“Group of Experts” Wants Russian Help, At Arm’s Length

Мадлен ОлбрайтAlbright calls for mutually beneficial cooperation with Moscow

Expert Group headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright invited NATO to expand cooperation with Russia on all levels, but made it clear that relations with Moscow will not please all members of the alliance.

Introducing the report of the expert group in the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Albright noted that the successful cooperation of a military bloc with Russia would benefit all stakeholders.

“For historical and geographical reasons, some NATO members are more pessimistic than others about Russia’s commitment to positive relations – said Albright. – It is obvious that NATO’s interests are fully consistent with the work with Moscow in order to create a constructive Euro-Atlantic order and solve common problems we face terrorism, nuclear proliferation, piracy and drug smuggling. “

C in terms of the alliance the door to cooperation with Moscow should be open at all levels

Madeline Albright, head of the group of NATO experts

“As we know, the partnership requires efforts from both sides – continued Albright. – But in terms of the alliance the door to cooperation with Moscow should be open at all levels.”

Relations between NATO and Russia have deteriorated sharply after the Russian-Georgian military conflict, which sharply in Brussels condemned. Then, the alliance announced the freezing of cooperation with Moscow, but in January this year, military coordination has been renewed.

In February, Russia has expressed concern in connection with talk about the fact that the new NATO strategy suggests the possibility of using military force around the world.

What they said “wise men”

It is expected that the new concept will be approved at the next NATO summit in Lisbon, which will be held in November. Its development involved a group of prominent experts and former diplomats called “Council of Wise Men”, whose members recently traveled to Moscow for consultations.

Флаг НАТОNATO is preparing to revise its strategic doctrine

The new strategic concept of NATO alliance should set objectives for the next decade and to identify methods for their solution. Among the problems that are not mentioned in the previous strategy – global warming, energy supplies, cyberattacks and maritime piracy.

Earlier, at a conference in Prague, Albright talked about the importance of the “reboot” of relations with Russia, but at the same time, she said, it is necessary to assure members of the alliance that Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is the key to the organization.

According to this article, in case of an armed attack on a NATO member other members of the alliance should help it, “including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic region.”

Currently, NATO has 26 European countries, as well as the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the organization has 40 partners, including Russia, Australia, India, Pakistan and Japan. They were, by treaty, alliance members are not required to defend.

Preparation of a new NATO strategy complicated the contradictions within the alliance. Some allies would like to see NATO functions limited to protecting its own members, the other part – including the U.S. and Britain – in favor of greater authority.

This would imply, in particular, the mission outside the traditional area of NATO, including – patrolling the African coastal waters to combat pirates.

Recent conflicts over the powers of the alliance – the debate about the war in Iraq: few countries (among them – France, Germany and Belgium) were against it and against participation in the NATO contingent.

Russian concept

Russia is ahead of NATO’s own military doctrine publication for nearly a year: President Dmitry Medvedev has approved a document at the beginning of February. The previous two versions were adopted in 1993 and 2000.

Under the doctrine, Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the application against her or her allies of any weapons of mass destruction. The authors of the document, Russia is to be feared above all to strengthen NATO through the accession of new members and the deployment of missile defense systems.

In addition, the new Russian doctrine stipulates the right of Russia to use its armed forces abroad “in order to protect the interests of Russia and its people but also for the maintenance of international peace and security.”

After the publication of the doctrine of NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that it “does not reflect reality” and “clearly contrary to all of our efforts to improve relations between NATO and Russia.”

Oil contracts should be reviewed to avert ecological disaster in Caspian Sea

Oil contracts should be reviewed to avert ecological disaster in Caspian Sea

Mon 17 May 2010 | 12:32 GMT Text size: 

21655
Ikram Israfilov

News.Az interviews Ikram Israfilov, member of the parliamentary committee on natural resources, energy and ecology of Azerbaijani parliament.

Is it necessary for Azerbaijan to stiffen ecological requirements to foreign oil companies in the light of ecological disaster in the Mexican gulf after the fire on the Deepwater Horizon drill tower and oil leakage?

It is necessary to take into account that both the Azerbaijani and other Caspian littoral status are interested in the non-pollution of the Caspian Sea. Foreign companies functioning in Azerbaijan as well as Azerbaijani companies should primarily fulfill obligations on the non-pollution of the Caspian sea. As is known, such obligations have been included into all contracts signed between Azerbaijan and foreign oil companies.

Certainly, the Azerbaijani state, SOCAR, as well as foreign oil companies working in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea have obligations not to pollute the Caspian Sea. In this connection, Azerbaijan has a right to demand the fulfillment of undertaken obligations from them. I, as a member of the parliamentary committee of natural resources, energy and ecology of Milli Medjlis (parliament), have taken part in discussions of a number of such contracts and I have witnessed the availability of obligations about the non-fulfillment of the Caspian Sea by oil wastes. The contracts also have paragraphs about inadmissibility of oil leakage in the Caspian Sea and responsibility in cases of such incidents will be laid on the party that has violated the regulations.

Is there a need to review the contracts with foreign oil companies in order to avert the ecological disaster compared to that in Mexican gulf in the Caspian Sea?

It is difficult to imagine the scales of the ecological damage to the Caspian Sea that might be caused by such disasters. All experts and specialists understand that when signing international oil contracts in 1994 the Azerbaijani side was interested in implementation of all tasks envisioned in these documents. Therefore, the foreign companies that have 100 years of work experience in the sphere of oil production have probably managed to prevent inclusion of paragraphs connected with the responsibility and elimination of implications of environmental disaster to these contracts. I do not doubt this. However, in case of appearance of such problems with foreign companies producing oil in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani side should try to review the paragraphs in those contracts as to environmental obligations. These companies get benefits from oil production and export, therefore, in  case such problems appear the Azerbaijani side must remove the blanks in these contracts related to the environmental issues. The review of these paragraphs of the contracts in case such disaster occurs will be inevitable. In addition, I consider it important to review these contracts. Every person, who loves his homeland and safeguards its citizens and natural resources must be concerned about it. Therefore, there is a need to take steps in this direction.

In this connection, is there a need to introduce amendments to national legislation by the Azerbaijani parliament?

There can be blanks in this sphere in legislation. I think there are no problems that can hamper our actions in introducing amendments to ecological law. We have the relevant legislative basis in ecological sphere, however, the problems can be during its implementation.

Does the Azerbaijani legislation allow controlling observation of environmental requirements by SOCAR?

I would like to note that Milli Medjlis has repeated raised the issue of the need to adopt a law “On oil”. This law is available in most countries that produce oil. Therefore, I think it is important to adopt this law in Azerbaijan. If we adopt the law “On oil” it may include all issues related to observation of environmental requirements by foreign and local oil companies. The adoption of this law would help create a legal basis for these issues and settle emerging legal problems. Certainly, there are numerous paragraphs related to economic and ecological problems. And I do not doubt that these contracts have taken into account all issues related to the national interests of Azerbaijan. But at the same time, there is a need to adopt a separate law to regulate environmental issues.

Which legislative opportunities do nongovernmental organizations have in terms of control over observation of environmental requirements by the oil companies?

I have taken part in a number of projects implemented by nongovernmental organizations specialized in environmental issues. Therefore, I am familiar with their work and I can say that they have no opportunity to control the observation of environmental requirements by the oil companies. The nongovernmental organizations are interested only in gaining profits from the funds allocated by the companies to settle some of the issues. Therefore, NGOs have no opportunity to influence either SOCAR or the foreign companies. Certainly, these nongovernmental organizations are functioning to attract the public attention to existing problems but have no opportunity to interfere with the companies’ affairs.

Lala B.

News.Az

BP’s Caspian Disaster

[Does the Deepwater Horizon disaster reflect upon BP's capacity to preserve the delicate Caspian Sea Basin?  (SEE: BP Had Other Problems in Years Leading to Gulf Spill)  Western harvesting of Caspian oil entails huge pipelines that transverse the sea in several places.  If BP can't be trusted to guarantee that all safety procedures are strictly followed in raising oil 5,000 feet from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, then how could they be trusted to safely maintain hundreds of miles of pipelines on the seabed?]

BP’s Caspian Disaster

by JalilBahar

Azerbaijan is the new colonial cow being milked by Britain. 15 British oil companies have set up shop, and are siphoning Iranian oil from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan.It would be nice if Azerbaijan received some benefit from this oil exploitation (or even Iranians) – but once again the Brtis have installed a puppet dictator to assist them in their milking process.

Mr. Aliev, Azerbaijan’s President, installed himself in power in a rigged election in 2003 – upon the death of this father (a former KGB officer).

The tale of how Britain gained full access to Azeri oil is a sordid one.  There are several reports of how BP executives working for Lord Browne spent millions of pounds on champagne-fuelled sex parties to help secure lucrative international oil contracts. The company also worked with MI6 to help bring about changes in foreign governments, according to an astonishing account of life inside the oil giant. Les Abrahams, who led BP’s successful bid for a multi-million-pound deal with one of the former Soviet republics, today claims that Browne – who was forced to resign as chief executive recently after the collapse of legal proceedings against The Mail on Sunday – presided over an “anything goes” regime of sexual license, spying and financial sweeteners. He also claims that Home Secretary John Reid was arrested at gunpoint on a BP-funded foreign trip for being out on the streets after a military curfew had been imposed. Mr. Abrahams tells how he spent £45 million in expenses over just four months of negotiations with Azerbaijan’s state oil company. Armed with a no-limit company credit card, he ordered supplies of champagne and caviar to be flown on company jets into the boomtown capital, Baku, to be consumed at the “sex parties. The result is an almost mirror reflection of how Iran was exploited for decades by the Brits before Iran’s democratic government was established and Iranian Oil nationalized in the 50’s. Oil gets extracted and a pittance in royalties is handed over to the “locals”. For the poor idiots running Azerbaijan any cash from these oil companies is more than they ever had – but the reality is they are being skimmed. Azeris are being hozed. And as we all know, the Brits who to a large extent were behind the rise of the Mullahs in Iran are at work again.

The Caspian region is the largest untapped hydrocarbon reserve in the world. The wealth under the sea is measured in trillions – not billions of dollars. The world is hungry for more energy. Consider for example that China will be adding 110 million cars to its existing stock of 30 million cars by 2020.

There is over 200 billion barrels of oil, and over three trillion cubic meters of natural gas under there. These riches are at stake in a new economic and political ‘great game.’ Now that North Sea oil is depleted and more Alaskan Oil (where BP was a 50% stake holder) is shut out (because of US Congressional protection of Alaska’s wildlife reserves), Britain and the United States have partnered up to get their hands on Iraqi and Caspian region oil in full force. What’s $100 billion dollars for the Iraq war when there’s trillions out there? Interestingly, Iraq awarded a contract to BPand China National Petroleum Corp to exploit the Rumaila oilfield, a giant field that first entered production in 1955. The field currently produces slightly less than 1 million barrels per day; the contract with BP targets a production plateau of around 2.85 million barrels per day. The BP deal for Rumaila was the only contract awarded in Iraq’s first bidding round in summer 2009.

BP operates 29,000 stations throughout the world, including 15,000 in the United States operating under the BP, Amoco, and ARCO trade names. BP is the second-largest integrated oil company in the world. In 2001, it had fixed U.S. assets totaling approximately $40 billion. With revenues of $174.2 billion in 2001, BP employs 110,159 workers worldwide, including 42,000 in the United States.

Quite clearly, BP is at the heart of political and economic manipulations to exploit global oil. And the Caspian Sea’s littoral states are the victims of these dealings.

This is a new high-stakes scramble of vital long-term geopolitical significance. Basically, the very future of Britain’s economy and US economic leadership are at stake — with for example China and India’s long-term dependence on Western controlled energy resources at issue.

But, this time it’s not just about the theft of wealth. The very survival of the Caspian Sea is in question — and the future of over 400 unique biological species. Much of the biological focus has been on the high value Sturgeon populations, yet for example there is unprecedented death among the Caspian’s seal population with thousands dying as a result of poisoning from oil pollution. The carcasses are there for every one to witness.

There is simply NO environmental regulation in the whole Caspian region. Not only are there large off shore oil rigs pumping out millions of barrels of oil, but there are major pipelines being built to transport the oil.

The only option to transport this oil is to build large pipelines across the Caspian Sea bed to Southern Turkey – crossing 4 countries each. Two pipelines are now on the drawing board across the Caspian Sea (one from Turkmenistan and the other from Kazakhstan) to ports on the Mediterranean.

To get a sense of what these pipelines might do to the Caspian, let’s look at two smaller pipelines operating today. Already the Baku-Novarisk and the Baku-Sepia pipelines have caused major leaks. And then there is the issue of discharges from actual oil and gas drilling into the Sea. And finally, there is the issue of operating refineries and chemical plants on the perimeter of the Sea. Interestingly, all southern land-based pipeline options to Iranian markets have been rejected, although it is by far the cheapest and most environmentally benign option…i.e. the shortest route! Iran could purchase oil and gas for its major cities in the North and in exchange ship out product from its southern ports.

In any case, the Absheron Peninsula refinery (in Azerbaijan) has already been sited with major environmental abuses. There is simply no environmental regulation in the region, which is very openly designed to attract foreign investment and maintain cash flow for the region’s corrupt dictatorships that are heavily interested in signing multibillion dollar deals with foreign companies. (ref: Azerbaijani’s recent $4Bn deal with BP)!

