|Occupied Balochistan: A spokesperson of BLA (Baloch Liberation Army) has informed news agencies that fighters from his Organisation have attacked Pakistani security forces in Marwaar and Peer Smail areas of Balochistan and claimed to have killed four FC soldiers while scores have been wounded.
Talking to media sources from an unknown location Meerak Baloch said on Thursday that these convoys have been carrying out offensive operations against innocent civilians and other barbaric actions. He said several people have been arrested and peoples’ houses have been set on fire. According Mr Baloch the Pakistani security forces also snatched several sheep, coats and cattle from local nomads.
He said that the occupying forces had been engaging in barbaric acts from past one and a half month but from past three days they have accelerated their heinous crimes. Meerak Baloch have also invited the journalists and media representatives to go and visit the area, only few kilometres from Quetta, to witness the army’s barbarism, inhuman acts and atrocities against Baloch people.
Source: BUC (Baloch Unity Conference weblog)
[We must learn from our government's "cry wolf" foreign policy, that whomever they are screaming the loudest against is the greatest "straw man," an individual put into power to be taken-down at some later point. When they were useful to Imperial planners, people like the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, even the Taliban received various forms of covert Western support, even though America's secret agencies always planned to take them all down in violent confrontations after their useful status changed. The best way to lay out elements of future scenarios of planned violence is to support those "rogue" elements in their early stages. Khoemeini was the first change agent used to introduce the radical "Islamist" ideologies to the Muslim masses, although he only preached to the minority Shiites of the Persian Arabs. The lack of a central authority within the much larger Sunni masses turned their radicalization program there into a longer process that is ongoing still. Much of the evidence given by Aangirfan below is correct, but the same plot could be recounted in a hundred instances throughout the Sunni dispensation. The CIA has had to create charismatic Sunni leaders of a dozen different nationalities, then equip them with an army of specially groomed true believers. The Saudis and their Persian Gulf buddies made all of this possible with generous donations and radical Islamist evangelization programs to spread the Wahabbi doctrine throughout Asia and Africa. The scale of this long-running deception is nearly unimaginable, no doubt justifying the enormity of the CIA budget and staff size. Today, both pawn-states in the CIA scheme, Iran and Saudi Arabia, are threatening to introduce a new form of regional religious civil war to the Middle East. All that is missing is the American "green-light."
The Islamist psyop goes all the way back to government studies made to predict the future in the sixties and seventies; the army of Islamists were the solution to Americans losing control of the world. They knew that the Soviet Union would soon self-destruct, leaving a great void, to be filled--by what? Violent Muslim anarchists. Since the area projected to become a power vacuum was predominately Muslim space, then the change agents would have to be "Islamist" ones, although Islamist in name only. They would have to promote violence in the name of The Prophet (PBUH), even though True Islam is a religion of Peace (despite its early bloody Arabian history). The weaponization of Islam by the CIA mind-fuckers in Western Pakistan and in Eastern Afghanistan is a true crime against a whole religion, an entire people, against humanity itself. This is perhaps the greatest crime of the dark agency, if only because of the scale of the endeavor.]
On 3 November 2011, Saman Mohammadi, at The Excavator,points out that:The British and U.S. governments put Khomeini into power in Iran in 1979
From this we learn:
1. The CIA and its friends toppled both Gaddafi and the Shah.
In each case the West trained the Islamic extremists and then put them into power.
Historian F William Engdahl says that the Arab Spring is a creation of the U.S. State Department.
U.S. policy consists of provoking revolutions, stirring up troubles, and overthrowing governments.
(The Greeks might agree with that.)
The Shah told David Frost:
“Do you think that Mr. Khomeini, an uneducated person … could have planned all this, masterminded all this, set up all the organizations…
“I know that a tremendous amount of money was spent…
“I know that top experts in propaganda were used to show us like tyrants and monsters, and the other side as democratic, liberal revolutionaries who wanted to save the country.
“I know how mean the BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation, had been towards us… So it seemed that it was really a very well orchestrated conspiracy.”
3. The BBC promoted Khomeini, according to Dr. Ronen Bergman, an Israeli investigative journalist and author of the 2008 book, ‘The Secret War with Iran’.
A “propaganda tool for Khomeini was none other than the Persian-language broadcasts of the British Broadcasting Corporation,” wrote Bergman.
“The BBC gave free hours of free broadcast to Khomeini from Paris,” said Bergman.
4. Historian F. William Engdahl, in his 2004 book A Century Of War : Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, wrote:
“In November 1978, President Carter named the Bilderberg group’s George Ball, another member of the Trilateral Commission, to head a special White House Iran task force under the National Security Council’s Brzezinski.
“Ball recommended that Washington drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the fundamentalistic Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini.
“Their scheme was based on a detailed study of the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism, as presented by British Islamic expert, Dr. Bernard Lewis, then on assignment at Princeton University in the United States.
“Lewis’s scheme, which was unveiled at the May 1979 Bilderberg meeting in Austria, endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines.
“Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth.
“The chaos would spread in what he termed an ‘Arc of Crisis,’ which would spill over into Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.
“During 1978, negotiations were under way between the Shah’s government and British Petroleum for renewal of the 25-year old extraction agreement.
“By October 1978, the talks had collapsed over a British ‘offer’ which demanded exclusive rights to Iran’s future oil output, while refusing to guarantee purchase of the oil.
“With their dependence on British-controlled export apparently at an end, Iran appeared on the verge of independence in its oil sales policy for the first time since 1953, with eager prospective buyers in Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere.”
5. In his 1981 book, Hostage to Khomeini, journalist Robert Dreyfuss wrote:
“The mullahs did not come to rule in Iran on the basis of their own power; they were placed in power by men more evil than they – who would use the depravity of backwardness for their own ends.
