M.G. Pasha to India to participate in the investigation…[Mr.] Zardari is meeting with appropriate Cabinet members to discuss further possible govt reaction and NSA [National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali] Durrani forwarded a message on the need to jointly fight militants that threaten both Pakistan and India.”

Pak Army overruled proposal to send Pasha to India post 26/11

Pakistan’s powerful Army had vetoed President Asif Ali Zardari’s proposal to send ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha to New Delhi that came on British insistence to calm down tensions with India following the Mumbai terror attack, a secret U.S. cable made public by WikiLeaks shows.

The confidential document shows that the then British Foreign Secretary David Miliband had called Mr. Zardari, asking him to send the ISI chief to India, to which the President readily agreed. He, however, was overruled by the Pakistani Army led by General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

Mr. Miliband described Major General Pasha as a welcome “new broom” and expressed U.K. support for ISI reform.

Mr. Zardari said the new ISI leaders were “straightforward” and their roles were proscribed by the constitution, but it would take time for real conversions.

Robert Brinkley, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, and Mr. Miliband pressed for Pasha to go to India, said a U.S. cable issued by its Embassy in Islamabad on December 1, 2008.

“Zardari gave Brinkley a long answer about various levels of directors in ISI but finally confirmed that the Army had vetoed the decision to send Pasha. Zardari told Miliband that it might be possible to send NSA Durrani, as he outranked Pasha,” it said.

The President said it would not be possible to send Pasha immediately as he needed to work public opinion first, the cable said.

According to the cable, the British diplomat passed the same intelligence information about LeT to Zardari that they previously had passed to the ISI.

“Zardari’s response was positive; he said ISI had to follow up and this was an opportunity. He criticised the Indians for statements that pushed Islamabad to make a defensive response and ‘made my job harder’

“Zardari said he thought it was not possible that terrorists could have launched attack boats from Karachi and the operation could not have been implemented without insider help from Indians,” the cable says.

In the conversation with Mr. Miliband, Mr. Zardari said he saw the attacks as an “opportunity to strike at my enemies”.

The attack, he said, was aimed as much at Pakistan as at India, but India had reacted in an unfortunate way.

“Miliband said that public messaging would be particularly important to link the Mumbai atrocity with Zardari’s own campaign against militants,” it said.

Mr. Zardari told Mr. Miliband that “my people” had not brought specific information to him about the individuals named in the information passed to ISI (on the day before).

Mr. Miliband said that LeT needed to “feel the full force of the law”.

“Zardari responded by saying he was setting up special courts, was contacting all political parties, and would take action immediately,” the cable said.

According to the cable, Mr. Zardari commented that he had a gut reaction that the attacks were the beginning rather than the end and went on to talk about Muslim-Hindu differences and attempts to split India.

“He urged the UK to push back on New Delhi and calm the situation. Mr. Miliband said they would do so, but India needs to see real action from Pakistan.

“India was asking for short-term actions, and this could buy some time for the Government of Pakistan,” it said.

Mr. Miliband later called Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and said he wanted to make sure that he saw the intelligence passed to ISI.

“He pressed that India needs actions not words from Pakistan. Mr. Qureshi said he would follow up on the intelligence but reiterated the GOP request for the U.K. to counsel restrain on the part of the Indians,” it says.

The U.S. Embassy cable signed off by the then U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson said that overall, the Pakistani public remains in denial about any culpability for the Mumbai attacks and believes India is unfairly and prematurely accusing Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif says, we are Pro-American and his pary ‘tipped off’ Mumbai terror group:

1. (C) Summary. During a meeting with Ambassador January 31, Nawaz Sharif confirmed…. As proof of his pro-Americanism, Nawaz reminded Ambassador that he had overruled his Chief of Staff to deploy Pakistani forces with the U.S. coalition in the first Gulf War.

2. (C) Ambassador and Polcouns met former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif January 31 for an hour during Nawaz’s recent visit to Islamabad. PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also attended the meeting.

