The Self-Delusion That Passes for Peace

[Pakistan is doomed.]

The peace delusion

dawn

WHILE approaching our problem of terror and courting peace in earnest there is no room for false bravado. Why object to state functionaries sitting down with disaffected citizens if that can sort out misconceptions that have angered or deluded them into declaring war on the state?

Didn’t Clausewitz, the god of war wisdom, settle once and for all that ‘war is merely the continuation of policy by other means’? So if policy can be pursued by peace talks why yelp for internecine bloodletting?

The logical critique of the inane resolution produced by the all-party conference (APC) isn’t rooted in the desire for vengeance or a conceited notion of honor. An eye-for-an-eye doesn’t produce justice or peace, but revenge. When a state punishes criminals it is not for a singular object but for a whole range of considerations including retribution for wrongful actions, closure for victims, deterring crime to maintain peace in society and reforming the recalcitrant. The moral argument against peace talks is weak.

The loss of over 40,000 citizens and soldiers is an unspeakable tragedy. But wars always produce casualties. If the argument that all blood shed in war must be avenged were to hold, no war would ever end. The paramount obligation of the state is not to fathom the best way to mourn or honour the dead, but to protect the life and liberty of the living. And if as a nation we are unsure whether our Constitution, the sovereignty of our state and a tolerant society are worthy causes, isn’t the choice between war and peace a fake one?

In other words why go to war over pursuit of a policy when the policy is up for negotiation if unacceptable to our adversary. So if we are willing to remodel the vision and future of Pakistan, its laws, political system, foreign policy and social norms, as desired by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), why fight? The critics of the APC’s romantic notion of peace through talks are neither opposed to peace nor talks. Their argument is that there is no real likelihood of talks succeeding and their failure will produce dividends for the TTP.

And in case a miracle happens and talks succeed, the terms on which peace will be secured will either be unsustainable or will require altering the vision for the future of Pakistan in a manner that will be nothing less than complete surrender to the forces of regression and intolerance. The APC resolution thus reinforces the harrowing sense that our national leadership either utterly lacks comprehension of the problem facing us or those at the helm have adopted Madame de Pompadour’s approach to problem solving: ‘after us, the deluge’.

The seeds of militancy and terror were not sown in 2001 when Pakistan elected to side with the US ‘war on terror’. That choice only exposed a design flaw in our national security thinking. We sowed the seeds of militancy when, encouraged by the US in the 1980s, we decided to brainwash, train and employ jihadis in pursuit of our national security policy in Afghanistan. Unlike mercenaries motivated by money or a regular soldier under military discipline, the jihadi militant was manufactured without a ‘turn-off’ switch.

If jihad against infidel Russia was right in the 1980s how could jihad against infidel Yanks be wrong in 2001? It was not jihadists who rebelled against the state; it was the state that rebelled against a just religious cause by agreeing to sleep with the enemy, the jihadists argue. The point is that a state cannot share monopoly over violence with any private militia, whether motivated by religion or not, precisely because it cannot allow a private group to challenge its foreign or security policy backed by threat of use of force.

Our problem of militancy won’t end with the end of the US war in Afghanistan. It won’t end till there exist armed private militias in Pakistan inspired by the virile belief that they have a legitimate right to forcefully change state policies, our political and legal system or social norms, and possess the means to do so.

There can be no sustainable peace in Pakistan so long as the state views religion-inspired militants as a useful weapon that can be controlled and put to good use in the national interest. There can be no sustainable peace till the state is open to allowing militants self-governed sanctuaries in our bad outlands or urban pockets. There can be no sustainable peace if it is a product of the courtesy or mercy shown by militants and not their diminished capacity to inflict violence.

There can be no peace till the state willingly tolerates violence and hatemongering in the name of religion. There can be no peace till the state continues looking away as our foreign Muslim friends fund and patronise sectarian groups in Pakistan. And there can be no peace if it hangs on the promise to implement the Sharia, when there is no agreement in the country over what that means. Shouldn’t the APC have addressed some of these thorny matters?

The manner in which the APC has endorsed unconditional talks with the TTP creates two problems. One, it legitimises the pro-terror narrative that has confused and polarised our nation ie terrorists might be mistaken in killing fellow citizens, but that is understandable because they are so incensed by wrongful state policies. And two, it is terrorists who are setting conditions and defining the framework of talks and not the state, and as a consequence if talks fail the onus will be on the state.

The most charitable assessment of the APC could have been that the sense of tolerance and accommodation exhibited by the APC will cultivate public opinion in favour of use of force in case talks fail. But the manner in which the TTP has responded, our tyrants might just be ahead of our leaders even when it comes to shaping public opinion. Maybe we are being needlessly cynical and our leadership is working with a grand strategy: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

The writer is a lawyer. sattar@post.harvard.edu Twitter: @ babar_sattar

Pak Govt Debates Complete and Total Surrender To Hakeemullah In FATA

As Pakistani politicians surrender to terrorists, TTP demands complete writ in tribal areas

all voices

According to latest reports, the terrorists of various factions under the umbrella of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are demanding pulling out of army from the tribal area as a precondition to start the dialogue. They want their own writ established in that area before they come to negotiating table. If government accepts the demand, it will strenthen the popular perception that APC was no more than a sell-out to Pakistani Taliban. Similar demands have already been made by India-sponsored Baloch separatists.

This is subsequent to the All Parties Conference (APC) of Pakistan’s political leaders held on Monday in Islamabad with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in chair. The confenece which was held to find a way forward to address the issue of terrorism ended with a resolution to engage with Pakistani Taliban (TTP) in negotiations. The resolution issued at the end of the conference seems to have achieved nothing in accordance with the aspirations of the people, the intended target and victims of terrorism. This vague document has been viewed by analysts as more of a document of surrender than an expression of a nation’s resolve to fight terrorism. The politicos were so cautious in naming the culprits that they decided not to name the terrorists as killers of more than 50,000 innocent civilians and shifted their focus on illegal war on terror and drone strikes. The resolution was clearly an attempt to appease the terrorists.

In his op-ed piece for English language daily newspaper, DAWN, analyst Zahid Hussain wrote that in fact, militant groups responsible for the death of thousands of men, women, children and soldiers, have virtually been legitimized as stakeholders in the peace efforts. The political parties participating in the conference were not expected to come up with a better resolution given their diverse ideological and political views. But the outcome, writes Hussain, has been even more shambolic than expected. The political leaders failed to decide the perimeter within which the talks are to be held or whether the extremists would be asked cessation of attacks and laying down the arms as a precondition of proposed talks. The tone and tenor of the resolution is that of a party losing a war and forced to negotiate for peace. The militants have already made their demand public which includes changing Pakistan’s foreign policy and enforcement of their version of Sharia. In fact, the TTP has upped the ante after the APC resolution calling for the state to show more sincerity before the negotiations. “The government will also have to convince the army and to decide on a roadmap for the talks,” a TTP spokesman was quoted as saying.

Pakistan Army launched military operation in scenic Swat Valley in 2009 and cleared the area by killing and flushing out the terrorists. It launched another operation in South Waziristan Agency of the restive tribal belt forcing the terrorists to flee and seek safe havens in Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nuristan provinces under the protective umbrella of Afghan government. It was not the State but the militants who were on a weak wicket and the government could exploit the situation by talking from the position of strength giving ultimatum to them to surrender or face the wrath of the State.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, the political dispensation lacks the spine to fight the terrorists. The parties who participated in the conference are known for their declared sympathies for them. The campaign to talk to terrorists and cease military operation against them was launched by Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf who is dubbed by the people as Taliban Khan. Similarly, another politician spearheading talks is Maulana Fazal who is known as Father of Taliban and exercise strong clout among them. These two politicians have been protecting the interests of terrorists at the cost of national interests.

Surprisingly, the armed forces have not made their voice heard and are reported to only do the bidding of the politicians. They have, however, made it clear that for them national integrity is more important than anything else.

hsaqib is based in Rāwalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.

Pak Govt Wimps Out—No Execution of TTP Murderers

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday ordered a temporary stay of executions following objections from the president and rights groups, days before they were due to resume after a five-year moratorium.

The new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in June scrapped the moratorium on the death penalty in a bid to crack down on criminals and Islamist militants in the violence-torn country.

But on Sunday the government announced that executions, which had been scheduled to begin this week, would be stayed temporarily following objections from outgoing President Asif Ali Zardari.

The stay would last until Zardari returns from abroad to discuss the matter with Sharif, a statement said.

“In due deference to the wish of the president, it has been desired that all executions of death sentences may be held in abeyance till the discussion takes place,” it said.

Zardari steps down on September 8, to be replaced by businessman Mamnoon Hussain, a close Sharif ally who was elected in July.

Pakistan had intended to hang two convicted killers from banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) this Wednesday or Thursday in the southern town of Sukkur, officials had said.

Other prisoners on death row had also expected to be executed this week.

LeJ, one of the most feared extremist groups in Pakistan, has been accused of killing thousands of Shiite Muslims. It has close links to the Pakistani Taliban, which has waged an insurgency since 2007.

Taliban militants have said they will consider the executions of any of its prisoners a declaration of war.

US Proxy Terrorist Force Executes 13 Punjabi Workers In Balochistan

[As an avid Baloch watcher, over the years I have compiled the following two maps at Google Map, marking countless attacks, most of them linked to the BLA (Baloch Liberation Army).] 

[My good friend Tariq Saeedi, editor of NewsCentralAsia, deserves Pakistan's gratitude for his extensive investigative reports on the birth of the BLA, which were compiled by a team of international reporters at great personal risk (SEE:  Pakistan: Unveiling the Mystery of Balochistan Insurgency — Part One Pakistan: Unveiling the Mystery of Balochistan Insurgency — Part Two ).

This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the BLA has dispatched a force of 200 or more men for a Baloch terrorist operation.  This is very significant, since a renewed BLA offensive on this scale (actually a CIA/RAW operation) means that the Evil Empire is up to something big.  This is a diversionary attack by the forces of Imperialism, intended to distract the gaze of world opinion, while Bandar's "Plan B" operation gets time to gain control over the Islamist forces in Syria and the Egyptian military takes control of the Muslim Brotherhood.  

The implication of this kind of attack at this time, upon Punjabi workers leaving Balochistan, by Imperialist proxies, is that it was one of those "tickling" attacks that the CIA is so proud of (SEE:  CIA HAS BEEN TICKLING PEOPLE TO DEATH FOR YEARS).  This attack was meant to provoke a retaliatory response from the Punjabi Taliban, a.k.a., TTP.  The timing of the attack also coincides with the announced Aug. 20 hanging date announced by the Pak govt for the first of three Punjabi Taliban (a.k.a., Lashkar e-Jhangvi) at Sukkur Central Prison.]

“The three Lashkar-i-Jhangvi terrorists are Attaullah, to be executed on Aug 20, Mohammad Azam on Aug 21 and Jalal on Aug 22.”

Carnage in Bolan; 13 shot dead

QUETTA, Aug 6:

Gunmen disguised as security personnel killed 11 civilians and two security men after kidnapping them from Punjab-bound passenger coaches near Machh Town in Bolan district, about 80km southeast of here, on Tuesday morning.

“About 200 armed men wearing uniform of Frontier Corps and Levies carried out the attack,” Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said, adding that the militants had lined up the passengers in the mountains before killing them. Most of the victims were Punjabi labourers.

The coaches were coming from Quetta.

The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the killings.

Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch condemned the killing and directed the authorities concerned to go after the perpetrators.

Officials confirmed the killing of two security personnel and said the other victims were civilians going to their hometowns of Rahimyar Khan, Sadiqabad, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan to celebrate Eid with their families.

According to sources, the militants first attacked an oil tanker carrying fuel for the Pakistan Air Force at a place near Machh town early on Tuesday morning. They engaged personnel of Levies, police and Frontier Corps deployed on the highway for security of vehicular traffic.

In the meantime, armed men set up a fake checkpost and started checking passenger buses coming from Quetta.

They stopped five buses at the checkpost and took away 21 passengers with them to nearby mountains. The sources said the armed men lined up 13 of the passengers after checking their identity cards and gunned them down. They released the other passengers, including six Levies personnel. The 13 bullet-riddled bodies were found in the mountains.

