9/11 passport ‘found in Pakistan’

Here is another perfect example of Pakistan government working to please the US by helping them justify everything that Obama and the rest have said about this being the “same Al Qaida group that attacked us.”  This is pure fabrication, just like the 911 hijacker ids being found in near perfect condition in rubble that had basically disintegrated.  The only thing that ties every player in this mess together is their CIA/ISI connections.  They call their own network “Al Qaida,” pretending that it is something separate from the CIA. 

I thought that the American people were getting wise to this garbage, that of telling people anything you want and calling it all “truth.”

911 was a government contract.  It is becoming obvious just whose names are on that contract.

9/11 passport ‘found in Pakistan’

Said Bahaji, a German of Moroccan origin, is linked to suspects of the 9/11 attack

Said Bahaji remains at large

Pakistan’s army says it has found in South Waziristan the passport of a man linked to two hijackers involved in the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

The passport of Said Bahaji, a German of Moroccan origin, was among weapons, documents and jihadi literature seized by troops in the conflict zone.

The army showed the document to a group of reporters during a trip to the area.

The BBC’s Orla Guerin says there is no way of knowing if this passport is a genuine document.

Our correspondent was part of a team of journalists who were taken to South Waziristan by the military.

The passport was presented on a table with other documentation but there was no independent way of verifying its authenticity, our correspondent says.

Pakistan’s army is carrying out a major offensive in the area against the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants and the region is generally out of bounds for journalists.

Said Bahaji is suspected to be a member of the Hamburg cell which planned the 9/11 attacks.

He is believed to have been a close associate of Mohammad Atta, the leader of 9/11 hijackers.

He fled Germany shortly before the attacks and remains at large.

Mr Bahaji has been charged in his absence in connection with several thousand murders committed in the attacks.

Correspondents says if the document is authentic, this will be the first time a direct link can be established between the Taliban in South Waziristan and a suspect in the 9/11 attacks.

Life in Orakzai

Life in Orakzai

By Farhat Taj
Orakzai is the only agency in FATA that has no border with Afghanistan. It touches Khyber agency in the north, Darra Adam Khel in the east, Hangu and Kohat in the south and Kurrum in the west. Orakzai is occupied by the Taliban from Waziristan, Darra Adam Khel and Khyber agencies. Some local tribesmen have also joined the Taliban from the other agencies. Many of the locals who joined the Taliban used to be petty thieves and drug pushers, I was informed by the Orakzai tribesmen. The Taliban have imposed an alien ideology and way of life on the people. ‘We are living in hell and the rest of Pakistan does not even know or doesn’t care’, said one of them.

The activities of the Taliban in Orakzai have two interesting aspects. One, tribal affiliations under the code of Pakhtunwali have by and large countered sectarian differences that the fiercely anti-Shia Taliban want to exploit. In an area called Dobari for example, there are about 100 Shia families surrounded by the Sunni majority. Under Pakhtunwali, the majority community had taken upon itself to protect the 100 families, whom the Taliban wanted to banish from the area. The Sunni tribesmen, however, rejected the Taliban’s banishment and decided instead to remove the Taliban from the area by raising a tribal lashkar. The Ali Khel is the largest tribe in Orakzai and the leaders of the tribe then held a grand jirga to work out the details of a strategy to take on the Taliban. The grand jirga was scheduled for Oct 10 of last year and as it was being held it was attacked by a suicide bomber. Forty tribesmen were killed on the spot and the death toll climbed to over 100 over the next few days since many of those who had initially been injured later died in hospital.

In effect, the tribe’s main leadership was decimated and this paved the way for the Taliban to take control of the agency. However, despite this the Taliban were not able to succeed in dividing the Ali Khels along Shia-Sunni lines. Instead, in the intense rivalry between the Ali Khels and the Taliban, a Taliban commander who belonged to the Ali Khel tribe defected and joined his tribe. This angered the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan which put head money on the man.

