Denialistan–DAWN’s romance with jihadis exposed

Denialistan: DAWN’s romance with jihadis exposed

Nasima Zehra Awan

The August 21st editorial by DAWN is a good example of what is wrong with the media in Pakistan. “Hardliners and Flood Relief” is precisely the kind of vacillating apologia for extremists that is the bane of the local media.A media that has anointed itself as “Independent” for hounding out elected politicians at the behest of a powerful establishment, has failed in informing the public about the various Islamist militant groups and their agendas. In this regard, it is baffling that DAWN’s editorial prefers to maintain an Ostrich-like approach to the exponentially growing existential threat from these sectarian bigots.

President Zardari is absolutely correct in pointing out this threat. The exclusive bashing of elected PPP leaders is the national sport in our elite drawing rooms and reflects our impotent rage that can never be directed at the actual source of our problems but at those who cannot strike back. It is therefore sad that DAWN follows suit and completely disregards the warning of Pakistan’s elected president and chooses to maintain the establishment-led status quo in protecting its Jihadi assets.

In covering the hundreds of targeted killings of minority sects and religious groups like the Ahmadis, Shias and Christians, DAWN studiously maintains a policy of obfuscating the issue via the use of euphemisms. In doing so, it dishonestly creates a false symmetry between the victims (Ahmadis, Shias and Christians) and their killers, the vast nexus of sectarian Salafist Jihadi groups like Sipah Sahaba, its militant wing, Lashkar Jhangvi, Lashkar Tayabba, Jaish Mohammad and Harkat ul Mujahideen amongst a host of other related subsidiaries. For a newspaper that allies itself with Jinnah, the irony that the country’s Shiite Muslim founder would have been a fair game for these sectarian groups is completely lost on DAWN!

Since the beginning of the flood crisis, Pakistan’s media has preferred to lynch the elected government as opposed to galvanizing the public and the International community towards relief efforts. In trying to divert attention away from banned groups who are using the tragedy of these floods to increase their hold on Pakistan, DAWN has allied itself with the same reactionary and bigoted class that prefers an authoritarian future for Pakistan under an increasingly monolithic and supremacist identity that abhors a pluralist ethos. In both the 2005 Earthquake tragedy and in the current devastation caused by the floods, these sectarian-Jihadi groups have been facilitated and financed at the expense of the State to carry out relief efforts. While the Government has been consistently blocked, distanced, misrepresented and denied, the armed forces, which are constitutionally under the direction of the Government and who are funded by the public are lauded for doing what is their duty and what is customary in any part of the world. Similarly, the sight of banned sectarian groups who are being funded by the Punjab Government, openly discriminating in their relief efforts on the basis of sect (refer to the case of hundreds of Ahmadis being denied relief by Jamaat Dawa/LeT) is being glossed over and mostly ignored by DAWN and other similar corporate media outlets.

The reason that the International community is skeptical about giving aid to Pakistan is not because of Transparency International’s statistics that have remained largely the same since the last 4 years. Its because of the clear divide between a helpless and hounded elected Government that prefers to engage with the world and a  jingoist establishment that wants to berate the Government for accepting foreign aid on a warped basis of honour(ghairat). The International community is skeptical because this aid is then siphoned off for buying more weaponary and toys for the Jihadi monsters who attack NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan when they are not too busy killing thousands of Pakistanis back home. The International community is skeptical about aid and relief efforts to Pakistan because it does not want its money to go to Jihadis and its own volunteers to be the targets of these Jihadis while they are in Pakistan.

The public credibility with the Government can be addressed in the next elections. However, how does one deal with the obvious lack of credibility of the media? In a drowning country, how does one deal with a media whose bias for Islamist militias has graduated from a blossoming romance to a full scale marriage. How does one make sense of how DAWN concludes its editorial:

“Also, the concept of charity is a major motivational factor with all religious organisations, not just Islamic ones. So the hardliners’ response to the floods is more likely to be guided by a sense of religious obligation than an opportunity to win more recruits.”

Really, charity!! Where is this charitable spirit and this religious obligation when the same sectarian militias are killing thousands of Pakistanis all over the land. How can one call this charity when the resources used by these Jihadi groups are the very same resources that have been diverted to them from the State and their local and foreign patrons. Where is this charitable spirit when relief is provided and denied on the basis of sect! In Sindh, Hindu families have publicly taken the responsibility to feed their Muslim countrymen. Non-Muslim countries are finally donating hundreds of millions to the PPP lead Government due to the efforts of the much maligned President and Prime Minister, even as two bit TV anchors like Talat Hussain can get away with their brazen lies to the BBC that the couple of hundred thousand dollars collected by him and Kashif Abbasi exceeds the entire collection of the Government! Yet, editorials like this one in DAWN and those shouting matches on GEO have only one agenda; malign the Government and glorify the Jihadis. If the latter is not possible, at least diminish their malevolence even if its means that facts on the ground have to be distorted. If these are the standards of the country’s premier English daily, one shudders to think what scurrilous rags that are openly beholden to the Jamaat Islami are publishing.

History will not forgive the negative role played by the Pakistani media at this crucial juncture. While the country is being ravaged by floods, the media spent more time cheering the shoe thrown at the President by a Hizb ul Tahrir activist; a shoe thrown in protest against the nascent democratic set up in Pakistan and in the hope of establishing a totalitarian caliphate. While floods ravage a third of the total area of Pakistan and have rendered 20 million people homeless, our media, including DAWN, has thrown its lot in with the establishment and its political game of lynching the elected political class, especially those from the PPP and ANP. Nero fiddled while Rome burnt and our media romances sectarian Islamist brutes while the country drowns.

Wait for the next editorials – “Al-Qaeda is a global charity movement” and “Taliban are a group of rescuers”!!

Hardliners and flood relief

Dawn Editorial
Volunteers of Falah-e-Insaniyat foundation, the charity wing of militant group Jamaat-ud-Dawa supervise the cooking of food for flood affected people in Nowshera. – Photo by AP.

As the country struggles to cope with the floods, the debate on the role of hard-line religious organisations in the relief effort continues. Just as in the case of the 2005 earthquake, various religious organisations — some with ostensible links to banned militant outfits — have been very active in the relief effort and in some instances have reached places the government hasn’t.

President Zardari recently remarked that the world needed to step up its relief efforts in order to prevent extremists from exploiting the situation — a lacklustre response from the state and the international community can well give extremists a chance to fill the vacuum. On the other hand the Foreign Office has offered guarded praise for the religious charities’ efforts. However, it appears that many in the foreign press have particularly played up the hardliners’ contribution to relief work and blown the perceived consequences out of proportion.

Many private organisations are taking part in the relief effort, and religious groups are just one component of it. To suggest that the hardliners’ efforts will result in a recruiting bonanza for the militant groups is far-fetched. While the religious groups’ relief work might earn them better PR and even give them the edge in the battle for hearts and minds, there is little evidence that it will swell their ranks with fresh jihadi recruits or give them greater political mileage. If anything, this is yet another reminder that the state needs to improve its response when dealing with disasters in particular and looking after the people’s welfare in general. Also, the concept of charity is a major motivational factor with all religious organisations, not just Islamic ones. So the hardliners’ response to the floods is more likely to be guided by a sense of religious obligation than an opportunity to win more recruits.

Baloch Resistance Claims That Pakistan Repeating Strategy Used In Bangladesh–1971

[The Baloch resistance claims that what we are not seeing in Balochistan is the real strategy that is being employed there by the Pakistani Army.  The Army is allegedly pursuing the same strategy which they used in 1971 in a bloody attempt to quell Bengali nationalism in what was then, East Pakistan.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with what happened there in '71 (the year I graduated high school), I have dug-up these old Indian videos.  (I remember thinking at that time that it was all about famine.  I really don't recall hearing about the military angle.)   The first video was at the end of the article excerpted below.  Obviously they are one-sided, considering that the Pak Army would not have documented the criminal behavior displayed in that vile episode?  There is no Pakistani rebuttal possible.

After the three videos comes the brutal truth of the Bangladesh Genocide Archive.  I see nothing like this happening in Balochistan, except perhaps the expulsion of all foreign journalists.  On the other hand, the campaign of targeted killings is similar, but the atrocities in Balochistan are a drop in the bucket, compared to Bangladesh.  If the Baloch resistance movement is real, it will survive a limited campaign against its leadership and grow even stronger as a result.  Those who worry about an all-out assault upon the elements of resistance should ease their minds with the knowledge that Pakistan can never risk becoming once again a total pariah nation in the eyes of the world.  Pakistan needs to rehabilitate its tarnished image, in order to keep receiving the global aid that is vital to its existence as a nation.

If the truth wins out eventually in Balochistan, it will either reveal that Pakistan is not behind the waves of murder and abductions of Baloch political activists, or that it is.  If the truth sifts-out the latter explanation, then exposure of the plan will help to prevent the final reenactment of the Pak Army slaughtering the nationalists who once again threaten the state's fragile unity.

God help the innocents caught between the guns.]

I.S.I. death squads vow to kill Baloch in foreign countries, within Pakistan

WASHINGTON, DC: Balochistan-based shadowy outfits, working under direct command of the infamous Inter-Services Intelligence, have vowed to eliminate Baloch activists and leaders in foreign countries, including Afghanistan.

Daily threats are being issued in Urdu newspapers by these death squads set up by the I.S.I., according to Baloch freedom activists.

One of the main outfits, Sipah-i-Shuhada in a press release said a meeting of the radical organization chaired by its amir, Ghazi Abu Muslim, was attended by Punjabi settlers and armed brigades of a force named “Ghazis of Islam.”

The word Ghazi in Arabic translates into crusaders.

“They call themselves Sipah-i-Shuhada, but they are basically Sipah-i-Punjab,” said Faiz Baluch, a London-based Balochistan freedom activist. Sipah means sword and shuhada means martyrs or settlers killed by Baloch resistance in tit-for-tat actions against Pakistan military brutalities in Balochistan.

Faiz Baluch was arrested along with Balochistan national hero Hyrbyair Marri in London on charges of terrorism under pressure of the former military government of coup leader General Pervez Musharraf.

Baloch nationalists are accusing Pakistan military of re-enacting the crimes against humanity they perpetrated in the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, during the war of liberation there in 1971. In the last couple of weeks, Pakistan secret services began throwing badly mutilated bodies of Balochistan freedom activist who were victims of enforced disappearances.  (read HERE)

Bangladesh Genocide Archive

Genocide

“…… we were told to kill the hindus and Kafirs (non-believer in God). One day in June, we cordoned a village and were ordered to kill the Kafirs in that area. We found all the village women reciting from the Holy Quran, and the men holding special congregational prayers seeking God’s mercy. But they were unlucky. Our commanding officer ordered us not to waste any time.”

Confession of a Pakistani Soldier
kill29.jpg
It all started with Operation Searchlight, a planned military pacification carried out by the Pakistan Army started on 25 March, 1971 to curb the Bengali nationalist movement by taking control of the major cities on March 26, and then eliminating all opposition, political or military, within one month. Before the beginning of the operation, all foreign journalists were systematically deported from Bangladesh. The main phase of Operation Searchlight ended with the fall of the last major town in Bengali hands in mid May.

According to New York Times (3/28/71) 10,000 people were killed; New York Times (3/29/71) 5,000-7,000 people were killed in Dhaka; The Sydney Morning Herald (3/29/71) 10,000 – 100,000 were killed; New York Times (4/1/71) 35,000 were killed in Dhaka during operation searchlight.

The operation also began the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. These systematic killings served only to enrage the Bengalis, which ultimately resulted in the secession of East Pakistan later in December, 1971. The international media and reference books in English have published casualty figures which vary greatly; 200,000–3,000,000 for Bangladesh as a whole.
There is only one word for this: Genocide.

Genocide in Bangladesh, 1971

pakistani-army-shooting.jpgThe mass killings in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971 vie with the annihilation of the Soviet POWs, the holocaust against the Jews, and thegenocide in Rwanda as the most concentrated act of genocide in the twentieth century. In an attempt to crush forces seeking independence for East Pakistan, the West Pakistani military regime unleashed a systematic campaign of mass murder which aimed at killing millions of Bengalis, and likely succeeded in doing so.
In national elections held in December 1970, the Awami League won an overwhelming victory across Bengali territory. On February 22, 1971 the generals in West Pakistan took a decision to crush the Awami League and its supporters. It was recognized from the first that a campaign of genocide would be necessary to eradicate the threat: “Kill three million of them,” said President Yahya Khan at the February conference, “and the rest will eat out of our hands.” (Robert Payne, Massacre [1972], p. 50.) On March 25 the genocide was launched. The university in Dacca (Dhaka) was attacked and students exterminated in their hundreds. Death squads roamed the streets of Dacca, killing some 7,000 people in a single night. It was only the beginning. “Within a week, half the population of Dacca had fled, and at least 30,000 people had been killed. Chittagong, too, had lost half its population. All over East Pakistan people were taking flight, and it was estimated that in April some thirty million people [!] were wandering helplessly across East Pakistan to escape the grasp of the military.” (Payne, Massacre, p. 48.) Ten million refugees fled to India, overwhelming that country’s resources and spurring the eventual Indian military intervention. (The population of Bangladesh/East Pakistan at the outbreak of the genocide was about 75 million.)

The Guinness Book of Records lists the Bangladesh Genocide as one of the top 5 genocides in the 20th century.

The gendercide against Bengali men

The war against the Bengali population proceeded in classic gendercidal fashion. According to Anthony Mascarenhas:

There is no doubt whatsoever about the targets of the genocide. They were: (1) The Bengali militarymen of the East Bengal Regiment, the East Pakistan Rifles, police and para-military Ansars and Mujahids. (2) The Hindus — “We are only killing the men; the women and children go free. We are soldiers not cowards to kill them …” I was to hear in Comilla [site of a major military base] [Comments R.J. Rummel: "One would think that murdering an unarmed man was a heroic act" (Death By Government, p. 323)] (3) The Awami Leaguers — all office bearers and volunteers down to the lowest link in the chain of command. (4) The students — college and university boys and some of the more militant girls. (5) Bengali intellectuals such as professors and teachers whenever damned by the army as “militant.” (Anthony Mascarenhas, The Rape of Bangla Desh [Delhi: Vikas Publications, 1972(?)], pp. 116-17.)

Mascarenhas’s summary makes clear the linkages between gender and social class (the “intellectuals,” “professors,” “teachers,” “office bearers,” and — obviously — “militarymen” can all be expected to be overwhelmingly if not exclusively male, although in many cases their families died or fell victim to other atrocities alongside them). In this respect, the Bangladesh events can be classed as a combined gendercide and elitocide, with both strategies overwhelmingly targeting males for the most annihilatory excesses.
London, 6/13/71). The Sunday Times…..”The Government’s policy for East Bengal was spelled out to me in the Eastern Command headquarters at Dacca. It has three elements:
1. The Bengalis have proved themselves unreliable and must be ruled by West Pakistanis;
2. The Bengalis will have to be re-educated along proper Islamic lines. The – Islamization of the masses – this is the official jargon – is intended to eliminate secessionist tendencies and provide a strong religious bond with West Pakistan;
3. When the Hindus have been eliminated by death and fight, their property will be used as a golden carrot to win over the under privileged Muslim middle-class. This will provide the base for erecting administrative and political structures in the future.”

Bengali man and boys massacred by the West Pakistani regime.

Bengali man and boys massacred by the West Pakistani regime.Younger men and adolescent boys, of whatever social class, were equally targets. According to Rounaq Jahan, “All through the liberation war, able-bodied young men were suspected of being actual or potential freedom fighters. Thousands were arrested, tortured, and killed. Eventually cities and towns became bereft of young males who either took refuge in India or joined the liberation war.” Especially “during the first phase” of the genocide, he writes, “young able-bodied males were the victims of indiscriminate killings.” (”Genocide in Bangladesh,” in Totten et al.Century of Genocide, p. 298.) R.J. Rummel likewise writes that “the Pakistan army [sought] out those especially likely to join the resistance — young boys. Sweeps were conducted of young men who were never seen again. Bodies of youths would be found in fields, floating down rivers, or near army camps. As can be imagined, this terrorized all young men and their families within reach of the army. Most between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five began to flee from one village to another and toward India. Many of those reluctant to leave their homes were forced to flee by mothers and sisters concerned for their safety.” (Death By Government, p. 329.) Rummel describes (p. 323) a chilling gendercidal ritual, reminiscent of Nazi procedure towards Jewish males: “In what became province-wide acts of genocide, Hindus were sought out and killed on the spot. As a matter of course, soldiers would check males for the obligated circumcision among Moslems. If circumcised, they might live; if not, sure death.”
Robert Payne describes scenes of systematic mass slaughter around Dacca (Dhaka) that, while not explicitly “gendered” in his account, bear every hallmark of classic gender-selective roundups and gendercidal slaughters of non-combatant men:
Bengali intellectuals murdered and dumped at dockside in Dacca.In the dead region surrounding Dacca, the military authorities conducted experiments in mass extermination in places unlikely to be seen by journalists. At Hariharpara, a once thriving village on the banks of the Buriganga River near Dacca, they found the three elements necessary for killing people in large numbers: a prison in which to hold the victims, a place for executing the prisoners, and a method for disposing of the bodies. The prison was a large riverside warehouse, or godown, belonging to the Pakistan National Oil Company, the place of execution was the river edge, or the shallows near the shore, and the bodies were disposed of by the simple means of permitting them to float downstream. The killing took place night after night. Usually the prisoners were roped together and made to wade out into the river. They were in batches of six or eight, and in the light of a powerful electric arc lamp, they were easy targets, black against the silvery water. The executioners stood on the pier, shooting down at the compact bunches of prisoners wading in the water. There were screams in the hot night air, and then silence. The prisoners fell on their sides and their bodies lapped against the shore. Then a new bunch of prisoners was brought out, and the process was repeated. In the morning the village boatmen hauled the bodies into midstream and the ropes binding the bodies were cut so that each body drifted separately downstream. (Payne, Massacre [Macmillan, 1973], p. 55.)
Strikingly similar and equally hellish scenes are described in the case-studies of genocide in Armeniaand the Nanjing Massacre of 1937.

