Posts tagged ‘ISI’

July 15, 2012

Ali Dayan Hasan (HRW Pakistan) recants statement against ISI

by ravezjunejo

Ali Dayan Hasan at IPSMM2012

The newly appointed Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence may have attained an understated and unsung victory for his intelligence agency considering the recent and highly surprising statement by Human Rights Watch‘s Pakistan head Ali Dayan Hasan that the ISI may not be involved in the Saleem Shahzad murder AT ALL!

Mr Hasan made this statement at the recently concluded India-Pakistan Social Media Mela held at a local hotel in Karachi.  He was invited as a speaker for the session titled ‘Negotiating complexity: human rights and social media.’

Apart from his condemnation of ‘trolls’ (read his notoriously egotistical irritation on being questioned by critics in general and Twitter activist @Laibaah1 Marri in particular) on social media, Mr Hasan said “My position and HRW position is clear. We never say that he was killed by the ISI. Who killed him has to be determined by an independent probe.” Could we be correct in considering this latest statement by Mr Hasan a recanting of the previous allegations that HRW has made, all but implicating the ISI in carrying out the Saleem Shahzad murder?

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March 23, 2012

Apple Polishers

by admin

Challenges ahead for new DG ISI

THE new Director General ISI, General Zaheerul Islam who took over charge on Monday faces critical challenges ahead at the national scene and particularly in view of the situation on our borders. In this challenging environment unfortunately a segment of the society, media as well as some politicians have made the country’s premier intelligence agency a subject of uncalled for criticism, ridicule

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February 25, 2012

Adiala angels, Baloch bodies and Punjabi conscience — by Abbas Zaidi

by admin

The difference between the Adiala Seven and the hundreds of Sangats is that the former are Punjabis and Deobandis and the latter are Baloch and secular. The Punjabi conscience is hurt when a Punjabi is tortured even if he belongs to a terrorist organisation

“Monday’s appearance in the Supreme Court (SC) of the missing Adiala prisoners,” wrote a columnist, “was a reminder

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September 24, 2011

Punish ISI, not Pakistan – by David Rohde

by admin

Related post: 7 Months, 10 Days in Taliban’s Captivity: Story of David Rohde

Help Pakistan rein in the ISI
Source: Reuters

Admiral Mike Mullen’s blunt declaration on Thursday that a Taliban faction known as the Haqqani network was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s military intelligence agency is a welcome shift in U.S. policy. After a decade of privately cajoling the Pakistani military to stop its disastrous policy of sheltering the Afghan Taliban, the United States is publicly airing the truth.

Pakistan’s top military spy agency, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), supported the Haqqanis

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September 24, 2011

On Rezaul Hasan Laskar’s dubious reporting from Pakistan

by admin

Embedded in the narratives of Pakistan's military establishment and urban elite

Update: After critical comments by Laibaah, Mr. Rezaul Hasan Laskar was a part of an ugly campaign to get her account banned on Twitter.

Rezhasan Rezaul Hasan Laskar
Dear all, this is a request: kindly report @Laibaah as spam to #Twitter. her latest tweet describes me as spox “of ISI and Taliban”. folks i think it’s about that time when we should seriously think of reporting @Laibaah as spam to #Twitter. I’m going to start.

https://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/fourth-suspension-of-laibaahs-twitter-account-by-almadar-mengal/

Will Mr. Laskar agree with the silencing of his own voice from Twitter or media only because some of his readers may not agree with his reports and narratives? A media person must never be a part of a campaign to curb free speech.

********

Critical readers of Pakistani and international media are aware of how certain foreign correspondents based in Pakistan are carefully sucked into pro-military establishment narratives by a tight network of urban (seemingly liberal) writers and activists, who remain very soft on Pakistan army/ISI while very harsh on politicians and the civilian government.

For example, read this post: Foreign journalists in Pakistan: Embedded in the narratives of military establishment and urban elite

Indian journalist Rezaul Hasan Laskar is one such journalist who is commonly seen in Islamabad and also

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January 24, 2011

Colonel Imam’s execution: Another epitaph for ‘strategic depth’

by admin

The death in custody of retired ISI officer Colonel Amir Sultan, alias Col Imam, who had been abducted by the Taliban early last year, points, once again, to the blunder of ‘strategic depth’ as national policy towards neighbouring Afghanistan. Some reports have ‘Taliban sources’ saying that he died of a heart attack, but his mentor General (retd) Hamid Gul says Col Imam was never a heart patient and that he had been killed by Indian agents and

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December 30, 2010

We never asked you to investigate the role of ISI and MI in Benazir Bhutto’s murder

by admin


Here is a latest example of the notorious Teen Jeem Alliance (the pro-military establishment alliance of Pakistan’s judiciary, army and media).

This news item was carefully censored or de-prioritized by most newspapers and TV channels in Pakistan.

According to daily The Nation:

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Rawalpindi, (ATC-III), sent the former police chief of Rawalpindi Syed Saud Aziz and former SP Rawal Town Khurram Shahzad to Adiala Jail on 14-day judicial remand after setting aside the Federal Investigation Agency’s request to extend their physical remand for nine more days in Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.
The court also issued show-cause notice to FIA Assistant Director Asghar Jatoi on account of writing a letter to Interior Ministry mentioning in it that the court ordered the agency to investigate ISI and MI officers in BB’s murder case. However, the FIA officer immediately tendered his apology with the court. The FIA had presented two former top cops before the court of Rana Nisar Ali Khan.

According to Sana News:

During the course of hearing ATC took strong notice of letter written by Assistant Director FIA Asghar Jatoi to the Interior Ministry in which Asghar Jatoi claimed that court has instructed FIA to investigate from intelligence agencies (ISI and MI). The court observed that why FIA used court name illegally whereas court never ordered to hold investigations from the officials of these agencies. Court said that this court has no jurisdiction to issue orders in this regard.

It may be recalled that only three days ago, on 27 Dec 2010, the following was reported in Pakistani and international media:

Pakistan may widen the scope of investigations into the killing of former premier Benazir Bhutto to probe the possible involvement of some intelligence officials in the plot.

The investigations into the assassination are likely to be expanded to unveil some faces who have so far been out of picture, the Dawn reported.

The paper said the move to widen the investigation is likley to be ordered as three years of probe have failed to unravel the conspiracy of who killed Bhutto.

“So far little conclusive evidence has emerged about who planned or perpetrated the assassination, or under whose ultimate authority the crime scene investigation was so mismanaged,” the paper said on the third anniversary of the gory killing of the charismatic leader.

The probability of probing intelligence officials, the paper said had been thrown up after the arrest of the two former police officers who have told investigators that some intelligence officials were in contact with them on the fateful day of December 27, 200

The Federal Investigation Agency obtained on Thursday six days’ physical custody of former chief of Rawalpindi city police Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad to recover the cellphones they were using on the day the former prime minister was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh

Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters after the court proceedings that arrested officers had informed the investigators that four officers of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence had been in contact with them.

But he said that their names could not be disclosed now because it was yet to be ascertained in what context they were in contact with the accused.

If concrete evidence was found against the intelligence officers they would be included in the investigation.

The FIA investigators said in the court that forensic tests of the cellphones were needed to ascertain who had been in contact with the two police officers on the day of Benazir’s assassination.

Advocate Zulfiqar said that phone data would help the investigators to know if other elements were also involved in the murder.

He said the police officers had given divergent statements about the cellphones and the numbers used by them three years ago. First they said they had lost the phones and later claimed that these had broken up.

The two police officers were brought to the court without handcuffs in a van with windows covered with newspapers.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had a few months ago formed a three-member committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary Chaudhry Abdul Rauf, which excluded from inquiry some top military officials who allegedly ordered the hosing down of the assassination site. The inquiry report, however, has not been made public.

The UN commission on Benazir’s assassination had accused MI’s former director general Maj-Gen Nadeem Ijaz and some top police officials of being behind the hosing down of the site.

The joint investigation team has prepared the 32-point questionnaire for the former president.

Interior ministry sources said the document contained questions relating to security lapse and asked the former president why he did not provide adequate security to Ms Bhutto although she had expressed fears about threats to her life. Gen (retd) Musharraf’s spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said the former president had nothing to do with the security of Bhutto. He termed the government’s move to send the questionnaire to Gen Musharraf an attempt to politicise the case and damage him politically.

Here is an Urdu version of the news report from daily Express which confirms how the court admonished the FIA for “misusing” court’s name by suggesting to interrogate the ISI and the MI in Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.


December 28, 2010

An account of invaluable services of the ISI to the nation – by Muhammad Ali

by admin

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency members of whom were found guilty of raping more than 35000 women in East Pakistan. 1386 members of the famous ISI were recommended to be trailed in the Hamood ur Rehman Commission’s report.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which made millions of petro-dollars in the Afghan War. Tempering the myth of Jihad was an easy job on hand with lush green dollars. General Akhtar Abdul Rehman and Hameed Gull exported children of poor helpless mothers for the Jihad e Afghanistan when their own sons were studying in the United States.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency that sold Stinger Missiles received as an aid in the black market. Upon an inspection, the Ojhri Camp blasted out bringing the doom’s day for the citizens of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which holds the prestige of looting the nation via Mehran Bank Scandal. Lt. Gen Asad Durrani the then DG ISI alone made 1.6 billion in the filthy trade.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which took clothes off the Baloch Women. Zarina Marri, a Baloch school teacher was abducted by the ISI and gang-raped, she was further used as a humiliation tool for the Baloch Nationalists.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which is involved in the human trade. General Pervez Musharraf exclusively explains in his books the norms of human trafficking. 500 U.S. dollars was the rate of each Pakistani citizen sold to the U.S. That included Dr Aafia Siddiqi and several others.

There is a lot more to say about the “Prestigious and Patriotic” role of he ISI but these facts might not ruin the show of our clowns in the blog-sphere.

“ISI is committed to defending our borders.”

ISI, the Inter Services of Intelligence, an agency which only holds political scandals on its credit sheet. ISI has on numerous occasions tried to subvert the elected governments. ISI is the name of a filthy political player.

ISI managed to create IJI, a right wing alliance to counter the Leftist Pakistan Peoples Party though an alliance of the Pakistan Muslim League and several religio-political parties including the Sipah-e-Sahaba, Jamaat-e-Islami and others. For this purpose, ISI used state money and resources to bring the fundamentalists on political front.

ISI tried to over-throw the elected government of Benazir Bhutto via Saudi riyals. ISI distributed huge sums of money in the right wing politicians to buy loyalties of pro-Benazir Bhutto parliamentarians.

ISI distributed millions in right wing politicians in order to ensure their victory against Benazir Bhutto.

ISI rigged the elections 2002 to ensure the victory of its divine master Pervez Musharraf. The ISI chief Lt. General Ehtashnm Zameer later confessed the fact in the Pakistani media.

A lot more can be written on what ISI’s real role is, but the clowns of the establishment in Pakistan’s mainstream and alternative media might find it hard to ruin their show.

I will just give a glimpse of what “ISI has done to protect the borders of Pakistan.”

ISI briefed the MO branch on the possible reaction of the Indian side on the Kargil Adventure. According to ISI India will at the most move forward with Special Operatives and try taking back the Tiger Hill. There are rare chances of application of artillery as India would try not to agitate Pakistan. Role of Air Force or Navy is beyond possibility grounds. India will never look forward to a full scale war. All these fables of ISI were flushed to gutter when India respond to Kargil drama with full might and Pakistan Army had to accept the bodies of it’s soldiers with humiliation.

Pakistan is under attack but by whom?

Pakistan is under attack by the filthy politically motivated generals of Pakistan Army and its political and jihadi operatives.

All the terrorists today were given birth by the Pakistan Army in early 1980s under the Riyal-Dollar umbrella. These mujahhideen of the past have turned blood sucking beasts of today’s Pakistan and Afghanistan. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis go in the credit sheet of Pakistan Army.

Today Balochistan lies at the brink of demise. Thanks to Pakistan’s myopic generals, Balcohistan now does not see a way back. The genocide and rapes in Balochistan have yielded perfect results, Balochs are not ready to forget the humiliation they were served with.

“Ahmed Qureshi is a Patriotic Pakistani”

Yes Ahmed Qureshi, the ISI’s stooge in Pakistani media (along with other more refined operatives who keep on reinforcing the military establishment’s narrative on Taliban, India, drone attacks, politicians etc) is patriotic to the extent that he spends days and nights making up stories which have no farthest connection to reality.

In the words of this patriot:

“Yes we need to create more fake stories that appeal to the audience, like the one created about the Israeli Primer David Ben Gorian to have more guys attracted towards Pakistan.”

Sorry LUBP is not that patriotic we publish which is the truth!

“You people will be liable for high treason when a revolution comes”

I guess the clown brigade is once again looking forward to the politically and financially corrupt generals of the nation.

Let us prepare some lushing medals for Pakistan Army as their achievement sheet does not seem to end. Even a glimpse is hectic to watch:

1. Land Grabbing: The colonial tradition of land grabbing by military officers continued unabated during the past three years.

a) 111 armed forces men have allotted to themselves at least 400 or more kanals each of prime land in Bahawalpur and Rahimyar Khan districts, heart of Punjab, “to defend it from the enemy,” at the throw away rate of Rs 47.5 per kanal, while the real price in those areas ranges 15,000 to 20,000 rupees per kanal. Thus 35,000 kanals of land were distributed among 111 military men in one case alone. Theypaid 1,662,500 rupees at the nominal rate of 47.5 rupees per kanal, while the real price comes to 700 million rupees.

The list includes the names of:

· General Pervez Musharraf, Current President, 400 kanals in Nouabad village, Yazman, Bahawalpur.

· General Moinuddin Haider, Current Interior Minister, 400 kanals in Chak DB/43.

· General Aziz, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, 400 kanals in Chak DB/44.

· Lt. General Khalid Maqbool (Current Governor Punjab), 400 kanals in Chak 54/p.

· Major General Muzaffar Usmani (Later promoted to Lt General and retired recently as Deputy Chief of Army Staff Musharraf), 400 kanals in Chak 93/p.

· Lt. General Muhammed Afzal Janjua, 400 kanals in Chak 54/p

(i) 64 serving and retired officers of colonel to general rank got 400 kanals or more. They include:

10 Generals, 9 Lt. Generals, 16 Maj. Generals, one Admiral, one Air Marshal, 18 Brigadiers, 5 Lt. Colonels and 3 Colonels.

They paid 19,000 rupees for 400 kanals of land worth 400,000 rupees at market ratesif the land is unirrigated. The value of irrigated land in these areas is much higher.

(ii) 47 non-commissioned officers also got plots of agricultural land measuring 200 kanals or less.

Many of the generals have already sold their lots earning millions of rupees in profit at market rates, while others have turned into feudal lords with hired labor toiling for them.

b) Former Chairman of national Accountability Bureau Lt. Gen. Muhammed Amjad was allotted a 2-kanal (1000 sq. yd.) plot in Lahore, with a market value of 10 million rupees, against mere 800,000 rupees payable in 20 years. Invested in Defense Saving Certificates, those 800,000 rupees would multiply to 225 million rupees. He immediately sold half of the plot for 4.5 million rupees earning a profit of 8.2 million rupees on one plot.

c) General Musharraf has acquired a commercial plot, with the market value of 20 million rupees, in Defense Society, Lahore, for mere 100,000 rupees that he will pay in installments spread over 20 years. The General has neither showed this piece of land in his assets, nor sold it. If 20 million rupees are invested in the Defense Saving Certificates, they would grow up to about 500 million rupees. He owns several plots in other localities with a total market value of 200 million rupees. He has gifted a house with a market value of 20 million rupees to his daughter, which he has not shown in his assets. The 400 kanal agricultural plot that he got in Bahawalpur is also not mentioned in his assets.

d) The ISI has forced Environment Minister Shahida Jameel to allot 100 acres of land in the Margalla Hills National Park, one of the big attractions of the capital city. The agency wants to construct a new and “safe” Headquarter as well as, quite intriguingly, a housing colony for its officers. An official summary generated by Barrister Jameel’s ministry has been sent to President Pervez Musharraf, for an urgent decision. Initially the Environment Ministry response was one of alarm, as giving away 100 acres on these hills would almost destroy the whole area as a natural park, which needed to be preserved. When the ISI bosses learned about it, they immediately contacted the Minister and “convinced” her about the immediate need of 100 acres. The lady, naturally, could not resist the pressure. Again, the Generals would grab the best pieces for their homes.

e) Another 100 acres is being selected in Bahawalpur for the outgoing Naval Chief. Defense officials’ teams have been seen visiting Bahawalpur to select these 100 acres, while an offer had also been made to the outgoing Chief to become Pakistan’s Ambassador to Tunisia. The Chief wants to be Ambassador to France and his argument is that his force has a lot to buy from France, like the Augusta submarines his predecessor Admiral Mansurul Haq bought.

f) In a report, after a random check of 4 out of 11 military estate offices in 2000 –2001, Director General of Audit of the Defense Services has found close to five billion rupees loss caused by misuse of land, mismanagement and encroachments. According to an analyst, “the report is an outright indictment of the military, as it not only shows the monumental size of the lands acquired, but also the losses being caused are gigantic, compared to peanuts for which politicians are persecuted day in and day out.”

g) The Defense Housing Authority has been grabbing large chunks of valuable residential land at nominal prices around the country for the exclusive benefit of officers of the armed forces. For instance, in January 2001, the Sindh Governor bypassed the Sindh High Court stay orders, and permitted sale of highly valuable 200 acres of coastal land along Clifton, Karachi, at embarrassingly low rates to Defense Housing Authority. The land valued at market rate of Rs. 4,000/- per square yard was sold to Defense Housing Authority at Rs 20/- per square yard. Thus, the governor caused a staggering loss worth billions of rupees to the exchequer! An acre contains 4840 square yards. The real cost of 200 acres, multiplied by 4,000 per sq. yd. comes to 3.872 billion rupees

2. Defense Purchases: The submarine purchase scam involving Mansurul Haq is only a tip of the iceberg. Many more such deals with heavy kickbacks are hidden in the military closets. A large of deals for purchase of tanks, submarines, mine hunters, Mirage aircraft and army jeeps were signed through the Army Welfare Trust, Sheen Foundation and Bahria Foundation. It is estimated that various military officers pocketed commissions totaling 5.7 billion rupees in these deals.

a) A former NAB Chairman is reported to have written to the three service chiefs to provide records of certain arms deals, but NAB still awaits an answer.

b) The records could provide proof to the allegation that a former air chief Abbas Khatak received three million dollars (180 million rupees) in the purchase of 40 old Mirage aircraft for 120 million dollars. He is also accused of receiving kickbacks in deals for French missiles and Italian radars.

c) Another former air chief Farooq Feroze Khan is suspected of receiving 5 percent commission on purchase of 40 F-7 aircraft for 271 million dollars.

d) In 1996, Army bought 1047 GS-90 jeeps at 20,889 dollars per jeep, while the market price of the jeep was 13,000 dollars. NAB sources have been reported saying that some senior army officers pocketed 8.5 million dollars (510 million rupees).

e) The British Inland Revenue Services wrote a confidential letter to the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) in Islamabad to confirm a payment of five million pound sterling (450million rupees) in commission to an Islamabad-based Pakistani citizen who had acted as an intermediary between the British agent of an American company and the Pakistan Army for an 80 million pound sterling deal.

When summoned to the CBR in Islamabad for confirmation about the payment he had received from London, the Pakistani agent stunned the then chairman CBR Moinuddin Khan by acknowledging, unhesitatingly, that he had received the amount mentioned in the letter.

This shadowy businessman soon dropped a bombshell by disclosing that he got only 200,000 (2 lakh) pounds from the total payment of five million pounds (50 lakh pound) while the remaining amount was distributed among four senior officers of the Army. He also provided an actual breakdown of the payments and impressed upon the then CBR chairman that the then Chief of Army Staff had personally authorized the contract, meaning the COAS was also involved in corruption.

Within next few days a retired major general, who was the former Director General Weapons and Equipment (DGW & E) at the GHQ and had structured the deal with the American company through its British agent, approached the top CBR official and briefed him as how the disclosure and any probe into this deal would jeopardize the national security interest of the country.

After a flurry of activities between the CBR and some retired military officials, the CBR shelved the matter. This controversial deal is understood to be in the knowledge of the present military set-up, but there is nothing on the ground to suggest that it is being probed afresh

Around June/July this year, Pakistan Army awarded a contract for purchase of 1000 Hino trucks at $40,000 per truck, while the Gandhara Industries had offered Isuzu truck of same specifications at $25,000. As per standard procedures for bulk military purchases in Pakistan, no international tenders were invited but tender documents were sent to four pre-selected companies for procurement of 1,000 5-ton 4×4 trucks (ammunition carrier vehicle) by the director general military purchase on April 10. Gandhara Industries sources dispute the Army’s claim that their vehicle was not approved as 5-ton ammunition carrier. The Isuzu trucks were delivered to the Army for extended trial in February and after two months of trials the vehicle was finally short-listed and approved as 5-ton ammo carrier at the GSEEC meeting held on April 13. However, the top brass made final decision in favor of the Hino trucks. The loss to the national exchequer in this deal, at the rate of $15,000 per truck amounted to $15,000,000 (900 million rupees).

g) Pakistan Army’s purchase of more than 3,000 Land Rover trucks in 1995 had also generated controversy with the allegation that the owner of Sygma motors, which had supplied the vehicles, was closely associated with the then chief of general staff of the Pakistan Army. Corruption amounting to 2 billion rupees is alleged in that deal.

h) The Field General Court Martial (FGCM) sentenced former Naval Intelligence Chief Commodore Shahid to 7 years of hard labor, but former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Fasih Bukhari wrote off his sentence after three months, which he had spent in the comfort of his home. It is believed he was freed after he threatened to disclose many more shady deals including a 250 million dollars purchase of mine sweepers.

i) In April 2001, the Public Accounts Committee ordered court trial of 22 corrupt officers of Garrison Engineers (Army) Rawalpindi for causing over a loss of over one billion rupees to the national exchequer with dubious purchases and embezzlement. Defense Ministry officials present at the PAC hearing opposed publication of the culprits’ names, whereupon senior PAC member Lt. General Talat Masood (retd.) admonished them and said that hidden faces involved in corruption must be exposed.