The people of Orakzai say that the government and the military should have done more to help the tribe, especially when it had decided to take on the Taliban by raising its own lashkar. They say that had that help been forthcoming the situation perhaps would be different to what it is today – where the government’s writ is confined only to the agency’s headquarters and the Taliban control most of the rest of Orakzai. Every day, people are kidnapped, killed, beheaded or publicly insulted by the Taliban, who like in other parts of FATA, have also set up their own so-called ‘sharia’ courts. In recent weeks, a mentally ill man was even beheaded by the Taliban – he was a Shia and had mistakenly entered an area which the Taliban had banned for all Shia tribesmen.

So what is the way forward? Well, for starters, the Taliban are not a unified group. It is an umbrella of sectarian terrorists, global jihadis and even criminals, and their differences can be exploited by the intelligence agencies. And there are many proofs of such differences. In the Ferozkhel area recently, two groups of the Taliban fought each other and there were several casualties. The dispute was over whether or not to return a Shia boy who had been kidnapped by them to his family in exchange for one of their (the Taliban’s) colleagues.

The people feel that they have been left to fend for themselves. And they have taken matters into their own hands. Some weeks ago, three such volunteers intercepted a suicide bomber but could not stop him from triggering his explosives and as a result all three died. Also, of late, a Taliban court in the agency summoned 60 businessmen from the majority community – their alleged crime being that they were involved in business with tribesmen from the minority sect!

The writer is a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo, and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy. Email: bergen34@ yahoo.com

A letter of non-appreciation

A letter of non-appreciation

By Farhat Taj
Relationship between state and citizens is a social contract. A basic ingredient of the contract is that the state shall protect the life and property of its citizens. It is in this context that violence is the monopoly of the state which it shall use according to the law. In theory this is so in Pakistan as well. In practice it is not so, in many parts of Pakistan. But the most disgraceful and atrocious violation of the social contact can be seen in FATA and the NWFP in face of Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorism in the area.

The state has failed again and again to protect citizens from the atrocities of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The absence of state protection made many people in the NWFP and FATA create local lashkars (volunteer armies) to push Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists out of their areas. Most members of the lashkar had never been fond of violence. They would prefer a peaceful and quite life. The state’s abrogation of its responsibility to protect them had forced them to take up weapons in self-defence.

Even then the state never came forward to help the lashkars, most of whose leaders and members were slaughtered by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, with the state just watching as an unconcerned bystander. But still the resistance of the people continues on self-help bases in several parts of the NWFP and FATA.

There is a lashkar in Badaber, an area of rural Peshawar on the border with Darra Adamkhel, the area taken over by the Taliban, to the south, and with Khyber Agency, ruled by Mangal Bagh and Hakimullah, to the west. The Badaber lashkar is playing an impressive role in preventing Darra Adamkhel Taliban from taking over Peshawar. The lashkar has had several clashes with the Taliban, which led to death and injuries on both sides. A striking feature of the lashkar is that it is not only protecting the people of Badaber but also extending protection to law-enforcement agencies in the area. It is not uncommon to see police and FC vehicles and personnel being escorted by the lashkar’s vehicles and volunteers. Thus, in Badaber the social contract between the state and citizens is turned on its head: the citizens are protecting the state!

In another country such citizens would have become heroes. Not so in Pakistan. For a long time the state ignored the efforts of the citizens. But at last the one and only “recognition” came from the state: a letter of appreciation. It was issued on Nov 17, 2008, by the chief secretary of the NWFP and addressed to two of the lashkar’s leaders, Khushdil Khan, deputy speaker of the NWFP Assembly, and Gulzar Hussain, former chairman of thye Union Council of Badaber. The letter is copied to the governor of the NWFP, the speaker of the NWFP Assembly, the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar, the home secretary of the NWFP and the inspector general of the province.

The letter states: “The provincial administration would like to place on record its commendation/appreciation for the good work that your honour has undertaken regarding formation of Aman (peace) Committees for maintenance of law and order in Badaber and Sheikh Mohammadi areas of District Peshawar. This step would go a long way in ensuring maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the concerned areas in collaboration with law-enforcement agencies. Formation of Aman Committees is a commendable and enviable community measure emulable in other troubled areas all over NWFP.”

This letter has been a source of torture for many, if not all, members of the Badaber lashkar. Is this the recognition that they deserve from the state for the acute dangers they have taken upon themselves and their families by challenging the Taliban? Some lashkar members might have thought that it would have been better they never had that letter which is more a source of torture than appreciation for them.