How many died?

Bangladeshi authorities claim that 3 million people were killed, while the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, an official Pakistan Government investigation, put the figure as low as 26,000 civilian casualties. The fact is that the number of dead in Bangladesh in 1971 was almost certainly well into seven figures. It was one of the worst genocides of the World War II era, outstripping Rwanda (800,000 killed) and probably surpassing even Indonesia (1 million to 1.5 million killed in 1965-66).

As R.J. Rummel writes:
The human death toll over only 267 days was incredible. Just to give for five out of the eighteen districts some incomplete statistics published in Bangladesh newspapers or by an Inquiry Committee, the Pakistani army killed 100,000 Bengalis in Dacca, 150,000 in Khulna, 75,000 in Jessore, 95,000 in Comilla, and 100,000 in Chittagong. For eighteen districts the total is 1,247,000 killed. This was an incomplete toll, and to this day no one really knows the final toll. Some estimates of the democide [Rummel's "death by government"] are much lower — one is of 300,000 dead — but most range from 1 million to 3 million. … The Pakistani army and allied paramilitary groups killed about one out of every sixty-one people in Pakistan overall; one out of every twenty-five Bengalis, Hindus, and others in East Pakistan. If the rate of killing for all of Pakistan is annualized over the years the Yahya martial law regime was in power (March 1969 to December 1971), then this one regime was more lethal than that of the Soviet Union, China under the communists, or Japan under the military (even through World War II). (Rummel, Death By Government, p. 331.)
People regard that the best option is to regard “3 million” as not an absolute but an arbitrary number. The proportion of men versus women murdered is impossible to ascertain, but a speculation might be attempted. If we take the highest estimates for both women raped and Bengalis killed (400,000 and 3 million, respectively); if we accept that half as many women were killed as were raped; and if we double that number for murdered children of both sexes (total: 600,000), we are still left with a death-toll that is 80 percent adult male (2.4 million out of 3 million). Any such disproportion, which is almost certainly on the low side, would qualify Bangladesh as one of the worst gendercides against men in the last half-millennium.

Who was responsible?

“For month after month in all the regions of East Pakistan the massacres went on,” writes Robert Payne. “They were not the small casual killings of young officers who wanted to demonstrate their efficiency, but organized massacres conducted by sophisticated staff officers, who knew exactly what they were doing. Muslim soldiers, sent out to kill Muslim peasants, went about their work mechanically and efficiently, until killing defenseless people became a habit like smoking cigarettes or drinking wine. … Not since Hitler invaded Russia had there been so vast a massacre.” (Payne, Massacre, p. 29.)
There is no doubt that the mass killing in Bangladesh was among the most carefully and centrally planned of modern genocides. A cabal of five Pakistani generals orchestrated the events: President Yahya Khan, General Tikka Khan, chief of staff General Pirzada, security chief General Umar Khan, and intelligence chief General Akbar Khan. The U.S. government, long supportive of military rule in Pakistan, supplied some $3.8 million in military equipment to the dictatorship after the onset of the genocide, “and after a government spokesman told Congress that all shipments to Yahya Khan’s regime had ceased.” (Payne, Massacre, p. 102.)

hindu-racism.jpgThe genocide and gendercidal atrocities were also perpetrated by lower-ranking officers and ordinary soldiers. These “willing executioners” were fuelled by an abiding anti-Bengali racism, especially against the Hindu minority. “Bengalis were often compared with monkeys and chickens. Said Pakistan General Niazi, ‘It was a low lying land of low lying people.’ The Hindus among the Bengalis were as Jews to the Nazis: scum and vermin that [should] best be exterminated. As to the Moslem Bengalis, they were to live only on the sufferance of the soldiers: any infraction, any suspicion cast on them, any need for reprisal, could mean their death. And the soldiers were free to kill at will. The journalist Dan Coggin quoted one Punjabi captain as telling him, ‘We can kill anyone for anything. We are accountable to no one.’ This is the arrogance of Power.” (Rummel, Death By Government, p. 335.)

Eyewitness accounts

The atrocities of the razakars in killing the Bengalis equaled those of their Pakistani masters. An excerpt from an article written in the Azad, dated January 15, 1972, underscores the inhuman atrocities of the Pakistani troops and their associates, the razakar and al-Badr forces:
‘….The people of Narail can bear witness to the reign of terror, the inhuman atrocities, inflicted on them after (General) Yahya let loose his troops to do what they would. After March 25, many people fled Jessore in fear of their lives, and took refuge in Narail and its neighboring localities. Many of them were severely bashed by the soldiers of Yahya and lost their lives. Very few people ever returned. Bhayna is a flourishing village near Narail. Ali Akbar is a well-known figure there. On April 8, the Pakistani troops surrounded the village on the pretext that it was a sanctuary for freedom fighters. Just as fish are caught in a net so too were the people of this village all assembled, in an open field. Then everyone- men, women, and children–were all forced to line up. Young men between the ages of 25 and 30 were lined up separately. 45 people were shot to death on the spot. Three of Ali Akbar’s brothers were killed there. Ali Akbar was able to save himself by lying on the ground. But no one else of that group was as fortunate. Nadanor was the Killing field. Every day 20 to 30 people were taken there with their hands tied behind their backs, and killed. The dead bodies would be flung into the river. Apart from this, a slaughter house was also readied for Bengalis. Manik, Omar, and Ashraf were sent to Jessore Cantonment for training and then brought to this slaughter house. Every day they would slaughter 9 to 12 persons here. The rate per person was Taka ten. On one particular day, 45 persons were slaughtered here. From April 15 to December 10, the butchery continued. It is gathered that 2,723 people lost their lives here. People were brought here and bashed, then their ears were cut off, and their eyes gouged out. Finally they were slaughtered… : The Chairman of the Peace Committee was Moulana Solaiman. With Dr. Abul Hussain and Abdul Rashid Mukhtar, he assisted in the genocide. Omar would proudly say, “During the day I am Omar, at night I am Shimar( legendary executioner famous for extreme cruelty). Don’t you see my dagger? There are countless Kafirs (heretics) on it.”

Chuknagar: The largest genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971

chuknagar.jpg
Chuknagar is a small business town located in the Dumuria Thana of Khulna district and very close to the India Bangladesh border. In 71 thousands of refugees gathered in Chuknagar to go to Kolkata. According to a conservative account around ten thousand people were in Chuknagar waiting to cross the border.
In the early morning of May 10, the fatal day around 10am two trucks carrying Paki troops arrived at Kautala (then known as Patkhola). The Pakis were not many in number, most possibly a platoon or so. As soon as the Paki trucks stopped, the Pakis alighted from the truck carrying light machine guns (LMGs) and semi automatic rifles and opened fire on the public. Within a few minutes a lively town turned into a city of death.
The accounts of the two hundred interviewees were same. They differed only in details. “There were piled up dead bodies. Dead Kids’ on dead mum’s laps. Wives hugging their beloved husbands to protect them from killer bullets. Dads’ hugging their daughters to shield them. Within a flash they all were just dead bodies. Blood streamed into the Bhadra river, it became a river of corps. A few hours later when the Paki bastards ran out of bullets, they killed the rest of the people with bayonet.”
Source: Muntassir Mamun, The Archive of Liberation War, Bangabandhu and Bangladesh Research Institute

Denials

According to Gregory H. Stanton, President, Genocide Watch there are eight stages of a genocide. All of them are evident in the genocide commited by the Pakistan forces. The last of the eight stages is denial:
It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame

Pakistan Military “Death Squad” wing threatens to extend its activities beyond Baluchistan

Pakistan Military “Death Squad” wing threatens to extend its activities beyond Baluchistan

on 2010/8/23 0:00:00 (113 reads)
ccupied Baluchistan: The Pakistan military Death Squad wing which they have named Sipah-e-Shohad-e-Baluchistan has recently threatened to widen their anti Baluch actions outside Baluchistan. According their spokesperson Abdulla (Baluch) the Ameer (leader) of Sipah-e-Shohad Ghazi Abu Muslim called a meeting of, what he described as Mojahideens, and it has been decided by the Majlis-e-shoora that the group will expand their activities inside Pakistan, abroad and in Afghanistan to hunt down the “agents of Angryz (a term generally use to describe people of Western Countries) and Indians”.

The statement further alleged that these “Agents of Angryz and Indian” are creating trouble in Pakistan for the sake of money from other countries. “They are killing innocent Muslims and making Baluch Nation to go astray”. The statement warned that whoever kills innocent Muslims and talks against Islam the Sipah-e-Shohada will not spare them. Whoever creates turbulence in the country they will meet their destiny, vowed Ghazi Abu Muslim the leader of Sipah-e-Shohada.

Meanwhile a new wing of the ISI emerged in the name of “Addozai Tribe” and claimed the responsibility of abducting a Baloch advocate, Zaman Khan Marri. According a statement attributed to the “Addozai Tribe” publish on a Baluchistan based daily Tawar they alleged that advocate Zaman Khan Marri is a supporter of BLA and the tribe has abducted him to avenge the killing of one person from their tribe, (Addozai Tribe). The tribe also hurled similar threats that they will continue to target Baluch pro-independence leaders and activist in Baluchistan and abroad.

Zaman Khan Marri has been abducted on 19 August from Quetta. Lawyers from Baluchistan have strongly protested against his arrest and demanded his immediate release.

The Sipah-e-Shohad (Pakistan Military’s Death Squad wing) may or may not have the capability of carrying out attacks across Baluchistan and abroad, but the Baluch pro-independent leaders and activists must be very vigilant and remain alert at all times.

The history of Death Squads: The Iranian security forces “death squad” that killed several Baluch activists and leaders in Karachi, Quetta and elsewhere in 80s and 90s, who had escaped the Iranian Regime’s repression and sought refuge in Pakistan.

Kurd leader Dr. Qasimlo, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), who was killed by Iranian government agents in July of 1989 in Vienna, during negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish question.

On July 18, 1985, the 27 year old Shahnawaz Bhutto was found dead in Nice, France. He died under mysterious circumstances, and the Bhutto family firmly believed he was poisoned. No one was brought to trial for murder, but Shahnawaz’s wife Rehana was considered a suspect by the French authorities and remained in their custody for some time. She was found not guilty and later allowed to travel, and went to the United States. Pakistani media, which was under Zia’s control, attributed his death to drug and alcohol abuse.

On January 10, 2008 11:00 pm the originator of “bizmkaar.com” (Baloch Izmkaar/The Baloch Artist) and lecturer at Uppsala University (Sweden) Dr. Arif Barakzai died suddenly under conspicuously suspicious circumstances in Oslo, Norway allegedly after falling from the 11th floor balcony of his apartment.

Baluchistan struggle has entered a very critical but decisive juncture. The Baluch enemies will do their utmost to eliminate Baluch struggle for liberation by harming the leaders and active members of the liberation movement. There are already several people in Baluchistan and abroad who can easily be bought and used against Baluch struggle. It is important that pro-independent Baluch leaders, activists, writers and intellectuals should always be cautious and alert.

Wana Mosque Hit by Explosion, Maulana Noor Mohammad Wazir Killed

[Maulana Noor Mohammad Wazir was the teacher of Nek Mohammed, Mullah Nazir and many others.  If he was hit by a suicide-bomber, it was an American or Pakistani-sponsored hit.  Mohammad was at war with no one else.]

WANA: A file photo of former MNA Maulana Noor Muhammad who has been killed in an explosion in Wana Bazaar Area of South Waziristan Agency. APP

Explosion kills 30 in South Waziristan

At least seven people were killed in a blast in Wana on Monday.

More than thirty people were killed and sixteen were injured when an explosion took place in Wana, in South Waziristan on Monday.

The explosion that targeted more than a 100 people took place at the main gate of the historical Wana Mosque. At least 15 houses have also been damaged in the blast.

Former JUI-F MNA Maulana Noor Muhammad Wazir was also killed as a result of the blast.

Injured have been shifted to different hospitals, while rescue efforts are underway

Is it the point of no return?

Is it the point of no return?

by Shamim-ur-Rahman

Amid prophesies of Balkanization and restructuring of Pakistan in the on-going Great Game, a perception was growing after 63 years of independence that the country was breaking from its seam due moral and political bankruptcy, lack of good governance and adherence to the oath of allegiance to the country, and its constitution. The various military interventions and connivance of the judiciary in putting its seal of approval to extra-constitutional acts of the dictator has no doubt ruined Pakistan, but the political leadership was equally responsible for the plunder of the country and mortgaging its sovereignty.
The recent killings of nearly 100 human beings in Karachi following assassination of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s MPA in the ongoing curse of target killings, was shocking and condemnable. It was a shame that those involved in this genocide are least bothered. They are only concerned with extending their fiefdom and flying their party flags high on corpses while making call for peace and shedding crocodile’s tears, which is so shameful. The failure of government and the law enforcement agencies in controlling the situation is all the more worrisome. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and our fore fathers had certainly not envisioned nor struggled for this kind of Pakistan.
Democratic dispensation is no doubt based on rivalries among competing interests but political leaders have provided the space to dictators because of their lack of experience and enabled the Establishment and its surrogates to exploit it to discredit them. Some of them are playing Trojan horse to the Establishment and to off-shore Masters. That is exactly what we are witnessing today.
In the context of the ongoing war on terror, the suicide bombings and indiscriminate attacks on various elements of the society, there is obvious damage to the national psyche and questions continue to arise about the viability of the state. The nature of pre-meditated killings of political rivals every now and then under the garb of action against land mafia and terrorists, and failure, rather lack of will of all the stake holders and the law enforcement agencies, has raised many questions about the ability of the ruling coalition.
It is because of that we are being branded as `terrorist state’, and `a failing state’. The growth of Talibanization has generated debate about the nature of dispensation suited for Pakistan. We need to engage in self-introspection and sincerely examine our conduct and causes of debacles and look into the future. Many believe that there has been an “unnecessary debate, amongst the weak minded, on questioning the very genesis of Pakistan; the way it was conceived, propounded, struggled for and finally, achieved”. It is the general belief that present problems arose because we deviated from the original philosophy and nature of the state of Pakistan as it was conceived i.e. “Pakistan to be a democratic state following the parliamentary system, based on Islam and the Holly Prophet’s best injunctions, amidst moderate, enlightened progressive conditions, with wisdom and tolerance, not following the theocratic cleric, and mullahs”.
Pakistan’s current political scenario is not different. Even today we see that only politicians are maligned and discredited for corrupt practices, be that in the context of fake degrees or financial corruption, or war on terror. But even the most outspoken and critics of the government do not have the courage to use same adjectives against military leadership or members of judiciary who claim to be omnipotent despite deviating from their oath owing to which we see military calling the shots while politicians serve as garnish. Such group of politicians is jockeying for Bangladesh formula for derailing elected government and some elements were openly encouraging military intervention by using the clichés of “bloody change”.
We are living in an era when there is no sanctity of the oath on which father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had laid so much emphasis. It was shocking for many to see that while the people of Pakistan were devastated by floods and were enraged by the British Prime Minister Cameroon’s malicious remarks against Pakistan in India, the President chose to go ahead with his visit to Britain. On top of it was the surprising public reaction of the ISI on Cameroon’s uncalled for allegations. The ISI is supposed to work under the Prime Minister. But its chief, who was recently given one year’s extension, chose to cancel visit of the security experts to Britain in protest against the British Prime Minister’s remarks. He chose to make it public with a design to generate public debate and exert pressure on the government which had decided to deal with it diplomatically. Did the ISI take the decision without the consent and knowledge of the government? Was it another attempt to subvert the elected government as was done when long march of was engineered by the Bonapartist to achieve their objectives. Can the democratic institutions survive in this situation?
Politicians are often blamed for instability between 1947 and Ayub Khan’s military takeover in 1958. What is often is forgotten, however, is that political instability was caused by Liaquat’s death. Politicians entered their “period of irresponsibility after Ghulam Mohammad dissolved the first Constituent Assembly and Munir stripped it of its sovereignty”.
The current democratic dispensation that owes much to the supreme sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto is also facing functional problems as we see that PML (N) trying hard to bring down the government led by Mr. Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party and to hold mid‑term elections. The scenario of domestic politics is very similar to that of the 1990′s when there was constant‑bickering, accusations and counter accusations, and conspiracy, with very little focus on genuine national problems, especially the bread and butter issues. It seems that democratic leadership has not learnt lessons.
Because of this behaviour of the politicians General Pervez Musharraf was able to topple the elected government in 1999, taking the nation back to square one by scuttling democratic dispensation. After 9/11 Pakistan was turned into a client state of the US, just as it had happened in 1980, for Washington’s military operations in Afghanistan. Pakistan became the front line state in support of the U.S. for the ‘War on Terror. Musharraf thrived on his might and lies.
Like any dictator Musharraf also fell prey to his desire to wear both the hats of President and as Chief of Army Staff. In a reckless move he dismissed the Chief Justice and the entire superior judiciary of Pakistan, appointing judges of his own choice. It generated public upsurge against his misrule which was spearheaded by lawyers and some political parties, civil society and media that brought about his exit. The elections in 2008 that were held after his exit and assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan Peoples Party emerged as the largest party on sympathy votes. Asif Ali Zardari was elected President by the newly elected parliament.
It was hoped that new elected political leadership would focus on bread and butter issue and revisit its war on terror policy to prevent further destabilization of the country. But their inept behaviour has further plunged the country into a deep crisis. While internal and external security environment remain precarious, Pakistan has been experiencing major financial crisis, mainly due to high oil prices and mismanagement in the last two years of Musharraf’s rule.
It is generally believed that the present problem has aggravated because of Pakistan’s role in the on-going war on terror and the rise of Taliban insurgency in the Tribal Areas and Swat Valley where the remnants are still active despite a big military offensive launched by the army against Taliban in these areas. As a consequence we see rise in suicide bombings in the settled areas also. Both civil and military leadership was trying to establish writ of the government in these areas while public opinion has also turned against the Taliban. But the people are not generally safe.
But much of the problems that we face today are due the distortions created by Ghulam Mohammad/Justice Munir axis. It was Justice Munir who made military rule permissible and paved the way for successive military interventions, be that of Ayub Khan, Yaha or General Ziaul Haq and Musharraf.
Munir Report criticized the religious leaders and blunted their support for the new constitution. According to McGrath “Munir’s distortion of the past created an oddity in the history of decolonization. The people of Pakistan were told by Munir that they remained subject to the prerogative rights of the English Queen exercised through her representative, the Governor‑General. Munir justified the use of the Queen’s prerogative rights to uphold the dissolution of the Assembly on the ground that the Assembly had failed to produce a new constitution, a constitution which he in fact knew existed”.
Munir in fact laid the foundations of authoritarian law in Pakistan His Law of Civil Necessity was stab in the back of democratic dispensation as he advocated that those in command of the coercive powers of the state had the ,’right, to suspend constitutional government when and for however long they thought necessary.
While Munir-Ghulam Mohammad axis eroded foundations of democratic and constitutional polity in Pakistan, those politico-religious elements, who were nowhere to be seen in the freedom struggle, rather they were among those who openly opposed it, gradually gained ground and started asserting themselves. It started with the anti-Ahmadi Movement and became more pronounced and powerful when they succeeded in modifying the Objectives Resolution by inserting the religious clauses in it, violating the Quaid’s wise advice, “Religion has nothing to do with matters of the state.”
Over the years these elements became stronger and reached the pinnacle in the days of General Ziaul Haque who had reportedly claimed that he had “set in motion a trend which would be irreversible.” Talibanization of Pakistan is the result of his short sighted policies for which the nation is paying heavily today. Some retired Generals of the Pak Army who served with Zia think that during the days of military dictator the corner stone of the professional thinking of the army was gravely shaken by the philosophies of Jihadism and getting involved in counter-productive proxy wars. These lofty ideas still prevail, they believe. Once the army entered the political arena, commencing with Ayub Khan, its “senior leadership got infected by ills of sycophancy, unlimited power, authoritarianism, and acquisition of perks and privileges” While political leadership got corrupted over the years, sycophancy and establishing of personal fiefdoms particularly affected the selection of the top commanders. This phenomenon had started in early 1960s.
Religion was used as a crutch by various governments to find easy solutions to their political difficulties, instead of opting for a pragmatic approach to solve problems as they arose. There was an obvious lack of statecraft in handling the affairs of the state.
It is the general belief that all the problems and tragedies that we faced as a nation; be that the 1965 war, engagement in Afganistan war, or Kargil episode etc, were the outcome of such a mindset that was not based on sober and well thought out strategies. Contrary to the general perception the 1965 war retarded progress the country was making; whereas the intervention in Afghanistan, during the Zia era, overlooked the later fall-out of destabilized Afghanistan, whose four million inhabitants, Pakistan had been hosting for more than two decades, and which has not even agreed to accept the Durand line as the international boundary between the two countries. Its leadership is more closely allied to New Delhi than to Pakistan. Be that as it may we have failed in the realm of governance, be it civil or military. The ideas of progress and well being of the populace, combined with modernism, are not part of their Lexicon. Their philosophies are restricted to winning elections by fair or foul means and accumulating wealth for themselves.
But there is hope due to emergence of a vibrant media which has exposed many ills, though it also needs to refine its methodology, especially in electronic media. Unlike the past today young journalists are questioning authorities and looking into their eyes directly. The civil society which played crucial role in the movement for the restoration and independence of judiciary is also a major positive development. Together they can act as a catalyst to a more lasting and liberal democratic dispensation rooted in ideals of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. ENDS
This article appeared in Dawn’s Independence Day supplement on Aug 14, 2010 – Mr. Shamim-ur-Rahman is a Senior Correspondent with Daily Dawn – Pakistan.