The issue of environmental regulation is important in many ways. On the one hand disasters need to be prevented. There has to be clear oversight, inspections, engineering and operational reviews.

But on the other hand, there has to be an international (cross-border), multilateral way to deal with disasters if they happen. And there is currently NO coordination between the Caspian Sea’s littoral states in disaster management. This issue not only impacts oil and gas exploration, but is also significant in dealing with over-fishing, and protection and promotion of the Caspian’s Biological heritage.

BP is the most significant player in the Caspian Sea. If BP could not operate safely in a heavily regulated US operating environment, you have to wonder what corners they are cutting in the Caspian Sea. As the world’s most profitable Oil Company, with record 3.5 Billion dollars in profits last quarter (that’s on track for about $14 Billion dollars annually) …you just can’t help wonder? And with that much money at stake, to continue to buy off politicians in these puppet Caspian States …would simply be the equivalent of us throwing quarters into a beggars bowl at the train station.

It’s simply a disaster waiting to happen.

Does the Term “Islamic Bomb” Imply Secret Ace In Hole for Saudis?

Pakistan has pleged to provide nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia

ICT by ANI -

London, May 17 (ANI): The biggest concern that has emerged during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty this month is that if Iran crosses the nuclear threshhold, it would trigger an arms race across the Middle East.

“Pakistan’s bomb and Saudi ArabiaWestern intelligence officials believe that Pakistan has pledged to provide nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia in a Middle East crisis, but would Islamabad keep its end of the bargain?,” reports Guardian.co.uk.

Israel already has an arsenal of course, but over a dozen other countries in the region have recently announced plans to pursue or explore civilian nuclear energy programmes, in what is seen as a hedge against future threats. But which states, if any, would be prepared to go the whole way?

“The Centre for European Studies and the German Marshall Fund of the United States has just held a small conference in Brussels called “Transatlantic test: What should the West do with Iran?”, reports Guardian.co.uk.

Turkey would not jeopardise the Nato umbrella by going nuclear unilaterally. Egypt has considered its options and decided it cannot afford to go nuclear and risk losing its annual US grant. The biggest worry is Saudi Arabia, which cannot rely on a US nuclear umbrella for reasons of domestic and regional politics.

“According to western intelligence sources (the meeting was under Chatham House rules so I am not allowed to be more specific) the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60% of the Pakistani nuclear programme, and in return has the option to buy a small nuclear arsenal (’five to six warheads) off the shelf if things got tough in the neighbourhood,” reports Guardian.co.uk.

There has been much reporting about this alleged deal over recent years, notably by The Guardian back in 2003, when Ewen MacAskill and Ian Traynor wrote about a Saudi strategic review to weigh the kingdom’s nuclear options.

“A report by Mark Fitzpatrick at the IISS in 2008 on Nuclear Programmes in the Middle East, found the Guardian article was “an accurate representation of what had emerged from the Saudi side during discussions” at a symposium in Britain attended by several members of the Saudi royal family,” reports Guardian.co.uk.

The Saudis and the Pakistanis have consistently denied any such deal, but what I heard in Brussels was billed by an official as being from intelligence sources. Whether or not anything has been signed, however, there are real questions on whether Pakistan would deliver when it came to the crunch.

“There is a third partner in the relationship, the US, who might have something to say about it and the means to exert pressure to make sure it did not happen. Still, it remains one of the more likely dominoes to fall in a worst-case scenario,” reports Guardian.co.uk. (ANI)

Iraq signs oil field deal with Chinese, Turkish firms

Iraq signs oil field deal with Chinese, Turkish firms

By Marwa Sabah (AFP)

BAGHDAD — Iraq signed a deal with Chinese energy giant CNOOC and Turkey’s TPAO on Monday to develop a major southern oilfield complex, its 11th deal with foreign energy firms as Baghdad aims to boost crude output.

Among the three fields in the Maysan complex, along Iraq’s border with Iran, is one partially claimed by Tehran, whose forces took over an oil well in the Fakka field in December for several days but withdrew after bilateral talks.

“Today is a very important day in the history of Iraqi oil production, with the development of very important fields in Maysan province,” Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said at the contract signing in Baghdad.

“After several contacts with CNOOC and TPAO, a price for exploitation has been agreed.”

The fields were first put up for auction in June last year but no agreement was reached.

CNOOC and TPAO agreed to be paid 2.30 dollars per barrel of oil extracted from the three Maysan fields, which has proven reserves of 2.6 billion barrels of oil, Shahristani said on Monday.

Under the deal, output is projected to be ramped up to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared to current production of around 100,000 bpd.

The Chinese firm will have an 85-percent stake in the joint venture, while TPAO holds the remaining 15 percent. The Iraqi government will have a 25-percent stake in the overall project.

The agreed deal was worth around a tenth of what was initially requested — CNOOC and Sinochem, another Chinese energy firm, had asked for 21.4 dollars per barrel when the field was auctioned to foreign firms last June.

Sinochem has since pulled out of the deal.

Last year, Iraq held two auctions of its oil fields for development, the first time foreign energy firms have had the opportunity to plant a foot firmly in the country since its energy sector was nationalised in 1972.

The Maysan deal means Chinese companies now have stakes in four major oil projects in Iraq.

As with the CNOOC-TPAO deal, companies which sign contracts with Iraq will receive a fixed fee per barrel, not a share of profits, and the fee will only be paid once an agreed production threshold is reached.

The 11 deals signed by Iraq so far will, if fully realised, ramp up its oil output five-fold to 12 million bpd, putting it on a par with the world’s top producer Saudi Arabia.

At 115 billion barrels, Iraq has the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, behind only Saudi Arabia and Iran.

However, there has been little exploration or development of fields in the past three decades because of wars and a UN embargo imposed on Iraq in 1990 following now executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.

Oil sales account for 85 percent of Iraqi government revenues.

Middle East Insurance Premium Set to Double by 2013

Middle East Insurance Premium Set to Double by 2013

With largely underpenetrated market and growing prospects, the Middle East insurance sector is expected to grow at CAGR of about 25% during 2010-2013.

(EMAILWIRE.COM, May 17, 2010 ) New Delhi, India – As per our recent report “Middle East Insurance MarketForecast to 2012”, the Middle East has emerged as a growing market for insurers across the world with a rapid transformation in its insurance industry. As per our estimations, insurance premium is expected to grow at a rate of 25% during 2010-2013 as compared to a growth rate of 14% in 2007-2009. Saudi Arabia will witness the highest CAGR of 37%, followed by UAE and Bahrain during the forecast period.

The report covers in depth research of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) nations including Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman. Along with that, the insurance industry of Turkey, Iran, Israel and Jordan are also analyzed. The report details the market size of all these countries, like Israel in 2009 was the largest market in the region for Insurance premium followed by Turkey and the UAE. Share of local and foreign insurance companies in few countries are also covered in the report.

The research report provides an extensive evaluation of Life and Non-life insurance segments. Non life insurance segments like health, motor, marine, fire insurance are well analyzed. Islamic Insurance is another growing area in Middle East and the report also covers Takaful share in different countries.

Additionally, various growth opportunities and hurdles present in Middle Eastern countries are discussed in the report. On one hand, increment in new car registration will boost insurance segment, and at the same time, the lack of skills and training can hinder segments’ growth.

“Middle East Insurance Market Forecast to 2012” is a comprehensive research report that comprises quality research and analysis on the insurance market in Middle East. It studies the emerging market trends, recent developments and their impact on the sector. The report will help clients to examine the leading-edge opportunities, expected future outlook and all the other factors which are critical to the success of a new entrant in the Middle East Insurance Sector.

For FREE SAMPLE of this report visit: http://www.rncos.com/Report/IM178.htm

Check DISCOUNTED REPORTS on: http://www.rncos.com

About RNCOS:

RNCOS, incorporated in the year 2002, is an industry research firm. We are a team of industry experts who analyze data collected from credible sources. We provide industry insights and analysis that helps corporations to take timely and accurate business decision in today’s globally competitive environment.

USSOCOM Contractor Concerned Over US and UK Domestic Tranquility Next 3-5 Years

more about “Blackwater, America’s Private Army“, posted with vodpod

[Brookings Institute describes use of CACI as The Contract the Military Needs to BreakPrivate employees of the company outsourced interrogations (torture) at Abu Gharib prison in Iraq.  CACI is branded "war profiteer" in the film "Iraq for Sale."

Here is a perfect example of the new privatized military and intelligence contractors performing duties that should only be trusted to authorized military personnel.  This is especially true when the contractor is one of the few companies that have been recognized for participation in the abuses at Agu Gharib.  Lawsuits into CACI activities in Iraq may come back to haunt the company, as suggested in the disclaimer at the bottom of the following article, related to "forward looking"  comments.  The most disturbing part of this article is, in fact, the forward looking comments.  Ahead of the disclaimers citing concerns overIraqi misdeeds, the primary reason for worry given is:

"regional and national economic conditions in the United States and the United Kingdom, including conditions that result from a prolonged recession."

What do these insiders know that causes them to plan around domestic US and UK turmoil?  Could it possibly be the same reasons that cause Middle East insurance premiums to double in the next two years?]

CACI Awarded Prime Position on $1.5 Billion, Multiple-Award Contract to Support U.S. Special Operations Command

New Work Will Support Operations and Intelligence, Acquisition and Logistics, and Business Operations/Financial Management Mission Areas

ARLINGTON, Va., May 17, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — CACI International Inc (CACI 48.79, +0.40, +0.83%), announced today that it has been awarded one of four prime contracts to support the United States Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) Global Battlestaff and Program Support (GBPS) effort. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract has a ceiling value of $1.5 billion and a period of performance that consists of a three-year base period and a two-year option period.

USSOCOM provides fully capable Special Operations Forces to defend the United States and its interests, and synchronizes planning of global operations against terrorist networks. This new work with the command grows CACI’s functional core competency in integrated security and intelligence solutions (ISIS) through its support to USSOCOM’s force sustainment, equipping, and modernization efforts, particularly focused on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. ISIS assists customers in developing integrated solutions to help them meet mission objectives in the areas of security, intelligence, and law enforcement.

Simultaneous to winning the ID/IQ contract award, CACI also won one of four task orders (Task Order 1) that were bid with the overall GBPS contract proposal. The $4 million Task Order 1, Intelligence Production Support for the USSOCOM Integrated Survey Program, has a five year period of performance and will provide USSOCOM with multimedia intelligence production, publication, and dissemination support services over the life of the task order.

Bill Fairl, CACI President of U.S. Operations, said “Our selection as one of only four primes on this contract is a significant win for CACI. By providing USSOCOM with operations and intelligence, acquisition and logistics, and business operations and financial management support services, we’re able to help the Special Operations Forces with their critical missions worldwide.”

According to Paul Cofoni, CACI President and Chief Executive Officer, “Winning this contract partners us with a customer whose mission sets are expanding and whose contributions to national interests are becoming more important as threats by non-nation states increase. Working with USSOCOM will enable us to make meaningful contributions to national interests as well as support warfighters serving in harm’s way.”

CACI provides professional services and IT solutions needed to prevail in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, and federal civilian government arenas. We deliver enterprise IT and network services; data, information, and knowledge management services; business system solutions; logistics and material readiness; C4ISR integration services; cyber solutions; integrated security and intelligence solutions; and program management and SETA support services. CACI services and solutions help our federal clients provide for national security, improve communications and collaboration, secure the integrity of information systems and networks, enhance data collection and analysis, and increase efficiency and mission effectiveness. CACI is a member of the Fortune 1000 Largest Companies and the Russell 2000 index. CACI provides dynamic careers for approximately 13,100 employees working in over 120 offices in the U.S. and Europe. Visit CACI on the web at www.caci.com and www.asymmetricthreat.net.

There are statements made herein which do not address historical facts, and therefore could be interpreted to be forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results.

The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated include, but are not limited to, the following: regional and national economic conditions in the United States and the United Kingdom, including conditions that result from a prolonged recession;

terrorist activities or war; changes in interest rates; currency fluctuations; significant fluctuations in the equity markets; failure to achieve contract awards in connection with recompetes for present business and/or competition for new business; the risks and uncertainties associated with client interest in and purchases of new products and/or services; continued funding of U.S. government or other public sector projects, based on a change in spending patterns, or in the event of a priority need for funds, such as homeland security, the war on terrorism or rebuilding Iraq; or an economic stimulus package; government contract procurement (such as bid protest, small business set asides, loss of work due to organizational conflicts of interest, etc.) and termination risks; the results of government investigations into allegations of improper actions related to the provision of services in support of U.S. military operations in Iraq; the results of government audit and reviews conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency or other government entities with cognizant oversight; individual business decisions of our clients; paradigm shifts in technology; competitive factors such as pricing pressures and/or competition to hire and retain employees (particularly those with security clearances); market speculation regarding our continued independence; material changes in laws or regulations applicable to our businesses, particularly in connection with (i) government contracts for services, (ii) outsourcing of activities that have been performed by the government, (iii) competition for task orders under Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (“GWACs”) and/or schedule contracts with the General Services Administration; and (iv) accounting for convertible debt instruments; our own ability to achieve the objectives of near term or long range business plans; and other risks described in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

SOURCE: CACI

CACI 
Corporate Communications and Media: 
Jody Brown, Executive Vice President, Public Relations 
(703) 841-7801 
jbrown@caci.com 
or 
Investor Relations: 
David Dragics, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations 
(866) 606-3471 
ddragics@caci.com



Copyright Business Wire 2010

Afghan opium blight fuels anti-government suspicions

Afghan opium blight fuels anti-government suspicions

Abdul Malek
LASKAR GAH, Afghanistan

(Reuters) – With livelihoods threatened by a mysterious blight on opium crops, many farmers in southern Afghanistan suspect policies of the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai may be behind the disease.