In my view, the letter should have come from the highest political authority of the state: the president or the prime minister of Pakistan. If not that, then at least it should have come from the chief minister or governor of the NWFP. The letter should have clearly acknowledged the role of the lashkar in protection of the law- enforcement agencies. The letter should have been shared with the media so that everyone in Pakistan had seen that the state recognised the efforts of the lashkar.

But what is the most important is that the state must fulfil its responsibility to protect the people of the NWFP and FATA from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. For that to happen, the state must abandon the idea of strategic depth for good. The state must stop using FATA as a strategic space. The state must respect the fact that the people of FATA are its citizens who are fully entitled to its protection. The lashkar people, both in FATA and the NWFP, have not taken up arms for fun or out of habit.

They have done so because the state has abandoned them to the wolves, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The same would be the response of most human beings abandoned by their state anywhere in the world. A letter of appreciation on behalf of the state, although good in symbolic terms, means nothing in real terms. The state must robustly come forward to protect people in the Taliban-occupied areas and, wherever appropriate, should cooperate with the local people so as to inflict maximum damage on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda with the least collateral damage to the civilian population.

The writer is a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy. Email: bergen34@yahoo.com

If Russian Jews are Khazars, How is it Anti-Semitic to Insult Them?

[Believe it or not, Wall St. Journal Dares to ask the question.  If they are Russian, then they can't be Semitic.]

Where Do Jews Come From?

By EVAN R. GOLDSTEIN

This much is known: In the mid-eighth century, the ruling elite of the Khazars, a Turkic tribe in Eurasia, converted to Judaism. Their impetus was political, not spiritual. By embracing Judaism, the Khazars were able to maintain their independence from rival monotheistic states, the Muslim caliphate and the Christian Byzantine empire. Governed by a version of rabbinical law, the Khazar Jewish kingdom flourished along the Volga basin until the beginning of the second millennium, at which point it dissolved, leaving behind a mystery: Did the Khazar converts to Judaism remain Jews, and, if so, what became of them?

Enter Shlomo Sand. In a new book, “The Invention of the Jewish People,” the Tel Aviv University professor of history argues that large numbers of Khazar Jews migrated westward into Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania, where they played a decisive role in the establishment of Eastern European Jewry. The implications are far-reaching: If the bulk of Eastern European Jews are the descendents of Khazars—not the ancient Israelites—then most Jews have no ancestral links to Palestine. Put differently: If most Jews are not Semites, then what justification is there for a Jewish state in the Middle East? By attempting to demonstrate the Khazar origins of Eastern European Jewry, Mr. Sand—a self-described post-Zionist who believes that Israel needs to shed its Jewish identity to become a democracy—aims to undermine the idea of a Jewish state.

Published in Hebrew last year, “The Invention of the Jewish People” was a best seller in Israel. In March, the French translation, also a best seller, received the prestigious Aujourd’hui Award, which honors the year’s best nonfiction book. Past winners include such intellectual titans as Raymond Aron, Milan Kundera and George Steiner. “The Invention of the Jewish People” is being translated into a dozen languages. Mr. Sand is delivering lectures this month in Los Angeles, Berkeley, New York and elsewhere.

What should we make of Mr. Sand’s radical revisionist history? There is reason to be very skeptical. After all, we have been here before. In 1976, Arthur Koestler published “The Thirteenth Tribe,” which argued that Diaspora Jews were a “pseudo-nation” bound by “a system of traditional beliefs based on racial and historical premises which turn out to be illusory.” The genetic influence of the Khazars on modern Jews is, he wrote, “substantial, and in all likelihood dominant.” Koestler’s speculations were not novel. The connection between the Khazars and the Jews of Eastern Europe had been debated by both scholars and conspiracists (the two are not mutually exclusive) for centuries.

