At least 20 people were killed and two dozen vehicles torched in different sections of Karachi, officials said Wednesday. Ethnic violence was a suspected trigger of the shootouts in Karachi, a teeming city with a history of such clashes between Pashtuns and descendants of migrants from India.
Residents from different areas of Karachi share their accounts with Dawn.com.
Waqar Ahmed, 29-year-old, accountant:
I was on my way home (in North Karachi) after work. People were burning tyres near Al-Asif on U.P. Morh and sporadic firing was going on so I couldn’t take the usual route home and had to wind through the streets and smaller alleys to be able to avoid the kind of chaos on the main roads.
This morning I didn’t want to take my car out and there was also no public transport available so I stayed back. I spoke to some of my colleagues but most of us are not keen on stepping out today.
Rameez Farooqui, software engineer, 25-year-old:
Sporadic firing continued late evening and till late midnight in the Baradari area of North Karachi. I stepped out
toward this shanty town near my block where groups of people were setting tyres on fire and were firing shots. On my way back, both corners of my street were blocked with cars, apparently to block people from entering I’m not sure. But the cars didn’t belong to any of the residents. However, the cars disappeared this morning.
I haven’t been able to make it to work as yet, largely because there is no public transport available and my car has run out of gas. Besides, it is probably wiser to say indoors right now. We don’t know what the reaction to yesterday’s havoc will be like.
Naheed, 29-year-old, beautician:
I live near Anda Morh (North Karachi). I was trying to get back home, a short distance from the beauty salon, but had to literally duck and run through the way as there was too much gunfire and chaos. Groups of people were trying to stop the cars passing on the road and tyres were being burnt. There was a lot of panic. Even right now as we speak I can still hear gunfire but it’s mostly random.
Rehman Khan, 40-year-old, naan-wallah:
My sister and brother live in Ajmer Nagri and I couldn’t get in touch with them. I still haven’t been able to. I don’t know how things will turn out because I know that most of the dead are pashtun-speaking.
Sikander, 26-year-old, banker:
I stayed back at my office (in SITE area) and spent the night here. My house is near Five Star Chowrangi and there was too much going on in and around that area. Many of my colleagues who live toward north also chose to stay back in the office.
Qurat ul ain, 26, reporter:
I saw scarce public transport; very thin traffic; shops in Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Gulistan-i-Jauhar were closed. Some of the busiest bus-stops were almost deserted with two to three persons there waiting for buses.
Hina Sharif, 26, student:
As the violence continued overnight, I was told that a few gunmen killed a man in Gulistan-e-Johar near Johar Chorangi. It probably happened somewhere between 8:45pm till 12:00 am, as those were the hours when continuous firing was taking place. One hotel near Perfume Chowk and a shop of carpets was also set ablaze.
A mini-bus driver was killed and another person was injured. We then found out that the bus was set on fire by group of violent people near Haroon Royal City. Roads were almost empty after these incidents and I noticed that cars were speeding past us on the roads as everyone seemed to be in a hurry to get off the streets. I saw people gathered near bus stops but the buses had stopped running by late evening on Wednesday.
I also saw an ambulance rushing past near Continental bakery (Abdullah Heights) where most of the people had shut down theirs shops after this violence escalated. There were a lot of Rangers in my area when I left for work in the morning and my car was stopped for checking as well. But that didn’t alarm us much because it seemed to be routine procedure and things looked a lot more peaceful than the previous night.
Bilal Mazhar, 28, content producer:
Streets of Gurumandir and all adjacent areas became deserted around 9pm as we kept hearing more and more news about ethnic violence in the city. All the shops were forcibly closed down by groups of armed men and then Rangers were deployed on all the main arteries of Jamshed Town. Police seemed to be giving extra attention to Jahangir road which is a prominent division of two ethnic groups.
Jamshed and Sadder town were completely deserted and there appeared to be no traffic. Due to the effective deployment and patrolling of rangers, no incident took place overnight on M.A Jinnah road and things seemed to have simmered down. In fact on my way to office I saw a family who was enjoying themselves on the lush green roundabout near the governor house.
Naeem Hussain, resident of Azizabad:
I was near Zarina Colony when the firing started. It felt like it was coming from everywhere. Instantly everyone around us started saying that the people who were firing were criminals affiliated with land-grabbing mafia. The way I saw it, people knew who the attackers were and who they were targeting. I was trying to leave the area and return to my office or house when I saw that the Rangers were also firing. Just then, one policeman waved me away, saying that I should leave now because a Rangers personel had been shot and the situation was bound to get worse.
Wajahat Nazeer, pick-up truck driver:
I was leaving the office I work for in Federal B. Area on a delivery assignment. Then we got news that there was firing all over New Karachi and in parts of Sohrab Goth. A lot of my colleagues left for home there and then. But I decided to wait and see if things calmed down. Eventually, I couldn’t leave the office until about midnight. Anyone who left before that got caught in bad traffic jams. By the time I was headed home, the streets were somewhat deserted — all the shops and places to eat had been shut. If I didn’t have the truck, I probably wouldn’t have gotten home at all because there was no public transport.
[SEE: "Right at the Edge"
What’s going on? I asked the warlord. Why aren’t they coming for you?
“I cannot lie to you,” Namdar said, smiling at last. “The army comes in, and they fire at empty buildings. It is a drama — it is just to entertain.” ]
xISLAMABAD: The ongoing Buner operation is just to please the United States and these types of operation are neither in the interest of the Taliban nor of the government, the Swat chapter of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said on Wednesday.
Muslim Khan, spokesman for the TTP Swat chapter, said this while responding to a question by The News over telephone.
Asked whether or not there would be any reaction to the ongoing Buner operation in other cities of the country, he said: “The Buner operation is just to please America and nobody should fear of any reaction to this operation.”
“We are peaceful people and are abiding by our peace agreement with the Frontier government. However, this type of operations are neither in the interest of the Taliban nor of the (Pakistan) government,” he said.
When this correspondent asked Muslim Khan about the well -being and whereabouts of Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the TTP Swat spokesman said Maulana Sufi Muhammad is in good health and would soon make a public appearance.
“If the current situation persists, the Swat peace deal too might be affected. If the peace deal stands scrapped, the Taliban would not sit idle as a silent spectator and would exercise their right to self-defence,” he warned.
Asked about the TTP contacts with al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and Taliban supreme leader Mulla Muhammad Omar, Muslim Khan said they do not have contacts with people of any other country. The TTP supports those who are waging Jihad against the United States and its allies but has no direct contact whatsoever with Osama bin Laden or Mulla Muhammad Omar.
JERUSALEM: Israel warned the European Union on Thursday to tone down its criticism of the new Israeli government or risk forfeiting the bloc’s role as broker in Mideast peace efforts.
The warning came after EU’s commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, this week criticized Israel’s refusal to endorse a Palestinian state.
She said an upgrade in Israeli-EU relations would depend on Israel’s commitment to the “two-state solution.”
It also came ahead of a planned trip to Europe next week by Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, his first official trip abroad.
The ultranationalist Lieberman’s comments about Arabsand Mideast peace have raised international concerns about the new Israeli Cabinet’s intentions.
Terrorist Attempt to Thin-out the Committee of 300
At least two people were killed today after a young driver sped through a crowd in an apparent assassination attempt on the Dutch royal family.
The car raced towards an open bus carrying Queen Beatrix during a national holiday and mowed down up to 20 spectators. A child was believed to be among the dead.
The incident happened seconds after the motorcade passed through the crowd in the town of Apeldoorn, 50 miles from Amsterdam.
Princess Maxima, wife of heir to the throne Willem-Alexander, looked on in horror as the black Suzuki Swift, driven by a man in his twenties, came to a halt after it rammed into a monument.
A spectator was thrown into the air and came crashing down in the road with blood pouring from his head. Two women were also hit and ceremonial guards went to their aid. A policeman narrowly escaped injury when he jumped off his bicycle.
A photographer who witnessed the attack said she saw about 20 people lying on the ground after the impact.
Dutch journalist Peter von de Vorst said it was like watching a horror movie. “Everyone looked up and saw people flying through the air. Then suddenly there was panic, and you realised that something really terrible had happened.” It was not clear how the car managed to enter the parade area, which police had sealed off hours before. Officers removed a man from the vehicle and put him into an ambulance.
Other police officers gave first aid to spectators before they were taken to hospital. Shortly after the incident, investigators and a sniffer dog examined the car for explosives, then removed the roof of the car for a closer inspection. The open-top coach carrying the royal family stopped briefly before being accompanied by a police escort to Het Loo palace.
Queen Beatrix sent a message expressing her sympathy to the victims and their families. Although her birthday is on 31 January, the monarch’s birthday is traditionally celebrated on 30 April.
On the national holiday, street parties and flea markets are held across the country.
Apeldoorn mayor Fred de Graaf said all festivities were being cancelled. Holiday events were also called off in the port city of Rotterdam, and more were likely to be cancelled around the country.
Mr de Graaf said: “The scare and the images that the royal family has seen is reason enough to break off the official programme.”
Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the main Dutch cities last night and today to celebrate the holiday, originally intended to celebrate the birthday of Queen Beatrix’s mother Queen Juliana.
The royal family normally spends the day in a small Dutch community.
[I normally try to post excerpts from articles as long as this one, but considering the unique nature of the following, I felt it should be preserved here in the No Sunglasses site. The author uses a recent article from Pakistan's friend Ahmed Quaraishi (and mine, I hope) as part of a three-part conversation, with himself as the second part and the people of Pakistan as the third. The common thread throughout it all is this, save Pakistan from Iraq and Afghanistan's fate.]
By AHMED QURAISHI
For the first time in a long time, the Pakistani government managed to turn heads in Washington by saying all things America doesn’t want to hear: Islamabad will not allow the United States to expand its war inside Pakistan, won’t allow U.S. boots on the ground, and CIA better stop its drone attacks ASAP.
(OK good, so Pakistan has expressed its displeasure with American policy towards Pakistan across the board so that the whole Pakistani nation clearly understands where the NATIONAL LEADERS UNITED, STAND TOGETHER FOR PAKISTAN, as does the USA, and as does the world. Very important for Pakistan’s long term survival. There is nothing worse than being fucked repeatedly and remaining silent about it, all polite and smiles. The serial rapist thinks he is doing a service, and the victim deserves what they get, and it is for the victim to fight back and state otherwise, openly and clearly, starting from the mid 1960′s……………………
….except Sharif sadly but no surprise for me……….so what is next beyond rhetoric? What is the next logical step for Pakistan? Beyond the rhetoric what concrete steps will be taken to give credibility to what has been stated by these national leaders, some shyly behind the door in private sessions, and some more forth right up front in front of the media? After all the Americans attacked and killed a few more innocent Pakistani civilians through yet another drone attack, launched from a Pakistani military base in Baluchistan whilst all this was going on)
If this was not enough, the ISI chief reportedly refused to meet top U.S. officials and a former air force chief announced that the Pakistani Air Force is just a green signal away from shooting down CIA’s drones and that it only awaited orders from the President and the Prime Minister.
(Erm………you don’t need to shoot these drones down in a melodramatic provocative manner against an “ally”. All that is required is for Kiyani to contact the army sector commander in Baluchistan to go to the American base where drones are launched and close it off, and then inform the American’s of this decision…….thats it)
The week certainly did not start auspiciously for Mr. Richard Holbrooke,Washington’s arrogant special envoy who appeared visibly shaken yesterday in Islamabad. Apparently after getting used to apologetic Pakistani government officials, the sudden change of mood in the Pakistani capital was not something the seasoned diplomat anticipated. He was either too self-assured or was fed wrong reports by U.S. diplomats based in Pakistan.
(This is drama…………just drama…….lets see the actual follow up steps that secures Pakistan’s interests)
All of this coincided with another major news story: the former Chief of the Pakistani Air Force, Air Chief Marshal (retired) Kaleem Saadat, came out on television yesterday night to decisively settle all speculation about what Pakistan can do to stop repeated violations of Pakistani airspace through the CIA-operated drones.‘Yes, we can shoot them down,’ Saadat told Express News, throwing to the dustbin repeated statements by the defense minister and other ministers in the pro-U.S. elected government over the past months where these officials claimed Pakistan did not have the technology required to shoot down U.S. spy planes that violate Pakistani airspace.
(If I had a penny for every time senior retired Pakistani officers stated the obvious truths to the public, I’d be a billionaire by now just like Zardari, with a 55 acre Mansion in exclusive Surrey, complete with a swimming pool, tennis court, and a private airstrip for my Afghan narco’s).