Posted by Aamir Mughal

IB, FC official gunned down near Mastung, FC convoy attacked in Turbat

IB, FC official gunned down near Mastung, FC convoy attacked in Turbat

on 2010/8/20 0:00:00 (75 reads)
A Baluch man have been killed by FC due indiscriminate firing on general public and fifteen Baluch have been randomly arrested; shifted to undisclosed location. Group of Baluch women survived FC firing in thump.

Occupied Baluchistan: Two officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Frontier Corps’s (FC) Intelligence Unit respectively were shot dead on the RCD Highway near Mastung, around 50 kilometres from Quetta, on Thursday.

According to official sources, IB Inspector Abdullah and FC official Zahid Hussain were travelling to the FC camp in Mastung when unidentified armed motorcyclists intercepted them and opened indiscriminate firing. As a result, both of the officials died on the spot while the attackers managed to flee.

Police and other law enforcement agencies reached the spot and shifted the bodies to a nearby hospital for autopsy. The area was cordoned off and a search operation was started to arrest the killers of the officials. According to a senior police official, it was an incident of target killing and police have started investigation.

Jihand Baluch a spokesperson of Baluch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the killing of two Intelligence officials. He said both men were involved in abductions of Baluch political activists and were the members of Pakistan Intelligences Agencies and FC’s “Death Squads”, who have been accepting responsibility of killing Baluch disappeared persons in the name of different so called Organisations. [Such as Sipah-e-Shohada-e-Baluchistan and Armed defence group.]

FC convoy hits IED, 3 injured, A Baluch men killed by FC firing and several innocent people arrested

QUETTA: Three Frontier Crops (FC) personnel suffered injuries when one of the force’s vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) near Turbat on Thursday morning.

According to sources, a FC convoy coming from Gwadar hit an IED which was planted in Danuk area, some five kilometres from Turbat. The blast injured three personnel. They were rushed to a hospital in Turbat and were stated to be in stable condition. The injured have been identified as Asghar, Ayub and Azam.

After the attack FC started indiscriminate firing in the area, as a result of the firing a Baluch youth Raheem Bux son of Yaqoob Baluch was killed. Local people also accused the FC of firing at a group of Baluch women who were fetching water from a pond in vicinity where the blast took place. Luckily, the Baluch women remained unharmed.

The FC has blocked the roads in Domb and Bahman areas for several hours. At least fifteen (15) Baluch men have reportedly been arrested so far, three of the arrested men have been named as Abu-al-Hasan Baluch, Bakhtiyar Baluch and Akhtar Mohammad Baluch son of Fakeer Mohammad Baluch. According to thump police the FC have handed over 10 men to them (police) and they are now putting pressure on police to register false cases against these men.

Meanwhile Baluch resistance organisation accepted the responsibility of attacks on the FC convoy. The Baloch Republican Army (BRA) spokesman Sarbaz Baloch claimed the group had carried out the attack. He further claimed that eight FC personnel were killed and a Land Curser of FC was completely destroyed in the attack. He said the attack was in retaliation to the killing of Sardar Nadir Gichki.

On the other hand in district Kech’s Thump region of Gomaazi the house of Mollah Murad Bux has been attacked, no casualty were reported in the incident but the houses is said be heavily damaged. The BLF’s (Baluch Liberation Front) spokesperson Mr Basham Baluch informed News Agencies that his group has attack house of a government spy, who he claimed was involved in anti Baluch activities. He warned other people like Murad Bux to mince there way otherwise they will also be targeted. He also said the attack was in retaliation to the killing of Sardar Nadir Gichki.

Source: Dailytime & Daily Tawar

Who Really Controls Shahbaz Air Base?

Who Really Controls Shahbaz Air Base?

Posted by Web Editor on Aug 20th, 2010

Who Really Controls Shahbaz Air Base?

  • Both US And PAF Are Responsible For Flood Relief Hurdles
  • Aid workers confirm they can’t reach half a million victims due to a US-related security cordon
  • Jacobabad cut off from the rest of the country

Pakistan Air Force arranged a hurriedly organized media tour yesterday to prove that the base is not under US control. But this does not appear to be the whole truth. Over the past eight years, PAF offered and withdrew different types of facilities to US military at the base. The Americans used the base mostly for logistical purposes and not to stage direct attacks against targets in Afghanistan or inside Pakistan’s northwestern region. But there were times when the number of US personnel at the base crossed 200, including special-forces operatives. According GlobalSecurity.org, Pakistani newspaper Daily Times claimed on 10 March 2004 that the airbase was under US control, “with an inner ring of facilities off-limits to Pakistan’s military,” according to the paper. But in August 2010, there is credible information that new special residential barracks for US personnel have been constructed. Unfortunately, Pakistan has accepted to house US personnel who will ensure the country’s doesn’t ‘misuse’ the new F-16s. So despite PAF’s – and US Embassy’s – sharp reaction, it is clear there is some merit to the statement of Federal Health Secretary Kamran Lashari that US presence at the base is preventing using the base for flood relief operations. Another related issue is the level of Pakistani involvement in CIA drone attacks inside Pakistan that have killed a huge number of innocent Pakistanis and turned Pakistani citizens against their country. [PakNationalists.com]

By: Kaswar Klasra | Published: August 20, 2010
The Nation.
WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan–The floods have not only shown the ineptitude of the Pakistan government but also the confusion that prevails within government institutions. On Wednesday the Federal Health Secretary informed a Senate Panel that Jacobabad air base was under the US control so health relief operations could not be provided.

On Thursday, the PAF through APP issued a strange press release stating that “certain sections of the print and electronic media have wrongly reported that the PAF Base Shahbaz (Jacobabad) is under the control of the US. This has been spread by uninformed people”. So was the PAF referring to Federal Health Secretary Khushnood Lashari as “uninformed? After all, it was he who gave out the information about the Base being under the US control and to a Senate Panel.

While the PAF stated that Shahbaz Base was under complete command and control of the PAF and was being used extensively for providing relief and medical care to the affected people of the area, the US embassy had already issued another interesting response to the Khshnood Lashari’s claim. On Thursday, the US press note issued from Embassy of US in Islamabad stated that Shahbaz Air Base in Jacobabad is a Pakistan Air Force Base and is commanded and operated by PAF forces. The base is home to Pakistan’s newest F-16 Block 52s, which arrived this summer. PAF personnel maintain high security standards there to ensure that the technologically advanced aircraft can be securely maintained and operated from the base. On August 18, at the request of the Pakistan government, US Air Force C-130 aircraft flew to Shahbaz Air Base from the Pakistan Air Force Base in Rawalpindi bringing urgently needed relief supplies for Jacobabad.

What was left unsaid was that it was the PAF that was denying all manner of access to the airbase because of the presence of US personnel who had come along with the Block 52 F-16s, which were delivered at this base and had US conditions attached to the delivery of the planes, including the presence of US personnel to “keep an eye” on how the planes were used by the PAF. While the PAF was responsible for the security of the base, it was the pressure from the US on security grounds that was preventing access to the base-even for Pakistanis who had been involved in carrying out building work at Shahbaz.

So, it appears that both the US military and the PAF together are responsible for the relief work hurdles as news from the ground shows that the hurdles are very much there. Hopes are fading away to provide food and clean drinking water to 500,000 to 700,000 people who have been displaced from Jacobabad, Thul, Kandhkot, Kashmore Ghouspur and Karumpur (currently camping in Dera Allah Yar) as Jacobabad was still no-go area for choppers or C-130 due to security concerns to the American personnel deployed at the Jacobabad air base, well-informed sources told TheNation on Thursday. Organisers of national and international NGOs told TheNation on condition of anonymity, when contacted on telephone, that they could not reach Jacobabad to provide food and drinking water to as many as 500,000 to 700,000 flood victims due to strict security conditions adopted for Shahbaz Air Base. Although Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has ordered PAF to form an air bridge of relief supply for Jacobabad which has been cut off from the rest of the country and make operational an airfield near Sibi for immediate supply of relief goods to flood-hit areas in the vicinity, however, Jacobabad is still the only location in Pakistan where rescue choppers of PAF have no access to carry out relief operations.

The sources told this scribe that foreign health teams could not start their relief operations in remote areas because there are not airstrips close to several areas, including Jacobabad.

The town has been evacuated and 500,000 to 700,000 people have been affected. The people displaced from Jacobabad, Thul, Kandhkot, Kashmore, Ghouspur and Karumpur are camping in Dera Allah Yar.

Earlier, it was reported that Shahbaz Air Base was under control of American personnel who were guarding the air base while monitoring the operations of F-16s against militants and extremists in FATA and Waziristan. As one seeks to discover the reality on the ground, the flood-stricken people of this devastated area of Sindh continue to suffer.

Report published by TheNation. Newspaper’s rights are reserved.

(c) 2007-2010. PakNationalists.com

Saving a drowing country needs an ideological shift

Saving a drowing country needs an ideological shift

by Nasima Zehra Awan


Cross-posted from the Pak Tea House

“You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques……..Religion is not the business of the State”. Thus spoke Jinnah, whilst addressing the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947.

Sixty three yearslater, this is what our “honorable” Chief Justice has to say: “Parliament with Unlimited Powers can secularize state” (Source: DAWN,Monday August 16, 2010) (Link to the LUBP post on this).

Huhh!! Won’t that be a good thing, judge saheb!

At a time when our country is intellectually and morally bankrupt because of its moorings as a national security state built on the toxic teachings of Maududi, isn’t secularism the way to get out of this mess. Instead of spending tens of billions to support a failed national security state, “a fortress of Islam” if you will, wouldn’t Pakistan have been better off with sustained representative governments that could have gone past the Kalabagh dam issue and built provincial consensus for half a dozen other dams that could have greatly reduced
the current catastrophe.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, this Judiciary, like most of its predecessors follows the ethos of the bureaucracy-security establishment, not the parliament or gasp, the principles of law and constitutionalism. That would entail that they ditch the prevailing sentiment, nay, control of Jamaat Islami at all the Bar Councils and actually allow the elected representatives of the people to draft and discuss legislation that would make Pakistan a functional state in the 21st century, not an faux Ommayad Caliphate of the 8th century!

The Judges and their media supporters and urban elite cheerleaders are obsessed with going after the elected leaders of one party and folk singers; the two actually have the same political powers in Pakistan today. The dare not go after Jihadi sectarian leaders who have rendered Pakistan into a wasteland. The damages incurred by these Jihadis; thousands of Pakistanis killed including the targeting of professionals belonging to minority sects and religions, the tens of billions of destroyed property and lost investment is incalculable.

These are the fruits that the State of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has reaped by constructing itself in the vision of Maududi and Qutb. However, in the chauvinist and elitest debates about corruption, there is NO mention of the billions that are taken at every budget without audit, the tens of billions taken from foreign powers who are subsequently vilified by the same and the trillions that are made by using the country as a corporate and real estate business entity.

After all, how will this debate start while we continuously see ourselves not as a modern, democratic and secular state but as the realization of the Islamist neurosis of failed idealogues who see a warped view of religion and not shared human values, as the basis for a functional society.In a theocratic construct, such debates are virtually impossible as they go against the core those who have alloted themselves the task of protecting an ideological state. Such a state cannot accept the views of secular nationalists who vote for the ANP, PPP and BNP. The dominant narrative of the State that has been constructed since Partition, and which has clearly served us so well since then, cannot be challenged unless Pakistan moves towards full secularism.

Today, the world is sick of our militant adventurism to the extant that it has affected their donations towards our flood relief efforts. They are wary that their donations will end up with Islamist militias who do not have the interests of humanity at heart and who continue to kill soldiers whose countries constitute the chief donors to Pakistan. The only way to salvage Pakistan is to ditch our legacy as a security state and invest all our resources into literally saving the country from drowning. A crucial step towards that is an empowered parliament whose progressive legislation is not continuously being derailed by a compromised and politicized judiciary that sees itself as the reincarnation of the Qazis of Banu Abbas, Banu Ommaya and Emporor Aurangzeb.

Like it or not, Hon. Chief Justice, we need to become a secular state and if parliament has taken the first tentative steps towards that direction in the 18th Amendment, good sense needs to prevail. A drowning Pakistan can no longer afford the mirage of “strategic depths” in Afghanistan and Kashmir. What it really needs is clean water and food for the 20 million who have been rendered homeless and for non-controversial dams in the future.

Post Published: 17 August 2010
Author: Abdul Nishapuri

The Motorbike Murderers of Balochistan Strike Again

[It is interesting (but very bizarre) to see how often the teams of motorcycle-riding hit teams target local police.  From all available evidence (SEE: ISI sent 1000 motorcycles to Mawlawi Jalaludin Haqqani ; and Cards of Pakistani Intelgence Agencies Men Involved Attack on JSQM Rally), the ISI is behind these bike-riding assassins.

But, on the other hand, we have this (SEE: BLA Admits Motorcycle Riding Assassins Were Theirs).  This incident took place in an area where a large number of these type motorcycle attacks have taken place, in Khuzdar.  The victim was accused of spying for the Frontier Corps.  Either both sides in Balochistan are using identical means for their target killings, or both the ISI and the Baloch Liberation Army are on the same side, or working for the same masters.  A loyal reader has pointed-0ut the similarities between these attacks in Pakistan and previous similar attacks in Belfast, Ireland, which were attributed to the Irish Republican Army.  Later investigations tied a lot of the murders and bombings in Ireland to British intelligence, MI5, who were pursuing a "Gladio" strategy in their counter-insurgency operations.  It takes very little imagination to see a possible link between MI5 and the ISI, since the Pakistani organization was trained by British intelligence.

What we see today in Balochistan is a classic example of an active Gladio operation.  The more the spook war unfolds in Balochistan, the more evident it becomes exactly who the spooks really are.  America, England, Israel and Pakistan are putting-on an elaborate and very brutal show for our bewilderment.

Anyone within the conflict zone should be on the lookout for any motorcycles carrying two men.  Be ready to duck for cover, or to return fire.  Anyone lucky enough to bag one of these guys will probably find them carrying one of the following forms of ID:

The point remains very clear--British intelligence perfected the art of counter-insurgency at its most dirty level.  Terrorism is a now the favorite tool in the toolbox of the black arts used by Western state intelligence agencies.  Every allied agency has been infected with this anti-human virus, perpetuating the idea that terrorism, in the service of the state, is the most noble calling for all true "professionals."