“The Thirteenth Tribe” was savaged by critics, and Mr. Sand’s repackaging of its central argument has not fared much better. “A few Jews in Eastern Europe presumably came from the Khazar kingdom, but nobody can responsibly claim that most of them are the descendents of Khazars,” says Israel Bartal, a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We simply don’t know enough about the demographics of Eastern European Jews before the 13th century to make such an assertion, Mr. Bartal says, adding, “Sand has not proven anything.” According to Peter B. Golden, a professor of history at Rutgers University, the Khazars are likely one of a number of strains that shaped the Jewish population in Eastern Europe. But, he stresses, DNA studies have confirmed that the Middle Eastern strain is predominant.

In “The Invention of the Jewish People,” Mr. Sand suggests that those who attacked Koestler’s book did so not because it lacked merit, but because the critics were cowards and ideologues. “No one wants to go looking under stones when venomous scorpions might be lurking beneath them, waiting to attack the self-image of the existing ethnos and its territorial ambitions.” But Koestler was himself uneasy about scorpions. The Khazar theory, he knew, was an article of faith among anti-Semites and anti-Israel Arab politicians. Just a few months before “The Thirteenth Tribe” was published, the Saudi Arabian delegation to the United Nations declared Zionism illegitimate because it was conceived by “non-Semitic Jews” rather than “our own Arab Jews who are the real Semites.” (An Israeli ambassador, wrongly, countered that Koestler’s book had been secretly subsidized by the Palestinians.) Perhaps more disconcerting, the neo-Nazi National States Rights Party in the U.S. declared “The Thirteenth Tribe” to be “the political bombshell of the century” because “it destroys all claims of the present-day Jew-Khazars to any historic right to occupy Palestine.” Members of Stormfront, a self-described “white nationalist” Internet community, have predictably reacted to Mr. Sand’s book with glee.

I recently called Mr. Sand in Paris, where he is on sabbatical, to ask if he is concerned that “The Invention of the Jewish People” will be exploited for pernicious ends. “I don’t care if crazy anti-Semites in the United States use my book,” he said in Israeli-accented English. “Anti-Semitism in the West, for the moment, is not a problem.” Still, he is worried about how the forthcoming Arabic translation might be received in the Muslim world, where, he says, anti-Semitism is growing. I ask if the confident tenor of his book might exacerbate the problem. He falls quiet for a moment. “Maybe my tone was too affirmative on the question of the Khazars,” he reluctantly concedes. “If I were to write it today I would be much more careful.” Such an admission, however, is unlikely to sway the sinister conspiracists who find the Khazar theory a useful invention.

—Mr. Goldstein is a staff editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Turkey,Russia to Bring Iranian Gas to Europe

Yesterday, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldiz put an end to the empty talk about Azerbaijan’s ability to influence Ankara’s foreign and energy policy in any way. The aim of the empty talk was “enhancing” Azerbaijan’s regional influence by means of rhetoric. In fact, however, Baku exhausted its potential for energy diktat long ago – it has neither the necessary resources nor means of diversifying routes or political weight to torpedo Turkey’s strategic task of becoming the main point for hydrocarbons transit to Europe. That was the reason why billons of U.S. dollars were invested in the Baku-Ceyhan and Baku-Erzurum projects. Leaving the communications inoperative is as impossible for President Ilham Aliyev as yielding his chair to some Isa Gambar.

So the direction for the transit of Caspian resources at Azerbaijan’s disposal can by no means be changed. Another matter is that the reserves are not sufficient to meet both Turkey’s ambitions and Europe’s demands.

Ilham Aliyev is not to blame for the West having been unable to push through the Transcaspian gas main project. As a result, the two pipes of great length designed for supplying energy resources from Central Asia to Europe — the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline with an annual capacity of 50m tons, and the South Caucasus gas pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum with an annual capacity of up to 30bn cubic meters – actually run only to end in Azerbaijan’s well that is running dry. Strategically, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline was designed for Central Asian gas, rather than for Azerbaijan’s. It was laying the gas main through the bottom of the Caspian Sea than was supposed to make the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline part of the Nabucco project. Azerbaijan is capable of supplying only 1/3 of the necessary volume to this pipeline, which can hardly satisfy Turkey and the end consumers in Europe. The designed annual capacity of the Nabucco gas pipeline is 30bn cubic meters, and, in this context, Azerbaijan’s efforts are “a drop in the ocean.” By various estimates, over the following decade, Azerbaijan will be capable of supplying within 5bn cubic meters of gas to this pipeline, whereas at least 15bn cubic meters are required for it to be put into operation. Moreover, the volume Azerbaijan is ensuring now does not reach Turkey in full. Let us remember that Georgia, a transit country which completely upset its relations with Russia, became dependent on Azerbaijani gas, while Turkey “granted” its gas quota in the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline to Georgians. So Turkey has never received strategic amount of gas from Azerbaijan and hardly expects to receive it.