Security forces and local administration officials rushed to the site and the bodies were taken to the Machh District Hospital and later to the Civil Hospital Quetta.

“I brought 13 bodies to the Machh hospital,” Assistant Commissioner Kashif Nabi told Dawn. “The victims were hit from a close range in the head and chest,” sources in the Civil Hospital said. Some of them suffered multiple bullet wounds.

Bolan’s Deputy Commissioner Abdul Waheed Shah said the militants had attacked the oil tanker to engage security forces and set up their ‘checkpoint’ to kidnap passengers. One FC man was killed and the driver of a vehicle injured during an exchange of fire between security forces and the militants.

“Security forces are looking for the militants in the area,” Mr Shah said. Home Secretary Akbar Durrani told reporters that there would be a targeted operation and all resources would be used to capture the killers.

“The operation will cover a vest area,” Zubair Ahmed Kurd, a senior official of the local administration, said.

The 13 victims were identified as Ahmed, Shakeel Ahmed and Mohammad Bakhsh (from Sadiqabad), Mohammad Aslam, Saqib and Hawaldar Arshad (Rahimyar Khan), Shahid (Multan), Shakeel (Dera Ghazi Khan), Abdul Malik (Muzaffargarh), Mohammad Ashraf and Shaukat Ali (Faisalabad) and FC man Safeer Ahmed.

“We are labourers. My relative was going to Alipur village to celebrate Eid with the family but now I am receiving his body,” Mohammad Yousuf said in the Civil Hospital.

“I lost my brother and nephew,” said another man who declined to be identified. He said he worked in an optical shop. “Thanks God my two other relatives are safe, but I lost my bother and nephew.”

A spokesman for the BLA identifying himself as Mirack Baloch said their men had kidnapped and killed 13 people. Calling to journalists from a satellite phone, he said they had killed the passengers after checking their identity. He said 26 people had been kidnapped from different buses and 13 of them, including five Levies personnel, were freed after taking their official weapons.

But according to the officials, eight people escaped when the kidnappers were taking them to the mountains.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the killings and ordered arrest of the perpetrators.

Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai and Senior Minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri also condemned the killings and said the elements involved in the inhuman act would be brought to justice.

This was the seventh such incident in Bolan.

 

Pakistan’s Leaked Secret Document On NATO and US Predator Aggression—2006-2009

Get the Data: The Pakistan government’s secret document

bureau of investigative journalism

 

by

Copyright Karim Khan/AFP/Getty

Locals inspect the wreckage of a drone strike in Bannu province, November 19 2008
(Photo: Karim Khan/AFP/Getty)

 

The Bureau is publishing in full a leaked internal document – titled Details of Attacks by NATO Forces Predators in FATA - which contains the Pakistan government’s own estimates of how many people have died in specific CIA drone strikes.

 

The summary report – obtained from three independent sources – covers the period January 13 2006 to October 24 2009.

 

Drawn from field reports by local officials in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the document lists over 70 drone strikes between 2006 and late 2009, alongside a small number of other incidents such as alleged Nato attacks and strikes by unspecified forces.

 

Of 746 people listed as killed in the drone strikes, at least 147 of the dead are clearly stated by the leaked report to be civilian victims. Some 94 of these are said to be children.

 

Some CIA strikes are missing from the document. None of the five reported strikes for 2007 are listed, for example. Also missing are any biographical details of those killed, although the genders of many victims are reported and – where known – whether any children died.

 

The document also fails to mention details of a number of senior militant commanders known to have died in the attacks.

The Bureau believes there is a strong public interest value in publishing the report in full. A number of small distinguishing marks have been removed – otherwise the document is presented as-is.

Related story – Exclusive: Leaked Pakistani report reveals high civilian death toll in CIA drone strikes

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Pakistani Taliban Fighting for Obama Against Bashar Assad Would Prove That Hakeemullah’s Master Is CIA

Pakistan Taliban ‘sets up a base in Syria’

BBC

By Ahmed Wali Mujeeb BBC Urdu

Taliban fighters (file photo)
The Pakistani Taliban sees itself as being ideologically opposed to President Assad’s rule

 

The Pakistani Taliban have visited Syria to set up a base and to assess “the needs of the jihad”, a Taliban official has told the BBC.

 

He said that the base was set up with the assistance of ex-Afghan fighters of Middle Eastern origin who have moved to Syria in recent years.

 

At least 12 experts in warfare and information technology had gone to Syria in the last two months, he said.

 

Their presence in the country is likely to have a sectarian motive.

 

Taliban factions feel that Sunni Muslims, who constitute a majority in Syria, are being oppressed by Syria’s predominantly Shia rulers.

 

Thousands of people have died in the year-long armed conflict in Syria between loyalists of the ruling Baath Party and those who want to overthrow it.

 

The Pakistani government has not commented on the allegations.

‘Joint operations’

Mohammad Amin, a senior Taliban operative and “co-ordinator of the Syrian base”, told the BBC that the cell to monitor “the jihad” in Syria was set up six months ago.

He said that the cell has the approval of militant factions both within and outside of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organisation of militant groups fighting the Pakistani forces.

The cell sends “information and feedback” on the conflict in Syria back to Pakistan, he said,

“They were facilitated by our friends in Syria who have previously been fighting in Afghanistan,” Mr Amin said.

Their job is to “assess the needs of the Jihad in Syria, and to work out joint operations with our Syrian friends”.

“There are dozens of Pakistani hopefuls in line to join the fighting against the Syrian army, but the advice we are getting at the moment is that there’s already enough manpower in Syria.”

In the past, militant fighters from Pakistan have often gone to fight in Central Asia and the Balkans.

In the 1990s, militant group Harkatul Mujahideen, was known to have sent a large number of men to fight in the Bosnian civil war of 1992-95.

Many Afghan and Pakistani fighters also fought on the side of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 1988-94.

A number of Taliban groups in Pakistan have sectarian leanings, and resent the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – having a Shia background – over Sunni Muslims who constitute about three-quarters of the Syrian population.

Sources say that anti-Shia groups in Pakistan have access to considerable charity funds raised in some Middle Eastern sheikhdoms that see their domestic Shia populations as a problem.

CIA Claims That 183 Waterboarding Sessions Inspired Khalid Sheikh To Design Vaccuum Cleaner

 

[Next the sadistic bastards will be trying to convince us that KSM invented the ultimate Toll House Cookie recipe, or that he took-up needlepoint between sessions, while the waterboarding experience elevated him to the tenth level of Nirvana.  There are some people who really believe that near-death experiences are good for the soul and that they would be glad to hold some unruly person under water (SEE: Pediatrician Waterboards Eleven-Year Old Daughter To Make Her A Better Person, By Simulating “Near Death Experience” ).]

CIA reportedly allowed 9/11 mastermind to design vacuum cleaner in custody

foxnews

ksmvacuumreuters.jpg

BBC Expose’ of MI5/6 Pakistani Asset Altaf Hussain

[SEE:   Waging War Upon Ourselves]

AP TOPIX Pakistan Election

Dr Imran Farooq murder: Scotland Yard raid offices in London–(UPDATED)

Pak, Brit and American Governments Walking On Eggshells Over This MQM London Raid Thing

London’s MQM Thugs Once Again Commit Mass-Murder In Karachi

Pak Journalist Brutally Murdered–Possible Link To Recent Expose On MQM Leader Altaf Hussain

ISI-Linked Militant Group MQM-Haqiqi and the Revival of Near Civil War In Karachi

MQM is exposed

MQM killed 650+ Sind Police Officers

The British Empire of Altaf Hussain–MQM

Altaf Defends “Democracy” But Threatens “Erasure” of Court Judges for Ordering Redistricting of Karachi

Pakistan party MQM: Police investigate claims it incited violence from London

11 July 2013

Police in London are investigating one of Pakistan’s biggest political parties, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) for possible money-laundering. The BBC understands that in raids on MQM-owned properties in London, police found hundreds of thousands of dollars of unaccounted-for cash.

The party’s leader is Altaf Hussain, who lives in London in self-imposed exile. Officers are also investigating complaints alleging that Mr Hussain used his base in the UK to incite violence in Pakistan.

The party denies the allegations that murders in Pakistan were ordered from London and says it is the victim of “malicious” propaganda. It declined to comment about the money-laundering investigation while police inquiries continue and stressed no arrests have been made.

Watch the MQM response here.

Owen Bennett-Jones reports.

 

 

Lahore Mafia Bombing Disguised As Imaginary Terrorist Outfit, “Baloch Liberation Tigers”

[So-called “Baloch Liberation Tigers” have taken responsibility for this terror attack.  Before this, their only known action was the devastating August 15, 2011 bombing of the Bismallah Hotel in Quetta, which took 15 lives.  According to Express Tribune report on the Anarkali blast, it took place at a restaurant at a hotel on Anarkali food street.  There is another Bismallah Hotel there.  The report notes that there were no ball bearings or metal shrapnel in the bomb, as is typical in Pakistan, identical to two “cracker blasts” in 2010 at  Iqbal Town and Taxali Gate in Lahore.  Also mentioned is the hotel owner is Bodi Gujjar, one of Lahore’s top ten gangsters.  This was a mafia bombing, blamed on the imaginary scapegoat, called Baloch Liberation Tigers.  Their logo, in the photo below was taken from their website:

Image

Bismallah hotel2

80 rounded up in Lahore blast probe

dawn

LAHORE: As the death toll in Saturday’s Old Anarkali bomb blast rose to five on Sunday, police took more than 80 suspects into custody for interrogation, but without any significant breakthrough in investigation.

However, a police official told Dawn that a group, calling itself Baloch Liberation Tigers, led by Meeran Baloch, had claimed responsibility for the attack in phone calls made to the Balochistan media and police.

The official said that the Punjab police had been informed about the claim by their Balochistan counterparts.

According to sources, seven senior members of banned groups were picked up for interrogation in connection with the blast.

Soon after the blast, policemen deployed on posts on various roads in the city began checking car and motorcycles and impounded several vehicles after their drivers failed to show registration books.

A device containing about 500g of explosives in a polythene bag placed beneath a deep freezer on the footpath in front of a food outlet in the busy Old Anarkali Food Street went off on Saturday night. A six-year-old girl was among the dead.

According to witnesses, dozens of families were dining at the peak hours when the blast shook the locality.

Of the 47 people injured in the attack, 11 were discharged from the Mayo, Sir Ganga Ram and Services hospitals after treatment.

Dozens of Afghans and Pakhtuns and food street workers were among those taken into custody during a search operation. Most of them were not carrying their identity documents. Police also quizzed residents about their guests.

Police intensified security around the City Railway Station, bus stands, Sunday bazaars and important buildings and places.

A case under Sections 302 and 324 of the PPC, 3/4 of the Explosives Act and 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act was lodged at the Old Anarkali police station on behalf of the state.

A police investigator told Dawn that forensic experts had cleared the crime scene after collecting evidence and samples of the explosives had been sent for analysis.

He said the intensity of the blast had increased because it also blew up the compressor of the freezer and empty soft drink bottles lying at the place.

The investigator said police could not find any clue from CCTV footages obtained from various shops.

Inspector General of Punjab Police Khan Baig and Lahore DIG (Investigation) Zulfiqar Hameed inspected the crime scene and gathered details of the investigation after Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif sought an immediate report.

The chief minister, who was in China along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, asked the law-enforcement agencies to utilise all resources to track down the assailants.

Mr Baig said police were looking at the case from different angles and the terrorists would be brought to justice.

He said police would ensure comprehensive security for citizens during Ramazan.

VICTIMS: Six-year-old Sadia, 18-year-old Farhan of Baghbanpura, Shujaur Rehman of Bhalwal, 16-year-old Noman Iqbal of Faisalabad and a 35-year-old man were killed.

A Mayo hospital morgue official said four bodies had been handed over to their families.

“Taliban” Pakistan’s Deniable Paramilitary Force Wages Terror War To Assert Army Control

TO borrow an idea from sociologist Victor Burner, terrorism in Pakistan has become a social drama. Almost every passing day offers something new, dramatic and unusual.

