Pakistan Continues To Live In “American Dream” Land

[The following is a concise, well-written, semi-lucid explanation of the current “iffy” state of affairs in South Asia, but the writer is completely delusional, as are ALL analysts associated with any of the major Pak news outfits.  He does not hesitate to detail the dire situation in Afghanistan, but neither does he miss a beat in broadcasting the Army’s message of reassurances: “It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again.”  Like all Pak writers, this one assumes that the US is seeking to stabilize the region, despite ALL the evidence to the contrary, proving that the CIA and Pentagon are engaged in a perpetual effort to DESTABILIZE the world, so that they might have a free hand to murder and maim, at will.  Washington could care less (except for all of the political game-players within the Democratic-Republican war party) what happens to the people of either country, once they get clear from the mess that they have created there.  Afghanistan is doomed to the same fate as Iraq, to suffer another civil war…Pakistan is just doomed.] 

The only way

the news pak

Yasir Masood Khan

There are many speculations and assumptions running through the region about the US retreat and its repercussions on Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries.

It seems obvious, without a shadow of a doubt, that Afghanistan will be dragged again into a state of chaos, turbulence and anarchy. History has so far been unkind to that troubled country and every now and then it is dragged back to square one.

One wonders whether or not the US will be quitting Afghanistan for good. If so, then what’s next in the kitty of US strategies? Many scholars, intellectuals and think tanks anticipate a purely Afghan civil war. On top of that, the time spent there by the US with all its underlying motives will have been in vain. What that simply means is that it was a waste of time, energy, lives and resources on the part of the US.

Half of the game plan is already on the move — I refer of course, to the election’s outcome, which is just around the corner. So far Karzai has acted wilfully to his whiplashing master and will continue to do so. Nonetheless, recent resentment against US demands could prove to be expensive for Kabul. More likely still, the next government will be another dummy setup (Dari speaking), installed on the dictation of the US. Even if Karzai, otherwise, uses his own political influence in the presidential elections, the fate of the Afghan people will remain the same.

It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again. A 60 percent turnout in the elections already assures the downfall of the Taliban. Still, the Taliban could get hold of the Pakhtun belt. Restricting the Taliban would be more conducive for US strategists, while preventing any backing or fuelling towards Taliban simultaneously.

The US departure could also have drastic implications for Pakistan. Unfortunately, Islamabad as usual seems to be in a whirlpool of ifs and buts, and no firm stance is appearing at the surface. Savvy foreign policymakers, political scientists and the military establishment must come up with visionary goals to cope with such an alarming situation.

India’s elections could also play an important role and one has to wait and see how Indian influence in Afghanistan is going to shape up. India is the fifth biggest donor in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan. This can bring a double advantage to India — economic stability and alliance against Pakistan. For national security measures, Islamabad must remain vigilant to secure its north-west border to sustain peace and avoid cross-border terrorism.

China’s foreign policy in case of a civil war in Afghanistan is still unclear. Meanwhile, Beijing is busy promoting economic cooperation and continues to build infrastructure and roads. Even a continuation of bilateral trade depends on the volatility there; unrest in Afghanistan can put an end to China’s successful economic ascension.

Iran, as a neighbouring state, is highly concerned about the post-withdrawal scenario in Afghanistan. It has vowed nearly $1 billion in aid at international aid conferences held to help Afghanistan. Its aid in the first decade after the Taliban’s ouster was estimated at about 12 percent of the total assistance for reconstruction and development.

Tehran and Kabul have multiple disputes over water, Afghan refugees and drug trafficking. Tehran equally blames Kabul and Washington for not shutting down the production of opium. One should remember that Iran is a major corridor for narcotics smuggling to Middle Eastern and other European countries. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran claims to have lost more than 3,700 members of security forces fighting drug traffickers, many of whom were heavily armed. Tehran estimates that it spends around $1 billion annually on its war on drugs.

Washington has to play an anchor role before walking out; it must leave behind peace, tranquillity and stability in Afghanistan. This chiefly depends on whether the economic aid would be sufficient for Afghanistan to run its military affairs and secure the state from insurgency and internal turmoil.

