Deconstructing Imran Khan’s Taliban narrative — III

Deconstructing Imran Khan’s Taliban narrative — III

—Farhat Taj

The government led by Mr Zardari’s party can be questioned for giving in to the establishment’s pressure by surrendering its authority and responsibility regarding foreign policy but to blame it for anything wrong with the foreign policy, including the war on terror, is misleading

Imran Khan claims that there were no suicide attacks in Pakistan before the US drone attacks and Pakistan Army operations in FATA. This is factually wrong. Suicide attacks have been happening before the US drone attacks and/or military operations in FATA. One of the deadliest suicide attacks was on the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad in 1995. The other devastating suicide attack, also known as Karachigate, was on French engineers in Karachi. Both attacks have nothing to do with FATA, its people, culture and the US drone attacks or the Pakistan Army operations in the area. The attack on the Egyptian embassy was carried out by al Qaeda Arabs and the other attack is said to be revenge from the French authorities over a dispute about kickbacks in a French submarine sales contract with Pakistan. The French investigators have also been investigating al Qaeda linkages to the attack.

The suicide attacks rooted in FATA began to happen in Pakistan after the ISI implanted the jihadi infrastructure in the area through fake military operations that killed innocent civilians but left the Taliban unharmed, and peace deals that slipped the area into the hands of the Arab, Uzbek, Punjabi and Pakhtun militants. The last ethnic group of the militants, the local Pakhtun, were also strengthened through awards of development contracts, including those funded by western donors, to the relatives and friends of the Taliban.

In other words, the Pakistani state surrendered its internal sovereignty by design to the terrorists in FATA, some of whom are conducting ‘unauthorised’ attacks inside mainland Pakistan in response to their disputes with the their handlers in the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. But several of the attacks inside Pakistan, such as those on the ANP workers and leaders, should be seen as ‘authorised’ attacks to keep the Pakhtun nationalist party under pressure and above all to cut it off from reaching out to the people while at the same time keeping the field open to right-wingers like Imran Khan and the religious parties to reach out as much as they wish to spread the strategic depth propaganda. The ANP is an anomaly in the calculus of strategic depth. Imran Khan is clearly guilty of distorting the facts when he claims that the ANP wants negotiations with Taliban. As far as I understand, the ANP does not want negotiations with the Taliban but is forced by the establishment through acts or threats of terrorism to compromise such as on the occasion of the Swat peace deal.

Imran Khan is also playing fast and loose with the truth when he blames President Zardari for the way the war on terror is conducted by Pakistan. Everyone knows that the Pakistani generals are running the country’s foreign policy. The government led by Mr Zardari’s party can be questioned for giving in to the establishment’s pressure by surrendering its authority and responsibility regarding foreign policy but to blame it for anything wrong with the foreign policy, including the war on terror, is misleading.

Imran Khan’s claim that the Pakhtun tribes have successfully resisted world powers in the past is a misleading sweeping judgement. One really has to go into history to see that the real situation is not so black and white. For example, it is true that certain tribes or clans in FATA put forward an excellent resistance to the British, but is it not also a fact that many other tribes, clans and even people within the tribes resisting the British, cooperated with the colonial power? How were the British able to establish the FCR system in FATA if all tribes were united against the British? The tribesmen joined the British Imperial Army, the paramilitary forces established by the British, and became Khasadars (tribal police force) in the British administration in FATA. The tribes, clans and individuals who have been closely cooperating with the British were never eliminated through massacre by the other tribesmen who were resisting against the British even after the departure of the colonial power. This is unlike the Taliban who have massacred anti-Taliban tribesmen across FATA. In other words, what we see in tribal history is pragmatism in relation to foreign powers rather than an exclusively violence-driven resistance across the tribes.

Suicide attacks in Pakistan cannot be a tribal response to the US drone attacks. The US drone attacks on FATA intensified in 2008. Before that there have been only a few drone attacks on the area since 2004. Bu the suicide attacks inside Pakistan had intensified before 2008.