Terrorists provide the lead by carrying out planned attacks in different parts of the country. Next follow the rituals and rhetoric. The authorities’ security briefs, political condemnations and citizens’ vigils are scenes from the same drama, which inadvertently keep terrorism intact.

The handling of militancy in this way by officialdom has added to the spectacle of violence, with the public imagination imbued with the thought of ‘more to come’.

This is enough for terrorism to become internalised, and therefore it is accepted as normal. This helps us understand why the KP information minister in his reaction to a bomb blast in Mardan that killed a number of people, including a parliamentarian, is reported to have said: “It’s not doomsday.”

Even though he retracted his statement, his denial does not make the issue less important.

Unfortunately, fear has pushed the entire civilian infrastructure into a state of confusion. If the opposition in KP blames the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government for its lack of courage to pass an Assembly resolution against the killing of 10 foreign tourists, the statements of politicians at the centre see a conspiracy behind the attack.

There is political caution in not linking this drama to the logical perpetrators — the Taliban. The political and military solution lies in perpetuating the ritual, instead of ending it.

Some aspects of our national character are also at work here. Decades of exploitation have cultivated in us the seeds of self-denigration and self-pity. The standard comment on a road that is bumpy, a bureaucrat who is exploitative and load-shedding realities is ‘this is our country’.

Yet, there is the example of the Taliban in the same country whose performance is impeccable. In fact, it is hard to believe that somebody from this land can work so diligently to destabilise the country.

Let’s not get distracted. My focus is not on the argument that rhetoric (statements) and rituals (Assembly resolutions) can dent the militants’ strength. I want to elaborate on the absence of political resolve, which has left people complacent with the situation.

We should not ignore the fact that without political resolve, the official response through rhetoric and rituals can only lead to acceptance of terrorism. It is happening right now, where people feel the effects and see scenes of acts of terrorism, but they can’t find the way out.

Official confusion and lack of resolve is clearly translated in the public vision to understand the drama. So far people largely believe in what they are told by media, politicians and state officials.

They need to break away from this pre-determined path by avoiding an approach that understands terror only in a black and white form. They have to challenge the state apparatus for its role in not curbing terrorism, the way they need to hold accountable all those supportive of militancy.

Through provocative statements, the forces of status quo still interpret their jihadi vision while sitting in public ranks. They test the water from time to time by reinforcing their identity, ideas and ideology to ensure that they still are the guardians of the ruling militant discourse.

After a wave of violence in Quetta in which militants set alight the Quaid’s residence and killed several university students, the Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed reiterated his jihadi commitment.

While appealing to militant organisations to stop attacks inside Pakistan, he reiterated that ‘jihad’ would continue outside Pakistan. In plain words, he gave with one hand what he took away with the other.

Even in the midst of insane violence, provocative jihadi statements reflect that the archaic notion is still intact, which in the past had menaced the very continuity of the sway of the security institutions and their proxies.

Why then should we lament if one section of the proxies defies the strategic expectations of their mentors and falls back on us? The outcome is already reflected in whatever is happening all around.

Ten years of fighting against militancy should have helped us learn that terrorism is not going to end unless the state initiates steps to neutralise radical leaders. By serving as vital cogs in a predatory militant wheel, these leaders provide the youth with a reason to join militancy.

It does not need extra intelligence to understand that the jihadi enterprise of ‘bad’ Taliban is the reactionary outcome of the social process, which was adopted in the past to create the ‘good’ Taliban. The country has already paid a heavy price for this militant project, which was patronised by the state, exploited by politicians and recognised by society.

We have to understand that any discourse has other than purely intended consequences. Therefore, encouraging ‘jihad’ against others is not free from repercussions.

According to sociologist Wagner Pacific, “words build bridges to actions, and some people will choose to walk over those bridges”. We, therefore, cannot stop the ‘bad’ Taliban from using the same militant discourse to fight against us.

After all, militants of all stripes abhor democracy the way they detest peace and radically translate progress. With so much in common, what differentiation can we draw between the good or bad Taliban and ‘jihad’ here or there?

Pakistan already has reached a stage where its people cannot afford to let confusion rule their collective imagination. Change in the earlier jihadi worldview is vital for snatching the initiative from the forces of status quo, which set the agenda for the militant discourse.

In a situation which has become a matter of grave concern for peace-loving people all around the world, allowing the radical mindset to provide us with ideological and material initiatives means we all share a role in fomenting militancy.

The writer is a journalist and PhD student at the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, US.

Terrorism In Pakistan Can Only End When the Army Stops Supporting Terrorists

[If this delusional anti-terrorism policy is followed by the new Sharif govt., then Pakistan will continue to serve as the world nexus for all Islamist terrorism.]

LAHORE: Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif on Monday said solving the electricity crisis in the country would not curb terrorism, DawnNews reported.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of a two-day health conference in Lahore, the chief minister said the problem of terrorism could only be resolved if societal inequalities were eliminated and the overall system was revamped.

He moreover said that imposition of four martial laws in the country had destroyed Pakistan.

Chief Minister Sharif added that basic amenities like health and education facilities, which were available to the society’s elite class, were not accessible to ordinary members of the public.

He gave the example of Cuba, saying it had the world’s best health system [SEE:  Re-examining the Cuban Health Care System: Towards a Qualitative Critique].  Moreover, he said despite their troubles, African countries were not plagued by measles which he said was only prevalent in Pakistan and Afghanistan due to which scores of children had died. ["Measles deaths are clustered primarily in Africa and India."--Unicef]

The chief minister regretted that the country was unable to formulate even one bio-medical workshop.

Pak Army Sends Terrorist Proxy Force Into Nangarhar, After Faqir Muhammad’s TTP

[This is the Pak Army sending its surrogate terrorist army into Afghanistan to eliminate the TTP hiding there and staging cross-border attacks into Mohmand.  Episodes such as this should be enough to refute Pakistani denials about the Pak terrorists being the Army's progeny.  This attack has been on hold since June 8, when Dawn news leaked word of the impending battle and spilled the beans about the attack force including many Afghan Taliban (SEE:  Major militant clash feared near Pak-Afghan border  2013-06-08).  This latest report doesn't mention the Mullah Omar forces in its report on Pak Army militants hitting the TTP in Kunar and Nangarhar, but rest assured that the attacking force remains the same.  Notice that Lashkar e-Taiba is included as well.]

 

PESHAWAR: Clashes between the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups erupted in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region as hundreds of fighters attacked TTP bases situated in Kunar and Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Taliban sources said hundreds of armed fighters comprising Lashkar-i-Taiba, Ansarul Islam (AI), ‘Mohmand force’ and other local militias (lashkars) were part of a joint attack on Pakistani Taliban positions in Afghanistan.

Earlier, reports had said that the Afghan Taliban were also backing the attacking groups but later the TTP requested Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar to intervene and as a result the clash was averted. Rival groups have now initiated another attack of which the Afghan Taliban are not a part, said TTP commander.

Mukarram Khurasani, spokesman for the TTP’s Mohmand chapter chief Omar Khaliq, told Dawn.com that hundreds of militants had attacked the Pakistani Taliban positions in Shongrai and the bordering village of Jarobi Darra.

Khurasani also accused Lashkar-i-Taiba commander Haji Abdul Rahim of leading the attackers.

The Taliban’s Mohmand chapter chief also claimed that the attack had been repulsed and said that one attacker was killed while three were injured.

Meanwhile, Lashkar-i-Taiba spokesperson Mahmud Ghaznavi rejected the allegations that the group was involved in the clashes. Ghaznavi said that the Lashkar-i-Taiba is operational only in Kashmir and has nothing to do with the TTP or the Afghan Taliban.

The exact number of causalities could not independently verified as the area is a ‘no-man’s land’ where the Afghan government has no writ and militants exercise control.

Most of the militants under attack are believed to be associated with the TTP who had escaped military operations in Mohmand, Bajaur, Malakand division and Khyber tribal region in neighboring Pakistan.

The clash might be a continuation of the killing of militant commander Shah Sahib, who led another Islamist group engaged in fighting US-led Nato troops in Afghanistan and was based in Mohmand Agency since 2006.

TTP militants led by Umar Khalid Khurasani attacked the training centre of the Shah group on July 19, 2008, killing many, including Shah Sahib. Most of the Shah Sahib loyalists were either kidnapped or killed and the group was eliminated from Mohmand tribal region.

Most members of the group are presently part of tribal lashkars (local militias) rivaling the TTP.

“Taliban Negotiators” In Doha Are ISI “Ringers,” Who Have Not Seen Mullah Omar In 12 Years

motasim-agha-jan-tolonews

[Agha and any so-called "Taliban" who are associated with him are mutually acceptable to the CIA and to the ISI as replacements for those real Afghan Taliban negotiators who were on Mullah Barader's team and are under arrest in Pakistan.   They were negotiating with Karzai, NOT the Americans (SEE: Arresting Taliban To Cover America’s Ass).  This alleged "Taliban office" in Doha does NOT represent either the real Taliban, or the Afghan people; it represents the CIA and the ISI. 

In a Tolo News interview with this Agha guy, he admits that he has NOT been in any kind of consultations with Mullah Omar:

Mutasem_Agha_Jan

"Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid currently is in a situation where his position is indeterminable."

He dismisses testimony from known Taliban spokesmen, that they will not negotiate with occupiers or their puppets, by describing these denials as battlefield propaganda:

"What you referred to are the war-time messages that hostile groups in Afghanistan broadcast against each other."

This Taliban "jinn" has been given human substance, in order that he might create hope in "reconciliation," as a preferable choice over the specter of "civil war."  As with all other CIA grand behavioral manipulations, the realistic vision is created in popular opinion, that certain countries are sliding into "civil war," or that the world in general is headed for world war.  Any conceivable solution would be preferable to either of those options.  This is the "Hobsen's choice" that the American Imperialists are presenting to the world.  But they are false choices, intended to hide more realistic, "unprofitable" solutions.  The only real "solution" to Afghanistan is the universal freezing of all hostilities, especially those initiated by outside sources and carried-out by mercenary proxy forces. 

The sooner this latest American "negotiations"/"reconciliation" subterfuge is put down, the more likely it will be that American forces will actually end their destabilization operations and leave Afghanistan, instead of just waiting-out the clock on Hamid Karzai as planned.]

Some Taliban negotiators have links to ISI: Saleh

Pajhwok

by Mohammad Hassan Khitab
[Pajhwok Afghan News]
KABUL (PAN): Some of the Taliban representatives manning their political office in Qatar have links to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Afghanistan’s former spy chief claimed on Sunday.

A 10-member team of the insurgent movement, including Maulvi Syed Tayeb Agha, Qazi Din Mohammad, Zahid Ahmadzai, Dr. Mohammad Naeem Wardak, Sohail Shaheen, Sher Mohammad Abbas and Nek Mohammad, recently left for Doha.

Amarullah Saleh, ex-head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), told reporters in Kabul the Taliban negotiators had spent the last 12 years living in Pakistan. During the period, he said, none of them had met Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Saleh added based on his information one of the Taliban negotiators was Maulvi Rahim, who was living in Islamabad and his children were studying in Pakistani schools.

“It’s pretty obvious who issues passports and visas to those going from Islamabad to Doha, who checks their documents and who nominates them,” he asked, suggesting the Taliban representatives had connections with Pakistan.

Also a senior member of the opposition alliance, Saleh said the Taliban negotiators fluently spoke English and closer look at their backgrounds would reveal where they had been living and who had sent them to Qatar.

“One of them is Din Mohammad, who I know very well. Coming from Badakhshan province, he has been in contact with me in the past,” remarked the erstwhile spymaster, who recalled the ISI had shifted Din Mohammad from Peshawar to Quetta two years ago when the Afghan government entered talks with the Taliban.

After staying in Quetta for a month and a half, Mohammad was blindfolded and taken to the port city of Karachi. The man remained for three to four weeks in Karachi, awaiting a meeting with Mullah Omar there, Saleh revealed. However, he did not know whether or not the meeting took place.

Kabul is vehemently opposed to the Taliban bureau’s name — the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — and hoisting of the movement’s flag on it, according to Saleh.

Angered by the sign identifying the office as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai delayed talks with the Taliban and suspended negotiations with the United States on the Bilateral Security Agreement.