A lot more will be provided on demand.

In the meanwhile, let us salute the saviors of the nation before we are beheaded by the patriot brigade!

December 28, 2010

Qari Saifullah Akhtar, ISI's most valued asset, resurfaces in Punjab

by admin

About
Qari Saifullah Akhtar is a senior al Qaeda military leader who operates in Paksitan. Akhtar is the influential leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and commands Brigade 313, a unit in al Qaeda’s Shadow Army. Akhtar has direct links with Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al Zawahiri. Source. He is a graduate of the Deobandi Banuri madrassah in Karachi and is also a close affiliate of Fazlur-Rehman Khalil, Azam Tariq (slain leader of Sipah-e-Sahaba), Masood Azhar and Mufti Taqi Usmani.

Karsaz attack suspect resurfaces in Punjab – By Amir Mir

Source: The News, December 28, 2010

In a surprising development, Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the alleged mastermind of the October 18, 2007 twin suicide attacks on the welcome procession of Benazir Bhutto in Karachi, who had shifted his militant base to Waziristan in 2008, has resurfaced in Punjab as a free man.

However, the most astonishing aspect of his return is the fact that the fugitive ameer of the al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militant group Harkatul Jehadul Islami (HUJI) has actually been freed by the Punjab home department.

According to well-informed sources in the Pakistani security agencies, the Qari was being kept under house arrest at an undisclosed place in the Chishtian tehsil of Punjab since August 2010 and has just been freed — almost three weeks ago — in the first week of December.

The sources say Qari Saifullah had to abandon Waziristan, his birth place, after he was wounded in a US drone attack in the area. He subsequently travelled to Peshawar and then to Rawalpindi for treatment before being arrested and taken to Lahore.

He was eventually put under house arrest in Chishtian, only to be released recently. Interestingly, his release orders coincide with the third death anniversary of Benazir who had named the Qari in her posthumous book, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West, as a principal suspect in the attempt to kill her in Karachi, a few hours after her homecoming.

In her book, which was published in February 2008, Bhutto had narrated in detail the suicide attacks targeting her welcome procession as well as the involvement of Qari Saifullah Akhtar in the assassination bid.

She wrote: “I was informed of a meeting that had taken place in Lahore where the bomb blasts were planned… Three men belonging to a rival political faction were hired for half a million dollars…. However, a bomb maker was needed for the bombs. Enter Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a wanted terrorist who had tried to overthrow my second government. He had been extradited by the United Arab Emirates and was languishing in the Karachi central jail…. The officials in Lahore had turned to Akhtar for help. His liaison with elements in the government was a radical who was asked to make the bombs and he himself asked for a fatwa making it legitimate to oblige. He got one. The bomb blasts took place in the army cantonment area in Karachi.”

Subsequently, on February 26, 2008, the Qari was arrested by the Musharraf regime for the purpose of interrogation in the Bhutto murder, although there were many in establishment circles who believed that Qari Saifullah had actually been taken into protective custody by his spy masters.

The HUJI chief is generally considered a handy tool of the intelligence establishment. Whenever required, he is used and then dumped by his spy masters. Qari Saifullah was seized by the security agencies along with his three sons in Ferozwala, near Lahore. He was then grilled by a joint interrogation team comprising operatives from the Punjab Police, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Special Investigation Group of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Although, Qari Saifullah denied having played any role in the Bhutto murder, he did tell his interrogators that since his 2007 release, he had been in contact with former ISI chief Lt Gen Hamid Gul and two other army officers who had attempted to stage a coup to topple her government in 1995.

“I was in touch with Lt Gen Hamid Gul, Maj Gen Zaheerul Islam Abbasi and Brigadier Mustansar Billa,” Qari Saifullah said in a 35-page statement submitted to the Joint Investigation Team. Hamid Gul was one of the three persons Bhutto had named as her possible assassins in a letter to Musharraf, written in October 2007. Though Gul was retired prematurely, Bhutto believed that he still maintained his former close ties with the militant groups.

Ironically, Qari Saifullah’s February 26, 2008 arrest established the fact that despite all the charges levelled against him, he had been released much before Benazir returned home. Born in January 1959 in South Waziristan, the HUJI chief is a graduate of the famous Jamia Binoria in Karachi, who was arrested and extradited from the United Arab Emirates on August 7, 2004 on charges of plotting the twin suicide attacks on General Musharraf in Rawalpindi in December 2003. But instead of trying to prosecute him, the agencies chose to keep him under detention for the next two years and nine months, without even filing any criminal charges against him, giving credence to reports that he was a handy tool of the Pakistani establishment.

The Qari’s “unprovoked” arrest was challenged in the Supreme Court in the first week of January 2005. On January 18, 2005, the apex court dismissed the petition against his arrest and directed him to first move the high court by filing a habeas corpus writ petition.

But after Benazir’s murder, it transpired that the Qari had already been released by the apex court after being told by the agencies that he was one of the “missing persons” being sought by a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. His name was in the list of persons being held by the agencies without any formal charges having been filed against them. But the Musharraf government had told the Supreme Court on May 5, 2007 that Qari Saifullah was not in the custody of the state agencies.

The concise report presented by the National Crisis Management Cell to the court revealed that he was engaged in militant activities somewhere in Punjab and not under detention. On May 21, 2007, the Qari suddenly reached his hometown in Mandi Bahauddin of Punjab. The release was subsequently brought to the notice of the apex court by the Ministry of Interior. Hashmat Habib, the counsel for Qari Saifullah, told the court that while setting him free, the intelligence officials had informed his client that had they not picked him up, there was a strong possibility of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation taking him away for interrogation because of his alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban links.

At the time of his arrest in August 2004 and his subsequent extradition from the UAE, the Pakistani authorities had described the development as a major blow to the al-Qaeda sponsored terrorist network and its local affiliates in Pakistan. On March 20, 2008, Qari Saifullah was produced before an anti-terrorism court in Karachi for his alleged role in the twin suicide attacks on Bhutto’s welcome procession in Karachi.

But few days later, Justice Khawaja Naveed Ahmed of the Sindh High Court released him on bail, after the investigation officer said that no evidence had been found to link him with any terrorist activity. But he was rearrested the same day under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) and shifted to a Karachi safe house. Two months later, on June 8, 2008, Qari Saifullah was released by Sindh Home Department as the two-month term of detention set under the MPO had expired.

Though Qari Saifullah’s role in the Karachi suicide attack could not be explored further due to an apparent lack of interest by the agencies, his previous involvement in a failed coup plot in 1995 had projected him as one of the deadliest militants who, from the establishment’s viewpoint, had gone astray.

The group of potential plotters busted by the Military Intelligence at that time included four serving army officers, headed by Major General Zaheerul Islam Abbasi. Brigadier Mustansar Billa, who had also been arrested, was described as the ideologue of the religiously motivated army men.

The arrested army officers were accused of plotting to first take over the GHQ of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi during the Corps Commanders Conference, and later overthrow the Benazir government to eventually enforce their own brand of Islamic Shariah and Khilafat in Pakistan.

Those who had plotted the coup were convicted by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) and awarded different sentences ranging from two to 14 years on October 30, 1996. Qari Saifullah decided to become the approver for the prosecution.

After the dismissal of the second Bhutto government in 1996, he was released by the agencies; he went to Afghanistan and was inducted into the cabinet of the Taliban ameer, Mulla Omar, as his adviser on political affairs. Qari Saifullah was one of the few militant leaders from Pakistan who had escaped with Mulla Omar after the US-led Allied Forces invaded Afghanistan in October 2001.

December 27, 2010

On Sadruddin Hashwani: Dr Shahid Masood's new financier

by admin

People support owner of Marriott hotel Sadaruddin Hashwani as he visits the site of explosion Sept. 20, 2008. A massive truck bomb devastated the heavily guarded Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killing at least 53 people and wounding at least 250 more.

Related article:

Disgracefully dismissed: Dr Shahid Masood fired from ARY TV

…….

Dr Shahid Masood flattering Hashwani

I am pleased to announce that I will be a colleague and a co-worker with some of you very soon in my capacity of ‘CEO and President’ for an upcoming Media Group. Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani leads this consortium of giants from the Middle East and Europe.

This Group, is a Media House that will bring out quality TV channels, Dailies and Periodicals besides establishing of Media University of international standard. But honestly none of this would really have been possible, if there was not a Group behind my dream.

In the forefront of this initiative is the man leading this Global consortium, whom I must thank for his having agreed to venture in this media enterprise. Mr. Sadruddin Hashwani a name you are all familiar with. Someone we have all come to respect as a man whose patriotism makes us proud, whose resolve makes us believe more in our own selves. A role model to have risen above the rest as a self made man who now wishes to set a precedence in media, reinventing, reinvigorating and reviving our industry bogged down by lethargy.

“I must admit that this introduction to Mr. Hashwani or the international consortium is no justice. And I fail in introducing them to the hilt that they deserve an introduction, but I do intend on introducing them in more details that I shall share with all of you soon….It is history in the making, it is a hard task. And I know. I am embarking upon a journey to redefine Media History in Pakistan as we know it. Never before, had a working professional in Media could dream of being a stake holder in equity in a big Media Group before, I am to set the precedence.”

Dr. Shahid Masood
President & CEO
Pearl Communications (PVT) Ltd
Shalimar 5 Agha Khan Road Islamabad

http://www.drshahidmasood.com/

……..

Who is Sadruddin Hashwani?

Sadruddin Hashwani is the Chairman of Hashoo Group (Established 1960), a diversified industrial groups in Pakistan with interests across tourism, travel, real-estate development, pharmaceuticals, IT, and oil and gas. Also, the Hashoo Group of Companies has in its fold, as owners and operators, the Pearl Continental Hotels and Marriott Hotels brands with presence in all major cities of Pakistan and Ocean Pakistan Limited, an Oil and Gas exploration and production company.

……

The Hashwani-CIA Connection

Bawa:

اس نئے میڈیا گروپ کو سمجھنسے کے لیے ہمیں سب سے پہلے اس گروپ پر سرمایہ کاری کرنے والوں کو سمجھنا ہوگا

اگر میری یادداشت زیادہ کمزور نہیں ہے تو یہ ہاشوانی گروپ وہی ہے جو اسلام آباد میریٹ ہوٹل کا مالک ہے اور جس نے اپنے ہوٹل میں امریکی فوجیوں کو اڈے قایم کرنے کی اجازت دے رکھی تھی اور اس ہوٹل کو طالبان نے بارود سے اڑا دیا گیا تھا جسمیں سینکڑوں پاکستان شہید اور کچھ امریکی فوجی مارے گئے تھے

کیا ان بے گناہ پاکستانیوں کا خون اس گروپ کے ہاتھوں پر نہیں ہے جس نے امریکی فوجیوں کو وہاں اڈے قایم کرنے کی اجازت دی

http://www.jang.net/urdu/details.asp?nid=305786

…………

The Hashani-Hamid Mir (ISI-MI) propaganda cell

Hashwani also happens to be a good friend of Hamid Mir although he later retracted the agency-made ‘news’ which he leaked to Mir:

ISLAMABAD, September 16, 2009 (Balochistan Times): Top Hotelier and Chairman of Hashoo Group and Marriott Chain of hotels, Sadruddin Hashwani has termed as incorrect and baseless the impression that he was shifting abroad due to President Asif Ali Zardaris pressure. It is wrong that I am shifting abroad due to pressure of President Zardari. There is neither any pressure on me from the President nor there has been any talk between them in this connection. It may be pointed out that a couple of days back when President Zardari hosted Iftar dinner for journalists, prominent Anchorpersons Hamid Mir told the President that Sadruddin Hashwani was propagating that he left the country because of the President. The President described this impression and Propaganda as baseless. At this the President asked his staffers to connect him with Hashwani in Dubai but the staff could not succeed. Then President Zardari asked the security personnel to bring in the mobile set of Hamid Mir and asked him to get him connected with Sadruddin Hashwani. When Hashwani came on line, he informed the President that there was no truth in the report that he(Hashwani) left the country because of President Zardari. At this the President handed over the set to Hamid Mir who also spoke with Hashwani on the occasion. It may be recalled that Sadruddin Hashwani along with his family shifted to Dubai last month. During this period he had been giving impression to important political leaders and elites that he shifted abroad due to pressure from Aiwan-e-Sadr but now he is denying this impression.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Hashwani+denies+he+shifted+to+Dubai+under+pressure+from+President…-a0208071721

…………

Venturing into a profitable business: Hashwani’s shrewd (political) investment in Pakistani media

smsupportmovement:
ڈاکٹر شاہد کی رونمائی ، نئی پتلیاں میدان میں

ہاشوانی گروپ کا میڈیا بجٹ

آؤ آؤ ڈاکٹر شاہد مسعود لے لو

مکر کی چا لوں سے بازی لے گیا سرمایہ دار ، جیب میں مال ہے اور بھی جائیں گے دیکھو کون جیتتا ہے ایکسپریس والا سرمایہ دار یا جنگ والا یا ہاشوانی

آؤ آؤ حکومت کو گا لیا ں دو ، مال پھر ہی بکے گا ، ریاست کمزور ہو گی تو ملٹی نیشنل طاقت ور ہو گی

آو جمشید دستی کو گالیاں دو ، تندور کی روٹی کھاتا ہے ، برگر کیوں نہیں کھاتا

آؤ نواز شریف کو گالیاں دو سری پائے کیوں کھاتا ہے

برگر امریکہ کا ہاشوانی امریکہ کا ، شاہد مسعود امریکہ کا پاکستان امریکہ کا رہے نام امریکہ کا

مکر کی چالوں سے بازی لے گیا سرمایہ دار ، پہلے ریڈیو اور ٹی وی کے ذریعے مال بیچتا تھا ، ٹی والوں کو پیسے دو کچھ بھی کہلوا لو

ٹی وی والا گوالے کے دودھ کو زہر ثابت کرتا رہا پھر پتہ چلا کہ سرمایہ دار پیکٹ کے دودھ میں فارمولین ڈالتا ہے

اب سرمایہ دار نے سوچا ہے کہ ٹی وی چینل بنالو ، مال بکے گا بھی اور حکومت پکڑے بھی نہیں جو پکڑے گا آزاد میڈیا اور آزاد عدلیہ اس کو حکومت سے نکا ل باہر کرے گی

کوئی سوال نہیں کرتا کہ صدر الدین ہاشوانی صرف پیزا ہٹ ، مکڈونلڈ اور کے ا یف سی کی رائلٹی میں کتنا پیسہ باہر بھیجتا ہے اس لیے کہ شاہد مسعود جیسوں کی تنخواہ اس سے ملتی ہے

کمال کا دھوکہ مال امریکہ کا نام طالبان کا ، بغل میں امریکہ منہ میں طالبان ، واہ رے میرے شاہد مسعود

اور وہ کون تھا جس نے ٹی وی پر بتایا تھا کہ صدر الدین ہاشوانی کی آرمی چیف سے بھی ملاقات ہوئی تھی ، رہے نام امریکہ کا رہے نام آرمی کا، رہے نام ہاشوانی کا جس کا ہر منصوبہ کسی امریکی چین کا حصہ ہے

رہے نام طالبان کا کہ یہ بھی ایک امریکی چین ہی ہے

لے لو امریکہ کا مال
لے لو شاہد مسعود
لے لو طالبان

………….

Petition to The Hashwani Group

Source: http://www.petitiononline.com/5tgb7ujm/petition.html

To: The Hashwani Group
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR STAY AT THE PEARL CONTINENTAL COST YOU?

Because the workers who clean the rooms, make the meals and run the hotel only get Rs. 7800 per month for nine hour shifts each day. And, when they tried to organize a union to fight for their rights, some were fired and others thrown in secret prison on false charges. 150 of them are now occupying the basement of the Pearl Continental Hotel to demand that its owners, the Hashwani Group, abide by the law. This is following an attempt by the PC to fire four workers, all union activists. Food has become scarce while they have been on strike and management has refused to allow outside deliveries to be made.

The current Human Resources Director at the PC is a retired Major Zia Jan who came to the PC after busting a union at the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). Major Zia recently told the striking workers that they ought to be ashamed of themselves for fighting the PC.

The workers are being filmed and monitored by security. They are afraid that they will soon be subject to Ranger or police brutality. The families of the workers who protested outside the hotel in solidarity have already been baton-charged by the police.

We, the undersigned, demand that the PC Hotel abide by the law and accept the workers’ demands, which are as follows:

1. GIVE US OUR JOBS BACK!

Firing of union activists while negotiations are ongoing is illegal.

2. RECOGNIZE OUR UNION!

The courts already do. It’s time for the PC to abide by the law.

3. COME TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE!

The PC refuses to negotiate the charter of demands. The 2002 and 2006 demands are still pending.

For more details and updates as they become available, please see: http://progpak.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/pc-workers-occupation/

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

…………..

The Hashwani-CIA connection

ہوٹل میں امریکی فوجیوں کا پراسرار آپریشن! کیا حملہ ان فوجیوں پر تھا؟

Source: Jang

اسلام آباد(انصار عباسی) ہفتے کی شام جب میریٹ ہوٹل پر حملہ کیاگیا تو کیا اس وقت وہاں امریکی میرین فوجیوں کا کوئی خفیہ آپریشن جاری تھا۔ اگرچہ کوئی بھی شخص اس کی تصدیق نہیں کرتا لیکن ایسے بہت سے واقعاتی شواہد ہیں جن کی بناء پر یہ کہاجا سکتا ہے۔پیپلزپارٹی کے بہت سے ارکان قومی اسمبلی اور انکے دوستوں کی شہادت کے مطابق امریکی سفارتخانے کے ایک بہت بڑے سفید ٹرک سے فولادی بکس اتارے گئے اور انہیں میریٹ ہوٹل کے اندر منتقل کر دیا گیا ، یہ واقعہ اسی رات پیش آیا تھا جب امریکی ایڈمرل مائیک میولن وزیر اعظم یوسف رضاگیلانی اور دیگر سے ملے تھے۔ ہوٹل کے دونوں مرکزی دروازے بند کردیئے گئے تھے اور امریکی میرینز کے علاوہ کسی کو ٹرک کے قریب جانے کی اجازت نہیں تھی ۔یہ فولادی بکس ان اسکینرز سے بھی نہیں گزارے گئے تھے جو کہ ہوٹل کی لابی کے داخلی راستے پر نصب تھے ، مبنیہ طور پر ان بکسوں کو ہوٹل کی چوتھی اور پانچویں منزل پر منتقل کر دیا گیا۔ پیپلزپارٹی کے دیگر بہت سے ارکان پارلیمنٹ کے علاوہ رکن قومی اسمبلی ممتاز عالم گیلانی بھی اپنے دو دستوں سجاد چوہدری ،پیپلزپارٹی کے ایک رہنما اور بشیر ندیم نے پراسرار سرگرمی کو دیکھا اور اس پر انہوں نے اعتراض اور احتجاج بھی کیا۔ایک ذریعے نے دی نیوز کو بتایا ہے کہ نادیہ ریسٹورنٹ میں ضیافت کے بعد آدھی رات کو اپنے دوستوں کے ہمراہ ہوٹل سے روانہ ہورہے تھے تو انہوں نے امریکی سفارتخانے کا ٹرک ہوٹل کے مرکزی گیٹ کے سامنے کھڑا ہوا دیکھا، ہوٹل کے اپنی سیکورٹی سمیت کسی شخص کو ٹرک کے قریب جانے کی اجازت نہیں دی گئی، ہ ہی ان سے اتارے جانے والے اسٹیل باکسز کو ہوٹل کے اندر لے جانے کیلئے اسکینرز سے گزارنے کی اجازت دی گئی۔پیپلزپارٹی سے تعلق رکھنے والے ان تین دوستوں نے جو پریشانی کی حالت میں مرکزی دروازے کے سامنے کھڑے تھے نے معاملے کی بابت دریافت کیا تو انہیں بتایا گیا کہ مشکوک قسم کے بکس ہوٹل میں لے جائے جارہے ہیں اور انہیں ہوٹل کی چوتھی اور پانچویں منزل میں منقتل کیاجارہا ہے۔ ممتاز عالم کو امریکی میرینز اور ہوٹل کی سیکورٹی دونوں پر غصہ آرہاتھا نہ صرف اسلئے کہ انہیں باہر نکلنے میں تاخیر ہورہی تھی بلکہ سیکورٹی کی ان خامیوں کی وجہ سے بھی جو کہ انہیں نظر آرہی تھیں۔ ان کے احتجاج پر امریکی میرینز نے کوئی توجہ نہیں دی اور ہوٹل کی سیکورٹی کے وہ لوگ جن سے انہوں نے رابطہ کیاوہ بے بس نظر آرہے تھے۔ ممتاز عالم نے ہوٹل کے سیکورٹی عہدیداروں سے کہا کہ وہ ہوٹل اور اسکی سیکورٹی کو خطرے میں ڈال رہے ہیں۔ انہیں یہ کہتے بھی سنا گیا کہ وہ آئندہ کبھی اس ہوٹل میں نہیں آئیں گے۔ انہوں نے اس معاملے کو پارلیمنٹ میں اٹھانے کی دھمکی بھی دی۔کسی کو یہ تو معلوم نہیں کہ آیا پیپلزپارٹی کے اس رکن قومی اسمبلی نے اس پراسرار رات کے بعد پھر ہوٹل کا دورہ کیا یا نہیں لیکن ان کے بھائی امتیاز عالم جو کہ ایک سینئر صحافی ہیں وہ دھماکے کے وقت اسی ہوٹل میں تھے۔امتیاز عالم خوش قسمت تھے کہ اس دھماکے سے بچنے میں کامیاب ہوگئے اور مشکل سے ہی سہی لیکن بھرپورتاریکی میں ہوٹل سے باہر نکل آئے۔ ایک لفٹ جسے وہ استعمال کر رہے تھے وہ اس وقت زمین پر آگری جب انہوں نے زور لگا کر چوتھی منزل پر دروازہ کھولنے کی کوشش کی او ر وہ اس سے نکل آئے۔

………

Report: U.S. Planned to Buy Bombed Peshawar Hotel

By ROBERT MACKEY

June 9, 2009, 6:41 PM

Source: NYT


Pakistan’s Geo TV aired security camera video showing how the attackers struck the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday. After armed militants fired at security guards, a car and a truck loaded with explosives sped towards the hotel. In the bright flash after the explosion, the militants could be seen at the perimeter of the complex.