What is critical for Pakistan now is what the top brass currently serving say and do for Pakistan that really matters…….will they continue serving in America’s fake insurgency wars killing Pakistani civilians side by side with the Americans, further destroying the morale of the people…….you understand the racism of it all; American technology being used against innocent civilians in this psych-ops war……softening up the whole country for eventual invasion……doing it in a matter of fact way……………is the Pakistan army proposing to participate in this end game that everybody in Pakistan can see?)
Those statements disappointed a majority of Pakistanis who look up to their military, one of the best in the world, to stand up for Pakistan.
(So innocent and so poignant)
Saadat gave an example: Pakistani Air Force jets shot down a sophisticated, Israeli-manufactured drone that India sent deep inside Pakistan. The Indo-Israeli spy plane was supposed to be undetectable and beyond the reach and the capabilities of Pakistan Air Force. The Indian military was stunned. It initially tried to feign ignorance but then had to grudgingly half-accept the truth. And even then it was surprising for Pakistanis how Britain and the United States failed to censure India for a confirmed act of war.
(Ahmed lets get off India and focus on America and what it does, because that’s what really counts……lets not bring in several confusing issues that cloud the main agenda here which were addressed recently…lets keep it focused.
Drones are launched often by many countries for surveillance, BUT also to test the ground capabilities of potential adversaries, and their positions in theaters of war. If the situation flips against America for Pakistan thats another good reason not to have American bases in the Punjab and other places in Pakistan)
‘The U.S. drones are much bigger in size [in comparison to the Indo-Israeli plane],’ said Air Marshal Saadat, and hence easier to target.
The former air chief left no doubt about who was failing in protecting Pakistani sovereignty. ‘The issue,’ said the former Chief of Air Staff, ‘is not military but a political one.’
(DISINFORMATION: The popular street slogan from the beggar to the man with the Ph.D. is that the two A’s run Pakistan……..the Army and America. Not for nothing. On Ahmed’s website the writer of this article stated that it was the Pakistan army which settled the recent March dispute between Zardari and Sharif——-let us not misinform the reader with false facts, its too critical a time.
Once we identify the real players and the real situation in Pakistan clearly and honestly, then we can move forward.
On the other hand if we wrap ourselves in confusing rhetoric and false assumptions, then we are never going to be in a position to face and solve the big questions, issues and problems of Pakistan.
The Pakistani armed forces numbering 800,000 and backed by 300,000 paramilitaries are the main and only force who are capable of taking major security decisions inside Pakistan…..moving troops towards the Indian border, operating and supplying the Swat Taliban as “controlled opposition” to threaten the civilian government in Islamabad…etc.)
This statement throws the ball in the court of the elected politicians who have long been suspected of quietly permitting Washington to mount missile attacks inside Pakistan.
(No it does not. The Drones are being fired from Pakistani military bases and thus requires the permission and cooperation of the Pakistani military first and foremost. The Pakistani military are fighting side by side in terms of policy with the Americans in FATA attacking Pakistani civilians in FATA. The civilian leadership don’t have a say in this…………its not just the American drones which has caused 500,000 Pakistani civilians to flee from that area. I believe the actions of the Pakistan military in unison with the drone attacks of the Americans have also caused the 500,000 to flee the area.)
Saadat’s statement came a few hours after a joint press briefing in Islamabad where visiting U.S. officials appeared shaken and confused. Richard Holbrooke, America’s envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared surprised at the friendly but firm and straightforward talk by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Qureshi was blunt, something new for a member of the Zardari-Gilani government. Mr. Qureshi went as far as snubbing President Obama, who had earlier said Pakistan would get “no blank checks” and the release of more U.S. aid would depend on how it dealt with terrorism.
( You know I went to a lot of Pantomime shows where they put on good performances with the usual color coded clowns…..all this theater, and means very little thus far for Pakistan.)
In response, Qureshi turned to both Holbrooke and Mullen who shared the stage with him and firmly said: “It works both ways. We’ll neither accept one nor will we give one”.
Mr. Qureshi also said a “gap” existed between Islamabad and Washington on the problem of CIA-operated drones.
(The Americans if they stop the drone attacks tomorrow won’t solve Pakistan’s overall problems……………….Ahmed you know as well as I do that there are a whole range of issues between the two countries, the primary one being the interference by America in Pakistani politics, which destabilizes the country, and the American preference for corrupt clowns into power into Pakistani politics that’s the main issue, and their desire to possibly occupy the country long term along the benevolent lines of Iraq and Afghanistan.)
IS SOMETHING CHANGING
The mood is changing in Pakistan and the United States is increasingly seen as a dishonest friend.
(Better late than never)
One day before the arrival of Holbrooke and Mullen, the leader of the main opposition party in the country, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi of PML, told a press conference that his party favored rejecting U.S. aid if the trade off is to give up Pakistan’s national interest. This was the first call by any major Pakistani political party head to turn down the much needed U.S. financial assistance.
(A great principled soul………too bad there aren’t more like him. Shabash!
Let me give a simple example……….Pakistan’s economy is $3.8 billion in 1950…..and Liaqhat Ali Khan is PM and decides to steer the country on a non-aligned path, and not sign any security agreements with any particular country……..General Ayub Khan the new C&C accepts this national civilian political principle, and sure enough the country grows economically for 21 years, through sound stable economic growth that benefits everybody not just a few families, and everybody is more or less happy. Pakistan is a model stable parliamentary democracy, and power remains in the hand of the Muslim League, but there are other parties which also participate in elections and sometimes the government. Pakistan is respected widely around the world. Pakistan has good relations with all its neighbors, Pakistan is strong, and by 1971 the economy reaches $30 billion, with exports of $3 billion, and a budget of $6.5 billion. with defense at $1.065 billion and education at $1.360 billion…..there are 500,000 university students.
On the other hand Pakistan opts for American military and economic aid worth $4 billion from 1954-69, and the economy is $17 billion by 1971, and Pakistan is an UNSTABLE MILITARY DICTATORSHIP. A few families benefiting from development, and unequal development in the whole of the country creating regional stresses with expectations. A war with India which exposes the weaknesses of the country for the world to see, and especially India, and general instability in the country, overall………because the $2 billion economic aid benefited a few, and the military aid used to wage war against India…….so was the $4 billion aid from America worth it????
I’ve loaded my argument obviously, but when you take American aid you are also allowing them to dictate their terms to you, as there is no such thing as free lunches. You lose you sovereignty……this basic fact must be realized after so many years….The $ 7.5 billion will mostly be pocketed by Zardari cronies who will deposit the money in Swiss or American banks, whilst they buy houses in London and America, and the $3 billion military aid will go into systems that target India, and not fight the jehadis, because the Pakistani military already control the jehadis)
During the talk show where the former Chief of Air Staff Kaleem Saadat spoke, the other two panelists, a retired Army General and a retired Foreign Secretary, shared similar misgivings regarding the U.S. policy toward Pakistan.
Although not stated openly, but Pakistani officials are seriously concerned about mounting circumstantial evidence indicating the U.S. is actually using Afghanistan which it occupies since late 2001 as a base for spreading terrorism and mayhem inside neighboring Pakistan. The suspicions are especially centered on evidence that someone in Afghanistan is pumping trained operatives and saboteurs in the garb of Islamic militants inside Pakistan. These operatives and agents then go about spreading death and destruction in the name of ‘Pakistani Taliban’. There are also serious questions about why the CIA drones fail to attack shadowy militant leaders inside Pakistani tribal zone whose main mission is to attack and kill Pakistanis. In comparison, the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan focus on fighting the occupation forces and have never advocated attacking Pakistani interests despite Islamabad having ditched them seven years ago.
Exploiting religious terrorism is one dimension of the problem. There is even more evidence that Afghan soil is also being used to spread ethnic and sectarian tensions inside Pakistan and recruit, train and sponsor separatists for this purpose. The sudden rise since 2005 of well armed and funded insurgent groups and death squads along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, where they never existed before, and their continued finances and arms supplies despite a blockade by Pakistani security, all of this has poisoned Pakistani perception toward the U.S. role in Afghanistan.
(The Pakistani armed forces according to you is the best in the world, and yet they surrendered to the 3,000 rag tag Swat Taliban armed with just AK-47. Swat is not any where near the Afghan border, so can’t obviously say that they are foreign backed insurgents who walked across the border, and who are now fanning out to the hinterland of Swat towards Islamabad.
Whats the explanation for the best military in the world surrendering to the 3,000 rag tag irregulars?…..The best military in the world with a personnel of 800,000 and backed by 300,000 paramilitary surrendering to the Swat Taliban on all their terms, without a proper fight? Is it because the Swat Taliban are from outer space aliens with super human capabilities who defeated the best military in the world…..I don’t know Ahmed, maybe they are aliens though they all look normal to me.
Lets get a little cynical and conspiratorial, and say that the Swat Taliban are “controlled opposition”, control and managed and run by the …………………………………………………..best military in the world………………..the Pakistani military…………………….why on earth would they do that? Maybe they miss being out of power for a whole year and they want to get back into power again, and so they destabilize the whole country, the whole country…….including the civilian government, and all this talk of RAW and America doing this and the other is just smoke screen, disinformation.
This gives us a different perspective wouldn’t you say? Kiyani and Suja Pasha conspiring to take over the country, at an opportune time when the civilians lose ALL faith with the gangster clownish comical politicians and yearn for the steady hand of the great Pakistan military, the best in the world. )
Most of the evidence regarding anti-Pakistani activities in Afghanistan is linked to the huge presence of Indian intelligence in that country disguised as diplomats and social workers. This, many Pakistanis believe, cannot happen without U.S. consent at some level. Some Pakistanis gave the U.S. the benefit of doubt on this point, arguing that the Indians were exploiting Afghan mess to drive a wedge between Washington and Islamabad. One way to do this, they argued, was to indirectly arm and finance terrorists posing as Taliban to carry out attacks inside Pakistan. But after repeatedly bringing this to the attention of the highest levels of government in Washington without any result, it is quite clear that someone in the U.S. capital is condoning or maybe even permitting what the Indians and their Karzai puppets are doing there.
(Oh its India again! India only does what it does in Afghanistan with the permission of the USA. The USA controls Afghanistan. It alone decides what is acceptable or not on security issues, especially any ops against Pakistan, America’s good buddy and “ally”. If we recall what happened to British intelligence officers who tried to make contacts with the Afghan Taliban and turn them for Britain. If we recall it is ONLY the USA which insists that X,Y,Z NATO counties should do A, B,C here there in Afghanistan)
It is quite obvious that Washington, or ‘non-state actors’ in the U.S. capital, are pursuing an agenda that exceeds what is stated publicly by U.S. officials with regards to Afghanistan. In fact, former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Mirza Aslam Baig wrote a paper as far back as 2007 that listed locations inside Afghanistan where U.S. or some of its allies have established intelligence outposts focused on penetrating four nations that share borders with or are close to Afghanistan. These four nations are Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.
(We can blame the Americans and TAKE THEIR MONEY, until the cows come home, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the Pakistani military to make the correct decisions for Pakistan’s sake in the end; so far they haven’t)
In mid 2007, both Ahmed Quraishi and Zaid Hamid, two Pakistani policy commentators, raised eyebrows when the state-run PTV News aired shows featuring the two criticizing what they said were early signs that someone was using Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan and that the U.S. was either involved or was turning a blind eye as India and pro-Indian former Afghan communist officials who sit in key positions in Kabul exported terrorism to Pakistan. The television shows led to queries from within different parts of the Pakistani government on whether there has been some subtle change in the policy that was being pursued then by President Musharraf.
In November 2007, Quraishi authored a report that said that the next logical step for the severe destabilization seen in Pakistan that year would be a high-value assassination of either President Musharraf or Benazir Bhutto, the two key leaders in Pakistan at the time, which would spin Pakistan out of control. That would be the natural next move for interested to terminally cripple the country. Truly enough, Ms. Bhutto was assassinated a month later and her violent murder almost led to a revolt in one of the four federating provinces of Pakistan. It was a miracle that Pakistan was not sent into a tailspin, a testament to the strength and endurance of this nation despite heavy odds.