Afghan Intelligence Warns of Impending Attack By Pakistani Militants/Military On Parliament

 Parliament alerted on massive Taliban raid

Pajhwok

By Abasin Zaheer

KABUL (PAN): The Afghan spy service has alerted the Meshrano Jirga, upper house, against a possible coordinated Taliban assault that has been planned in Pakistan, a senator said on Wednesday.

The Afghan Taliban leadership in Pakistan has prepared a plan to carry out a group attack on the parliament house, lawmaker Shakiba Hashmi said of a letter the National Directorate of Security had sent to the house.

The Kandahar public representative told the house that the Taliban Quetta Shura had finalised the plan late on Sunday at a meeting held under the leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban supreme leader.

Quoting from the letter, she said the attack would be launched six days before the holy month of Ramadan that begins July 9-10.

Some Pakistani army generals, intelligence officials and Taliban-designated governors for Afghanistan’s 34 provinces were present at the Quetta meeting, she said.

The attack would be carried out by a 20-member group that would include three fighters of Mullah Mansoor, she continued.

The attackers, who would be laced with machineguns, rocket launchers, hand grenades and suicide vests, would enter Kabul in a Parado type jeep with a fake license plate of another vehicle, she said.

“I disclosed this secret report in order to prevent bloodshed and make aware security forces to be ready,” she told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Wolesi Jirga speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi also confirmed receiving the letter, saying security officials were ready to prevent the attack.

Interior Ministry spokesman Ghulam Siddique Siddiqui said that preventive measures had been adopted to ward off any massive attack against public representatives.

myn/ma

Pakistan’s Taliban Terrorists Prove Their Wahhabi Credentials By Bombing Father of Pakistan’s House

  pakistan-ziarat-Residency-Quaid-i-Azam-Mohammad-Ali-Jinnah-360

[It is typical Wahhabi terrorism against revered and symbolic targets, in their attempts to cover-up the truth about their pretend substitute for "True Islam."  They cannot enforce their terrorist "Shariah" if the people know real Islam, this is why they blow-up monuments and mosques, and dig-up markers at cemetaries.  They want to destroy Islam by burying it under piles of Saudi dung.  In Saudi Arabia itself they bury history with development projects, the dozers and diggers work overtime to destroy revered relics, in order to cover them with a new history.]

Militants destroy Jinnah’s historic residence in Pakistan

times of india

PTI

Militants destroy Jinnah's historic residence in Pakistan
The militants targeted the Quaid-e-Azam residency in Ziarat, a holiday resort located about 120km from the provincial capital of Quetta.

ISLAMABAD: Militants on Saturday attacked a historic 121-year-old building in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province that was used by the country’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, killing a policeman and causing extensive damage to the structure.

The militants targeted the Quaid-e-Azam residency in Ziarat, a holiday resort located about 120km from the provincial capital of Quetta, at 1.15am.

They planted and set off four bombs and then opened fire. The explosions and gunfire triggered a blaze that was extinguished after four hours.

A policeman was killed in the shooting, police officials said. The wooden parts of the building, furniture and memorabilia associated with Jinnah were destroyed by the fire.

Footage on television showed that the roof of the building had collapsed and only its structure made of bricks was left intact.

District police chief Asghar Ali said a bomb disposal squad had found and defused six more bombs, each containing about three kilograms of explosives.

He said it took longer than expected for the fire to be controlled as there are no fire tenders in Ziarat. A fire tender sent from Quetta was used to put out the blaze.

Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation though they were unable to trace the attackers.

The residency, built in 1892, was originally used as the summer residence of the agent of the British Governor General.

Jinnah spent the last days of his life in the building while suffering from tuberculosis and the structure was later declared a national monument.

Ordinary Pakistanis Have No Gas Or Electricity for 20 Hours Every Day, While Judges, Politicians and Generals ARE NEVER WITHOUT POWER!

[If this isn't grounds for a full-blown revolution in Pakistan, then what is?  This is what life in America would be like if the self-appoint American "Aristocracy" had their way.]

No load-shedding for President, PM, judges and generals

ISLAMABAD: In a startling disclosure before a Senate committee, the chief executive of Islamabad Electricity Supply Company on Monday said there was no load-shedding at the Presidency, Prime Minister House, Supreme Court, GHQ, headquarters of ISI, National Accountability Bureau and National Database and Registration Authority and the Judges Colony. The disclosure comes at a time when the country is facing worst load-shedding ranging from 12-20 hours a day.

Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) chief Yousuf Awan who was summoned by the Senate Standing Committee on Power to describe the reasons for load-shedding spilled the beans when the committee’s chairman, Senator Zahid Khan, asked him to name government offices which were exempt from load-shedding.

As temperatures across the country continue to rise over 40 degrees, the disclosure by the IESCO chief had drawn severe criticism from the Senate committee.

“I am utterly disgusted that a common man is facing up to 21 hours of load-shedding while the president, prime minister, generals and judges were facing no load-shedding even though they can afford to keep generators,” Khan said in his remarks.

Khan added that exemption should only be afforded to hospitals and centres managing healthcare.

He threatened to resign in case the practice was not interrupted and government offices and residences were not treated as the rest of the country.

The committee chairman directed the officials to bring an end to the discrimination within 24 hours and report back to the committee on their progress.

The committee also summoned the minister and secretary for water and power to explain why government offices and residences of government functionaries were not undergoing load-shedding as the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, protests against excessive load-shedding in Faisalabad and Khanewal continued.

The country is facing a shortfall of over 4,500 megawatts of power resulting in unprecedented load-shedding. Since taking over, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has vowed to address the concerns on power crisis and has dubbed the issue as one to be dealt with as a matter of priority. The first cabinet meeting of the new government is also taking place to take stock of the energy crisis.

Sec. State Kerry Acting Like Taliban’s Lawyer In Discussions with Pres. Karzai

[Karzai appears to be the only world leader who clearly sees the truth about the so-called "war against terror" (SEE:  Hamid Karzai says US, Taliban are colluding )  He understands that this has never been a real "war," it has always been a series of staged events, or "false flags," intended to create the appearance of a real war.  Kerry is squirming in his hot seat, struggling to negotiate a place at the Afghan table for the very terrorists that we have allegedly been fighting against.  The terror war has always been the greatest hoax in human history, intended to deceive the American people into willingly, passively embracing an American police state.  Perhaps the growing anti-Obama backlash against revelations of widespread govt. surveillance and the wholesale abuse of American Constitutional rights will expand to encompass outrage for "synthetic terror war" (SEE: 911 SYNTHETIC TERRORISM, MADE IN USA---By Webster Griffin Tarpley).  No matter what happens in Afghanistan, Americans must now seize their own destinies, or surrender them to a US dictatorship.]

Karzai, Kerry spar over peace drive

Pajhwok

By Pajhwok Report

KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai and US Secretary of State John Kerry recently had testy exchanges on the issue of reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban, an official said on Friday.

During an hour-long telephonic conversation with Kerry a week back, Karzai made clear the Afghans would never allow their country’s return to instability and anarchy.

While acknowledging the need for national reconciliation, Karzai said his nation’s genuine desire for peace should not be misused as a tool of promoting outsiders’ nefarious designs.

One senior official familiar with the unusually long phone conversation confided to Pajhwok Afghan News that the discussion hotted up when Kerry tended to intercede with the president on behalf of the Taliban.

He recalled the US had adopted a similar pro-Taliban stance at meetings in Washington, London and Brussels. The Americans were pushing for opening Taliban’s political bureau in Qatar on terms and conditions that would make the office look like a diplomatic mission, the official said.

Afghanistan would run the risk of sliding back into warlordism and lawlessness if the Taliban and US terms were accepted, warned the source, who alleged some foreigners literally acted like representatives of the insurgent movement.

“We have been sparring with Western officials, particularly with Americans, over the past six months on why they have been throwing their weight behind the fighters. This is a pretty bizarre situation,” the official remarked.

mud

Pakistan’s Ongoing Military Dictatorship Pulls Over Prime Minister’s Car, While Army Commander Passes

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan witnessed a historic democratic transition, many in the county have started to believe that the days of military supremacy are over. But not on the roads, at least not yet.

As Nawaz Sharif, along with his family, left for the Presidency to take oath as prime minister for a record third time on Wednesday, he struck reality on the streets of Islamabad.

The question is: who is the real power wielder in Pakistan? The prime minister or the Army chief? Theoretically, the army chief is answerable to a grade-22 civil bureaucrat. Practically, he is mightier than any elected or non-elected individual in the country.

One such demonstration of this reality was witnessed Wednesday soon after Mian Nawaz Sharif’s election as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

After securing more than two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, the premier reached Punjab House to freshen up.

The prime minister was supposed to reach the Presidency before 4:00 pm to take oath from President Asif Ali Zardari.

At the oath-taking ceremony, services chiefs, political leaders, diplomats and senior civil and military officials had been invited.

PML-N sources and eyewitnesses said first to come out of Punjab House was the SUV carrying first lady Kulsoom Nawaz and her daughter Mariam Safdar. Just behind them were the vehicles of Hamza Shahbaz and Hassan Nawaz.

The convoy of the prime minister was standing at close distance from the cars of his family members. As soon as they reached the outer barrier of Punjab House adjacent to Margallah Road, an alter commando blew the whistle with full force ordering the driver to stop the vehicle.

Consequently, the prime minister’s convoy had to stop as well. The pause remained for two to three minutes.

The commando was there to make sure nothing should obstruct the route of the Army chief’s convoy, only allowing vehicles from Punjab House to pass after the entire convoy of the army chief drove away.

Whether it was a mere coincidence could not be ascertained. None of the PML-N leaders was ready to comment on the incident. But the prime minister might have shared his thoughts with his closest aides.

Follow Shahzad Raza on twitter @shahz79

TTP Pak Taliban Spokesman Claims Army Spy Warns of Impending Military Operation In North Waziristan

TTP warns Pakistani army over plans to conduct major operation in Waziristan

pak defense forum

(TTP) warned the Pakistani Army that suicide bombers from the organization will target army bases, unless the army reverses its plans to conduct a major operation in the Waziristan region.

Ihsanullah Ihsan, the “spokesman” for TTP claimed in an emailed statement that the Pakistani army is planning to conduct a major counter-insurgency operation in the North Waziristan Agency, in the near future. He said that a “fitting reply” will be given to the Pak forces, in case they go forward with their planned mission.

According to Ihsan, the details about the operations have been obtained from the TTP operatives, who have infiltrated in to the army headquarters. He claimed that the army is planning to start the operation from the last week of August, with the help of artillery. Three units of the Pakistani Army are likely to take part in the operations, to be lead by an officer in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The TTP official also said that the organization has already finalized the formation of the “fidayeen” squads, which will launch attacks against the army during the initial phase of the operation. Meanwhile, the officials from the Pakistan army have denied that they are planning for a major operation in the North Waziristan Agency. They also pointed out that most of the recent fighting has been limited to the Orakzai and Kurram Agencies, with Waziristan remaining more or less stable.

Earlier, the local government officials in Waziristan had signed a peace treaty with the local Taliban leader, Hafiz Gul Bahadur to limit the confrontations between the two sides. The peace treaty, which was signed in 2008, had resulted in a drop in the incidents of fighting in the region. However, it is not known how much effect this will have on the TTP, as Bahadur and his militia has distanced themselves from the organization for the last many years.

Obama Conducts Demonstration Drone Murder for Nawaz Sharif

[This is the second or third time that this particular militant leader has been reported killed by drone.  If this report proves to be true, then it can clearly be written-off as Obama's lame attempt to prove the utility of the "right" terrorist drone strikes.  This attack is the first Pakistani drone murder by the United States since Pakistan's election.  Obviously Obama is hoping to deceive soon-to-be Prime Minister Sharif about the usefulness of murder by drone, the same way that Bush deceived Musharraf.  If this effort had been serious about changing the American objective in Pakistan, abandoning the American project for the total destabilization of Pakistan (just as in Libya and Yemen ), then Obama would have eliminated the CIA's primary asset in the Pakistani Taliban---Hakeemullah Mehsud.  But that will never happen, unless the ISI manages to pull another "switcheroo" on their CIA overlords, just like they did to kill Baitullah.]