With anti-U.S. feelings pervading Helmand and Kandahar provinces, some of the worst hit by insurgent violence, the blight that may cut opium output by half has played into deeply-held suspicions of the government and foreign troops.

Few farmers appear to believe nature was the cause. Some farmers blame a new fertilizer they were forced to obtain after the government banned ammonium nitrate, which can also be used by insurgents to make bombs.

“I have had not only my poppy affected, but wheat farms too and I suspect it is due to a type of fertilizer that is imported from Pakistan,” said Janan, a farmer near Helmand’s provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

“People have had their other type of crops suffer too as a result.”

Afghanistan is the world’s biggest supplier of opium, a thick paste processed to make heroin. About 90 percent of the crop is harvested in southern Helmand province where thousands of U.S. troops are fighting an insurgency partly funded by the trade. While the blight may cut off some sources of funding for the Taliban in their southern stronghold, the disease may only spark more farmer resentment and play into the insurgent’s hands. It could also encourage more crops as the price increases.

“All indications to us … seem to hint toward a natural plight,” said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) head in Afghanistan, told Reuters in Kabul.

“Any plague, even if there was a plague on the melons, (the farmers) would blame it on the U.S. So this definitely will be the same thing, so there definitely will be a negative impact.”

General Dawud Dawud, deputy minister of interior for drugs eradication, said in some areas it has destroyed 70 percent of the poppy harvest. The disease has so far been reported in Helmand, and neighboring provinces of Kandahar and Uruzgan.

Lemahieu said that in northern Helmand roughly 50 percent of the plants were affected by the disease which turned leaves into clusters of black dots. In southern Helmand 25 to 30 percent.

The international community has spent years trying to reduce dependency on opium for poor farmers who are reluctant to switch to licit crops because they are less profitable.

But rising violence in the region over the last year has hampered these efforts, and the blight may just add to troubles.

A PYRRHIC VICTORY?

“Are we unhappy with this blight? Well the first reaction is one of “hooray,”” said Lemahieu. “But this might be proven to be a Pyrrhic victory. Because at the end of the day if the price sky-rockets we might have far more opium next year.”

Past Afghan government efforts to eradicate poppy have turned communities against the government and foreign troops. Wary of this, U.S. Marines in the Helmand town of Marjah have employed a strategy of paying farmers to burn their own crops.

Villagers who rely on opium poppy cultivation have accused Western forces of deliberately planting diseases to wipe-out the plant. NATO-led forces in Afghanistan deny any involvement by the alliance in the current blight.

Noor Mohammad, a farmer in Khakriz village near Lashkar Gah, also blamed the fertilizer.

“We haven’t had these disease problems in many years but since we use a new fertilizer, provided by the government, that could have affected my crop.” Mohammad said. “It could be the government trying to destroy the poppy.”

Whatever the accusations, authorities may need to reach out quickly to farmers or face a backlash.

“The disease will not only destroy the poppy this year but the whole crop including wheat and fruit,” said Khan Mohammad, an Agriculture official in the Helmand.

“The government must help the farmers … otherwise this catastrophe will badly affect the lives of millions.

(Additional reporting by Golnar Motevalli and Sayed Salahuddin in Kabul; Writing by Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Megan Goldin)

Rethink needed

Rethink needed

Dawn Editorial
At its core, the Balochistan problem remains an issue of an enormous trust deficit. –Photo by Reuters

The comments made by former COAS Waheed Kakar at a seminar organised by the ‘Friends of the Baloch and Balochistan’ on Saturday ought to stir some soul-searching in the Pakistan Army high command.

From expressing concern over the plight of the ‘missing persons’ to the warm remarks about the character and leadership of the slain Akbar Bugti, Gen Kakar struck a sensible tone on the problems in Balochistan and, implicitly, criticised the army for its approach towards the restive province since the time of Gen Musharraf. So much has gone wrong in Balochistan over the last few years that bringing peace to the province will be a very complex matter, requiring changes big and small across a range of issues. But there is a sense that even at this late stage, some first principles need to be revisited.

It is relatively clear that the army does not ‘get’ Balochistan. While it recognises that there are problems in the province, the army seems to regard them as India-driven. True, few seriously doubt the possibility of Indian ‘interference’ any more, but to an extent that misses the point. Is the trouble in Balochistan inspired by India or is India stirring a pot of the Pakistan state’s own making? To outside, non-army observers, it seems clear it is the latter. But so long as the army seems to cling to the former, ‘India-centric’ explanation, peace in the province will never be had. A flawed diagnosis cannot lead to a successful solution and in the case of Balochistan it continues to poison any semblance of trust between the two sides.

Of course, the other side must shoulder some of the blame too. The secessionist forces in Balochistan have carried out a campaign of target killings and other acts designed to fan ethnic/provincial tensions. Clearly, the central demand of the secessionists cannot be met: the geographical boundaries of Pakistan proper cannot be put up for negotiation.

Mainstream Baloch leaders need to play their part to rein in the extremists and must not simply shrug off their role. At its core, the Balochistan problem remains an issue of an enormous trust deficit. Measures such as the Balochistan package announced by the federal government and more provincial autonomy via the 18th Amendment will only work if the protagonists abandon some of their deepest suspicions about each other.

The Age of Space-Solar Energy: Innovation in the Public Interest

drawing of “Who Were They?” is by Helen Werner Cox


The Age of Space-Solar Energy: Innovation in the Public Interest

William John Cox


The industrial revolution has been driven for the past two centuries by the burning of hydrocarbons, first by coal in the Age of Steam, and then by oil and natural gas in the Age of Petroleum; however, as the flow of these fossil fuels slows down as demand goes up, ever-more-intrusive and massive extraction efforts increasingly threaten the progress of industrialization and the civilization it has produced.

The catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the latest and largest of hundreds of such ocean spills, and the recent methane gas explosion in Massey’s Montcoal mine was just another example of the continuing disasters, worldwide, which snuff out the lives of workers who labor in dangerous conditions to feed our fossil-fuel addiction.  All around the planet we live upon, the quest for hydrocarbons is threatening the ability of humans to survive in the degrading environment and to govern their own corporate-dominated societies.

It is not just the environmental destruction caused by the extraction of coal-bed methane in Wyoming and Montana, the “fracking” of deep shale-gas formations and the consequential contamination of fresh water aquifers and rivers in the northeastern United States, or the blasting away of mountain tops in Appalachia; it is the fact that these extreme efforts are facilitated by a concert of corporate and governmental corruption that erodes freedom and democracy in the United States and threatens human civilization around the world.

There is no hope for the recovery of earth’s environment and the survival of human civilization as long as extraction decisions are governed by corporate greed. Public energy policy must be based on what is good for the people who vote for their representatives, not on what produces profits for the corporations who buy the votes of the people’s representatives.

It may already be too late. The environmental destruction caused by the production and burning of fossil fuels may have already set in motion irreversible events which will ultimately spell the extinction of humanity. But, not to worry.

Our loving and forgiving Mother Earth will survive. It may take eons for her oceans, winds, and rains to wipe clean the crap we have produced, but someday, never fear, another of Gaia’s children will learn to fly and will study the artifacts of our existence and will wonder of we and why?

There may be, however, a more sensible and realistic alternative which will preserve the environment and human civilization, and which offers a more exciting and rewarding future for our children, as they learn to fly throughout the universe and to explore its adjacent dimensions.

So, let’s expand our vision and imagine for a moment how life could be after just a decade or two of innovation in the public interest.

A Vision for the Future

Imagine that the Interstate Highway System and most major streets and freeways in America were improved to provide a constant source of electromagnetic energy sufficient to power a standard automobile, with comfortable seating for five adults, anywhere in the United States at no cost to the owner-operator.

Imagine the introduction of triple-hybrid cars designed to operate primarily on electromagnetic energy supplied by induction through the surface of most highways and freeways, and which are equipped with small fuel-efficient internal combustion engines to supplement rechargeable batteries for trips on local streets and byways.

Imagine people could travel for free throughout the United States as a matter of national privilege. Workers could get to their jobs without having to labor for the first hour each day just to pay for getting there. People would have more money to spend on vacations, and they would be able to tour the nation, see the grand sights, and visit with friends and relatives along the way.

Imagine the positive economic consequences flowing from the rehabilitation of America’s transportation infrastructure and the creation of a domestic manufacturing capacity to build the space-solar and other energy-efficient systems.

Is this a realistic dream? If the United States decided to provide free power on its national highways as a matter of innovative public policy, where would it obtain the energy?

A Miraculous Source of Abundant Energy

First proposed by Dr. Peter Glaser in 1968, space-based solar technology can provide an inexhaustible, safe, pollution-free supply of energy and may offer a far more logical solution to current energy problems than petroleum or ethanol-based or even nuclear-fueled hydrogen systems.

The technology currently exists to launch solar-collector satellites into geostationary orbits around the Earth to convert the Sun’s radiant energy into electricity 24 hours a day and to safely transmit the electricity by microwave beams to rectifying antennas (rectennas) on Earth.

Space-solar energy is the greatest source of untapped energy which could, potentially, completely solve the world’s energy and greenhouse gas emission problems.

Following its proposal, the concept of solar power satellites was extensively studied by both the Department of Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. By 1981, it was determined that the concept was a high-risk venture; however, further study was recommended.

With increases in electricity demand and costs, NASA took a “fresh look” at the concept between 1995 and 1997. The NASA study envisioned a trillion-dollar project to place several dozen solar-power satellites in geostationary orbits by 2050, sending between two gigawatts and five gigawatts of power to Earth. However, the study’s leader, John Mankins, now says the program “has fallen through the cracks because no organization is responsible for both space programs and energy security.”

The project may have remained shelved except for the military’s need for sources of energy in its campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, where petroleum costs $400 a gallon. A report by the Department of Defense’s National Security Space Office in 2007 recommended that the U.S. “begin a coordinated national program to develop [space-based solar power].”

There are three basic engineering problems presented in the deployment of a space-based solar power system: The size, weight and capacity of solar collectors to absorb energy; the ability of robots to assemble solar collectors in outer space; and the cost and reliability of lifting collectors and robots into space.

Two of these problems have been substantially solved since space-solar power was originally proposed. New thin-film advances in the design of solar collectors have steadily improved, allowing for increases in the efficiency of energy conversion and decreases in size and weight. At the same time, industrial robots have been greatly improved and are now used extensively in heavy manufacturing to perform complex tasks.

The remaining problem is the expense of lifting equipment and materials into space. At a cost of $20,000 per kilogram of payload, the U.S. is currently relying the last few remaining flights of the space shuttle to move satellites into orbit and to resupply the space station. It has been estimated that economic viability of space solar energy would require a reduction in the payload cost to less than $200 per kilogram and the total expense, including delivery and assembly in orbit, to less than $3,500 per kilogram.

An American president once said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” The United States readily achieved that objective and, effectively, won the Cold War. A similar challenge is now presented in the “Energy War.” What, if anything, will the current president say or do?

Although there are substantial costs associated with the development of space-solar power, it makes far more sense to invest the precious space exploration budget in the development of an efficient and reliable power supply for the future, rather than to waste tax dollars on a stupid and ineffective missile defense system or on an ego trip to Mars.

With funding for the space shuttle ending in 2012 and for the space station in 2017, America must decide upon a realistic policy for space exploration, or else it will be left in the dust by other nations, which are rapidly developing futuristic space projects.

China has aggressively moved into space by orbiting astronauts and by demonstrating a capability to destroy satellites. The nation is investing $35 billion of its hard-currency reserves in the development of energy-efficient green technology and has become the world’s leading producer of solar panels and a major exporter of windmills.

Over the past two years, Japan has committed $21 billion to secure space-solar energy. By 2030, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to “put into geostationary orbit a solar-power generator that will transmit one gigawatt of energy to Earth, equivalent to the output of a large nuclear power plant.” Japanese officials estimate that, ultimately, they will be able to deliver electricity at a cost of $0.09 per kilowatt-hour, which will be competitive with all other sources.

The first nation that captures and effectively makes use of space-solar energy will dominate the world energy market for generations to come and will provide its citizens with a much healthier and a far more secure society.

William John Cox is a retired prosecutor and public interest lawyer, author and political activist who is currently writing a fact-based fictional political philosophy. His promotion of a peaceful political evolution is based at VotersEvolt.com, and he can be contacted at u2cox@msn.com.

The drawing of “Who Were They?” is by Helen Werner Cox, who was trained as a classical painter at Boston University. She is nearing retirement as a nationally-certified library media teacher, who has made extensive use of art in her literacy programs.