As for the neighbouring states, Afghanistan would require them to pursue their foreign policies with utmost care. India, China, Pakistan and Iran will need to bury their animosities and grudges and stand together to avoid another conflict in the region. Peace is the only way forward for a prosperous and stable South Asia.

The writer is a research officer at the Institute of Regional Studies, and part of the visiting faculty at Quaid-e-Azam University.

Email: yasirmasoodkhan@gmail.com

Pakistan’s Deal With the Devil And The Taliban Shadow Surge

Pakistan’s Deal With the Devil And The Taliban Shadow Surge

the daily beast

On March 1, the Islamabad government cut a deal with the Taliban. And since then, all hell has been breaking loose in neighboring Afghanistan.
In the last month, the Taliban has killed dozens of people in a string of attacks timed to destabilize Afghanistan ahead of the presidential elections on Saturday.

 

Most recently, a suicide bomber breached the heavy security at the Interior Ministry building and blew himself up, killing six police officers. And that may be just a preview, if local Taliban commanders are to be believed.

“We told Afghans not to vote,” said Haji Shakor, a Taliban commander in central Afghanistan. “If we found out you voted, you won’t take your five fingers home.”

But the real accelerators of this violence aren’t Shakor and his fellow Afghanistan-based militants, local intelligence and security officials tell The Daily Beast. Instead, it’s Taliban insurgents streaming over the border from Pakistan that have enabled the group’s recent killing spree in Kabul. And they say the Pakistani government is to blame for the incursion.

On March 1, the government in Islamabad agreed to a month-long ceasefire with Pakistan’s Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The truce was supposed to be a chance to revive stalled peace talks but its timing, just ahead of Afghanistan’s elections, suggests that it may also have been a way to reposition forces before the vote.

By increasing violence ahead of the election, the Taliban is trying to discourage voting and convince Afghans that the government is incapable of providing security. It’s a tactic the Taliban has used in the past before big political events, but this time to pull off its plan the group used some shrewd foreign diplomacy.

There are, broadly speaking, two Talibans, one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. The two groups operate semi-autonomously but both fall under the leadership of the Quetta Shura leadership council. And major moves, like this ceasefire, would undoubtedly be blessed by the Quetta Shura.

In a recent interview Srtaj Aziz, Pakistan’s advisor on foreign policy and national security, responded to allegations that Pakistan was responsible for Taliban attacks in Afghanistan.

“We told Afghans not to vote. If we found out you voted, you won’t take your five fingers home.”

“It is rather unfortunate because there is no justification for it. What do we get out of disrupting the elections?” Aziz asked. “For us, a smooth transition in Afghanistan is absolutely critical because without peace and stability in Afghanistan Pakistan cannot be stable,” Aziz said.

But when The Daily Beast asked him about it last week, Aziz did not deny that Pakistan’s truce with the TTP would lead the group’s fighters into Afghanistan. “It is our Pakistan internal issues,” he said.

The recent attacks in Kabul have been devastating but they came as no surprise to Afghan security officials, who have blamed Pakistan for years for the violence in their country. Lutfullah Mahsal, a senior intelligence officer at Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, had been predicting the consequences of a Taliban truce with Pakistan since before the deal was reached.

“If the ongoing negotiations succeed and the TTP announces a truce with Pakistan’s government it will definitely increase and accelerate Taliban related terrorist activities in Afghanistan,” Mashal said last month, before the deal was signed.

Last week, Afghanistan’s intelligence chief, Rahmatullah Nable, told parliament that he had confirmed reports that the Taliban arranged for madrassas (religious schools) in Pakistan to close down months earlier than the usual summer holiday so students could go fight in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s interior minister Umar Daudzai echoed this in a media conference, saying, “some of the Madrasas in Pakistan have been shut down so students can go and fight in Afghanistan.”