Realizing that Russia will go all out to prevent a pipe from being laid through the Caspian bottom, Turkey, without wasting time, joined the Russia-launched South Stream project. The difference of this project from Nabucco is as follows: from Central Asia the pipeline will run along the northern Caspian coast (a Near-Caspian gas pipeline), rather than through the bottom of the Caspian Sea, which, however, is not of essential importance for Turkey. On the contrary, this reduces the number of transit countries between Central Asia and Turkey — Russia in place of Azerbaijan and Georgia. The efforts exerted by RF Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi were crowned with success – Turkey joined the South Stream project. At that very moment Azerbaijan felt the hard slap delivered by its “big brother” – it was not while Yerevan and Ankara were signing the Protocols in Zurich.

The second slap proved to be even header. Baku got it yesterday, when Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz agreed on the details of Turkey’s participation in the South Pars project with Iran. It is the world’s largest gas field coverings an area of 9,700 square kilometers, with 3,700 square kilometers (South Pars) being in Iranian territorial waters. It can really serve as resource base for the Nabucco project, but Azerbaijan drops out of the game. Moreover, the West may share the same fate, as Turkey seems to be going to “uncap the Iranian barrel” with Russia. So Russia is “drawing” Central Asian resources into the South Stream and Blue Stream projects, while Turkey is ensuring access to the European market for Iranian gas. Thus, Europe’s energy security problem can be resolved by combined efforts of Turkey and Russia, with Iran’s energy potential necessarily used.

Armenia may play a key role in the Turkey-Iran-Russia energy triangle. In any case, over the last few years, Russia, slowly but surely, has been creating a powerful “electric energy base” in Armenia. With the Iran-Armenia gas main considered, Armenia’s prospects will be even better after the Armenian-Turkish border has been reopened.

As regards Azerbaijan, the only thing for it to do is to feed the West promises, beg compensation of Turkey for gas at a giveaway price and try to get Russia’s support by supplying ridiculously small volumes of gas (500m cubic meters) to the Gazprom Company by means of bypass routes.

ANARCHY ALERT: Anti-Torture Rally Outside Condoleezza Rice Speech, Nov. 8

Protesters gear up for Rice’s appearance at Twin Cities synagogue

Among the participants are Women Against Military Madness, Veterans for Peace Minnesota and the National Lawyers Guild

http://twincities.indymedia.org/files/Condi_blood_hands2.jpg

Anti-Torture Rally Outside Condoleezza Rice Speech

http://base.googlehosted.com/base_media?q=LBC-12440910-1682368362&size=1&hl=en

By Silence Is Complicity
Created 10/19/2009 – 17:21
Start: 11/08/2009 17:15
End: 11/08/2009 18:15

Please come participate in this protest of prima facie war criminal Condoleezza Rice who willfully and deceitfully sold Bush’s war on Iraq by fear mongering about “mushroom clouds” and who also OK’d going “to the dark side” of illegal torture.

She continues to be an apologist for the Bush administration with false statements about the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Security in Europe calling Guantanamo a model medium-security prison, and misleading claims that the ICRC made no allegations about interrogations at Guantanamo. She still says that we did not torture, in spite of ICRC reports, contrary claims from FBI interrogators, Bush administration withdrawals of Office of Legal Counsel torture memos, and statements of dismissal by our own Military Commission judges.

Now Rice is apparenty attempting to make big money off her wrongful actions in the Bush Administration. (The Beth El Synagogue is offering tickets between $50 and $1250 and selling tables at $12,500.00 to hear Condi Rice speak.)

http://twincities.indymedia.org/files/conde-torture-e-flyer.jpg

Obama to meet military brass in Afghanistan–Oh,Crap!