US drone strike kills TTP number two Waliur Rehman: security officials

dawn

Updated 29th May, 2013, 3:32 PM

PESHAWAR: A US drone strike killed Waliur Rehman, the number two of the Pakistani Taliban, in the northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan region on Wednesday, three security officials said.

Rehman had been poised to succeed Hakimullah Mehsud as leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, a senior army official based in the South Waziristan tribal region, the group’s stronghold, said in December.

The Pakistani Taliban were not immediately available for comment.

The Pakistani Taliban are a separate entity allied to the Afghan Taliban. The banned group has launched devastating attacks against the Pakistani military and civilians.

The officials’ claim comes hours after at least four people were killed and four others were injured early Wednesday in a suspected US drone strike in North Waziristan.

According to initial reports, a US drone fired two missiles at a house in Miramshah’s area of Chashma Village, killing four and injuring four others.

The wounded were shifted to a nearby hospital where they were stated to be in critical condition.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official condemned the strike as a breach of sovereignty.

“Any drone strike is against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and we condemn it,” the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

Wednesday’s was the first reported drone strike in Pakistan since the May 11 general elections won by Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz.

Drone casualties are difficult to verify. Foreign journalists must have permission from the military to visit the tribal areas along the Afghan border.

Taliban fighters also often seal off the sites of drone strikes immediately so Pakistani journalists cannot see the victims. — Reuters

The Pre-Revolutionary Release of Terrorist Idealogues In Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, etc.

[Like releasing the fox before the hounds, the US has consistently supplied the terrorist ideologues, for the purpose of generating future conflicts.  The terrorist ideologues are first fully indoctrinated and brainwashed either in prisons, or in friendly "Islamist" countries (Saudi Arabia), before they are released into targeted areas.  After the target zone suffers from a full cycle of Wahhabi radicalization, turning them into hotbeds of militant terror, US "concerns" and terrorist warnings are validated.  At that time, US military operations become justified, to hunt-down the Western-trained "Islamists," allowing the hunters to run-down and murder an Islamist "fox."  This is also the solution for covering the fox's tracks, leading back to the CIA.]  

The Master Terrorist We Gave Away

the daily beast

One of Al Qaeda’s top people, who’s strategy continues to inspire attacks, was in CIA custody. Then he was handed over to Syria and set free.

By Christopher Dickey

It has been a while since we heard directly from “the architect of global jihad,” “the mufti of murder,” the apostle of “individualized terror” known by his nom de guerre Abu Musab al-Suri. Indeed, most people outside jihadist circles have never heard of him at all.

Britain Attack
Bogdan Maran/AP

But thanks to the shadowy practices of the Bush administration in its global war on terror, this Syrian-born former adviser to Osama bin Laden is now at large— and an inspiration to a whole new generation of killers, including, it would seem, those in Boston and London.

And these attacks do not look as if they are likely to stop any time soon. Over the weekend, a French soldier on anti-terrorist patrol at the La Defense transport hub and shopping center on the outskirts of Paris had his neck slashed by a tall, bearded assailant who has yet to be apprehended.

Al-Suri, a continuing inspiration to terrorist far and wide, had a core strategy which was detailed in a 1,600 page treatise, The Call for an International Islamic Resistance. He encouraged opportunistic and improvised terrorist acts in the West, sapping the public’s morale and undermining the ability of the American, British, French or other armies to fight on Muslim soil. But it is such a thorough guide to the philosophy and techniques of terror that crazies far outside the realm of Islam have adopted it. Anders Behring Breivik, the Muslim-hating “lone wolf” who murdered 69 people in Norway in July 2011, studied Al-Suri’s lessons closely.

I wrote about Al-Suri in detail in 2007, after an interview with Al-Suri biographer Brynjar Lia, author of Architect of Global Jihad. Yet after the proliferation of “lone wolf” attacks in recent years, and indeed in recent weeks, it all seems much more relevant.

Al-Suri was not a big advocate of suicide bombings. He was unimpressed by huge spectaculars. He wanted to substitute quantity for quality in the terror business. He mistrusted empty-eyed religious fanatics whose suicidal goal was to get to Paradise. “What is important,” said Lia, “is the impact in terms of confusing, paralyzing and terrorizing the enemy.”

One of his most cherished goals, he said, was to see the United States attacked using explosives laced with radioactive materials: “A dirty bomb for a dirty nation,” as he put it.

In 2005, the Pakistanis captured Al-Suri and reportedly turned him over to the Central Intelligence Agency. How long and where the Agency held him is not known to the public, but eventually he was “renditioned” to the tender mercies of the Syrian security forces serving President Bashar al-Assad. Yes, that Bashar al-Assad.

At the time, the CIA was trying to maneuver a delicate relationship with Damascus, which involved the kind of cynical commerce in lives that John Le Carré often writes about. The Syrians were a problem. They were facilitating the flow of radical jihadists into Iraq who were blowing up Americans and their allies by the hundreds. But it was assumed the Syrians didn’t really like Al Qaeda; they just wanted to use its minions to stir up trouble for their enemies. At the same time, Washington was looking to enhance its own cooperation with Damascus. Throwing the skin and bones of Al-Suri to Assad’s minions would be one way to do that. What the deal was precisely we may never know, but if Congress wants to investigate a critical mistake in the fight against Al Qaeda, the Al-Suri case would be a good starting point.

According to intelligence officers serving in the region at the time, the CIA had a fairly extensive liaison relationship with some of the Syrian services, of which there are many. (Much of their work is to watch each other.) As often happens, storms could break over the diplomatic ties without breaking the clandestine ones. Agreements were reached, information garnered.

But after the Arab Spring revolts at the beginning of 2011 led to a popular uprising in Syria, all bets were off. Assad’s thugs tortured and mutilated little boys and called them terrorists. They insisted their enemy was Al Qaeda and similar jihadists, which struck many experienced intelligence officers as ironic considering the games Assad played with them a few years earlier.

The Obama administration, after first hoping that Assad could maneuver himself into the position of a reformer, finally gave up and started calling for him to step down. But Assad continued with the global-war-on-terror mantra that had served his duplicitous ends with the Bush administration. Apparently to fulfill his own prophecy – and signal Washington he would no longer play ball, even in the shadows – in January 2012 Assad let Al-Suri and one of his top aides walk free.

Now, for the conspiracy-minded – and who in the world of Mideast intelligence services is not conspiracy minded? – this is where things get really interesting. (Le Carré, take note.)

France Threat
Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

“It’s a mystery where Al-Suri is, but I wonder if he could be trusted by his former comrades,” says French scholar Gilles Kepel, author of Beyond Terror and Martyrdom. Al-Suri had been held for seven years in some of the cruelest prisons in the world: the Pakistanis’, the CIA’s and the Syrians’. Among their technicians are expert manipulators of fear and hope. Conceivably, Al Suri could have been sent back into the ranks of the jihadists the way the soldier-hero of the television series “Homeland” was sent back to America: programmed to betray. Indeed, Al-Suri may be more useful to Al Qaeda at this point as a legend than as a living ideologue. But there is no question that his ideas are gaining ground in places such as Indonesia, France, Britain and the United States. And it is conceivable that he is playing a more direct role in the spreading incidents of supposed lone-wolf terror.

As President Barack Obama made abundantly clear in his national security speech on Thursday, much thought and lawyering went into the hunt for American-born Al Qaeda propagandist and terror plotter Anwar al-Awlaki, terminated on the president’s orders in a death-from-the skies fireball two years ago. Another U.S. citizen killed with Awlaki was Samir Khan, editor of the online magazine ‘Inspire,’ a DIY guide to bomb-building and mayhem-making which might as well be called Terrorism for Dummies. Among its readers? The Tsarnaev brothers, who allegedly attacked the Boston Marathon.

Awlaki and Khan “would not have been able to accomplish what they did without Suri’s body of work,” wrote Jarret Brachman, a former director of West Point’s Center for Combating Terrorism, shortly after Al-Suri’s release. “Awlaki was never the arch nemesis that we painted him to be. Yes, he was compelling for the global media to hype … But he was painting by number on a worksheet that had been already drafted by Suri. Samir Khan just helped to translate that image into digital pixels.”

Born Mustafa bin Abd al-Qadir Setmarian Nasar in 1958 to a prosperous family in Aleppo, al-Suri (the Syrian) was educated as a mechanical engineer but quickly fell in with the revolutionary elements of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1980, before Assad’s father and uncle crushed that organization’s uprising in the 1982 devastation of Hama, al-Suri had gone into exile. He traveled widely and blended in easily, especially in Europe, where his red hair, fair skin and blue-green eyes gave no hint of an Arab background.

In the 1980s and ’90s, Al-Suri spent time in Jordan and Iraq, Spain (where he married and became a citizen), Afghanistan (where he trained fighters and worked his way up in the councils of Bin Laden as, not least, a media adviser), France, and “Londonistan” in Great Britain, where he worked closely with Algerian revolutionaries.

By 1998, Al-Suri was back in Afghanistan collaborating with the Taliban. After their defeat in 2001, he fled to Iran, where he was briefly arrested, then went to northern Iraq for a while, apparently hanging out with the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, famous for a series of suicide bombings and beheadings. Al-Suri denied any role in 9/11, the Madrid bombings of 2004 or the London subway bombings of 2005. But he applauded them all. One of his most cherished goals, he said, was to see the United States attacked using explosives laced with radioactive materials: “A dirty bomb for a dirty nation,” as he put it.

The French soldier attacked over the weekend has been released from hospital, but the box cutter slash on his neck could have been fatal. It only missed his carotid artery by an inch. It appears that a similar attack took place in Roussillon, in southeast France, on May 7, when a man shouting “Allah is Great” burst attacked gendarmes, also with a box cutter, and injured one before being shot and wounded. At the time, the incident barely made the regional press. The French government has been careful not to pre-judge the identity of the assailants or their motives. But Interior Minister Manuel Valls did say this week that France faces a growing threat from an “enemy within.” If so, the teachings of Abu Musab al-Suri share part of the blame. What the man himself is up to, sadly, remains to be seen.

 

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Christopher Dickey is the Paris bureau chief and Middle East editor for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He is the author of six books, including Summer of Deliverance and, most recently, Securing the City: Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force—the NYPD.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

Thousands of Mehsud Tribesmen Kicked-Out of Army’s S. Waziristan Showcase, Now Demanding Their Right To Vote

[The entire Mehsud tribe was made to pay the price, because of Baitullah and Hakeemullah (SEE: 1000 Mehsud Refugees Run-Out of WanaPak Army Uses US Money To Build Road for Ahmadzai Wazirs To Run Mehsuds Out of Wana On).  This is true "ethnic cleansing" on a grand scale.  The Army took over the Mehsud S. Waziristan area and ran out the Mehsuds, before implementing their grand plan to create a model community for the Mehsuds' adversaries, (the Wazirs), teaching locals (non-Mehsud) farming and carpentry skills, building new highways to connect the model community without people with the rest of the world.  The Mehsud refugees now want to vote.  It seems like they would be more interested in going back home.]

Elders of Waziristan demand rescheduling of polls

pakistan today

APP

images

SOUTH WAZIRISTAN – Elders of Waziristan on Wednesday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to reschedule elections in NA-42 in South Waziristan Agency.
In a press briefing, the elders of Waziristan, including Malik Jamal Mehsud, Malik Sher Bahadar Mehsud, Malik Bismal Khan Mehsud, Malik Ghausudding Muhsud, Malik Sher Muhammad Mehsud and Malik Javed Mehsud said that thousands of tribesmen have been deprived from exercising of their voting rights inadequate polling stations in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan. They said that there were only three polling stations for a population of 100,000 and 8,000 voters.
They said the Mehsud tribesmen have not exercised their right of franchise due to insufficient polling stations in their respective areas.
The elections were not held at the constituency in 2008 owing to operation against militants in the area.