An Afghan intelligence officer assigned to follow the Taliban in Pakistan said that “there is no doubt if the TTP and Pakistan government truce continues, lots of Pakistan militants will be going to Afghanistan for the fighting season.” The fighting season comes in the summer months after the election.

In other words, the TTP’s surge into Afghanistan could do more than just spoil Saturday’s vote. It could cause pain for months to come—and right when U.S. and NATO forces are preparing their withdrawal from the country.

This is a critical moment for Afghanistan. The country will elect a new leader for the first time since Hamid Karzai became president in 2001. The vast majority, if not all, American and NATO forces, will leave the country by years end. The Taliban are mustering everything they can to prove that after 13 years of war they’re still a powerful force in Afghanistan, and that the elected government is incapable of securing the country.

For years, Western militaries have tried to train and equip a series of local paramilitary forces to keep Afghanistan from cracking once NATO leaves. Shakor, the Taliban commander, admitted those paramilitaries would be tough to dislodge. But he insisted that they are next on the militants’ target list, nevertheless.

“U.S. and NATO might be leaving Afghanistan but they gave birth to local infidels and it is difficult to handle them because they are local and knew everything about the Taliban,” he told The Daily Beast.

“The reality is the Taliban have new local enemies and challengers. The tribal militias generate a lot of trouble for Taliban in the country side,” he added.

And now, in his fight against the paramilitaries Shakor has new help coming from across the border.

Are Pakistanis Born “Murderers”?–News Report About 9-Month Old Attempted Murderer

[Pakistan’s “Shariah”-based laws are barbaric as well as imbecilic….In Pakistan, Christians can be put to death for failing to acknowledge “superiority” of Islam and babies can be charged with “attempted murder.”]
Muhammad Mosa Khan  was  arrested along with other — older — members of his family.

Is this a genuine baby-faced killer?

Pakistan charges 9 month old with conspiring to murder (VIDEO)

New_York_Daily_News_logo

Muhammad Mosa Khan allegedly threw stones at cops during a raid in Lahore. He was arrested and fingerprinted.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

 

A nine-month old boy has appeared in court in Pakistan — charged with conspiring to murder.

Muhammad Mosa Khan is alleged to have thrown stones at officers during a police raid, according to The Nation website.

He was subsequently arrested along with other — older — members of his family.

Muhammad Mosa Khan  has even been fingerprinted. WorldNews.tv via YouTube Muhammad Mosa Khan has even been fingerprinted.

The tot has even been fingerprinted and appeared in court drinking milk as he sat on the lap of his grandfather.

He has been charged along with other family members who claim they were protesting against lack of electricity in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city.

The child’s appearance in court has prompted the intervention of politicians who are demanding an inquiry. A police officer has been suspended.

But baby Muhammad is not off the hook yet. The case has not been kicked out of court and only adjourned until later this month.

Pakistan Feels Safe To Whitewash Its Mad Dog Terrorist Babies

[This is Pakistan playing its part in the Great Saudi Plan—to rehabilitate the images of some of its terrorist babies, otherwise known as “al-Qaeda,” “Jundullah” and “TTP.”  This corresponds with the Syrian component of the Great Plan, the alleged Saudi “disengagement” from the so-called “Islamists.”  In order for the Saudis to deploy their alleged “Army of Mohammed” (or whatever the latest bullshit title that they have been given), they need ALL of their little “Frankenstein” monsters to enlist in the great cause.  The Saudis are calling-in all of their Islamist “I.O.U.s.”

This latest Pak Army psyop, to sanitize the Pakistani Taliban, and now Jundullah and the ever popular “al-Qaeda,” allegedly under the cover of a “cease fire” with all of these veteran Army/terrorist groups, is explicitly coordinated with bombings by this new “splinter group,” called “Ahrar-ul-Hind.”  

“Oh look…those terrorists can’t be TTP or al-qaeda, since they are negotiating “PEACE.”

This strategy is “getting old,” because the Pak Army has used this strategy so often, to feign “deniability,” simply by renaming the group. 