As a colleague here at The Times points out, the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, which was partly destroyed on Tuesday by a massive car bomb, is well known locally as a meeting point for not just wealthy Pakistanis, foreign aid workers and journalists but also intelligence agents. In other words, it is the sort of place a modern-day Graham Greene novel might be set, with security so tight that even the lifeguards at the hotel pool are armed with AK-47s.

Given that reputation, the hotel was an obvious target for militants — even before a report surfaced two weeks ago that the United States was planning to buy the hotel as part of a plan to greatly expand its diplomatic presence in the city. As the Press Trust of India reported on Tuesday, the Pearl Continental is currently owned by Sadruddin Hashwani, who also owns the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, which was bombed last September, resulting in more than 50 deaths.

According to a report by Saeed Shah and Warren P. Strobel of McClatchy Newspapers, the hotel was apparently at the center of an American plan to establish a long-term presence in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province:

A senior State Department official confirmed that the U.S. plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. […]

Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for al Qaida and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded U.S. aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already expanded from three U.S. diplomats to several dozen.

In October 2001, a report in Time magazine described how the Pearl Continental fit into the cloak-and-dagger atmosphere of Peshawar, the city “where the terrorists meet, form cells and deploy — and where access to the closed world of the Taliban begins. Bin Laden’s foot soldiers regularly slip through the walled enclaves and jostling bazaars to recruit jihadis or send out instructions. Taliban fighters float through to spy and resupply. Every Afghan faction has its representative in some dim house. Intelligence agents linger in the lobby of the Pearl Continental Hotel, where the phones are tapped and drivers let fall scraps of information.”

As with the attack on the headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence service in Lahore on May 27, the bombing on Tuesday seems to have taken place at a site that militants knew to be central to the operations of the intelligence agencies fighting to defeat them.

……….

Peshawar PC Hotel Blast: Where is Hashwani

Source: fkpolitics

Remember after the Marriott blash, Hashwani, the owner of Marriott and the PC Hotel chain in Pakistan, was all over the TV channels and his picture splashed in all the newspapers. But after last night’s blast at PC Peshawar, there is no sign of him. Curious isn’t it?

Is it because he is NOT the owner any more? Reports are PC, Peshawar was “sold” to the Americans some time back and is the center for their intelligence agencies for the whole area. It was reported by at least one channel (SAMAA TV) that the 3rd and 4th floors WERE completely under American control (just like Marriott where it was the 6th and 7th floors). Further credence is given to the report by the fact that a “tender notice” has already been issued for another PC in Peshawar (Hayatabad). Now why does a smaller city like Peshawar need TWO PC hotels when much bigger cities like Karachi and Lahore have only one?

According to that earlier report, plans were for complete take over of the current PC by the Americans in the coming days, leaving Peshawar with out one. Hence the plans for constructing a new one….

So suggesting this was “a random act of violence” is completely preposterous. PC being the “US Intelligence Headquarters” was common knowledge in Peshawar so an attack there was all but expected sooner or later. The blame for civilian deaths and injuries falls squarely on the government for allowing Americans to set up a base there despite having the example of Marriott before them.

BTW: Americans knew something was up. The following is from last week:

The advisory issued on Tuesday instructs US government personnel to cancel all travel to and from Peshawar for the next 24 hours in response to a security threat.

P.S. The story being spun by the media is that the foreigners there were all UN or NGO workers who were there to help the IDPs. Hogwash, I say. I am sure this is true of a few but I say shame on them for wasting all that money on their stay in a five-star hotel when that money could be better spent on the IDPs.

UPDATE #1:
Hashwani has finally shown up talking tough and claiming: “Despite the losses, I will make the (Pearl Continental) operational in two months just as I reopened the Marriott in three months.” Well, sure he “reopened” Marriott but I am told no one goes there (except his old clients ;-) perhaps.) The same will be the case will this one. Only foreigners will be there and it will continue to be a target. Wonder just how much bigger the “no-go area” would be around the hotel now. Kind of kills the will to go there anyways. So I guess the new owners will have it all to themselves sooner than planned. Or was this the plan in the first place?? ;-)

(I still believe Hashwani has handed it over to the Americans and they “own” it, just like they own him….)

Update #2:
Well, here is where most of the money for rebuilding PC is going to be coming from:
US to spend $1 billion on embassy expansions in Pakistan, Afghanistan
But more significant is this bit from the story that confirms what i have been saying:

BUYING THE PEARL IN PESHAWAR

A senior State Department official confirmed that the US plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The Pearl Contintental is the city’s only five-star hotel, set in its own expansive grounds, with a swimming pool. It’s owned by Pakistani tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani.

Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded US aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already expanded from three US diplomats to several dozen.

In all, the administration requested $806 million for diplomatic construction and security in Pakistan.

“For the strong commitment the US is making in the country of Pakistan, we need the necessary platform to fulfill our diplomatic mission,” said Jonathan Blyth of the State Department’s Overseas Buildings Operations bureau. “The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”

A senior Pakistani official said the expansion has been under discussion for three years. “Pakistanis understand the need for having diplomatic missions expanding and the Americans always have had an enclave in Islamabad,” said the official, who requested anonymity, because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “Will some people exploit it? They will.”

Any doubts??? :)

Note: DO pay special attention to the statements:
$736 million to build a new US embassy in Islamabad…The scale of the projects rivals the giant US Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.”
AND
“The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.”

So you know what’s coming….

And this DOES CONFIRM the statement made by me earlier i.e. that:

  • PC HAD ALREADY BEEN SOLD TO THE AMERICANS
  • PC IS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS

So no tears here…Just applause

December 27, 2010

General Musharraf (and his military establishment) killed Benazir Bhutto – by Hamid Mir

by admin


شہید بی بی کو اپنے قاتل کا پتہ تھا
قلم کمان …حامد میر

وہ نومبر 2007ء کی ایک خوشگوار صبح تھی لیکن محترمہ بینظیر بھٹو کچھ افسردہ اور پریشان نظر آرہی تھیں۔

انہوں نے مجھے زرداری ہاؤس اسلام آباد میں صبح کے ناشتے پر مدعو کیا تھا لیکن ناشتے کا اہتمام گھر کے اندر ڈائننگ ٹیبل کی بجائے باہر صحن میں کیا گیا۔ میں سمجھ گیا کہ پلاسٹک کی چھوٹی سی میز او رپلاسٹک کی کُرسیوں پر بٹھاکر ناشتے کا اہتمام دراصل خفیہ اداروں کی دسترس سے بھاگنے کا ایک طریقہ ہے۔

یہ خاکسار محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو کو بطور ایک صحافی 1987ء سے جانتا تھا اور اُن کے ساتھ 20 سالہ تعلق میں ایسا کئی مرتبہ ہوا کہ وہ کچھ اہم باتیں سرگوشیوں میں کرنے کے بجائے کاغذ کے ایک پُرزے پر لکھتیں اور اُسے پھاڑ دیتیں یا پھر اپنے دفتر یا ڈائننگ روم سے باہر نکل کر کر لان میں آکر تیں۔ اُنہیں ہمیشہ شک رہتا کہ بلاول ہاؤس کراچی اور زرداری ہاؤس اسلام آباد میں خفیہ اداروں نے ایسے آلات نصب کررکھے ہیں جن کے ذریعہ اُن کی گفتگو سُنی جاتی ہے۔

محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو جب میرے قریب آکر پلاسٹک کی کرسی پر بیٹھیں تو اُنہوں نے اپنا بیگ کمر کے پیچھے رکھ لیا۔ مجھے فوراً احساس ہوا کہ اُن کی کرسی آرام دہ نہیں ہے میں نے فوراً آس پاس نظر دوڑائی۔ میری نظریں ناہید خان کو تلاش کررہی تھیں لیکن خلاف معمول وہ دکھائی نہ دیں۔ فرحت الله بابر موجود تھے لیکن وہ کافی فاصلے پر بیٹھے تھے۔ بے نظیر صاحبہ نے میری پریشانی بھانپتے ہوئے کہا کہ گھبرایئے نہیں‘ میں بالکل ٹھیک ہوں اور اپنے بھاری بھرکم بیگ کو اکثر اپنی کمر کے پیچھے رکھ لیتی ہوں۔ مجھے یقین ہوچکا تھاکہ آج اُنہوں نے کوئی بہت اہم بات کرنی ہے۔ ایک دن پہلے اُنہوں نے اسلام آباد کی ججز کالونی میں جسٹس افتخار محمد چوہدری کے ساتھ ملاقات کی کوشش کی تھی لیکن اجازت نہ ملنے پر انہوں نے اپنی گاڑی کے اندر بیٹھ کر میگا فون سے خطاب کیا اور کہا کہ افتخار محمدچوہدری میرا چیف جسٹس ہے اور میں اُس کے گھر پر دوبارہ پاکستان کا پرچم لہراؤں گی۔ اُن کا یہ بیان کئی اخبارات کی ہیڈ لائن تھی۔ میں نے محترمہ کو مبارک باد دیتے ہوئے کہا کہ آپ نے کل ایک تاریخی تقریر کی اور انشاالله آپ کے الفاظ ضرور حقیقت بنیں گے۔ یہ سُن کر محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو مسکرا دیں اور انہوں نے اپنے ایک ملازم سے کہا کہ میں نے آج کے اخبارات نہیں دیکھے پلیز اخبارات لاکر دیں۔
کچھ ہی لمحوں میں اخبارات محترمہ کے سامنے لاکر رکھ دیئے گئے۔ محترمہ نے سب سے اوپر پڑا ہوا انگریزی اخبار اٹھایا جس نے اُن کی تقریر کو ہیڈ لائن بنایا تھا۔

ہیڈ لائن دیکھ کر اُنہوں نے مجھے مخاطب کرتے ہوئے کہ پاکستان واپسی سے قبل مجھے اندازہ نہیں تھا کہ پاکستان میں اتنی تبدیلی آچکی ہوگی۔ اُن کا کہنا تھا کہ ایک تبدیلی مثبت ہے اور دوسری منفی۔ مثبت تبدیلی یہ ہے کہ میڈیا اور سول سوسائٹی قانون کی بالادستی چاہتی ہے اور پرویز مشرف کی ایمرجنسی کو مسترد کررہی ہے لیکن منفی تبدیلی یہ ہے کہ پاکستان کے کچھ علاقوں میں طالبانائزیشن اور بالکنائزیشن کا خطرہ ہے۔ یہ سُن کر میری زبان سے نکلا کہ بالکنائزیشن؟؟؟ محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو نے بڑی سنجیدگی سے کہا کہ جی ہاں بالکنائزیشن کا خطرہ بڑا واضح ہے‘ پاکستان ٹوٹ رہا ہے ہمیں اسے بچانا ہے۔ انہوں نے مجھے نواب خیر بخش مری کے ساتھ اپنی ملاقات اور کوئٹہ کے دورے کی تفصیلات سے آگاہ کیا اور کہا کہ اکبر بگٹی کے قاتلوں کو انجام تک پہنچائے بغیر نفرتوں کی آگ ٹھنڈی نہیں ہوگی۔

اس دوران ناشتہ آچکا تھا۔ محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو نے گرم پانی میں لیموں اور شہد ملایا اور اس کے ساتھ اخروٹ کھانے لگیں جب کہ میں نے انڈے کے ساتھ ٹوسٹ لیا۔ اس دوران ایک فون آگیا۔ انہوں نے فون سنا اور پھر مجھے پوچھا کہ آپ کو میں نے بہت سال پہلے پاکستان کا سب سے باخبر صحافی قرار دیا تھا یہ بتایئے کہ 17 اکتوبر کو کراچی میں میرے جلوس پر حملہ کس نے کرایا؟ سوال بڑا سیدھا اور سادہ تھا۔ میں نے ٹشو پیپر کے ساتھ اپنے ہاتھ اور منہ صاف کیا اور بڑی سادگی سے کہا کہ یہ حملہ اُنہی قوتوں نے کرایا جن کے ساتھ معاہدہ کرکے آپ پاکستان واپس آئی ہیں۔ محترمہ میرے جواب سے اثبات میں سرہلاکر اتفاق کررہی تھیں لیکن مزید تفصیلات جاننا چاہتی تھیں۔ اس سے پہلے کہ میں تفصیلات میں جاتا فرمانے لگیں کہ یہ سب پرویز مشرف کی مرضی سے ہوا ہے اور اس میں خودکش حملہ آور استعمال نہیں کیا گیا بلکہ یہ ریموٹ کنٹرول بم تھے۔

میں نے پوچھا کہ مشرف آپ کو کیوں مارنا چاہتا ہے؟ محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو نے کہا کہ 17 اکتوبر کو اُس نے مجھے صرف ڈرایا ہے وہ چاہتا ہے میں پاکستان سے واپس چلی جاؤں اور انتخابات کے بعد واپس آؤں اور اگر میں واپس نہ گئی تو وہ مجھے مروادے گا۔ یہ سُن کر میرے منہ سے نکلا… ”جی کیا کہا بی بی آپ نے ؟“۔ انہوں نے اپنے الفاظ دہرائے اور کہا کہ مجھے یقین ہے کہ اگر اُس نے مجھے قتل کروا دیا تو آپ میرے قاتل کو بے نقاب ضرور کریں گے۔ محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹونے کہا کہ میں اپنی کتاب تیزی سے مکمل کررہی ہوں جو شائد میری زندگی میں شائع نہ ہو لیکن اس کتاب میں وہ وجوہات موجود ہوں گی جن کی وجہ سے میں مشرف کے لئے ناقابل برداشت ہوں۔ اس ملاقات کے چند ہفتے بعد 27 دسمبر 2007ء کو لیاقت باغ راولپنڈی میں محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو کو شہید کردیا گیا تو موقع پر موجود زخمی کارکنوں نے اپنے ساتھیوں کی لاشیں کندھوں پر اُٹھا کر جو پہلا نعرہ لگایا وہ نعرہ تھا ”قاتل قاتل مشرف قاتل“۔

شہید محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو نے اپنی زندگی میں صرف میرے سامنے مشرف کو اپنا ممکنہ قاتل قرار نہیں دیا بلکہ مارک سیگل اور امریکی صحافی وولف بلٹنرر کے نام لکھی جانے والی ای میل میں بھی مشرف کو قاتل قرار دیا۔ 13 نومبر 2007ء کو لاہور میں لطیف کھوسہ کے گھر نظر بندی سے قبل اُنہوں نے عامر میر کے ساتھ ایک ون ٹو ون ملاقات کی جس میں کہا کہ اگر وہ ماری جائیں تو پرویز مشرف کو اُن کا قاتل قرار دیا جائے۔ اُنہوں نے عامر میر سے بھی یہ کہا کہ 17 اکتوبر کو کراچی میں اُن پر حملہ بھی مشرف نے کرایا۔ عامر میر نے یہ ساری تفصیل اپنی نئی کتاب ”دی بھٹو مرڈر ٹریل۔ وزیرستان ٹو جی ایچ کیو“ میں بڑی تفصیل سے بیان کردی ہے۔

افسوس کہ آج پیپلزپارٹی کی قیادت کو مشرف کی باقیات نے غیر ضروری بحثوں میں اُلجھا دیا ہے۔بجائے کہ اس پر غور کریں کہ شہید بی بی نے اپنی زندگی میں اپنا قاتل کسے نامزد کیا تھا یہ بحث کی جارہی ہے کہ 27 دسمبر کو اُن کی گاڑی کی چھت کا لیور کس نے کھولا۔ اس غیر اہم بحث کا فائدہ اُس قاتل کو ملے گا جس کا ذکر محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو کی کتاب ” اسلام، ڈیموکریسی اینڈ ویسٹ“ میں بھی بار بار آیا جو اُن کی شہادت کے بعد شائع ہوئی۔

سہیل وڑائچ کی کتاب ”قاتل کون؟“ میں کہا گیا ہے کہ ایک دن آصف زرداری نے رحمان ملک سے کہا کہ بی بی کی موت کے ذمہ دار تم ہو؟ یہ سُن کر رحمان ملک نے زور زور سے رونا شروع کردیا اور کہا کہ نہیں میں نہیں ناہید خان ذمہ دار ہے۔ بہتر ہوگا کہ شہید بی بی کے ساتھی ایک دوسرے پر الزام لگانے کی بجائے مل جُل کر اُس قاتل کو انصاف کے کٹہرے میں لانے کی کوشش کریں جسے محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو نے خود اپنا قاتل نامزد کیا اور آج وہ لندن میں بیٹھا پیپلزپارٹی پر مسکرا رہا ہے۔

December 24, 2010

An (unofficial) ISI spokesperson writes on former CIA head in Islamabad

by admin


مفرور سی آئی اے چیف
احمد قریشی

پاکستان کو سی آئی اے کے ایجنٹوں سے پاک صاف کرنے کا عمل شروع ہوچکا ہے اور ان کے ساتھ ساتھ ہی حکومت میں موجود ایسے عناصر کی بھی چھانٹی کی جارہی ہے جنہوں نے سی آئی اے کی مدد کرتے ہوئے سیکڑوں انسانوں کی جانوں کے اتلاف میں نمایاں کردار ادا کیا۔

بعض کا خیال ہے کہ یہ تعداد سیکڑوں سے بڑھ کر ہزاروں کی تعداد میں ہے۔ معصوم پاکستانی مرد ، خواتین اور بچے ملک میں گزشتہ چار برس کے دوران ہونے والے ڈرون طیاروں کے حملوں میں مارے گئے۔ یہ تمام حملے غیرقانونی تھے کیونکہ اقوام متحدہ کی جانب سے جو مینڈیٹ امریکا کو افغانستان پر قبضے کے حوالے سے دیا گیا ہے اس میں امریکی انٹیلی جنس ایجنسی سی آئی اے کا کوئی کردار نہیں کہ وہ پاکستان میں کسی خفیہ جنگ میں کوئی حصہ لے سکے۔ پاکستانی باشندوں کی جانوں کی اتلاف کی یہ ذمے داری سی آئی اے کے سر ہے جس کا دائرہ ان 60پاکستانیوں تک بھی پھیلا ہوا ہے جو کم از کم ان دو حملوں دوران ہلاک ہوگئے جو پاکستانی افواج نے اس سال سی آئی اے کی جانب سے فراہم کردہ جھوٹی اطلاعات کی بنا پر کیا تھا ۔

یہ بڑی بدقسمتی کی بات ہے کہ اب بھی پاکستانی حکومت میں بعض عناصر ایسے موجود ہیں جن کا یقین ہے کہ سی آئی اے کی تحقیقات قابل اعتماد ہیں حالاں کہ جہاں تک افغانستان اور عراق کے بارے میں فراہم کردہ سی آئی اے کی معلومات اور اطلاعات کا تعلق ہے وہ سب کے سامنے ہے کہ اس نے سفید جھوٹ سے کام لیا تھا۔ افغانستان میں سی آئی اے تین ہزار افراد پر مشتمل ایک خفیہ فوج چلارہی ہے اور ایسے فوجی آپریشن کررہی ہے جن کے لئے وہ کسی کو بھی جواب دہ نہیں ہے۔

اوپر بیان کئے گئے سی آئی اے کی فراہم کردہ اطلاعات کے مطابق کئے جانے والے حملوں کے حوالے سے ایک معاملے میں تو مہیا کردہ معلومات اس قدر ناقص اور غلط تھیں کہ پاکستان آرمی کے چیف کو ذاتی طور پر ان ہلاکتوں کے لئے نہ صرف معذرت طلب کرنا پڑی بلکہ مرنے والوں کے پسماندگان کو معاوضہ بھی ادا کیا گیا۔ آرمی چیف کا یہ دلیرانہ اقدم اس بات کا مظہر ہے کہ پاکستان آرمی معصوم پاکستانیوں کی ہلاکت کے بارے میں کتنے گہرے اور شدید ہمدردی کے جذبات رکھتی ہے۔ پاکستان آرمی کا یہ رویہ سابق صدر جنرل پرویز مشرف دور سے کس قدر مختلف ہے جن کی انتظامیہ نے سی آئی اے کو باقاعدہ ڈرون طیاروں کے حملوں کی اجازت دے رکھی تھی۔