“In September 1975, the Aspen Institute held a symposium in Persepolis, Iran…
“In the behind-the-scenes discussion, the plans for reversing the Shah’s industrialization program and for turning Iran into a model dark ages regime were mapped out…”
An MI6 journalist was on the plane with Khomeini when he landed in Iran after the Shah went into exile.
According to The Guardian, British Intelligence recruited Benito Mussolini.
Fritz Springmeier wrote in an article called, To Love Or Hate – Know Your Enemy:
“The Christian Patriot movement and the Islamic fundamentalists are infiltrated with agent provocateurs who will encourage both groups to run to their own destruction…
“The Ayatollah Khomeini was British MI6.
“And tying together Saudi intelligence, Saddam Hussein’s intelligence and Egyptian intelligence (and previously the Shah’s CIA-led SAVAK) is a group called the Safari Club set up by French espionage.”
7. The Shah’s nationalist policies were making him more popular in Iran and making his country more independent and more powerful.
This worried the CIA and MI6.
Keeping nations poor is the best way to control them.
1. The Shah bought land from the upper classes and, along with the crown’s own land, sold it back cheaply to tenant farmers.
Over one a half million people to became land owners, thus ending the old feudal system.
2. The Shah allowed women the right to vote. He brought an end to the wearing of the veil.
3. He developed plans for a $90 billion nuclear power program.
4. The Shah signed petroleum agreements with ENI, the Italian oil company.
The Shah’s decision to increase Iranian oil production angered U.S. oil companies and others who wanted to maintain artificial scarcity in the international oil market in order to keep prices high and make more profits.
The Shah said that a couple of years before the Revolution he “heard from two different sources connected with the oil companies that the regime within Iran will change.”
5. The Shah began to close down the opium industry. This had been created during the days of British influence.
6. The CIA and its friends want to create a clash of civilizations, in order to bring about a new world order and a global authoritarian government.
8. Israel provided financial and political support for Hamas in its early days to create an anti-Zionist resistance movement that spoke the language of violence and extremism instead of love and tolerance.
The CIA and MI6 have deep connections with the Muslim Brotherhood and use this alliance to silence democratic voices in Muslim countries and scare the people of the West about Islam’s agenda.
The fundamentalist Mullahs in Iran were used by the CIA and MI6 throughout the post-World War II years as attack dogs against the central government.
The Taliban in Afghanistan were funded and trained by the CIA and Pakistani ISI. Osama Bin Laden was created by the CIA-MI6 network.
What is the basis of this intriguing relationship? Both the Islamic radicals and the anti-growth Western elite share the same goals: demodernization and war. Khomeini was told to turn back the clock, transform Iran into a medieval country, and brainwash a generation of youth into sacrificing themselves for Islam…
9. Why did the U.S. and other Western powers delivered arms to Iran in the 1980s if they considered the regime to be its enemy.
Why did Khomeini decide to release the American hostages on the day that Reagan was declared the new president of America. Why give a victory to your enemy?
But, Khomeini was not an enemy, but a willful pawn of the U.S. and British elite…
And he wasn’t even a legitimate Ayatollah.
A superior Ayatollah granted him Ayatollah status in 1963 to prevent his execution. He returned the favor in 1979 by putting him under house arrest and erasing the evidence of his gracious deed…
Modern wars are fought as a means to build a global totalitarian state, make obscene profits for the military-industrial complex, put governments into debt to international banksters, and reduce the population.
Should the Pentagon be cutting deals with a company apparently controlled by the powerful daughter of Uzbekistan’s dissident-boiling dictator, Islam Karimov? As previously noted here, Gulnara Karimova has amassed a striking degree of wealth and international fame, with friends who include Bill Clinton and Sting.
Gulnara is widely believed to control Zeromax, which reports annual sales of over $1 billion and is involved in transportation, oil and gas, mining, agriculture and private investment. Last year, Foreign Policy quoted a Central Asian analyst as saying, “Zeromax is essentially one of the facades behind which Gulnara Karimova continues to tighten her grip on any and all available sources of income in the country by any means she deems necessary, with little or no regard for legal niceties.”
FMN Logistics describes itself as “the U.S. small business contracting arm of Zeromax.” Harry Eustace Jr., FMN’s CEO, serves as a board member of the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce (AUCC), where his father, Harry Eustace Sr. serves as Chairman. Eustace Sr. also is a senior advisor to Zeromax.
“The AUCC promotes trade and investment ties between the United States and Uzbekistan and lobbies against U.S. sanctions on Karimov’s government,” Foreign Policy reported. “Following the 2005 Andijan massacre — in which hundreds of unarmed protesters were mowed down by Uzbek security forces — the organization’s president, James Cornell, wrote to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging her to take into account the “special context” of Andijan and “not rush to conclusion or ignore the thorough investigation carried out by the government of Uzbekistan.”
FMN says it is a subcontractor on a deal for “Line Haul Trucking Operations” for the U.S. Army. The contract calls for FMN to move supplies between Tajikistan and the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, with thirty trucks a month traveling the route and carrying “outsized” equipment on low-bed trailers. FMN also claims to have serviced “every US air base in Afghanistan to date.”
My colleague Spencer Woodman called the Pentagon to ask about the situation. A spokesman declined comment on any arrangements it might have with FMN.
|Written by John Daly|
The last few weeks have seen the U.S. Department of Defense suffer a number of setbacks in its effort to retain military influence overseas.
First came the startling announcement on 21 October, when President Obama announced that all American troops would be withdrawing from Iraq by 31 December under the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement. Accordingly, 39,000 U.S. soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of the year.
The deal breaker?
Washington’s demand for continued immunity for any remaining U.S. troops, and the Iraqi government of President Jalal Talibani couldn’t, or wouldn’t, deliver.
Now the handwriting’s apparently on the wall further east, as Kyrgyz president-elect Almazbek Atambaev firmly told the United States on 1 November to leave its Manas military air base outside the capital Bishkek when its lease expires in 2014.