Most of these elements are actually IMU terrorists, rebranded over and over, since being relocated to S. Waziristan by the CIA and ISI, in the legendary Kunduz airlift (SEE: The Getaway, by Seymour M. Hersh).

This has always been the way it works—whenever military “proxy militias” (terrorists) either become outdated, or too hot to handle, because of negative press, then the hardcore nucleus of the group is saved, or “airlifted-out” by CIA affiliates, in order to regroup with a new name and new funding.  The “bad guys” are now defunct, according to the official lies  (SEE: Pak. Army Slowly Building New “Pakistani Taliban” Cover StoryIslamabad: TTP leaders evacuated by mysterious airliftsBritish Relocating Insurgents from Helmand to Kunduz, Let the Germans Deal With Them ).

Pakistan is, and shall forever remain, the primary outlet for CIA terrorism, and all of that manufactured terror is committed by trained military professionals.]

Al-Qaida, Jundullah, announce ceasefire in Pakistan

the nation pakistan
 Al-Qaida, Jundullah, announce ceasefire in Pakistan

Peshawar- After Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), two more militant groups have agreed over ceasefire for a limited time in Pakistan, according to local media quoting sources reported today.

The talks between Taliban Shura and the dialogue committee in North Waziristan bearing fruit, some analysts claim.

Two militant outfits,  Al-Qaida and Jundullah, have agreed over ceasefire in Pakistan, in a joint meeting held somewhere in Afghanistan.

Commander of Jundullah militant outfit, who had claimed an attack in Peshawar cinema, has announced that al-Qaida and Jundullah groups have suspended terrorist attacks in Pakistan for a limited time period.

Commander Ahmed Marwat said that the decision was made in a joint meeting of the two militant groups in Afghanistan, which was also attended by al-Qaida leader Ahmed Yahya Ghaden.

The groups have ceased their operations in Pakistan for a limited time-span, reports said.

Pak Taliban Uphold “Ceasefire,” By Blowing-Up Islamabad Court

ISLAMABAD (AP) – A group of armed men, including two suicide attackers, stormed a court complex in the Pakistani capital on Monday in a rare terror attack in the heart of Islamabad that killed 11 people and wounded dozens.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the assault, which came just days after the Pakistani Taliban announced a one-month ceasefire, raising questions about the group’s ability to control its various factions. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been trying to negotiate a peace settlement with militants in the northwest who have waged a bloody war against the government for years.

Witnesses spoke of attackers wielding automatic weapons running into the narrow alleyways in the sleepy capital’s court complex, hurling grenades and opening fire indiscriminately on lawyers, judges and court personnel.

One lawyer described it as a scene from hell, with blasts and firing all around. “My colleague was shot, and there was no one to help him. When I reached him, he was bleeding and crying for help,” said Momin Ali.

There were conflicting reports on how many attackers were involved in the incident and if any of them had managed to escape from the police. It also remained unclear if anyone had been arrested, how the attackers penetrated so deep into the city and whether a specific person in the complex was the intended target.

Initial reports suggested two men wearing explosive vests rushed into the court complex, threw hand grenades and started shooting, then blew themselves up, said Islamabad Police Chief Sikander Hayat. He put the death toll at 11.

“It was certainly an act of terrorism,” Hayat said. One of the attackers blew himself up outside the office of the lawyers’ union president and the other outside the door of a judge’s office, he added.

The explosions sent lawyers and judges running in fear for their lives as police stormed in. Police subsequently searched the entire complex and found no additional attackers, said Hayat.

Other officials and a lawyer on the scene said there were more than two attackers. Police official Jamil Hashmi said there were about six to eight attackers who spread into different areas of the court complex.

“One of the attackers entered a courtroom and shot and killed a judge,” Hashmi said.

Lawyer Murad Ali said he saw several attackers walking toward a courtroom, brandishing weapons.

“They had automatic weapons. They had hand grenades,” he said. “I saw them shooting a female lawyer.”

His hands were splattered in blood that he said came from helping remove four dead bodies. Another lawyer, Sardar Gul Nawaz, said the attackers had short beards and wore shalwar kameez, a traditional Pakistani outfit of baggy pants and a long tunic.