It was quickly discovered by the evil state that the surest way to the top of a murderous organization, whether it is the IRA, or the BLA (very similary names), is to be the best killer.  Reputation as a top terrorist is the shortest route for an ambitious federal agent intent on infiltration.  Time after time, from New York to London, in every major successful terror bombing, the government agent either built or designed the bomb.  We see from the hilarious string of underwear and shoe bombers exactly what would happen when the "terrorists" are left to their own skills.

The policy is always carried-out in the same manner, with government agents initiating terror attacks, or training the terrorists who commit the acts.  Either the spooks create new terror outfits from scratch, or they initiate parallel operations meant to implicate the parent group.  This way, the government agent sits atop the most violent faction of every group.

In Balochistan, the BLA is a terrorist outfit, but it is also a government front group.  The question becomes, which government is the BLA fronting for?  Pakistani, American, British, Israel, or "all of the above"?  This is a question that real Baloch nationalists must answer for themselves.]

Two,Including Police Constable, Killed in Quetta, Mastung Firing

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Two persons were shot dead in two separate incidents of firing in Quetta and Mastung districts respectively on Tuesday, officials said.

According to sources, Excise Inspector Haji Azeem was traveling in his car to go home when some unknown armed men ridding a motorcycle opened fire on him near Qambrani Road. He received multiple bullet wounds. Assailants managed to escape from the scene after committing crime. Police rushed to the spot soon after the incident and took the injured to the Sandeman Hospital for autopsy.

Azeem succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. Later on, his body was handed over to the relatives for burial. A case has been registered and police start the investigation.

It could be a case of target killing, an official said adding that the local police were making investigations into the matter.

Another incident took place in Mastung Town, when unknown armed men ridding motorbike sprayed with bullets on a man known as Munwar. He died on the spot and the assailants fled the scene. Police reached to the spot after being informed about the incident and cordoned off the area. Deceased was shifted to Civil Hospital Mastung for medico-legal formalities where body was handed over to his relative for burial.

Police registered a case against unknown persons and started probe into the matter. No group has accepted responsibility for both the cases of what appeared to be ‘targeted killings’.

If the agencies were not fueling this conflict there would be no conflict

[The Hindu press is trying to ramp-up the Dawood Ibrahim issue in a convoluted manner, which is intended to lead the reader to believe that everything bad that is happening in India is the fault of the ISI.  Maybe it is--that doubt is probably what is leading India to try developing this new plot line.  The facts are few, but it is apparent that both the ISI and RAW use the criminal underworld as key elements of their strategems deployed against the other.  (SEE: Don blows in Pak face; and The War of Underworld Dons Sucks in Indian, Pakistani Agencies) Chota Rajan and Dawood Ibrahim carry the whole India/Pakistan, Hindu/Muslim war upon their shoulders.  They went from being partners in crime to antagonists in a religious war.  It is uncertain whether the feuding spy agencies, or perhaps the superpowers, engineered the terror war fought-out between them on the streets of Mumbai, Calcutta and Rawalpindi, or they merely took advantage of the split to further their separate agendas.

The same can be said for this primary source of terror on the sub-continent as is true about the "Islamist militant" war which rages throughout the region--If the agencies were not fueling this conflict there would be no conflict.]

Chota Rajan (L) and Dawood Ibrahim (R): When they were friends

ISI lends muscle to Dawood, say sources

By: J Dey Date: 2010-08-15 Place: Mumbai

The don allegedly funds the overseas education of Pakistan’s armed forces officers’ children, and in turn receives assignments from Pak ISI. Sunday MiD DAY traces the making of the don in the wake of the recent link between D Company and the Naxal movement in the country

Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence has made Dawood, the son of a Mumbai cop Ibrahim Kaskar, the country’s most-wanted gangster. He also figures on number 50 in the list of the World’s Most Powerful People.

Dawood has been plotting Pakistan ISI’s operations in India

Simply put, Dawood can arrange manpower in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Nepal or Bangladesh, which could be a relatively difficult task for the Pakistani ISI. His men have access to police stations in the city and the corridors of power at Mantralaya. Dawood’s right-hand-man Chhota Shakeel can direct organised killings in the city even today.

Just recently, Altaf alias Rakesh, a Chhota Shakeel aide, was in the news when his aides were arrested in Bengaluru for fuelling the Naxal movement in the country. Altaf, allegedly in Dubai had been pumping in Hawala to mobilise this movement.

In Riyadh, Dawood aide, Yusoof Madoor, 31, was arrested recently for plotting to set up a D Company base in coastal Karnataka. Indian investigation teams await Madoor’s deportation to India, who is wanted in the country for 18 cases including extortion, murder, attempt to murder and dacoity.

D Company plots downfall
Police sources informed that Dawood is respected in ISI circles because of his stronghold on the financial capital of India. Destablising the country’s economy is top on the list of the Pakistani agency. Dawood, CEO of the D Company, enjoys tremendous contracts among large number of tainted businessmen and builders operating in Central and South Mumbai. Across the country, Dawood alias Anaconda (earlier names Haji Saab, Muchhad, Bull Dog) has a franchise of gangsters, which is known to the ISI. The Pakistani agency pays Dawood to accomplish targets. Mumbai police investigations have indicated that Dawood is the main agent for subversive activities in India. His clandestine operations include smuggling of counterfeit notes, arming loyal groups, harbouring dangerous gangsters to acting as a conduit for terror group funds.

Funding Pak officers’ kin’s education
Dawood directly or indirectly controls almost every crime syndicate across the Indian subcontinent. Thousands of gangsters have rubbed shoulders with him in the past 35 years, soon after he was initiated to crime on the streets of Mumbai.

Dawood’s close links with the ISI are attributed to the fact that he funds the overseas education of the kin of several Pakistani senior armed forces and ISI officers. The unholy nexus has resulted in siphoning crores earmarked for an anti-India campaign, a recent Indian intelligence report indicates.

In return, Pakistan’s top brass outsource jobs to him in India. “In fact, he is an extension of Pakistan’s ISI, who are using him to the hilt,” said Additional Director Rakesh Maria in an earlier interview.

There are unconfirmed reports that Dawood and his cronies share a whopping booty of around Rs 10,000 crore. He has business interests in real estate, betting, bullion, shipping, malls, film piracy and films.

Almost a clean slate
A senior police officer, under condition of anonymity, confessed that official police records have barely registered five cases where Dawood Ibrahim could be tried in the court of law, even though he may be named in over 100 shootouts and killings in the past decade. “There are cases where Dawood is not even remotely linked. These cases cannot stand trials and this raises questions about Dawood’s connections in Mumbai,” the officer pointed out. There are dons like Khalid Pehalwan, KK or Iqbal Mirchi and others who may be financially more powerful. Their names do not figure during investigations because they are not involved in killings.

Dawood’s former lieutenant Rajendra Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan holds sway over the northern suburbs of Mumbai and is considered the second largest gang in the city. While Dawood’s name is used to spread terror, the most destructive crimes are plotted and executed by his trusted lieutenant Chhota Shakeel.

ISI Uses Qadiani Cult To Support Naxals

[According to many sources on the Web, the Deendar Anjuman outfit is a Qadiani Offshoot.  Indian authorities consider it an Islamic cult, while only Pakistan considers the Ahmadyia sect as non-Muslims.]

ISI infiltrates social fabric of Bangalore, security set-up worried

Published: Monday, Aug 16, 2010, 9:29 IST
By MK Madhusoodan | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

The security establishment in Bangalore has gone into a tizzy. The revelation that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had forged links with subversive activities in India, especially those behind the blasts at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 17, has forced them to go back to old dusty files to find out the spread of this agency’s tentacles in the city.

“Why the security agencies and Indian intelligence are shocked with the recent ISI-underworld-extremist combine is because the agencies now fear that the remnants of old outfits like Deendar Anjuman are believed to be strengthening their bases here,” sources in the intelligence told DNA.

The security and intelligence agencies have now been forced to sift through old files on some of the most notorious elements in the past, who unleashed terror in South India, and were known to have links with the ISI.

It has emerged that one of the prominent outfits is Deendar Anjuman (DA), having headquarters in Multan, Pakistan, and was clandestinely operating from Gulbarga in Karnataka and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. The security establishment is particularly worried over the revelation of ISI forging links with Maoists through agents of the underworld to create subversive activities.

Deendar Anjuman’s subversive activities came to light after 13 bomb explosions rocked various places of worship in Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka between May and July of 2000.

A series of raids in the aftermath of the blasts revealed that hundreds of DA operatives including Syed Khalid Uz Zaman, the sect’s South India chief, travelled to Pakistan to receive arms training from the ISI. A special court in Bangalore granted death sentence to 11 members of DA on November 29, 2008 for their involvement in the church blasts. Twelve more operatives received life imprisonment. The outfit was banned on April 27, 2000 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The security agencies’ fear is fuelled by the likelihood of the presence of several more DA sympathisers. “The membership in these groups might have risen following the lack of watch over its activities which hit a low after the arrests in 2000. But we still feel it is time to revisit the database and shake ourselves out of slumber. We are sure to stumble upon some material on the ISI’s South India connections again,” an officer said.

Hazrat Moulana Deendar Channabasaveshwara Siddiqui, formed the currently proscribed Deendar Anjuman sect in 1924 in Bellampet, in Gulbarga district. Until the 2000 church blasts, the outfit was believed to be based on Sufism.

Syed Zia-ul-Hassan, the founder’s son and the current spiritual head, is alleged to have masterminded the 2000 blasts. He reportedly migrated to Pakistan after the Partition and is believed to be based in Peshawar.
Hassan is also alleged to have floated a terrorist outfit, the Jamaat-e-Hizbul Mujahideen in Pakistan.

Yesterday’s Horrific Bus Attack Near Quetta

At least sixteen people were killed in two different violent incidents in Balochistan at a time when rest of the country was celebrating the Independence Day. Both the incidents had two things in common: All killed were Punjabis and the onus for the shoot-outs was accepted by the defunct Baloch Liberation Army.

In the first case of selective target killings, a passenger bus coming from Lahore to Quetta was stopped by armed men in Bolan after compelling the driver to halt the bus. Passengers possessing the national identity cards showing the citizenship of the Punjab were brought down from the bus and taken to the mountains where they were killed indiscriminately.

In another similar incident on the very same day, six Punjabi laborers working Balochistan were attacked by armed men who entered inside their rented houses and sprayed bullets.

The BLA, while accepting responsibility for these killings, has said it avenged the killing of Baloch missing persons whose dead bodies have started reaching their homes after short intervals.

Balochistan chief minister Raisani and some provincial ministers have condemned the killings while the Punjab Government has officially and vociferously protested with Quetta over the killings.

On the very same day when the killing of the Punjabis took place, newspapers reported the recovery of the dead bodies of two more political activists from Khuzdar District. As luck would have it, there was no official statement from the Chief Minister of Balochistan to equally condemn the killing of the Baloch missing persons. No provincial minister bothered to utter a single word over the killing of BRP and BNP activists.

The human cost of the Balochistan conflict is rapidly increasing. Innocent people are losing their lives on both sides of the conflict. Unfortunately, too little is being done to improve the situation in the province. Politics is the art of finding solutions which the current government has totally failed to do until now in Balochistan. Something needs to be done to fix the trouble that exists in Balochistan.

The Dominoes of Balochistan

http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/uploads/cmimg_12644.jpg

The Dominoes of Balochistan

By:  Peter Chamberlin

The day must come when sanity prevails in Balochistan, no matter which side proves to be acting in a rational manner.

Pakistan is in a very bad way.  By most standards of measurement, it is a failed state, or very close to it.  The emergencies generated by the latest natural disasters probably won’t cause forced relocations quite as enormous as those that have been generated by the Army’s many unwise military operations.

Pakistan is rapidly becoming a failed state because of the many military misadventures in the tribal regions.  The policy of providing military support to the Taliban (and potentially to “al Qaida”) has made Pakistan a pariah in the world community of nations.  The cost of that perception (whether it is true or not) can be measured in the failure of that world community to rush to Pakistan’s aid in this, her hour of greatest need.  It is uncertain whether this untypical response is because the world is ready to see Pakistanis suffer for the terrorism that they have helped spawn, or because of the fear that increased monetary aid will go to those terrorists.

Is it because of the Army, or perhaps in spite of the Army’s best efforts, that Pakistan may not survive as a state unless it fights a war against terrorism?  The United States has pushed Pakistan into a corner, forcing the Army to fight the terror war against the Pakistani people.  Even so, the government has been made to jump through hoops to acquire the equipment and the funds needed to fight the war.  As things now stand, the Army could not take and hold N. Waziristan, as the Americans demand, but it is in a good position for “pacifying” Balochistan, especially since the unruly province would not need pacification if the Army wasn’t constantly stirring things up there.

Balochistan is truly under a state of siege.  Bodies turn-up daily there, some of them are even beheaded (no doubt to implicate the government’s scapegoats, the “Islamists”).  With each case comes a new lame explanation from a government representative, attributing each political assassination to some dispute with locals, or some sort of feud between hostile clans.  (SEE:  The Unbelieveably Lame Army Excuse for Habib Jalib’s Assassination)  Explaining the wholesale slaughter of nationalist leaders in this accusatory, off-the-hand manner reveals a great deal about the murderers of all these Baloch leaders.  Showing a pattern of repetitive ridiculous government attempts to dismiss the cover-up and conspiracy charges as “sour grapes” made by “miscreants,” these contrived explanations provide strong circumstantial evidence that most of the guilty were Pakistani government agents or their hirelings.

This is the overriding pattern we see in the place of civil law in Pakistan.  The Army strong arms and terrorizes the people of Pakistan into accepting an alternative reality for everything that happen there, even if it happens before their own eyes.  Their eyes and ears clearly show them the reality of the constant murders and terrorist attacks, but outwardly they accept Army-mandated explanations for the attacks which obviously contradict the truth about what they have seen and heard.

The Pakistani people try to live normal lives as they go about under an umbrella “double-think,” whereby they maintain two realities within their own minds, while outwardly maintaining the roles that they all agree to play.  Like stoic little mind-slaves, they continue to trudge on with their lives, knowing that their silent acquiescence makes them collaborators, complicit with an overwhelming state which selectively kills their countrymen, in order to maintain national order.

This is an ugly fact of life in Balochistan, but it is also true for the other Tribal Regions and throughout Pakistan.   The barbarity and government terror hold sway over every mind in every corner of the “land of the pure.”  The solution for Balochistan must be a solution for all Pakistan.  The Army and the civilian agencies maintain order throughout Pakistan, especially in the tribal regions, through a sort of unspoken agreement between the government and the people.  Equilibrium between the chaos of revolution and state terror passes for “civil order” in Pakistan, as long as both sides continue to maintain a mental image of the reign of terror which awaits them, should they question the government’s often absurd explanations for terror.  Everyone knows that the Army is the hidden hand behind countless acts of terrorism, but very few people choose to reject official absurdity, out of fear for their lives and that of their families, should they publicly do so.

Fear for families seems to be the lynchpin that holds society together, binding them with invisible chains around the central absurdity.  The state maintains the delicate balance through real and implied threats to friends and family members.  Would-be heroes must consider the repercussions that family members could suffer, should they feel compelled to right the wrongs, or push the envelope of the conspiracy of silence.  It is not uncommon for family members to be arrested along with the offenders, where they all suffer the same abuse, from the same agencies’ hands.

This immoral, illegal policy is hinted at in stories that are sometimes found in the national news.  Rehman Malik has reportedly threatened to locate and harass family members of offenders living outside the country, for people responsible for insulting e-mails.  He had members of the Times Sq. bomber’s family picked-up.  The government has arrested and allegedly tortured the children of evil-doers, such as the son of radical radio preacher from Bara, Mufti Munir Shakir.   Mufti Shakir’s ten-year old son Abdullah claimed just that, telling reporters and supporters at a press conference about being tortured to force him to make incriminating statements about his father being tied to “al Qaida.”

The Army rules over the entire nation by maintaining a reign of terror.  In Balochistan, as in the other tribal war zones, the various factions of Army power are deployed against the most vocal resistance, threatening locals in order to keep them behind a curtain of silence.  Contrary to its carefully cultivated image, Pakistan hides its totalitarian tendencies behind a veil of feigned democracy.  The moderate leaders are being eliminated because they are the only Balochs with the credibility to draw the attention of the world to Balochistan.

The international illusion that Pakistan has a civilian government is a protective curtain, which hides the real “Iron Curtain” from prying foreign eyes.  To allow the curtain to drop would cut the economic lifeline of foreign aid which sustains the Army dictatorship.  Even a peek behind this curtain would blow the Army’s cover, turning truth and revelation into weapons far more dangerous to the Pak Army than anything hidden in India’s entire arsenal.

The truth about Pakistan is also the truth about the United States of America.  If the truth about the reality of Pakistan ever breaks free from the Iron Curtain behind which it hides, it will have a cascading effect—the dominoes will fall all the way to America.  Nothing done by Pakistan over the last thirty-odd years could have been possible without American aid and acquiescence.  The reign of terror which has resulted in the “Islamization” of Pakistan, indoctrinating the people with a false twisted version of Islam, has been key to all of America’s plans for a world empire.

What has been hidden can only be described as a carefully orchestrated plan to create a global “jihad,” using a well-trained army of militants to wage a crusade to force a militarized false religion upon captive populations.  The greatest arrow in the CIA’s quiver has proven to be the false religion constructed in the agency’s Frankenstein labs.  The “Islam” of America’s “Islamists” bears little likeness to the teachings of The Prophet.  Deobandi/Wahabbi “Islam” is not a religion, it is a psychological weapon of war.

Wherever this religion of war has been sown, or sold, the CIA program is instilled within the beliefs of the locals who have had this false religion forced upon them, especially within the minds of impressionable illiterate Muslim boys.  By killing all the real religious leaders and scholars, along with key tribal and local leaders and replacing them with the agency’s own men, the local people were made susceptible to the poison.  Taken with a large dose of American and Saudi dollars, it proved to be just the thing for what psychopathic American leaders had in mind.  America waged war against the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan using Pakistani militants as well as Pakistani military/intelligence personnel, in order to manufacture a false reality based solely upon lies and terror.