اسلام آباد میں مقیم سی آئی اے چیف جو ناتھن بینکس گزشتہ ہفتے پاکستان سے اس وقت فرار ہوگئے کیونکہ انہیں معصوم پاکستانیوں کے قتل عام کے جرم میں ذمے دار قرار دیا جارہا تھا جنہیں ان کی ایجنسی نے غیرقانونی میزائل حملوں کے ذریعے ہلاک کردیا تھا۔

جوناتھن بینکس کے گلے میں قانون کی رسی اس وقت کس دی گئی،جب سی آئی اے کے ڈرون طیاروں کے حملے میں ہلاک ہونے والے ایک پاکستانی باشندے کے اہل خانہ نے اسلام آباد پولیس سے درخواست کی وہ جوناتھن بینکس کے پاکستان چھوڑنے پر پابندی عائد کردیں۔ جوناتھن بینکس کو اس بات کا پیشگی علم ہوگیا جو پاکستان میں غالباً بزنس ویزا پر مقیم تھے۔ بہرحال ان میڈیا رپورٹس کی تصدیق نہیں کی جاسکی۔ اس ہفتے کے شروع میں ایک ویب سائٹ پاک نیشنلسٹ ڈاٹ کام نے پاکستانیوں سے کہا کہ وہ جوناتھن بینکس کی تصویر کو عام کرنے میں اس کی مدد کریں۔ مسٹرخان نے سی آئی اے کے چیف لیون پینٹیا، اور امریکی وزیر دفاع رابرٹ گیٹس کے خلاف بھی مقدمہ قائم کرنے کے لئے ان دونوں کو بھی نامزد کردیا لیکن یہ ذمے داری صرف سی آئی اے کی دہلیز پر ہی ختم نہیں ہوتی اور وہ ان ہلاکتوں کی واحد ذمے دار نہیں بلکہ اس کے ساتھ ہی ساتھ وہ پاکستانی عناصر بھی برابر کے مجرم ہیں جن کو قانون کے کٹہرے میں گھسیٹنا ضروری ہے۔

اس حوالے سے کئی نکات پر غوروخوض ضروری ہے۔
ان نکات میں پاکستانی صدر آصف زرداری اور وزیراعظم یوسف رضا گیلانی سے منسوب وہ بیانات بھی شامل ہیں جن سے صاف طور پر واضح ہوتا ہے کہ وہ سی آئی اے کے حملوں میں پاکستانیوں کی ہلاکت کے برابر شریک ہیں اور یہ حملے ان کی مرضی اور منشا ہی سے کئے گئے تھے۔ امریکی صحافی باب وڈورڈز نے آصف زرداری کا حوالہ دیتے ہوئے کہا ہے کہ انہوں نے سینئر امریکی حکام کو بتایا کہ انہیں ”پاکستانی شہریوں کی ہلاکت پر ذرّہ برابر بھی تشویش نہیں ہے۔“ پاکستان میں سابق امریکی سفیر این ڈبلیو پیٹرسن نے واشنگٹن کو دیتے ہوئے ایک سفارتی مراسلے میں لکھا کہ یوسف رضا گیلانی نے ایک اجلاس کے دوران امریکی حکام کی حوصلہ افزائی کرتے ہوئے ڈرون حملوں کوجاری رکھنے کی حمایت کی اور یہ یقین دہانی بھی کروائی کہ وہ شہریوں کی ہلاکت کا معاملہ خود سنبھال لیں گے۔ بہرکیف ان دونوں میں سے کسی نے بھی اب تک ان بیانات کی تردید نہیں کی لہٰذا یہی سمجھنا چاہئے کہ یہ بالکل صحیح ہیں۔

درحقیقت یوسف رضا گیلانی کا بیان واشنگٹن کے ان پاکستانی معذرت خواہوں کے منہ پر ایک تھپڑ کی
طرح تھا جو اب تک پاکستان میں سی آئی اے کی تمام سرگرمیوں اور کارروائیوں کی نہ صرف بھرپور تائید وحمایت کرتے آرہے تھے بلکہ انہیں پاکستانی شہریوں کی ہلاکتوں سے بھی انکار تھا۔ یوسف رضا گیلانی کے بیان نے اس بات کی تصدیق کردی کہ امریکا نواز پاکستانی حکومت اور سی آئی اے دونوں کو پاکستانی باشندوں کی ہلاکت پر گہری تشویش لاحق ہے۔

امریکا میں تعینات پاکستانی سفیر حسین حقانی بھی اس ذمے داری سے سبکدوش نہیں ہوسکتے جن کی متواتر کوششوں کے نتیجے میں سی آئی اے ایجنٹس اور پرائیویٹ امریکی سیکورٹی کے اہل کاروں کو پاکستان لایا گیا ہے۔ ان کی خواہش اس وقت پوری ہوگئی جب صدر آصف زرداری نے انہیں یہ صوابدیدی اختیار دے دیا کہ وہ واشنگٹن سے بغیر کسی تصدیق کے ہی ویزا جاری کرسکتے ہیں۔ ایک موقع پر تو اس سال جاری کئے گئے ویزوں کی تعداد پانچ سو کے لگ بھگ تھی جو چوبیس گھنٹوں کے اندر جاری کئے گئے۔ ہر کوئی اس حقیقت سے اچھی طرح واقف ہے کہ امریکی سیاح اور تاجر اتنی بڑی تعداد میں پاکستان نہیں آئے۔ دراصل حسین حقانی نے امریکی سیاحوں اور تاجروں کے پردے میں امریکی انٹیلی جنس اور فوجی اہل کاروں کو پاکستان کے لئے یہ ویزے جاری کئے اور بسا اوقات ان کا اپنے افسران بالا سے پاکستان کے فارن آفس میں اختلاف بھی رہا۔

گزشتہ برس انہوں نے وزیراعظم پاکستان یوسف رضا گیلانی کے نام تحریر کردہ اپنے ایک خط میں یہ شکایت بھی کی تھی کہ پاکستانی انٹیلی جنس ادارے ”آئی ایس آئی“ کا سربراہ ویزا جاری کرنے کے عمل اور اس کی تصدیق کے طریقہ کار میں رکاوٹیں ڈال رہا ہے۔ حسین حقانی کا یہ خط کسی طرح ایک بھارتی نیوز چینل کے ہاتھ لگ گیا اور اس نے اسے نشر کردیا۔جنرل پرویز مشرف سے بھی یہ سوال پوچھے جانے کی ضرورت ہے کہ انہوں نے امریکی سی آئی اے کو جاسوسی کے لئے پاکستان کی فضائی حدود استعمال کرنے کی اجازت دینے میں کیا کردار ادا کیا تھا ، یہ کیسے ممکن ہے کہ سی آئی اے یک طرفہ طور پر ہی پہلے جاسوسی کی اجازت لے اور پھر اسے میزائل حملوں تک وسیع کردے اور حکومت پاکستان اسے روکنے کی بھی اہل نہ ہو۔

پاکستانی فوج اور پاکستان فضائیہ بھی اس سلسلے میں ذمہ دار ہیں۔ جب پاکستانی عوام سی آئی اے کے ڈرون حملوں پر بحث مباحثہ کررہے ہوں تو یہ سوال اکثر اوقات پوچھا جاتا ہے کہ اگر ان حملوں میں امریکا نواز زرداری حکومت پوری طرح ملوث ہے تو پاکستانی افواج آخر کیا کررہی ہیں؟؟ بہرنوع اس معاملے کا جواب سادہ نہیں ہے۔ ایک نکتہ نظر یہ ہے کہ پاکستانی فوج محسوس کرتی ہے کہ اس کے ہاتھ دو چیزوں نے باندھ رکھے ہیں۔ ایک تو وہ ان تمام وعدوں کا پاس کرنے پر مجبور ہے جو سابق صدر پرویز مشرف نے امریکی حکومت سے کئے تھے۔ دوم۔ پاک آرمی چیف جنرل اشفاق پرویز کیانی کی یہ خواہش ہے کہ وہ سویلین حکومت کی اس پالیسی کے خلاف نہیں جائیں گے جس کی رو سے اس نے سی آئی اے کو حملوں کی اجازت دے رکھی ہے کیونکہ اس سے یہ تاثر لیا جاسکتا ہے کہ فوج ملک کے سیاسی امور میں بے جا مداخلت کی مرتکب ہورہی ہے۔ فوج ایسا ہرگز نہیں چاہتی جو موجودہ حالات کو دیکھتے ہوئے درست معلوم ہوتا ہے۔

آخری تجزیے میں، اگر صورت حال بدتر ہوتی ہے تو سی آئی اے اس علاقے کو بالآخر چھوڑ دے گی اور فرار ہوجائے گی۔ لیکن ہم فرار نہیں ہوسکتے۔ ہمیں ایک طویل عرصے تک اپنے ہی شہریوں کی ہلاکتوں کے ورثے کے ساتھ زندہ رہنا ہوگا یہی وجہ ہے کہ یہ بات اہمیت کی حامل ہے کہ سی آئی اے کے ایجنٹوں کو جلد ازجلد تلاش کرکے ملک سے باہر نکال دیا جائے۔ذیل میں درج تبصرہ کسی نے امریکی ویب سائٹ پر یہ خبر سننے کے بعد کیا ہے کہ گزشتہ اختتام ہفتہ ڈرون طیاروں کے حملوں میں پچاس پاکستانی باشندے ہلاک ہوگئے۔ یہ بڑی دلچسپ بات ہے کہ ایک ملک دوسرے ملک کو بڑی مستعدی سے تعاون اور معاونت فراہم کررہا ہو اور دوسرا اس ملک کے خلاف جنگ کو جاری رکھے۔ واقعی اس قوم کو آفرین ہے۔

Source: Jang, 24 Dec 2010

December 23, 2010

Don't take human rights lessons from Iran and Saudi Arabia – by Qudsia Siddiqui

by admin

This is in reference toKill the sectarian killers: Will Pakistan follow the Iranian example?” published by a fellow editor, Sarah Khan, on December 20, 2010.  In her post, Sarah was giving the example of how Iran executed 11 members of Jundullah in response to the horrific suicide bombing that killed 39 Shia mourners and wounded another 100 in Chabahar, Iran.

While I am completely opposed to the State sponsored militias that have killed thousands of Pakistanis, I don’t think we should be following the Iranian example in this particular instance. That being said, Sarah Khan is spot on in her assessment:

“the ISI is known for its support to jihadi-sectarian groups and the judiciary remains infested with the pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (pro-Taliban) judges.”

While our media is infested with jihadi sympathizers like Hamid Mir, Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi, Javed Chaudhry etc and our judiciary is increasingly being viewed as a B-Team for the jihadis, Iran has a pathetic human rights record for its treatment of all those who are against the hardliners and the theocrats whose victims include women, minorities, Bahais, Baluchis, Kurds, secular Shias (the vast majority of the population) and all the senior Ayatullahs who do not agree with the theocratic construct of Vilayat-e-Faqih.

In this regard, the Balochs and Kurds are persecuted in Iran on the basis of ethnicity and not sect and those who were executed in Chabahar were arrested before the horrible and equally condemnable suicide bombing of Shias.  The sequence of events that is being played out in Iran and Pakistan with regard to the Baloch is a dirty game that seeks to delegitimize the nationalist aspirations of the Baloch.

Since the annexation and division of the former State of Qalat by Pakistan and Iran, the Balochs have maintained their genuine nationalist concerns that range from provincial autonomy and a dignified existence to full independence from both countries.

In Pakistan, they have faced several military actions and the last one is still ongoing even if it does not have the attention of our chic urban types. Of course, we all know how the judiciary has backtracked on the issue of missing persons that include thousands of illegally detained Baloch youth along with a dozen or less shadowy Islamist types; the latter 2-3 like Aafia Siddiqi and Masood Janjua are the only ones that matter to the consciousness of our Jamaat-e-Islami influenced urban types.

In order to delegitimize the Baloch struggle, our establishment has, in typical fashion, added a toxic blend of sectarian fanaticism to the mix. It has continued the laboratory experiment that it started in District Jhang and used the same formula to create the Jundullah: a Wahabi/Deobandi militia comprised of a few brainwashed Baloch youth.  This allows the establishment to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, the Jundullah have been indoctrinated with a virulent anti-Shia ideology that makes them the perfect foot soldiers to kill Shias in Pakistan and Iran. Furthermore, their fanatical acts of violence also damage the Baloch nationalist struggle.

The Baloch struggle is secular in nature and rooted in a rich and diverse cultural tradition. Until the Saudi-financed and establishment facilitated radicalization of some Baloch children, the Zikri (a mystical Sufi sect) school of thought formed the cornerstone of Baloch religious sentiment.  The radicalization and subsequent acts of senseless violence by Jundullah allows the establishment to malign and de-legitimize the largely nationalist Baloch struggle.  This is a tactic that is similar to the one used to drown out the moderate and nationalist sentiment in Kashmir and replace it with sectarian Jihadis from Punjab.

In prosecuting our jihadi sectarian murderers, we should never be emulating Iran.  In this regard, the aims of those who want a just and peaceful society are up against an Islamofascist judiciary that clearly has the interests of jihadis like Hafiz Saeed, Mullah Abdul Aziz, Masood Azhar and sectarian murderers like Malik Ishaq of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. That this judiciary is entrenched and dictating its regressive agenda to elected representatives of Pakistan should be a lesson to those who supported the movement to restore compromised and shadowy bureaucrats; those who have a solid tradition of backing military coups and committing judicial murder.

While the Taliban have been given a free hand to slaughter Pushtuns, Shias, Ahmadis and Barelvis and while their affiliates such as Jamaat-e-Islami and Sipah-e-Sahaba are allowed to lynch Christains, our “educated” bourgeoisie and elites are continuing to live in denial and the la-la land of conspiracy theory.  They lack the moral and intellectual clarity to admit that an increasing number of fellow Muslims (extremist Deobandis and Wahhabis) are committing violence on Pakistan’s diverse ethnic, sectarian and religious minority groups.  They have a tendency to continually blame Jews, Hindus and Blackwater, even as the various jihadi groups proudly own up to the latest act of terrorism.  In this they are abetted by a media that mostly takes its cues from the establishment and therefore completely dishonest.

We need no cues from Iran or Saudi Arabia to bring murderers to justice. What we need is support for democracy and the will to protest and call out the proxies of the establishment which are the judiciary and the media – the Teen Jeem coalition!

December 23, 2010

On Pak-China Friendship and CIA-ISI feud: The Pamir Knot and beyond – by Dr Mohammad Taqi

by admin

The relationship between the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies appears to be moving from playing uneasy footsie to a fairly sordid affair. The blowing of the CIA’s Islamabad station chief’s cover, allegedly at the behest of the host country’s spooks, has not gone down well with the US. That this happened on the eve of the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s much-trumpeted visit to Pakistan raises a question if Pakistan is using grandpa Wen to help fend off the ‘big bully’ US.

The Chinese leader’s visit, in turn, came on the heels of the US strategic review of the Afghan war chiding Pakistan and asking it to do more to fight the Islamist terrorists operating from within its borders. This review has not set any benchmarks — at least publicly — to gauge Pakistan’s success in what is being demanded of it. Additionally, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates have reiterated in separate statements their concern about Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war.

Wen Jiabao obviously did not disappoint his hosts, and speaking to the joint session of the Pakistani parliament said what they really wanted to hear: “Pakistan was at the front of the international fight against terrorism and made big sacrifices and important contributions, which were obvious to all. The international community should affirm that and give great support as well as respect the path of development chosen by Pakistan. The fight against terrorism should not focus on specific religions or ethnic groups, but rather on eradicating the root factors breeding terrorism.”

While appearing to be a shot in the arm for the Pakistani regional policy, Mr Jiabao’s speech reinforces what is already known about Sino-Pak relations and the Chinese ambitions in the second decade of the 21st century. The Pakistani policy planners, especially those directly or indirectly associated with its ruling establishment, take a vicarious pride in the strides China has made and tend to believe that in the coming decade it would surpass the US as a global power.

However, the Chinese quest to revive the land-based Silk Route and develop jumping boards to Africa like the Gwadar port, point to its significant handicap in overcoming its geographical limitations. Resource-hungry China might take more than 10 years to develop a navy to be competitive with South Korea and Japan, supported by the US, even in the Pacific Rim. It is therefore, imperative for China to develop cheap and relatively direct access to resources, especially fossil fuels, from Central Asia, the Persian Gulf and Africa.

There is nothing really ideological or fraternal about the Chinese investments in Pakistan, as some Pakistani newspapers would like us to believe. Interestingly, while the Pakistani media has a knack for comparing everything to India, it has really remained mum over premier Jiabao’s visit to Delhi. A right-wing contemporary in its editorial praising China for its ‘stellar words and deeds’ vis-à-vis Pakistan opted to black-out the fact that just days ago the Chinese leader was quoting from the Upanishads, eulogising Mahatma Gandhi and buoyantly claiming Manmohan Singh’s friendship. With about $ 60 billion in exports, China has become India’s largest trading partner. By 2015, this sum is expected to rise to around a whopping $ 100 billion. The $ 30 billion of Chinese investment in Pakistan over the next five years does not look that massive after all. The point remains that it is the confluence of economic and geo-strategic interests — not words from scriptures or leaders — that dictate the Chinese or any other nation’s interest in Pakistan and for that matter in India.

That China will expand manufacturing exchanges, develop the transport and (nuclear) energy sectors in Pakistan, and even do a currency swap agreement, is not moot. However, what it might not tolerate is very similar to the world demands about countering the terror networks operating in and out of Pakistan. For China to have viable, uninterrupted resource supply routes from Central Asia and through Pakistan, it has to have a western border free of the jihadist menace. To metamorphose from a global moneylender to a global power, China will be confronting the question of how to tackle jihadism sooner than later. It may have saved the skins of the likes of General Hamid Gul — even at the UN level — but doing business in the global economy would entail China actually policing such characters rather than encouraging or protecting them.

The Chinese global interests, therefore, are more congruent with the US, and perhaps even India, than a Pakistani establishment with a jihadist mindset fossilised in the past. Internally, China is extremely sensitive about any socio-political upheavals that could pitch its impoverished central and western provinces against the affluent coastal regions and potentially lead to the unrest prevalent on the eve of Chairman Mao’s revolution. Issues like Tibet and Uighur autonomy are thus taken quite seriously, and dealt with harshly, by the Chinese. Moreover, China’s status as the world’s ATM machine is hugely dependent on its trade with the US and western consumer societies. While it would love to see the Pamir Knot and northern Silk Road revived with economic vigour, China would not be interested in undoing the Gordian knot of Afghanistan with the tip of its sword and neither would it give Pakistan a free hand to do so — a fact not lost on the Pak-Afghan policy planners in the US.

The New York Times (NYT) report that the US military seeks to expand raids inside Pakistan appears to be part of this seemingly endless game of analysing the projection of power, perception of strength or weakness and posturing of the geo-strategic players. Speaking to this writer, a CENTCOM spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Lawhorn cited the International Security Assistant Force statement, which categorically rejects the NYT report and claims everything to be hunky dory between the US and Pakistan: “There is absolutely no truth to reporting in the NYT…Cross-border coordination has and continues to disrupt and dismantle insurgent networks in select areas, with significant operations on both sides of the border removing large numbers of insurgent leaders and fighters.”

The last part of the statement is ambiguous about who exactly is conducting those raids but seems to indicate that for now the US planners have opted to ignore grandpa Wen’s words and innuendo in Pakistan. They seem to be focused more on the great-grandpa Hu Jintao’s Washington, DC visit next month.(Source)

December 22, 2010

General Pasha hazir ho: ISI chief summoned by a US court for complicity in the Mumbai terror attacks

by admin


Related article:

Why did the CIA recall its station chief in Pakistan?

ISI on the run, refuses to explain its role in drone attacks!

The Mumbai lawsuit in Brooklyn

Last month, a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn, which was brought by families of American victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, had named the ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, as being complicit in the attacks. The suit asserts that General Pasha and other ISI officers were “purposefully engaged in the direct provision of material support or resources” to the planners of the Mumbai attacks.

American officials believe that ISI officers helped plan the deadly July 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as well as provided support to Lashkar-e-Taiba militants who carried out the Mumbai attacks later that year.

(Source)

Summons

A US court has summoned top officials of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as also the alleged masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in response to a case filed by relatives of two American victims.

Summons were issued by a New York court to ISI’s powerful chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha and other officials, as also Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi and Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged masterminds of the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The New York Times reported this week that the recent “outing” of the CIA station chief in Islamabad, which caused the CIA to pull him from the country, may have been payback for the November lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court that accused Pakistan’s ISI spy agency of complicity in the terrorism in Mumbai. Pakistan denied it.

The November lawsuit named several officers, including the director, of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, and claimed the ISI helped Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorists carry out the slaughter of 166 people and the wounding of more than 300 on Nov. 26-29, 2008.

The Mumbai victims’ attorney, James Kreindler, said in an interview that he modeled the lawsuit after his successful case against Libya for its role in the hijacking of the Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland on Dec. 21, 1988. The attack killed all 259 passengers and crew aboard the plane, and 11 people on the ground.