(Benazir was killed by the ISI—-she was considered a security risk who was too friendly with India from their narrow perceptions (in reality she wasn’t…..at most indifferent towards India just like Zardari, but not hostile like……….many Pakistani generals). She also divulged the name of the ISI agent who killed Osama Bin Laden in 2001 in an interview with David Frost (Umer Shaikh………a mere slip of the tongue which she never tried to “clarify” as clearly stated in her 2/11/2007 interview? I don’t think so. David Frost did not try and correct her subsequently….and Osama Bin Laden is quite a distinct name which you wouldn’t ordinarily confuse with Daniel Pearl……..so what she is indicating in the interview is that she knows who attempted to kill her in Karachi……..”organizing, finance, training, arming, organization, organization, military officers, organization”, and what work they have already done in Pakistan…..i.e exclusive: Osama Bin Laden killed by an ISI operative. As I further analyze the interview I note that she answers the question extremely promptly without a thought, on topics which are to say the least very sensitive, and would ordinarily require some pause for thought…..so maybe the questions were fed to her before the interview. The general perception was possibly that the ISI were scared of her, and that she was going to be the new PM backed by America who would “clean house” of the fundie activities in Pakistan, which obviously the ISI did not want. In addition she went to India, and gave various interviews in an open and frank manner talking about the genocide of the Pakistani army in East Pakistan, the humiliation of Kargil with preceding various war game scenarios, and the corruption of the military juxtaposed with the corruption of the civilian politicans, the links between the military and the extremist Madrasses and finally the involvement of extremist groups which are non-Kashmiri in the Kashmiri terrorsim. With Zardari the ISI/military aren’t scared as Zardri’s mind is totally focused on making money for himself, and destroying the reputation of civilian politicians, so that the army can come back into power as the white knights in shining Armour to “save Pakistan” once again).
The ISI plays double or even triple games with friends and foes, and of course it also does the same with their own citizens the Pakistani people, because that is the nature of intelligence for “proactive” nations like Pakistan who like to get their big Jewish noses into other nations affairs.
Imagine the street credit of the ISI within the so called Fundie fraternity if it was known and widely accepted that the ISI killed Osama Bin Ladin in 2001 acting as a Kuta of Western intelligence to protect and hide the Jewish role in 9/11……………..Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Further……………..Benazir alluded to her killers before her death to her friends, she knew what she was up against with all her experience in the inside of Pakistani politics. Again this exposes the cynicism of the ISI as it operates as an annex of Western intelligence in propagating the Western myth of “al-Qaeda” carried out 9/11, and OBL did it………..if OBL were alive now obviously he would be giving numerous interviews saying he didn’t.
The ISI was established by the British in 1948 as an instrument of their control of Pakistan, and by extension South Asia, and is very very close to Western intelligence………………….it lacks the IZZAT or moral courage to operate on its own on a rational logical basis that might help Pakistan long term. Who are the ISI personnel?……………Pakistan military officers.
This also tells us that the ISI needs to be disbanded if Pakistan is to survive into the future, as the ISI operates as a state within a state, and a servant of JEWUSA geo-strategy in Pakistan, and around Pakistan. Suja Pasha’s theatrics aside more recently.
For you this might be difficult to accept, because maybe the Pakistan military the best in the world, are the shining white knight that the nation can rely on when things deteriorate..right?
But do remember that the head of the Iraqi Mukabarat under Saddam was working for America, in 2003, as were most of Saddam’s generals. This is why the Iraqi military of 400,000, one of the best in the world no doubt stood down when the Americans came to ‘liberate’ their country………..and you should know what happened in Iraq after this American “liberation”……….1.2 million dead preceding the 1 million who died due to sanctions and ……ariel bombing of Iraq 1991–2003(sounds familiar?); 4.5 million internal and external refugees in Syria and Jordan mainly; the country destroyed with little or no governance, and it doesn’t improve as the years progress; Finally the country divided into sectarian enclaves. The Americans will stay in the country until all the Iraqis have killed each other.
Now what if the Pakistan military stand down in the face of an American invasion? 10 meetings between Mullen and Kiyani in just over a year. And 6-10 million Pakistanis die in a “civil war” which of course the Americans can’t do anything about, can they? 10-20 million Pakistanis flee to India as refugees, with the women selling themselves for a rupee a go to survive, satisfying Shakti “hardwan” Singh, as with Iraqi women in Syria and Jordan.
How can you be sure that the Pakistani military top brass, trained in the USA mainly, is totally loyal to Pakistan? Present indications are not encouraging.
We don’t need theatrics from Pakistani national figures. When foreign dignitaries come to Pakistan they should be well treated. What really matters however is the deeds of the Pakistan military and to a lessor extent the civilian puppet government installed by the Americans. Taking the correct decisions is what really counts………..Pakistan is an independent country that can choose her friends and pursue her own foreign policy.
Put simply you can’t take the $ aid AND pursue an independent path, its one or the other)
All of this serves to highlight that Pakistani grievances against the United States, which the British and American media deliberately hide from their people, run back in time and are not the result of recent events in the Pakistani tribal zone.
IS ZARDARI-GILANI GOVT.
SERIOUS IN CONFRONTING
MR. HOLBROOKE & ADM. MULLEN?
The performance of Foreign Minister Qureshi certainly was a welcome surprise for many skeptics who had all but given up on the Zardari-Gilani government taking any stand on Pakistan’s legitimate interests when it came to American policy in Afghanistan. And the reason is simple. This government owes its existence and power to direct U.S. support. U.S. is using Pakistani democracy as a Trojan horse, playing off one set of politicians against the other and then using all of them against the military. There have been reports for some time now that certain departments within the U.S. government have been conducting ‘private foreign policies’ directly with the families that control Pakistani political parties. Some of the leaders of these families were invited to secret visits to Washington as part of this confidential dialogue.
(Thats a good observation, well done—-divide and conquer, playing off different groups against one another. And each group in order to stay in power and curry favor with America offer more “concessions” to the USA, which harm Pakistan long term……and for America a win win situation. Though I would add Ahmed due to the time scale of who has been in actual power, its the military which has been the actual tool, and main tool of American power in Pakistan…….Busharaf is off to America on lecture tours, being carefully groomed by America obviously to come back into power through the PML-N. Which given his crime should not happen. Zardari has effectively been in power for about 6 months and more critically I don’t think he has any say on the all important security questions in Pakistan that matter to ordinary Pakistanis……..lest we forget the prime complaint against the Zardari government is the total lack of governance by the current administration. Zardari is using his public position to make business deals to enrich himself and thus visit various countries, and thats about it.
Its the American control and manipulation of the Pakistan military that really matters for Pakistan ultimately.)
Mr. Holbrooke and Adm. Mullen are good examples of this American manipulation of key Pakistani political players. Both of them, and especially Mr. Holbrooke, would come to Pakistan and separately meet senior Pakistani politicians alone, each one separately, and often inside the fortified U.S. embassy compound to avoid the preying eyes of Pakistani media and also Pakistani intelligence. He would also make sure to meet the Pakistani President, Prime Minister, Army chief, ISI chief, and whoever else mattered, and all of them separately, and then play one party against the other, a sort of an improvement on the old British method of divide and rule.
(Mashallah—–excellent scoop and reporting!)
Another sign of manipulation is the Zardari-Nawaz rivalry. When President Zardari began to appear weak, the Americans leaked a story – through the usual mouthpieces NYT and WSJ quoting no names – that “U.S. officials” were considering getting closer to Nawaz Sharif. The story was obviously meant to throw fuel on the fire of the cutthroat internal Pakistani politics and increase domestic instability by playing on the insecurities of the two key players.
While Mr. Zardari’s closeness to the Americans is indisputable [last week Dubai’s Gulf News reported Mr. Zardari met secretly with Mr. Holbrooke in the emirate without the knowledge of any Pakistani official or diplomat, except the organizer of the meeting Mr. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s envoy to Washington, who is sarcastically referred to in Islamabad’s drawing rooms as ‘Washington’s envoy to Pakistan’], Mr. Nawaz Sharif is the new surprise. While he disagrees with President Obama’s policies in public, Mr. Sharif hurried to Islamabad on Tuesday to meet Mr. Holbrooke at the U.S. embassy compound. Why would Mr. Sharif present himself to the Americans privately as an alternative partner while keeping a nationalistic posture in public is something that only Mr. Sharif can explain.
This American manipulation of Pakistani politicians, in and out of government, means there is little chance most of these politicians would really want to get tough with Washington.
(Why yes of course obviously——they essentially become American lackeys in power or waiting in the wings out of power. That would explain why Zardari after being released went to live in Jew York in 2004. Benazir also spent an inordinate amount of time in the USA in the late 1990′s and there after, giving speeches to the CFR etc. Sharif mainly shuttled between the Gulf and Saudi Arabia which is a country that has significant influence in Pakistan, but not overt like the Americans the Saudis don’t operate that way, and of course LONDON, no less influential in Pakistani politics. And of course Sharifs visit to the American embassy more recently.
The understanding is that Benazir prostituted, and promised anything and everything to curry favor with the Americans and get back into power. So what has Busharaf, your hero Ahmed promised to America to get back into power more recently? Its a race to the bottom for Pakistan led by amoral unscrupulous politicians of all shades, both civilian and military……………….what is the solution now that we have clearly identified the problem what can be done?)
Foreign Minister Qureshi’s newfound assertive tone has probably more to do with restlessness within the Pakistani strategic community, which consists of civilian and military policy analysts, that is apparently beginning to prevail upon both the Pakistani Foreign Office and the Pakistani military to do something when the government appears incapable or unwilling to stand up for Pakistani interests. That’s one way of explaining the reports of how ISI chief refused to meet Mr. Holbrooke and Adm. Mullen despite the duo’s request. [The ISI chief did not meet Mr. Holbrooke alone but did meet the U.S. official along with the Army chief.]
( This is progress. Though it needs to go beyond gesture politics…..and if I were a Pakistani national, I’d be fuming, raging with seething anger and not merely having reflective second thoughts at this late stage………………………we can avoid the Iraqi nightmare being visited against Pakistan. It really is quite simple…………..the 180 million Pakistanis can’t go anywhere if they are occupied by America except to India as refugees. People like Zardari can go to his London Surrey mansion, and like the Iraqi generals and Busharaf many of the Pakistani millionaire kuti puti generals can go off to America, but the rest of the Pakistani 180 million will have to face the American music under their occupation————————its a simple question of national survival.
What must Pakistanis do to protect their country? What are the simple logical steps Pakistan must undertake for national survival? Who ultimately are the key players in Pakistani national life who can make the key decisions for Pakistan’s survival?)
But there is another reason for this. Some Pakistani officials were determined this time not to allow Mr. Holbrooke to meet senior Pakistani officials separately. An intra-agency meeting, bringing top officials from several federal departments was scheduled for Monday, before Mr. Holbrooke’s arrival. The brainstorming session was supposed to bring minds together from the Foreign Office, the Interior, the military and others in order to present a unified Pakistani response to American policies.
(Sounds good—-what was the outcome?)
But the meeting failed to materialize because Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, tired from a range of foreign trips throughout last week, was resting in his hometown in Multan and failed to show up for the meeting, which then was called off.
(The meeting could still have gone ahead without him surely, if it was really important, with minutes of the meeting being submitted for Qureshi’s attention later. Such a meeting should still be held……..and not just one……….Pakistan really is looking at the abyss, and some stark courageous decisions need to be taken by the key players inside Pakistan soon………………….Zardari is a non-entity in all this of course)
But Mr. Qureshi surprised the observers with his performance in the press conference with Mr. Holbrooke and Adm. Mullen. The Pakistani Foreign Minister was poised and assertive.
(We need to move beyond gesture politics—–mere gesture “feel good” politics for public consumption is not going to seriously address the key issues and problems Pakistan faces as a result of American interference in Pakistani society.)
It was a good show for one day. (EXACTLY) The best way to achieve something for the long run, however, is to match the rhetoric with some actions. If the ISI chief did indeed refuse meeting U.S. officials [he did attend Holbrook’s meeting with the Army chief] then this is the first of a series of steps that Pakistan needs to take to ensure that Washington understands it cannot pursue a selfish policy of achieving its own goals in the region while Pakistan’s interests get trampled in the process.
(Put simply Pakistan’s long term goals and well being do not match the American interest and design over Pakistan. Never has and never will…………………Pakistan has been incessantly burnt by the USA, through contradictions and clash of interests of the two nations over several decades, not yesterday. There is an inherent contradiction of what Pakistan really requires, and what the USA really desires. If this realisation is finally made in Pakistan by the key players in unison, then logically they need to discuss what needs to done next. But Zardari for sure is not the man to make the change in policy, and nor is Kiyani, trained in America.)
Egypt, the world’s most populous Arab country, is suddenly roiling with a wide-open, combative election that seems certain to end with the country’s main Islamic group, the banned Muslim Brotherhood, as a big winner.
The country’s rulers, longtime American allies, are starting to show signs of panic: Police have barred voters from polls and thugs have attacked Brotherhood supporters in recent days in an apparent effort to blunt the group’s growing momentum.