Everything seems to be going according to plan, except for one thing, American psycho-planners are coming up against unplanned resistance from the over-abused populations of these targeted nations.  The reasonable people of the world are growing weary of the unreasonable conundrum which confronts us all.  We are growing tired of the ruthless hard-headedness of America’s leaders who seem intent on taking the rest of the world down with us.

The world community is ready to resist further besides the ones that America has already foisted upon the world.  You can see this new trend in global thinking arising in world reluctance to help American ally Pakistan recover from nature’s onslaught.  The growing prevailing world opinion seems to be—Let America take care of Pakistan, since it has become “evil incarnate” for much of the free world.

The monsoon rains have multiplied the destruction and misery all over Pakistan.  Whenever Pakistan begins to recover from the flood devastation wrought by monsoon rains, the political crisis now brewing Balochistan will return to center stage.  When the water finally recedes and roads are cleared enough so that heavy equipment can once again move about there, the freeing-up of military hands will allow the deadly mischief to recommence.  Beginning just before Cyclone Phet struck the area, the Pak Army began reinforcing its positions throughout the key areas, allegedly blocking Balochs from reaching fresh water or fuel, according to Baloch sources.

Whatever international relief manages to reach the heavily damaged Baloch province, aid workers will also have to deal with the deprivation caused by previous military punitive measures in some areas.

The emergency relief which is required to preserve the state will require massive American and international assistance.  Saving lives and overcoming the effects of the flood and crop loss will require American air power and lift capability.  Whatever is done there cannot be just to preserve the situation which has been created in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but to create a better, more stable Pakistan.

There must be massive American investment in undoing what has been done there, but it must be done in a manner that stabilizes an independent Pakistani state, not an American vassal state.   The same holds true for rebuilding what America has done in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well.  Paying for our collective sins must become as important as repairing our banks and financial markets.  But none of this will happen until the American conscience is awakened.

American planners have their own missions in Balochistan that are far more advanced than the cobbled-together Pakistani plan.  The result of the offensives and counter-offensives is that the militaries and intelligence agencies of both countries are targeting Baloch leadership, one side seeking to move moderate nationalist leaders to take-up arms against the state, the other state working just as hard to eliminate those same moderate leaders before they become radicalized and join the insurgency.  Some say that the moderate leaders are being eliminated to eliminate the Balochs’ choice in the matter.  People will resist at some point, with no moderates to lead them responsibly, the violence is certain to escalate.

With both competing regimes of targeted killings going full-boil all the time, there will soon be no moderates left in Balochistan, at least no one left who is brave enough to open their mouths in public without first grabbing his trusty Kalashnikov.  Now, before that moment of ultimate silence announces the arrival of a full-blown dialogue of weapons in Balochistan, the moderates and anyone who has an ounce of common sense must muster the courage and the means to forge links that will bridge Balochistan, standing in reasonable opposition to those who are promoting war and further divisions.

The American military leadership, just like their Pakistani counterparts, seems to be content with the current situation in Balochistan.  Neither side appears to be ready to push hard on the other side, in order to settle the matter, at least not yet.  Both sides want the war to continue, in fact, both sides are relentless in their efforts to prevent the premature ending of their war.

In unison, the media and the leaders from both sides sing the same song, persuading all the people that survival demands that the war go on.  This mantra is repeated over and over, embedding its illogical claims deeply within the unthinking minds of  normal Pakistanis, as well as within the American sheep—“Pakistan cannot survive unless it fights another war against Pakistanis.”

The cold hard truth is that–Pakistan will NOT survive IF it does continue to fight this war.  That has been a major impetus for the war since the beginning.  The only thing that can overcome this existential threat to Pakistan’s survival is if politicians on either side learn to see beyond the foolish rhetoric and refuse to be frightened into another escalation.  The only way that Pakistan can survive the next war is to avoid getting embroiled in it.

Look at the facts about this truly “existential” war which will determine whether “Pakistan” exists at all, after this all plays-out—or especially if it is prevented from being playing-out.  The Pakistani people and the Army which represents and defends them stand on different sides of a vast river of distrust.  De-escalate the war and survive.

The truth is—There would be no war in Balochistan if the Army was not constantly stirring things up, just as there would be no war of terror if the United States was not constantly abusing Muslims all over the world for perceived gains.  Governments all over the world understand this—yet no one dares to question why we must manufacture conflict, and what is hoped to be gained in the process?  People are lined-up in the streets of Quetta demanding that the murder of their leaders stop now, and that these targeted killings be truly investigated by some authority.

The same thing is happening simultaneously in Tripoli, Lebanon.  In Lebanon, just like in Balochistan, the people hunger and thirst for justice in the murder of their president, Rafik Hariri.  When the truth is revealed in the end, it is likely that proof will be found connecting the instability in both countries to the same international gangsters.

Why have we never seen any size crowd demanding the heads of the masters of chaos theory who were behind the assassination of our own president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy?  Anyone remember him?  He was one of the first national leaders to be martyred by this international criminal cabal in an unbroken string of bombings and assassinations intended to create a global dictatorship, which has encircled the earth.  Synthetic chaos is the path to the planned “scientific dictatorship.”

Global resistance to that scientific dictatorship is growing faster than plans can progress.  We have a distinct advantage over our adversaries, in the explosive potential that our global movement represents, over the limitations which have built into their plans in the form of contracts that need to be signed, along with deadlines which have to be met, in order to complete their pipeline pipedreams, the key to everything that they have planned.

We don’t have to prove our charges against the growing dictatorship; we merely have to prove that our message is based on reasonable observations of prevailing trends and available evidence.  Over time, they will have no ground left to stand upon, as the evil of concerted government actions becomes more and more apparent as the “war of terror” is exposed for the quest for mega-profits that it has always been.

It is reassuring to know that most normal people find the image that I am painting here for you so repulsive that they cannot even open their minds to the possibility that this is the true state of our reality.

This natural human resistance to unpleasant or abhorrent information also represents a great barrier that must be overcome.  Our task must be to patiently work to overcome this barrier of unbelievability which covers the big lies which underwrite the entire American war.

The power of the people is an irresistible force, even if all that they are armed with is the plain truth.

peterchamberlin@naharnet.com

Hell or High Water, the Baloch Killings Continue

Six Labourers killed, 3 injured in Quetta Shootout

Six Labourers killed, 3 injured in Quetta Shootout »

The Baloch Hal News QUETTA: At least six labourers were shot dead and three others injured when gunmen opened fire at them in Khilji Abad Colony in thhe provicnial capital city on Saturday afternoon. According…

Ten Passengers Target Killed in Bolan

Ten Passengers Target Killed in Bolan »

The Baloch Hal News SIBI: Unidentified gunmen shot 10 passengers dead and injured another five on Saturday morning after intercepting the bus near ‘Aab-e-Gum’ area of district (Kachhi) Bolan. According to police sources, the gunmen…

August 15 2010 / No commentRead More »

Flooding Pakistan Back Into the Stone Age–Next the Peasant Rebellion

Pakistan flood response prompts rising anti-government resentment

Under fire president Asif Ali Zardari tries to ease public anger amid fears he could be overthrown

Women receive food in Muzaffargarh, Pakistan Flood-hit women stretch their shawls to receive food from Pakistani troops in Muzaffargarh, near Multan. Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/APPakistan‘s government faces the threat of social unrest or even military takeover after its shambolic response to the floods that have devastated the country, leaving 1,600 people dead and 2 million homeless, say analysts.

Fears that Asif Ali Zardari, the president, could be overthrown – possibly through an intervention by the army – have grown as the government’s failure to adequately tackle the crisis has fuelled long-held grievances.

“The powers that be, that is the military and bureaucratic establishment, are mulling the formation of a national government, with or without the PPP [the ruling Pakistan People's party],” said Najam Sethi, editor of the weekly Friday Times. “I know this is definitely being discussed. There is a perception in the army that you need good governance to get out of the economic crisis and there is no good governance.”

Rescuers are struggling to help the 14 million people affected across the country, with fresh flood warnings today forcing even more to flee the city of Jacobabad. But the impact of the disaster will be felt throughout Pakistan’s 170m population.

The agricultural heartland has been wiped out, which will cause spiralling food prices and shortages. Many roads and irrigation canals have been destroyed, along with electricity supply infrastructure.

“The immediate risk is one of food riots,” said Marie Lall, an Asia expert at Chatham House. “There is already great resentment in Swat and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where people had to be cleared during the government offensive. Now there is the threat of social unrest as various factions, families and ethnic groups compete with each other in the event of a breakdown in government.”

The World Bank estimates that crops worth $1bn (£640m) have been ruined and the Pakistani finance secretary warned today that the disaster would cut the country’s growth in half.

The government may have to spend $1.7bn on reconstruction, and has said it will have to divert expenditure from badly needed development programmes.

With the economy currently surviving on an IMF bailout, experts predict that another may be necessary. Experts believe that the floods could now knock 2 percentage points off projected economic growth for this year.

US and European diplomats are gravely concerned about the situation, as Pakistan is crucial in the fight against al-Qaida and the war in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Cathy Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, said the west could not afford to abandon the country: “Pakistan is faced with so many issues, not just floods, terror, development, India. It’s in the EU’s interest to have a stable and prosperous Pakistan.”

Zardari, who left the country after the floods began and continued on his trip to France and Britain even when the scale of the disaster became apparent, is the focus of much of the anger. Despite the outcry, he is to go ahead with a visit to a regional summit in Russia next week. A spokesman said the president had cut the planned two-day trip to “a couple of hours”. Only the courts could legally dismiss him but, as his PPP is a minority government reliant on coalition partners, behind-the-scenes military pressure on those partners could bring it down, while keeping parliament in place, said Sethi.

With the government overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster, Islamic groups, including extremist organisations such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, have stepped into the gap. The military has also distributed aid in areas where locals complain that government help is almost entirely absent.

“If the military takes over now, I can assure you that it will be the end of Pakistan, an end which will be punctuated by a very bloody civil war,” said Asad Sayeed, an analyst based in Karachi. “Pakistan is a very divided country right now.”

Pakistan has lurched from crisis to crisis in its 63-year history. The break-up of the country in 1971 can be linked to another natural disaster, when authorities responded slowly to a devastating cyclone. A secessionist movement in East Pakistan capitalised on public anger to successfully fight for independence as Bangladesh.

In the flood-hit areas, people are bewildered by the government’s response, with accusations and conspiracy theories abounding. At the side of the Indus river in Sukkur town, Sindh province, shopowner Ali Sher gave a scathing reaction to promises of aid.

“They [the government] want to drown Sukkur,” he said. “They want to show some bodies, so they can ask for more aid from other countries. They are after dollars.”

Was Benazir Working for the Americans?

Was Benazir Working for the Americans?

By Dr Sachithanandam Sathananthan,

The author  earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He serves as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University School of International Studies.

Sep 12, 2008
There is great euphoria among Pakistani liberals over the presumed ‘return to democracy’. They are yet to discover Late Neo-colonialism. The manoeuvres against Musharraf bear uncanny resemblances to organised ‘people’s power’ the CIA unleashed during ‘colour revolutions’ and upheavals against Hugo Chavez.

The widely expected victory for PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari in the presidential election brought to a high point the tortuous process of regime change in Pakistan. Anyone who has followed the ‘colour revolutions’ that installed pro-American rulers in Georgia (Rose Revolution, 2003), Ukraine (Orange Revolution, 2004) and Kyrgyzstan (Tulip Revolution, 2005) could surely not have missed the tell tale signs.

The earliest foreboding surfaced in the backroom manoeuvres by United States (US) and British intelligence services to engineer panic about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets. It was a repeat of the duplicitous hysteria they generated over non-existent weapons of mass destruction that Iraq allegedly possessed. A carefully worded article, co-authored by former State Department officials Richard L. Armitage and Kara L. Bue, signalled the shift in US policy. After formally acknowledging then President Pervez Musharraf’s many achievements, the authors continued: ‘much remains to be accomplished, particularly in terms of democratization. Pakistan must…eliminate the home-grown jihadists…And…it must prove itself a reliable partner on technology transfer and nuclear non-proliferation.’ And the denouement: ‘We believe General Musharraf…deserves our attention and support, no matter how frustrated we become at the pace of political change and the failure to eliminate Taliban fighters on the Afghan border.’

Translation: Musharraf has to go.

Almost simultaneously a 2006 country survey in The Economist, titled ‘Too much for one man to do’, began on a jingoistic overkill: ‘Think about Pakistan, and you might get terrified. Few countries have so much potential to cause trouble, regionally and worldwide’. The following year a Carnegie Endowment report faulted western governments that ‘contribute to regional instability by allowing Pakistan to trade democratisation for its cooperation on terrorism’. Senior US State Department officials repeatedly accused Musharraf of ‘not doing enough’ to combat Islamists within Pakistan and prevent their infiltration across the Durand Line into southern Afghanistan.

Sensing the way wind was blowing, then Benazir Bhutto redoubled efforts to convince Washington and London that, if she were to become Prime Minister, she would gladly do their bidding. She underscored her enthusiasm to serve and ensured her party was fully responsive to America’s Late Neo-colonialism. She summoned senior party members to Dubai on 9 June 2007 for a ‘briefing’ by a team from the US Democratic Party’s National Democratic Institute (NDI), ostensibly on the subject of elections in Pakistan. The ruling Republican Party’s International Republican Institute (IRI) had conducted the previous four ‘briefings’ in June and September 2006 and March and April 2007. Benazir leaned towards the Democratic Party in the last one no doubt as a hedge against the party’s possible victory at the forthcoming US Presidential Election.

Even a cursory knowledge of US Imperialism’s standard operating procedure is sufficient to surmise at least some among the IRI and NDI officers were covert intelligence operatives; and that their ‘briefings’ went beyond ‘tutelage of natives’. Rather they have been grooming the PPP as America’s satrap.

Benazir’s predilection to collaborate with the West has its roots in the Bhutto family’s micro political culture. Her grandfather, Shah Nawaz Bhutto was a minor comprador official in the British colonial regime. The British rewarded his ‘loyal’ services with the title Khan Bahadur and later appointed him President of a District Board and still later elevated him to knighthood.

Her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s populist programmes did not dilute that legacy, which left a lasting impression on Benazir; she firmly believed the path to political power in Pakistan meanders through the Embassy of the United States, the current neo-colonialist.

She promised to offer the International Atomic Energy Agency access to Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan to ’satisfy the international community’, an euphemism for the major powers; and to allow the US-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan to operate inside north-western Pakistan. By the time Benazir visited the Senate in September 2007, she had convinced the Bush Administration of her unswerving loyalty; for ’she received a standing ovation from a select gathering of US lawmakers, diplomats, academics and media representatives. This contrasted sharply with her previous visits to the US capital when she received little attention.’ To deepen ‘Washington’s renewed interest in her, Benazir cautioned that supporting Musharraf was ‘a strategic miscalculation’ and pleaded ‘the US should support the forces of democracy’, which, of course, refers to her PPP.

So, President George W Bush enabled Benazir’s return from exile by arm-twisting Musharraf to promulgate the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). The NRO of 5 October granted amnesty to politicians active in Pakistan between 1988 and 1999 and effectively wiped the slate clean of corruption charges for Benazir and her husband Asif Zardari. Three weeks later Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made it appear the Bush Administration wished to bring together ‘moderate’ forces, implying a scenario in which Musharraf and Benazir would join forces as President and Prime Minister respectively; and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte corroborated Rice: ‘Our message’, he intoned, ‘is that we want to work with the government and people of Pakistan’.

However, Musharraf saw through the US Administration’s transparent ploy to lull him into believing it would not remove him and install Benazir in his place. So, he swiftly invited Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), back from exile in Saudi Arabia to counter Benazir. But he could not consolidate his position, especially because he mishandled the judiciary, and was compelled to resign on 18 August 2008.

In a nutshell, the reason for ‘Washington’s renewed interest’ in Benazir is Musharraf’s firm opposition to US Late Neo-colonialism, to its manoeuvres to occupy, pacify and ravage Pakistan. In the 19th century British colonialism waged the ‘war on piracy’ on the high seas ostensibly to bring ‘the light of Christian civilization’. But the British were the most successful pirates, as Spanish and Portuguese historians would gladly confirm. The ‘war on piracy’ was the duplicitous justification trotted out to dominate lucrative maritime trade routes that were in the hands of Chinese, Arab and Tamil maritime empires and to invade kingdoms and/or countries essential to control trade and plunder resources. During most of the 20th century heroic anti-colonial movements and anti-imperialist wars rolled back much of colonial rule, which in some instances however morphed into neo-colonialism. Indonesia after Sukarno, Iran after Mosaddeq and Chile after Allende are well known examples.

The ‘war on terror’ and ‘promoting democracy’ are the 21st century equivalents of the 19th century British gobbledygook. American Late Neo-colonialism purveys them as moral justification and uses as political cover for intervening and, where necessary, invading resource-rich and strategic countries to overthrow nationalist leaders, install puppet regimes and savage the countries’ wealth. And of course the US is by far the most powerful terrorist force.

It succeeded in Iraq (for now); but the CIA-organised regime change could not dislodge Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who rejected the neo-colonialist 1989 Washington Consensus and supported alternative nationalist economic models.

Politically challenged Pakistani liberals — a motley crowd that includes members of human rights and civil liberties organisations, journalists, analysts, lawyers and assorted professionals — are utterly incapable of comprehending the geo-strategic context in which Musharraf manoeuvred to defend Pakistan’s interest. So they slandered him an ‘American puppet’, alleging he caved in to US pressure and withdrew support to the Afghan Taliban regime in the wake of 9/11 although in fact he removed one excuse for the Bush Administration to ‘bomb Pakistan into stone age’, as a senior State Department official had threatened.

Nevertheless American discomfort with Musharraf’s government was palpable by late 2003, after he dodged committing Pakistani troops to prop up the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. When he offered to cooperate under the auspices of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), naïve Pakistani media and analysts lunged for his jugular, condemning him once again for succumbing to US demands. But in fact he nimbly sidestepped American demands: he calculated that diverse ideological stances of the 57 Muslim member-counties would not allow the OIC to jointly initiate such controversial action and therefore Pakistan’s participation cannot arise, which proved correct.