“International terrorism does not exist”

Axis for Peace
“International terrorism does not exist”, General Ivashov:

by General Leonid Ivashov *

General Leonid Ivashov was the Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces when the September 11, 2001, attacks took place. This military man, who lived the events from the inside, offers an analysis which is very different to that of his American colleagues. As he did during the Axis for Peace 2005 conference, he now explains that international terrorism does not exist and that the September 11 attacks were the result of a set-up. What we are seeing is a manipulation by the big powers; this terrorism would not exist without them. He affirms that, instead of faking a “world war on terror”, the best way to reduce that kind of attacks is through respect for international law and peaceful cooperation among countries and their citizens.

As the current international situation shows, terrorism emerges where contradiction aggravate, where there is a change of social relations or a change of regime, where there is political, economic or social instability, where there is moral decadence, where cynicism and nihilism triumph, where vice is legalized and where crime spreads.

It is globalization what creates the conditions for the emergence of these extremely dangerous phenomena. It is in this context that the new world geo-strategic map is being designed, that the resources of the planet are being re-distributed, that borders are disappearing, that international law is being torn into pieces, that cultural identities are being erased, that spiritual life becomes impoverished…

The analysis of the essence of the globalization process, the military and political doctrines of the United States and other countries, shows that terrorism contributes to world dominance and the submissiveness of states to a global oligarchy. This means that terrorism is not something independent of world politics but simply an instrument, a means to install a unipolar world with one world headquarters, a pretext to erase national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite. It is precisely this elite that constitutes the key element of world terrorism, its ideologist and its ‘godfather’. The main target of the world elite is the historical, cultural, traditional and natural reality; the existing system of relations among states; the world national and state order of human civilization and national identity.

Today’s international terrorism is a phenomenon that combines the use of terror by state and non-state political structures as a means to attain their political objectives through people’s intimidation, psychological and social destabilization, the elimination of resistance inside power organizations and the creation of appropriate conditions for the manipulation of the countries’ policies and the behaviour of people.

Terrorism is the weapon used in a new type of war. At the same time, international terrorism, in complicity with the media, becomes the manager of global processes. It is precisely the symbiosis between media and terror, which allows modifying international politics and the exiting reality.

In this context, if we analyze what happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States, we can arrive at the following conclusions:

1) The organizers of those attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation. The political conception of this action matured when tensions emerged in the administration of financial and other types of resources. We have to look for reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of the big capital at global and trans-national levels, in the circles that were not satisfied with the rhythm of the globalization process or its direction. Unlike traditional wars, whose conception is determined by generals and politicians, the oligarchs and politicians submitted to the former were the ones who did it this time.

2) Only the secret services and their current chiefs – or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations – have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. Generally, secret services create, finance and control extremist organizations. Without the support of secret services, these organizations cannot exist – let alone carry out operations of such magnitude inside countries so well protected. Planning and carrying out an operation on this scale is extremely complex.

3) Osama bin Laden and “Al Qaeda” can neither be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks because they did not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders. Thus, a team of professionals had to be created and the Arab kamikazes were just the extras to mask the operation.

The September 11 operation modified the course of events in the world in the direction chosen by trans-national mafias and international oligarchs; that is, those who hope to control the planet’s natural resources, the world information network and the financial flows. This operation also favoured the US economic and political elite that also seek world dominance.

The use of the term “international terrorism” has the following goals:

· Hiding the real objectives of the forces deployed all over the world in the struggle for dominance and control;
· Turning the people’s demands to a struggle of undefined goals against an invisible enemy;
· Destroying basic international norms and changing concepts such as: aggression, state terror, dictatorship or movement of national liberation;

· Depriving peoples of their legitimate right to fight against aggressions and to reject the work of foreign intelligence services;
· Establishing the principle of renunciation to national interests, transforming objectives in the military field by giving priority to the war on terror, violating the logic of military alliances to the detriment of a joint defence and to favour the anti-terrorist coalition;
· Solving economic problems through a tough military rule using the war on terror as a pretext.

In order to fight in an efficient way against international terrorism it is necessary to take the following steps:

1. To confirm before the UN General Assembly the principles of the UN Charter and international law as principles that all states are obliged to respect;

2. To create a geo-strategic organization (perhaps inspired in the Cooperation Organization of Shanghai comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) with a set of values different to that of the Atlantists; to design a strategy of development of states, a system of international security, another financial and economic model (which would mean that the world would again rest on two pillars);

3. To associate (under the United Nations) the scientific elites in the design and promotion of the philosophical concepts of the Human Being of the 21st Century.

4. To organize the interaction of all religious denominations in the world, on behalf of the stability of humanity’s development, security and mutual support.

“Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to think, and this they consider freedom.” Oswald Spengler in ‘The Decline of the West’.

Grand plot against media? An analysis of Hamid Mir’s article – by Ali Munsif

Grand plot against media? An analysis of Hamid Mir’s article – by Ali Munsif

Hamid Mir in his article in The News titled “Grand Plot Against Media” published on 17th May, 2010 has pinpointed Asif Zardari and the Federal Government for having hatched a conspiracy to malign and blackmail the Pakistani media especially Jang Group. The article can be read onhttp://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=239716.

The journalists against which campaign is to be run as per Hamid Mir include “Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi, Dr Shahid Masood, Kamran Khan, Hamid Mir and some others”. Jang Group on the other hand is being targeted for sales tax evasions by Geo TV, Geo News and AAG TV.

It is hard to believe that only within a few months the Jang Group and its journalists are facing trouble for their deeds. It has been known for months that Jang Group has been forcing (read: blackmailing) government for the settlement of the Income Tax and Sales Tax claims mainly because of the restrictions they faced at the time for Emergency in November 2007. The figures that the government came out with on Friday in the National Assembly were for sales tax claims only and not of income tax. It is rumored that the income tax claims are almost double to the sales tax claims. In essence, the group owes the government to the tune of approximately Rs 5 billion. Readers must also realize that Sales Tax claims are on the revenue which the group makes which is from selling newspapers and advertising. The advertisers must be paying the sales tax in the invoice value which the Jang Group is not settling. In a way, what Jang Group must be doing is to be issuing sales tax challans to the advertisers but not submitting the sales tax with FBR. Isn’t that defrauding the state as well as their paying advertisers?

Coming to the journalists, whatever is happening to them is nothing but makafat-e-amal. Let’s see some recent happenings:

  1. Shaheen Sehbai and Shahid Masood have endlessly been giving dates for the government to go packing since August 2008. Shahid Masood has even stooped to ilm-e-nujoom to seek help for his predictions.
  2. Hamid Mir’s ties to intelligence apparatus have been known for long. The recent revelations related to Khalid Khawaja’s slaying have confirmed those ties. Hamid Mir has gone on to attack Governor Punjab and indirectly the President to be responsible for this campaign against him.
  3. Ansar Abbasi had a few months back made headlines for receiving death threats on SMS from Fauzia Wahab’s son. The story was blown out of proportion. It is only 5 months down the road that he has received a defamation notice from Fauzia Wahab for having made slanderous allegations in a live TV show that “Inn ka bus na chalay to humary gardan utar deyn“. Off course he is going to talk about context and all, however, he has forgotten that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at others.

I can see the Jang Group getting cornered. What they have assumed is that they are the “king-slayers” of Pakistan if not “king-makers”. They can write whatever they want, they can telecast anything and force public opinion against the government. They have a negative mindset which can be seen in their publications and telecast. The public and support base of the PPP can be expected to remain on the back foot for some time but not for entirety and they are now bouncing back.

Keep up the pressure PPP supporters.

Grand plot against media

Grand plot against media

By Hamid Mir

ISLAMABAD: Some elements in the federal government have hatched a grand conspiracy to malign and blackmail the Pakistani media and top of the list is the Jang Group of Newspapers and Geo TV. This grand conspiracy was noticed last Friday when a federal minister made allegations in the National Assembly and said that they have not paid huge amounts of sales tax. Most of the figures presented in the National Assembly were not correct.

The same afternoon, a top government minister told this scribe that “enough is enough” and now they can teach a lesson to Jang Group any time. He claimed that it was only President Asif Ali Zardari who never allowed any “action” against you people otherwise the action would have started long ago. The minister was angry with Ansar Abbasi and Dr Shahid Masood. He claimed that the government had collected a lot of material against these two. Another minister told this scribe the same evening that President Zardari had given a green signal to launch a campaign against some journalists of the Jang Group, including Shaheen Sehbai, Ansar Abbasi, Dr Shahid Masood, Kamran Khan, Hamid Mir and some others. He said that Dr Shahid might be implicated in some forgery case.

Another minister revealed that some people within the establishment suggested to the government to use the family of late Khalid Khawaja against Hamid Mir on the basis of a tape. A top official of the interior ministry rejected this idea and said that these types of concocted tapes cannot be proven in a court of law but the same night some pro-PPP websites launched a campaign against me. The next day, a section of the media belonging to a close friend of President Zardari published a one-sided story with baseless allegations. A newspaper and a TV channel tried to involve me in the murder of Khalid Khwaja.

I will take legal action against all those who started this campaign but one thing must be clear. It is a conspiracy not only against me. The ultimate goal is to silence the voice of Pakistani media on certain issues. Was it a coincidence that PPP Secretary Information Fauzia Wahab addressed a press conference on Saturday against Ansar Abbasi and the next day a full-fledged campaign was launched against me in a section of the media belonging to Governor Punjab?

Many observers have noticed the timing of the campaign against the media men. Khalid Khwaja was assassinated at least two weeks ago but no tape about his murder surfaced anywhere. Fauzia Wahab had exchanged hot words with Ansar Abbasi many times in different talk shows but she issued him a notice only when some important political and legal events are going to take place in coming few weeks. The main objective is very clear. The PPP leadership wants to give a message to the whole media that if they do not behave, then this government will treat them like Pervez Musharraf did.

For some time, the government has been taking many actions to financially damage the Geo-Jang Group because this Group has refused to toe the official line. Similar tactics were used by the previous regime of dictator Musharraf. The democratic government was supposed to tolerate press freedom but this could not happen.

Hamid Mir Tape Ticking Timebomb for Pakistan’s Alternative Media

[What is the truth about this illegally obtained recording of Hamid Mir's conversation with an alleged underling of Hakeemullah Mehsud?   It is fast becoming the breaking point for Pakistan's alternative media--it appears that it is time to point fingers and call everyone foul names.  Which Pakistani blogger or website is anti or pro government, pro Taliban, CIA, ISI RAW, Mossad, Qadiani, or just plain evil?   SEE: Transcript of Hamid Mir’s Conversation With Alleged TTP Lieutenant

Breaking the alternative media was the hidden objective.  It seems as though the kidnapping and murder of Khalid Khawaja, as well as the purloined tape of Hamid Mir, was part of a complex PSY-OP, intended to splinter anti-Imperialist resistance within Pakistan, to discredit the entire community--Before they can alert the Pakistani populace to the real impending danger that originates elsewhere. ]

Hamid Mir’s revelations about CIA agent Khalid Khawaja

Rupee News

Three Pakistanis were recently kidnapped ostensibly by the Asian Tigers–an offshoot of the TTP. Mr. Khalid Khawaja was killed and Colonel Imam and another person were released.

An audio tape implicating Mr. Hamid Mir has surfaced. According to an American magazine it supposedly implicates Mr. Mir in come conspiracy. However after listening to the tape a very different picture emerges.

Mr. Mir is apparently discussing the fate of Mr. Khalid Khawaja and why and how he has been harming the interests of Pakistan

  • Mr. Hamid Mir exposes Mansur Ejaz as a CIA agent. Mr. Mir claims that Mansur Ejaz stole father’s Pakistan’s Nuclear secrets. According to Mr. Hamid Mir Mansur Ejaz offered Benazir Bhutto a quid pro quo deal–if she recognized Israel all the debts of the country will be forgiven.
  • According to Mr. Hamid Mir Mr. Paracha a Pakistani was handed over to the US Under Secretary of State as an Al-Qaeda intermediary.
  • According to Mr. Hamid Mir Colonel Imam did not want to go with Khalid Khawaja but went along to help him

There is an article published in the an American Newspaper Opinion Maker. http://opinion-maker.org/2010/05/times-square-bombing-part-of-cia-false-flag-against-pakistan/

We published a version of the above report.

The recording is in the public domain now and can be listened to in Urdu.

http://download317.mediafire.com/gloc1ousrn3g/mm25oyymd4d/Call+recorded.amr

Hamid Mir’s tape makes the following assertions:

Khalid Khawaja is a CIA agent who was trying to infiltrate the Taliban and start direct negotiations with them. Colonel Imam went along with Kahlid Khawaja.

Mr. Hamid Mir asks the person on the other end of the call–what are Khalid Khawaja’s connections with Mansur Ejaz who is a CIA agent and whose father stole Pakistani Nuclear secrets and took them to America.

Abdul Rehman Kennedy’s son Karim was in CMH Rawalpindi. Kareem’s mother and Abdul Rehman al-Kennedy’s wife went to see an injured person in the hospital in Rawalpindi and was arrested because she had a camera and tried to force the person to confess to something. When she returned to Canada–she admitted that she had been working for the CIA.