Imran Khan is running a propaganda for the so-called ‘civilian casualties’ in the drone attacks but has not uttered a word about hundreds of anti-Taliban tribal leaders target killed across FATA since 2003. The government of Pakistan never investigated those targeted killings and will never do it either as long as the generals dominate Pakistan. Do the families of these tribal leaders not deserve justice? But Imran Khan, I am afraid, will never raise his voice for justice for these families because any independent investigation into those assassinations will establish the establishment’s deep links with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Such an investigation will also elaborate the ISI tactics whereby it has been able to trigger an artificial insurgency in FATA and convincingly present it to the world as the popular tribal backlash to Pakistan’s alliance in the war on terror.

Imran Khan highlights the violation of Pakistan’s external sovereignty by the US drone attacks, but never points to the violation of the country’s internal sovereignty by foreign al Qaeda and Taliban militants based in FATA who are carrying out attacks inside Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan on the US, NATO and Afghan forces as well as Afghan civilians. Their attacks across the border are causing the drone attacks, most of which have actually targeted the foreign terrorists in the area rather than the Taliban. The internal violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty has to stop before one can demand a stop to the external violation.

OIC Now Singing Hillary’s Tune, Selling Islamic Silk Road/Minus Iran

OIC/Afghanistan: Reconciliation bid OIC to hold Afghan Ulema assemblage

BY 
IINA

ISLAMABAD, Muharram 1/Nov.26 (IINA)-Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has said that his organization was committed to holding an Ulama Conference at an appropriate time in cooperation with the Afghan authorities with the aim of contributing to Afghan reconciliation process.

This will be the first intra Afghan OIC initiative of reconciliation following announcement of US troops withdrawal from war-worn Afghanistan, a process hoped to complete by 2014.

He also disclosed that member states of OIC made contributions in supporting and facilitating regional cooperation aiming at peace, security and development in Afghanistan and the region, particularly in intensifying cooperation and dialogue between Afghanistan and her neighbours.

Prof Ihsanoglu made these remarks in his recent address to an Istanbul hosted Afghanistan event, and stressed “the importance of Afghanistan as a rich country possessing enormous human and natural resources. It is a bridge in the Heart of Asia, connecting South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East”. Afghanistan’s strategic location and historical position, may serve as a catalyst for the promotion of security and cooperation in the region, he added.

He explained that projects relating to the rehabilitation of rail transportation in Afghanistan have been enlarged as is evident from the on-going project building Dusanbe-Mazar-i Sharif-Herat railway, pointing out that Afghanistan has recently started to participate in the OIC Plan of Action for Cooperation in Central Asia.

The OIC Plan envisages cooperation in various areas such as agriculture, rural development and food security, trade exchanges, health, education, poverty alleviation, transport as well as research and scientific cooperation.

AH/IINA

Mullah Omar Pushing Pak Taliban To Reconcile With Pak Govt Join Afghan Jihad

‘Mullah Omar pushing Pak Taliban to reconcile with govt.’

Islamabad,  ANI

Islamabad, Nov 26 (ANI): Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar is pushing Pakistani militants based in the tribal areas to strike a peace deal with the government, and advised the chief of the Haqqani network to mediate between them, a source has revealed.

 

“We have received a message from Ameerul-Momineen that there should be an end to our activities inside Pakistan .

..he wants us to make peace with the government and focus on Afghanistan against infidels,” the Express Tribune quoted a Taliban associate, as saying.

 

However, it is not clear as of now when and how the terror leader had sent his message.

 

At least two Taliban affiliates, one in Miramshah, North Waziristan and the other in Wana, South Waziristan, said that communication between representatives of Mullah Omar and Pakistani militants took place in an Arab country this Ramazan.

 

But a tribal elder, who claimed to have knowledge about the ongoing talks, said that the son of a slain Afghan militant leader came to Waziristan as Mullah Omar’s representative.

 

The young messenger travelled from Kandahar to South Waziristan, the stronghold of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) TTP, immediately after Ramazan and held meetings with members of a powerful shura that takes policy decisions for Pakistani militant groups, he added.

 

In September, Pakistan’s top political and military leadership had expressed desire to open peace talks with its ‘own people’ operating from the country’s tribal areas.

 

Since almost half a year now, Pakistani cities have been relatively calm, and life is reportedly returning to normalcy after years of violent attacks by the homegrown Taliban. (ANI)

Two Pak Army Outposts Attacked By NATO Helicopters and Jet Fighters

28 Pakistani troops killed in NATO attack, outrage in Islamabad

Reuters |

28 Pakistani troops killed in NATO attack, outrage in Islamabad
NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing as many as 28 troops.