- See more at: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/05/15/news/national/elders-of-waziristan-demand-rescheduling-of-polls/#sthash.7wDdihR5.dpuf

Analysis: Pakistan army tries to win over population in war-torn tribal region

[Kayani's Islamists are faithfully intimidating the voting public, hoping to scuttle ideas of civilian government in Pakistan.   I look for the Army to flex its muscles somewhere, today, in order to remind Pakistanis just who protects them from the savages.  (SEE:  Obama’s Practical Joke On Gen. Kayani–”Quick Impact Projects” Don’t Repopulate Ghost Towns)]

Analysis: Pakistan army tries to win over population in war-torn tribal region

 the vancouver sun

With improvements to standard of living, residents slowly returning after years as refugees

Analysis: Pakistan army tries to win over population in war-torn tribal region

A Pakistani displaced girl, Amina Bibi, attends class March 28, 2013, at a school rebuilt by the Pakistani army, in Tank, the bordering town of South Waziristan, the tribal area bordering Afghanistan attends. After battling Taliban militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan for over a decade, the Pakistani military is engaged in a new fight, for the hearts and minds of the people who are returning to the region after living for years as refugees.

Photograph by: B.K. Bangash , AP

SARAROGHA, Pakistan — Driving through high mountain passes with mud brick houses perched on cliffs overhead and caves below where Taliban fighters once hid, Brig. Hassan Hayat talks excitedly about the Pakistan army’s latest operations in these long-hostile tribal areas.

“Now we are getting into the olives,” he said as the road passed through groves of trees, explaining how the military has been bringing in Italian olive trees to graft on to local growers’ trees to improve production. “Some 400 trees we’ve already done.”

He had wanted to plant daffodils, he mentioned at another point in the trip but it turned out the flowers would be too hard to export. Bee farms have proven more productive.

After battling Taliban militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan for over a decade, the Pakistani military is engaged in a new fight, aiming to win over a population that is are returning to homes after years living as refugees in their country and who harbour a longstanding mistrust of the central government.

The military is rebuilding infrastructure and establishing economic and job projects for the population in South Waziristan, one of the seven tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan. It’s a classic counterinsurgency tactic similar to that used by the U.S. military — with mixed results — in Iraq and Afghanistan. The aim is to decrease support for militants and bring peace to a troubled region; in this case, it’s tribal areas that have long been sanctuaries for the Taliban and other militant groups fueling instability in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Once the people are more aware, more educated, they will not take arms but go for the development and be a positive contributor in society,” Hayat said.

With a month to go before nationwide elections that will likely include a transfer of power from one elected government to another for the first time in Pakistan’s history, security will be a major campaign issue. Since many of Pakistan’s security problems are linked to what happens in the tribal regions, the success or failure of the counter-insurgency campaign could have major repercussions for the rest of the country.

Pakistan’s battle against the Taliban began after the U.S. invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan in 2001, which pushed many militants across the border into the tribal regions of northwestern Pakistan. There, they found allies among a population historically neglected by Pakistan’s central government. Much of the population is Pashtun, the ethnic group that has been the backbone of the Taliban. Working out of the tribal areas, the Pakistani branch of the Taliban launched a campaign of attacks inside Pakistan.

South Waziristan became the main sanctuary for the Pakistani Taliban, until the army launched a large ground invasion in late 2009. Amid the assault, some 300,000 of the territory’s 545,000 people fled to other parts of Pakistan. Entire villages and towns were left virtually empty, particularly in the eastern part of the territory where fighting was heaviest. But the offensive largely broke the Taliban hold, with many fighters who survived going into hiding or fleeing into Afghanistan or the neighbouring Pakistani territory of North Waziristan, which remains a militant stronghold.

“The population was hostage to these people,” said Hayat. “They had their rule of law. Whatever they wanted they could do in this area.”

But many residents have a softer recollection of Taliban rule. Many said they didn’t have a problem with the Taliban and only fled because of the fighting.

“During the Taliban time the situation was good generally. The Taliban have not done anything wrong to anyone. Pakistan and Taliban have the problem,” said Sami Ullah, who owns a hotel and restaurant that opened in March in Sararogha, thanks to the army’s rehabilitation efforts.

The army, which essentially runs South Waziristan now, launched the rehabilitation and rebuilding program in 2010. It has grown since, mostly in the eastern part of the territory.

But major challenges remain. Only about 15 per cent of residents who fled have been allowed to return, as the military lets them back only at the rate their towns are rebuilt.

Many of those who have returned complain about lack of compensation and services. They chafe against military restrictions. The army, for example, has stopped mobile phone services, likely to prevent the Taliban from using them to communicate or detonate bombs. No one is allowed to carry weapons, angering tribesmen who consider their rifles a symbol of independence and pride. Anyone entering or leaving South Waziristan is checked against a database of who is allowed in and who is not.

It’s also unknown when, if ever, the military will be able to hand over power to a civilian government in South Waziristan, a territory about the size of Delaware.

“The progress is slow,” said Abdur Rahim Khan, who is running in the May 11 election for a parliament seat in a South Waziristan district. His village has not yet been resettled and most of his potential constituents are scattered around the country.

One of the military’s most high-profile projects is the roads being built in areas previously only accessible by four-wheel drive, camel or on foot. The U.S. government’s development arm is paying for most of the roads. Part of the plan is to open a new corridor to give traders easy access from Afghanistan to Pakistan’s central Punjab province, the heart of the country’s agriculture and manufacturing.

In Sararogha, businessman Danet Khan said the new roads save time and money. On the gravel roads, the average vehicle only survived four or five years. Now the smooth two-lane highway through his village cuts travel time dramatically.

The military has built shopping areas where villagers now sell goods out of small shop fronts with roll-down metal doors painted with a green and white Pakistani flag. A barber — something forbidden under the Taliban — cuts hair in one of the stalls, although he says most residents don’t need a shave because they still prefer long beards. Hayat would like to bring in a CD shop, also banned by the Taliban.

Soccer fields, schools, poultry farms and homes for widows have been built, and the military is trying to rehabilitate a leather factory sacked by the Taliban.

With few jobs at home, families here have historically survived on wages from family members sent to work in the port city of Karachi or the Persian Gulf. So the army built a vocational school to teach men skills such as computers and electricity repair. Since many people also joined the militants simply because they paid well, the school potentially deprives the Taliban of new recruits.

“They don’t have any opportunities. They need something to live on. That’s why they joined the Taliban,” said one student studying to be an electrician, Sajjad Ahmed.

A cadet college run by Pakistani military officers was provided after requests from residents who have been starved of quality schools and plagued by an absence of decent teachers.

In the long term, the future of the region will be influenced in large part by what happens in Afghanistan. American troops are scheduled to leave at the end of 2014. Pakistani military officials worry about a repeat of the civil war that followed the 1989 withdrawal of Soviet forces.

The final goal of handing South Waziristan to a civilian government is a long way off.

“Right now we feel safe as long as the army is around, but I am not sure about the future,” said resident Malik Fareed Khan.

The tribal areas, known as agencies, have historically been regarded as a security buffer between Afghanistan and the rest of Pakistan, administered mostly by government officials appointed by Islamabad and following a different legal system from the rest of the country. That system left a legacy of neglect and a feeling among residents that they don’t answer to the central government.

But for real stability, the tribal areas need to be better connected with the rest of Pakistan.

“The military is playing its role but you need to answer those questions to be successful in bringing total peace,” said Hayat.

Pakistan Pre-Election Terrorist Attacks Primarily Target Moderate and Pseudo-Islamists: A Timeline

Pakistan Terrorist Attacks Before General Elections: A Timeline

BLOOMBERG

By Faseeh Mangi

Following is a list of terrorist attacks before the general elections scheduled for May 11. At least 89 people have been killed and 418 injured since violence began last month.

May 6: An explosion at a public gathering of religious party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam kills 15 people and injures 47 in the tribal area of Kurram Agency.

May 6: An explosion near the car of election candidate Abdul Malik in Baluchistan injures two.

May 6: An election office of Pakistan Peoples’ Party is blown up in Charsadda district of northern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

May 6: Independent candidate Mir Iqbal Zehri escapes unhurt from a hand grenade attack on his convoy in Mastung district of western province Baluchistan.

May 6: Three polling stations in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province are blown up using time bombs.

May 5: Independent candidate Sarfaraz Domki’s convoy is attacked in Sibi, Baluchistan. Two security guards are killed.

May 5: An explosion near the office of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam in Quetta left two workers injured.

May 5: A hand grenade is hurled at a corner meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Mardan, injuring at least three people.

May 4: Two explosions take place near the headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Karachi, killing two and injuring 35 people.

May 3: Awami National Party candidate Sadiq Zaman Khattak and his six-year-old son are shot dead outside a mosque.

May 2: A bomb explosion at a mosque adjacent to an office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaves at least nine people injured in Karachi.

May 2: Two schools designated as polling stations are blown up in the Naseerabad district of the western province of Baluchistan.

May 1: A suicide bomber blows himself up near the bulletproof vehicle of election candidate Mohammad Ibrahim Jatoi of National People’s Party in the southern province of Sindh, damaging the car and injuring three people.

May 1: Rockets are fired from nearby mountains at a gathering of political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl in the southwestern city of Quetta, injuring four in the stampede after the attack.

May 1: Militants hurl a grenade at the election office of candidate Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz in Quetta, injuring four workers.

April 30: Abdul Fatah, independent candidate from Baluchistan, and two others are shot dead and two people are injured in Jhal Magsi after an exchange of fire with unidentified armed men.

April 29: A bomb explodes near an election office of the Awami National Party in Charsadda, killing one person and injuring 15.

April 29: A suicide bomber blows himself up near a bus stand in Peshawar, killing 9 and injuring 43. Two employees of the Afghan consulate are among the dead.

April 28: A bomb strapped to a bicycle explodes outside the office of independent candidate Nasir Khan Afridi in Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, killing three and injuring 20.

April 28: An election convoy of Awami National Party is targeted with a remote-controlled bomb, leaving one dead and 13 injured in Swabi, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

April 28: A bomb explodes near election offices of Khursheed Begum from the Awami National Party and independent candidate Noor Akbar Khan in Kohat town of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, killing five and injuring 23.

April 27: Awami National Party’s local leader Ghazi Gul is shot dead by gunmen near his residence in Karachi.

April 27: Two attacks within minutes of each other near Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s office in Karachi leave at least three dead and 27 injured.

April 27: A bomb explodes at a corner meeting of Pakistan Peoples’ Party in Karachi killing at least two and injuring 15.

April 26: A bomb attack on an election rally in Pakistan’s commercial hub of Karachi kills nine people and injures 24. Attack targets Awami National Party election candidate Bashir Jan.

April 26: Hand grenades are hurled and rockets fired at a rally of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) party in Bolan district, Baluchistan.

April 25: Bomb fitted into motorcycle explodes in front of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s office in Karachi, killing 6 and injuring 8.

April 25: A hand grenade is hurled at the election office of Pakistan Peoples’ Party in Nushki, Baluchistan, injuring two people.

April 24: Five bombings in the southwestern city of Quetta in two days kill six and injure 52.

April 23: Bomb attack in Karachi near a roadside camp of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement kills 2 and hurts 15.

April 23: Pakistani police find a car packed with explosives near the Islamabad residence of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, where he is being kept under house arrest.

April 17: Awami National Party’s Farooq Khan escapes unhurt after a bomb blast targeted his vehicle in the northwestern city of Charsadda.

April 16: A bomb blast near a political rally for the Awami National Party in Peshawar kills at least eight people and injures 40.

April 16: A roadside bomb targeting a regional chief from former premier Nawaz Sharif’s party kills at least four, including the son and brother of Baluchistan provincial president Sardar Sanaullah Zehri.

April 14: Syed Masoom Shah, an election candidate of the Awami National Party, is injured along with three other people in a blast at a rally in Charsadda. In another incident, a local leader of the same party is shot dead in the northwestern Swat Valley.

April 11: Fakhrul Islam, a candidate of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, is killed in a gun attack in Hyderabad.