Hamid Mir and Conspiracy Theorists By Abdullah Muntazir
Conspiracy theorists found another ‘evidence’ to play with. This time they got hold of an audio tape of Hamid Mir in which he is talking to a Taliban figure. Some websites say the person is No. 2 of Hakeemullah Mehsood and the others say he is a Punjabi Taliban of TTP. In the audio tape, Hamid Mir shares his background knowledge of Khalid Khawaja, who was murdered mysteriously two weeks ago. Conspiracy theorists are crying that Hamid Mir is a secret Taliban and he is anti-Pakistan. Moreover, some pro-Pakistan people allege that he instigated Taliban to kill Khalid Khawaja. They say that he has a role in his murder by providing negative information about Khalid Khawaja.

I listened the audio carefully but it proves patriotism of Hamid. He speaks against CIA and Qadyanis. He says that he has no problem if Taliban attack NATO supply. He speaks against Khalid Khawaja because of his disputed track- record. Khalid Khawaja was alive when Hamid Mir was accusing him. I do not think he ever thought that Taliban will kill him otherwise he would have never talked in this manner.

People who blame Hamid Mir forget this fact that he is not a preacher or lecture delivering personality. He is a journalist and he needs to keep in touch with everyone including Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Without building trust, he can never get insight of the ongoing situation of militancy. Due to his adventurous nature and personality, he endangered himself at many occasions. He got interview of Osama bin Laden and that was a ‘scoop’ in journalistic history of Pakistan. His fellow journalists in Pakistan could not swallow this fact that a ‘young guy’ can come on centre stage of the world with such a big ‘scoop’. Jealousy barred many intellectuals to accept this interview as a truth. They still claim that it was fake interview but Osama bin Laden or Al-Qaeda never denied the existence of this interview. If it was a fake interview then it was easy for Al-Qaeda to issue a statement but they did not do so. This interview brought two different things for Hamid Mir. At international level his profile jumped many folds while at domestic level he earned huge jealousy and opposition. Conspiracy theorists termed him a CIA agent who wanted to legitimize U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. These accusations still follow him.

Now once again he is facing the wrath of conspiracy theorists. They are searching his role in murder of Khalid Khawaja but forget that Khawaja was not kidnapped on his instructions. This audio too shows that the alleged Taliban figure is also not fully aware of whereabouts of Khalid Khawaja. He asks Hamid Mir about Khawaja. It is also not confirmed that TTP killed him. There was a perception that he was killed by Black Water. For me Hamid Mir was trying to dig out whether Khalid Khawaja was kidnapped by Taliban or not but the Taliban figure in the audio seems smart enough and he did not show any hint that KK was kidnapped by TTP.

Who killed Khalid Khawaja? Taliba, Black Water, CIA, or ISI? I cannot say anything for sure. There are probabilities and we can assign weights to each probability, which may lead us to a better conclusion. Moreover, this conclusion may help us to judge the accusations that Hamid Mir has a role in his murder.

Why Taliban should have killed him? For the revenge of Lal Masjid? Then why 3 years late. He was not living in a fortress. It was very easy to eliminate him two years ago. If Taliban killed him, they got nothing but fulfilled their revenge. Are they so simple people that they will kidnap him, make it a media event, and then suddenly kill him to earn bad reputation among Islamic circles?

Can ISI kill him? Was he working against interest of Pakistan? Was he an under-cover CIA agent? We have no proof but assume he was anti Pakistan then why it took ISI years to conclude he was an anti Pakistan agent who needs to be killed? What was the benefit of his killing to ISI at this particular moment? Was he involved in a big conspiracy? Or he indirectly helped ISI by filing a petition against extradition of Taliban commander Mullah Brother? It is believed that ISI do not want to hand Mullah Brother over to CIA. If it’s true then what they got by killing Khalid Khawaja?

Can Black Water, on the instructions of CIA, kill Khalid Khawaja? For me CIA is the biggest beneficiary of his murder. Within two weeks of his murder, the Lahore High Court has thrown away the petition, which meant to bar the government from extradition of Taliban Commanders. The judge said that the petitioner is no more alive and if anyone else is interested, he should file a fresh petition. Nevertheless, keeping in mind Khalid Khawaja’s fat no one so far has dared to file a new petition. Now CIA is in a position to press Pakistan to hand Mullah Brother over to Afghanistan or U.S.

People who blame Hamid Mir for his alleged role in the murder of Khalid Khawaja, in fact they are giving Black Water and CIA a clean chit in this case. The audio at no point prove that KK was in custody of TTP then how we can blame Hamid Mir for his role in the murder.

I personally know Hamid Mir for more than 13 years, met him several but, never find a hint of anti-Pakistan or anti-Army feelings in him. He is a liberal democrat and criticizes role of Army in politics and military operations inside Pakistan. He is not the only one who has ‘good’ relations with Pakistani Taliban. There may be people from government institutions- who need to keep an open eye on the movement- in touch with Taliban.

Someone says that by telling Taliban that more than 40 thousand troops are about to be sent to North Waziristan he committed treason because he disclosed military secret. It is a very funny allegation. Is it really a secret that Pakistan is engaged in a battle with Pakistani Taliban and currently it is under tremendous U.S. pressure to extend the operation to North Waziristan? If Hamid Mir speaks what is already in the media then how it will become treason?

Interestingly, some people blame that Hamid Mir is agent of CIA while the others claim that he is agent of ISI. Now people blame him for links with Taliban and Al-Qaeda. There are people who think TTP is run by RAW and indirectly they term him an agent of RAW. Is it possible that a person can be agent of all opposite forces? I found no logic behind these conspiracy theories. The fact is that he is a sharp and intelligent journalist. There are people who think he is a political activist but in my opinion he is a professional journalist not an agent of anyone.

Conspiracy theorists usually sit in their study room and cook ‘Khayali Palao’(cloud castles). They are very unaware of the delicacy and complications of field work. Hamid Mir did nothing wrong by establishing strong connections with militant groups. This is his real worth and strength but conspiracy theorists are trying to convert his strength into his weakness. I hope he will not come into this trap and keep his brilliant journalistic work on track. My final advice to him is that he needs to be careful while communicating on telephone. I wonder that in spite of having information that his phones are being taped by certain quarters he was so open in his talking with the alleged Taliban figure. He also needs to inquire whether Taliban leaked this audio or someone who taped it and then leaked it to the media.

All Kayani’s Men

“This leads to a whole set of interlocking questions: How far does the Pakistani high command continue to back certain militant groups? How far does the command of the ISI follow a strategy independent from that of the military? And how far have individual ISI officers escaped from the control of their superiors and supported and planned terrorist actions on their own? And this leads to the even-more-vital question of how far the Pakistani military is penetrated by Islamist extremist elements, and whether there is any possibility of these groups carrying out a successful military coup from below.”

All Kayani’s Men

by Anatol Lieven

VOLTAIRE REMARKED of Frederick the Great’s Prussia that “where .some states have an army, the Prussian Army has a state!” The same can easily be said of Pakistan. The destruction of the army would mean the destruction of the country. Yet this is something that the Pakistani Taliban and their allies can never achieve. Only the United States is capable of such a feat; if Washington ever takes actions that persuade ordinary Pakistani soldiers that their only honorable course is to fight America, even against the orders of their generals and against dreadful odds, the armed forces would crumble.

There is an understanding in Washington that while short-term calculations demand some kind of success in Afghanistan, in the longer run, Pakistan, with its vastly greater size, huge army, nuclear weapons and large diaspora, is a much more important country, and a much greater threat should it in fact succumb to its inner demons. The collapse of Pakistan would so vastly increase the power of Islamist extremism as to constitute a strategic defeat in the “war on terror.”

The Pakistani military is crucial to preventing such a disaster because it is the only state institution that works as it is officially meant to. This means, however, that it also repeatedly does something that it is not meant to—namely, overthrow what in Pakistan is called “democracy” and seize control of the government. The military has therefore been seen as extremely bad for Pakistan’s progress, at least if that progress is to be defined in standard Western terms.

Yet, it has also always been true that without a strong military, Pakistan would probably have long since disintegrated. That is truer than ever today, as the country faces the powerful insurgency of the Pakistani Taliban and their allies. That threat makes the unity and discipline of the army of paramount importance to Pakistan and the world—all the more so because the deep dislike of U.S. strategy among the vast majority of Pakistanis has made even the limited alliance between the Pakistani military and the United States extremely unpopular in general society and among many soldiers. Those soldiers’ superiors fully understand the importance of this alliance to Pakistan and the disastrous consequences for the country if it were to collapse.

The Pakistani army is a highly disciplined and professional institution, and the soldiers will continue to obey their generals’ orders. Given their basic feelings, however, it would be unwise to push the infantrymen too far. One way of doing this would be to further extend the U.S. drone campaign by expanding it from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to Baluchistan. Much more disastrous would be any resumption of U.S. ground raids into Pakistani territory, such as occurred briefly in the summer of 2008.

TO UNDERSTAND this somewhat-counterintuitive (at least to Western audiences) prescription, a close look inside the military is necessary. In essence, the armed forces’ success as an institution and its power over the country come from its immunity to kinship interests and the corruption they bring with them; but the military has only been able to achieve this immunity by turning into a sort of giant kinship group itself, extracting patronage from the state and distributing it to its members.

During my journeys to Pakistan over the years, I have observed how the Pakistani military, even more than most armed forces, sees itself as a breed apart, and devotes great effort to inculcating new recruits with the feeling that they belong to a military family different from (and vastly superior to) civilian society. The mainly middle-class composition of the officer corps increases contempt for the “feudal” political class. The army sees itself as both morally superior to this group and far more modern, progressive and better educated.

Pakistani politics is dominated by wealth and inherited status, whereas the officer corps has become increasingly egalitarian and provides opportunities for social mobility that the Pakistani economy cannot. As such, a position in the officer corps is immensely prized by the sons of shopkeepers and big farmers across Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). This allows the military to pick the very best recruits and increases their sense of belonging to an elite. In the last years of British rule, circa 1947, and the first years of Pakistan, most officers were recruited from the landed gentry and upper-middle classes. These are still represented by figures like former–Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Jehangir Karamat, who, perhaps most tellingly, is the former president of the Pakistan Polo Association; but a much more typical figure is the current COAS, General Ashfaq Kayani, the son of an NCO. This social change partly reflects the withdrawal of the upper-middle classes to more comfortable professions, but also the immense increase in the quantity of officers required in the military as a result of its vast expansion since independence.

A number of officers and members of military families have told me something to the effect that “the officers’ mess is the most democratic institution in Pakistan because its members are superior and junior during the day, but in the evening are comrades. That is something we have inherited from the British.”

This may seem like a ludicrous statement, until one remembers that in Pakistan, saying that something is the most spiritually democratic institution isn’t saying very much at all. Pakistani society is permeated by a culture of deference to superiors.

Islamabad’s dynastically ruled “democratic” political parties exemplify this subservience in the face of inheritance and wealth; while in the army, as an officer told me:

You rise on merit—well, mostly—not by inheritance, and you salute the military rank and not the sardar [tribal chieftain and great landowner] or pir [hereditary religious figure] who has inherited his position from his father, or the businessman’s money. These days, many of the generals are the sons of clerks and shopkeepers, or if they are from military families, they are the sons of havildars [NCOs]. It doesn’t matter. The point is that they are generals.

Meanwhile, the political parties continue to be dominated by “feudal” landowners and wealthy urban bosses, many of them not just corrupt but barely educated. This increases the sense of superiority in the officer corps has toward the politicians—something I have heard from many officers (and which was very marked in General Pervez Musharraf’s personal contempt for the late Benazir Bhutto and her husband, the current president).

This same disdain for the country’s civilian political leadership is widely present in Pakistani society as a whole, and has become dominant at regular intervals, leading to mass popular support for military coups. Indeed, it is sadly true that whatever the feelings of the population later, when each military coup initially occurred, it was popular with most Pakistanis—including the media—and was subsequently legitimized by the judiciary.

It is possible that developments since 2001 have changed this pattern, above all because of the new importance of the independent judiciary and media, and the way that the military’s role in both government and the unpopular war with the Pakistani Taliban has tarnished its image with many Pakistanis. However, it is not yet clear that such a sea change has definitively taken place. Whether or not it eventually does depends in large part on how Pakistani civilian governments perform in the future.

By the summer of 2009—only a year after the resignation of then-President Musharraf, who had seized power from the civilian government of Nawaz Sharif in 1999—many Pakistanis of my acquaintance, especially in the business classes, were once again calling for the military to step in and oust the civilian administration of President Asif Ali Zardari; not necessarily to take over themselves, but to purge the most corrupt politicians and create a government of national unity (or, at the very least, a caretaker administration of technocrats).

AS THE military has become more egalitarian, the less-secular have filled its ranks. This social change in the officer corps over the decades has caused many in the West to fear that the army is becoming “Islamized,” leading to the danger that the institution as a whole might support Islamist revolution, particularly as the civilian government falters. More dangerously, there might be a mutiny by Islamist junior officers against the high command. These dangers do exist, but in my view, the absolutely key point is that only a direct attack on Pakistan by the United States could bring them to fruition.

Westerners must realize that commitment to the army, and to martial unity and discipline, is drilled into every officer and soldier from the first hour of their joining the military. Together with the material rewards of loyal service, it constitutes a very powerful obstacle to any thought of a coup from below, which would by definition split the army and very likely destroy it altogether. Every military coup in Pakistan has therefore been carried out by the chief of army staff, backed by a consensus of the corps commanders and the rest of the high command. Islamist conspiracies by junior officers against their superiors (of which there have been two over the past generation) have been penetrated and smashed by Military Intelligence.