Atambaev, the former Prime Minister, won Kyrgyzstan’s 30 October presidential election. Speaking to journalists in the wake of his victory Atambaev said, “When I was appointed Prime Minister last year, and again this year, I warned employees and leaders of the U.S. embassy and visiting representatives that, in 2014 and in line with our obligations, the United States should leave the base. We know that the United States very often participates in various military conflicts. It happened in Iraq, in Afghanistan and now there is a tense situation with Iran. I wouldn’t want any of these countries one day to make a return strike on the military base.”
If Atambaev carries through with his pronouncements, then assuming that the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan extends beyond 2014, the Pentagon’s efforts there will be impacted, as the Manas facility remains the sole U.S. military base in Central Asia outside of Afghanistan. While the Obama administration has promised to fully withdraw all troops from Afghanistan the same year that the lease for the Kyrgyzstan base expires, 2014, next year’s presidential elections could upend that scenario.
But, roiling beneath the surface, it is the Pentagon’s close relationship with the former presidential administrations of Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiev that stoked populist resentment against the Manas facility, especially the cozy fueling agreements, details of which are only slowly coming to light, but which apparently provided both presidencies with a massive “off the books” cash flow. Key to the Pentagon’s efforts were murky agreements with the fuel entity Mina/Red Star, which provided fuel for Manas so off the record that when it was awarded a no-bid renewal contract in 2009 worth $729 million over three years journalistic inquiries were met with a stony “national security” defense to deny particulars of the agreement.
The presidency of interim president Roza Otumbaeva raised the stakes in 14 January, when Kyrgyz government representatives presented U.S. officials and Mina Corp. executives with the proposal to pay $55 per ton of fuel in excise tax, or else volunteer to pay $100 per ton of fuel directly to the state budget. Under the terms of the existing basing agreement for Manas, the U.S. government and its contractors were exempted from all local taxes.
Washington’s response was immediate and predictable. U.S. embassy spokesman Christian Wright in Bishkek said the exemption from excise tax is “vital” to the U.S. military’s ability to operate at Manas, offering the legalese, “Under the bilateral 2009 Agreement for Cooperation, the acquisition of articles and services in the Kyrgyz Republic by or on behalf of the United States in implementing the agreement is not subject to any taxes, customs duties or similar charges in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic. Such articles and services include all fuel provided to the Manas Transit Center, including fuel supplied by sub-contractors.
This is standard practice around the world. The U.S. government has similar agreements with many countries throughout the world for fuel to be delivered free of all duties and taxes. The exemption from fuel taxes is a vital part of our ability to carry out the mission of the Manas Transit Center.”
Having thrown the dice to continue to operate Manas on the cheap, the Pentagon seems to have lost significant position on the grand Central Asian geostrategic chessboard. What is most extraordinary is that this represents the third time around for Washington wrangling over Manas and its attendant costs. After Akaev was ousted by the March 2005 “Tulip Revolution,” Washington quickly refashioned similar agreement with the new administration of President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who was subsequently ousted by popular unrest in April 2010.
For the Kyrgyz, the Russians are the devil they know, the Chinese are the devils flush with yuan, and the Americans, two decades after the collapse of the USSR, are the tight-fisted guys all too willing to cut a deal corrupting the previous presidential administrations of Akaev and Bakiev while delivering lectures about democracy. To quote some of the acerbic critics of former U.S. President George W. Bush, “all hat, no cattle.”
The Pentagon has lost yet another opportunity to expand its global footprint, but to use an American baseball metaphor, “three strikes and you’re out.” It’s not as if anyone except the most tone-deaf in Washington couldn’t see it coming.
By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com
IAN DEITCH, Associated Press
Palestinian and foreign activists sail on a boat during a protest to show their support for two boats carrying 27 civilians from various countries attempting to reach the Gaza Strip, in the port of Gaza City, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Two protest boats approached the Gaza coast Friday with the intent to violate Israel’s naval blockade of the territory and were met by Israeli navy vessels, Palestinian activists said Friday. Photo: Adel Hana / AP
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli naval vessels intercepted two protest boats on their way to Gaza to try to break Israel’s blockade Friday afternoon, the Israeli military and Palestinian activists said.
In Gaza, activist Amjad Shawwa told The Associated Press that activists aboard the boats said they were surrounded by Israeli naval vessels. Then contact with the activists was lost when their satellite phones stopped working. It was not clear if Israel was jamming them.
The Israeli military issued a short video clip showing a naval official calling on the ships to turn around. “The Gaza area and coastal region are closed to maritime traffic as part of a blockade imposed for security purposes,” the unnamed officer said.
“Your attempt to enter the Gaza Strip by sea is a violation of international law. We remind you that humanitarian supplies can be delivered to the Gaza Strip by land, and you are welcome to enter (Israel’s) Ashdod port and deliver supplies through land crossings.”
It was not known if the ships were changing course.
Israel’s navy has intercepted similar protest ships in the past, towing them to an Israeli port and detaining participants. Israel says its naval blockade of Gaza is necessary to prevent weapons from reaching militant groups like Hamas, the Iran-backed group that rules the territory. Critics call the blockade collective punishment of Gaza’s residents.
Last year, nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed when they resisted an Israeli operation to halt a similar flotilla. Each side blamed the other for the violence.
The incident sparked an international outcry and forced Israel to ease its land blockade on Gaza, which was imposed in 2006 and tightened, with Egyptian cooperation, after Hamas seized control of the territory the following year.
Militants in Gaza have fired thousands of rockets into Israel in the past decade, and now have much of southern Israel in range.
Speaking after prayers at a Gaza City mosque, Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister, addressed the passengers aboard the boats, saying, “Your message has been delivered whether you make it or not.”
“The siege is unjust and must end,” Haniyeh said.
Additional reporting by Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza.