Washington of course was not amused and the Bush Administration grew increasingly hostile to Musharraf’s determination to prioritise Pakistan’s interests when steering the ship of the state through the choppy waters of the unfolding New Great Game, in which the West — led by the US — is manoeuvring to contain growing Russian and Chinese influences in Central and West Asia. His foreign policy decisions over time convinced Washington that under his leadership, Pakistan would side with enemies of US and Britain in the New Great Game. First, he refused to isolate Iran; instead he vigorously pursued energy cooperation to build the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline in the face of stiff American opposition. Second, Washington was alarmed by Musharraf’s preference for deepening Pakistan-China bilateral relations and forging nuclear cooperation; and more so when he offered Beijing naval facilities at the Gwadar port on Balochistan’s Arabian Sea coast overlooking the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic chokepoint through which passes approximately 30 per cent of world’s energy supplies.

Perhaps the last straw was his success in gaining Observer Status for Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Russia and China are spearheading the SCO, which includes four other countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; Iran and India are also Observers. The SCO is widely perceived as a rising eastern counterweight to western security and economic groupings and Islamabad drifting towards the SCO was simply unacceptable in Washington.

To rub salt into its wounds, Musharraf refused permission to interrogate Dr. AQ Khan and firmly rejected Washington’s demands that NATO troops be allowed into the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) to hunt down Osama bin Laden and his associates.

By early 2006 it was clear Washington was looking for nothing less than a pliable leader in Islamabad, a firm political foothold in Pakistan and a Pakistani foreign policy that complemented US strategic aims in Central Asia.

What perhaps angered Washington the most were actions Musharraf took to wind down the ‘war on terror’ within Pakistan.

Immediately after taking power, he outlawed three Islamic extremist groups and, after 9/11, intensified military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan.

Washington would have gone along with Musharraf had he focussed on military operations to curb Islamists. Military action alone cannot defeat guerrillas; but it can kill many of them and in turn induce new recruits — well known points reiterated by William R Polk in Violent Politics (2007) – so that the so-called ‘war on terror’ would not end any time soon.

That could supplement US Administrations’ assiduous manufacture of the ‘Islamic threat’ through the 1990s to launch an endless ‘war on terror’ — the New Cold War — to rescue America’s permanent war economy. For after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US economy (and by extension west European economies) faced perhaps its biggest crisis: the ‘Communist threat’ ceased to be credible; it could not be exploited to terrify the American people into acquiescing to rising military expenditure that keeps wheels of the permanent war economy rolling and to expanding the repressive security apparatuses.

So the Bush Administration deftly replaced the ‘Communist threat’ with the ‘Islamic threat’, no doubt following Machiavelli’s famous advice in The Prince, that a wise ruler invents enemies and then slays them in order to control his own subjects. The apparently counterproductive bombings, arrests, torture, kidnappings and disappearances (sanitised as Extraordinary Rendition) carried out by US forces while the CIA covertly funded, armed and supported Islamists are intended not to eliminate the ‘Islamic threat’ but to contain it within manageable limits and to spawn the next generation of ‘terrorists’.

Sometimes, plans go awry; ‘culling’ may not contain the resistance, as seen in Afghanistan from time to time. Nevertheless, the strategy is to ‘feed terrorism’ and simultaneously ‘cull terrorists’ so that the perpetual New Cold War oils America’s moribund permanent war economy.

Musharraf, however, did not play ball. He complemented military force to defeat Islamists with political initiatives.

He signed a peace treaty with tribal elders in North Waziristan (within FATA) to marginalise the Islamists. To combat the Islamists’ religious ideology, he promoted ‘enlightened moderation’, a veiled reference to secularism and tolerance. Musharraf’s vision of a secular Pakistan has its roots in exposure to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s legacy when he attended school in Ankara during his father’s diplomatic posting to Turkey. In fact, after taking power in Pakistan he often held up Ataturk as his role model. He planned to ‘wean away’ the people from the ‘extremists’ through education is how he described his approach to this writer. Towards this end, he introduced educational reforms and re-wrote school history text books; enacted laws protecting women’s rights and diluted Islamic laws against women; and he liberalised the media. To deny Islamists their traditional rallying cry — Kashmir — he opened path breaking negotiations with India to remove that arrow from the Islamists’ quiver.

When Musharraf skilfully combined military operations against Islamists with a political front promoting secularism to ideologically disarm them, the US administration saw red. By secularising Pakistani society over time Musharraf would de-fang the ‘Islamic threat’ within Pakistan and extricate the country out of the contrived orbit of ‘war on terror’.

That would greatly diminish Washington’s leverage to intervene in the country to distance Islamabad from Beijing and exploit energy resources abundantly found in Balochistan and, in the long run, perhaps derail US administration’s well laid plans to bring Afghanistan to heel and to dominate Central Asia and its oil-rich Caspian Sea basin.

But Musharraf was in no mood to back down. So the Bush Administration slipped regime change into gear. Taking advantage of his missteps, the anti-Musharraf media blitz, NGO and student mobilisations, lawyers agitations, protests by political parties and civil society organisations seemingly coming from all directions in fact displayed a fantastic degree of organisation, coordination and financing clearly beyond the ken of the fratricidal activists and often ad hoc institutions and never witnessed before in the country. Very likely they will not be seen again either; indeed later the activists were singularly incapable of organising any significant agitation when three women were buried alive for defying their parents’ choice of husbands. The manoeuvres against Musharraf bear uncanny resemblances to organised ‘people’s power’ the CIA unleashed during ‘colour revolutions’ and upheavals against Hugo Chavez.

The Bush Administration began reaping the rewards of unseating Musharraf within 24 hours of his resignation. Chief of Army Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani travelled to Kabul to meet NATO and Afghan commanders on 19 August. About 10 days later Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen informed a Pentagon news conference on 28 August that Kayani and his lieutenants held a ’secret meeting’ with their US counterparts on a US aircraft carrier, reminiscent of American gun boat diplomacy in Latin America and unthinkable in Pakistan under Musharraf’s watch..

Mullen touchingly chronicled how he ‘learned to trust’ Kayani and bent over backwards to emphasise that Kayani is no American puppet, that Kayani’s ‘principles and goals are to do what’s best for Pakistan.’ But a few sections of the US media, weaned on decades of Pentagon-speak from the debacle in Vietnam to the illegal invasion of Iraq, saw through the verbal obfuscation. And when a reporter pointedly queried Mullen whether Kayani’s ‘goal for Pakistan also aligned a hundred per cent with the US goal’, the Admiral waffled: ‘[Kayani] knows his country a whole lot better than we do. And again, I just think that’s where he is, that’s where he’ll stay.’ Translation: US administration has got Kayani on tight leash.

And to maintain there is no substantial change from Musharraf’s policies, Kayani’s spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas and Mullen alleged the meetings had been arranged several weeks earlier, when Musharraf was President, to facetiously imply he had approved the contacts.

The import of ‘coordination’ between American, NATO, Afghan and Pakistan militaries will become clearer over the next weeks and months. For now the suspicion is unavoidable that the US Administration has at long last begun frog-marching Pakistan into the US-created Afghan quagmire to further destabilise the country and justify intervention.

Musharraf had resolutely opposed precisely this eventuality. He rejected US demands that the Pakistani army assist NATO forces in Afghanistan. He underlined the country will not repeat the catastrophic mistakes of the 1980s when it got embroiled in America’s war in Afghanistan against the then Soviet Union, for which the Pakistani people continues to pay a heavy price. Rather, he insisted his army will fight only Pakistan’s war within Pakistan’s borders.

The consequences of the PPP leadership following the US into the Afghan quagmire will soon be evident. Already, within 16 days of Musharraf’s resignation, US forces carried out the first ground assault in Angoor Adda area within Pakistan’s borders — which Musharraf had disallowed — with the connivance of the new leadership. Obviously there is more to come since the Bush Administration has eagerly caricatured the Pakistan-Afghanistan border as ‘The New Frontier’ in the New Cold War.

For the moment, there is great euphoria among Pakistani liberals over the presumed ‘return to democracy’. The comments by Ayesha Tanmy Haq are typical: ‘We have removed a dictator by the citizenry showing that real power lies with them.’ The hapless liberals have yet to discover Late Neo-colonialism and its devious manoeuvres for regime change; they have in fact effectively legitimised them by opposing Musharraf. They are agonisingly unaware of the labyrinthine geo-politics and economic imperatives underlying the New Cold War. They are blissfully going along with the collaborationist leaders who are bartering away the country’s future for the proverbial pieces of silver.

Violence Erupts All Over Balochistan Conflict Area

Several rockets fired in Baluchistan, seven killed

on 2010/8/13 8:30:00 (71 reads)
Occupied Baluchistan: The security situation in Balochistan is threatening to spiral out of control as three rocket attacks in Quetta, and blasts in Khuzdar, Gwadar, Mastung and some other areas of Balochistan spread panic amongst the people of the province on Friday.

The first rocket landed on Masoom Shah Street close to the residence of Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussein Durrani next to the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. A constable identified as Lal Mohammad and a six-year-old passerby Mohammad Umer suffered splinter wounds. Durrani remained unhurt in the attack.

The second rocket hit a house owned by Haji Majeed, situated on Prince Road. The structure was partially damaged in the blast.

The third rocket landed at the Jaffria Imambarghah situated on McCanghey Road. However, the rocket failed to explode and no injuries were reported.

Separately, two explosions took place in Gwadar where the offices of the deputy commissioner and Radio Pakistan were partially damaged. No casualties were reported in the attacks.
In Khuzdar, unidentified militants planted an explosive device near the Government Model High School and another explosion took place outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Awaran. However, no causalities were reported in both blasts. Also, unknown attackers hurled a hand grenade at the residence of Dr Noorul Haq in Mastung. However, no casualties were reported.

In Khuzdar, unidentified militants hurled a hand grenade at a power grid station in Sorab area. According to police, no casualties were reported.

Seven killed in Quetta: As many as seven men, including three policemen and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel, were killed in separate incidents in the provincial metropolis on Friday.

According to official sources, three police personnel were killed when unidentified men opened fire on them at a checkpost near Chaki Shawani area of Saryab. The deceased were identified as Abdul Saleem, Ghulam Sarwar and Nasruddin.

Separately, according to sources, Atif Lehri – a local transporter – along with his companion Mohammad Akram, were travelling on Saryab Road when unidentified militants opened fire at them near the Quetta Degree College. Consequently, Lehri, Akram and a passerby – Haji Wahid – received multiple injuries. Lehri and Wajid were pronounced dead at the hospital. In yet another incident, unidentified armed militants opened fire at a barbershop in Ghousabad area of Satellite Town, killing the barber Mohammad Rafiq on the spot.

Also, unidentified militants attacked a checkpost near the Rakshan River in Panjgur, killing an FC subedar instantly.

Source: Daily time

We Are With the Flood-Victims–Primer Gilani

[How will Rahman Malik know who has been taken by the flood or who has been "disappeared" by other means?  Balochs should give Malik the name of every missing person.]

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani has vowed that federal government would not leave the people of Balochistan in the lurch and would utilize all available resources for the relief and rehabilitation of flood affectees as it was the prime responsibility of the government. “International community should help Pakistan so that it could tackle colossal damages caused by devastating floods in the country”, he expressed these views while talking to newsmen and flood affectees of Jaffarabad district on Thursday.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani accompanied by Minister Information Qamar Zaman Kaira,  Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Water and Power Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Raza Rabbani made an aerial view of the flood affected areas of Balochistan and met with affected people in Sohbatpur of Jaffarabad district.

He said that flash flood had caused devastation at a large scale across the country, and Pakistan was not in a position to tackle this serious situation alone. He appealed to international community to assist flood affectees.

Gilani said that the government had mobilised all available resources to ensure relief to the affectees and added that with the help of the people, armed forces, local and international aid agencies, the difficult situation would be tackled.

The Prime Minister said that if needed, the government would divert development fund to rehabilitation of affected people in the country after halting development activities besides reviewing budgetary allocations in the wake of devastating floods.

He said that meeting of the Council of Common Interests would be convened so that all four chief ministers, federal cabinet and other stakeholders could review the situation and evolve a strategy for the rehabilitation of flood affected people. “Federal government would provide complete details of utilization of the aid to the people”, he said and adding that all information would be placed on the website so that it was accessible to all.

He said he had tasked Interior Minister Rehman Malik to finalize a list of those who have been killed or displaced in the recent floods.

Premier said that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had been given task to provide relief goods to all flood affected areas of Balochistan and added that steps were being taken to prevent waterborne disease in the flooded areas.

He assured that all legally installed tubewells in the province would be provided subsidy.

The Prime Minister also distributed rations, cash and tents amongst the flood victims.

Expressing condolences over the heavy loss of live and property, he announced Rs 50 million for food to the affected people of Balochistan through utility stores on emergency basis, besides announcing one thousand tones of food.

Prime Minister announced restoration of subsidy on electricity for agriculture tube wells in Balochistan that was withdrawn by NEPRA few days back.

Earlier, Chief Minister Balochistan briefed Prime Minister Gilani about the details of damages caused by the heavy rains and floods in the province.

Provincial ministers, including  Mir Sadiq Umrani, Amin Umrani, Gazal Gola and Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa  were also present on this occasion.

Gilani Government Puts On “Relief” Sideshow In Balochistan

‘Fake’ flood relief camp magically appears during Gilani’s Balochistan visit

2010-08-13 16:20:00
The government of Pakistan’s Balochistan province has been accused of setting up a fake flood-relief camp during Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s visit to Sohbatpur on Thursday.

According to The Daily Times, when helicopters carrying Gilani and his cabinet members landed in Sohbatpur, local officials had showcased the relief camp, consisting of empty tents.

However, locals said that it was the first time that had seen the camp, and claimed that it was not there on Wednesday.

“We have just seen the camp, which local authorities claim is providing medical and relief facilities to us,” the paper quoted a local resident, as saying.

“We were living in misery due to the floods for the last 10 days. But nobody had came to us except for the Pakistan Army personnel,” he added.

The tents are brand new, untouched and without any sign of the rough weather and floodwater.

Over 1,600 people have been killed and 15 million affected as raging floodwaters continue to wreak havoc in the country.

It first struck Balochistan on July 22 before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

In addition to causing major human loses, it has destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, washed away crops and livestock. (ANI)

A strategy gone awfully wrong

A strategy gone awfully wrong

PRAVEEN SWAMI

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad. File Photo: AP
APU.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad. File Photo: AP

The HuJI’s story illustrates just why the U.S. needs to compel Pakistan to crack down on jihadists operating from its soil.

“They are justified in their pursuit,” Muhammad Illyas Kashmiri told a journalist in October last, just weeks after a United States airstrike almost claimed his life, “they know their enemy well.”

Recently, acting in concert with the United Nations, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a slew of sanctions against Kashmiri and the organisation he commands, the Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami. The sanctions, which freeze assets Kashmiri may have in the U.S. and forbid financial transactions with him, are largely symbolic. Key figures from the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad have long been subject to similar sanctions — but to little effect.

Nestled in North Waziristan, a mountainous region along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan that is under the effective control of Islamist guerrillas, Kashmiri’s forces will be little impacted by the sanctions. The Pakistan army has been reluctant to move against them, saying it is too stretched by counter-insurgency campaigns elsewhere to open a new front.

If there is one thing the complex story of the HuJI illustrates, it is this: unless the U.S. finds a way of compelling Pakistan to act against the jihadist groups it has nurtured for so long, its cities and citizens will continue to be at risk.

Like so many jihadist groups of global reach and ambition, the HuJI was a product of the U.S.-authored, Saudi Arabia-funded and Pakistan-backed Islamist insurgency against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

In February 1980, three religious scholars at the Jamia Uloom al-Islamia seminary in Karachi’s Binori Town set up the first Pakistani jihadist group to fight in that war. Maulana Irshad Ahmad, Maulana Muhammad Akhtar and Maulana Abdul Samad Sial called their organisation the Jamiat Ansar-ul-Afghaneen, or the organisation of the companions of the Afghan people.

The Harkat-e-Inqiab-e-Islami, led by Peshawar-based cleric Nasrullah Mansoor, paid for the young clerics’ first weapons. Akhtar was elected to head the Jamiat Ansar-ul-Afghaneen in 1985, after Irshad was killed in combat. He took on the pseudonym “Saifullah” or the sword of God.

For the first eight years of its existence, the organisation — which came to call itself HuJI towards the end of its campaign there — focussed on Afghanistan. From the outset, though, it had global ambitions. Its objectives, Pakistani newspaper The News reported in 2001, were “to fight against the oppression of the Muslims by the infidels all over the world through the revival of the traditions of jihad. It wants to recapture for the Muslims their glorious past.”

In 1991, the HuJI initiated operations against India. It also, analyst Muhammad Amir Rana has recorded in his book A-Z of Jihadi Organisations in Pakistan, set up sister networks in Bangladesh, Chechnya and Uzbekistan. Figures published in the Pakistani media make clear that the HuJI’s Jammu and Kashmir operations were, by far, its most ambitious: its leaders claimed to have lost 650 men in combat there till 2004, against just 43 in Afghanistan between 1980 and 1989.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate pumped in cash to pay for this expansion: at its peak, the HuJI was reported to be running eight training facilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which processed over 4,000 jihadists. But the battle over resources precipitated a split. In 1991, a faction led by Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman Khalil set up the rival Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.

For the next two years, clerics at the Jamia Uloom al-Islamia worked hard to heal the rift. Finally, in 1993, the two organisations merged into the Harkat-ul-Ansar. In 1994, the Harkat ul-Ansar dramatically announced its presence by taking control of the Chrar-e-Sharif mosque in central Kashmir. From later that year, though, problems began to develop. Key leaders, notably Maulana Masood Azhar and Nasrullah Langriyal, were held by Indian forces. Then, as evidence emerged of the organisation’s role in the kidnapping and murder of western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir, the Harkat-ul-Ansar came under intense U.S. pressure that eventually led to its proscription by that country in 1997.