After two decades of litigation, Kreindler secured more than $500 million from Pan Am’s insurers, and $2.7 billion from the Libyan government, according to a document by his law firm, Kreindler & Kreindler. He said the trial led to the passage of the Libyan Claims Resolution Act of 2008, which resolved U.S. claims against Libya through creation of a fund that led to settlements.

That case, Long believes, helped heal American relations with the then-pariah state, inviting it to “come in from the cold.”

Kreindler said that if the Mumbai-ISI wrongful death suit end in a similar piece of legislation, “I hope it will bring positive things for the U.S. and Pakistan.”

But there are significant differences between Libya of the late ’80s and Pakistan today, Long said.

“Libya was a pariah state at that time, whereas Pakistan – whatever its problems – is an ally of the United States. So I think he’s going to have a much harder time with this,” Long said. “I don’t think it’s impossible, but I just don’t see him having a great shot, or an as-good shot at it.”

Kreindler feels differently. “Ultimately, it’s an easier case because we’re dealing with a smaller number of plaintiffs (5). It’s easier to handle and to resolve,” Kreindler said.

Kreindler acknowledged that politics will affect the lawsuit. But he said that, when presented with the evidence of its complicity in the attacks, the ISI will have the opportunity to turn away from supporting terror, which could improve relations in the long term.

Long said that, from his extensive travel in the region, he was not surprised by the allegations made in the complaint, and he had heard credible rumors that Pakistani intelligence has supported acts of violence against Americans.

“It’s pretty widely believed that Pakistani intelligence still plays a big role in the Taliban insurgency,” Long said.

Long said two branches of the Taliban are based in Pakistan: the Haqqani network, in Miranshah; and the Quetta-Shura, also known as the Karachi-Shura, in Balochistan and Sindh.

Another Taliban group, the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, has had a relationship with Pakistani intelligence dating back to the 1980s, Long added.

Although the ISI provides some Afghani Taliban groups with “tacit sanctuary” and “probably active support,” Pakistani intelligence is a sworn enemy of its own country’s Taliban, the TTP, which seeks shariah law in the country and opposes its government as a “proxy” for Americans, Long said.

“The Pakistanis have cooperated with the United States in gathering intelligence against al-Qaida, but also the Pakistani Taliban because the Pakistani Taliban is a threat to the Pakistani state. … The Pakistani military launched an effective, if brutal, campaign to drive militants out,” Long said.

Long said he was not surprised that victims of violence turned to a civil court to seek justice against a foreign intelligence agency.

“Wrongful death lawsuits have become a way to get things into court that are difficult to get seen to any other way,” Long said.

Long believes that, if successful, the lawsuit could set a precedent for civil actions.

“If they’re going to admit to being linked to this attack, which was carried out by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, then theoretically any Lashkar-e-Tayyiba attack could be linked to the Pakistani intelligence, if there’s the same kind of evidence. Once you admit initial culpability with a group, then I think you’re at least open to any of the group’s actions,” Long said.

The lawsuit blaming the ISI for conspiring in the Mumbai terror attacks is still in discovery.

Here is a link to Courthouse News’ Nov. 23 story about that complaint, Rosenberg et al. v. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.

Source: Courthouse

ممبئی حملہ کیس، آئی ایس آئی سربراہ کے سمن جاری

احمد شجاع پاشا کے ساتھ آئی ایس آئی کے سابق سربراہ کو بھی طلب کیا گیا ہے

سنہ دو ہزار آٹھ کے ممبئی حملوں کے معاملے میں نیویارک میں بروکلین کی عدالت میں جاری ایک مقدمے کے سلسلے میں، پاکستان کی خفیہ ایجنسی آئی ایس آئی کے سربراہ اور کالعدم تنظیم لشکرِ طیبہ کے کئی عہدیداروں کو اگلے ماہ جنوری میں عدالت میں پیش ہونے کے لیے سمن جاری کر دیے گئے ہیں۔

یہ مقدمہ امریکی قانون کے تحت دہشتگرد حملوں میں زخمی ہونے والے ایک امریکی شہری اور ان حملوں میں ہلاک ہونے والے چار امریکی شہریوں کے لواحقین نے دائر کیا ہے۔

نیویارک سے صحافی سلیم رضوی کے مطابق عدالت نے اس مقدمے میں آئی ایس آئی کے موجودہ سربراہ جنرل احمد شجاع پاشا اور سابق سربراہ جنرل ندیم تاج کے نام سمن جاری کر کے انہیں عدالت میں طلب کیا ہے۔

عدالت نے پاکستانی فوج کے دو افسران میجر علی اور میجر اقبال کو بھی طلب کیا ہے۔ ان کے علاوہ جن افراد کے سمن جاری کیے گئے ہیں ان میں لشکرِ طیبہ کے ذکی الرحمان لکھوی اور جماعت الدعوہ کے امیر حافظ سعید بھی شامل ہیں۔

ممبئی حملوں میں ہلاک ہونے والے یہودی ربی گیبریئل ہولزبرگ اور ان کی اہلیہ روکا کے وکیل کا کہنا ہے کہ سبھی سمن جاری کر دیے گئے ہیں اور جنوری میں ان سبھی کو یا تو خود یا کسی وکیل کی معرفت سے عدالت میں پیش ہونا ہوگا۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ ان کے مؤکلوں کو زرِ تلافی دیا جانا چاہیے تاہم انہوں نے تسلیم کیا یہ معاملہ طول پکڑ سکتا ہے۔

انہوں نے کہا کہ ’میں نے اپنے موکلوں کو بتا دیا ہے کہ اس مقدمے میں کئی برس لگ سکتے ہیں تاہم میرے موکل اس مقدمے کو حتمی انجام تک پہنچانے کے لیے کمربستہ ہیں‘۔

اس مقدمے میں آئی ایس آئی اور پاکستانی فوج کے افسران پر الزام لگایا گیا ہے کہ انہوں نے ممبئی حملوں کے لیے دہشتگردوں کو تربیت دی اور ان کی مدد کی۔ لشکر طیبہ کے عہدیداران پر بھی دہشتگردی میں ملوث ہونے کے الزامات عائد کیے گئے ہیں۔
اس مقدمے میں آئی ایس آئی اور پاکستانی فوج کے افسران پر الزام لگایا گیا ہے کہ انہوں نے ممبئی حملوں کے لیے دہشتگردوں کو تربیت دی اور ان کی مدد کی۔ لشکر طیبہ کے عہدیداران پر بھی دہشتگردی میں ملوث ہونے کے الزامات عائد کیے گئے ہیں۔

خیال رہے کہ چند روز قبل بھی اس مقدمے کا ذکر اس وقت خبروں میں آیا تھا جب پاکستان کے قبائلی علاقے شمالی وزیرستان کے ایک رہائشی نے ڈرون حملوں پر ان کے خلاف عدالتی چارہ جوئی کرنے کا اعلان کیا تھا۔ کریم خان نامی اس شخص نے اس سلسلے میں امریکی وزیر دفاع رابرٹ گیٹس، سی آئی اے کے سربراہ لیون ایڈورڈ پنیٹا اور اسلام آباد میں سی آئی اے کے انچارج جوناتھن بینکس کو قانونی نوٹس بھیجا تھا۔

اس نوٹس بھیجے جانے کے بعد اسلام آباد میں سی آئی اے کے انچارج جوناتھن بینکس کو واپس امریکہ بلا لیا گیا تھا اور امریکی حکام نے ان کی روانگی کی وجہ ان کی زندگی کو لاحق خطرات بتائے تھے۔

اسی بارے میں امریکی اخبار نیویارک ٹائمز نے امریکی جاسوسی اہلکاروں کے حوالے سے اپنی ایک رپورٹ میں کہا تھا کہ پاکستان میں مبینہ طور امریکی جاسوسی ایجنسی سی آئی اے کے سربراہ کا نام افشا کیے جانے کے پیچھے مشتبہ طور پر پاکستانی جاسوسی ادارے آئی ایس آئی کا ہاتھ ہے۔

اخبار نے امریکی جاسوسی اداروں کے حکام کےحوالےسے یہ بھی قیاس کیا تھا کہ ممکنہ طور پاکستان میں امریکی سی آئي کے کے عملداروں کے خلاف فوجداری فریاد نیویارک کی ایک وفاقی عدالت میں آئی ایس آئی کیخلاف دائر مقدمے کے بدلے میں کی گئی۔

تاہم پاکستان کی خفیہ ایجنسی آئی ایس آئی کے ترجمان نے اس تاثر کی نفی کی تھی کہ آئی ایس آئی نے پاکستان میں مقیم سی آئی اے کے اعلیٰ ترین اہلکار کی شناخت بے نقاب کرنے میں مدد کی تھی۔

Source: BBC Urdu

December 19, 2010

Abbas brothers II: Why I wrote on them – by TLW

by admin

Related articles:

The Abbas brothers: A depressing tale – by TLW

The ISI media’s two pronged strategy: From Ahmed Quraishi to Azhar Abbas

I am a questioning sort of person. I question that which makes me curious, or that which piques my interest, yet I do not understand. And a certain blog piqued my interest. A reader of mine is a google follower of this blog by a certain, former employee of Dawn.

The blog, aside from tapping into the massive trope of Pakistan being nothing but a “land of terror” (which plays into a deeply impoverished view of Pakistan, reducing a much, much more complex land into the bare idea of angry bearded Muslims, and non angry, non bearded Muslims), made a swiping reference in every other post about a man whom I would presume was the writer’s former boss, Zafar Abbas. And every third or so post would make reference to Mr Zafar Abbas being the brother of General Athar Abbas of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR- the military’s PR department).

That blog, and that employee were, to put it politely, a few cards short of a full deck. It is the policy of me and my blog, when I come across what could be real out and out psychological damage, to keep quiet and back away slowly. Which is what I did. The author of that blog even referenced his own psychological situation, confirming what one suspected about him as a mentally damaged human being. That blogger even admitted being in such a precarious psychological state, and described his current conditions as that of a classic shut-in. So I skimmed and backed away slowly. And I realised as I closed the browser window that this lunatic had 37 google followers, and all I could muster were 9. Wow; even an out and out nutjob had more readers than me.

Or maybe it was just that he was realising the situation of current mainstream middle class Pakistan. Quoth Nadeem Farooq Paracha’s twitter:

Conspiracies theories are not theories, but a fact in Pakistan. Elvis is alive in Waziristan – thus the drone attacks.

I’m afraid that Nadeem Paracha may be too close to the truth.

As for this gentleman and his blog, they shall remain unnamed. I don’t want any strange google results for/from him leading to me. If you have any doubts about how annoying skewed Google results are, ask the folks at Five Rupees blog about their “Aunty” problem someday. I do not wish to skew my google results into any acknowledgement of this man’s lunacy. For all I know, he may have gotten fired from Dawn because his English writing skills stink. Seriously speaking, the grammar of his blogposts was atrocious, and this was a man who claimed to have been employed by what could be called Pakistan’s premier English daily. Standards of grammatical correctness had been slipping at Dawn, but he who shall remain unnamed used some really lousy English on his blog.

Moving beyond this man who was singularly obsessed with the Abbas brothers, and their “possible” role in getting him fired, many people had randomly mentioned this band of brothers who seemed to have reached top journalistic positions in one industry at the same time. Random comments on the Cafe Pyala page, conspiratorial ones on the LUBP page, and random tweets on this subject. Cafe Pyala, I especially feel sorry for, because as anonymous journalists writing about the media industry from inside it, they probably got too many requests to write on more than they even wished to broach. And since there is so much overt and covert corruption in Pakistan, there is sadly no dearth of negatively painted stories for them to cover. Why cover an obscure bunch of brothers who had a massive coincidence of luck, where all of them occupy important positions in various media producing groups (even the ISPR counts as this) at the exact same time in history. Better to go after their bosses, especially as working journalists, the Cafe Pyala-walas actually have an easier time getting dirt on the media owners that a “civilian” could not easily come by.

But that still leaves this very interesting story of these brothers in high positions across media companies at the same time…

So last month, I found myself home from a social engagement that had ended a little too early and I was feeling a little p-o’ed about.

Maybe writing would help. So I did. And then the idea of taking Critical PPP on their offer to publish anything if it was worth it popped into my mind. And all those very interesting internet comments on the Abbas Brothers looked like a question worth asking about.

So why not be original? A critical look into the ethical implications of hiring a group of brothers into senior positions in a somewhat influential media industry, whilst their brother is in charge of the establishment’s military media mouthpiece, in the middle of a war?

Sounded nice. And I think it was.

And in the back of my mind there was a voice that said some part of it won’t fit into the story. What part? Oh yeah, the one about the crazy ex-employee. Let’s just focus on the bosses. And in an evening’s haze of exhaustion, to keep it simple that is what I did.

But you the reader, I believe deserve to know about the unhinged employee and his blog that is out there. I will not link directly to it myself. But you can go search for it yourself. As for me, the depressing story of the Abbas brothers ends here. I’ve had enough of trying to dissect psy-ops. It’s back to the messiness, of real blood and guts ethnic warfare in Pakistan for me.

I’ll leave the propaganda and counter propaganda to the hacks, shrinks and various headjobs of the world.

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

December 18, 2010

Why did the CIA recall its station chief in Pakistan?

by admin


Background: CIA recalls its station chief in Pakistan

The CIA has pulled its station chief from Islamabad, one of America’s most important spy posts, after his cover was blown in a legal action brought by victims of US drone strikes in the tribal belt.

The officer, named in Pakistan as Jonathan Banks, left the country yesterday, after a tribesman publicly accused him of being responsible for the death of his brother and son in a CIA drone strike in December 2009. Karim Khan, a journalist from North Waziristan, called for Banks to be charged with murder and executed.

In a rare move, the CIA called Banks home yesterday, citing “security concerns” and saying he had received death threats, Washington officials told Associated Press. Khan’s lawyer said he was fleeing the possibility of prosecution.

“This is just diplomatic language they are using. Banks is a liability to the CIA because he’s likely to be called to court. They want to save him, and themselves, the embarrassment,” said lawyer Shahzad Akbar. Pakistani media reports have claimed that Banks entered the country on a business visa, and therefore does not enjoy diplomatic immunity from prosecution.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/17/cia-chief-pakistan-drone-cover

Who revealed the CIA chief’s identity?

Questions have arisen as to whether a civil lawsuit filed last month in Brooklyn in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks may have raised tensions with Pakistan and spurred it to retaliate. The lawsuit lists Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, as a defendant and accuses the ISI of nurturing terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks, which left 166 people dead.

The position

The CIA’s work is unusually difficult in Pakistan, an important but at times capricious counterterrorism ally. The station chief in Islamabad operates as a virtual military commander in the U.S. war against al-Qaida and other militant groups hidden along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The chief runs the Predator drone program targeting terrorists and handles some of the CIA’s most urgent and sensitive tips.

The station chief also collaborates closely with Pakistani intelligence. The alliance has led to strikes on key militant leaders but has also been marred by spats between the two agencies. During the first term of President George W. Bush’s administration, Pakistan almost expelled a previous CIA station chief in a dispute about intelligence sharing.

ISI’s reaction

Pakistan’s top spy agency denied Saturday that it helped unmask the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad, dismissing speculation it was retaliating for a U.S. lawsuit linking the Pakistani intelligence chief to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.

An official with the Pakistani spy service warned that such allegations risk raising tensions between the already uneasy allies.

The Pakistani intelligence official dismissed any claims of ISI involvement in exposing the CIA official as “a slur.” He declined to offer any comment on the Brooklyn lawsuit and said it was entirely possible Pakistani journalists simply figured out the station chief’s identity on their own.

Such “unfounded stories can create differences between the two organizations,” the official warned.

He also said the CIA has not directly accused the ISI of any wrongdoing in the matter. Like other intelligence officials, he requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his work and because he is not authorized to speak to media on the record.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/18/pakistani-spy-agency-deni_n_798606.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=DTN+Indonesia:

‘ISI blew CIA station chief’s cover in retaliation to Mumbai massacre implication’: The US officials’ allegation

The US officials said they strongly suspected that operatives of Pakistan’s spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had a hand in revealing the CIA officer’s identity- possibly in retaliation against a civil lawsuit filed in Brooklyn last month implicating the ISI chief in the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, the New York Times reports.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, did not immediately provide details to support their suspicions, but said that the CIA station chief had received a number of death threats since being publicly identified in a legal complaint sent to the Pakistani police this week by the family of victims of earlier drone campaigns.

Context

The top CIA spy’s hurried departure is the latest evidence of mounting tensions between the two uneasy allies, which could intensify in the coming months with the prospect of more American pressure on Pakistan to hunt for militants in its tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The Mumbai lawsuit in Brooklyn

The CIA-ISI relationship has often frayed in recent years; American officials believe that ISI officers helped plan the deadly July 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as well as provided support to Lashkar-e-Taiba militants who carried out the Mumbai attacks later that year.

Last month, a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn, which was brought by families of American victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, had named the ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, as being complicit in the attacks. The suit asserts that General Pasha and other ISI officers were “purposefully engaged in the direct provision of material support or resources” to the planners of the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan’s response

A senior Pakistani official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the Pakistani government “believes that the suit in New York does not have a sound legal basis, and is based on conjecture.”

“We did not need to retaliate,” he said. “As far as the government of Pakistan and the ISI are concerned, we look forward to working with the Americans in securing the world from transnational threats, especially the shared threat of terrorism.”

The legal case in Pakistan

The legal complaint in Pakistan, which identified the station chief was filed on Monday over CIA drone attacks that killed at least two Pakistanis, seeking police help in keeping the top spy in the country until a lawsuit could be filed.

Mirza Shahzad Akbar, the lawyer who brought the case against the CIA, said that it would continue despite the station chief’s absence. He is representing Kareem Khan, a resident of North Waziristan, who said that his son and brother were killed in a drone strike, and is seeking 500 million dollars in compensation. (ANI)

http://www.calcuttanews.net/story/721036/ht/ISI-blew-CIA-station-chiefs-cover-in-retaliation-to-Mumbai-massacre-implication

What do the ISI’s agents in Pakistani media say?

Syed Talat Hussain

Change of heart on US drone strikes?
Source: Dawn, December 15, 2010

ISLAMABAD: “Report 25” in the Islamabad secretariat police station`s record is set to become a symbolic document in Pakistan`s counter-terrorism relations with the United States. Based on an application by Kareem Khan of Muchikhel, Mirali, North Waziristan, the report can possibly pave the way for the registration of a case against Jonathan Banks, an alleged CIA functionary operating from the US embassy in Islamabad, on charges of providing operational guidance for drone attacks in Fata region, including one that killed the complainant`s son and brother.

Kareem Khan`s application caps two weeks of activity by a group of protesters from the Fata region who have camped outside the parliament, and not far from the Islamabad Press Club, pleading for an end to drone attacks.

All of them have seen the horror of drone strikes. Some like Sadullah, a grade-7 student, also from Mirali, have been crippled for life, while others, the majority in the group, have been traumatised by the death of their relatives.

It is the first time since the drone attacks started in 2004 that some victims have taken an initiative for a legal action against the US authorities. This strengthens a hitherto disjointed outcry against drones, elevating it to an expression of the nation`s sentiment. Dawn

“I want the court to provide me relief. I want these criminals to be brought to justice. They sit in Islamabad and kill Pakistan`s citizens. Let us see what the government does for us now,” said Kareem Khan while talking to .

This expectation of support from the government is already half-met. The group of protesters has been getting substantial political support. Almost every political party has sent a representative to the camp to assure the protesters of its support. Even the Awami National Party, whose leaders have been the most vocal in supporting the drone attacks, has publicly endorsed their stance. Afrasiab Khattak, chief of the party`s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa unit, surprised his own colleagues by spending time with the campaigners from Fata.

But a question has been baffling observers: who tipped off the petitioners about the identity of the putative CIA operative and his presence in Islamabad?

Even the most well-informed sources in the capital would not have access to such privileged piece of information. For this to have become a part of Kareem`s application indicates that the mood in Islamabad`s corridors of power is changing with regard to drone attacks and their usefulness. TIT FOR TAT?:

Islamabad`s diplomatic circles are abuzz with speculation as to what could have caused this change of mood. One reason cited is the 26-page lawsuit filed with a New York Court on Nov 19 against the ISI and LeT by the relatives of those who were gunned down by militants at Mumbai`s Chabad House on Nov 26, 2008.

The court has issued summons to, among others, the present and former heads of the ISI, Lt Generals Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj.

“It could be tit for tat, in a bizarre battle of one-upmanship between the agencies,” mused a western diplomat at a recent reception.

It is hard to verify this explanation in the absence of any official word. The Foreign Office, as well as military spokespersons, have declined to comment on the subject. And the ISI does not have an official spokesperson.

A much more convincing explanation could be that the frequency of drone attacks has at last exasperated the decision makers into feeling enough is enough.

If indeed the Fata protesters are being facilitated by Islamabad`s ruling establishment, then it seems to have a lot to do with a new set of anxieties that have overtaken both GHQ and Islamabad.

Statements from top US intelligence officials warning about the possibility of expanding the territorial scope of the strikes has rung alarm bells.

Sources close to the security establishment say that suggestions by US think tanks of attacks in Quetta against the so-called Quetta Shura and on madressahs in Akora Khattak, Karak, are being taken seriously.

While US officials have always reassured Pakistan that such suggestions are “wild talk”, the sources say, no one is under any illusion that this cannot happen.