[Endorsed by UN Security Council (SEE: SECURITY COUNCIL ENDORSES 22 DECEMBER KABUL DECLARATION, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1453 (2002)).]
Letter dated 24 December 2002 from the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security CouncilI have the honour to transmit herewith a copy of the Kabul Declaration on Good-neighbourly Relations, signed by the Transitional Administration of Afghanistan and the Governments of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the States neighbouring Afghanistan, in Kabul, on 22 December 2002 (see annex).
I should be grateful if you could have the attached Declaration circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) A. G. Ravan Farhâdi
Annex to the letter dated 24 December 2002 from the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
AFGHANISTAN: GOOD-NEIGHBOURLY RELATIONS DECLARATION
The Transitional Administration of Afghanistan and the governments of the People’s Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan, the states neighbouring Afghanistan;
Determined that the people of Afghanistan should enjoy security, stability, prosperity, territorial integrity, democracy and human rights after so many years of conflict, suffering and deprivation;
United in their desire for peace and stability in the region;
Sharing a determination to defeat terrorism, extremism, and narco-trafficking;
Celebrating the first anniversary of the formation of the new Afghan Administration as a result of the Bonn Talks and the progress made in implementing the Bonn Agreement, and recognising that significant challenges lie ahead in creating prosperity and stability;
Solemnly reaffirm their commitment to constructive and supportive bilateral relationships based on the principles of territorial integrity, mutual respect, friendly relations, co-operation and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs;
Welcome the combined efforts of the wider international community to provide the support required for rebuilding Afghanistan as it continues to take its rightful place in the community of nations, and express their commitment to participate in this process;
And, furthermore, decide to bring this declaration to the attention of the United Nations Security Council and gain the support of other states for it.
2 November 2011
1. We have convened in İstanbul on 2 November 2011, under the leadership of H. E. Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and H. E. Mr. Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey, and at the joint invitation of H. E. Mr. Zalmai Rassoul, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and H. E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, to reaffirm our strong commitment to a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan in a secure and stable region.
2. We affirm the commitments enshrined in the 2002 Kabul Declaration of Good Neighbourly Relations and agree that promoting regional security and cooperation requires measures to build confidence and trust among countries. Hence, we will be guided by the following set of common principles and commitments, which shall include, but not be limited to:
- Recognition of the central role of the United Nations in international affairs;
- Equal and indivisible security;
- Respect for the territorial integrity of States;
- Non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states;
- Support for the stability and peace in Afghanistan, as well as respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity;
- Continued support for the Government and people of Afghanistan, as they develop their country, re-construct their economy, and further improve their human capital;
- Resolutely combating and eliminating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and violent extremism, and preventing safe havens for terrorists and terrorism in the region;
- Dismantling terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens, disrupting all financial and tactical support for terrorism;
- Acknowledging that terrorism poses a threat to international peace and security as well as a common challenge to our societies, to the region, and that it can only be addressed through the concerted efforts of all countries;
- Facilitating the voluntary, dignified, and orderly return of Afghan refugees;
- Support for an inclusive Afghan national process of reconciliation, in accordance with the Constitution of Afghanistan and in ways which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven;
- Constructive and supportive relationship between countries of the region;
- Refraining from the threat or use of force and not to allow one’s territory to be used against another;
- Elimination of illicit drug production, trade and trafficking;
- Preventing the cultivation and production of narcotics;
- Preventing the activities of extremist organizations and organized crime networks through enhanced cooperation;
- Supporting and promoting law enforcement cooperation;
- Peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law;
- Fulfillment of obligations under international law;
3. Afghanistan and its international and regional partners will seek to develop and coordinate contributions to advance the above-stated principles.
4. We recognize Afghanistan’s role as the land bridge in the ‘Heart of Asia’, connecting South Asia, Central Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East, and reaffirm our support in the strongest possible terms to the secure, stable and peaceful future of Afghanistan. We welcome Afghanistan’s willingness and determination to use its regional and historical position to do its part to promote security and peaceful economic cooperation in the region.
5. We respect Afghanistan as a sovereign, independent, democratic state, which constitutes an integral component of the peace, well-being and prosperity of the region and beyond. We support the Government of Afghanistan’s priorities on the issues of security, governance, economy, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and regional cooperation.
6. We re-emphasize our determination to help Afghanistan fight terrorism and illicit drugs. In return, Afghanistan re-iterates its commitment to respect the territorial integrity of its neighbours, and to assure them that its relations with any state, on which it will be transparent, will not be directed against any third party. Afghanistan also reconfirms its will and determination to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, strengthen its economy, especially by ensuring good governance, promotion of investments, and addressing corruption, fight radicalism and narcotrafficking, respect human rights, in particular the rights of women, and to work together with its friends and partners for enhanced regional co-operation.
7. We reiterate our resolve to combat terrorism, extremism and separatism in all its forms and manifestations, the financing, harbouring, training and equipping of such activities, and acknowledge that terrorism, extremism and separatism pose a common challenge that can only be addressed through concerted efforts by countries of the region and the broader international community.
8. We will strengthen cooperation with Afghanistan, as well as regional and international cooperation, to counter the threat posed by the illicit production, trafficking, and consumption of drugs, in accordance with the principle of common and shared responsibility. Cooperation in combating the illicit drug production, trafficking and consumption should be exercised in a comprehensive manner and comprise poppy and cannabis crops eradication, elimination of drug laboratories, interception of drug caravans, detention of drug traffickers, freezing proceeds from illicit drugs, diversion of drug
precursors, as well as introduction of alternative agriculture projects and strengthening measures directed at reduction of the level of drugs consumption in regional and international markets.