Even before the final round of voting Thursday, Brotherhood loyalists have increased their seats in parliament fivefold. That’s not enough to unseat the ruling party, but is still seen as a slap to President Hosni Mubarak.
The following is taken from http://www.redmoonrising.com/Ikhwan/BritIslam.htm
Prior to World War II British Intelligence cultivated ties with the Brotherhood through agent Freya Stark, the British adventurer and writer (1). These covert connections were used to keep track of the growing German presence in North Africa and to stay informed of the many different political movements that were springing up. The Muslim Brotherhood spread throughout the Muslim world and has evolved into something like a Muslim equivalent of the West’s Masonic brotherhood. It became one of the first Islamic Fundamentalist terror organizations…
“According to CIA agent Miles Copeland, the Americans began looking for a Muslim Billy Graham around 1955… When finding or creating a Muslim Billy Graham proved elusive, the CIA began to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim mass organization founded in Egypt but with followers throughout the Arab Middle East… This signalled the beginning of an alliance between the traditional regimes and mass Islamic movements against Nasser and other secular forces.” (1)
The CIA was following the example of British Intelligence and sought to use Islam to further its goals. They wanted to find a charismatic religious leader that they could promote and control and they began to cooperate with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. With the rise of Nasser the Brotherhood was also courted more seriously by the pro-Western Arab regimes of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They needed all the popular support that they could muster against the rise of Nasser-inspired Arab nationalism to keep their regimes intact.
The Muslim Brotherhood was an obvious ally against Nasser, because he had abolished it from Egypt after it was involved in a failed assassination attempt on his life in 1954. The Brotherhood rejected Nasser’s policy that, for the most part, kept religion out of politics. Officially the Brotherhood was an outlawed organization, but it remained influential and active within Egypt working against the secular regime, often hand-in-hand with British Intelligence. In June of 1955 MI6 was already approaching the Brotherhood in Syria to agitate against the new government that showed strong left-wing tendencies and a desire to merge with Egypt (2). The Brotherhood became an even more important asset after Nasser announced the Egyptian takeover of the Suez…
In Syria, in 1982, there was a major conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian government at the city of Hamma that resulted in 20,000 casualties. In the aftermath Syria’s President Asad revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood forces were armed with US-made equipment…
Israel, forever inclined to back divisive movements, surfaced as another supporter of Islam and began to fund the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas.” (8)
The most noteworthy success of the Islamic movement during this time was of course the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the installation of the Ayatollah Khomeini as the Islamic dictator. British Intelligence had used their contacts with Iran’s mullahs and ayatollahs to help overthrow Mossadegh and install the Shah back in 1953, and these contacts were maintained and used again to overthrow the Shah when his regime fell out of favor.
The Establishment history of Iran’s Islamic Revolution is that Khomeini’s revolt was spontaneous and populist, and that it overthrew a repressive dictatorship that was hated by the people but supported wholeheartedly by the United States. It is true that the Shah’s government was not a democracy and that his secret service, trained by the CIA, was one of the most effective intelligence organizations in the world. But what is not reported is that prior to the British-sponsored massive public relations campaign on behalf of the Ayatollah the government of the Shah was loved by the vast majority of the population.
After taking over from Mossadegh the Shah began to push forward a number of nationalist policies that increased his popularity at home but, in some cases, worried the Anglo-American Establishment. First, he signed petroleum agreements with ENI, the Italian oil company. Then in 1963 he pushed forward on a series of popular reforms that became known as the White Revolution. The Shah evolved into a nationalist whose path paralleled that of Nasser far too much for the Establishment’s liking:
- He bought land from the upper classes and, along with the crown’s own land, sold it back cheaply to tenant farmers, allowing over one a half million people to become land owners and ending the old feudal system.
- He allowed women the right to vote, and brought an end to the wearing of the veil, which were “Westernizing” moves unwelcomed by the religious sector.
- He pushed forward on a $90 billion nuclear power program.
- He moved to shut down the lucrative opium industry that had been created during the days of British Empire control that had been running for a hundred years. (9)…
The attack on the Shah’s government came through the Muslim Brotherhood and through the mullahs and ayatollahs of Iran, supported and manipulated by British Intelligence…
Dr. John Coleman, a former British Intelligence agent… states in his report on Iran’s Islamic Revolution (11) that the Muslim Brotherhood was created by “the great names of British Middle East intelligence” …and that their mission was to “keep the Middle East backward so that its natural resource, oil, could continue to be looted…”
Dr. Coleman writes that in 1980 the broadcasts of Radio Free Iran divided the enemies of the Shah into four categories: 1. Iranian politicians bought by the Israeli Shin Bet, 2. The CIA’s network of agents, 3. The feudal landowners, 4. The Freemasons and the Muslim Brotherhood (viewed as the same enemy).
In his report Dr. Coleman writes that in Iran, “At one time there was even a joke about the mullahs being stamped ‘made in Britain.’” When the Shah introduced his plan for modernization in 1963 the Ayatollah Khomeini emerged as the leader of the religious opposition. Up until his exile from Iran in 1964, Khomeini was based at the religious city of Qom. Dr. Coleman relates that Radio Free Iran claimed that while at Qom Khomeini received a “monthly stipend from the British, and he is in constant contact with his masters, the British.”
It would seem that the UK and US military like governments to be fundamentalist because then things are easier to control.
There are very few Islamists in Pakistan!
In the 2008 general election in Pakistan, “the parties linked, or at least sympathetic, to the Taliban and ‘al Qaeda’ saw their share of the votes slashed to about 3%”.
So, only 3% are wild Islamists.
Remember that the CIA can offer no evidence that Osama is in Pakistan.
And, the UK government can offer no evidence in its latest ‘Pakistani terrorist plot’.
Reportedly, in Pakistan, the Islamists are secretly backed by the CIA.
The CIA appears to be using its Islamist friends to break up Pakistan.
Rememeber that in 1978, President Carter’s regime was training and building up the wild Islamists in Afghanistan.
The aim was to topple the government of Afghanistan, which was seen as being friendly with Russia.
Afghanistan’s heroin was important to the USA. Afghan poppy production tripled between 1979 and 82; and there are now drug lords in the government of President Hamid Karzai. (Afghanistan: U.S. Escalates the Illegal Drug Industry)
Ahmed Quraishi, on 9 April 2009, at http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/, tells us:
Among the points made:
1. Many in Pakistan believe the terror in Pakistan is linked to the CIA.
2. In July 2008, Pakistan’s military gave CIA and U.S. commanders evidence showing that the US government was indirectly protecting anti-Pakistan terrorists.
3. The so called Islamist Abdullah Mehsud (who may be linked to the CIA) was used to attack Chinese interests in Pakistan.
Until now CIA drones have never targeted Abdullah or Baitullah Mehsud or any other militia that is committed to attacking Pakistan.
4. The Indian and Afghan intelligence services are aiding terrorism inside Pakistan.
5. In 2002, the US was allowed to set bases in Balochistan, in Pakistan.
The CIA was allowed to recruit Pakistanis in the tribal belt in Pakistan.
These two areas are now the most disturbed parts of Pakistan.
6. The US government is hoping to make it impossible for China ‘to pursue trade and energy corridors through Pakistan’.
And what about Kasab and the Mumbai Attacks?
Is Kasab a poorly educated patsy?
In late 1998, black-clad ninjas murdered hundreds of innocent people in East Java, in Indonesia.
Some of the victims were mentally handicapped youths, easy targets.
Bloody decapitated heads were paraded around the streets.
Reportedly, the killings were part of a psychological terror campaign ( like that waged in 1965 by the US-advised Indonesian Army, when at least 500,000 civilians were killed.)
In 1998, as in ’65, there was the distribution of death lists to terrify the public, the arrival of assassins in trucks, mutilation of corpses and display of body parts in public places.
[Sounds eerily similar to this report on the campaign of slaughter that has been unleashed upon the people of Parichinar, Pakistan:
"An all-out attack against the Shias of Parachinar has been underway for a long time now; even Sunni locals seen to be “friendly” towards Shias have not been spared in this maelstrom of killing. Gruesome images of beheaded and mutilated bodies, with arms and legs chopped off from corpses, have surfaced on the Internet since the outbreak of violence…orders were given out by the Taliban government for the dead to be left unburied."]
Some observers believed that a faction of the US-trained army was fomenting terror to justify a military crackdown.
Army members were arrested by local authorities for the killings, and then mysteriously released.
Pro-democracy activists in Jakarta pointed out that’Ninja’ is the term popularly used to designate the Army Special Forces (Kopassus) in disguise.
Are the security services using mentally backward people for false flag operations?
1. Nicky Reilly, who was involved in the nail bomb explosions in Exeter, England, in May 2008, was under surveillance by the Security Services. ( Face of the ‘nail bomber’: Police were tailing Muslim convert …) . Was he being used by them?
2. “GENTLE giant Nicky Reilly may have been ‘brainwashed’ into becoming a would-be suicide bomber… police say.
“The mentally ill 22-year-old was arrested on Thursday after a homemade nail bomb blew up in his face in a busy restaurant. ( Mentally ill man ‘brainwashed’ into suicide bomb bid, police say)
“Mr Reilly’s stepfather, Philip Dinner, is a convicted heroin dealer and his younger brother, Luke, 20, is serving a six-year prison sentence for kicking a man unconscious in a violent robbery.” (Neighbours tell of Nicky Reilly’s troubled past )
“One neighbour, Daniel Turner, 20, said… ‘He is mentally ill and probably has the mental age of a 10 year old’…
“The chairman of the local Islamic Centre, Syed Rahman, said Mr Reilly may have prayed at the mosque but denied any knowledge of him. ‘Certainly no one who attends our mosque has anything to do with extremism,’ he said. ‘This guy may have come to us, but we do not know him and we do not recognise him.’” (Exeter bombing suspect was ‘brainwashed’, friends insist)
In 1998, elements of the Indonesian military wanted to topple Indonesia’s President Wahid.
Allegedly, in East Java, members of the military dressed up as Ninjas.
Allegedly the military then dumped mental patients in villages.
When the village vigilantes arrived, they thought the mentally backward youths were Ninjas and chopped their heads off.
Indonesia was destabilised.
There is a suspicion that the security services recruit their patsies from among the weakest members in society: people with mental problems, people who are petty criminals, people who can be easily brainwashed. (aangirfan: TERROR IN INDONESIA : THE CIA CONNECTION
Historians Bahar and Kugel used evidence from Gestapo archives to argue that the fire was almost certainly started by the Nazis. They say that a commando group of at least three, and at most ten SA men led by Hans Georg Gewehr set the fire using self-lighting incendiaries, and that Van der Lubbe was brought to the scene later.
5. ‘Retarded Prisoner Was Informant For London Terror Raid’, according to the London Mirror, June 18 2006
A MAN with an IQ of just 69 is believed to be the trigger behind the bungled terror raid in Forest Gate, East London.
Ex-waiter Mohammed Abu Bakr Mansha, 22, was a childhood pal of the innocent two brothers arrested in the dawn swoop by police two weeks ago.
In January he was jailed for six years for terror offences – and even described in court as an “utter incompetent”. Soon afterwards, friends of brothers Abul Kahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20, visited him at top-security Belmarsh prison, in South-East London.
And, the Sunday Mirror has learned, that meeting sparked a surveillance operation on the men by the security services. According to a friend of the brothers, they laughed at constantly being followed. Our source said: “It was so obvious we treated it as a joke.”
Then new information came through, said to include detailed drawings of a suicide vest.
That led to Operation Volga – the botched police operation to arrest the brothers, which led to Kahar being shot. After seven days in custody they were released without charge amid claims of incompetence and brutality.
Friends of the men believe dim Mansha was the trigger for the extraordinary operation.
Mansha’s lawyer Sara O’Keefe revealed how her client was moved just before the raid from category ‘A’ Belmarsh to a softer category ‘B’ jail. She did not know why he got the favourable treatment, or whether he unwittingly helped MI5. Told that the brothers knew they were being followed she said: “That sounds about right.”
Mansha – serving six years for possessing an old address of a British Army war hero, which police suspected was part of a terror plot – is appealing against his sentence. His trial revealed him to be educationally subnormal with an IQ of 69 – compared to the average of 100.
In the US that would make his court evidence unreliable.
If Mansha is confirmed as the trigger for the raid, it will be hugely humiliating for the security services in their battle against terror.
Police and intelligence officials claim the information was from a reliable single source who knew the brothers and whom the security services had dealt with before.