It is obviously true that as the officer corps becomes lower-middle class, so its members become less Westernized and more religious—after all, the vast majority of Pakistan’s population is conservative Muslim. However, it is made up of many different kinds of orthodox Muslim, and this is also true of the officer corps.

In the 1980s, then–President of Pakistan and Chief of Army Staff General Zia ul-Haq did undertake measures to make the army more Islamic, and subsequently, a good many officers who wanted a promotion adopted an Islamic facade. Zia also encouraged Islamic preaching within the army, notably by the Tablighi Jamaat, a nonviolent, nonpartisan but fundamentalist group dedicated to Islamic proselytizing and charity work. But, as the career of the notoriously secular General Musharraf indicates, this did not lead to known secular generals being blocked from promotion; and in the 1990s, especially under Musharraf, most of Zia’s measures were rolled back. In recent years, preaching by the Tablighi has been strongly discouraged, not so much because of political fears (the Tablighi is determinedly apolitical) as because of instinctive opposition to any groups that might encourage factions among officers and loyalties to anything other than the army.

Of course, the Pakistani military has always gone into battle with the cry of Allahu Akbar (God is Great)—just as the imperial-era German army inscribed Gott mit Uns (God with Us) on its helmets and standards; but according to Colonel Abdul Qayyum, a retired, moderate-Islamist officer:

You shouldn’t use bits of Islam to raise military discipline, morale and so on. I’m sorry to say that this is the way it has always been used in the Pakistani army. It is our equivalent of rum—the generals use it to get their men to launch suicidal attacks. But there is no such thing as a powerful jihadi group within the army. Of course, there are many devoutly Muslim officers and jawans [enlisted troops], but at heart the vast majority of the army are nationalists, and take whatever is useful from Islam to serve what they see as Pakistan’s interests. The Pakistani army has been a nationalist army with an Islamic look.

On the whole, by far the most important aspect of a Pakistani officer’s identity is that he (or sometimes she) is an officer. The Pakistani military is a profoundly shaping influence as far as its members are concerned. This can be seen, among other places, in the social origins and personal habits of its chiefs of staff and Pakistan’s military rulers over the years. It would be hard to find a more different set of men than generals Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia ul-Haq, Pervez Musharraf, Mirza Aslam Beg, Jehangir Karamat and Ashfaq Kayani in terms of their social origins, personal characters and attitudes toward religion; some were rich others poor, some secular others religious and some conspiratorial others loyal. Yet all have been first and foremost military men.

This means in turn that their ideology is largely one of nationalism. The military is tied to Pakistan, not to the universal Muslim ummah of the radical Islamists’ dreams; tied not only by sentiment and ideology but also by the reality of what supports the army. If it is true, as so many officers have told me, that “no army, no Pakistan,” it is equally true that “no Pakistan, no army.”

AMERICAN OPERATIONS in South Asia, however, are threatening to upset this fragile balance between Islam and nationalism in the Pakistani military. The army’s members can hardly avoid sharing the broader population’s bitter hostility to U.S. policy. To judge by retired and serving officers, this includes the genuine conviction that either the Bush administration or Israel was responsible for 9/11. Inevitably therefore, there was deep opposition throughout the army after 2001 to American pressure to crack down on the Afghan Taliban and their Pakistani sympathizers. “We are being ordered to launch a Pakistani civil war for the sake of America,” an officer told me in 2002. “Why on earth should we? Why should we commit suicide for you?”

Between 2004 and 2007, there were a number of instances of mass desertion and refusal to serve in units deployed to fight militants, though mostly in the Pashtun-recruited Frontier Corps rather than in the regular army. These failures were caused above all by the feeling that these forces were compelled to turn against their own. We must realize in these morally and psychologically testing circumstances, anything that helps maintain Pakistani military discipline cannot be altogether bad—given the immense scale of the stakes concerned, and the consequences if that discipline were to fail.

For in 2007–2008, the battle was beginning to cause serious problems of morale. The most dangerous single thing I heard during my visits to Pakistan in those years was that soldiers’ families in villages in the NWFP and the Potwar region of the Punjab were finding it increasingly difficult to find high-status brides for their sons serving in the military because of the growing popular feeling that “the army is the slave of the Americans” and “the soldiers are killing fellow Muslims on America’s orders.”

By late 2009, the sheer number of soldiers killed by the Pakistani Taliban and their allies, and still more importantly, the increasingly murderous and indiscriminate Pakistani Taliban attacks on civilians, seem to have produced a change of mood in the areas of military recruitment. Nonetheless, if the Pakistani Taliban are increasingly unpopular, that does not make the United States any more well liked; and if Washington ever put Pakistani soldiers in a position where they felt that honor and patriotism required them to fight America, many would be willing to do so.

And we have seen this willingness before. In August and September 2008, U.S. forces entered Pakistan’s tribal areas on two occasions in order to raid suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda bases. During the second incursion, Pakistani soldiers fired in the air to turn the Americans back. On September 19, 2008, General Kayani flew to meet U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, and, in the words of a senior Pakistani general, “gave him the toughest possible warning about what would happen if this were repeated.”

Pakistani officers from captain to lieutenant general have told me that the entry of U.S. ground forces into Pakistan in pursuit of the Taliban and al-Qaeda is an incredibly dangerous scenario, as it would put both Pakistan-U.S. relations and the unity of the army at risk. As one retired general explained, drone attacks on Pakistani territory, though humiliating for the ordinary officers and soldiers, are not the critical issue. What would create a military overthrow takes more:

U.S. ground forces inside Pakistan are a different matter, because the soldiers can do something about them. They can fight. And if they don’t fight, they will feel utterly humiliated, before their wives, mothers, children. It would be a matter of honor, which as you know is a tremendous thing in our society. These men have sworn an oath to defend Pakistani soil. So they would fight. And if the generals told them not to fight, many of them would mutiny, starting with the Frontier Corps.

At this point, not just Islamist radicals, but every malcontent in the country would join the mutineers, and the disintegration of Pakistan would become imminent.

THERE IS a further complication. Of course, the Pakistani military has played a part in encouraging Islamist insurgents. The army maintains links with military and jihadi groups focused on fighting India (its perennial obsession). Contrary to what many believe, the military’s support of these actors has not been based on ideology. The bulk of the high command (including General Musharraf, who is by no conceivable stretch of the imagination an Islamist) has used these groups in a purely instrumental way against New Delhi with Pakistani Muslim nationalism as the driver. But this doesn’t mean balancing these relationships with U.S. demands will be easy.

Since 2002, the military has acted to rein in these groups, while at the same time keeping some of them (notably Lashkar-e-Taiba, responsible for the 2008 terrorist attacks against Mumbai) on the shelf for possible future use against India should hostilities between the two countries resume. Undoubtedly, however, some lower-level officers of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), responsible for “handling” these groups, have developed close affinities for them and have contributed to their recent operations. The ISI’s long association with the militants, first in Afghanistan and then in Kashmir, had led some ISI officers to have a close personal identification with the forces that they were supposed to be controlling.

The high command, moreover, is genuinely concerned that if it attacks some of these groups, it will drive them into joining the Pakistani Taliban—as has already occurred with sections of the Jaish-e-Muhammad, suspected in the attempts to assassinate Musharraf in December 2003 (apparently with low-level help from within the armed forces).

This leads to a whole set of interlocking questions: How far does the Pakistani high command continue to back certain militant groups? How far does the command of the ISI follow a strategy independent from that of the military? And how far have individual ISI officers escaped from the control of their superiors and supported and planned terrorist actions on their own? And this leads to the even-more-vital question of how far the Pakistani military is penetrated by Islamist extremist elements, and whether there is any possibility of these groups carrying out a successful military coup from below.

Since this whole field is obviously kept very secret by the institutions concerned (including Military Intelligence, which monitors the political and ideological allegiances of officers), there are no definitive answers. What follows is informed guesswork based on numerous discussions with experts and off-the-record talks with Pakistani officers, including retired members of the ISI.

Concerning the ISI, the consensus of my informants is as follows: There is considerable resentment of the organization in the rest of the military due to its perceived arrogance and suspected corruption. However, when it comes to overall strategy, the ISI follows the line of the high command. It is, after all, always headed by a senior regular general, not a professional intelligence officer, and a majority of its officers are also seconded regulars. General Kayani was director of the ISI from 2004–2007 and ordered a limited crackdown on jihadi groups that the ISI had previously supported. As to the military’s attitude toward the Afghan Taliban, the army and the ISI are as one, and the evidence is unequivocal: both groups continue to give them shelter, and there is deep unwillingness to take serious action against them on America’s behalf, both because it is feared that this would increase the potential for a Pashtun insurgency in Pakistan and because they are seen as the only assets Pakistan possesses in Afghanistan. The conviction in the Pakistani security establishment is that the West will quit Kabul, leaving civil war behind, and that India will then throw its weight behind the non-Pashtun forces of the former Northern Alliance in order to encircle Pakistan strategically.

This attitude changes, however, when it comes to the Pakistani Taliban and their allies. The military as a whole and the ISI are now committed to the struggle against them, and by the end of 2009, the ISI had lost more than seventy of its officers in this fight—some ten times the number of CIA officers killed since 9/11, just as Pakistani military casualties fighting the Pakistani Taliban have greatly exceeded those of the United States in Afghanistan. Equally, however, in 2007–2008 there were a great many stories of ISI officers intervening to rescue individual Taliban commanders from arrest by the police or the army—too many, and too circumstantial, for these all to have been invented.

It seems clear, therefore, that whether because some ISI officers felt a personal commitment to these men, or because the institution as a whole still regarded them as potentially useful, actions were taking place that were against overall military policy—let alone that of the Pakistani government. As well, some of these Islamist insurgents had at least indirect links to al-Qaeda. This does not mean that the ISI knows where Osama bin Laden (if he is indeed still alive), Ayman al-Zawahri and other al-Qaeda leaders are hiding. But it does suggest that they could probably do a good deal more to find out.

However, for Islamist terrorists who wish to carry out attacks against India, ISI help is not necessary (though it has certainly occurred in the past). The discontent of sections of India’s Muslim minority (increased by ghastly incidents like the massacres of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, and encouraged by the Hindu nationalist state government) gives ample possibilities for recruitment; the sheer size of India, coupled with the incompetence of the Indian security forces, give ample targets of opportunity; and the desire to provoke an Indian attack on Pakistan gives ample motive. But whether or not the ISI is involved in future attacks, India will certainly blame Pakistan for them.

This creates the real possibility of a range of harsh Indian responses, stretching from economic pressure through blockade to outright war. Such a war would in the short term unite Pakistanis and greatly increase the morale of the army. The long-term consequences for Pakistan’s economic development would, however, be quite disastrous. And if the United States were perceived to back India in such a war, anti-American feelings and extremist recruitment in Pakistan would soar to new heights. All of this gives the United States every reason to push the Pakistani military to suppress some extremist groups and keep others on a very tight rein. But Washington also needs to press New Delhi to seek reconciliation with Islamabad over Kashmir, and to refrain from actions which will create even more fear of India in the Pakistani military.

IN THE end, Washington must walk a very fine line if it wants to keep the military united and at least onboard enough in the fight against extremists. If it pushes the army too far by moving ground troops into Pakistan proper, the consequences will be devastating. The military—and therefore the state of Pakistan—will be no longer.

Anatol Lieven, a senior editor at The National Interest, is a professor in the War Studies Department of King’s College London and a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. He is author of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2004). His next book,Pakistan: A Hard Country, is to be published in 2011.

Why Do the “Most Serious” Terrorist Threats Always Turn-Out To Be Dummies?

When the American people finally learn to look past the B.S., they will see the contradiction apparent in government claims that we are fighting a well-oiled extensive international network of super-terrorists, who choose to attack us with dumb asses, with "bombs" which have zero chance of detonating.]

Mueller on the Zazi Case: “This is It?”

John Mueller, Author of Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda, writes a guest op-ed for IC:

“Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,” notes the New York Times with considerable understatement, “senior government officials have announced dozens of terrorism cases that on close examination seemed to diminish as legitimate threats.

Terrorism analysts and officials triumphantly claimed that the case of Najibullah Zazi, arrested last September, is different. They call it the “most serious” terrorism plot uncovered in the United States since 2001 and one that elevates the domestic terrorism threat to a “new magnitude.” Bruce Riedel, an Obama terrorism adviser, proclaimed on the Lehrer NewsHour on October 16 that the plot was evidence that “al-Qaeda was trying to carry out another mass-casualty attack in the United States” like 9/11 and that the group continues to pose a threat to the country that is “existential.”

This, then, was the big one.

However, assuming all the information put out by the government about the Zazi plot is accurate, our existence is unlikely to be expunged anytime soon.

Recalls his step-uncle affectionately, Zazi is “a dumb kid, believe me.” A high school dropout, Zazi mostly worked as doughnut peddler in Lower Manhattan, barely making a living. Somewhere along the line, it is alleged, he took it into his head to set off a bomb and traveled to Pakistan where he received explosives training from al-Qaeda and copied nine pages of chemical bombmaking instructions onto his laptop. FBI Director Robert Mueller asserted in testimony on September 30 that this training gave Zazi the “capability” to set off a bomb.