9. In assisting Afghanistan, we endorse its efforts at promoting an inclusive reconciliation process and welcome and support the efforts of the High Peace Council, and the implementation of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program. We strongly condemn the heinous terrorist attack which took the life of the former President and Head of the High Peace Council, Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani. We will continue to support Afghan-led efforts to reconcile and re-integrate those Afghan militant elements who renounce violence, cut links with terrorist groups, and accept the Afghan Constitution. We remain convinced that a peaceful Afghanistan, with functioning institutions and strengthened security forces, is key to a successful regional cooperation. We remind that the international community and the region are not separated and emphasize that we all have a stake in the security and stability of the region.
10. We mark our full support to the ongoing process of transition of responsibility for providing security in Afghanistan from ISAF/NATO to ANSF in the framework of the ‘Kabul Process’. We remain convinced that progress to be made between now and 2014, when transition will be completed, will make a decisive impact on the future course of efforts underway in Afghanistan. However, transition should assist Afghanistan and development of its relevant structures with a sustained support in the form of long term commitments to be made by regional and international partners. We welcome ongoing efforts by the Government of Afghanistan and its regional partners to foster trust and cooperation with each other as well as relevant cooperation initiatives developed by the countries concerned and regional organizations. The promotion of a sound regional cooperation in the ‘Heart of Asia’ will be an important contribution to these efforts. In this context, enhanced trade connectivity along historical trade routes will also constitute an added value and will require
conducive regional environment.
11. We recognise that Afghanistan is today at a critical juncture. It still faces significant security, economic, and development challenges, which are of an interconnected nature. These challenges cannot be addressed without building upon the already constructive support of Afghanistan’s regional and international partners. The efforts to meet these challenges are most effective when they are Afghan-owned and driven, and supported by all partners and pursued in a transparent and constructive manner.
12. While not all challenges specifically affect each country in similar degree, no single state or international organization can deal with these challenges by itself. A concerted effort towards stability and prosperity is needed. Consequently, regional and international cooperation are indispensable to address challenges.
13. We declare our readiness to engage in sincere, result-oriented cooperation at all levels, which will not just help Afghanistan, but will also be beneficial to security and prosperity in the region as a whole. We welcome the central and impartial role of the United Nations, in line with the Security Council mandate, and we recognize the important role of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia, and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation in strengthening regional security and promoting regional cooperation. We welcome the participation of Afghanistan in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and in the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as its application to obtain the status of observer state with the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
14. Similarly, we also positively take note of those bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral initiatives between Afghanistan and the regional countries that could contribute to the improvement of regional cooperation. We welcome and support all these mechanisms, organisations and processes that add value to regional dimension. We also welcome various efforts aimed at intensifying cooperation and dialogue between Afghanistan and regional countries, recognising the intertwined nature of various challenges faced by all countries in the region. Our regional cooperation vision is not intended to substitute them, but to build synergy between these efforts.
15. These fundamental frameworks and principles of cooperation among countries are unequivocally pertinent in dealing with challenges. We note the value of a more coherent and structured approach to individual initiatives. We pledge to give strong emphasis and further impetus to the ongoing regional cooperation endeavours.
16. With this understanding, based on the principles, including guarantees of territorial integrity, sovereignty and refraining from the threat or use of force to resolve disputes; guarantees for non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States; and peaceful settlement of disputes according to international law, stated in this document, we will endeavour to build confidence through broad ranging and effective Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), where appropriate and based on self-differentation basis, which may include, but not be limited to, the areas listed hereafter.
A) In the political and security field:
- Enhanced cooperation for fighting terrorism, including through exchange of information;
- Participation in Civil Emergency Planning to assess risks and reduce vulnerability of the civil population to terrorism;
- Enhancement of cooperation among Afghanistan and its immediate neighbours for effective border controls;
- Creation or enhancement of conditions conducive to the voluntary and safe return of refugees, in a dignified and orderly manner;
- Exchange of information regarding forces responsible for counter-terrorism operations and facilitate contacts among them as appropriate;
- Co-operation and interaction among regional countries in the area of counter narcotics and the trafficking of illegal goods and lethal substance, and their precursors, including enhancing bilateral efforts to prevent illicit movement of personnel and material across international borders.
- Development of joint guidelines for cooperation in the field of disaster management;
B) In the economic field:
- Build, where appropriate, on the model of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, ways to expand trade across the region;
- Trade facilitation strategy – The development of a coherent strategy to develop a regionally coherent trade and border management;
- Preferential Trade Agreement within the region without prejudice to existing trading agreements;
- Establishment of databases and a system of data exchange in trade and economic spheres;
- Improvement of the exchange of information on commercial opportunities and specific trading conditions;
- Improvement in the provisions for the settlement of commercial disputes, including various forms of arbitration;
- A strategy to encourage participation of the private sector in regional development programs, including through private sector-public sector joint ventures;
- Exchange of information on development of international tourism and tourist infrastructure and assistance in establishing and strengthening contacts;
- Exchange of information regarding suspicious financial transactions, illegal financial operations and assistance in establishing and strengthening contacts between appropriate authorities;
- Facilitation of the development of co-operation in the various field of environment;
- Improvement of business contacts and facilities;
- Encourage the establishment of a framework for enhanced cooperation among Chambers of Commerce;
- Training of personnel in various fields of economic activity;
- The development of a coherent strategy to develop and maintain a regionally connecting infrastructure, with support from international partners;
- Encouraging Afghanistan’s role as a land-bridge, connecting the region through cooperation and completion of bridges on trans-boundary rivers, roads and railway networks; in this connection, focusing on construction of new automobile bridges over the Panj River in Kokul and Ayvaj fields of Tajikistan and supporting the implementation of the project on a railway route from East, Central, South and West Asia and to the sea routes through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan with existing Uzbekistan-Afghanistan railway being connected to a prospective Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Afghanistan railway, and supporting the implementation of the project on a railway route from Iran to Afghanistan, the Khaf-Herat Railway;
- Co-operation on easier flow of energy resources within, from and across the region, especially with regard to electricity, minerals, oil and gas, including their exploitation and transit, through regional projects, such as TAPI, and CASA-1000 project which has to be implemented with a broader financial contribution, as well as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank;
- Wider support for Tajikistan`s efforts to conduct the 5th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA V) which is planned to be held on March 26-27, 2012 in Dushanbe. Amongst other agenda items, the Conference will consider the proposal from Afghanistan and Tajikistan on enhancing trade connectivity along historical trade routes. On the margins of the RECCA V, we support the organization of a business forum and a forum of scientists and researchers.