April 3: Adnan Aslam, a candidate from the Pakistan Peoples’ Party, is killed in a gun attack in Karachi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Faseeh Mangi in Karachi at fmangi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Naween A. Mangi at nmangi1@bloomberg.net

Turkey vs Iraq–We Are Witnessing the Next Regional War Setting-Up In The Middle East

[Obama and all previous American presidents like to lead, until plans go sour, then it becomes advantageous to let our underlings take the heat for us.  We are now letting Turkey "take one for the team" all over the Middle East and in parts of Central Asia, as they become the focal point for the anti-Iranian ambitions of the Gulf/Israeli coalition, who carry the ball for Western interests in the Mideast.  The Sunni Gulf States help provide the black ops financing to the Saudi Islamist project (otherwise known as "al-Qaeda"), which supplies the foot soldiers for Israel's terrorist operations throughout the Muslim world.  The Mossad, helps the CIA and the Pentagon to locate and acquire the weapons needed by this Sunni "Islamist" army, which facilitates CIA plans for a regional war, stretching from Central Africa into Pakistan.  In both Iraq and in Syria, Turkey is fully prepared to accept global oppobrium for having led the charge straight into a grand civil war within Islam itself. 

opprobrium \uh-PRO-bree-uhm\ , noun:
1. Disgrace; infamy; reproach mingled with contempt.
2. A cause or object of reproach or disgrace.

Perhaps the saddest part of this grand tragedy is that the tragic civil war unfolding in Iraq was always part of a cleverly crafted plan, a plan designed to amplify the great conflict within Islam, the never-ending argument between the Sunni and Shia faiths.  One side teaches that the Quran's authority and the mantle of The Prophet (PBUH) rests upon the actual bloodline of Mohammad (PBUH), the Shia opinion, the other side teaches that the Muslim elite should choose the most popular scholar of the Quran (Sunni).  The Sunnis even elevate the teachings of these Islamic scholars to a level of prominence equal to that of the Sacred Book itself. 

The American/British/Israeli "Zionist" plan to throw all of our weight behind the Sunnis in this conflict (intending to force a violent resolution of the issue) is obviously immoral, thus necessitating the American need for cover, whenever this ugly fact threatens to be revealed, that Christian/Judaic powers are waging a covert "Crusade" against Islam.  This Judeo-Christian Crusade to destroy Islam would never have been possible without the Sunni collaborators from the Middle East who have actually executed the plan.  Turkey stands at the top of this long list of Islamic traitor nations, who have collaborated intimately with the West to destroy the faith of 1.3 billion Muslims.  As long as the great Muslim majority can be kept in the dark about the Arab/Israeli union at the center of this Crusade they can be expected to allow all of this to continue indefinitely, enabling Turkey to escape that well-deserved popular revulsion for its acts of treachery.]

Saadun al-Dulaimi: Turkey controls Sunni protests against Maliki

Middle East Online

BAGHDAD – Acting Defence Minister Saadun al-Dulaimi on Sunday accused Turkey of controlling Sunni anti-government protests in Iraq, saying the demonstrations are a haven for “terrorists and killers.”

“There are foreign agendas controlling these sites,” Dulaimi said of the protests.

“It is like Anbar, or Mosul or Samarra are part of the Ottoman Empire,” he said, referring to Sunni areas in Iraq.

Areas of what is now Iraq were part of the Ottoman Empire, which was governed from Istanbul in what is now Turkey, before the empire’s dissolution after World War I.

Ties between Baghdad and Ankara have been strained by issues including Turkey hosting Tareq al-Hashemi, Iraq’s fugitive former vice president who has been sentenced to death on charges including murder.

Dulaimi also had harsh words for the protesters themselves.

“Shame… on those sites that are opening their doors to Istanbul or any other country,” he said.

“Protest sites have become a safe haven for terrorists and killers and those who call for strife, sectarianism and hate.”

The protests broke out in Sunni areas of Shiite-majority Iraq more than four months ago.

Demonstrators have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite, and criticised authorities for allegedly targeting their community with wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism.

On April 23, security forces moved on protesters near the town of Hawijah in Kirkuk province, sparking clashes that killed 53 people.

Dozens more died in subsequent unrest that included revenge attacks targeting security forces, raising fears of a return to the all-out sectarian conflict that claimed tens of thousands of lives between 2006 and 2008.

 

 

Imran In Scathing Attack On Convenient “Islamist” Fazl–CHANGE PAKISTAN ON MAY 11

[Fazl and those like him, who treat the Islamic faith as a "convenient" political ladder to self-elevation are the bane of those with True Faith.  The Convenience of Political Islam for those slothful, evil men, who know neither morality nor honesty, is at the root of the global conflict within Islam itself.  The Saudis and those who feed at their trough have spread this corrupted message all over the Muslim world, while reinforcing its message with the largesse of treasure.  This has misled many.  Pakistani politicians have faithfully travelled this path for many decades.  It is time to change this equation, so that true democracy might really turn-out to be Pakistan's salvation. 

VOTE MAY 11.]

Imran in scathing attack on Fazl

dawn

PESHAWAR: In sharp contrast to his Sharif-bashing in Punjab, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Saturday turned his guns towards JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, accusing him of exploiting the sacred name of Islam to reach the corridors of power.

Speaking at election rallies in a whirlwind tour of what is known as the Peshawar Valley, the PTI chief said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman was shedding crocodile’s tears and was befooling the people again in the name of Islam. The Maulana had always politicised Islam to serve his own interests, he alleged.

The towns Imran Khan visited were Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi and Buner.

He charged that Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Awami National Party, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari were responsible for destruction of the country. The time, he said, had come to hold looters accountable. “The nation will reject the plunderers of national wealth on May 11.”

Addressing a public meeting in Nowshera, Imran Khan said that no corrupt leader or party would be able to face PTI’s tsunami on the election day. He said the enthusiasm of youth would change the country and make a new Pakistan.

Lashing out at the JUI-F chief, he said that for five years, Maulana Fazl had kept mum over the bloodshed of thousands of innocent Pakhtuns and remained hand in glove with President Asif Zardari to stick to power.

The PTI chief claimed that his forewarning against joining the US-led “war on terror” had come true. “I never said it was our war as it neither was nor ever will be.

Pakistan drew fire to the peril of its people by readily becoming America’s lieutenant in this war for no reason”, he said.

In Charsadda, Imran Khan said that after coming to power, the PTI would restore the dignity of Pakistan in international community, which he said was badly damaged by the previous governments.

He continued to target Maulana Fazlur Rehman, saying that the JUI-(F leader was responsible for the killings of thousands of people during the Afghan war. Maulana Fazl never spoke against US drone strikes and military operations in the country, Imran said, adding that the JUI-F leader had adopted a dubious policy to deceive the masses.

Addressing a rally in Swabi, Imran Khan said the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party had dominated the country’s politics since 1988, but they had utterly failed to deliver the goods.

He said that the two major parties and their allies would taste a crushing defeat and the PTI tsunami would sweep them away from power corridors. “We are poised to say goodbye to all former political actors on May 11 and those who labelled us as Jew and Qadiani will not be able to re-enter the parliament to devour public money,” he said.

He bitterly criticised JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, President Asif Ali Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif and ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan, calling them political actors and US stooges.

“They always look to the Americans’ nod and wink in all affairs,” he said. “If we are voted to power on May 11, we will neither remain under American influence nor work according to their agenda. “We oppose US drone strikes. If we are voted to power, there will be no drone attacks in Pakistan. The PTI will formulate an independent foreign policy,” he said.

He said that the former rulers indulged in corruption, looting national exchequer and inflicting a colossal loss to the country and its people. “This practice is not acceptable to PTI and the youth of the country have been awakened. Those who ruined the country could not rebuild it”, he said. “The PTI will make a new Pakistan where justice, peace and prosperity will prevail,” said Mr Khan.

YOUTH AND DREAM: In Buner, the PTI chief said the enthusiastic youths would make the dream of a new Pakistan come true on May 11.

He said that after coming to power the PTI would explore the local natural resources to end loadshedding and would create employment opportunities for the youth.

He pointed to the cheering crowd, saying that “these change-makers” will ensure a positive change on May 11.

In Mardan, Imran Khan said American drones would be shot down if his party was elected to power in the coming general elections.

All nominated candidates on three National Assembly and eight PK constituencies of Mardan were present on the occasion.

He said the PTI supporters had struggled and waited for the last 17 years to lay foundation of a new Pakistan and now the dawn was nigh as the people would witness the start of a new Pakistan on May 11.

He said the ANP promoted the culture of easy load and plundered both the people and the public money ruthlessly.

He hit out at the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for making propaganda against him (Imran Khan) that he had been backed by Jews and Qadyani.

“I am a true Muslim and believe that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last prophet,” he said, asking Maulana Fazl to stop telling lies to the people. He accused Maulana Fazl of making money through corrupt practices and diesel permits.

The Maulana supported Pervez Musharraf and President Asif Ali Zardari “during their regimes of corruption”.

Bhutto Prosecutor Murdered After Charging Musharraf with Murder–Military Blames “Militants”

["Zulfikar was probably a marked man because he had been prosecuting militants who were jailed in connection with Bhutto's death."--Reuters]

BB murder case prosecutor shot dead in Islamabad

dawn

ISLAMABAD: Two unknown assailants on motorcycle killed The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) special prosecutor in the Benazir Bhutto murder case Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali on Friday, DawnNews reported.

According to the police, state prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar was shot multiple times by gunmen in Islamabad’s G-9 area as he was driving to the next hearing in the murder case of the former prime minister, who was assassinated more than five years ago. Following the attack, he was taken to Islamabad’s main government-run Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital in a severely injured condition where he succumbed to his injuries.

Doctors said he had been killed with ten bullets targeting his chest and shoulder.

Zulfiqar had been given extra government security last year after police investigators working on the Benazir Bhutto case received threats, which also named him.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the shooting.

“I cannot comment. I’m in a state of shock,” Zulfiqar’s deputy Azhar Chaudhry told AFP when asked to comment.

Moreover, the firing incident also killed a woman and injured Chaudhry Zulfiqar’s guard Rehman Ali when he lost control of his vehicle.

Later, Zulfiqar’s body was shifted to the hospital’s morgue and a medical team was being constituted to perform postmortem. Wasim Khawaja, spokesman for PIMS, confirmed that his bodyguard was out of danger.

Police subsequently cordoned off the site of incident and started a search operation in the area.

Rawalpindi and Islamabad High Court (IHC) Bar Association’s lawyers announced a strike in the wake of the attack.

Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan has also taken notice of the incident.

Pakistani and Afghan Taliban Execute Two of Karzai’s Emissaries, Proving They Are ONE

[Two days ago, the Pakistani Taliban killed the son of another High Peace Council member, providing further evidence that the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban ARE ONE.  They are both waging war against Karzai's peace emissaries at the same time, proving that their actions are coordinated and their objectives are the same.  Both swear allegiance to Mullah Omar.  Mullah Omar and all of his armies owe allegiance to the Pak Army, since they are products of the Pakistani ISI. 

The purpose of terrorism is not to terrorize, but to motivate the victimized civilian populace into submission to unpleasant political conditions.  Those conditions can best be described as Wahhabi "Shariah."  Having the same goals since the beginning, the revived Taliban ("neo-Taliban") are there to give Pakistan control over Afghanistan,  If Obama actually intends to hand the Afghanistan transition to Pakistan, as rumored, he will be handing Afghanistan to the Taliban, completing his total "Islamization" of all Middle Eastern countries from Morroco to Islamabad.  Obama is pushing the radicalized faith upon the Muslim masses, just as surely if he has been the one issuing all of the jihadi "fatwas."]

“Hilal Ahmad Waqad was organizing a conference of Afghan and Pakistani religious scholars to oppose militancy.                                                                                                                                                                                    [He] was the son of Afghan cleric Amin Waqad, a member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, which is trying to engage the Afghan Taliban in peace talks.”

Afghan peace council official killed in south

KABUL, Afghanistan—Insurgents ambushed an Afghan government peace negotiator on Wednesday, killing him and two bodyguards as they headed to a meeting in the south to discuss plans for local troops to take over responsibility from the U.S-led coalition, Afghan officials said.

Malim Shah Wali Khan, 53, who sat on a council tasked with starting talks with the Taliban in hopes of ending the nearly 12-year-old war, was killed when attackers hit his convoy with a bomb and automatic rifle fire, Helmand provincial spokesman Omer Zawak said.