Not long after, the Harkat-ul-Ansar split again into its constituent formations. The Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami went into decline after the autumn of 1995, when Akhtar was held on charges of attempting a coup against Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The Harkat ul-Mujahideen did better — for a time. But in January 2000, Azhar was released from jail in return for the passengers of an Indian Airlines flight hijacked to Kandahar. He returned to Pakistan, and with the ISI’s patronage, founded the Jaish-e-Mohammad. Following a bitter power struggle, he took over much of the Harkat ul-Mujahideen.

Kashmiri had been a bit-actor as much of this story unfolded: he claimed in interviews that he was jailed in India, and that he participated in a major terrorist strike in New Delhi but there is no evidence to back either claim. Born in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 1964, Kashmiri joined the HuJI soon after dropping out of a mass communications degree course in Islamabad. He was among a small group of ideological radicals who resisted the ISI’s pressure to join Azhar’s JeM and, following the India-Pakistan crisis of 2001-2002, scale back operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Pushed out of Jammu and Kashmir in 2005, Kashmiri was increasingly drawn to the jihadists fighting in Afghanistan. He was even briefly detained on suspicion of having participated in an attempt to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf.

In theory, Azhar supported the global jihadist project. “The fundamental argument of each one of Azhar’s books and many published speeches,” Pakistani scholar and diplomat Husain Haqqani wrote in a 2005 paper, “appears to be that puritanical Islam faces extinction at the hands of an ascendant secular culture, just as the fledgling religion was challenged by unbelievers in its earliest days.” Indeed, “Azhar’s argument for fighting India in Kashmir is rooted in the same theological arguments that Osama bin-Laden has cited in his declarations of war against the United States.” But where bin-Laden was willing to fight against the U.S. in Afghanistan, the ISI-linked Azhar wasn’t.

Kashmiri began working closely with the jihadists opposed to the Pakistani state — and, by 2009, drifted into the ranks of the al-Qaeda. “The defeat of the American global hegemony,” he explained in a 2009 interview to Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, “is a must if I want the liberation of my homeland Kashmir.”

The HuJI cadre have been responsible for training hundreds of insurgents operating against the western forces in Afghanistan, as well as a string of bombings in both that country and Pakistan. That, however, is not the extent of their ambitions — and reach.

Less than a month after the failed bomb strike on Kashmiri, the Federal Bureau of Investigations held Pakistani-American jihadist David Headley — and found evidence that the new-form of HuJI he commands holds out a credible transnational threat. Long a key Lashkar operative, Headley had, among other things, helped collect a video footage that guided a 10-man assault team to its targets in Mumbai in November 2008. But he became increasingly frustrated with the organisation’s reluctance to support operations against the West.

Headley railed against the Lashkar’s leadership, saying it had “rotten guts.” “I am just telling you,” he hectored a Lashkar-linked friend in a September 17, 2009 phone conversation, “that the companies in your competition have started handling themselves in a far better way.”

Kashmiri received Headley at a camp in North Waziristan last year. “The bazaar,” Headley wrote in an internet post, “is bustling with Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russians, Bosnians, some from European Union countries and, of course, our Arab brothers. According to my survey, the foreign population is a little less than a third of the total. Any Waziri or Mehsud I spoke to seemed grateful to God for the privilege of being able to host the foreign Mujahideen.”

In the months before his arrest, Headley made contact with Kashmiri and began tapping his associates for assistance to bomb the offices of Jyllands Posten, a Copenhagen newspaper which incensed many Muslims by publishing cartoons they believed were blasphemous.

Earlier this year, an audiotape released to mark the death of al-Qaeda operative Said al-Masri claimed Kashmiri even had a role in attacks against India. “I bring you the good tidings,” he said, “that last February’s India operation was against a Jewish locale in the west of the Indian capital [sic., throughout], in the area of the German bakeries — a fact that the enemy tried to hide — and close to 20 Jews were killed in the operation, a majority of them from their so-called statelet, Israel. The person who carried out this operation was a heroic soldier from the ‘Soldiers of the Sacrifice Brigade’ which is one of the brigades of Qaedat al-Jihad [the al-Qaeda's formal name] in Kashmir, under the command of Commander Illyas Kashmiri, may Allah preserve him.”

For years, the U.S. ignored groups like the HuJI, trusting the ISI to ensure that their India-focussed energies never turned to the West. That strategy, Illyas Kashmiri’s story makes clear, has comprehensively failed.

What is the truth about Hamid Gul?

[What is the truth about Hamid Gul?]

“The last I heard was that he was in the transport business in Rawalpindi and doing quite well. I have also heard him on a TV show describing himself as a visionary. So I think he is probably a visionary transporter with a sideline in TV talk. How can even the ISI object to that?”

Hamid Gul’s spy games

Gul looks on as Hafiz Saeed addresses a rally in Lahore in June. PHOTO: EPA

KARACHIGeneral (retd) Hamid Gul, a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, has been named in the reports released by WikiLeaks as a vital cog in the planning of attacks by the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda against Nato forces in Afghanistan. Gul is notorious for his pro-Taliban and anti-American views but the reports accuse him of playing a far more insidious role.

The role of Hamid Gul

‘Make the snow warm in Kabul’

The information contained in the WikiLeaks reports is, if true, damning. An entry from December 30, 2006 describes an alleged meeting between Gul and three senior, unnamed Taliban members that took place in Nowshera on December 17. In it, Gul is quoted as saying he had dispatched three men to use Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to attack International Security Assistant Force (Isaf) in Kabul during Eid celebrations. Gul is also alleged to have provided the IEDs, which are described as being Chinese-made.

The report says: “Gul instructed two of the individuals to plant IEDs along the roads frequently utilised by Government of Afghanistan (GOA) and Isaf vehicles. The third individual is to carry out a suicide attack utilising a suicide vest against GOA or Isaf entities. Reportedly Gul’s final comment to the three individuals was ‘make the snow warm in Kabul’, basically telling them to set Kabul aflame.”

Eid-ul-Azha fell on December 31 that year. According to reports released by WikiLeaks, there were a number of attempted IED attacks before and after Eid. On December 30, “TF (task force) Iron Grays reported 8x IEDs were linked together approximately four kilometres northeast of FOB (Forward Operating Base) Methar Lam [...] TF Iron Grays reported a total of 8x Ammonium Nitrate IEDs had been removed (buried approximately 1 foot in the ground on the side of the road, with approximately 30 lbs of ammonium nitrate per plastic container) wired together as a command detonated IED”.

A report filed on December 31 cites that a patrol struck an IED and one vehicle was damaged, but no casualties were recorded.

Nowshera, while a hideout for the Swat leadership of the Taliban, has never been known as a hub of the Afghan Taliban. The only Afghan Taliban leader confirmed to have set up base in Nowshera was Mullah Kabir who was the governor of Nangahar province when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan and was arrested in the city this February. However the Chinese, at least officially, do not export landmines.

Prison break?

Hamid Gul is also implicated in a kidnapping plot. A report filed on January 14, 2008 says that the former ISI chief worked with Qari Naqibullah to kidnap United Nations (UN) officials in Jalalabad and use the hostages to trade for the release of three Pakistan army soldiers, posing as doctors, and six other detainees being held in the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Afghanistan.

While Qari Naqibullah is believed to have had possession of IEDs, there is no record of this plan being carried out. Guantanamo Bay detainee Said Amir Jan, who lived next to Naqibullah, confessed in his hearing to have a stock of IEDs and that we was planning attacks in Jalalabad.

According to intelligence provided by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) on January 29, 2008: “Taliban Mullah Habibullah plans to attack the Pul-e-Charkhi jail to free three Anti-Coalition Forces (ACF) Pakistani prisoners.”

The only known kidnapping of UN officials in Afghanistan was in 2004, when three UN staff were kidnapped and then released. Additionally, there is a curious factual error in the report where it describes Gul as a “retired Pakistani ISI general currently serving with the Lashkar-e-Taiba faction of the PAKMIL (Pakistan military)”. Gul, whatever rhetorical support he may have given them, never actually served with the Lashkar-e-Taiba. And the Lashkar-e-Taiba, whatever support it may have received from the military, is certainly not a faction of the military.

Revenge

A report from January 2009 refers to a meeting in Wana between Gul, Taliban commanders and a group of Arabs in which it was decided to avenge the killing of a person, presumably an Afghan Taliban or al Qaeda member, by the name of Zamarai, by carrying out IED attacks in Sarobi district.

While the name ‘Zamarai’ is unknown, it is possible that they were referring to Usama al Kini, the head of al Qaeda operations in Pakistan, who was killed in an air strike on an unconfirmed date in January earlier this year. Al Kini is the only Afghan Taliban or al Qaeda member who was killed in the two months leading up to that alleged meeting.

However, the vivid details of the reports and plots paint a curious picture. In the January meeting, Gul allegedly “encouraged the AAF (anti Afghan forces) leaders to focus their operation inside of Afghanistan in exchange for the government of Pakistan’s security forces turning a blind eye to the presence of AAF commanders and fighters in Pakistan. Additionally, the AAF leaders approved a plan to send 50 Arab and 50 Waziri fighters to Ghazni province, Afghanistan in early February 2009. According to Hamid Gul, the aerial threats in the area were controlled from the airport in Wana.”

Deny, deny, deny

Gul has been vehement in his refutation of the information contained in the WikiLeaks reports. He told the Christian Science Monitor, “This is utter nonsense … malicious, fictitious, and preposterous – and if this is the condition of US intelligence, then I am afraid it is no wonder they are losing in Afghanistan, and they will lose everywhere they try to poke their nose.” The ISI also denied that Gul had been freelancing for them. ISI spokesman Zafar Iqbal was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying, “He hasn’t worked for the ISI in any capacity since he left the organisation.”

Journalist Mohammed Hanif, when asked whether Gul was still actively involved or had become a mere talking head, says, “Many may not remember but he is the same dude who 20 years ago set out to conquer Jalalabad after the Soviets withdrew. On his way to Jalalabad he started taking these little media breaks to talk to journalists, to make TV appearances etc. That’s why he still hasn’t made it to Jalalabad but he has never quite called off his campaign. Some might say that his progress has been a bit slow but do you even know how many talk shows there are on Pakistani news channels?”

According to Hanif, “The last I heard was that he was in the transport business in Rawalpindi and doing quite well. I have also heard him on a TV show describing himself as a visionary. So I think he is probably a visionary transporter with a sideline in TV talk. How can even the ISI object to that?”

Suspicious

But even before the reports had been released, Hamid Gul was accused of aiding and abetting terrorism, although never with any proof.

In October 2006 then-President Pervez Musharraf said ex-ISI members may be helping the Taliban. He specifically mentioned those who were at the forefront of the agency from 1979-89, the period when the ISI was aiding the mujahideen to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan. These remarks were considered to include Gul and, indeed, Gul himself felt the need to respond to Musharraf’s statement and deny that he was helping the Taliban.

In 2007, Benazir Bhutto wrote a letter to Musharraf and identified three people she considered a threat to her security, which included Hamid Gul.

After the Mumbai attacks of 2008, the US government appealed to the United Nations to place him on a list of international terrorists but the move was vetoed by China.

Yet the charges continue to surface, probably because of Gul’s repeated rhetorical support for the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. In an interview with Al-Jazeera he said of the Taliban, “I support their cause of Afghan resistance. I lend them my moral support because I have in the past had strong connections with them.” He was equally effusive of al Qaeda when he spoke to United Press International soon after 9/11: “I know Bin Laden and his associates. I’ve been with them here, in Europe and the Middle East. They are graduates of the best universities and are highly intelligent with impressive degrees and speak impeccable English.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2010.

Quest for “Mandate”

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Many people believe that Chief Minister Nawab Raisani, who is the first leader in the history of Balochistan to be voted unopposed as the head of the government, has it easy to fix all the problems confronting the insurgency-stricken province.  In spite of having all political parties, ranging from the right-wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) to the left wing Balochistan National Party (BNP-Awami), on board as coalition partners, Raisani still suffers from a sense of powerlessness.

In a recent interaction with the media representatives, Raisani said he desperately required the “mandate” from the federal government to negotiate with the disgruntled Baloch nationalists who have picked up guns to wage a battle against Islamabad.  The chief minister’s assertion does not surprise those who truly know that the province is still not in the full control of the elected government. While the Frontier Corps (FC) is a regular contributor to trouble in Balochistan, repeated rejection of a deep-rooted indigenous issue by irresponsible and provocative officials like Rehman Malik, the federal interior minister, is another reason for flaring up the situation.

Ever since coming into power, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government has been making claims to have taken genuine measures to bring normalcy to Balochistan. Yet, the situation has gone from bad to worse. Every effort made by the government, starting from an apology offered by President Asif Ali Zardari to the Baloch people over the antagonistic policies of former military dictator Pervez Musharraf to a much-hyped socio-political Balochistan Package has not helped to put out the conflagration in Balochistan. When Raisani took oath of his office, the first promise he made to the people of Balochistan was concerning the restoration of the law and order situation. On the contrary, the situation worsened and saw an upsurge in violent cases. The government, on its part, had failed to win the hearts and minds of the people with its people-friendly policies.

Governor Magsi and Chief Minister Raisani have said it again and again that the situation has not improved in Balochistan in a way they wish to see it. They whine about the slow pace of implementation of the Balochistan Package. In fact Raisani is not the only leader who keeps harping about the mess in his province and admits his powerlessness. The role of the opposition is always played in the Balochistan Assembly, ironically, by the members of the treasury benches. One always hears very heated speeches against Islamabad on the floor of Balochistan Assembly by members of the government. The Balochistan Assembly has passed scores of resolutions against the Center on the issues of resource distribution, provincial autonomy and representation in the profitable state corporations. All these parliamentary resolutions are always paid a deaf ear from the other side of the fence.

This state of affairs is alarming. If the provincial government is not in the control of affairs then the next question that pops up in our minds is: Who governs (or say “rules”) Balochistan? The chief minister has to be more vocal to expose the elements that have made his government a laughing stock. Raisani, along with his cabinet, hardly has any reason to remain in the government owing to their poor performance. If analyzed on the basis of performance, the most appropriate thing the chief minister and his cabinet could do is to resign and sit back at home. But that even does not lead to normalization of the situation.

How would Balochistan look like if the current government is removed or dissolved? There is no possibility of bringing a more “powerful” government in the province at the moment. Mid-term elections, if ever held, will not help in bringing Balochistan National Party and the National Party into power. The mode of the people in the Baloch society is hostile towards parliamentary politics. Devastation caused by recent floods also does not permit a change of guards in the provincial government at the moment.

If the so-called moderate parties like the BNP and NP participate in any kind of mid-term elections, they will only end up opening new confrontational fronts against the Baloch armed groups.

Raisani does not solely need the mandate from the federal government but also deserves a chance to be heard in Islamabad. The PPP government, without underestimating the seriousness of the issue in Balochistan, should know what it means to empower Raisani and what the possible losses for the government are in the wake of a powerless chief minister in Balochistan. Raisani is still the right guy to engage in negotiations with the Baloch separatists in contrast to Rehman Mailk, Raza Rabbani and Babar Awan.

Another Baloch National Party Leader Murdered In Khuzdar

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Unidentified people shot dead a leader of Balochistan National Party (BNP-Awami) in Khuzdar district, some 350 kilometers on southeast of Quetta, on Tuesday night.

According to police, unknown armed assailants opened indiscriminate firing on, Chief Attaullah Baloch, leader of BNP-Awami, in Khuzdar town and fled the scene under the cover of darkness. Resultantly, Baloch received critical bullet wounds and died on the spot.

On getting information, police rushed to the site and shifted the body to hospital for autopsy. However, motive behind he killing is yet to be ascertained.

The peace option

The peace option

Rizwan Asghar

Balochistan has arrived at the brink of secession because of mishandling of the crisis by the federal government in Islamabad, which remains oblivious to ground realities in Pakistan’s largest province.

The conflict in Balochistan dates back to independence, when the first military action was undertaken there to coerce the Khan of Kalat to accede to Pakistan. Three uprisings occurred in the province in 1958, 1962-63 and 1973-77, which were brutally dealt with by the state.

Balochistan comprises almost 40 per cent of the total area of Pakistan and is strategically the most important region of the country. It is rich in valuable minerals, including vast copper and natural-gas deposits. The grievances of the Baloch people stem from a host of factors. Foremost among them is economic deprivation. The gas deposits of Sui in Balochistan are catering to the needs of other provinces, but certain areas of Balochistan even today lack the supply of Sui gas. The province receives a meagre amount of royalties for its natural resources.

The issue of missing persons remains a major irritant in relations between the federation and Balochistan. According to UN reports, around 8,000 people from Balochistan have gone missing since 2005. The disappearance of a large number of Baloch women has further exacerbated the situation. This has given rise to an overwhelming feeling among the Baloch people that Balochistan always receives a raw deal from the federal government.

Gory incidents of targeted killings are a daily occurrence in Balochistan and they are putting an adverse impact on the socio-economic situation in the province. The killing of Habib Jalib Baloch on July 15 sent shockwaves across the province. Baloch nationalist leaders accuse the intelligence agencies of this murderous act and such incidents of high-profile killings have gone a long way in weakening Balochistan’s bond with the federation.

Moreover, the local sardari system has remained an obstacle to the development of the province. The Baloch usually follow their local tribal chiefs, who are known as tumandars. These tribal chiefs have established their own fiefdoms with their own system of justice. The sardari system was formally abolished by the System of Sardari (Abolition Act of 1976), which prescribed three years’ punishment to anyone exercising sardari. The Act was not enforced after its approval by the National Assembly during the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Neither the government of Pakistan nor the sardars have any agenda for the political and economic uplift of the province. Fearing loss of power, the sardars are themselves opposed to the economic development of the province. The weakness of Balochistan’s civil society has strengthened tribalism.