- Exploring the possibility of cooperation in the development of hydroelectric power and in the sphere of water management without prejudice to existing agreements;
- Consider, wherever appropriate and mutually agreed, development of large-scale irrigation works without prejudice to existing agreements;
- A more effective regional cooperation in the agricultural and rural fields;
- The development of infrastructure around the main ports and linking them via road and railroad for shipment of goods and energy to and from Central Asia, South Asia, Eurasia and the Black Sea.
C) In the education field:
- Setting up a structured regional education exchange programme with places reserved in universities for students from neighbouring States within the region;
- Broadening cooperation and exchanges in the fields of education and science on a short or long-term basis;
- Expansion of links between State institutions and non-governmental bodies whose activities are concerned with questions of education and science and including scientific exchanges, exchange of students, joint events;
- Ensure that radical and hatred references are removed from education curriculum;
- Reform the curricula that promote extremism.
- Promotion of the role of mass media as a driver for democratic development and mutual understanding, and to spread messages of peace, harmony and tolerance;
- Establishing a multi-disciplinary professional and technical training Center in Tajikistan which is aimed at preparing civilian specialists for the needs of the Afghanistan economy, with support of international community.
D) In the cultural field:
- Joint projects aimed at disseminating information on various cultures and traditions in the region;
- Co-operation in preserving valuable cultural, historical, archaeological and religious assets;
- A common fight by all nations in the region against all forms and manifestation of violence;
- A joint effort to promote the true nature of Islam as a religion of peace, tolerance and human accomplishment;
- Promotion of inter-faith and intra-cultural dialogue.
E) In the legal field:
- Considering, where apropriate and on the basis of reciprocity, relaxation of visa regimes;
- Considering relaxation of rules and restrictions at border crossings for legitimate travelers on the basis of reciprocal arrangements;
- Promotion of law enforcement cooperation;
17. Through the İstanbul Process, we reaffirm our commitment to strengthening regional security and cooperation, including for the purpose of building a secure and stable Afghanistan. To that end, we have decided to redouble and better coordinate our efforts through bilateral channels and existing multilateral frameworks and future meetings at Ministerial and technical level. The Istanbul Process will be developed and marked by consensus decision making of participating states.
18. In this regard, we will continue to exchange views on ways and means to implement our decisions.
19. As the first follow-up on the İstanbul Conference, we have decided to meet again at Ministerial level in Kabul in June 2012.
20. The Kabul Ministerial meeting will be preceded by a preparatory meeting at technical level chaired by Afghanistan. To that effect, Afghanistan will circulate a concept paper by the end of January 2012, outlining the agenda of the meeting.
21. Having stated the above, we recognise that the challenge we intend to meet remains considerable. But, through these confidence building measures, we are aiming at a new mindset of cooperation in the region.
22. The ambitious objective of enhanced regional cooperation, with and around Afghanistan, will need to overcome many hurdles. However, the benefits for Afghanistan and its region will reward this ambition and be worth the endeavours.
23. The participants to the İstanbul Conference wish to express their gratitude to the Republic of Turkey for the generous hospitality and commitment to promoting regional cooperation.
Adopted on 2 November 2011 by the ‘Heart of Asia’ Countries which consist of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkey, Turkmenistan, and the United Arab Emirates. [no Uzbekistan--editor]
Welcomed and supported by the Commonwealth of Australia, Canada, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of Italy, Japan, Norway, Republic of Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as the United Nations, Economic Cooperation Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the European Union, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.
An article published on the “Huffington Post” news website says that every 80 minutes, one US serviceperson or war veteran commits suicide.
This data was taken from a report by the Center for a New American Security. The report says that since the beginning of the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of suicides or suicidal attempts in the army or among war veterans has grown considerably. In 2009 alone, as many as 1,868 veterans of the Iraq and Afghan operations attempted to kill themselves. In 2010, the number of US servicemen who committed suicides in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeded the number of those killed in combat in these countries.
The reasons for these suicides are varied, but most of them were committed either due to a mental illness developed during the war or the inability to adapt to a peaceful life after the war.
The authors of the report, Margaret C. Harrel and Nancy Berglass, have come to the conclusion that “America is loosing its battle against suicide by veterans and service members. And as more troops return from deployment, the risk will only grow.”
This, of course, causes concern to the Pentagon. Nevertheless, the US authorities seem to be pretending that this “epidemic” of suicides is no more terrible than, say, a flue epidemic, and that it can even be cured with very similar methods. A high-ranking US military official has said that suicides can be prevented… with the help of blood tests. Apparently, the chemical composition of the blood of a potential suicide is different from that of a normal person, and this can be determined by a lab test.
Well, thank God if it is really that simple. However, what disturbingly comes to mind here are the events which already seem a distant memory – the Vietnam war of the 1960s and 1970s. In some respects, that war cannot be compared with the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan – the former lasted a lot longer and took the lives of a lot more people. However, the Vietnam war brought to life what is known as “the Vietnam syndrome” – an “epidemic” of cases when the veterans of that war committed suicides after becoming disillusioned with the much-vaunted American democracy or after failing to adapt to a peaceful life after the war. It is, to a big extent, thanks to the “Vietnam syndrome” that the “beat generation” set off revolutions all over the world in 1968.