But our probe suggests that if Mansha was at the centre of the investigation, the intelligence is highly suspect and deeply embarrassing for MI5. Vajahat Sharif, lawyer for one brother, slammed the “scattergun” approach, saying it would lead to police targeting more innocent people. He said: “Where does this stop? What about Mansha’s friends, family or neighbours? They know him, so presumably they’re terrorists.”
A friend of the brothers said they’d grown up with Mansha. He said: “We used to play in the street. Abu was strange. He’d suddenly lose it. Once while playing street football, he got upset as no one passed to him. He took out a gun and went pop, pop, pop.”
He added: “Once I saw him pee in the eye of a man lying on the floor, for fun. I’ve seen him do all sorts, bad things, because he’s a nutter – but he’s no al-Qaeda bomber. He needs help, not banging up. A few guys visited him in jail. I didn’t go as I didn’t like him, but suddenly Kahar and Koyair were being followed. It was so obvious we all treated it like a joke. Maybe if I’d gone too they’d have raided my house and shot me. It’s a f***ing outrage.”
On June 2 at 4am 250 officers, including forensic and chemicals experts, waited at the terraced home of their parents Abul Kalam and Alif Jan. Bursting through a window, 50 cops met Kahar and Koyair on the stairs. Kahar was shot in the shoulder. They were held for seven days as police dug the garden and drilled holes into walls seeking a chemical device.
A week later police issued a grudging apology, outraging locals. The brothers are suing for distress, wrongful imprisonment and damage to their house. But a pal said: “They don’t blame Abu, he’s an old friend. But he’s capable of saying and doing anything. If he did say anything it would be madness if the police took him seriously.”
Governor NWFP Owais Ahmed Ghani
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
PESHAWAR – A year ago, the United States brokered a deal in Pakistan between then-Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf and opposition parties to bring Pakistan back onto the path of real democracy, at the same time returning the military to the “war on terror” front. The goal was to empower the political parties to defeat domestic militancy through consensus and broad-based government, with a civilian president.
This happened to some extent following elections in February 2008 and the subsequent formation of a civilian administration under President Asif Ali Zardari.
However, on the first anniversary of those polls, Pakistan has changed horses in midstream by striking deals with militants and
stopping all military operations against militants. In other words, Pakistan is refusing to fight the American war in the region, as was the grand plan.
On the front line
Pashtun-dominated North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), although the smallest of the four provinces of Pakistan, is center-stage in the struggle against militancy as it borders Afghanistan to the north and the troubled tribal areas to its west.
The man who presides over the province, sitting in Governor’s House in the capital Peshawar, is Owais Ahmad Ghani, previously a successful governor of southwestern Balochistan province and a former trusted lieutenant of Musharraf. He took over in January 2008 after four-and-a-half years in his previous position.
Governor’s House reflects some of the rich history of the Pashtuns; its walls have murals of Alexander the Great’s army in battle as some Pashtuns believe they are descendents of the leader’s Greeks. There is also Koranic calligraphy showing their Muslim legacy.
With his background and given his present position, Ghani is intimately informed of the intricacies of Pakistan’s evolving policy with regard to militants. In an extensive interview with Asia Times Online, he says that the move towards peace deals with militants was not the result of any blackmail or pressure from the side of militants.
Rather, it grew from the realization that the seven-year-long strategy of military operations only aggravated the situation. Now, with peace deals, Pakistan is returning to the pre-1979 setup when, under the aegis of the state, tribes decided their terms of peace through their riwaj (customary laws).
Ghani admits that the situation can at best only be contained as long as foreign troops remain in Afghanistan. The Taliban and other groups consider this a reason for jihad, and Pakistan territory is used to fuel this cause. Probably the most important peace deal in NWFP is the one concluded in February with militants in the Swat area after two years of fighting.
Asia Times Online: There is a perception of you that you initiate political negotiations, and then follow with military operations. That’s what you did when you were governor of Balochistan, and some say that is why you were brought to NWFP.
Owais Ahmad Ghani: This is a perception that you have from the outside. But let me explain to you in detail. The situation we face has always revolved around this question: Is this a law-and-order issue, or is it an insurgency?
This is the first question I raised when I came here [NWFP]. Law and order is not a protracted activity. It is temporary and there are some immediate issues. It can be criminal issues and it can also be issues of public agitation. For example, against [power] loadshedding, against inflation or political issues.
After some debate we came to the conclusion that this is an insurgency in which there is an attempt to dislodge the state of Pakistan and create space for another state. So we started from this premise. I can today state with a degree of confidence that insurgency has now been downgraded to militancy. But certainly last year in January and February our conclusion was that we were facing an insurgency, and we designed a strategy accordingly.
Now in such a situation there are two concurring battles being fought. One is the battle of ideas. The other is the battle of arms. The battle of ideas is always a lead battle and the battle of arms is always subservient to the battle of ideas. Please understand this.
Here [NWFP] I found a very strange situation in which the battle of arms had been joined, but there was no battle of ideas. The battle of ideas is a political approach. It is the same approach which I have been telling the Americans to adopt in Afghanistan. In 2003-04, I predicted to various American personalities, like ambassadors Ryan Crocker, Nancy Powell, their senators etc, that they were going to fail in Afghanistan because there was an over-emphasis on a military strategy, and I did not see any robust parallel political strategy at work.
I said [to the Americans] that what you are doing is that you are trying to find a military solution to an issue which is essentially political in nature. So that is the mistake happening there that I felt was also happening here [in Pakistan]. That’s why the Americans have fought in Afghanistan for six or seven years, and I keep on asking them whether they have improved law and order – no. Has security improved? No. Has political stability been achieved? No. Has socio-economic development taken off? No. So obviously they were doing something wrong. We need to step back and review as exactly the same questions can be asked of Pakistan.
For three or four years, we [Pakistan] have been fighting in the tribal areas. Have we reduced violence? Have we brought in political stability? Have we brought in security and law and order? Is social economic development taking place? No … no …. no. So let’s step back and let’s review. Where are we going wrong? And according to our analysis – you need to understand this analysis, only then will you be able to understand the strategy – that it is not 9/11, it is 1979, which was the trigger which brought instability to this region.
Before the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, there was a two-power environment in the tribal areas. One was the tribes themselves, the other one was the government of Pakistan. The entire administrative system and the law-enforcement system were designed according to this two-power environment.
[In the Pakistani tribal areas] you had the maliks [tribal chiefs], you had the political administration, which I will explain later. However, post the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, we were supported by the West and the United States and we used the tribal areas … Federally Administered Tribal Areas [FATA] … as the launching pad for the Afghan jihad against the Soviet army.
Whatever happened after that is the fallout of an unintended consequence of that conflict. Those jihadi organizations morphed into militant organizations [at the end of the Afghan jihad in 1989] and therefore a third power emerged and the old equilibrium was disturbed.
Our administrative systems and law-enforcing agencies were not designed to cope with this three-power environment. A steady decline was there, but it was the shock of 9/11 which brought out the total inadequacy and the weakness of the system. And therefore as a temporary measure to bring about some control and stability, the army had to be inducted.
But the main challenge is to reform our administrative and law-enforcing systems to cater for this new environment, which is going to remain for some time. This is our reading because everything is dependent on Afghanistan. If a certain degree of normalcy returns to Afghanistan, normalcy according to Afghan standards, only then can the issues the tribal areas and our provinces and Pakistan face subside.
To correct the situation and to bring about stability and control, we fell back on old traditional systems. We had the original power-based tribes, but they had become weakened. Why? For three or four reasons. The militant organizations, they are highly organized because of their background, they are battle-hardened and heavily armed and very well funded. And very importantly, while tribal influence is limited to its own area, its own people, the militant organizations have cross-tribal linkages, cross-border linkages, international linkages. And while tribes are bound by their tribal traditions and customary laws [riwaj], the militant organizations are not. So they have out-gunned, out-funded and out-organized the tribal malik and his tribe, and that’s why that system could not respond.
So our strategy was very simple, we needed to prop up the tribes because the real strength is the people. No government, whether a civilian government or a military government, can really function or succeed until it has brought public support behind it … sentiment behind it.
For us to prop up the tribal system again, this could only be done by weakening the militants, militarily, so that at a certain point we could make the tribes strong enough. This is the basic approach – the state of Pakistan owes its first loyalty to its own citizens, and its own citizens are the tribes.
There were previous agreements, previous to my tenure, but they were flawed. I was sitting in Quetta [as governor of Balochistan] and I said these were flawed and could not succeed because they were between the military and the militants [for example, one signed in September 2006]. The agreements should have been between the government of Pakistan and the tribes.
Our approach has been that it is the government of Pakistan dealing with the tribes and making agreements with the tribes. For example, we have conducted only one written agreement, and that is in North Waziristan [tribal area]. There is no other agreement in my period [as governor of NWFP]. On February 17, 2008, we signed an agreement in North Waziristan. Over 380 tribal maliks and tribal elders signed that agreement.
ATol: Do the tribal elders matter?
OAG: They do. Obviously, we understand that 20-25 of those tribal leaders are very closely aligned with militant elements. I would not call them the Taliban because that has a different connotation altogether. They were with these militants because they were in that society. But we are talking to them on the basis of them being tribal leaders, and they have a certain relationship. Let me explain that relationship.
The tribesmen of FATA are fully fledged Pakistani citizens. They are entitled to a passport, a national ID card, they can join the civil services, the armed forces – they are there from soldier to general. And very importantly, they can own, purchase and manage property anywhere in Pakistan.
However, due to historical reasons, a different politico-administrative system evolved from the old British Empire policy, creating buffers between the advancing Russian imperial army, then as Afghanistan as a buffer with the Russian empire, then the tribal areas as a buffer between the Indian empire and Afghanistan, and the frontier regions as a buffer between the tribal areas and settled districts.
So that created a system of buffers. Each has a slightly different
administrative system. In this there was a political agent whose administrative authority was limited to protected areas, that is, roads and government buildings, and no more. In the rest of the [tribal] areas there are customary laws – riwaj. The political agent is also bound by the riwaj when he operates in those areas, that is why he is called a political agent, he is not an administrative officer. He has to deal with the tribes politically.
Secondly, this is simplified, there is no thana [police station] no katchari [lower courts] no police etc. You have tribal laws, the riwaj, the jirga system [tribal councils]. There are major concessions from taxation, but all this is not free, sir.
In return for all these concessions, and these are collective concessions from which the tribes collectively benefit, there is a collective responsibility, a trade-off that every tribe is responsible for the security of its own respective areas, which is called Apni Mitti ki Zamdari [responsibility for one's own land].
This entails that roads in those areas should be open, the political administration in that area should carry on its traditional responsibilities without any hindrance. And the traditional law-enforcing agencies, like the Frontier Corps, Khasadars, carry on their traditional activities unhindered. It is most important that a tribe will not allow the use of its territory as a sanctuary for any criminal and anti-state elements to act against the interests of Pakistan … which are diluted now.
So, we talked to the tribes and said, “Look, you have this concession and this is your collective responsibility. Now, if you want to enjoy these concessions, come up with your collective responsibility that you cannot allow your territory to be used as sanctuary for anti-state elements for criminals as is happening now.”
We tell them that we understand they have problems and that they are weak, but the state of Pakistan is there to help them. This was the basis of our agreements with them.
Now, if there is a violation of the agreement, then there are the FCR [Frontier Crime Regulations], which are generally called draconian laws or black laws. These provide a system of redress, and it is a graduated response system.
First, say there is a violation by a tribe or an individual in that tribe, the first step is to call a jirga of the tribal elders and give them a reasonable period of time [to rectify the problem].
If it does not happen, then you can put pressure, through penalties, stoppage of allowances etc. If that pressure does not work, then you can start with a system of risks, where you start with the near family of the individual and slowly move towards the tribe. This is how it happens, to put more pressure, you arrest them under the FCR. But because it is a collective responsibility, the response is also collective and if it does not work then the FCR allows for any economic blockade, you can block the roads, you can seal their shops, you can freeze their accounts.
If nothing works, then military punitive action can be taken.
If you examine the FCR, it is an adaptation of tribal culture because if there is a dispute between two tribes or two individuals, what would they do? First they have a jirga to talk it out. If it does not work, they block the roads, and if that does not work, they catch each other persons … if that does not work, they form a lashkar [militia] and they fight.
That is why when last year on the floor of parliament the prime minister announced the intention to repeal the FCR there was an immediate major reaction – two reactions. The first was that it was a black law, that it was draconian, so get rid of it. Very good. That reaction came from non-tribal Pashtuns who were either living in the [cosmopolitan centers of] Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar or Islamabad, Dera Ismail Khan, but not in the tribal areas.