The province’s deputy governor, Masoud Bakhtawer, was also wounded in the attack, which took place in the same district where Afghan forces will shortly be in control. Helmand has been one the war’s bloodiest battlefields and a traditional Taliban stronghold.

Khan was the provincial director of the High Peace Council, a group formed by President Hamid Karzai to try and find ways to initiate peace talks with the insurgents. The council has so far failed to start any form of negotiations with the Taliban since U.S.-initiated peace talks collapsed last year.

In a statement, Karzai “strongly condemned” the attack that killed Khan and said that “the enemies of Afghanistan are trying to attack and martyr those individuals who are doing their best to bring peace and stability to the country.”

The U.S.-led coalition has been handing over responsibility for security in the province, and around the country, to Afghan forces as foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw by end-2014. So far, the Afghan government is in charge of areas representing 80 percent of the country’s population. It hopes to assume full control by the early summer.

The British Ministry of Defense on Wednesday also said three of its soldiers were killed in Helmand by a roadside bomb. NATO had announced the deaths on Tuesday but had not identified the nationalities of the soldiers.

The soldiers were on patrol when their armored vehicle struck the bomb. Insurgents have increased their attacks in recent weeks and since they announced the start of their spring offensive on April 27.

In other developments, health officials were investigating why nearly 70 students at a high school near the capital became ill on Wednesday.

Amanullah Eman, a spokesman for the Education Ministry, said some students were briefly hospitalized but all were doing well. He said a number of factors were being investigated, including the use of fertilizers in nearby farm land.

There have been numerous cases of dozens of school children falling ill during the spring, when Afghan students return to school. Although some officials in the past have blamed the Taliban for attempting to poison students, the insurgents have repeatedly denied any involvement and no proof has ever been found of deliberate poisoning. Experts have instead blamed mass hysteria for many of the cases.

Mirwais Khan contributed from Kandahar and Patrick Quinn from Kabul.

hanistan—Insurgents ambushed an Afghan government peace negotiator on Wednesday, killing him and two bodyguards as they headed to a meeting in the south to discuss plans for local troops to take over responsibility from the U.S-led coalition, Afghan officials said.

Malim Shah Wali Khan, 53, who sat on a council tasked with starting talks with the Taliban in hopes of ending the nearly 12-year-old war, was killed when attackers hit his convoy with a bomb and automatic rifle fire, Helmand provincial spokesman Omer Zawak sai

Have You Ever Heard Of “Al-CIA-da” Attacking Iran?

[I, myself, have been one of the loudest voices in the past, protesting that "Al Qaeda is Sunni and hates Iran," but the longer this game goes on, the more I come to see that Shia Iran has been an ally of the real "al-CIA-da" all along.  After all, wasn't it Iran that supplied most of the first recruits from the Afghan mujahedeen to ship to Bosnia for Clinton? (SEE:  Dutch inquiry into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre).  Can anyone remember ever hearing of an "al-CIA-da" attack upon Iran, or Shiites, for that matter?  For Westerners to admit that previous murders and terrorist attacks have been committed by the same bunch of intelligence operatives that we normally would label "al-Qaeda" anywhere else, would be an admission of our own major guilt in international terrorism, or our ISI surrogates, or the Saudis. 

As far as the timely "al-CIA-da" plots to bomb trains in Canada, involving Iranian sources, anything is possible in this messed-up world    (SEE: Conservative anti-terror bill and arrests match up beautifully, don’t they: Mallick).  The big problem with this bit of terrorist news, which coincidentally supports currently debated Canadian anti-terror legislation, is that it is old news; the reported plot is at least one year old (dormant). Like all news concerning the terrorist phenomenon known as "al-CIA-da," it is all conveniently-timed hype, intended to ease the democratic transition into a total police state.  Canada is behaving like a good subservient government should act.  Ottawa is walking the rocky path to Fascism blazed by Cheney and Bush.]

“No attack was imminent and the tip was a year old.”

Iran’s unlikely Al Qaeda ties fluid, murky and deteriorating 

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al-zawahiri-file-670Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. — File photo

When Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri spoke in an audio message broadcast to supporters earlier this month, he had harsh words for Iran. Its true face, he said, had been unmasked by its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against fighters loyal to Al Qaeda.

Yet it is symptomatic of the peculiar relationship between Tehran and Al Qaeda that in the same month Canadian police would accuse “Al Qaeda elements in Iran” of backing a plot to derail a passenger train.

Shia Muslim Iran and strict Sunni militant group Al Qaeda are natural enemies on either side of the Muslim world’s great sectarian divide.

Yet intelligence veterans say that Iran, in pursuing its own ends, has in the past taken advantage of Al Qaeda fighters’ need to shelter or pass through its territory. It is a murky relationship that has been fluid and, say some in the intelligence community, has deteriorated in recent years.

“I wouldn’t even call it a marriage of convenience. It’s an association of convenience,” said Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism for Britain’s MI6 Secret Intelligence Service and later head of the UN Security Council’s monitoring team maintaining the world body’s Al Qaeda and Taliban sanctions blacklists.

“It’s not a strategic alliance. An Al Qaeda presence may suit the Iranians because it allows them to keep an eye on them, it gives them leverage in the form of people who are akin to hostages,” he added.

“There has been a lot of travel between Iraq and Pakistan and I cannot imagine the Iranians are not aware of that,” he said. But it was unlikely that Iran would take the risk of actively collaborating with Al Qaeda against North America: “I don’t think the Iranians would take it kindly if it turned out that there had been plotting by Al Qaeda on their territory.”

Canadian police have said there was no sign the plot had been sponsored by the Iranian state. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Al Qaeda’s beliefs were in no way consistent with Tehran’s.

As yet, many details of the alleged plot remain unclear. However, a US government source cited a network of Al Qaeda fixers based in the Iranian city of Zahedan, close to the borders of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The source said they served as go-betweens, travel agents and financial intermediaries for Al Qaeda operatives and cells operating in Pakistan and moving through the area.

Another Western source suggested that with relations deteriorating between Iran and Al Qaeda over the civil war in Syria, Tehran had acted recently to stop fighters crossing through from Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to join Islamist militants fighting to overthrow Assad.

“Although the relationship between Iran and Al Qaeda has always been strained, this worsened after 2011 when the two sides lined up on opposite sides in the Syrian civil war,” said Shashank Joshi, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank in London.

“Syria’s strongest rebel group is allied to Al Qaeda, and both have sharply criticised Iranian support for the Assad regime.”

It is unclear whether the planning for the alleged Canadian plot, which Canadian police said had been in the works for some time, was carried out before Syria’s war deepened the strain between Tehran and Al Qaeda.

“There has been a loosening of the ties,” said Barrett, noting that documents released after US forces caught and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011 showed the Al Qaeda leader saying he was not able to trust the Iranians at all.

“Since then we have Zawahri castigating Iran quite recently. So clearly something had gone wrong.”

Iranian control far from clear

If indeed the Al Qaeda network was based in and around Zahedan — which lies on the main road to Pakistan and is the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province — it is far from clear how easy it would be for Iran to control.

The region is home to a toxic mix of drug smuggling, illicit trade and gun-running by insurgents. Afghan refugees long ago crowded into poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of Zahedan, although Iran, like Pakistan, periodically tries to push them out, arguing they are a security risk.

Iranian authorities have also been battling a Sunni insurgency of their own in recent years by ethnic Baloch complaining of discrimination. The Jundollah group has claimed several attacks including a bombing that killed 42 people in 2009 — there is no sign it is linked to Al Qaeda, though it is often confused with a Pakistan-based group of the same name.

At the same time, on the Pakistan side of the border, Pakistani security forces are fighting an insurgency by secular Baloch separatists, while Al-Qaeda linked militants in the Sunni sectarian Lashkar-i-Jhangvi group have carried out a string of attacks against the Shia population there.

Pragmatic approach

Despite a common Western misconception that Iran, as the pre-eminent Shia power, is motivated by religion, it has always been much more pragmatic in pursuing its national interest, analysts and diplomats say, allowing it to turn a blind eye to Sunni Al Qaeda using its territory.

“The thing that has stymied people is that ‘Al Qaeda is Sunni and the rest of the people we are talking about here are Shia. They don’t mix and match.’ Well, they do. And they do it whenever they want to. They just look the other way,” said Nick Pratt, a retired US Marines colonel and CIA officer now with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

Before the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Iran cooperated with India and Russia against the Pakistan-backed Taliban then in power in Kabul. When Al Qaeda members fled Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban, it detained them under house arrest in Tehran.

“Since 9/11 a number of senior Al Qaeda figures including one of Osama bin Laden’s sons and senior commander and strategist Saif al Adel made their way to Iran,” said Nigel Inkster, former director of operations for Britain’s MI6.

“They were detained under quite strict conditions by the Iranian authorities who subsequently sought to use them as a bargaining chip with the US government in their ongoing dispute about Iran’s nuclear program,” added Inkster, who is now director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Vahid Brown, a US-based researcher who has written extensively on Al Qaeda, said in an article on the Jihadica website earlier this year that the men who fled to Iran constituted a dissident faction within Al Qaeda, which in recent years had become increasingly vocal in their criticism of Osama and Zawahiri.

Divided by their views on the advisability of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, broadly speaking, “the pro-9/11 group, including bin Laden and Zawahiri, fled to Pakistan, while the anti-9/11 group ended up in Iran, where they were placed under house arrest by Iranian authorities,” he wrote.

Iran had been willing to cooperate with the United States on Afghanistan initially, but relations soured after Tehran was denounced by then President George W. Bush as part of the “axis of evil” in 2002 and worsened further after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Later, analysts say, Tehran allowed Al Qaeda members — among them Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — to transit through Iran.

But Iran has been vulnerable to Al Qaeda as well. After one of its diplomats was kidnapped in Pakistan some years ago it released some of the Al Qaeda members it had under house arrest in exchange for his freedom, according to Pakistani media reports.

“About 18 months ago the Iranians released most if not all of those they were holding, for reasons still not entirely clear,” said Inkster.

“There may well be a residual AQ presence in Iran though I would be cautious about presenting it as something very structured or hierarchic,” he added.

“AQ is far from being the organisation it once was and what matters more are relationships between like-minded individuals. And that may well be what we are seeing in the Canada case. There seems to be no evidence of Iranian official involvement.”

Gen. Kayani Speaks Fondly of Radical Islamist Militarism

Obsessive focus: Gen Kayani’s comments

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PERHAPS it is a sign of the times that Gen Kayani’s comments at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul will attract little meaningful attention or comment. “Pakistan was created in the name of Islam and Islam can never be taken out of Pakistan … The Pakistan Army will keep on doing its best towards our common dream for a truly Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” Gen Kayani said. In truth, however, both the timing and the content of Gen Kayani’s speech ought to be parsed carefully. Given the recent travails of election candidates facing new, and unwarranted, scrutiny of their Islamic credentials and a debate being triggered on the true ideology of Pakistan, the army chief ought to have considered whether weighing in on such matters at this time was the appropriate thing to do or not. The political battle lines have already been drawn, with religious elements and anti-democratic forces beating the drum of an exclusionist version of Pakistan’s ideology and trying to make it an election issue. Has Gen Kayani, wittingly or unwittingly, given those religious elements and anti-democratic forces a boost going into next month’s election?

The substance too of the comments requires close examination. Who is trying to take Islam out of Pakistan; where is the threat to the public’s right to practise their Muslim faith? In fact, the threat is in the opposite direction: to those of other faiths who are also Pakistani and some of whom don’t even enjoy the theoretical right to practise their faith without fear or intimidation. If Islam is in fact the core of the Pakistani state, does that mean non-Muslim Pakistanis have no place in this state and society? Even among Muslims, from the early 1950s, the question of which of the many different interpretations of and schools of thought in Islam ought to be given precedence over the rest has been a dangerously divisive issue when the state has seen fit on occasion to tackle it. More relevantly to Gen Kayani’s institution, the exclusive, obsessive even, focus on using Islam to galvanise the armed forces is precisely where the origins of the tragic and disastrous policy of state-sponsored jihad has arisen. Gen Kayani and the army high command should stick to questions of national security and leave it to the politicians to sort out for whom and why Pakistan was created. The ideology of Pakistan should be an issue for politics, not the armed forces.