8. (C) The best thing America has done recently, said Nawaz, was arrange to have General Kayani named as Chief of Army Staff. This appointment is helping Army morale and raising the level of public respect for the Army. Noting that Musharraf met the UK equivalent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Khan said the U.S. and the UK need to stop treating Musharraf as if he still ran the military. CENTCOM Commander Admiral Fallon would have met with Musharaf if the President had not been travelling, asserted Khan. Ambassador replied that we had excellent relations with the Pakistani military and meet them all the time at various levels.

WikiLeaks cables relay allegations that Nawaz Sharif’s government in Punjab province helped the group responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks evade UN sanctions.

Pakistan’s president alleged that the brother of Pakistan’s opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, “tipped off” the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) about impending UN sanctions following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, allowing the outfit to empty its bank accounts before they could be raided.

Saudi Arabia wants military rule in Pakistan:

King Abdullah and ruling princes distrust Asif Ali Zardari, the country’s Shia president, and would prefer ‘another Musharraf’.

Oil power Saudi Arabia gained vast influence in the region when it, along with Pakistan and the United States, began backing the anti-Soviet mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Saudi Arabia, a vital U.S. ally, still has clout in the region. Apparently it consider’s itself one of our master.

* On Nov 20, 2007, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, boldly asserted during a meal with a U.S. diplomat:

“We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants.”

Pakistan continues to support Mumbai terror attack group:

Pakistan continues to support the militant group which carried out the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai despite its claims to have launched a crackdown on the organisation, the United States Ambassador to Islamabad wrote in a cable.

The cables also laid bare US frustrations at what officials see as Pakistan’s refusal to cut off ties with extremists such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for carrying out the bloody 2008 siege of Mumbai.
“There is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance levels in any field as sufficient compensation for abandoning support for these groups, which it sees as an important part of its national security apparatus against India,” Ambassador Anne Patterson said in a cable quoted by the Times.
The cables also touch on allegations of extrajudicial killings by Pakistani forces, according to the Times.
A cable last year suggested there was credible evidence that the or paramilitary forces killed some detainees after an offensive against Taliban insurgents in the northwestern regions.
The embassy said that news of killings should not be leaked to the press, for fear of offending the Pakistani army. However, this year the United States said it would cut off support for some Pakistani units following the release of a video that appeared to show extrajudicial killings.

US worried over Pakistani nuke material:

US diplomatic memos also reveal Western concerns that terrorists might get access to Pakistan’s nuclear material and American scepticism that Islamabad will sever ties to Taliban factions fighting in Afghanistan.

Washington’s frustration with Islamabad and the struggle in Pakistan between the country’s military and political leadership, analysts say the public disclosure of the cables will not damage relations between the two countries.

Despite massive US aid, anti-Americanism rampant in Pakistan:

America is viewed with some suspicion by the majority of Pakistan’s people and its institutions. While the Army remains fixated on India as Pakistan’s mortal enemy, the common man (and most importantly the youth) is just as likely to point to America as the nation which has twisted Pakistan’s collective arm, leaving it weak.

Pakistan quietly approved drone attacks, U.S. special units:

On the record, Pakistan has persistently criticized the United States’ use of unmanned drones to attack militant hideouts in its mountainous border region.
But diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that in private the Pakistani government was not unhappy about the strikes and secretly allowed small groups of U.S. Special Operations units to operate on its soil.

The Pakistani military is not simply an arm of government. It is by far the most supreme and soverign institution in the country. Defence accounts for 5 per cent of the Government’s budget. The military also receives billions of pounds in US aid. It controls Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal. It oversees the intelligence infrastructure. It also determines foreign policy especially with countries such as America and China. It holds veto rights on any peace initiatives with India.

For that reason the Chief of the Army Staff is arguably the most powerful person in the country.