The dead included two judges and five lawyers, said Dr. Altaf at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad where the dead and wounded were taken. Altaf, who spoke to television reporters and only gave his family name, said most of the victims had bullet wounds. He said 25 were wounded, five of them critically.

The area where the attack occurred is a warren of walkways filled with judges’ chambers, lawyers’ offices and restaurants and businesses catering to the legal community. The walkways are filled with copying machines for clerks and clients to make copies of legal documents, and prisoners wearing chains can often be seen walking through the complex on their way to and from court. Families of suspects on trial also often stand around the area, waiting for their loved ones to appear in court. Some spots in the complex have metal detectors, which are often not used.

Pakistani television showed images of the area with windows blown out, walls torn and lawyers in traditional black suits carrying what appeared to be lifeless bodies and wounded from the buildings. Policemen with weapons raised ran through the area and searched offices.

Body parts and blood mingled with pieces of shattered glass littered the ground outside the courtrooms and attorney’s offices. The police cordoned off the complex, which was taken over by commandos from the police anti-terrorist force.

The attack was a shock to Islamabad, which has mostly been spared the frequent bombings and shootings prevalent in other parts of Pakistan such as Peshawar near the tribal areas or the port city of Karachi.

The peace process has proceeded in fits and starts but seemed to get a boost on Saturday, when the Pakistani Taliban announced they would implement a one-month ceasefire after the military pounded their hideouts with airstrikes.

The militant group was quick to distance itself from Monday’s attack. A spokesman for the organization in a telephone call to an Associated Press reporter said the group was not involved in the assault and restated his group’s commitment to the ceasefire.

But the attack highlighted the difficulty in negotiating a peace deal with a multi-faceted group like the Pakistani Taliban, made up of varying factions. Analysts say that while some in the group may want to negotiate a peace deal, other factions may not, making it difficult to enforce a peace deal across all the factions. The cease-fire did not include other groups, such as al-Qaida, that operate in Pakistan.

__

Associated Press writer Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Asif Shahzad contributed to this report.

Pakistani Taliban Brutally Demonstrate Their Cruel, Hypocritical Nature

[SEE:  Pakistani Taliban announces ceasefire to revive peace talks]

Three bomb blasts targeting polio team kill 12

business recorder

imagePESHAWAR: Twelve people were killed and 11 injured when three roadside bombs targeting a polio vaccination team in Jamroud Tehsil exploded Saturday, officials said, in the latest attack on efforts to combat the crippling disease.

Militant strikes and threats of violence have badly hampered campaigns to stamp out polio in Pakistan.

Eleven paramilitary troops and one child died after the bombs detonated in the Lashora area of Jamroud Tehsil in Khyber tribal district, 30 kilometres (18 miles) southwest of the city of Peshawar, senior administration official Jahangir Khan told AFP.

The troops were protecting a convoy of health workers who were on their way to administer anti-polio drops to children as part of a three-day campaign against polio that started Friday, he said.

“A convoy of three vehicles was taking polio workers to administer the drops and the bombs exploded after the first vehicle that was carrying polio workers crossed the spot,” Khan said.

He added that two vehicles belonging to the medical team were also damaged in the explosions.

Samim Jan, chief of the government-run hospital in Jamroud, confirmed the causalities.

“Twelve dead bodies and three injured were brought here, one of the injured is in critical condition,” he told AFP.

Jan also said that eight of the injured have been shifted to Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar.

Rehman Khan, a senior health official in Khyber tribal district, said the polio campaign has been temporarily suspended in the Jamroud area.