From inside the tribal areas there was a different reaction. They said, “Look, this is our law and we understand it is according to our custom and traditions, don’t abolish it. If you want, maybe make small reforms, but if you are really bent on removing it, then we don’t want that.” This is what they said to me: “Governor sahib. Give us the sharia [Islamic laws].” If you remember, it was all over the newspapers that there was the demand for sharia by the evening [after the prime minister announced his intentions]. It was because the FCR are very similar, it is basically an adaptation and modification of tribal culture, that is why they have an acceptability there.
So our response to the problem was three-pronged. One was to deal with the tribal people on the basis of their own traditions. Two was to reconstruct and restrengthen the administrative system according to the FCR and the old tribal system. We talked to these people [and said], “Look, you have to get your lives in order, this is not on and you are suffering, we are also suffering. If your people are going and crossing into Afghanistan, you are creating problems for Pakistan, this has to stop. We understand you are weak and we will help you, but you get your act in order.” When they did not get their act in order we tried jirgas and everything, and when they did not work, eventually it came to military punitive action.
North Waziristan, yes there are problems. However, since February , because of this agreement, it has been quiet. But there are [still] problems, we understand this, but we are working through the system now to slowly, slowly, solve them. Otherwise, it is a conflict zone, the administration is out and everybody is out. This is what I told our allies, that in a conflict zone there is nothing you can do, it will continue to radicalize society. You have to stop the fighting and let normal economic and social activities take place. You have to let the administration go back in there so that you can create space and restrict the space for militants, otherwise the entire space is a conflict zone and is available to the militants, as it is available to our forces also.
Now there is another thing which people don’t understand. Each agency [tribal area] has its own peculiar character and its own peculiar conditions, its tribal balances and each has to work separately. I will give you an example. In South Waziristan, we have the Ahmadzai wazirs [tribe] who are traditionally a quarter [of the population] and we have the Mehsud [tribe] who are three-quarters. But the Mehsud does not have borders with Afghanistan and they have to travel to each other’s territory for their normal activities, and that decides the tribal balance and the tribal politics. However, after 1979 there was a migration of the Ahmadzai wazir from Afghanistan into this area and in that old population the demographic balance was disturbed. So a new set of conditions has come in.
In Kurram Agency there is a Shi’ite and Sunni thing and in addition there is a third outside element – militants, which complicates the situation. So each requires a different approach. We have done it successfully in Bajaur [Agency] and successfully in Mohmand [Agency]. If militants surrender and stop fighting, the civilians, for example in Mohmand Agency, the Tarakzai tribe, they said they will take responsibility for this person [militant] for his good conduct.
We have done this in the major parts of Khyber Agency, we are doing it in Dara and we have the same agreements now in North Waziristan, in South Waziristan, in the Wazir area, and we have some sort of stability.
[However,] in the Mehsud area [in South Waziristan] we took action last year, we talked, but when it did not happen [peace] and an attack came from the other side, we started military actions. But we did it in the traditional way, that whenever we used to bomb an area we would give notice for women, children, old men and non-combatants to get out. There was an immediate exodus of 170,000 and we were ill-prepared for that but we quickly vacated schools for them, erected tents etc and put them up while we took action. As soon as the operation was over, they went back.
The same happened in Bajaur Agency before we started action, we told the tribal chiefs that action was going to happen and they should vacate the area and that is why 300,000 people went out, 40,000-50,000 in camps. The rest stayed with families and friends in different areas. Now [since the operation is over] they are in the process of going back.
ATol: You mentioned the agreement in North Waziristan. It resulted in peace undoubtedly, but immediately after the peace agreement the militants formed a shura, a shura of mujahideen
OAG: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] …?
ATol: No, I am talking about the shura of mujahideen.
OAG: No, sir. We had the TTP. The shura of mujahideen has come now [not immediately after the agreement], just a month or two ago.
ATol: Anyway, they have turned their guns towards Afghanistan. Peace came here in Pakistan, but at the cost of more insurgency in Afghanistan.
OAG: The world is responsible for Afghanistan, all the troubles we face here are from Afghanistan, the roots of the problems are in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan. We have been battling the fallout from Afghanistan and I say it is not Pakistan’s responsibility. Nobody should blame Pakistan because, number one, we never invited the Soviet army into Afghanistan. It was the Afghans themselves. We never brought international terrorists into Afghanistan. It was not our ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] or anybody, it was international intelligence agencies, over and above the objections of the ISI.
There was a basic agreement that only Pakistani intelligence would deal with the [Afghan mujahideen groups in the 1980s] and jihadi organizations and everybody in Europe and the US supported this. But they started their own operations and they were warned that they would not be able to control these people. And that is exactly what happened. But Pakistan was not responsible for that
prove that the government never used power first. Every time we conducted military operations, it was as retaliation. Whether it is the tribal areas, Swat, or elsewhere, we only responded to violence committed by the militants.
ATol: You have presented an account from your side, including your achievements. Now I present some ground realities. Soon after your peace overtures, Hakeemullah Mehsud [a Taliban leader in Orakzai Agency] levied a jazia [a tax on non-Muslims] on 50 Sikh families and collected 15 million rupees.
OAG: [Laughing] A plain case of abduction for ransom. This is not
the only case, they collected this so-called jazia even from Muslims.
ATol: Over 70% of the Shi’ite population of Dera Ismail Khan [a city in NWFP near South Waziristan] has moved to the district of Bakhar due to target killings. This is happening in your province … even after peace deals.
OAG: It has nothing to do with the peace agreement. Shi’ite-Sunni conflict is old. It has been aggravated from time to time. Even before 9/11, it was there. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi [an anti-Shi'ite underground militant group] started from southern Punjab. I have warned that these organizations, like the Sepah-e-Sahaba [an anti-Shi'ite political movement] are poison. It is a great challenge for the entire Muslim ummah [community] to reconcile between these two Muslim sects.
ATol: Attacks on NATO supply lines have increased drastically. At present, 66 Humvees, according to my information, are in the possession of Pakistani militants and they are moving in those vehicles in the tribal areas. Your government failed to provide protection to NATO convoys passing through your province on the way to Afghanistan.
OAG: Only two Humvees. I know precisely. One of the two was destroyed by us. One is there [in the possession of militants].
ATol: You failed to get a kidnapped Iranian diplomat released. This is despite that you are aware of the location of his captivity.
OAG: The Iranian diplomat is not alone. There is an Afghan diplomat, there is Khadija Abdul Qahar [a Canadian journalist and a Muslim convert], and a Polish engineer unfortunately was killed. Then there was an attack on an American who was killed [in Peshawar]. This is a very difficult period. This area is heavily destabilized because of the superpowers’ regional interests. If you think that somebody could clean up this mess in seconds. No, sir.
I told you earlier that I am not really concerned why incidents are happening, they will continue to happen because of the circumstances. We have to confront the situation gradually. This is a long-term struggle, and it does not mean this agreement is wrong. The issue is whether we are moving forward or not. Yes, sir, we are moving forward. Last year in March and April, people were speculating on the fall of Peshawar. By the grace of God, leave Peshawar apart. Areas like Warsak, Mithni, Bajaur and Mohmand, Jamrud, Bara, Dara Adamkhail, Hangu, Doaba, those were no-go areas, nevertheless, incidents will happen.
ATol: Do you support some militants and condemn others?
OAG: We do not support a single militant.
ATol: You praised Taliban leader Mullah Omar in an interview with a British newspaper. You praised mujahid Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
OAG: You mean Afghan Mullah Omar? Where have I praised him?
ATol: You mentioned them as friends and that there was no threat to Pakistan from these people.
OAG: I said that they were not interested in jihad in Pakistan. The focus of their jihad is in Afghanistan, which is a fact. Look, you have to take in the viewpoints of everybody, including the militants. The adversary is saying that there is a non-Muslim occupation army in my home. They say that when the Soviets invaded, it was jihad, they were also non-Muslims, so it was a jihad. If this is not a jihad [now], then it was also not a jihad [against the Soviets].
They say that it is a jihad for them and they call it a war of liberation against the foreign occupation army. Their focus is not Pakistan at all. Does it mean that we are supporting them? No, sir. It only means that their focus is Afghanistan and not Pakistan. I had only said that this Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] has a strange approach on jihad in that their entire focus is Pakistan – they don’t fire a single bullet on Afghanistan. As a Muslim, I cannot comprehend their [TTPs] concept of jihad.
ATol: You have called Pakistani militants criminals. You have accused them of having nothing to do with religion, that they don’t even offer prayers.
OAG: You took it wrong. They [militants] have developed a concept under which their leader’s [ameer's] religious decrees override entire old Muslim schools of jurisprudence. Whatever their ameer declares is considered correct. If he declares that you are in a state of war and if you skip prayers, never mind. So I mentioned instances. I was only reinforcing a point that they have a strange system because we have old schools of jurisprudence that all Muslims follow, like Hanafi, Shafai, Malaki, Hanbali and others. But they have developed a concept that the existing religious decrees of an ameer override everything. I was explaining that.
ATol: We are running out of time …
OAG: In Pashtu it is said “Don’t do shaf shaf … called shaftalu [don't say half words]. The time has gone to cover up things. We must speak openly about issues. Maybe my viewpoint will be wrong. But here I have a responsibility and assignment and this is how I look at things and this is how I intend to fulfill them.
I told the Americans, Petraeus and Boucher were sitting here. I asked, “Gentlemen, for seven years you have been fighting, what is your result?” We have been fighting. What is our result? So we have had to step back and review our strategy and we have come to the conclusion that we will proceed like this.
However, if you have differences with my strategy, then you had better have a better idea to put on the table. If you don’t have a better idea, then don’t tell me to go back to the old strategy because that patently did not work. Therefore, let me try this, if it does not work, we will come back and discuss it. I told them our strategy was working and we are moving forward. We have turned the tide and it will take some time. I asked them what they have done in Afghanistan. I told them that they had admitted that 70% of Afghanistan is out of government control. That’s why I told them that al-Qaeda etc does not need Pakistan and FATA, they have plenty of space in Afghanistan to have their bases, their training – whatever is happening is happening over there.
ATol: There is a perception that US Predator drone attacks inside Pakistan have been a success. What is your opinion?
OAG: I consider this as totally irrelevant. This debate is irrelevant. The basic principle is the sovereignty of Pakistan. Any action that takes place inside Pakistan will be by Pakistan itself, that is the foundational principle. Therefore, I consider this debate as irrelevant and irrational.
Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at email@example.com
According to sources well informed on the case and the activities of El Qaeda, Israel would have created about a year, training camps on its territory for elements from Arab countries.
The military training and intelligence are provided in preparation for possible terrorist operations against the interests of foreign countries in the Arab countries who are regarded by Israel as a threat to its security and its strategic interests, including the Maghreb Arab.
According to our sources, the camps include Arabs from Algeria, Morocco and Yemen who came in, with false passports, from Europe and carrying Jewish names. These were recruited by the Mossad in the European capitals to activate within the ‘El Qaeda’ organization after being selected by the intelligence services in Europe. These people are generally wanted for belonging to terrorist groups.
The secret training camps have relations with the sleeping cells of El Qaida in Europe, where their elements are recruited for possible terrorist operations in Arab countries in coordination with the branches of the organization including the armed terrorist groups of the Sahara. This proves what Ennahar had previously published on the military attaché at the Israeli embassy in Mauritania, who had prepared a secret report on security activities of armed men in the Sahara regions. The latter maintained secret relations with the rebel movements in Mali and Niger.
The Mossad had relations with the branches of El Qaeda and the operations committed against foreign interests, mainly American, and in connection with the events in Iraq and the Middle East.
According to these sources, the Mossad might even try to use Algerian Harraga in Italy and recruit them in these training camps across the logistics network of seafarers on the axis Sardinia Naples in search of elements to send secretly in Israel, for the purpose of committing operations against foreign interests during the summer; operations to be awarded to El Qaeda.
This new stage in the activities of the El Qaeda organization is the subject of the discourse of El Dhawahiri in an attempt to revive the various branches after the stranglehold exercised on the organization by the European intelligence and painful strikes made by the security services and the army in particular in the Arab Maghreb and in Algeria.
Ennahar / Mohamed Ben Kemoukh
In the last video of the ‘El Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb,’ under the command of Abou Mosaâb Abdelouadoud, alias Abdelmalek Droukdal, entitled (Ochak El Hour) “The lovers of Paradise women” in its second edition, this demonstrates the defeat of the terrorist organization at the level of recruitment.
The surrender of many terrorist leaders, who previously attracted new recruits into the organization, has caused an earthquake within ‘El Qaeda cells.’ new recruits refuse carry out suicide operations or move from one region to another due to the tightening of the noose around the areas where armed groups of El Qaeda live. The role played by repentant terrorists, by providing information to security services, permitted to break the ranks of the terrorist organisation.