There is a saying that history sometimes repeats itself. Now, unfortunately, it would probably be correct to speak of an “Afghan” or an “Iraqi syndrome”. As for the Vietnam war, one must note that every cloud has a silver lining – “the Vietnam syndrome” stopped then US authorities from involving America in similar wars for quite a long time. However, it looks like today’s American authorities have forgotten about that. They haven’t even learned any lessons from dubious “success” in the Afghan and Iraq operations, and, now, they seem to be falling into the same trap in Libya. Currently, the US government is mulling over the possibility of launching a military operation against Iran. The recent anti-Iranian rhetoric of some Israeli officials seems to indicate that this time, the US won’t itself start the war, in order to avoid looking like an aggressor, but will wait for Israel to start the war instead. However, if the war does start, the US will most probably interfere, whether sooner or later. Aren’t the US authorities worried about an “Iranian syndrome”, in addition to the Afghan, Iraq and Libya ones?
While the authorities are trying to play down the problem, claiming that suicides can be easily prevented by testing the blood, the veterans are coming to realize that no one will stand for their interests but themselves. Mass anti-government protests, known as “Occupy Wall Street!”, which recently engulfed the USA, are now gripping almost the whole world. In some respects, this resembles the “youth revolutions” of 1968. And, in the US, many of those taking part in these riots are veterans of the Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya conflicts. It is worth noting that they are taking to the streets in their military uniforms, in an apparent attempt to draw a parallel between the conflicts they have been involved in and the current protests.
One of the slogans the protesters in New York are chanting is “We are the 99%!” Recently, a new slogan has been added to that: “We are veterans of the United States of America!”.
“Soldiers are bleeding while corporations are multiplying their riches,” – this is how the veterans are explaining why they are taking to the streets.
Andrew Johnson, the head of the New York branch of “Iraq Veterans against the War” says: “Veterans have a unique opportunity to continue serving here at home through our participation in this civic movement for change.”
On November 11, the US will celebrate Veterans Day. It would be interesting to listen to what President Obama will have to say to those who have spilled their blood for the ideals of much-vaunted American democracy and who now seem to be neglected by the American state.
[It seems very inconsistent that the one man who is making possible the primary NDN (northern distribution network) transportation route (considered necessary to America's plans for Afghanistan), as a solution to the war supply problems with Pakistan, is missing from the American-engineered Afghan regional resolution. If Obama can't rely upon him to merely put his signature on a powerless statement of mutual principles, then how can he hang his entire "Afghan withdrawal" strategy on him?
Something is very rotten here. I think it must be Obama's brain.
None of this will be relevant when the new Republican administration comes into power in January of 2013.]
NEW DELHI: Pakistan has backtracked since announcing earlier this week that it had granted India the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) in trade, a senior Indian government source said on Friday.
The MFN status would help normalise trade relations between the two states by ending heavy restrictions on what India is allowed to export across the border. New Delhi granted its neighbour such a status in the mid-nineties.
Business and political lobbies in Pakistan appear to have forced the move to be put on hold, leaving India to “wait and watch” as to when the process would resume, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
“From the initial announcement of an unconditional grant of an MFN, there appears to be a clear backtrack,” the source said.
Trade has long been tied to political issues between the hostile neighbours, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.
Wednesday’s announcement was trumpeted on both sides as a milestone in improving fragile relations that were shattered by attacks by militants in Mumbai in 2008.
Lasting peace between the two countries is seen as key to stability in the South Asian region and as help a troubled transition in Afghanistan as Nato-led forces plan their military withdrawal from that country.
India and Pakistan may be home to some 1.4 billion people but bilateral trade flows are paltry — a legacy of mistrust between the neighbours.
The hope is that an increase in trade will feed into wider trust between the two countries and help the rivals resolve major flashpoints like the disputed Kashmir region, although a solution to this problem has proved intractable for decades.
The two sides have also pledged to liberalise restrictions on business visas, curb non-tariff barriers and bolster trade on their land border. As things stand, exporters are forced to route many goods via third parties such as Dubai, slowing delivery times and upping costs.
Less than one per cent of India’s merchandise exports are sold to Pakistan, in terms of dollar value, but in September a joint statement pledged to double bilateral trade flows within three years to about $6 billion.
—Musa Khan Jalalzai
A majority of Afghan intelligence operatives receive double salaries — from their offices as well as from private intelligence and security agencies. They share national secrets with these agencies in exchange for a paltry monthly salary
There can be no disagreement that reforms and the intelligence mechanism in Afghanistan need urgently to be upgraded, because the recent stories of torture and killing of innocent political workers and ordinary people in KHAD-run secret detention centres raise many questions. The international community has also voiced the need for urgent reforms, and demands a thorough investigation into the Afghan spy networks to find out who is who, and who is working for whom.
To better understand the importance of intelligence in a state, I want to quote some experts who defined intelligence in different ways. Once Einstein told his colleagues, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Major-General V K Singh defined intelligence as the second oldest profession and a tool or an input that is required by the country’s policy makers and planners to promote global and regional interests. According to a former chairman of Britain’s joint intelligence committee, Roderick Braithwaite, “Intelligence is a subject that ought to be intrinsically uninteresting.” Former director of Britain’s GCHQ agency, Sir David Omand, is of the opinion that “close interaction between collector and analyst, and between analyst and user, have become a feature of the modern intelligence cycle”.
These are the ideas of experts who defined intelligence. Unfortunately, however, Afghan intelligence infrastructure does not fit into any of these categories. The unnecessary political and military influence of western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, is considered an obstacle to mending the problem. This influence has always caused frustration as most KHAD agents want to work independently.
At present, the Afghan spy agencies are not free of foreign influence and the Afghan government does not have full control over their networks. For example, in one incident President Hamid Karzai ordered the release of journalist Hujattullah Mujaddidi, arrested by KHAD to recruit him as an informer. The agency refused, saying they knew better than the president. In reality, the leadership of the Afghan secret services has undergone no reforms since inception, and as such orders from the president hold no importance for them.