That, however, seems to be a substantial overstatement–not unlike the Director’s 2003 testimony assuring us that, although his agency had yet to identify an al-Qaeda cell in the U.S., such unidentified entities nonetheless presented “the greatest threat,” had “developed a support infrastructure” in the country, and were able and intended to inflict “significant casualties in the US with little warning.”

An overstatement because, upon returning to the United States, Zazi allegedly spent the better part of a year trying to concoct the bomb he had supposedly learned how to make. In the process, he, or some confederates, purchased bomb materials using stolen credit cards, a bone-headed maneuver guaranteeing that red flags would go up about the sale and that surveillance videos in the stores would be maintained rather than routinely erased.

However, even with the material at hand, Zazi still apparently couldn’t figure it out, and he frantically contacted an unidentified person for help several times. Each of these communications was “more urgent in tone than the last,” according to court documents.

Clearly, if Zazi was able eventually to bring his alleged aspirations to fruition, he could have done some damage, though, given his capacities, the person most in existential danger was surely the lapsed doughnut peddler himself.

But if this is as “serious” as terrorism is likely to get in the United States, one might be led to wondering if our anxieties about terrorism–the key, or even sole, reason for extending the war in Afghanistan according to President Obama and his special envoy to the area, Richard Holbrooke–are not a bit overwrought.

In testimony in 2007, Director Mueller, who, despite his earlier bravado, has yet to uncover a true al-Qaeda sleeper cell, suggested that “We believe al-Qaeda is still seeking to infiltrate operatives into the U.S. from overseas.” But even that may not be true. Since 9/11, well over a billion foreigners have been admitted to the United States legally even as many others have entered illegally. Even if border security was so good that 90 percent of al-Qaeda’s operatives were turned away or deterred from trying to enter, some should have made it in–and some of those, it seems reasonable to suggest, would have been picked up by law enforcement by now.

It follows that any terrorism problem within the United States principally derives from homegrown people like Zazi, often isolated from each other, who fantasize about performing dire deeds. Penn State’s Michael Kenney has interviewed dozens of officials and intelligence agents and analyzed court documents, and finds homegrown Islamic militants to be operationally unsophisticated, short on know-how, prone to make mistakes, poor at planning, and severely hampered by a limited capacity to learn. Another study documents the difficulties of network coordination that continually threaten operational unity, trust, cohesion, and the ability to act collectively. And the popular notion these characters have the capacity to steal or put together an atomic bomb seems, to put it mildly, as fanciful as some of the terrorists’ schemes.

By contrast, the image projected by the Department of Homeland Security continues to be of an enemy that is “relentless, patient, opportunistic, and flexible,” shows “an understanding of the potential consequence of carefully planned attacks on economic transportation, and symbolic targets,” seriously threatens “national security,” and could inflict “mass casualties, weaken the economy, and damage public morale and confidence.” That description may fit some terrorists–the 9/11 hijackers among them. But not the vast majority, including the hapless Zazi.

Author Bio

John Mueller, author of Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda, which has just been published by Oxford University Press, is professor of political science at Ohio State University. His previous books include Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats and Why We Believe ThemThe Remnants of WarRetreat from DoomsdayAstaire Dancing, and War, Presidents and Public Opinion.

Strategy shift in the Middle East

Strategy shift in the Middle East

by Thierry Meyssan*

The failure to reshape the Greater Middle East has left the field open to a new alliance, the Tehran-Damascus-Ankara triangle. Since nature is allergic to vacuums, Moscow is filling the space left vacant by Washington. The wind has changed and it’s blowing strong. In a matter of a few months, the entire regional balance of power has tipped.

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The new formula for the Middle East: the Turkey-Iran-Syria triangle (L to R, Presidents Gül, Ahmadinejad and Assad).

In recent months the equilibrium of the Middle East has undergone a complete shift. First of all, the capabilities and positions of a number of players have changed.

- The Israeli armed forces, who had gone from one victory to another for decades, are no longer able to control the ground. During their offensive against Lebanon (2006) and against Gaza (2008), they displayed an increase of destructive power, but showed they are not longer capable of achieving their goals, in this case the destruction of Hezbollah and Hamas. In addition, their arsenal, equipped as required by the United States, no longer guarantees their domination. Their tanks have become vulnerable to Russian RPG, when they used to constitute the major component of their blitzkrieg. Their navy is threatened by the land-sea missiles supplied to Hezbollah by China, which are now equipped with an anti-jamming system that they lacked in 2006. Finally, their air dominance will not resist for long to the proliferation of Russian S-300, currently being shipped to the region.

- The quasi-independence of Iraqi Kurdistan engineered by the United States, the economic development of this quasi-state under Israeli control plus Washington’s blatant support of the separatist Kurds under the PKK umbrella, compelled the Turkish military to a complete turnaround. The Atlantic Alliance is no longer a warrant for Turkish territorial integrity and Israel becomes an enemy. While Ankara is careful to placate Washington, the tone with Tel Aviv has continued to escalate since the altercation between Recip Erdogan and Shimon Peres at the Forum in Davos, and the diplomatic incident linked to the Turkish television series The Valley of the Wolves.

- The Iraqi chaos and the creation of a quasi-state in Kurdistan have forced neighbouring states to work together to avert a spillover effect, especially since Washington has already attempted to destabilize them all to keep them out of the Iraqi game. Thus the United States and Israel covertly supported Kurdish separatists in Turkey (PKK), those in Iran (Pejak) and those in Syria. As a result, the Iran-Syria axis has been replaced by the Iran-Syria-Turkey triangle. This new alliance enjoys a historical legitimacy without parallel. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has been the leader of the Shiites. After Paul Bremmer’s destruction of the Iraqi Baath party, Syria stepped in as the undisputed leader of the secular camp. Finally, Turkey, heir to the Ottoman Caliphate, is the cradle of Sunni Islam. Taken together, these states cover nearly the entire field of Middle Eastern politics. This alliance has dropped the curtain on the Divide et Impera (divide and rule) policy, successfully applied by the colonial powers to dominate this vast region. In particular, it puts an end to the Fitna, that is to say the Islamic “civil war” between Sunnis and Shiites. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has already invited Iranian President Ahmadinejad to join him in a pilgrimage to Mecca, of which he is the custodian. As the heir of the Ottomans, Turkey embodies the historical legacy of Sunni Islam. In addition, the new triangle widens Ankara’s horizons constantly clogged by the endless procrastinations of the European Union.

- The “de-Baathisation” process of Iraq, i.e. the hunting season against the former executive officers of the country, has caused a mass exodus. In six years, more than one million Iraqis have been welcomed to Syria. Such Arab hospitality includes totally free admission to schools and universities as well as access to the overall health system. Initially, this vast immigration wave caused a serious economic crisis, but once digested, it has provided Syria with highly qualified executives and has injected a new dynamism.

- The turmoil organized by the United States in Yemen forced the Saudi royal family to support King Abdhallah’s policy of appeasement towards Syria and Iran. Consequently, the Hariri Lebanese-Saudi clan was asked to reconcile with President Bashar al-Assad and to recognize the legitimacy of the armed Lebanese Resistance. Suddenly, the ambivalent results of the rigged 2009 parliamentary elections – where General Aoun and Hezbollah won by a majority of votes, but where a majority of seats was obtained by the coalition formed around the pro-American clan Hariri and the extreme Christian right – took on a different meaning, opening the way for a government of national unity. While the warlords like socialist Walid Jumblatt made a 180 ° turn in order to go with the tide.

However, this trend remains fragile since Washington may still have the possibility to destabilize the new troika. Be that as it may, several attempts by corrupt Syrian generals to overthrow Bashar al-Assad were foiled even before they could act. The multiple attacks orchestrated by the CIA in the non-Persian provinces of Iran failed to trigger separatist revolts. While the colour revolution, organized by the CIA and MI6 during the presidential election, was been drowned out by a human tidal wave. To the tens of thousands of protesters in the northern neighbourhoods of Tehran, the rest of the country responded with a massive demonstration of 5 million people. Finally, it appears that Washington is incapable of resorting again to Gladio to establish a military dictatorship in Turkey. On the one hand because the new generation of Turkish generals no longer buttressed to Kemalism and secondly because the AKP Muslim-Democratic is intent on dismantling Ergenekon (current version Turkish Gladio).

Washington and Tel Aviv could also fabricate fraudulent files to justify military action. Thus, since 2007, they have been alleging that Israel discovered and bombed a military nuclear research center in Syria and that Iran is developing a vast programe of a similar nature. More recently, the same powers have accused Syria of having introduced Scuds into Lebanon. However, these accusations do not stand up to analysis any more than those formulated by Secretary of State Colin Powell before the United Nations Security Council United Nations regarding Iraqi’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction. The numerous IAEA inspection teams that visited Iran only found evidence of civilian activities, and the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon have denied the presence of Scuds in the country.

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On 23 February 2010, Bashar al-Assad responds to Hillary Clinton’s injunctions and defies Barack Obama by receiving Hassan Nasrallah and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
© Tehran Times

Russian makes its entrance

The loss of U.S. influence is so palpable that General David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. Central Command, has set off alarm bells in Washington. In his view, the game played by the Israelis not only in Palestine, but especially in Iraq, has thwarted U.S. plans in the region. Moreover, the stagnation of the GIs situation in Iraq and Afghanistan has made them hostages to Turkey, Syria and Iran, the only ones able to pacify the rebellious populations. In a complete reversal of roles, the strategic ally of the Pentagon has become a burden, while its regional enemies are now its shields.

Noting the failure of U.S. plans to reshape U.S. Greater Middle East, Moscow has repositioned itself on the regional scene on the occasion of President Dmitry Medvedev’s visits to Damascus and Ankara.

With regard to Israel, Russia reaffirmed that the political settlement of the conflict should be based on the relevant UN resolutions (including the inalienable right of return for Palestinians) and the principles of the Madrid conference (return of the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, in exchange for a peace treaty). Moreover, Dmitry Medvedev confirmed his country’s preference for the two-state solution. Given the presence of one million ex-Soviets in Israel, Moscow wants to forestall a foreseeable exodus in case the Zionist regime should fall. In this context, he advocated for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, and met Khaled Mechaal, the political leader of the Palestinian resistance, notwithstanding Washington’s stigmatisation of Hamas as a “terrorist” organisation. This represents a decisive step for Russia: President Medevedev had refused three times to receive Mechaal when he passed through Moscow; this time he had an interview with him and, what is more, in Damascus. On this occasion, the Russian president stressed the increasing urgency of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and deplored Washington’s lack of interest in solving this tragedy. Finally, alluding to Israeli threats to bomb the convoys of weapons from Syria to Lebanon, he warned Tel Aviv against an escalation of tension.

Russia supports the political and economic rapprochement in progress between Iran, Syria and Turkey. The three leading States in the Middle East have entered a phase of intense cooperation. In a matter of months, they have opened their borders and liberalised their trade at an accelerated pace. Their economies which were paralised by years of war have suddenly been energised. Russia has no intention of staying out of this new area of prosperity. Immediately, Ankara and Moscow have brought up the need for visas for their citizens. In this way, a Turk can enter Russia without any formalities while he cannot do the same in the United States nor the EU, despite the fact that Turkey is a NATO member and a EU candidate.

Moscow has set up permanent consultative bodies at high diplomatic and economic levels with Damascus and Ankara, in contrast with the policy of the United States. Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered Syria to distance itself from the Resistance. In response, President Bashar al-Assad immediately appeared alongside his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and ironically signed a document titled “Treaty of reduced distance”. The meeting was convened short notice and Khaled Mechaal could not attend, but Hamas was nevertheless involved in the process. Following up on his threats, President Barack Obama has renewed economic sanctions against Syria for another two years.

Rosatom and Atomstroyexport, which are completing the construction of a civilian nuclear plant in Iran (Bushehr) and are contemplating new ones, will build another one in Turkey for 20 billion dollars. It should be launched in seven years. A similar project is under study in Syria. The lack of electricity in a region that withstood Israeli bombardments is the main obstacle to economic development. From a Middle Eastern point of view, Russia’s eagerness to build these power stations stems less from a commercial appetite than from a desire to provide the populations concerned with the means to accelerate the economic development that Westerners have denied them for so long. In addition Stroitransgaz and Gazprom will ensure the transit of Syrian gas to Lebanon, Beirut being prevented by its Israeli neighbour from exploiting its large reserves offshore.

Militarily, Russia has taken delivery of its new naval base in Syria. This will allow it to restore the balance in the Mediterranean from which Russia has been more or less absent since the dissolution of the USSR. It also confirmed the forthcoming delivery of S-300 missiles to Tehran to protect Iran from U.S. and Israeli threats of bombardment.

While condemning Iran’s provocations, Russian diplomats have reiterated that they do not believe in Western accusations about Iran’s and Syria’s alleged nuclear weapons programme. While the protocol among the states bordering the Caspian Sea only provides for a supply of arms to Iran in case of attack, President Dmitry Medvedev spoke of a possible direct involvement of Russia and warned the United States against a war in Iran that could degenerate into a Third World War. On this basis, he endorsed the denuclearization plan of the region, that is to say the dismantling of the Israeli nuclear arsenal. The case has recently been brought before the IAEA.

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In October 2009, Turkey and Armenia establish – at last – diplomatic relations. The Caucasian space has opened for Ankara (from left to right the Turkish and Armenian Presidents, Gul and Sargsyan).