Cultivating public opinion against drone attacks is therefore important to make the CIA think twice before expanding drone attacks to urban centres.

Hence “Report 25” is a clear message from Pakistan that the nation has now begun to draw a red line vis-Ã -vis the drones.

But it is hard to imagine that this would make US policymakers review their policy. This is in part because of the private sanction that Islamabad has given to these strikes since 2004.

`LAUGHABLE`: Karim Khan`s complaint has come after as many as 207 reported drone strikes and considerable civilian casualties. The Long War Journal has given a conservative estimate of the innocents killed in these strikes, putting the figure at over one hundred.

The locals laugh off these estimates. “This is laughable. Hundreds have been killed in my area alone. This is just to prove US policy right. These estimates have no value,” said Kareem.

Regardless of the debate on casualties, it is an open secret that Pakistan`s highest authorities have been in on drone strikes. The most persuasive evidence came when a WikiLeaks cable quoted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as saying: “I don`t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We`ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.”

Making the US change this policy of cooperation will be easier said than done. In fact, the US has already ramped up the drone effort inside Pakistan, and that is why of the total drone strikes on Pakistan, a whopping 197 have taken place since 2008.

It will be interesting to see whether Report 25 will reverse the trend.

Hamid Mir

The US must not consider ‘us’ weak

ہمیں کمزور نہ سمھو…قلم کمان …حامد میر

Jang, 2 Dec 2010

کیا یہ امریکا کے زوال کا آغاز نہیں؟ امریکی سفارت کاروں کی خفیہ دستاویزات ہزاروں لاکھوں کی تعداد میں بے نقاب ہوچکی ہیں۔ دوسرے الفاظ میں ”وکی لیکس“ نے امریکا کو دنیا کے سامنے ننگا کردیا ہے۔ گھر کے بھیدی نے لنکا ڈھا دی۔امریکی سفارتکاروں کا طرز فکر ہمارے سامنے آچکا ہے اور اب اس حقیقت میں کوئی شک نہیں رہا کہ ہمیں امریکیوں سے ہوشیار رہنے کی ضرورت ہے۔ بس بہت ہوچکا۔ اب ہمیں امریکیوں کے ہاتھوں مزید ذلت برداشت نہیں کرنی چاہئے۔ یقیناً ایک سپر پاور کے سامنے سراٹھا کر جینا اتنا آسان نہیں لیکن ہم اس سپر پاور کو تو باور کروا سکتے ہیں کہ اگر تم نے ہمیں ذلت کی زندگی کی طرف دھکیلنے کی پالیسی نہ بدلی تو تم ہمیں عزت کی موت کا انتخاب کرنے سے نہ روک سکو گے۔ مجھے یقین ہے کہ ہماری ذلتوں کا وقت ختم ہونے والا ہے

کچھ دانشور کہتے ہیں کہ امریکا جو بھی حکم دے اس پر آنکھیں بند کرکے عمل کرنا ہی قومی مفاد ہے کیونکہ ہم ”ناں“ کہنے کی اوقات ہی نہیں رکھتے ۔ یہ دانشور بھول جاتے ہیں کہ ابھی چند ہفتے پہلے کی تو بات ہے جب امریکی طیاروں کے حملوں میں ایف سی کے جوان شہید ہوئے تو ہم نے ایک ”ناں“ کی۔ ہم نے امریکا کیلئے پاکستان کے راستے افغانستان جانے والی سپلائی لائن بند کردی۔ صرف ایک ہفتے کے اندر اندر سپر پاور کو ہمارے سامنے جھکنا پڑا اور امریکی سفیر نے پہلی دفعہ ہم سے معافی مانگی۔

یہ خاکسار کوئی جذباتی بات نہیں کررہا۔ اس معافی کے بعد بھی امریکیوں نے ہماری آزادی اور خود مختاری کو ایک عالمی تماشہ بنانے کی پالیسی ختم نہ کی تو ہم امریکیوں کو سبق سکھانے کی صلاحیت بھی رکھتے ہیں۔ جی ہاں! جس قسم کے ڈرون طیاروں کے ذریعے امریکا پچھلے کئی سالوں سے پاکستان میں بمباری کررہا ہے اسی قسم کے ڈرون طیارے پاکستان بھی بنا چکا ہے۔ پاکستان کے ڈرون طیارے بھی پائلٹ کے بغیر اڑتے ہیں، پائلٹ کے بغیر نہ صرف دن کی روشنی میں بلکہ رات کے اندھیرے میں بھی اپنے ہدف کو 25 ہزار فٹ کی بلندی سے نشانہ بنا سکتے ہیں اور دشمن کے ریڈار کو دھوکہ بھی دے سکتے ہیں۔ امریکا کے ڈرون طیاروں کو گرانے کیلئے ہمیں امریکا سے خریدے گئے ایف16 طیاروں کی ضرورت نہیں بلکہ ان ڈرون طیاروں کو بھگانے کیلئے ہمارے اپنے ڈرون ہی کافی ہیں۔

اب آپ سوچ رہے ہوں گے کہ اگر امریکا القاعدہ اور طالبان کے خلاف پاکستان میں ڈرون حملے کرسکتا ہے تو ہم القاعدہ اور طالبان کے خلاف اپنے ڈرون استعمال کیوں نہیں کرتے؟ میری اطلاع کے مطابق ہم نے جنوبی وزیر ستان میں عسکریت پسندوں کے خلاف اپنے ڈرون طیاروں کو بڑی کامیابی لیکن احتیاط کے ساتھ استعمال کیا۔ ان طیاروں کو صرف ان علاقوں میں استعمال کیا گیا جہاں صرف عسکریت پسند موجود تھے

میں نے کئی مرتبہ کئی امریکیوں سے پوچھا کہ تم پاکستان میں ڈرون حملے کرتے ہو لیکن افغانستان میں طالبان کے خلاف ڈرون حملے کیوں نہیں کرتے؟ اس سوال کا ان کے پاس کوئی جواب نہیں ہوتا۔ دراصل پاکستان میں ڈرون حملوں کے ذریعہ وہ دنیا کی ساتویں ایٹمی طاقت کا جان بوجھ کر بار بار مذاق اڑاتے ہیں۔ انہیں معلوم ہے کہ ان حملوں سے ریاستی اداروں اور عوام میں عدم اعتماد بڑھے گا۔

امریکی میڈیا کے ذریعہ پروپیگنڈہ کیا جاتا ہے کہ یہ ڈرون حملے پاکستانی حکومت کی مرضی سے ہوتے ہیں بلکہ یہاں تک کہا جاتا ہے کہ یہ ڈرون طیارے پاکستانی ایئر پورٹوں سے ہی پرواز کرتے ہیں۔ وزیر اعظم یوسف رضا گیلانی، وزیر خارجہ شاہ محمود قریشی اور آرمی چیف جنرل اشفاق پرویز کیانی کئی مرتبہ امریکی میڈیا میں شائع ہونے والی خبروں کی تردید کرچکے ہیں اور یہ کہہ چکے ہیں کہ انہوں نے امریکیوں کے ساتھ مذاکرات میں ڈرون حملے روکنے کا مطالبہ کیا ہے۔

پچھلے دو اڑھائی سال میں یہ حملے کم نہیں ہوئے بلکہ بڑھ گئے ہیں۔ ان حملوں نے ریاست اور عوام کے درمیان غط فہمیوں کے کوہ ہمالیہ کھڑے کر دیئے ہیں۔ کیا وقت نہیں آگیا کہ ان غلط فہمیوں کو دور کیا جائے؟ کیا وقت نہیں آگیا کہ وزیر اعظم، وزیر خارجہ اور آرمی چیف اہل وطن کے سامنے اپنی سچائی کو ثابت کریں؟ امریکیوں کی خوشنودی کی خاطر اپنوں کی تنقید کا نشانہ نہ بن کر انہیں کیا مل رہا ہے؟

http://search.jang.com.pk/archive/details.asp?nid=487673

A relatively sane voice in Pakistani media

Saleem Safi

ڈرون حملے، وکی لیکس اور ہماری منافقت…. جرگہ…سلیم صافی

نہیں نہیں، ہر گز نہیں۔ انہیں انکشافات کہنا مناسب نہیں۔ انکشاف وہی ہوتا ہے جس کا پہلے سے کسی کو علم ہو اور نہ اندازہ اور اچانک وہ منکشف ہوجائے۔ وکی لیکس میں پاکستان سے متعلق جو حقائق سامنے آئے ہیں،ان میں پاکستان سے متعلق کم از کم ہم جیسے طالب علموں کے لئے کوئی نئی بات نہیں۔ پاکستانی سیاست و سکیورٹی سے دلچسپی رکھنے والے ہر فرد کو علم تھا کہ موجودہ سیاسی سیٹ اپ کی بساط امریکہ نے بچھائی تھی۔ یہ حقیقت سب اہل صحافت و سیاست پر عیاں تھی کہ آصف علی زرداری ملکی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کو اچھے لگتے ہیں اور نہ اسے میاں نوازشریف عزیز ہیں۔ یہ راز بھی کوئی راز نہیں تھا کہ آصف علی زرداری اور میاں نواز شریف یکساں طور پر عسکری قیادت کے بارے میں شاکی ہیں

کس باخبر پاکستانی کو خبر نہ تھی پاکستانی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کے سرخیل اپنے ہر بڑے قدم کے لئے واشنگٹن کی آشیرباد ضروری سمجھتے ہیں اور یہ کہ پاکستانی سیاستدانوں کی اکثریت اپنے گندے کپڑے امریکی سفارتخانے میں جاکر دھوتے رہتے ہیں؟

دوغلے پن اور قوم کے ساتھ دھوکے کا یہ سلسلہ بہت پہلے سے جاری ہے۔ 2007ء میں امریکیوں نے شمالی وزیرستان دو اور باجوڑ میں ایک مقام کو ڈرون سے نشانہ بنانے کا منصوبہ بنایا۔ ان کی پہلی ترجیح شمالی وزیرستان تھی لیکن تب اس وقت کے گورنر لیفٹیننٹ جنرل(ر) علی محمد جان اوکرزئی نے اس وقت کے وائس چیف آف آرمی اسٹاف کے ذریعے امریکیوں سے درخواست کی کہ وہ حملہ اس لئے نہ کرے کیونکہ دو روز بعد شمالی وزیرستان کے قبائل کے ساتھ طے پانے والا معاہدہ خطرے میں پڑ جائے گا ۔ جب امریکی نہیں مانے تو پھر مبینہ طور پر گورنر صاحب نے ان سے درخواست کی کہ اگر ڈرون حملہ خواہ مخواہ کرنا ہی ہے تو پھر شمالی وزیرستان کی بجائے باجوڑ میں کیا جائے۔ یہ وہ حملہ تھا جس میں ڈمہ ڈولا کے ایک مدرسے میں درجنوں بچے شہید ہوگئے۔

یہ سب کچھ تب ہورہا تھا جب متحدہ مجلس عمل حکومت میں شامل اور پرویز مشرف کا درپردہ اتحادی تھا۔ اس حملہ پر اس وقت ہماری حکومت نے ڈرامہ بازی کی خاطر امریکہ سے احتجاج کیا اور اسی حملے کے خلاف اسفندیار ولی خان کی زیرقیادت عوامی نیشنل پارٹی نے تیمرگرہ سے باجوڑ تک ایک احتجاجی مارچ بھی کیا ۔

امریکی ڈرون حملوں کو اپنی جنگ میں کامیاب ترین ہتھیار تصور کرتے ہیں۔ جس کا نقصان ان کے لئے کم سے کم اور فائدہ بہت زیادہ ہے۔ بغیر کسی جانی اور مالی نقصان کے گزشتہ سالوں کے دوران ان حملوں کے نتیجے میں وہ درجنوں کی تعداد میں القاعدہ اور پاکستانی طالبان کے رہنماؤں کو مار چکے ہیں۔ ان میں اگر بے گناہ قبائلی نشانہ بنتے ہیں تو امریکیوں کو اس کی کوئی پروا نہیں۔ نہ صرف وہ یہ سلسلہ جاری رکھیں گے بلکہ اس میں مزید اضافہ بھی کرنے جارہے ہیں۔ سوال یہ ہے کہ اگر یہ سب کچھ پاکستانی حکمرانوں کی اجازت سے ہورہا ہے تو پھر کیوں قوم کو بے وقوف اور پاکستان کو دنیا کی نظروں میں مذاق بنایاجارہا ہے؟

ان دنوں شمالی وزیرستان سے تعلق رکھنے والا ایک صحافی کریم خان اسلام آباد میں مارے مارے پھرتے ہوئے انصاف کی بھیک مانگ رہے ہیں۔ 31دسمبر 2009ء کو میرعلی کے قریب واقع ان کے حجرے پر امریکی سی آئی اے نے ڈرون حملہ کیا تھا جس میں ان کا اٹھارہ سالہ معصوم بچہ زین اللہ خان، ان کی بھائی آصف اقبال (جو کہ نمل سے ایم اے انگلش کرنے کے بعد ایک اسکول میں پڑھاتے تھے) اور ایک ملازم شہید ہوئے تھے۔ انہوں نے بیرسٹر مرزا شہزاد اکبر کے ذریعے امریکی سیکرٹری دفاع رابرٹ گیٹس، سی آئی اے کے سربراہ لیون پینیٹا اور اسی ادارے کے اسٹیشن چیف جوناتھن بینکس کو عدالتی چارہ جوئی کا نوٹس ارسال کرکے پانچ سو ملین ڈالر کا تاوان طلب کیا ہے لیکن میں یہ دیکھ کر حیران رہ گیا کہ ان کے اس نوٹس میں پاکستانی حکمران اور پالیسی ساز شامل نہیں ہیں۔

سوال یہ ہے کہ کیا کریم خان جیسوں کو ایک اسی نوعیت کا نوٹس پاکستانی حکمرانوں کو بھی ارسال نہیں کرنا چاہئے جنہوں نے ایک طرف امریکیوں کو ڈرون حملوں کی اجازت دے رکھی ہے اور اوپر سے دوغلے پن کا مظاہرہ کرتے ہوئے ان کے خلاف قراردادیں پاس کرتے یا پھر سیاسی میدان میں موجود اپنے پراکسیز کے ذریعے دھرنے دلواتے رہتے ہیں؟

http://search.jang.com.pk/archive/details.asp?nid=488037

What do WikiLeaks say?

Pakistan has been very sensitive to allegations that U.S. combat forces are at work inside the country. But one cable from Patterson written in October 2009 noted with satisfaction, “The Pakistani Army has for just the second time approved deployment of U.S. special operation elements to support Pakistani military operations. The first deployment … occurred in September.”

That cable goes on to say that a request had come from the Pakistani military commander in North and South Waziristan, Lt. Gen. Masood Aslam, for intelligence and reconnaissance assistance from U.S. Special Operations units. That support would “include a live downlink of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) full motion video,” it says.

Patterson adds that the move “appears to represent a sea change in Pakistani thinking. Patient relationship-building with the military is the key factor that has brought us to this point.”

But she cautions: “These deployments are highly politically sensitive because of widely held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil. Should these developments and/or related matters receive any coverage in the Pakistani or U.S. media, the Pakistani military will likely stop making requests for such assistance.”

Source

Wikileaks: Pakistan privately approved drone strikes
US special forces fought side by side with Pakistani soldiers and the government in Islamabad privately approved drone strikes while publicly condemning the CIA’s covert raids, according to the Wikileaks diplomatic cables

Rob Crilly in Islamabad 9:43AM GMT 01 Dec 2010

The revelations of America’s secret war in Pakistan will deeply embarrass President Asif Ali Zardari (a puppet of Gernal Kayani) who has long denied such deep co-operation with Washington for fear it would embolden Islamist opposition to his feeble government.

In public, both sides have described putting American boots on the ground as a red line issue.

However, a cable sent by the then US Ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, states that Pakistan has twice requested American soldiers to embed with its Frontier Corps in North Waziristan and South Waziristan, areas dotted with Taliban and al-Qaeda bases.

On both occasions Pakistan asked for the help of US special forces to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance – including video footage from drones – to its troops. On one mission they helped the Pakistani soldiers target an enemy base with artillery.

“These deployments are highly politically sensitive because of widely-held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil,” she wrote.

“Should these developments and/or related matters receive any coverage in the Pakistani or US media, the Pakistani military will likely stop making requests for such assistance.”

A second cable describes a 2008 meeting with Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Pakistani prime minister, in which he brushes aside concerns about the use of Predator drones against targets in the tribal areas and gives an insight into how he would deny any co-operation.

“I don’t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it,” he told Ms Patterson.

There have been more than 100 drone strikes so far this year as the Obama administration steps up its covert use of Predators in the skies over Pakistan.

[Of course, Gilani and Zardari were speaking the voice of their masters in khaki.]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8172922/Wikileaks-Pakistan-privately-approved-drone-strikes.html

US embassy cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks reveal that teams of US special forces have been secretly working with Pakistan military in the tribal areas, the Guardian said on Wednesday.

Small US special forces teams helped hunt down Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters and co-ordinate drone strikes, American cables revealed.

They pointed out that the number of soldiers involved were limited to just 16 in October 2009 – but the deployment is of immense political significance.

The first special forces team of four soldiers was deployed at an old British colonial fort in the northern half of the tribal belt in September 2009, so as to help Frontier Corps paramilitaries to carry out artillery strikes on a militant base, one of the leaked US cables revealed.

A month later, two more teams of six soldiers each were deployed at Pakistani army bases in North and South Waziristan, a lawless warren of mountains considered to be the global headquarters of al-Qaeda, it said.

Their job was to provide “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” support, “general operational advice” and to help set up a live satellite feed from American drones flying overhead.

American officials, who had long been pushing for such a deployment in the face of “adamant” Pakistani opposition, were jubilant, viewing it as a sign of growing trust in an often troubled relationship, the cable said.

“The developments of the past two months thus appear to represent a sea change in [the military’s] thinking,” read one of the cables.

American special forces had been deployed in Pakistan since 2008 but were limited to a training role, it noted.

Permission for the active combat deployment “almost certainly” came with the personal consent of Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kayani, another cable read.

“Patient relationship-building with the military is the key factor that has brought us to this point. The Pakistanis are increasingly confident that we do not have ulterior motives in assisting their operations,” according to the cable.

Participation of American soldiers in combat operations in the tribal campaign has never been publicly acknowledged due to its extreme political sensitivity in a country seething with anti-US sentiment, it further noted.

In the cables, Pakistan bureaucrats have been shown as supporting the drone attacks, viewing them as a solution to a problem.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/wikileaks-us-special-forces-secretly-working-with-pak-military/718522/

Within Pakistan, ISI is on the run, refuses to explain its role in drone attacks!

In a visible expression of disrespect and distrust of politicians, the ISI has refused to brief the Pakistan Parliament’s standing committee on defense about their role and cooperation with the US drone attacks on Pakistani territory.

According to recent revelations by Wikileaks the current drone operations in Pakistan are being conducted by the USA with due permission and help from Pakistan Army / ISI.

A few days ago, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense had taken serious view of the media reports that US was seeking to expand drone attacks in Quetta. The committee is chaired by the PPP MNA from Sindh, Azra Afzal.

The NA committee, which met at the Parliament House on 25 November, sought a clarification from the Interior, Foreign and Defence Ministries by December 7. The committee also directed for a special briefing on ISI role in the war on terror.

The ISI has however refused to welcome parliamentarians in their headquarters because of ‘security concerns’.

The ISI, which is largely conceived as a state within the state of Pakistan, is notorious for its disrespect for elected representatives of the people, and also for its illegal interference in the country’s political system.

According to the ISI’s criteria, almost all politicians and activists (except Imran Khan, Munawar Hassan, General Hameed Gul, Hafiz Saeed, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Pir Pagara etc) are a risk to the national security of Pakistan.

In the past, the ISI and its paid agents in Pakistani media have categorized elected Prime Ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif as a threat to the national security.

Same allegations are currently being levelled against the elected President Asif Zardari, Prime Mnister Yusuf Raza Gilani and their aides including Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Law Minister Babar Awan etc.

Here is the news item from Jang newspaper:

آئی ایس آئی کی قائمہ کمیٹی برائے دفاع کو بریفنگ دینے سے معذرت

Updated at 1645 PST

اسلام آباد….آئی ایس آئی نے قومی اسمبلی کی قائمہ کمیٹی برائے دفاع کو آئی ایس آئی ہیڈکوارٹر میں بریفنگ دینے سے معذرت کرلی ہے۔

ذرائع کے مطابق قائمہ کمیٹی نے وزارت ِ دفاع کو ڈرون حملوں کا دائرہ کار کوئٹہ تک بڑھانے اور سی آئی اے کی پاکستان میں سرگرمیوں سے متعلق آئی ایس آئی کو ہیڈکوارٹر میں بریفنگ دینے کی ہدایت کی تھی لیکن آئی ایس آئی حکام نے وزارت دفاع کو آگاہ کیا کہ پوری کمیٹی کو ہیڈکوارٹر میں بریفنگ نہیں دی جاسکتی

جس پر چیئرپرسن عذرا فضل نے وزارت دفاع کو ہدایت کی کہ کسی اور محفوظ جگہ پر 13 جنوری کو بریفنگ کا انتظام کردیا جائے۔

قائمہ کمیٹی برائے دفاع کے اجلاس میں فضائی مال برداری بل 2010ء کا بھی جائزہ لیا گیا اور بل کے حوالے سے ائیرلائنوں کے نمائندگان اور ایکسپورٹرز نے اپنے تحفظات پیش کیے۔ جس پر ان تحفظات کا جائزہ لینے کے لیے یہ بل قومی اسمبلی کی قائمہ کمیٹی برائے دفاع کو بھجوا دیا گیا

اجلاس کی صدارت چیئرپرسن کمیٹی عذرافضل پیچوہو نے کی۔

http://search.jang.com.pk/update_details.asp?nid=105190

December 17, 2010

Purveyors of fiction – by George Fulton

by admin

For those who don’t know Ahmad Quraishi, according to his website — ahmedquraishi.com — he is “a public policy writer, commentator and broadcaster”. In reality, he is widely known to be a crude propagandist for the army/intelligence nexus. At least Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda films had artistic value. Noxious, yes, but art nonetheless. Sadly, no such claim can be made of Quraishi’s leaden prosaic prose.