Obama to meet military brass in Afghanistan

Posted: 30 October 2009 1327 hrs

Photos 1 of 1


US President Barack Obama

 

 

WASHINGTON : President Barack Obama Friday meets his top military chiefs to talk strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan in one of the final steps before deciding whether to send thousands more US troops to war.

Obama invited the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the heads of the branches of the US armed services, to the secure White House Situation Room to hear their input on his war plan and deliberations on troop numbers, officials said.

He will hold the meeting a day after his poignant visit to witness the return to home soil of fallen Americans from Afghanistan, after which he said the heavy sacrifice of US soldiers was weighing on his decision-making.

“It was a sobering reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our young men and women in uniform are engaging in every single day,” Obama said in the Oval Office, hours after watching remains of 18 US servicemen flown home.

“Obviously the burden that both our troops and our families bear in any wartime situation is going to bear on how I see these conflicts.

“And it is something that I think about each and every day,” Obama said, after the visit to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Thursday that the president was “at the end stages of what is this, sort of, close-hold, pre-decisional, confidential process over at the White House.”

Other signs that Obama may be nearing a decision are coming in a flurry of leaks of aspects of the coalescing strategy to major US newspapers.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Obama had asked senior officials for an analysis of Afghan provinces to determine which regions are well managed and which are not, to guide his decision on troop numbers.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported the White House was settling on an Afghan strategy that would send more US troops to protect top population centers, but recognizes that the insurgency cannot be completely eradicated. Related article: UC plea for security

Obama has spent weeks deliberating over a request by top war General Stanley McChrystal for 40,000 more troops to fight the escalating Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, which warned the war could be lost without more men.

He has completed a string of in-depth discussions in the White House with senior aides, probing every aspect of US strategy in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Already fragile US public opinion on the war is being tested by a rush of recent casualties in Afghanistan, with October the bloodiest month for American troops of the eight-year conflict so far.

Expectations are mounting that Obama could reveal his answer to McChrystal’s request before he leaves for an eight-day trip to Asia on November 11.

But he is believed unlikely to reveal his decision whether to reinforce the 68,000 US troops in the country before the Afghan run-off election on November 7.

On Tuesday, Obama told servicemen and women in Florida he would not “rush” a decision on which lives depend.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said this week only that the decision will be made “in the coming weeks.”

Among senior officers expected at the White House on Monday were General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the joint chiefs; Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey; General James Conway, commandant of the US Marine Corps; Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations; and General Norton Schwartz, air force chief of staff.

Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Michael Mullen and other top Obama security forces were also due to attend.

Clinton scolds Pakistan over inaction on al-Qaida

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, is escorted ...

 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, is escorted by Pakistani Rangers at the Iqbal Memorial in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. Clinton is on a three-day state visit to Pakistan.

(AP Photo/Mansoor Ahmed)

Clinton scolds Pakistan over inaction on al-Qaida

By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer Robert Burns, Ap National Security Writer 1 hr 6 mins ago

ISLAMABAD – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chided Pakistani officials Thursday for failing to press the hunt for al-Qaida inside their borders, suggesting they know where the terror leaders are hiding.

American officials have long said that al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden and senior lieutenants of the network accused in the Sept. 11 attacks operate out of the rugged terrain along the border with Afghanistan.

But Clinton’s unusually blunt comments went further in asserting that Pakistan’s government has done too little about it.

"I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to," Clinton said in an interview with Pakistani journalists in Lahore. "Maybe that’s the case. Maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know."

There was no immediate reaction from Pakistani officials, but the thrust of Clinton’s comments were startling, coming after months of lavish public comments from her and other American officials portraying Pakistan’s leaders as finally receptive to the war against militants inside their own country.

As a political spouse, career public official and recently as a diplomat, Clinton has long showed a tendency toward bluntness, sometimes followed by a softening of her comments. But her remarks about Pakistan’s lack of action against al-Qaida comes at a particularly sensitive moment — amid a major Pakistani offensive against militants and a deadly spate of insurgent violence.