The US military machine understands that its successes in the war on terror depend on the cooperation of Afghanistan’s controversial spy agencies. However, European and other western intelligence agencies have long criticised KHAD, WAD and NDS for their non-professionalism. They understand that Afghan spy agents provide them with low quality disinformation about the Taliban and other terror groups inside Pakistan. Lack of professional leadership is another phenomenon.
The promotion of a Panjshiri, Amrullah Saleh, to the rank of intelligence chief was the final step in making the agency controversial. He was sponsored by a US Congressman for an honorary degree from an American university to help create an acceptable veneer. In the presence of such non-professional intelligence leadership, how can one expect long-term or short-term intelligence reforms in Afghanistan?
A majority of Afghan intelligence operatives receive double salaries — from their offices as well as from private intelligence and security agencies. They share national secrets with these agencies in exchange for a paltry monthly salary. They also receive money from the Taliban in exchange for information. Consequently, they own properties across the country. They also run drugs and arms trafficking businesses spanning Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
They torture journalists, political workers and kill innocent civilians in custody. Recently, the brutal murder of Maulavi Abdullah by the agency in Khost province once again enraged the entire country. This is not the first time Afghan spy agencies tortured an innocent man to death in their private jails. There are thousands of gory stories of innocent men, women and children who have been killed, tortured, raped and forcibly made to disappear by KHAD in the recent past. Maulavi Abdullah was brought to hospital severely beaten, and unable to eat and drink due to kidney failure.
The story of his shameful torture and humiliation first appeared in the western media a couple of weeks ago after the UN office released a detailed report regarding the widespread mistreatment and torture of detainees in the secret jails of the Afghan police and intelligence agencies (KHAD, WAD, RAMA and NDS) in Paktia province. The Afghan government is aware of all these illegal ways of investigation but it has no control over its rogue spy agencies. According to local journalists, over 300 Afghan citizens told the UN’s investigative team that they had been physically or mentally abused by Afghan intelligence agencies in secret detention centres. The UN interviewed these pre-trial detainees in 74 detention centres from 2010 to 2011.
The story of the secret network of Afghan jails that sprang up after 9/11 is a painful one. Political opponents and ordinary citizens are still being held in these jails with uncertain rights. Though Afghan intelligence agencies are in complete denial, human rights groups have gathered authentic information about these illegal detention centres. Every Afghan ruler established his own secret agency and used it against political opponents and innocent civilians.
In 1978, the PDPA-led government of President Noor Muhammad Tarakai established a secret agency (AGSA) and used it against his political opponents. Mr Hafizullah Amin established another new secret agency (KAM), which killed Tarakai. In 1980, Afghan intelligence enjoyed a formidable measure of autonomy, because it had some success in penetrating the Afghan mujahideen groups in Pakistan. In 1986, Dr Najibullah Khan established two more secret agencies (KHAD and WAD) to protect his government from outside penetration.
In 1992 the mujahideen, and in 1996 the Taliban established the Islamic Intelligence Services (Istekhbarat-e-Islami) and used these against their opponents. Finally, after the stories of Mr Amrullah Saleh’s terror networks in Pakistan’s tribal belts appeared in the international press, President Hamid Karzai replaced him with Rahmatullah Nabeel at short notice in 2010.
The writer is the author of Afghanistan Beyond 2014 and Punjabi Taliban. He can be reached at email@example.com
- Zuula now makes it easier than ever to get the best out of all the top search engines by highlighting differences in results from different search engines.
- The new version of Zuula also significantly increases speed and convenience with features such as continuously scrolling pages, a ‘Tags’ search type, and suggestions of similar websites.
Princeton, NJ – October 5, 2010 — Zuula LLC today officially announced the release of a major new version of its Internet search service, Zuula (www.zuula.com). The new version adds a broad range of new features that make Zuula more powerful and more convenient.
Zuula has always made it easy to view search results from all the top search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Now Zuula goes a step further by automatically comparing results returned by different search engines for the same search, and then highlighting the results that are new to the user.
“We think users will be very excited about this new feature, which we call ‘Dynamic Pruning’,” said Tim Hunt, Zuula’s President. “As always, users can get results at Zuula from their favorite, trusted search engine. But when they don’t find what they are seeking with their favorite engine, Zuula enables them to check other search engines and have the results highlighted that they have not already seen.”
The newly released version of Zuula also adds real-time search suggestions and a new continuous scrolling mode for all search types. With continuous scrolling, users can simply continue to scroll down the page for more results, rather than having to click on links for separate pages. Although continuous scrolling is now the default viewing mode at Zuula, users still have the option of selecting traditional page-by-page viewing and having it be the default when they are at Zuula.
In addition to dynamic pruning, real-time search suggestions, and continuous scrolling, Zuula also has added a new search type and multiple new search engines to its existing search types. The new ‘Tags’ search type includes eight new search sources, including social bookmarking and website recommendation services like Delicious and StumbleUpon. The ‘News’ search type has been significantly expanded with six new search resources, including Digg, Reddit, and Slashdot.
“We have expanded to include almost sixty of the top search result providers in seven categories” said Dr. Hunt. “Whether you are searching the Web, images, video, news, blogs, jobs, and now tags, with Zuula, you not only get results from your favorite search engine, but also from many other great sites that will help you find the results you are seeking.”
About Zuula LLC
Zuula LLC is a privately held company with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey (USA). Since its founding in 2005, the company has been dedicated to making it easier to find, organize, and use the wide variety of information on the Internet.
Image files with the Zuula logo and screenshots are available at the Zuula Media Kit page (www.zuula.com/help/media.html .) Inquiries from the media are welcome at media or at Zuula LLC’s main phone number, +1 (609) 651-4790.
Image Credit: Dale Gillard at Flickr.