ISLAMABAD: NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwestPakistan on Saturday, killing as many as 28 troops and plunging US-Pakistan relations, already deeply frayed, further into crisis.

Pakistan retaliated by shutting down vital NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, used for sending in almost half of the alliance’s non-lethal materiel.

The attack is the worst single incident of its kind since Pakistan uneasily allied itself with Washington in the days immediately following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on US targets.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan, its ally in the war on militancy, have been strained following the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US special forces in a raid on the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad in May, which Pakistan called a flagrant violation of sovereignty.

The Pakistani government and military brimmed with fury.

“This is an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty,” said Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. “We will not let any harm come to Pakistan’s sovereignty and solidarity.”

The Foreign Office said it would take up the matter “in the strongest terms” with NATO and the United States.

The powerful Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, said in a statement issued by the Pakistani military that “all necessary steps be under taken for an effective response to this irresponsible act.

“A strong protest has been launched with NATO/ISAF in which it has been demanded that strong and urgent action be taken against those responsible for this aggression.”

The commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, General John R. Allen, said he had offered his condolences to the family of any Pakistani soldiers who “may have been killed or injured” during an “incident” on the border.

A spokesman for the force declined further comment on the nature of the “incident” and said an investigation was proceeding. It was not yet clear, he said, whether there had been deaths or injuries.

The US embassy in Islamabad also offered condolences.

“I regret the loss of life of any Pakistani servicemen, and pledge that the United States will work closely with Pakistan to investigate this incident,” ambassador Cameron Munter said in a statement.

Early morning attack Two military officials said that up to 28 troops had been killed and 11 wounded in the attack on the outposts, about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from the Afghan border. The Pakistani military said 24 troops were killed and 13 wounded.

It remains unclear what exactly happened, but the attack took place around 2 a.m. (2100 GMT) in the Baizai area of Mohmand, where Pakistani troops are fighting Taliban militants.

“Pakistani troops effectively responded immediately in self-defence to NATO/ISAF’s aggression with all available weapons,” the Pakistani military statement said.

About 40 Pakistani army troops were stationed at the outposts, military sources said. Two officers were reported among the dead.

“The latest attack by NATO forces on our post will have serious repercussions as they without any reasons attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep,” said a senior Pakistani military officer, requesting anonymity.

Reflecting the confusion of war in an ill-defined border area, an Afghan border police official, Edrees Momand, said joint Afghan-NATO troops near the outpost on Saturday morning had detained several militants.

“I am not aware of the casualties on the other side of the border but those we have detained aren’t Afghan Taliban,” he said, implying they were Pakistani Taliban operating in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is often poorly marked, and differs between maps by up to five miles in some places.

The incident occurred a day after Allen met Kayani to discuss border control and enhanced cooperation.

“After the recent meetings between Pakistan and ISAF/NATO forces to build confidence and trust, these kind of attacks should not have taken place,” a senior military source told Reuters.

Blocked supplies Nato

Supply trucks and fuel tankers bound for Afghanistan were stopped at Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal region near the city of Peshawar hours after the raid, officials said.

“We have halted the supplies and some 40 tankers and trucks have been returned from the check post in Jamrud,” Mutahir Zeb, a senior government official, told Reuters.

Another official said the supplies had been stopped for security reasons.

“There is possibility of attacks on NATO supplies passing through the volatile Khyber tribal region, therefore we sent them back towards Peshawar to remain safe,” he said.

The border crossing at Chaman in Baluchistan was also closed, Frontier Corps officials said.

Pakistan is a vital land route for 49 percent of NATO’s supplies to its troops in Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman said.

A similar incident on Sept 30, 2009, which killed two Pakistani troops, led to the closure of one of NATO’s supply routes through Pakistan for 10 days.

NATO apologised for that incident, which it said happened when NATO gunships mistook warning shots by the Pakistani forces for a militant attack.

US-Pakistan relations were already reeling from a tumultuous year that saw the bin Laden raid, the jailing of a CIA contractor, and U.S. accusations that Pakistan backed a militant attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

The United States has long suspected Pakistan of continuing to secretly support Taliban militant groups to secure influence in Afghanistan after most NATO troops leave in 2014. Saturday’s incident will give Pakistan the argument that NATO is now attacking it directly.