With Pakistan reeling from Wednesday’s devastating bombing that killed more than 100 people in Peshawar, Clinton also engaged in an intense give-and-take with students at the Government College of Lahore. She insisted that inaction by the government would have ceded ground to terrorists.

"If you want to see your territory shrink, that’s your choice," she said, adding that she believed it would be a bad choice.

Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S. representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters that Clinton planned to meet late Thursday with the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to get an update on the offensive that began Oct. 17 against Taliban forces in a portion of the tribal areas near the Afghan border.

"We want to encourage them," Holbrooke said of the Pakistanis. "She wants to get a firsthand account of the military situation."

During her exchange with the Pakistani journalists, one reporter asked Clinton why the fight against terrorism seemed to put Pakistan at the center and why other countries couldn’t do more. Clinton noted that al-Qaida has launched attacks on Indonesia, the Philippines and many other countries over the years.

"So the world has an interest in seeing the capture and killing of the people who are the masterminds of this terrorist syndicate. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan."

On Clinton’s flight to Islamabad after the interview with Pakistani journalists, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson said Clinton’s remarks approximate what the Obama administration has told Pakistani officials in private.

"We often say, `Yes, there needs to be more focus on finding these leaders,’" Patterson said. "The other thing is, they lost control of much of this territory in recent years, and that’s why they’re in South Waziristan right now."

In Lahore, dozens of students rushed to line up for the microphone when the session with Clinton began. Their questions were not hostile, but showed a strong sense of doubt that the U.S. could be a reliable and trusted partner for Pakistan.

One woman asked whether the U.S. could be expected to commit long term in Afghanistan after abandoning the country after Russian occupiers retreated in 1989.

"What guarantee," the woman asked, "can Americans give Pakistan that we can now trust you — not you but, like, the Americans this time — of your sincerity and that you guys are not going to betray us like the Americans did in the past when they wanted to destabilize the Russians?"

Clinton responded that the question was a "fair criticism" and that the U.S. did not follow through in the way it should have. "It’s difficult to go forward if we’re always looking in the rearview mirror," said Clinton, on the second of a three-day visit, her first to Pakistan as secretary of state.

The Peshawar bombing in a market crowded with women and children appeared timed to overshadow her arrival. It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since 2007.

She likened Pakistan’s situation — with Taliban forces taking over substantial swaths of land in the Swat valley and in areas along the Afghan border — to a theoretical advance of terrorists into the United States from across the Canadian border.

It would be unthinkable, she said, for the U.S. government to decide, "Let them have Washington (state)" first, then Montana, then the sparsely populated Dakotas, because those states are far from the major centers of population and power on the East Coast.

Clinton was responding to a student who suggested that Washington was forcing Pakistan to use military force on its own territory.

During her hourlong appearance at the college, Clinton stressed that a key purpose of her trip was to reach out to ordinary Pakistanis and urge a better effort to bridge differences and improve mutual understanding.

But her tough comments about Pakistan’s will to take on al-Qaida leaders might not sit well among Pakistanis who long have complained about American demands on their country.

Clinton has ruffled feathers before with blunt comments during international trips. On her first visit to Asia in February, she discussed the possibility of a succession crisis in North Korea and suggested the U.S. would not press China that hard on human rights.

On a later trip, she drew criticism from Israeli leaders for talking about a "defense umbrella" for Arab Gulf states to protect them from a potential nuclear threat from Iran.

Despite her comments during the town hall event in Lahore, Clinton declined to touch on the sensitive issue of missile attacks from U.S. drones against militants inside Pakistan.

The subject has stirred some of the strongest feelings of anti-Americanism in the country, but the U.S. routinely refuses to acknowledge publicly that the attacks are taking place.

"There is a war going on," Clinton said, adding only that the U.S. wants to help Pakistan be successful.

The United States has provided Pakistani commanders with video images and target information from its military drones as the army pushes its ground offensive in Waziristan, U.S. officials said this week.

The U.S. in recent months has rushed helicopters and other military equipment to the country as Islamabad began offensives.

"We’ve put military assistance to Pakistan on a wartime footing," Lt. Col. Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday.