December 1, 2010

Leaks show US government always knew that Pakistan was misusing US taxpayers' money -by Dr. Azeem Ibrahim

by admin

The deal President Bush struck with Pakistan’s General Musharraf seemed straightforward enough: Pakistan would fight terrorists, and the US would pay for it. Islamabad promised to train, equip, and deploy its army and intelligence service in counter-terrorism operations. Washington promised to reimburse it with billions of dollars in weapons, supplies, and cash. And so, over the last eight years, up to $22 billion of US taxpayers’ money flowed to Pakistan.

Last year I published a paper arguing that the results were nothing short of a scandal (download). There have been hardly any real counter-terrorism successes. The money has enriched individuals at the expense of the proper functioning of the country’s institutions. And it has incentivized a co-dependency between the two countries to which, the WikiLeaks cables now reveal, US diplomats admit.

Pakistan’s army is conditioned to regard its raison d’etre as defending Pakistan against India. Never mind that its foreign ministers meet each year, the last skirmish between the two was over a decade ago, and the last war much earlier. The idea that it should now spend money on fighting terrorists – many of whom of course are Pakistani – did not sit easily with them.

So they ignored it. Much of the US taxpayers’ money was spent on conventional weapons which are useless against terrorists. As I revealed in the paper, it spent $200 million on an air defense radar system even though the terrorists in the frontier region have no air capability. It spent $1.5 million to repair damage to Navy vehicles even though they have no navy, either. $15 million was spent on bunkers that were never dug, $30 million paid for roads that were never built; $55 million to maintain helicopters that were not, in fact, maintained, and $80 million per month for soldiers to fight during periods when there was a cease-fire.

For most of this period, the US Department of Defense was given certain — albeit insultingly limited — information about this expenditure, and signed it off.

At the same time — the Pakistani army seemed to remain badly equipped. One reporter found the Pakistani Frontier Corps “standing … in the snow in sandals,” another found soldiers wearing World War I-era pith helmets and carrying barely functional Kalashnikov rifles carrying “just 10 rounds of ammunition each.”

The deal, it was clear, had not worked. The US was paying, but Pakistan was not fighting in any serious way.

My report was sent to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well as the National Security Council and State Department. I assumed such revelations would be controversial. After all, up to $22 billion of taxpayers’ money had been at best misspent, at worst stolen. It is not a headline that any government or population is normally particularly happy about hearing.

So imagine my surprise when last month, the Obama administration announced another generous package of aid to Pakistan with no strings attached — pouring more money into the black hole.

Well, this week it became clear why my previous report did not evoke a stronger reaction. And the truth is, in a way, even more alarming than the details of Pakistan’s misuse of US taxpayers’ money. The reason lawmakers did not seem surprised by the revelation was that they already knew exactly how badly your money was being spent. They just didn’t want to tell you.

The WikiLeaks files reveal that Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Kayani allegedly admitted to US diplomatic personnel that most of the funds the US had given to Pakistan for military purposes — amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars — had been ‘diverted’ to the federal government. This ‘diversion’ sounds like a polite way to refer to something which most people would call theft. Back in 2007, US diplomats already knew about multiple instances where this had happened, or where the claims that Pakistan made for reimbursement had been seriously inflated: $26 million was claimed for barbed wire. After spending $335 million on medical care and a fleet of 26 helicopters, the troops at the frontier still had no medical rescue service.

The leaks also show us who knew what, and when. It seemed that in January 2009, when the flows of funds from the US to Pakistan slowed down, General Kayani gave an explanation to General Petreaus as to why Pakistan kept needing more. The reason he gave? The federal government had taken it.

In an ideal world, the result of these revelations would be that taxpayers’ money would stop being misused like this. But I think that in the current political climate, that is actually far too ambitious. Any politician who suggested such a thing would be accused of being soft on terrorists. And so I think that in the short term, the best we can hope for is that the American public begins to understand what the government is doing with their money in Pakistan, and that we have a debate about whether it is the right way to spend it. I would be intrigued to hear anyone argue that it is value for money.
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