Moreover, terrorists wanting to lay down their arms and repent, plays a role in informing the security services of any terrorist plan or attempt to attack by providing the date and place. The latter, convinced of their mistake by joining terrorist groups, but also convinced by the fetwas prohibiting the shedding of Algerian blood.
Security experts see that ‘El Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb’ is facing, in recent months, huge difficulties in carrying out terrorist operations because of the refusal of those who were supporters of ‘El Qaida organization’ which lives its last hours.
The organization has resorted to its archives in order to revive the memory and make them feel that it remembers its ancient criminals. The organization in its new video of an hour and a half, showed the old suicide bombers and their speeches before committing suicide operations. It was apparent that many of these were almost unconscious, which proves that they were drugged before the execution of the suicide operations, especially that most of them found difficulties to read their speeches, although they had been written on a sheet.
According to experts of the security file, the purpose of broadcasting of this movie is mostly to remember the terrorist organization and its crimes against civilians in Algeria after an absence following the debacle in which living residues of its elements. On the other hand, the organization wants to attract supporters in order to recruit them into its ranks by showing them images of suicide bombers committing suicide operations, claiming that they did them for the organization. The reality is that the organization has exploited them to kill innocent civilians.
The organization by propagating this video, demonstrates the failure of its criminal objectives after the Ulemas (Scholars), through their fetwas, have banned such acts they see as contrary to religion and they fall into the category of ‘El-Khawaridj.’
After the suicide operation made with a belt of explosives, Droukdal, and after the refusal of his elements, the majority of which surrendered to the security services, did not hesitate to use children of about 14 whom he wants to send to hell by making them human bombs.
Ennahar / Dalila B.
Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, a Tamil Christian, was bringing peace to Sri Lanka.
This was bad news for the arms dealers.
On 12 August 2005, Lakshman Kadirgamar was shot dead as he climbed out of the swimming pool at his luxury home.
SP Thamilselvan, leader of the Tamil Tigers’ political wing, denied that the Tigers were involved. He suggested that elements of the majority Sinhalese might be responsible. “We know there are sections within the Sri Lankan armed forces operating with a hidden agenda to sabotage the ceasefire,” he said.
Arms dealers? Sri Lanka’s arms dealers, ‘a shadowy bunch of politicians, servicemen, bureaucrats and their relatives and friends, who conclude multi-million-dollar deals nearly every day pocketing hefty commissions’ are the beneficiaries of trouble in Sri lanka.
According to Larouche:
“In the early 1970s, the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) began establishing training camps and secret arms caches under the cover of a chain of Refugee and Rehabilitation Farms of the Gandhian Society.
“Funds for the farms came from Oxfam (Oxford Famine Relief), one of the most powerful and secretive British intelligence organizations acting under non-governmental organization cover…
“John Glover, a British feature writer, wrote to the Western Mail in Wales about the ongoing and future training programs for Tamil youth by British mercenaries.
“A band of mercenary soldiers recruited in South Wales is training a Tamil army to fight for a separate state in Sri Lanka. About 20 mercenaries were signed up after a meeting in Cardiff and have spent the last two months in southern India preparing a secret army to fight the majority Sinhalas, in the cause of a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka,” he said…
“According to accounts by retired officials of the Israeli secret service, the Mossad, the Israelis were simultaneously training the Sri Lanka Army and the Tigers, and providing arms to each.
“Victor Ostrovsky, author of By Way of Deception, told Indian Abroad news service in 1991 that the Tigers were trained in Israel in 1985. “These groups kept coming and going. It was part of our routine job to take them to training camps and make sure that they were getting training worth what they paid for, not more and not less.” The groups paid in cash.
“Ostrovsky said that the arrangement for the training was made by the Mossad liaison in India, who lived there under a British passport.
“A December 1983 Sunday Mail article reported that the Mossad was arming and training the Tigers, as well as the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.
“The British Special Air Services (SAS) firm Keenie Meenie Services, was simultaneously training the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE…
The LTTE is reported to be involved in trafficking heroin…
“According to intelligence reports, most of the arms used by the LTTE are purchased from Singapore, India, Afghanistan, and the Mideast.
“In 1987, the Hindustan Times reported that large quantities of arms with Pakistani and Israeli markings were seized by the Indian Peacekeeping Force in Jaffna from the LTTE.
“In 1989, according to a Sri Lankan government secretary, the LTTE was receiving armaments directly from the Sri Lankan government of President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who wanted to force the expulsion of the Indian Peacekeeping Force from Sri Lanka, and who was also using the LTTE to wipe out the JVP (People’s Liberation Front) Sinhala insurgency…
“The LTTE reportedly has bought Russian-made Strela anti-aircraft missiles from Belgian arms dealers.”
Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, was killed in 1991 by the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers -Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Justice Jain’s final investigated the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi.
He came across evidence that one suspect known as Chandraswami had links with the CIA and Mossad, and through them with the LTTE.
Justice Jain ‘seems convinced’ that Chandraswami was involved.
According to Asia Times:
Justice Jain ‘has linked Chandraswami with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in which arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi, several terrorist groups, and intelligence outfits like the CIA and Mossad had accounts.
‘The money in it was used for terrorist operations and political assassinations. The report is quoted as saying that $4 million of Mr Kashoggi’s money was transferred to the LTTE’s accounts. Justice Jain had said this on the basis of a 130-page document prepared by US Senator John Kiri.
‘The commission quotes evidence of former cabinet secretary Zafar Saiffullah who said Chandraswami had links with Mossad and the CIA, and that the government had received intercepts of wireless communication between Israel (where Mossad is based) and Jaffna (where the LTTE was operating till recently) which established Chandraswami’s involvement…
‘Money transactions in Chandraswami’s name and his links with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and the now defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) have made the commission point an accusing finger…’
Quote from a review by Sachi Sri Kantha of “By Way of Deception; The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer”, the famous book on the inner secrets of the Mossad by Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy:
“Ostrovski’s disclosures on the deals made by the military and political power-brokers of the ruling UNP and the Mossad had been published in excerpts in the Tamil Nation of Oct.15, 1990.
“What shocked the Sinhalese ruling establishment and the journalists (including the editor of Lanka Guardian, Mervyn de Silva) was the revelation of Ostrovski that Mossad had trained the Sinhalese military personnel and ‘a group of Tamil guerrilla factions’ simultaneously….
“Oh, and here’s the good part. Israel trained the Sri Lankan resistance in the mid 1980′s. The very first Tamil Tiger suicide attack was on July 5, 1987.
“Obviously influenced by the success of the Tamil Tigers, and prompted by the Israeli state terrorism against the Palestinian people, the Palestinians started using suicide bombers in the 1990′s.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
“Is it just possible that the technique of suicide bombing – now of course migrated to such places as New York, Iraq, and London – is the ultimate example of ‘blowback’, as it was taught to the Sri Lankans in the mid 1980′s by the Israelis, who ended up on the wrong side of it when the Palestinians picked it up in 1993, and used it particularly from 2000 on.
“Where would the Israelis have learned of its success? From Lebanon in the 1980′s. The technique was first used in Lebanon in December 1981 by the Islamic Dawa Party (the current Prime Minister of Iraq is a member of this party!)…..
“If Israel learned of the tactical success of the technique by studying Hezbollah’s use of it in Lebanon, and passed it on to the Sri Lankans in the mid-1980′s – possibly just to cause enough conflict in Sri Lanka to generate more business training the Sri Lankan army at expensive rates! – it would be very ironic if the Palestinians took it up as the only alternative open to them at a time when the similarly powerless Tamils were using it to great success in Sri Lanka. The example of the Palestinians has led to the technique being used everywhere….”
The Swine Flu story sounds like a psy-op:
1. Millions die in Mexico each year from diseases such as TB, typhoid and malaria.
But we don’t hear much about that.
Due to high levels of poverty in Mexico, there is a tendency for outbreaks of flu to kill large numbers of people.
“During a typical year in the United States, 30,000 to 50,000 persons die as a result of influenza viral infection.” – Flu Pandemic Morbidity / Mortality
2. In the USA and Canada, flu symptoms have been described as mild.
“Several students experienced flu symptoms after they returned but they were so mild that they didn’t raise any concerns.” (Swine flu hits Canada)
This swine flu’s a “relative lightweight” (Swine flu’s a relative lightweight.)
The first reports of swine infections in Mexico came in mid-March.
The current swine flu strain still has fewer than 1,000 reported cases.
Remember: “During a typical year in the United States, 30,000 to 50,000 persons die as a result of influenza viral infection.” – Flu Pandemic Morbidity / Mortality
So, why is publicity for the flu coming now?
And reports of the Lockerbie Bomb case appeal (Lockerbie bomber launches second appeal).
4. And, certain fascist swine are hoping to make lots of money from selling vaccines.
“On March 20, 2009, this researcher outlined a peculiar PANDEMIC VACCINE TRAINING exercise in Texas scheduled to occur on Saturday, May 2, 2009.” (http://www.rense.com/general85/dsd2.htm)
“There was a Swine Flu outbreak in 1976. President Gerald Ford asked that all Americans be innoculated.
“As it turned out, the disease only killed one person but the vaccine harmed hundreds and may have killed some.” (This article addresses that question.)
5. And maybe the latest swine flu is meant to target certain groups?
“Viruses … tailored to detect the differences in the DNA of races could offer warmakers … a new means to carry out ‘ethnic cleansing’,” said a panel convened by the British Medical Association (BMA).
6. Why Mexico?
Samuel P Huntington saw a new threat to the United States: Mexicans.
“In The Hispanic Challenge, Huntington claims that ‘the single most serious challenge to America’s traditional identity comes from the immense and continuing immigration from Latin America, especially from Mexico.’” – The Huntington Challenge: Why The Hispanic Challenge should be …
Huntington and Hispanic immigration: “The extent and nature of this immigration differ fundamentally from those of previous immigration, and the assimilation successes of the past are unlikely to be duplicated with the contemporary flood of immigrants from Latin America.
“This reality poses a fundamental question: Will the United States remain a country with a single national language and a core Anglo-Protestant culture?” – Civilizations (print)
Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927–December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist who gained prominence through his Clash of Civilizations (1993, 1996) thesis of a post-Cold War new world order.
Photo of La Gloria, Mexico, from: picasaweb.google.com/…/tPNgcKVn2Pb-Xf-o3wB8lA
7. Swine Flu and McDonalds
Maybe the swine flu is an accident, associated with factory farming and globalisation.
Maybe the swine flu started at a large pig producing facility in La Gloria in Mexico.
Only ONE case of swine flu was confirmed as having come from La Gloria.
Local and federal health officials are downplaying suggestions that the epidemic started in La Gloria.
They insist that the other cases from La Gloria were from a completely different and common strain of flu, H2N3.
Governor of Veracruz, Fidel Herrera, told the press there was not a single indicator that the epidemic started in La Gloria.
Miguel Angel Lezana, the director of the National Centre for Disease Control, said that genetic information in the H1N1 virus show it is more similar to types of flu that affect pigs in Central and East Asia. (Swine flu: Mexico claims it started in Asia)
By 29 April 2009, the world’s media were interviewing the mother of 4-year-old Edgar Hernandez who reportedly got swine flu on 2nd April 2009.
Edgar comes from La Gloria in Veracruz in Mexico, where there is the giant US-owned Smithfield Foods pig production facility.
60% of the 3,000 residents of La Gloria reported getting sick, including three children aged under two, who later died.
Edgar is quoted as saying: ‘I feel great. But I had a headache and a sore throat and a fever for a while. I had to lay down in bed.’
Reportedly, it was confirmed, on 27April 27 2009, that Edgar was the first known sufferer of swine flu.
According to the Times, ‘residents of La Gloria have been complaining since March that the odour from Granjas Carroll’s pig waste was causing severe respiratory infections.’
There have been calls to exhume the bodies of the children who died of pneumonia so that they could be tested.
The Vera Cruz-based newspaper La Marcha blames Smithfield’s Granjos Carroll for the outbreak of sickness.
Mexico’s Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova told reporters a sample taken from a 4-year-old boy in Mexico’s Veracruz state in early April tested positive for swine flu.
Smithfield spokeswoman Keira Ullrich said the company has found no clinical signs or symptoms of the presence of swine influenza in its swine herd or its employees working at its joint ventures anywhere in Mexico.
The company supplies the McDonald’s and Subway fast-food chains.