___

Associated Press writers Tim Sullivan in Islamabad, and Pauline Jelinek and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

ISI Agents Involved Attack on Sindh Rally

Cards of Pakistani Intelgence Ageces Men Involved Attack on JSQM Rally

JSQM–Jeay Sindh Hulchal or Jeay Sind movement was founded by Saeen G M Syed in 1972 but it was a brain child of Indra Ghandi who categorically admits in the Indian parliament that they will not hesitate to help sindhi liberation forces as they helped Bangalis in East Pakistan. The main motive of formation of JSQM was sind unification with India by getting help from prominent international players including India. It was later renamed as Jeay Sindh Tahreek by the various militant and separatist group

Two dead in attack on JSQM rally

Published: July 25, 2009

Two dead in attack on JSQM rally

KARACHI – Riots in the metropolis as well as in other major cities of the Sindh province in protest over the killing of President of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Thatta chapter, during indiscriminate firing on a party rally at Pehlwan Goth here on Friday.
As per report, two unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on the rally at Pehlwan Goth near Gulistan Coach bus stop, within the limits of Malir Cantt Police Station, killing JSQM Thatta President Mushtaq Khaskheli and injuring another person, Ejaz.
The JSQM activists also retaliated and killed one of the attacker identified as Mustafa Zahid Baloch, and injured his accomplice, who was later arrested by police. The dead bodies and injured were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
It may be noted that JSQM activists organised the rally and wanted to stage a sit-in demonstration at the Super Highway, Toll Plaza in protest against the killing of their party worker Zulfiqar Mallah, who was gunned down on 19th July by unidentified suspects at Hango Goth.
JSQM Chairman Bashir Khan Qureshi and Dr Safadar Sarki were leading the rally. As the participants of the rally started their march and reached near Gulistan Coach bus stand, two unidentified suspects, riding a motorcycle, opened indiscriminate fire on the car of Bashir Qurashi with sophisticated weapons.
JSQM General Secretary Dr. Safdar Sarki has confirmed the attackers wanted to kill Bashir Qureshi but he managed to escape narrowly. Sarki alleged the attackers belonged to intelligence agencies and wanted to sabotage JSQM struggle for the people of Sindh.

Following the incident, several areas including Safoora Goth, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Pelhwan Goth, Abul Isfahani Road, Juma Goth and Al-Asif Square echoed with heavy aerial firing while unidentified miscreants set ablaze a coach at the National Highway.
Meanwhile, a gang of four armed men barged into a petrol pump in Safoora Goth and deprived its staff of cash worth thousands of rupees and fled.
OUR MONITORING DESK ADDS: According to media report, after the incident, enraged people ransacked property and forced the closure of shops and markets in many parts of Sindh.
Hearing the report of killing of a JSQM activist, angry mobs took to the streets in Hyderabad while unknown men set a vehicle on fire parked outside the residence of District Naib Nazim Zafar Rajput. Unidentified persons also torched a bus parked at general bus stand.
On the other hand, people also resorted to aerial firing, smashed windowpanes of several vehicles and burned tyres in Wahdat Colony, Qasimabad and Liberty Chowk in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Tando Jam city witnessed complete shutter down in protest over the killing of a JSQM leader in Karachi. Angry people also blocked Mirpurkhas Road and burned bonfire. The party workers staged a sit-in on Thatta-Karachi Highway and forced the markets and shops to close in Thatta city.
Similarly, enraged people forced shutter down in Tando Muhammad Khan and Rato Dero while the JSQM activists staged a protest rally in Nawabshah and forced the shops to close.

Dear All,evidences of attackers who have attacked Bashir Khan on 24-07-2009 in Karachi .Mushtaque Khaskheli President JSQM Thatta was killed during attack it was really big secrfice for sindh and sindhi nation . we are Requrest from you thesee pictures showon real face Pakistani Agencies.
We want to show these Cards all Over the World. for Media persons,political and Human Right Activist.. JSQM Chairmen Bashir Qureshi Says that Pakistani Agences Involved in Assesnation of sindhi leaders Murtaza bhutoo Benzer bhutoo and Attack on Sain Bashir Qureshi.befor they Dissappears to the many sindhi political Workers and Leaders for Reason of Struggling there home land sindh.

Posted by sattar@columnis.com