He is also “one of the founders of PakNationalists, a supposed forum focusing on shaping Pakistan’s foreign and domestic policy options”. Actually it’s an anti-India bile-spewing machine that spreads untruths, smears and uncorroborated stories. His most recent article on his website, entitled “Guardian uses WikliLeaks for Propaganda, Pakistani Media Can’t?” is an astonishing convoluted defence of the fake cable that was exposed by Cafe Pyala and subsequently picked up by the Guardian correspondent, Declan Walsh and this newspaper’s blog section. The phrase ‘twisting in the wind’ comes to mind.

Quraishi begins by attempting to undermine the original story of the fake cable: “(The) Guardian’s Islamabad correspondent Declan Walsh claimed the stories were ‘credited to the Online Agency, an Islamabad-based news service that has frequently run pro-army stories in the past. No journalist is bylined’. Fabulous, only that it is not accurate. The story was published by the ‘Daily Mail of Pakistan’, a newspaper launched recently and staffed by journalists coming from the newsrooms of Pakistan’s frontrow newspapers.”

He goes on to say: “A large part of the original Pakistani report is credible. It was published by a prominent news organisation and the story has four names in the byline. The Guardian unethically tried to link the story to Pakistani intelligence agencies by suggesting the story comes with ‘no byline’ and can’t be sourced. The Guardian’s Mr Walsh compensated his lack of investigation by offering his own conspiracy theory that the report was planted by Pakistani intelligence agencies.”

Let’s state some facts. All the newspapers that ran the story did credit it to the Online news agency. No byline was given by any newspaper. It cannot be sourced. Ah, but what about this ‘Daily Mail of Pakistan’ that he quotes. Unfortunately, this is not an authentic newspaper but one that peddles propaganda. (It was ‘The Daily Mail of Pakistan’ that planted the bogus story that the Pakistan spot-fixing scandal was orchestrated by the Indian intelligence agency RAW.)

What about the bylines Mr Quraishi mentions on the ‘Daily Mail of Pakistan’ website? It’s true that the fake cable story is bylined “From Suzie Wang in Washington, Christina Palmer in New Delhi, John Nelson in Kabul and Ahmad-Almurad in Cairo”. The only problem is that these people don’t exist. They are figments of his imagination. I would love to meet Suzie Wang from Washington and Christina Palmer who apparently works in New Delhi.

Yes, it’s highly likely that the ‘Daily Mail of Pakistan’ — and all these other bogus websites (again Cafe Pyala has done a brilliant expose of these bogus sites) — are probably paid for by a budget that we, as taxpayers, and our elected officials do not have permission to scrutinise. Good to know, isn’t it.

So the question that comes to mind is: what is the point of Ahmed Quraishi’s article? He has been proven to peddle half-truths and misinformation on some rather shady websites. As a self-described nationalist, I am sure he would defend what he was doing as being for the greater good of Pakistan and its people. But I subscribe to Charles De Gaulle’s view of nationalists and nationalism: “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” Mr Quraishi is a hate-monger. One must also wonder how much Mr Quraishi really loves the people of this country since he seems to make a living peddling half-truths to them.

December 16, 2010

The ISI media's two pronged strategy: From Ahmed Quraishi to Azhar Abbas

by admin


The front end: the ISI strikes back

Recently, the LUBP wrote an article titled “Pakistan Army owns up the ISI man on a suicide attack mission in India”. ‘Renowned’ nationalist, patriot, and ‘asset’, Ahmed Quraishi, took exception to our views and thus scolded the LUBP in the following words:

Ahmed Quraishi’s attack on the LUBP:

‘Et tu, PPPP?’

The stunning part is how a Pakistani website that is part of ruling PPPP’s network of online propaganda promptly in endorsed the Indian intelligence reports and supported the reports published by the Indian media. The site runs propaganda material for President Asif Zardari and other PPPP stalwarts. Senior journalist Hamid Mir accused this site of being run from Washington by Mr. Zardari’s close aide and envoy in Washington Husain Haqqani.

The PPPP site, called LUBP, in a post titled, Pakistan army owns up the ISI man on a suicide attack mission in India, said:

“Online factories of suicide bombers: An ISI production: LUBP has been boldly stating for the last many years that Pakistan Army’s continued policy of jihadi and sectarian suicide attacks […] Now it has been once again proven without doubt that jihadi and sectarian suicide attacks are an integral element of the Pakistan Army’s military strategy”

The link shows this PPPP site relying heavily on India propaganda. It did not verify if the Indian news is correct and posted two links, both of Indian TV channels, to prove the Indian allegations.

The Indian army chief is nincompoop who is willing to buy a junior intelligence analyst’s ridiculous story based on a minor data entry error. But what is PPPP’s excuse for endorsing Indian propaganda? And does President Zardari’s media adviser Mrs. Farahnaz Isphahani know what the party’s media cell’s kids are doing online?

Source: Ahmed Quraishi

LUBP’s position:

“Unlike Ahmed Quraishi, whose own network of lies is run directly from GHQ, LUBP does not take dictation from Farahnaz Isapahani or Hussain Haqqani. We publish whatever we think is the truth. Not something that anyone should expect Ahmed Quraishi to understand though.” (Source)

The back-end: more refined line of ISI’s defence

The more refined line of the ISI’s defence in Pakistani media can be seen in the shape of a recent, unusual article by Geo TV’s MD Azhar Abbas. The article titled “A tactical move or the main strategy?” was published on 16 Dec 2010 in The News.

At the onset, one must recall what the Jang Group (including its three prominent components, i.e., Geo TV, Jang and The News) has stood for in the last three years:

  1. A consistent, maligning campaign against an elected government thus confirming the Jang Group’s complicit role (Teen Jeem) with the military establishment;
  2. An incessant character assassination of President Asif Ali Zardari;
  3. Wide and unwarranted coverage to the ideology and sermons of jihadi and sectarian terrorists including but not limited to the Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan, extremist Deobandi mullahs Mufti Naeem and Mufti Hanif Jallandhri, Sipah-e-Sahaba’s chief Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi, cultivators of Al Qaeda including Dr Zakir Naik and Farhat Hashmi etc.
  4. Promotion of notorious, blackmailing journalists including Dr Shahid Masood, Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi and Shaheen Sehabi with known contacts with the ISI and the MI;
  5. Failure to take adequate professional and legal action against Hamid Mir for his involvement in Khalid Khwaja’s murder.

Now let us see what Azhar Abbas had to say in the Jang Group’s defence:

Azhar Abbas wonders if the case of fake WikiLeak cable is “a case of an honest mistake, over-zealousness on the part of the writer, or a calculated plant by a section of our establishment? The publication of the fake WikiLeaks story has not only raised questions about the editorial controls within media organisations, but also about the “powers that be” and their apparent shortsighted objectives.”

In order to assess if it was a one-off case of an honest mistake, we suggest Mr Abbas may more retrospectively ask himself:

  • Has not the Jang Group (including Jang, The News and Geo TV) consistently acted as a willing partner and servant of the military establishment in the last three years?
  • Has not it played an integral and vital role in continuous character assassination of an elected president of this unfortunate country?
  • Has it not played a key role in propagating and reinforcing the military establishment’s “politicians-are-corrupt” mantra, while completely ignoring numerous incidents of financial, political and moral corruption of the military establishment?
  • Did it not play a damning role in partnership with the military establishment in its criticism of the Kerry Lugar Bill?
  • Is it not a fact that the ISI regularly offers formal and informal directions to media owners and editors about which news items are to be eliminated and which ones need to be twisted and highlighted? Most recently, the Army Chief himself dictated such talking points to the media.
  • Thus, are we dealing here with the case of a one off mistake, or has the Jang Group decided to come better prepared and better camouflaged next time?

On more than one occasions in this article, Mr Abbas has shown his selective or partial honesty. For example he writes: “Mohsin Baig, head of the Online news agency, has sacked the agency’s editor, charging him of “fabricating the story”.”

How conveniently he ignored the fact that Mohsin Baig is already known as the most volcal advocates of the GHQ and the ISI in media circles in Pakistan. Also, was it not Mr Baig himself who in an interview with BBC Urdu asserted that the cable was genuine:

اس بارے میں بی بی سی کے نامہ نگار حفیظ چاچڑ سے بات کرتے ہوئے خبر رساں ایجنسی آن لائن کے سربراہ محسن بیگ نےدعوٰی کیا یہ دستاویز اصل ہے۔ انہوں نے ان اخبارات پر تنقید کی جنہوں نے اس خبر پر معذرت شائع کی ہے۔

ان کے مطابق ’اگر ہماری خبر کی وکی لیکس تردید کر دے تو ان اخبارات کی معذرت جائز ہے اور وکی لیکس کی اس خبر کے انٹرنیٹ پر بے شمار لنکس موجود ہیں‘۔

محسن بیگ نے کہا کہ وکی لیکس کے دستاویزات شائع کرنے کا برطانوی اخبار گارڈین کے پاس کوئی اختیار نہیں ہے اور یہ دستاویزات انٹرنیٹ پر موجود ہیں اور انہیں کوئی بھی چھاپ سکتا ہے۔ انہوں نے ان خبروں کی بھی تردید کی جن میں کہا گیا ہے کہ خبر رساں ایجنسی کو یہ خبر مخصوص مقاصد پورے کرنے کے لیے دی گئی تھی۔

Is it just a coincidence that this wave of honesty has also entrapped Hamid Mir along with Azhar Abbas. Recently, in his interview with an Indian TV channel (Times Now), Mir admitted the role of the (military) establishment in planting the fake cable story:

Leading Pakistani newspapers acknowledged that they were hoaxed into publishing reports based on fake WikiLeaks cables that contained stories of factionalism in Indian army and accused New Delhi of sponsoring militant groups. The reports splashed prominently in several papers including The News and The Express Tribune, a partner of the International Herald Tribune, quoting alleged US diplomatic cables to confirm bias Pakistani views and conspiracy theories about India particularly about Jammu and Kashmir. The two papers today carried prominent apologies on their front pages regarding the report they had published yesterday on alleged disclosures in purported diplomaticcables from the US embassy in Delhi about Indian Army generals and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. TIMES NOW’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami debates the issue with Maroof Raza, TIMES NOW Strategic Affairs Expert; Farrukh Dhondy, Author and Former Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 and Hamid Mir, Executive Editor, Geo TV.

To understand the establishment’s next strategy, one must carefully listen to what their own man, the notorious Mushahid Hussain, is saying to Azhar Abbas: ““It is quite clear that some people did try to manipulate the information to save their skin. But it was done in a very crude manner and they were caught with their pants down.”

In other words, Mushahid Hussain is suggesting that information may be manipulated to save the military establishment’s skin but this must be done in a refined manner. In principle, Mushahid Hussain agrees with Ahmed Quraishi’s suggestion that if Guardian uses WikliLeaks for propaganda, why can’t Pakistani media do the same?

Further, Azhar Abbas writes: “Political and security observers believe a concerted effort is once again being made to encourage and promote a typical extremist mindset. Some analysts-cum-anchors have re-emerged from quasi-oblivion. Many journalists and analysts are briefed and encouraged to take an aggressively anti-West, especially anti-US, stance. Experts, who ‘preach’ extremism in disguise, are encouraged to participate in talk shows.”

Wait a minute. Is Mr Abbas now admitting that Hamid Mirs, Shahid Masoods, Ansar Abbasis, Kamran Khans etc of the Jang Group have been towing the military establishment’s line in the last three years and even before? Does he mean to assure the people of Pakistan that Jang Group’s anchors, reporters and analysts will take no further dictations from the military establishment? Not even from Mr Abbas’s own brother, the chief spokesman of the Pakistan Army?

Mr Abbas writes: “It is no secret that there were those in the media and clergy who openly opposed the Army’s campaign against the militants in Swat and tried their best to put the armed forces’ objectives and intention in doubt.”

How conveniently he ignored to mention the heroic role played by the ANP and the PPP, Asfandyar Wali Khan and Asif Ali Zardari in particular, in convincing the army to start an operation clean up in Swat. Indeed, no Swat Operation would have started or been successful in the absence of sacrifices of dozens of the ANP workers and leaders who refused to remain dominated by extremist Deobandis and Wahhabis in their province.

Along with Nadeem Paracha, I too am worried that “Is veteran journalist, author and media commentator, late Zamir Niazi’s fear and warnings about the Pakistani media becoming a chaotic hub of agency men who are amorally willing to lie and cheat to protect even the most atrocious ways of their patrons in the figurative establishment be true? Perhaps.”

In my view, supporters of free media including journalists, anchors, reporters and bloggers need to understand the ISI media’s two pronged strategy.

The goal is common for Ahmed Quraishi (and his likes) and Azhar Abbas (and his likes). The only difference is in the level of refinement.

One operates at the front end, the other at the back end. One is widely known for his contacts with the military establishment because of his upfront and crude manners, other is rather subtle and refined (save the fake cable saga) in its promotion of the military establishment’s agenda.

In my assessment, it is the subtle and refined worms in Pakistan’s “free” media who are most dangerous not only for freedom of information and its unadulterated access to the common public but also for the very foundations of this unfortunate country that these worms are eating from inside.

December 15, 2010

Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Strategy: Separating Friends from Enemies – by Dr Ayesha Siddiqa

by admin

2011 Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Washington Quarterly • WINTER 2011, 34:1 pp. 149-162.
DOI: 10.1080/0163660X.2011.538362
Ayesha Siddiqa is the first Pakistan scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the author of Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy (Pluto Press, 2007).

On October 1, 2010, the government of Pakistan shut down the supply route for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) after an incursion into Pakistan’s territory by NATO forces, killing 16 Pakistanis in collateral damage. Two days later, militants torched 28 NATO supply trucks near Shikarpur in the southern province of Sindh. These events reflect the inherent tension both in Pakistan’s counterterrorism strategy and in its relationship with the United States and its allies in fighting the war in Afghanistan. The future of U.S. military operations in South Asia depends on the convergence of policies between the United States and Pakistan, but since the war began in 2001, interpreting Islamabad’s counterterrorism policy has been difficult.

Pakistan’s counterterrorism strategy in Afghanistan is rife with inherent
contradictions, caught between an inclination to fight militant forces and yet having to partner with some to strengthen its future bargaining position. The policy flows out of Pakistan’s multiple strategic requirements: its need to remain engaged with the United States, to save itself from the Taliban attacking the Pakistani state, and to fight India’s growing presence in Afghanistan. Caught between these three issues, Islamabad’s counterterrorism policy and objectives continue to lack clarity. At best, the policy illustrates the tension between Islamabad’s need to protect itself against an internal enemy and its sensitivity toward the external threat from India.

The primary flaw of Pakistan’s counterterrorism policy, however, is that it is defined and driven by the military and that institution’s strategic objectives. It is easier to use themilitary option than to address the problemof changing the basic narrative and socioeconomic conditions that drive militancy in the first place. The need to create an alternative political narrative and change the mindset in Pakistan to address those socioeconomic conditions is a far more critical issue, which receives
less attention than it deserves.

Is Pakistan Serious About Confronting Terrorism?
Pakistan has been the main ally of the United States since the start of the war on al Qaeda and other terrorist actors in 2001. Its role has become more important with time because the threat in Afghanistan has expanded into Pakistan. The Afghan Taliban are supported by groups hiding in Pakistan’s tribal areas, particularly North and South Waziristan, with the threat of militancy having seeped well into Pakistan’s provinces of Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan.

Militant forces have combined their strength to attack the Pakistani state and its citizens, resulting in the deaths of more than 10,000
civilians and security forces personnel since 2003.

The militants, especially the Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP), have not desisted from attacking the Pakistani army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi and installations of the military’s primary intelligence organization, the Directorate for Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The TTP is a network of breakaway factions from various militant groups that are not all necessarily linked with the tribal areas, but use the territory as a hideout. Although the TTP seems to be popularly identified with Hakimullah Mehsud, who represents an anti-Pakistan agenda, most other groups are from Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province. Some TTP groups have links with al Qaeda. Since 2001, the threat posed by militancy has increased as the ongoing conflict, poverty, and lack of development have made it easier for the Taliban to recruit foot soldiers. The new leaders of the various Taliban and militant groups are young men, mostly in their thirties, who are battle-hardened from the last decade and are far less willing to compromise.

Both the United States and Pakistan appear to lack clarity about how to define the threat they are facing and what are attainable objectives. Although the prospective date of U.S. withdrawal has caused its fair share of controversy, Islamabad’s counterterrorism policy suffers from its own set of problems, beginning with overemphasizing the military approach. On a superficial level, the main issue with Islamabad’s approach to fighting terrorism is that it is almost completely controlled by the armed forces.

The army has a four-tiered approach
Caught between three goals, Islamabad’s counter terrorism policy and objectives lack clarity.

clear, hold, develop, and disintegratean approach used by the army in its operations in Swat in 2007 and in South Waziristan in October 2009.

Take the Fight Where …?

The army, however, is unwilling to extend that operation into North Waziristan, which has become a bone of contention with the United States. According to Rawalpindi, the military would like to adopt a careful and layered approach to counterterrorism, by which it means it will check and destroy unfriendly forces before attending to other groups. The military is not inclined to cater to U.S. concerns about
Taliban groups in North Waziristan, who have formal and informal agreements with the Pakistani army not to attack the state if
the army does not attack them. Islamabad does not want to start a battle on all fronts and is willing to talk to militant forces that do not attack Pakistan. Pakistan has its definition of good and bad Taliban, as do all the other stakeholders in the conflict, including the United States.

Pakistan’s perspective is problematic for the United States, where
policymakers at the Pentagon and elsewhere saw the Swat and South
Waziristan operations as a change of heart in Pakistan and an expression of the country’s intention to fight. Many in the U.S. government view the present Pakistani army chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who assumed the role in November 2007, as a more serious commander in dealing with militancy than former army chief and president Pervez Musharraf. Some of the army’s good friends among the community of journalists, such as Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s
former ambassador to the United States, and Shuja Nawaz, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, believe that the extension of operations into North Waziristan will happen in good time. Since the army has lost its own men in fighting militancy, it is keen to tackle the issue.

The Pakistani military is making an effort to clear Swat and South Waziristan of militants and establish control with the intent of denying them to the Taliban.

The clear and hold operation is also meant to facilitate the state’s integrating these areas into Pakistan, as they historically have not been part of the state’s legal and political systems. This process needs to be carefully staggered and gradual for two reasons. First, initiating operations on different fronts at the same time could prove dangerous and strain the military’s capabilities. It makes sense to adopt a policy that could be described as ‘‘divide and subdue.’’ But expanding operations to North Waziristan has become even more difficult in the wake of The primary flaw of Pakistan’s counterterrorism policy
is that it is driven by the military.

Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Strategythe recent floods, which have diverted the attention of both the military and the civilian government toward other issues. Hence, lack of time is considered a major factor.
Second, attacking the internal enemy is impossible without building public goodwill. Former ambassador Lodhi, while giving a presentation in Washington early in 2010, remarked that favorable public opinion made it possible for the army to launch the operation in Swat. Presumably, Taliban atrocities that made headlines in Pakistan helped the army build up public opinion against the militants. Shabana Fayyaz, a professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad and an expert on Pakistan’s counterterrorism policy, considers the positive opinion as a major contributor to the Swat and South Waziristan operations. Positive public opinion also is considered to be a necessary precondition for extending the operation to North Waziristan.

However, the positive opinion does not seem to have helped the army to carry its operations into North Waziristan, counter the evolution of the TTP, or take care of other militant groups inside Pakistan. This gives credence to the idea that
the military will not expand its operations to include all Taliban groups. There
are three kinds of forces which operate inside Pakistan: the ‘‘friendly’’ or good
Taliban in North Waziristan; the ‘‘unfriendly’’ or bad Taliban in North
Waziristan, South Waziristan, Swat, and rest of the country in the form of the TTP; and other ‘‘friendly’’ militants such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamaatud-Dawa (JuD), and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). The army does not seem willing to develop public goodwill against these ‘‘friendly’’ groups through a pro-active use of public and private media, which were used effectively in the case of the Swat and South Waziristan operations. This is despite the fact that the army’s main narrative revolves around presenting itself and the country as victims of terrorism.