Mexican Agriculture Department officials said that its inspectors found no sign of swine flu among pigs around the farm in Veracruz, and that no infected pigs have been found yet anywhere in Mexico. However, Ochoa, the farm manager, said no one from the government has inspected his farm for swine flu.
Smithfields was fined $12.3 million in the United States 1997 for violating the Clean Water Act.
BAKU (Reuters) – Thirteen people were shot dead at a university in oil-producing Azerbaijan on Thursday when at least one gunman open fire shortly after the bell rang for morning classes.
A statement from the Azeri Health Ministry said 13 people had died in the shooting at the State Oil Academy in Baku, capital of the mainly Muslim Caspian Sea state.
Police said the “terrorists” had been neutralized, but it was unclear how many gunmen were involved.
Police closed access roads and special forces surrounded the building, a Reuters reporter said. Photographs showed pools of blood on the steps to the university and paramedics carrying out bodies in bags.
Baku ambulance service chief Mursal Gamidov said there was one gunman, a citizen of neighboring Georgia, who appeared to be a student of the academy.
ANS said there appeared to be two gunmen. A student who asked not to be named told Reuters he also believed there were two attackers.
“As far as I know there were two terrorists,” he said. “One of them committed suicide and another was arrested by police.”
He said the shooting started shortly after the bell rang for morning classes at 9 a.m. (0500 GMT). He said one gunman climbed the stairs firing on each of the six floors.
Azerbaijan is a mainly Muslim former Soviet republic on the shores of the Caspian Sea, where it holds vast reserves of oil and gas. BP is heavily involved in Azeri oil export to Europe.
[One day after allowing the CIA to sabotage Pakistan Army's efforts with another Predator attack in Wana, trying to force a two-front war upon Pakistan's government, Obama gloats over the war that we forced our friends to fight against their own people.]
By David Alexander and Augustine Anthony
WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said Pakistan’s army had begun to realize that homegrown militants and not India posed the biggest threat to stability, after troops retook a key town from Taliban militants.
Obama also told a news conference in Washington on Wednesday he was confident about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and that the Pakistani army recognized the dangers of weapons falling into the wrong hands.
“On the military side, you’re starting to see some recognition just in the last few days that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided, and that their biggest threat right now comes internally,” he said.
[Christine Fair of RAND Corporation refutes this presidential mistatement:
“Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar, Afghanistan (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan."]
“And you’re starting to see the Pakistani military take much more seriously the armed threat from militant extremists.”
His comments came after Pakistani troops took the main town in the strategically important Buner Valley on Wednesday after they were dropped by helicopter behind Taliban lines. More than 50 militants have been killed, the Pakistani military said.
The Taliban’s entry into Buner, just 100 km (60 miles) from the capital Islamabad, from their stronghold in neighboring Swat valley, unnerved many Pakistanis and raised fears in Washington that its nuclear-armed ally was becoming more unstable.
On Thursday troops used helicopter gunships and artillery to target militants hideouts in Buner, residents said.
“There has been artillery fire going on overnight and today and helicopters can also be seen shelling in areas where militants are positioned,” said Omer Suleman, a resident.
Before the military offensive in Buner, Western allies, who need Pakistan’s support to defeat al Qaeda and stabilize neighboring Afghanistan, were worried the government seemed too willing to appease militants.
The militants’ advance into Buner came after the civilian government, which Obama said remains fragile, caved in to demands for Islamic sharia law in Swat and other parts of the northwest to pacify a Taliban uprising.
“I am gravely concerned about the situation in Pakistan, not because I think that they’re immediately going to be overrun and the Taliban would take over in Pakistan,” Obama said.
“I’m more concerned that the civilian government there right now is very fragile and don’t seem to have the capacity to deliver basic services: schools, health care, rule of law, a judicial system that works for the majority of the people.
Obama is due to hold talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on May 6-7.
Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani troops are deployed on the eastern border with India, and Islamabad has come under pressure from Washington to move troops to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda militants on its western flank along the border with Afghanistan.
India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed, have fought three wars since independence in 1947 and tensions remain high since the November attacks in Mumbai which New Delhi and the United States say were carried out by Pakistan-based guerrillas.
The New York Times, quoting an unnamed official, said Pakistan had agreed to move 6,000 troops from the border with India to fight militants on the Afghan border.
U.S. lawmakers said they planned to accelerate the flow of more than $400 million in aid to Pakistan to help with counterinsurgency operations. The U.S. is also giving $1.4 billion in economic aid for Islamabad
Pakistan had also gone on a diplomatic drive to assure foreign capitals that it has a well-established command and control system in place for its nuclear weapons, The Financial Times reported on Thursday.
Pakistan has responded to past scares over the risk of militants getting hold of nuclear assets by briefing diplomats and journalists on the security systems and failsafes in place.
Those briefings have always stopped short of revealing the number of warheads — often estimated at up to 100– or their locations and coordinates.
“We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don’t end up having a nuclear-armed militant state,” Obama said.
Adding to those concerns, “shoot on sight” orders were issued in Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi on Thursday after 24 people were killed in ethnic clashes the previous day.
The violence in Karachi resulted from tensions between Mohajirs, Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India after creation of Pakistan in 1947, and Pashtuns from the northwest.
(Additional reporting by Junaid Khan, Augustine Anthony and Zeeshan Haider in Pakistan, and Andrew Gray in Washington; writing by Sanjeev Miglani editing by Dean Yates)
Pakistani troops have regained control of the main town of Buner district from the Taliban in the country’s North West Frontier Province, a military spokesman has said.
The report on Wednesday came on the second day of an offensive by Pakistan after troops were dropped behind Taliban lines.
The Taliban’s advance into Buner and Dagar - towns in Buner district – had brought the fighters within 100km of Islamabad, the country’s capital, in what was seen as a move to expand their control.
Buner is about 140km southeast of the Afghan border.
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from just outside Buner, said: “We have been told that the military has indeed taken back control of the district headquarters in Dagar after they surrounded it earlier this morning.
“There is stiff resistance from Taliban in certain areas but the military is still pressing on, using helicopter gunships and even main battle tanks in this operation which is said to be continuing.”
A Pakistani military spokesman said: “The airborne forces have linked up to police and Frontier Constabulary in Dagar. A link-up with ground forces is in progress.”The army said it had killed about 50 Taliban fighters and destroyed two explosives dumps. One soldier was killed.
Troops also recovered 18 of around 70 police and paramilitaries abducted by fighters in Buner on Tuesday, Major-General Athar Abbas, the chief military spokesman, said.
Three members of Al Jazeera’s reporting team in the Swat valley, an area neighbouring Buner, were injured after being shot at.
It is not known who attacked the journalists from the Arabic channel.
Abbas identified the correspondent as Abdul Rehman Matar, and said he was wounded after his vehicle was caught in crossfire in Dagar.
“He was given medical treatment and he is stable now.”
About 500 Taliban fighters are in Buner and it might take a week to clear them out, a Pakistani military spokesman said.
Major Nasir Khan, a military spokesman, said that jets had bombed positions in mountains in the Babaji Kandao area of Buner.
Buner, Lower Dir and Swat are covered by the Malakand peace deal, which allows the Taliban to enforce its strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, in the region in return for a truce.Sufi Muhammad, a local religious leader who has been holding peace talks with the central government, has suspended dialogue with Islamabad as a result of the army assault.
Against this backdrop of intensifying violence, Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, called on the nation to put political differences aside and support troops fighting the Taliban.
In a statement on Wednesday, he said that nationwide support was critical in ensuring the protection of the rights of Pakistani citizens against Taliban advances.
“This is the only way to demonstrate our will, to keep Pakistan as a moderate, modern and democratic state where the rights of all citizens are protected,” Zardari said.
“The operation in Buner and Lower Dir is meant to re-establish the writ of the constitution.”
By SHÂN ROSS AND BEN LYNFIELD IN JERUSALEM
April 27, 2009
TENS of thousands of people struggling to rebuild their lives in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s 22-day military offensive this year will face a second humanitarian disaster within weeks, because aid is not getting through, the Scot heading the British Red Cross international relief effort has warned.
Moira Reddick, the charity’s head of disaster management, said blockages at the Israeli border meant civilians were facing spending the summer with its soaring temperatures sheltering under rotting plastic and tents with little or no sanitation, increasing the threat of disease and risk of infection.
Ms Reddick, who visited Gaza last month, said: “We will be looking at a new humanitarian crisis. Right now we have assistance which we are trying to get in. The situation is that aid is not getting through. It is piling up on the other side of the border.
“As summer comes on, the risk to health increases. It is difficult enough in winter, but it will be impossible in the heat and the risk to health increases.”
The 22 days of hostilities, which ended on 18 January, left at least 1,300 Palestinian civilians dead and 5,500 injured. Thirteen Israelis were killed, three of them civilians.
Ms Reddick, originally from Ayr, said there were also major problems with lack of reconstruction work, because building materials such as steel, as well as fuel, were being prevented from entering the territory.
Israel has said Hamas could use materials like concrete for military purposes.
Ms Reddick, who deals with an annual budget of tens of millions of pounds, added: “The situation in Gaza has a political cause and therefore needs a political solution. This needs to happen to make it easier to move goods across the border.”
Last month, the UK government pledged £30 million for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. About £4 billion has been promised by foreign donors.
Sir Nick Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: “This is not a job for aid agencies alone. Humanitarian action is vital, but insufficient to resolve the crisis.
“Ordinary Gazans have struggled under 18 months of restrictions, making daily life almost impossible – access to healthcare, petrol, electricity, secure food supplies – things we take for granted.
“The task of reconstruction is daunting. However, the truth is that efforts to rebuild Gaza can only succeed if accompanied by credible political steps to resolve the crisis.”
Last week, a spokesman for the White House in the United States announced that the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians have been invited for talks in Washington in a new push for peace. The talks are likely to take place by early June.
Ahmed Youssef, a senior adviser to Ismail Haniye, the Hamas prime minister, described as “accurate” Ms Reddick’s assessment that Gaza is on the verge of humanitarian disaster because of Israeli strictures.
“Sometimes the Israelis try to deceive the world community by letting some lorries cross, but their policy is to keep us on the brink of collapse all of the time,” said Mr Youssef.
However, Yariv Ovadia, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, denied this, saying: “We closely monitor the humanitarian situation in Gaza and we don’t see the situation getting close to a crisis.”
About 120 lorry loads of humanitarian supplies cross into Gaza on a daily basis, according to the defence ministry.
Mr Ovadia said the restrictions “are mostly on equipment that is not used for humanitarian aid”.
By Marc Abizeid, Special to The Daily Star
April 28, 2009
BEIRUT: Renowned Chinese-English physician Dr. Swee Ang gave a moving testimony on Saturday of Israel’s destruction in the Gaza Strip as witnessed in her recent trip to the tiny Palestinian enclave. “Cluster bombs, deliberate assassinations of whole families that they would line up and shoot,” Ang said as she listed a number of acts committed by Israel during its 22-day assault on Gaza in December and January that left over 1,400 Palestinians dead.
“The Israelis would wait until the ambulances got the wounded and then attack them, killing and injuring the drivers,” she continued.
Ang and Norwegian physician Hans Husum were invited to offer an assessment of the situation in Gaza during the “Wounds of Gaza” lecture at the UNESCO Palace organized by the Sabra Shatila Foundation.
Ang, who bears distinct Asian features, also remarked that Israelis couldn’t distinguish her from the Palestinians during her visit – a fact that made her proud.
“The Israelis attacked me in London for saying that 1.5 million tons of bombs had been dropped on Gaza, but I will show you the evidence,” she said while presenting nauseating photographs taken during her visit of charred victims burned with phosphorous and large civilian buildings collapsed with vacuum bombs.
“I was very angry when I learned that Israeli tanks would come in front of a house and first fire a normal shell to break open the wall, then shoot a phosphorous shell into it,” she said.
Husum, equally angered by the war in Gaza, lashed out at the United States which he said provided Israel with the experimental Dense Inert Metal Explosives, or DIME weapons, to test on the Palestinians.
“This weapon tears the flesh off the bone, it opens up the chest, … it kills a lot of people,” he said, adding that the “new kind of wars” like in Gaza and Israel’s summer 2006 war on Lebanon were launched not to make conventional military advancements, but rather with the aim of breaking the will of the people.
He went on to predict that the next war in Lebanon would be an urban one, systematically targeting cities in order to “break society” because, as he put, “humanitarian law is dead – it’s out.”
“I’ve been a war surgeon for 30 years. I’ve seen a lot, but I am shocked,” he said. “If the aim of the enemy is to scare us into subjugation and to put us down on our knees, then we have to stand up – we do not bend down.”