Russia attaches special importance to helping Turkey resolve its ancient disputes with Greece and Armenia, including the Cyprus and Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts. Thus, Ankara could move away permanently from Tel Aviv and Washington and recover its full independence. Important, albeit insufficient, steps have been made by President Abdullah Gül vis-à-vis Yerevan. Ignoring 95 years of hatred, Turkey and Armenia established diplomatic relations. Further progress should follow vis-à-vis Athens with the blessing of the Orthodox Patriarch Cyril I of Moscow. From this point of view, Recip Erdogan’s visit to Greece marks a historical event that boosts the process of reconciliation in the Aegean Sea, which began in the 30s and was interrupted by the Second World War.

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The presidents of Russia, Turkey, Dmitry Medvedev and Abdullah Gul. The Cold War enemies close ranks to stabilize “the Middle East and the Caucasus.”

Disrupting U.S. strategy in the Black Sea and the Caspian, Ankara accepted a huge Russian investment to build a pipeline between Samsun to Ceyhan. It is expected to carry Russian oil from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean without having to use the straits, unfit for the transit of pollutants. Identically, Ankara is considering its possible involvement in the Russian South Stream gas pipeline project. If it were to be confirmed, it would render ineffectual the competing Nabucco project sponsored by the United States and the European Union.

Ultimately, Russia’s support ensures the sustainability of the Tehran-Damascus-Ankara triangle in the face of U.S. and European hostility. The strategic balance in the Middle East has tipped. The shockwave could spread to the Caucasus.

 Thierry Meyssan
French political analyst, founder and chairman of theVoltaire Networkand the Axis for Peace conference. He publishes columns dealing with international relations in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. Last books published in English :9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

Transcript of Hamid Mir’s Conversation With Alleged TTP Lieutenant

[SEE: Secret audio tape of Hamid Mir’s conversation with Mehsud Lieutenent–Part I ; Part II ]

Transcript of Hamid Mir’s conversation

Hamid Mir: Many bombings are being carried out.

Unidentified man: Let’s see. There will be more of them. There are some in the pipeline. What do they (government) say about the operation in Orakzai? Will they stop it or not?

HM: No, they say it would not be stopped, rather they say they will also start an operation in North Waziristan and 40,000 troops will leave in a couple of days.

UM: In North Waziristan?

HM: Yes.

UM: Do you have any report on Khalid Khawaja etc.

HM: They say Khalid Khawaja Saab is in custody of one Azam Afridi in Darrakhel.

UM: Yes, yes Tariq Afridi (correcting HM).

HM: They are in Tariq Afridi’s custody.

UM: OK.

HM: Yes.

UM: So, are they men of the government or ISI?

HM: Who?

UM: These, Khalid Khawaja and Colonel Imam.

HM: Khalid Khawaja, according to my opinion, is not an ISI man, rather he is a CIA agent, an American CIA agent and he has links with the Taliban leadership.

UM: Yes, he met with Hakimullah and others when he came here last time.

HM: I personally know that Khalid Khawaja has links not only with CIA but he is also a front man of Mansoor Ijaz who belongs to a very big international network of Qadiyanis. Once he came to me along with Mansoor, who had a briefcase with him, and Khalid Saab told me that Mansoor is a key representative of the US government, so arrange his meeting with Syed Salahuddin, who is a mujahideen leader, and he along with him would resolve the Kashmir issue.

UM: All right.

HM: But I asked him what charm or magic lamp does he posses for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He said he had links with the Indian government and (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee Jee, which surprised me. I didn’t arrange the meeting, but I asked Mr Salahuddin who said Khalid Khawaja is sending messages that you should directly talk to India and the US on the issue and exclude Pakistan from it.

UM: All right, all right.

HM: After that, Mansoor Ijaz also asked me: Are you with us or not? I said, “I am not with you.” Then he conspired against me and got me sacked from the Daily Ausaf when I was its editor. So, I think Khalid Khawaja not only has links with the CIA but he is also an agent of the Qadiyanis, and I am very sad that he used to go to the Tribal Areas and meet leaders there.

UM: But now, I think, the Taliban have caught him and have demanded $10 million for the journalist.

HM: Do you know what part his (Khalid Khawaja’s) wife played in Lal Masjid?

UM: No, but it was something negative.

HM: It was that Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi Saab – may Allah bless him with a place in heavens. What he told me in his last days was, do you know that he did not completely agree with Maulana Aziz.

UM: Yes, yes.

HM: Mr Abdul Rashid Ghazi wanted to save the students inside the mosque and for that he showed flexibility and said, “I am ready to surrender on the condition that those who are with me will not be arrested and will be released.” But Khalid Khawaja’s wife was pressurised so much by Ume Hassaan that Maulana Abdul Aziz, without asking his brother, came out in a burqa, and Khalid Khawaja was involved in it (call disconnected).

UM: Assalam-o-Alaikum!

HM: Yes,

UM: The call got disconnected.

HM: Ok.

UM: So, what were you saying about his wife?

HM: Yes, I was telling you that his wife pressurised him so much that Ghazi Saab said, “She says we have to fight, just fight for martyrdom.” After that Mr Khalid Khawaja came out of the mosque and his wife also fled, Khalid Khawaja’s wife.

UM: Yes, we heard that she had fled after that.

HM: Yes, she ran away and then Maulana Abdul Aziz also came out in the burqa.

UM: I think, he insisted for that.

HM: Yes, he had done all this. After that Maulana Abdul Aziz was arrested and Mr Abdul Rashid Ghazi telephoned me and said, “Now, I don’t have any option. Now, my family and ulema have been defamed as my brother was arrested in a burqa and presented on Pakistan Television. This is a large stain which can only be removed with my blood.” So, he lived up to his words and sacrificed. So, Khalid Khawaja and his wife, anyone may know or not, they will have to answer before Allah Almighty.

UM: He, recently, came here and met my companions. He was saying, “You can work in Pakistan as we say, if you want to. I can arrange your ‘setting’ with an admiral in Mianwali. So, you should not burn US containers in Pakistan, you can rob them and sell them to a person recommended by us.” He was saying, “We would provide you everything for carrying out activities in Pakistan.”

HM: Do whatever you want to with the containers, burn them or rob them, I have nothing to do with it. But ask him what relationship he has with Mansoor Ijaz and William Casey? William Casey was the chief of CIA.

UM: Right, right.

HM: He (Khawaja) himself has confessed in front me that he had links with William Casey. Ok! Leave William, ask him about the Qadiyanis, because I personally believe that Qadiyanis are worse than infidels, what kind of links does he have with Qadiyanis? What relationship does he have with Mansoor Ijaz? Why does he use his money? Why does he go everywhere with him when he comes to Pakistan? Why does he bring him to the mujahideen?

UM: Yes, he has a son in al Qaeda.

HM: Yes, his son would also be a spy like him.

UM: Yes, I talked to the shaikhs about him. They said they were keeping him on the sidelines.

HM: His biggest betrayal to me was that there was a mujahid, Abdul Rehman Al Canady.

UM: Yes, there was one Canady.

HM: He was martyred in North Waziristan. He came to me with Canady’s wife and a daughter, saying Canady’s son, Karim, is at Rawalpindi’s CMH and is injured and the army had arrested him. He asked me to arrange a meeting between the injured and his mother. I said this is very difficult for me and I can’t do this because already they are all against me. But, he said all that you need to do is to arrange a meeting between a mother and her son. So, I arranged it with a lot of difficulties and sent the woman to Rawalpindi CMH, but when she reached there she took a camera out of her burqa and asked her son to record a message that he is innocent, has no links with anyone and has been kept here illegally. She was arrested there because a nurse saw her and seized the camera from her. But I was held responsible for all of it as they told me that I had sent this woman. It was revealed after her arrest that the woman had a Canadian passport and had visited Canada two months ago. After that I faced a lot of difficulties. The Canadian government released the woman and her daughter and then she went back to Canada. In Toronto, she held a press conference and admitted that she worked for the CIA. Now Khalid Khawaja has a long beard and his wife wears a full veil so people like us, who are involved in worldly affairs and have committed sins, believe that if we will help them, we might be forgotten for our sins. When these kinds of people betray us, we lose confidence on the religion itself.

UM: Absolutely, neither we are wrong nor is the army, but people like him have created the difficulties.

HM: However, if he is somewhere, ask him at least that you used the name of Abdul Rehman Canady, you worked with Mansoor Ijaz, you have worked William Casey. And there is one Javaid Ibrahim Piracha, who has a very big seminary in Kohat.

UM: Yes, yes.

HM: You all know the services of Piracha Saab. So, he fraudulently invited Piracha Saab in Islamabad and told him he wanted to arrange his meeting with a prominent personality. He took him to the US deputy foreign minister at Serena Hotel and said, “He is Mr Piracha and he can arrange your talks with the al Qaeda and Taliban.” Piracha Saab is a well-educated person. I observed that he was betrayed and came out of the room and escaped from there. Then he called me and said, “You were right about him (Khalid Khawaja).”

UM: Right, right. He went to him last time.

HM: Yes, Piracha Saab told me about that. He said, “He came to me and Col Imam was also here and told Col Imam that don’t go anywhere with this guy.” He (Piracha) said, “What can I do if he comes here and I can’t force him out of my house, but you don’t go anywhere with him.” Mr Piracha said Col Imam didn’t want to go with Khalid Khawaja, but he forced him to go with him.

UM: Right, maybe to use as human shield. But Shah Abdul Aziz, that MNA of Kirk, is supporting him a lot. He was meeting everyone here and asking for his release.

HM: He would have fooled Shah Abdul Aziz.

UM: Yes, he was asking people to release him and said you may keep the journalist, whose ransom will be paid to you by him.

HM: Ok! His release depends on them who have kept him, but convey them these three questions that what is your link with Mansoor Ijaz, whose father fled with the atomic secrets of Pakistan. Mansoor Ijaz’s father was an atomic scientist and he fled to the US with the atomic secrets of Pakistan. Once he (Ijaz) offered Benazir Bhutto a quid pro quo deal in 1995 that all the debts of the country will be forgiven, if she recognised Israel. That means he was also an agent of Israel.

UM: Yes, he used to ask my companions to work in Pakistan “as we say”. Actually, the killings of brigadiers in Rawalpindi might have been arranged by him, I think.

HM: It might be possible, but I have been watching this guy for the last 13 or 14 years and he is a suspected man.

UM: OK. Inshallah, I will meet Hakimullah in two or three days and talk to him about all this.

HM: All right

UM: Thank you so much.

HM: Assalam-o-Alaikum!

UM: Assalam-o-Alaikum!

Musharraf’s Balochistan operation was a “mistake”

Musharraf’s Balochistan operation was a “mistake”

By Asim Awan

ISLAMABADFormer chief of the army staff General Abdul Waheed Kakar has said that the killing of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti in a military operation in August 2006 was “a crime against Pakistan.”

General Kakar, a Pashtun from Balochistan, served as army chief from 1993 to 1996. In his first public appearance since retirement in 1996, Kakar spoke at a seminar on Balochistan held here on Saturday. General Kakar said Musharraf “committed a big mistake” by launching a military operation in Balochistan. Terming Nawab Akbar Bugti “a symbol of the federation” he said when he met Nawab Bugti he found that not only the Baloch leader had great respect for the Pakistan army but he also considered it a unifying factor for the federation.

He said killing Nawab Bugti was not only a crime against Balochistan but it was also a crime against Pakistan. Kakar said that the killing should be investigated and those held responsible should be tried. He said what the state has done to the people of Balochistan is totally unjustified. The seminar on “Friends of the Baloch and Balochistan” was organised and funded by former speaker National Assembly Syed Fakhar Imam and former Ambassador to the US Syeda Abida Hussain.

They were also joined in their effort by two prominent Baloch political figures Amanullah Gichki and Fazila Aliyani. A number of retired bureaucrats, generals, and activists addressed the seminar. Former ambassador Jahangir Ashraf Qazi commented that the state of Pakistan has waged five wars against Balochistan since 1948. He said alienation is a “poison to national identity” and called for addressing the problems of the restive province.

Former secretary foreign affairs Tanvir Ahmed Khan said if there is no Balochistan then there is no Pakistan. He said the people who live on the eastern side of the river Indus have a poor understanding of the people living on the west of the Indus. But the ex-bureaucrat’s optimism was not shared by young Baloch nationalist activists. A leader of the Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) Aleem Baloch said that the people of Balochistan were never involved with the struggle for Pakistan. He said Balochistan was annexed into Pakistan through force. He said the Baloch could not sacrifice their 8,000-year history for the 62-year history of Pakistan.

He said the Baloch have been deprived of their rights and their natural resources. Those who speak for their rights either get killed or abducted and disappear forever. Another BSO leader, Muhiuddin Baloch said that the Pakistani military, the media, parliament and judiciary have no concern for the plight of Balochistan. A former speaker of the Balochistan Assembly called for a new social contract between the centre and the province. Lieutenant General (retired) Salahuddin Tirmizi said that in other countries the intelligence agencies collect information and the governments make decisions. “But here the intelligence agencies make decisions”.

Fakhar Imam, who presided over the seminar, said it was unfortunate that democracy had not been allowed to truly function in Pakistan. He said the problems of the country could only be solved through an uninterrupted process of democracy with free and fair elections.

Published in the Express Tribune, May  16th,  2010.