Reportedly, even General Kayani has expressed to the United States his
reservations about launching operations against Sirajuddin Haqqani, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, and Mullah Nazeer, who are holed up in areas bordering Afghanistan and pose a threat to U.S. and NATO forces.1

Bahadar and Nazeer are significant Taliban warlords in NorthWaziristan, while Haqqani heads what is known as the Haqqani network, which has strongholds in the bordering Afghan districts of Paktia and Khost and is known to help anti-U.S. and anti-NATO operations.
Pakistan considers the Haqqani network as reconcilable, as it did not attack Pakistani troops when they launched an offensive in South Waziristan against Hakimullah Mehsud and other hostile militants.
TheU.S. commander inAfghanistan,General David Petraeus, seems unable to convince General Kayani of the need to attack elements that the White House and the Pentagon consider unfriendly. Pakistan seems to be pushing the United States to negotiate with the Haqqani network, as the network is considered to be fundamental to the future of Afghanistan. Reportedly, Rustum Shah Mohmand, Pakistan’s former ambassador to Afghanistan who is also a member of the Pakistan—Afghanistan jirga, believes that an operation in North Waziristan will
cost Pakistan dearly.2

?against whom …
The threat posed by the TTP is difficult to counter because of the conceptual confusion within Pakistan’s establishment. The TTP is not a homogenous group, but an umbrella organization which allows militants or breakaway factions from a large number of organizations to share resourcesincluding manpowerto carry out their ideological battle. Although belonging to various religious schools of thought, the militants are inspired by the Muslim theologian Ibn Taymiyyah’s philosophy of waging war against the non-Muslim world and using violence against Muslims who do not agree with a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.

The TTP does not have a central command and is comprised of Pashtun Pakistani militants from groups based in mainland Pakistan such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangavi, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), JeM, and LeT. Besides LeT, which is Salafist, all the other groups have the same broad ideology froma different Islamic school of thoughttheDeobandi schoolwhich they also share with the Afghan Taliban.Most also have some links with al Qaeda (see Figure 1), but groups such as the SSP predate alQaeda and have old links with
the global terrorist network.

The TTP is a franchise of al Qaeda, with similar structures. It also draws strength from the SSP, which is considered the leading organization amongst the

Figure 1:

Deobandi groups. There also are deep links between al Qaeda and the TTP because al Qaeda has acquired a more local character over
the years. According to Aamir Rana, an expert on terrorism, militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri, who leads HUJI, is also now the new leader of al Qaeda in Pakistan. 3

Rana believes that the July 2, 2010 terrorist attack against a Sufi shrine in Lahore represented an internal scuffle for the leadership of al Qaeda’s
Pakistani franchise. This indicates that al Qaeda in Pakistan is not necessarily dominated by Arabs, but has a strong local component. It is a platform for all the militants who follow the ideology of takfir (the process of declaring someone as a nonbeliever and hence impure). The Takfiris among the Salafists, Wahhabis, and Deobandis three broad schools of thought in Islamtend to declare war against anyone who is considered a non-believer. Ayman al-Zawahiri is considered to be the ideologue of takfiri ideology in al Qaeda.4

However, the takfir ideology has spread among other militant groups, which has allowed some militants to break away from parent organizations and merge into the TTP. The TTP believes in waging jihad even against Muslims who help non-Muslims or do not fight un-Islamic rule. Such a belief compels them to wage war against
Pakistani forces, as they are considered to be toeing the U.S. line and fighting a war that is not Pakistan’s.

The list of friendly militants does not end with those present in North
Waziristan. Pakistan’s army is equally unwilling to eliminate other militant
groups which have found safe haven in mainland Pakistan. LeT, which came to international attention because of its involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and JeM have a long partnership with the army for what Rawalpindi considers strategic reasons.

Pakistan’s Preoccupation
The Pakistani army’s other major concern is India’s presence in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s military establishment believes that India is fomenting instability in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan, and that this can only be checked by a policy of counterforce.5

The growing conventional and non-conventional military balance in India’s favor compels Pakistan’s military commanders to continue supporting proxy war as a policy tool. The Kashmir issue is central to Pakistan military’s interests, and LeT and JeM remain relevant to the army in this theater. When directly asked about the LeT The Pakistani army has been unwilling to extend counterterrorism operations into North Waziristan.

leadership’s views on sectarian violence, the organization’s spokesman, Yahya Mujahid, claimed that his militant outfit did not contribute to internal violence in Pakistan, given that its main objective is to
emancipate Kashmir and Kashmiri Muslims from India’s control.6

Following U.S. citizen David Headley’s arrest and admission that
he had been involved with LeTand played a role in the 2008Mumbai attacks, LeT has insisted that it is only interested in jihad against India. The organization’s leadership wants to distance itself from any
evidence linking it with global terrorism or sectarian strife inside Pakistan. Similarly, JeM, which was created in 2001 primarily to increase tension in Indian-held Kashmir, maintains close links with the Pakistani army and its intelligence agencies. Some sources say that Masood Azhar, the founder and leader of JeM, is comfortably ensconced in Karachi.7

Interestingly, he may not be the only militant in Karachi, as there is talk that some prominent Afghan Taliban also are present in the city. It was not surprising, therefore, when the Taliban’s top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was captured in Karachi in February 2010.

Rawalpindi’s use of militancy as a strategic tool is a risky option, but is
nonetheless considered doable. The army’s argument about the battle between itself and the Taliban, and the sacrifices of the army’s men, creates a powerful narrative that helps stall criticism (and potential reevaluation) about this policy from outside the organization. The public and private media in the country present the military’s logic. Most private media outlets go so far as to find a joint ‘‘CIA—RAW—Mossad’’in other words, U.S.—Indian—Israelihand in every terrorist attack that takes place inside Pakistan. This produces strong anti-Indian and anti-U.S. sentiments in the country. Curiously, this also is a popular
perception at the highest policy levels on both the civilian and military sides.

Even Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has voiced concerns about U.S.
involvement in attacks inside Pakistan, according to BobWoodward’s account in his latest book.8

However, those views may represent President Zardari’s perception based on feedback from the armed forces, not from an independent source of information.

Zardari played a critical role in expanding Pakistan’s operations from Swat to SouthWaziristan, including putting pressure on the military. Zardari’s actions are possibly one of the reasons, as a senior foreign office official speaking in confidence said, that the army has since tried to push Zardari back from any major influence on Pakistan’s policies on Afghanistan and counterterrorism. It is Both the United States and Pakistan lack clarity about how to define the threat.

important to note that skewed civil—military relations are one of the major reasons behind Islamabad’s rather confusing counterterrorism policy.

The mindset and apparent confusion of Pakistani officials and society has made it difficult for Pakistan to put up a fight against militant forces that target the country. Despite the victory in Swat, the army was unable to catch militant leaders such as Maulana Fazlullah, head of the Taliban-backed Tehrik-e-Nifaze-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSMmovement for the implementation of Islamic Shari’a). Such failures make it difficult to boost public confidence in the government’s capacity to challenge and eliminate the Taliban, and to protect ordinary Pakistani citizens.
Maulana Fazlullah’s grip over Swat was not just a battle for the imposition of Shari’a, it was largely a matter of religiously motivated warlords establishing control over a territory where Pakistan had acceded control by not providing governance and establishing a rule of law. Initially, the people in Swat responded to Fazlullah because he called for the implementation of Shari’a law, which was perceived as a faster and more cost-effective system of justice. Fazlullah
challenged the traditional eliteknown as maliks. As his influence increased, the writ of the state, projected through the police and intelligence agencies, diminished to the point of disappearing. For ordinary people, the Taliban became more of a reality than the state.

As long as the Pakistani army continues to differentiate among the various groups on the basis of their tactical position vis `-a-vis the Pakistani state, terrorism will continue. There seems to be little intent to marginalize or eliminate the core militant groups operating inside Pakistan. This was made clear during a discussion the author had with the military’s spokesperson, Major General Athar Abbas, who termed the unfriendly Taliban as ‘‘splinters of splinters,’’ meaning that those attacking the state were just the breakaway components of otherwise friendly groups.9

It is impossible in the short to medium term for the Pakistani military to take a different look at the problem of militancy because of the outstanding disputes between India and Pakistan as well as the huge trust deficit between the neighbors. Pakistan considers India’s diplomatic and economic presence in Afghanistan as threatening Pakistan’s security, especially in Baluchistan. Not surprisingly, the chief of the ISI, Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha, once declared Taliban leaders such as Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud as patriots and nationalists.10

In an interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel, Pasha
similarly adopted a generous view of militant propaganda, terming it as a right in a democracy.11

The militants are considered a vital part of the army’s operational plans to counter India. Overall, the India factor has led to the seemingly divided opinion amongst the Pakistani establishment about fighting militancy, especially given that there is a deep-rooted fear of the growing strategic relationship between the United States and India. The Washington—New Delhi civil nuclear deal is seen as disturbing the balance of power in South Asia, which is detrimental to Pakistan’s interests. The friendly Taliban are a natural boost to Islamabad’s drive to protect its interests, particularly in the Kashmir dispute and thwarting the growing Indian influence in Afghanistan, which Pakistan considers detrimental to its interests.

From a tactical standpoint, the abovementioned policy is a rational outcome of Islamabad’s perception that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is temporary.

The Pakistani army does not want to find itself in a situation where Islamabad does not have links with the Taliban and other warlords. The Afghan Taliban are significant stakeholders in Afghanistan, and it is vital for Islamabad to keep ties with them. The Pakistani military went so far as to publicly admit that their forces arrested Mullah Baradarwho was apparently engaged in a dialogue with the Karzai governmentin February 2010 to signal the Taliban that Islamabad would not allow militants to strike deals independently.12

The fact that the military admitted its gameplan indicates that it expects the United States to understand its ally’s security concerns.
Thus, what emerges is a policy in which Pakistani forces seem to ‘‘run with the hare and hunt with the hound.’’ This policy may also at least partially be a result of Pakistan’s monetary dependence on the United States. U.S. diplomats stationed in Pakistan believe that the continuation of the fight against terrorist organizations helps Islamabad extract money from Washington.13

And in reality, Pakistani forces do not want the United States to leave the region. Such views emphasize the skewed nature of Pakistani—U.S. relations. The bilateral strategic re-engagement, which started after 2001, represents a patron— client relationship. Since the linkage is based simply on Islamabad providing support for U.S. security interests in South Asia, there is a trust deficit between the two states. The bulk of Pakistani decisionmakers and military commanders believe that the U.S. interest in the region will once again wane when the United States withdraws its military from Afghanistan. Therefore, as the diplomats stated, it actually benefits Pakistan to keep the threat of terrorism alive.

It’s not Pakistan…It’s the Use of Force

Even if Pakistan were fighting the war more honestly, however, it is doubtful the military option would produce desirable results. One of the greatest flaws of the overall counterterrorism approach of the allies certainly Pakistanis the concentration on the use of force. This is not to argue that the military option should not be used at all or that the state must not protect itself against terrorists.

The military option, nevertheless, does not help eradicate militancy and
emphasizes the idea that change comes about through the use of force. In this respect, the drone attacks seem to add to the problem of militancy. Given the collateral damage of these attacks, there are always more people who join the ranks of the Taliban to avenge the death of their loved ones.

Unfortunately, the frustration of ordinary people, who are stuck between the Taliban on one side and U.S./NATO/Pakistani forces on the other, makes them more inclined toward violence than peace. Not all members of the Taliban are motivated by religion; there is a division between the Taliban leadershipwho are driven by ideologyand Taliban foot soldiers who join the fight for monetary reasons or personal vendetta. An alternative narrative that could keep people away from militancy does not yet exist in Pakistan or in the U.S. strategy to fight terrorism. Such a narrative should include two ideas: changing the socioeconomic balance in the society to deter greater Talibanization; and creating tools that could help counter the religious ideology of militant groups.

Socioeconomic Priority
Although there has been no direct link established between poverty and
terrorism, a large number of people who join militant groups are from the lowest socioeconomic class in Pakistan. South Punjab and upper Sindh, which are gaining a reputation as safe havens for terrorist elements, are known areas of high poverty. The two areas rank very low in the human development indices of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. They also rank very low in terms of education.14

Consequently, there is a large presence of madrassas (religious seminaries) in these areas which, even if they are not necessarily
producing terrorists, are definitely contributing to a mindset that encourages militancy. An increase in rural poverty in a socially authoritarian environment can create political chaos, if not outright anarchy.15

In Pakistan, poverty is not just limited to economic deprivationit also
applies to the scarcity of political power or the inability to shift the status quo. The bulk of the Pakistani middle class, which is seen by authors such as Vali Nasr as a driver of change in Muslim societies due to its progressive nature,16 is actually conservative with traces of latent radicalism. Members of this class have increasingly become more conservative, and even financed and supported militant outfits because of their inability to change the political system in any other way.17

This is not done consciously, but is driven by the realization that
orthodox religious ideology provides greater sociopolitical space than the existing system. The Pakistani state has historically failed to build an alternative narrative, and the political-party system has failed to allay the concerns of ordinary people, which creates space for radicalism and militancy to grow.

The state has not managed to correct its focus and attend to the problems of human resource and socioeconomic development. Pakistan’s human development indicators continue to be abysmal, and the government has not managed to integrate the tribal areas through development work or building a legal and law enforcement system. In fairness, the state was unlucky in one sense, as its nascent efforts to fight terrorism were seriously stalled by the floods in 2010.

Given that the natural calamity badly hit Khyber—Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit—Baltistan, South Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan, the challenges have multiplied, as these are areas withmilitant groups present. Sincemilitant organizations helped provide relief, and there was no real attempt to discourage those efforts,18 it has become doubly difficult to reduce the influence of militant organizations.

Changing Religious Discourse
Pakistan also needs to create a new religious narrative. No amount of
counterterrorism operations will work unless the government has a plan to generate a new discourse that can counter takfiri ideology and the orthodox interpretation of Shari’a law. It is critical for the Pakistani government and civilsociety groups to combine forces and emphasize the fact that terrorism is linked with an ideological battle in the country. The U.S. fight against terrorism is one of the many layers of the current conflict, but the Muslims of Pakistan have to recognize the war as their own, which can only happen if a counter-argument is presented emphasizing ideological nuance.

A renowned Muslim scholar, Javed Ahmed Ghamdi, argues that unless
Muslim ideological theoreticians are able to admit that the Qur’an prohibits killing all non-combatantsbe they in Israel, Palestine, Pakistan, India, or the United Statesit will be difficult to fight terrorism successfully. Ghamdi also believes that using religion for terrorism is a tool of power and does not depict the reality of Islam (Ghamdi has aired these views publicly, for which he received death threats and had to move to Malaysia. The state was unable to provide him protection).19

Another moderate religious scholar, Dr. Farooq Khan, was killed in October 2010 by the Taliban in Swat, further muffling the voices of
reason and tolerance.20

Unfortunately, the Pakistani government has opted for the easy way out, choosing to project Sufi Islam as a potential bulwark against terrorism. This option seems inspired by a RAND Corporation report on partnering with alternative institutions in the Muslim world, in which Sufi Islam was identified Since the floods, it has become doubly difficult to reduce the influence of militant organizations as one such element.21

The historical nature and significance of Sufi Islam is that it is more tolerant and pluralistic than puritanical interpretations of Islam. Traditionally, people from all religions, sects, ethnicities, castes, etc. visit Sufi shrines in South Asia. There is ample excitement in Washington, many European states, and Pakistan itself regarding Sufi Islam as a possible replacement for the seemingly violent orthodox version of Islam. During a visit to Washington in March-April 2010, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani even recommended that the United States support Sufi Islam in Pakistan, as it is the most popular version of Islam in the country.

The issue of an alternative narrative, however, is far more complex than what could be calculated numerically. Terrorists do not represent the bulk of the population, mainly since militants operating in mainland Pakistan have opted to co-exist with other social forces without challenging local traditions, unlike the militants operating in tribal areas such as Fazlullah. Militant organizations are in no hurry to recruit members rapidly, as noted in books by jihadist leaders such as JeM’s Masood Azhar.

The primary problem remains the underlying extremism or latent radical attitudes which seem to be growing unabated. The growth of latent radicalism is due to a general lack of knowledge in Pakistan’s religious discourse, especially concerning alternative interpretations of the Qur’an and presentations of Shari’a that do not breed hatred of the ‘‘other.’’

Pakistan is certainly not the only country facing this problem, as such a narrative is not taking root in most of the Muslim world. But given that Pakistan is immensely affected by terrorism, it has a greater need for an alternative religious narrative, and it cannot act complacently since the popularity of Sufism is an issue that lacks clarity. The majority of Deobandis, who follow a more orthodox interpretation of Islam, also subscribe to local Sufi traditions. Moreover, Sufi institutions do not necessarily counter orthodox ideology and are not equipped with the modern methods of communication used by extremist elements.

To get out of the trap of puritanical religious interpretations, especially the takfiri ideology, the Pakistani government must reach out to moderate religious scholars in Pakistan, as well as the rest of the Muslim world, to initiate a debate within the society. Such scholars should focus on introducing and establishing the principle of Islamic secularism based on the separation of religion from state.

Also, those members of Pakistani society who seek inspiration or reasoning from religion should be offered alternative interpretations of Islam that do not support takfir or discourage tolerance. This used to be the mainstream narrative in Islam, but it was pushed aside in the post-colonial Muslim world. Pakistan needs to change its socioeconomic balance and create a new religious narrative.

Like other states, Pakistan’s counterterrorism policy is an end product of its peculiar strategic priorities. Although the country’s military and civilian authorities are conscious of the pressure the international community is putting on Pakistan to fight terrorism, top officials still are not yet convinced of the seriousness of the Obama administration to combat area militants.

President Obama’s announcement of a withdrawal beginning in July 2011 is interpreted as Washington losing its will and its intent to keep fighting. There are many in the strategic community in Pakistan who believe that the fight against terrorism will eventually be outsourced to the Pakistani military. Under such circumstances, Pakistan would have to continue investing in the Taliban, especially to counter India’s growing social and political influence in Kabul. The link with the Taliban and other local militant groups, as has been argued here, is in part the result of Pakistan’s traditional insecurity concerning India. Although militancy hurts Pakistan, there is an unwillingness to abandon it as a policy tool. Using militants as part of a proxy war is a concept well integrated into Pakistan’s military strategy.22

Not only is there an unwillingness to eliminate militancy entirely, the state also has not developed an alternative social narrative that would help change the mindset producing or supporting terrorism. The subsequent sociopolitical anarchy in Pakistan adds to the problem, combining collectively to mean that the United States cannot expect Islamabad to fight the war on Washington’s terms, whatever they may be in the coming months and years.

Notes
1. Correspondent for the British daily The Independent, discussion with author, Islamabad, August 2, 2010.
2. Kamran Yousaf, ‘‘Pakistan, U.S. at odds over definition,’’ The Express Tribune, October 30, 2010, http://tribune.com.pk/story/69816/pakistan-us-at-odds-over-definition/.
3. Mohammad Aamir Rana, discussion with author, Islamabad, July 30, 2010.
4. Yahya Mujahid and Syed Saleem Shehzad, discussion with author, Islamabad, October 10, 2010.
5. ‘‘India Supporting Militancy in Balochistan: Musharraf,’’ The Express Tribune, October
10, 2010, http://tribune.com.pk/story/60862/india-supporting-militancy-in-balochistanmusharraf/.
6. Yahya Mujahid, interview with author, Islamabad, October 10, 2010.
7. Karachi-based journalist, confidential discussion with author, October 7, 2010.
8. Bob Woodword, Obama’s Wars (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010), p. 116.
9. Major General Athar Abbas, discussion with author, Rawalpindi, November 2009.
10. This was part of Pasha’s statement to a select group of media soon after the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan’s Counterterrorism Strategy11. Susanne Koelbl, ‘‘Pakistan’s New Intelligence Chief: ‘Terror Is Our Enemy, Not India’,’’ Der Spiegel, January 6, 2009, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,599724,00.html.
12. Dexter Filkins, ‘‘Pakistanis Tell of Motive in Taliban Leader’s Arrest,’’ The New York Times, August 22, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/world/asia/23taliban.html.
13. U.S. diplomats from the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, discussions with author, October 12, 2010.
14. Safiya Aftab, ‘‘Poverty and Underdevelopment,’’ The Friday Times, April 9, 2010, http://waseb.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/poverty-and-underdevelopment-by-safiya-aftab/.
15. Ayesha Siddiqa, ‘‘Terror’s Training Ground,’’ Newsline, September 9, 2009, http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2009/09/terror’s-training-ground/.
16. Vali Nasr, Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World (Free Press, 2009).
17. See Ayesha Siddiqa, ‘‘The Conservatively Hip,’’ Newsline, August 31, 2010, http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2010/08/the-conservatively-hip/.
18. Shahzada Irfan Ahmed and Ayesha Siddiqa, ‘‘Religious Mission or Political Ambition?,’’ Newsline, September 30, 2010, http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2010/09/religious-mission-or-political-ambition/.
19. Javed Ahmed Ghamdi, discussion with author, Islamabad, October 8, 2010.
20. Jamal Hoti, ‘‘Moderate scholar Dr. Farooq killed in Mardan,’’ Dawn, October 3, 2010, http://news.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/44-swat-universitys-vice-chancellor-dr-farooq-assasinated-fa-03.
21. Angel Rabasa, Cheryl Benard, Lowell H. Schwartz, and Peter Sickle, ‘‘Building Moderate Muslim Networks,’’ RAND Corporation Monograph Series (Santa Monica, CA:RAND Corporation, 2007), pp. 102—103, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2007/RAND_MG574.pdf.
22. Sumit Ganguly and S. Paul Kapur, ‘‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Islamist Militancy in South Asia,’’ The Washington Quarterly 33, no. 1 (January 2010), pp. 47—59, http://www.twq.com/10january/docs/10jan_GangulyKapur.pdf.