“I think we should go to the United Nations Security Council against this,” said retired Brigadier Mahmood Shah, former chief of security in the tribal areas. “So far, Pakistan is being blamed for all that is happening in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s point of view has not been shown in the international media.”

Other analysts, including Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, said Pakistan would protest and close the supply lines for some time, but that ultimately “things will get back to normal”.

Paul Beaver, a British security analyst, said relations were so bad that this incident might have no noticeable impact.

“I’m not sure US-Pakistan relations could sink much lower than they are now,” he said.

Libyan Rebel Govt. To Arm Rebels In Syria

[The CIA is repeating its mistakes (from the point of view of all decent human beings) from the anti-Soviet phase of the grand terror war--training terrorists in advanced military skills and then turning them loose upon the rest of the world.  This is the fine art of projecting "respectable" evil in its highest form.  The American Imperialists get to play "Good Guys" on both ends of this process--We claimed to be providing "humanitarian assistance" to Afghanistan since the late seventies, when we created the first "mujahedeen" (highly skilled military specialists) who later became known as "al-Qaeda"; we have repeated the process today in Libya, and now, the Libyan "mujahedeen" spread their disease to Syria.  Through this finely honed art of state-sponsored terrorism, we have successfully undermined nearly all of the Middle Eastern allies of the Palestinians.  The war against Syria and Hezbollah is intended to unleash the full force of American airpower, in order to carry-out the mission that Israel alone could not accomplish in 2006.  (Despite all the years of Israeli bluster, the IDF has not defeated any adversary by the mere power of its threats.  It has been symbolically parading its military prowess down the streets of Teheran since the American terror war began, but they have not fazed the Revolutionary Guard, even with Stuxnet and all the back-biting assassinations over the years.  Israel's only formidable power is its nuclear arsenal. 

The time for words is over.  Obama's revolutionaries and his partners in crime (particularly Turkey) have taken the "irregular warfare" to Syria.  The thing about irregular war is that it can easily turn into regular warfare at any given moment.  When it becomes apparent that Western asymmetric forces cannot defeat Syria and Hezbollah, then waves of regular bombers can be called in, just like in Libya.  From the Imperial view, it becomes apparent that the "mistake" of creating the Islamist mujahedeen armies has not been a mistake at all.  It was always obvious where it would lead, if you created armies of highly-trained veteran "holy warriors" and released them upon the world.  This is America's greatest war crime--its premeditated state terrorism.] 

Libya to arm rebels in Syria

Ruth Sherlock

Pro-Syrian regime protesters appear from a huge Syrian flag as they wave Syrian and Baath party flags, during a protest against the Arab League decisions, in Damascus, Syria.Divided … a demonstration for Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AP

MISRATA, Libya: Syrian rebels have held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, it has been revealed.

At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested assistance from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms and, potentially, volunteers.

”There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” a Libyan source said, on condition of anonymity. ”There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”

It has also emerged that preliminary discussions about arms supplies took place when members of the Syrian National Council – the country’s main opposition movement – visited Libya earlier this month.

”The Libyans are offering money, training and weapons to the Syrian National Council,” said Wisam Taris, a human rights campaigner with links to the council.

The disclosure came as the Syrian military said rebels had raided an air force base outside the city of Homs and killed six pilots.

Rebel attacks have become daily occurrences since the onset of the insurrection. The conflict has claimed at least 3500 lives, mainly as part of a crackdown on protests by the government.

Syria’s regime has continued to defy pressure from the Arab League, ignoring Friday’s deadline to accept the deployment of 500 human rights observers, raising the possibility that economic sanctions might be agreed upon this weekend.

Last month, Libya’s interim government became the first in the world to recognise Syria’s opposition movement as the country’s ”legitimate authority”.

Activists said large shipments of weapons had not yet been sent, mainly because of logistical difficulties. But proposals for a ”buffer zone” inside Syria, monitored by the Arab League, or the likely emergence of an area inside the country controlled entirely by rebels could solve this problem.