“We will resume administering of polio drops when the security situation is better,” he told AFP.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

Militant groups see vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage, and there are also long-running rumours about polio drops causing infertility.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Pakistani Press Cowardice Documented In Taliban Squelching of Express Tribune Reporting

Liberal newspaper Express Tribune cowed into silence by Pakistani Taliban

guardian

Media group opts for self-censorship on terrorism after Taliban admits murder of three employees for critical reports on militants

Imran Khan speaks to the media after appearing before the Supreme Court in Islamabad

Imran Khan, former cricketer and head of Tehrik-e-Insaf, which is spared criticism because it opposes attacks on the Pakistani Taliban. Photo: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters
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When it was launched four years ago, the Express Tribune set out to become the house newspaper of liberal-minded Pakistanis.

A newcomer to a market dominated by conservative-inclined papers, it made a point of writing about everything from the relentless rise of religious extremism to gay rights.

But in recent weeks the paper has been cowed into silence by an unusually blatant display of power by the Pakistani Taliban.

The paper was forced to drastically tone down its coverage last month after three employees of the media group, which includes another newspaper and television channel, were killed in Karachi by men armed with pistols and silencers on 17 January.

The attack was later claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a large coalition of militant groups, which accused the media group of disseminating anti-Taliban propaganda.

Immediately following the killings, the paper’s editor, Kamal Siddiqi, sent an email to staff outlining the paper’s new policy.

Henceforth there would be “nothing against any militant organisationand its allies like the Jamaat-e-Islami, religious parties and the Tehrik-e-Insaf”, the rightwing party led by Imran Khan, that strongly opposes military operations against the TTP.

There would also be “nothing on condemning any terrorist attack”, “nothing against TTP or its statements” and “no opinion piece/cartoon on terrorism, militancy, the military, military operations, terror attacks”.

Reporters have been banned from describing a movement responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians, soldiers and police as “outlawed” or “militant”.

The terrorist attacks that rack the country on an almost daily basis are covered on the news pages, but are pared down.

“We do have exclusives, but we don’t run them,” Siddiqi said. “It’s very frustrating at a personal level for all journalists. But we have decided that we won’t do anything at least for the foreseeable future that will come back to haunt us.”

Other changes include a more conservative approach to photographs of female models in the paper’s lifestyle sections and weekend magazine.

Worst affected are the opinion pages. Once-feisty leader writers have almost entirely overlooked the near-continuous attacks that have rocked the country in recent weeks.

Ayesha Siddiqa, a regular columnist, said the muzzling of Pakistan’s media was contributing to an “absolutely mesmerising information deficit” among the public.

“I said to the editor, ‘what am I to do, start writing about cooking or films?’ Because that’s all that’s left.”

The killings followed a bomb and small-arms attack on the company’s offices in Karachi in December. One reporter on the paper said the attacks had terrified many colleagues.

“The paper has an unusually young staff and a lot of the kids were pretty scared, with parents telling them they should quit,” the staff writer said. “There were some people who said we should fight back, but they were a minority.”

After the killings, a TTP spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, was allowed to join by telephone a live discussion programme on the paper’s sister television station, Express News.

He claimed responsibility for the killings, complained the company “was playing the role of propagandist in this war with the Taliban” and said it had ignored regular complaints he had emailed to the channel.

The TV show’s host, Javed Chaudhry, promised that the station and newspaper would take pains to present the TTP’s position “without any trimming”.

“We will have a balanced and impartial attitude towards you and will convey your point of view to the people but we have only one request: that our colleagues should be protected,” he told the TTP spokesman and watching audience.

The TTP has threatened and attacked journalists in the past, including the BBC after its Urdu-language service aired highly critical comment about the Taliban attempt to assassinate the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in 2012.

Although much of Pakistan’s national debate is conducted in the country’s generally right-leaning Urdu press and television, the TTP monitors everything.

Ali Dayan Hasan, of Human Rights Watch, said: “The Taliban and other armed groups have threatened the media over their coverage for several years, but now those threats are ratcheting up by accompanying attacks.

“It’s an extremely effective tactic that does far more than just censorship, it also skews the entire national debate.”

Siddiqi, the editor, said he could not risk any more lives.

“The fact is three people have been killed and no one out there is protecting us,” he said, pointing out that no arrests had been made in connection with either of the attacks on the company.

“We are on our own. We have to look out for our own people.”