”The [Libyan] council’s offer is serious,” Mr Taris said. Turkey, which has denounced Mr Assad’s regime, is already sheltering about 7000 Syrian opposition activists, including the leader of the Free Syrian Army, the nascent rebel movement, in a ”safe zone” along Turkey’s border with Syria.

Sources in the Libyan town of Misrata suggested that some weapons might already have been sent. Some smugglers were caught selling small arms to Syrian buyers in Misrata, said a man who trafficked guns to Libya’s rebels during the country’s civil war.

However, Libyan officials denied some of the claims. ”This is what you hear in the street,” said the leader of the Misrata military council, Ramadan Zarmoh. ”Officially there is none of this. I would never send any fighters to fight outside the country.”

Ministers from the Arab League are expected to meet in Cairo this weekend to consider sanctions against Syria.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, pledged on Friday to keep up talks with Syrian opposition groups in an attempt to support a transition to a stable democracy.

Meanwhile, a United Nations human rights panel has called on Syria to respond to reports its security forces had tortured children in their crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The Committee against Torture said in Geneva that it had received ”numerous, consistent and substantiated reports” of widespread abuse occurring since the start of the uprising against Mr Assad’s government eight months ago.

”Of particular concern are reports referring to children who have suffered torture and mutilation while detained,” said the panel’s chairman, Claudio Grossman.

He also cited reports of ”extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; arbitrary detention by police forces and the military; and enforced and involuntary disappearances.”

The committee normally reviews each country’s record every four years, but took the unusual step on Friday of issuing a spontaneous demand to the Syrian government to explain its actions.

Telegraph, London; Associated Press

Georgian War Prevented NATO Expansion Eastward

Moscow deterred NATO expansion

VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia — Russia’s military action against Georgia in 2008 prevented NATO from expanding its footprint eastward, the Russian president said.

Russian forces responded when the Georgian military invaded the separatist republic of South Ossetia in 2008. The conflict spilled over to engulf forces from Abkhazia, another separatist republic.

Moscow recognized both republics shortly after the conflict and signed agreements in 2010 to build permanent military installations in the breakaway regions.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said military action in Georgia prevented NATO allies for a campaign of expansion.

“If we had wavered in 2008, the geopolitical layout would have been different; a range of countries which the North Atlantic (Treaty Organization) tries to artificially ‘protect’ would have been within it,” he was quoted by Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

Medvedev maintained Russian forces invaded to prevent a major humanitarian crisis in the region.

South Ossetia had presidential elections in mid-November. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Western alliance didn’t recognize its rights to have elections, however.

NATO sided with Georgia when Abkhazia had elections earlier this year.

NATO’s presence along the borders of the former Soviet Union, meanwhile, is a “nuisance” to the Kremlin, Medvedev said.

URL: http://www.upi.com/

NATO airstrikes kill six children in Afghanistan

NATO airstrikes kill six children in Afghanistan

DPA

Airstrikes by NATO-led forces in southern Afghanistan killed nine people, including six children and two insurgents, Afghan officials said on Thursday.

Two girls were also injured in the airstrikes in Kandahar province, the president’s office said.

“NATO military helicopters identified five insurgents who were planting bombs along the road. The helicopter killed two of them, while two others ran away and hid in Siacha village,” said Niyaz Mohammad, a local governor. One insurgent was injured.

“Later, military helicopters bombed the location where they (the insurgents) were hiding and as a result six children who were playing nearby were killed,” the governor added. A man injured in the second attack died later in hospital.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the aerial attack in a statement. NATO said it had launched an inquiry into the incident.

“Protecting the Afghan civilian population is central to our mission here in Afghanistan and we will investigate this situation fully to determine exactly what took place and whether any further actions need to be taken,” said General John Allen, commander of NATO-led forces.

In a separate incident, a NATO helicopter made a safe emergency landing, the military alliance said, denying a Taliban claim that it had shot down the aircraft.

The Taliban said in a statement its fighters had shot the helicopter down over the province of Kabul, killing 33 NATO soldiers.

“Initial reporting indicates that there was no enemy activity in the area”, said NATO spokesman Christopher DeWitt, adding that all crew members were unhurt.

Meanwhile Taliban killed at least seven private security guards in an ambush in western province of Farah on Thursday.

The guards were in a convoy belonging to a private company that provides logistics for international forces when they were attacked.