The present PPP-led federal government introduced “Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan” package as part of its efforts to heal the wounds of the province. But the package still awaits practical implementation. Despite claims to the contrary by the government, Balochistan remains under the control of paramilitary forces. The policymakers miss the point that there is no military solution to the Balochistan problem. It can be resolved by formulating a well-coordinated and unified political strategy, following by its implementation in letter and spirit.

A new policy is badly needed to compensate for the past mistakes. The federal government should come up with a concrete plan for removing regional disparities. The decades-old mistrust will not be wiped out overnight, but we have to take first step in the right direction. The military operation must be halted and the missing persons should be recovered on a priority basis. And, last but not least, complete provincial autonomy should be granted to Balochistan.

Email: rizwanasghar7@yahoo .com

Give Me the Mandate to Negotiate with Insurgents, Chief Minister Begs Islamabad

Give Me the Mandate to Negotiate with Insurgents, Chief Minister Begs Islamabad

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: “The federal Government should give us clear mandate to hold talks with political opponents, including insurgents, so that the conflict in Balochistan is resolved amicably,” said Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani told newsmen on Sunday.

Talking to a group of journalists at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, he said so far the Federal government had not given the required mandate to hold dialogue with all political elements of the Balochistan conflict.

“The issue can be resolved when Federal Government gives us mandate to go ahead,” he said.  He said that federation is not paying attention towards Balochistan and the provincial government is trying to catch its attention, on and off.

“We have convened a session of Balochistan Assembly on August 9, to demand the revival of subsidy of tube wells,” he said adding that the issue was also taken up with Prime Minister.

“I am not able to make complete comments about the missing persons and the recovery of dead bodies because different factors are involved in this issue. Some cases attributed to kidnapping for ransom and some internal clashes among the political elements had been observed among the covered organizations who usually claim the responsibility of killing,” he maintained.

He strongly condemned the target killings saying a large number of professors, teachers, barbers, engineers and masons are leaving the province owing to fear of being targeted.  This inhuman and cruel act will push the Baloch nation at least one century back and whosoever indulging in target killing is damaging the legitimate Baloch interests at the behest of others and the civilized nation will never forgive them.

He said the government had approved three University Campus, three medical colleges and hospitals for Turbat, Mastung, Naseerabad and Loralai but there is scarcity of teachers “who will teach our children?”

“The people are living in this province for centuries in Balochistan and the killing of such people is big crime against the humanity and a great sin,” he said adding that he, his son and brother Senator Haji Lashkari Raisani are also on the hit list but he said that they are armed.

Responding to a query from this correspondent to divert the entire MPA funds towards flood-victims, Chief Minister replied positively “I will issue a directive asking all MPAs to earmark Rs 10 million [$116,640] for the flood affected.” He said It would be better that all the concerned MPAs should allocate funds for the relief and rehabilitation of flood-stricken districts of Balochistan.

“The Prime Minister convened a meeting of all the four Chief Ministers but he will not participate in this meeting because on the same day I will be visiting the northeast areas of the province where widespread devastation was reported in flash floods,” he said and added then he will take up the issue with Prime Minister.

He rejected a recent article in an English Daily (Not The Baloch Hal) accusing him (CM) running the Government and the administration on tribal basis and not democratically. He denied of any revenge against the opponents saying “media is targeting me at the behest of somebody because there is not certain evidence that I had taken political revenge. Regarding the opposition member Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind he said that the government is implementing the orders of court and the issue should not be mixed up and made controversial.

Referring to Reko Diq copper and gold project, Raisani categorically said refinery will be established in Balochistan and the PC-1 about this purpose had been prepared and handed over to the Planning and Commission. He said we have technology and experts to run the project in a far better way and Governing Body has also been formed under the chairmanship of Dr Samar Mubarakmand, the renowned nuclear scientist of the country.

“If there will be need of experts then we will hire from the International Market to run the project,” he added and said that if private sector wants to invest in this project they will be welcomed but the Management and control will be with the Balochistan Government only to defend the legitimate interests of Balochistan and its people.

“We are waiting for the proposal of Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) about the Reko Dik and will study it thoroughly because we are not Chasing out any investor from Balochistan but the interest of local people will be given first priority,” he maintained. Chief Minister said that the government will invest Rs 120 billion on Gwadar Deep Sea Port, OGDCL, Saindak and Reko Diq, all mega projects.

He said that the provincial government intended to establish Dry docks at Costal area so the repair of ships could be take place in Balochistan rather then move the Ships to other country. He also informed that Karachi Port Trust had been asked to prepare the feasibility about the ship building for Balochistan.

“We have plan to invest in PPL in order to bring it under Balochistan then run it accordingly,” he said adding that Alternate Energy Board has also been established to utilize the natural resources like huge potential of wind and solar energy.

Referring to abolition of Concurrent list from the Constitution of Pakistan, Chief Minister said the Provincial Government had already taken initiatives this regard. The Capacity Building Committee had been formed under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary and the Joint Parliamentary Group was formed under the supervision of Chief Minister.

“Provincial Government categorically told Federal Government to transfer the departments with complete mechanism and annual budgets and definitely it will take one or two years,” he told journalists.

The Chief Minister declared that he had established a Relief Fund for the aid of flood affected people of Balochistan and appealed all concerned to contribute in the CM’s fund generously. He disclosed that he had already talked to the Ambassadors of United States, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia seeking their assistance for flood victims of Balochistan.

Failed state das

Failed state das

MOSTAQUE ALI

Do we really still have doubts here?

I suppose if you are an opinion writer for Dawn newspaper you can’t have too radical a view can you? Then you might get demoted to just writing blogs hey? You have to say that from Pakistan the sun rises in the East, sets in the West. That the country has a President, and a fully functioning government within a Democracy. That rumors that the USA ambassador sets the daily agenda for the government are totally nonsense. That the Pakistan military is the best in the world, filled with men devoted to protecting the country.

But in reality you see as a ordinary person that your country is totally fucked up and getting worse playing Washington’s various games. Washington gives you $10 –$15 billion depending on whose audit you believe, but your country has lost $45–$65 billion playing their games since 2001.

You are bewildered because common sense tells you what needs to be done, but the various leaders of the country are doing quite the opposite, making things worse quite quite patently, whilst smiling ear to ear.

You know the army is the main source of the problem again, as it was 38 years ago when it caused the breakup of the country, but YOU JUST CAN’T GATHER YOURSELF TO IDENTIFY THE MAIN EFFING CULPRIT IN ALL THIS…..because you are frightened, confused and bewildered.

___________________________

Pakistan’s rulers or Western puppets


Yusuf Nazar

Asif Zardari’s callous and indifferent attitude to his country’s woes has reached ”Neroic” proportions surpassing even the worst reputation of Yahya Khan during 1971. He appearance in a designer suit and pink tie with David Cameron served to reinforce the image of a hedonist completely unmindful of the misfortunes of a poor and debt-ridden country whose 51 percent people live in poverty and whose lives are nothing more than a daily struggle to survive often at the risk of their lives.

(He is a certified big league crook with $3 billion stashed away in secret accounts, with low levels of education, and prison time for his misdemeanours and crimes. He is in power due to the backing of the Americans who with the help of the ISI fixers made him President through rigged elections—-he is a front of the Americans, hence the weird out of this world insensitive antics, at a time of serious national crisis.

But this clown is not the main problem. The main problem for Pakistan is the Pakistan military and behind them the Crusading for Israel Americans)   ([read HERE)]

Pakistan’s rulers or Western puppets

Pakistan’s rulers or Western puppets

by Yousuf Nazar

Asif Zardari’s callous and indifferent attitude to his country’s woes has reached ”Neroic” proportions surpassing even the worst reputation of Yahya Khan during 1971. He appearance in a designer suit and pink tie with David Cameron served to reinforce the image of a hedonist completely unmindful of the misfortunes of a poor and debt-ridden country whose 51 percent people live in poverty and whose lives are nothing more than a daily struggle to survive often at the risk of their lives.

Zardari’s attitude and persona is typical of that of Pakistan’s corrupt and westernized elites who have looted the country and accumulated ill-gotten wealth locally and abroad. By going around in Paris and London like he did when around 12 million Pakistanis have been affected by the worst floods in history, he has personified the tragedy of Pakistan – its selfish elites who would sell anything to pursue their personal interests. His escapade’s to Manoir de la Reine Blanche (Manor of the White Queen) — a 16th century chateau he reportedly owns in France, before he visited UK highlighted how out of touch Zardari is with the sentiments and lives of the people. Pakistan is a hollowed state where much of the fortunes and future of its most prominent political leaders are tied to the West. Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz too own luxury apartments in London besides other interests abroad and MQM’s Altaf Hussain has been long beholden to the British for providing him a sanctuary and also their citizenship.

But let us not delude ourselves to believe that our Army leadership is any different when it comes to serving western interests and dancing to the tunes of the puppeteers in Washington and London. Zia and Musharraf were American puppets. Zia and his ISI Chief left fortunes for their families. Musharraf has been leading a comfortable life in London – the same Musharraf who mocked Benazir and Nawaz for living luxurious lives abroad.

One of Pakistan’s main causes of failure is similar to those experienced by many developing countries in the past. The nexus between corrupt local leaders and the West to serve their mutual interests at the cost of the often poor and impoverished masses and their future. Pakistanis will have to break this unholy alliance between the elites and the West if they want their country to be a self-respecting sovereign state that works to promote the interests of its people and not its Army or its corrupt and selfish elites.

The biggest mistake committed by our establishment and “moderately educated and enlightened” English-speaking chattering classes has been their refusal to see that military aggression by the US has been a major contributor to the radicalisation of public opinion in the Muslim countries, destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the destabilisation of Pakistan that could lead to its Balkanisation. Anyone who points that out is labeled as a Taliban sympathizer. This myopia will ensure that we are doomed.

Non-violent political solution means not only Pak Army should not use militants as a policy tool but also the US stops playing the Great Game in Afghanistan simply because it can no longer afford to, as it belatedly seems to be realising. US policy and Pak Army’s “wonderland” view of the strategic depth constitute the core of the problem. Both the US and Pakistani establishments are in it together.

ISI acts as an extension of the CIA at a very high level in the Great Game, notwithstanding disagreements and turf battles. In view of the long history of close ties and cooperation between the Pentagon and Pakistan Army, particularly since 1980, The ISI-CIA conflict appears to be largely a charade for the world to justify the expanded military presence in the region otherwise why would the US Congress earmark one billion dollars for “new and larger” US Embassy facilities in Islamabad. Does anyone really can believe with a clear head that a weak country like Pakistan (that is so heavily dependent on the US Aid and the IMF) can carry on this double game for nearly a decade until and unless it also is part of the bigger game of the US. Such a belief would be a silly assumption in realpolitik.

The US officials were saying not too long ago that there was no difference between al Qaeda and the Taliban. Now they seem to be eager to reach out to the Taliban for a political settlement. If that was the objective, what was the fuss about al Qaeda being the biggest threat to the global security? Or was it not really but an excuse to build a military presence in Central Asia and Pakistan?

Baitullah Mahsud of TTP was guided by Mullah Omar as there was no difference between Afghan and Pakistani Talibans, claimed many US and Pakistani officials. But was it ever a secret that Omar was part of the Quetta Shura protected by the ISI. Who is trying to fool whom? Most Pakistani and Western analysts – many fed disinformation by the officials – can’t seem to think straight and see through the huge contradictions in the official positions of US and Pakistan.

How come Kayani (ISI Chief from 2004 to 2007) who presided over the resurgence of the Talibans on both sides of the Durand line during 2004 to 2007 and the worst violence during 2008 – 2010 during his tenure as Army Chief is so close to and favored by the Pentagon and not just that; the top US officials also supported the extension in his tenure.

This is nothing new or a conspiracy theory. Kayani has been favoured by the US for a long time. The Startfor, an influential US global intelligence company, reported on October 2, 2007 that “with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf due to step down as army chief by Nov. 15, Kayani will emerge as his successor, and given Kayani’s strong leadership credentials, Musharraf as a civilian president will be forced to share power with him.”

The New York Times ran a story “US is Looking past Musharraf in Case He Falls” on November 15, 2007 concluding that “at the top of that cadre is Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, General Musharraf’s designated successor as army chief. General Kayani is a moderate, pro-American infantry commander who is widely seen as commanding respect within the army and, within Western circles, as a potential alternative to General Musharraf.”

Given that Kayani’s rise had been well anticipated and he was the ISI Chief and Vice Chief of Army Staff during 2004-2007 before he became the Army Cheif, it is difficult and almost incredible to believe that he had no hand in Zardari’s rise to power. He must therefore share part if not the whole blame on thrusting upon Pakistan someone who is nothing but an embarassment to the country. If he did it under American pressure, that is even worse.

The crux of the matter is that we must disengage ourselves from fighting US’s proxy wars and battles in the region, which have cost us more than the all the aid that we received. We need a national debate on a fundamental shift in our foreign policy.

I have tried to provide a framework for a basic and fundamental shift in our strategic and defense priorities in articles written for DAWN since 2006. This shift will have to start from the foreign policy. We are heavily dependent on the West and this must change in recognition of the reality that it is not a unipolar world and China is financially the strongest country in the world.

We cannot afford to pursue policies that cause tensions with all of our immediate neighbours – India, Afghanistan, and Iran – and are viewed with skepticism and unease by the Chinese. They support us and put up with our “too close for comfort” relationship with Washington because they also need us, but they never liked our support for the Islamic militants nor our very close ties with Washington. Hence, while they gave us a token amount during the financial crunch in 2008, they in effect told us to get the money from the West (US/IMF) because that’s how Pakistan is perceived in Beijing; an old friend who is sleeping with a global adversary – America.

We can no longer afford to fancy that we have a role to play in the “Great Game” or that we need to control Afghanistan to protect our strategic interests from Indian designs. Let us face it. We cannot fight a war for even a short while – few weeks at best – because we will go bankrupt and we would have to accept humiliating cease-fire conditions dictated by Delhi and Washington. Kargil provided a miniature sample of this scenario.

Most of the arguments advanced by our so-called strategic and military analysts, who support the establishment, are based on ill-informed and short-sighted considerations and half-baked notions about security threats. Indian hawks may talk tough sometimes but there is no question, whatsoever, of a military aggression from India because she is a rising global economic power and would never jeopardize its economic growth and billions of dollars in investment flows to have a fight with Pakistan – which is a small but troublesome neighbour.

Given the periodic episodes of Pakistan-linked terrorist attacks in India, it does play games in Afghanistan – with the full US support – and along the border but their significance is overplayed by our establishment to justify wasteful spending on F-16s. In any event, F-16s or nuclear bombs do not provide security but economic development does and that we must learn from China. The Army must re-evaluate the balance between our relations with the US and China. For starters, its leadership should try to have as close a relationship with the top Chinese leaders as it has developed with Admiral Mullen.

More seriously, there are six articles that I wrote for DAWN during the last four years that you may wish to read in the above context:

First one was “The gathering storm and its implications” in August 2006, http://www.dawn.com/weekly/encounter/20060819/encounter3.htm

Second was “Setting the record straight” in November 2006, http://www.dawn.com/weekly/encounter/20061125/encounter3.htm

Third was “Musharraf must face an open trial” in August 2008, http://www.dawn.com/2008/08/19/ed.htm#3

Fourth was “Need for a new era of strategic ties with China”, in October 2008, http://www.dawn.com/2008/10/15/top9.htm

Fifth was the “Axis of trouble” in December 2009, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/12-the+axis+of+trouble–bi-07

and the last was “Limits of military power” in March 2010, http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/limits-of-military-power-230

Post Published: 07 August 2010
Author: Laila Ebadi

Two bullet riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons recovered from Quetta

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Police have recovered two bullet riddled bodies of “Baloch missing persons” Friday from Brewery Road of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan. They have been identified as Bahar Khan Bangulzai and Ghaulam Qadir Marri and were allegedly kidnapped by government agencies from Sariab area of the city.

Previously unknown organization, Sipah Showda-e-Balochistan claimed responsibility for the murdering Baloch youth.

Official sources said that area people informed the police that two dead bodies were lying in Killi Lehriabad within the jurisdiction of Brewery police station. On getting information, a police party reached to the area and shifted the bodies to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital for carrying out a postmortem.

Sources said that the dead bodies were thrown by unknown people in the open area of Brewery and investigations were being made in this connection.

A doctor requesting anonymity said that the victims were brutally killed by hitting bullets on their heads and there were several marks of torture on their bodies and faces.

Baigh Muhammad, father of deceased Bahar Khan after receiving body of his son said that his son was allegedly abducted by government agencies from the Mir Ghai Khan Chowk. “He was a shopkeeper and the sole bread earner of the family,” he said, and added that he was an innocent person and had never involved in any unlawful activity. “We had registered a FIR and his case was under trail in the court but we were not provided justice”, he regretted.

The other deceased has been identified as Ghulam Qadir Marri was also kidnapped from Sariab.

An organization Sipah Showda-e-Balochistan accepted responsibility for the killing of both persons and appealed Balochs to remain away from Baloch Liberation Army, Baloch Liberation Front and other Baloch resistance groups.

Spokesman of Sipah Showda-e-Balochistan, Abdul Baloch calling from unspecified location warned that elements involved in the killing of innocent Muslims and working for their foreign forces would be attacked.

It is worth mentioning here that two dead bodies of missing persons identified as Ashfaq Ahmed Mullahzai and Muhammad Farooq Mengal were also recovered from Quetta in the last week of July and Balochistan High Court had taken serious notice of murder of both persons.

Nasrullah Baloch, Chairman of Vice for Baloch Missing Persons(VBMP) has strongly condemned the killing of Bahar Khan Bangulzai, saying FIR of his abduction was registered against government agencies and a petition was also submitted in Balochistan High Court.

He said that he was allegedly picked up by government agencies from Gahi Khan Chowk in the presence of his father and brother and VBMP was protesting and making efforts for his recovery. “We have received six dead bodies of missing persons within a short span of two weeks and the issue of missing persons is getting a new dimension and they are being killed”, he added.

VBMP chairman said that there were marks of torture on his face and his nose was chopped off with an instrument and bullets were hit on his head.

He alleged that judiciary of the country was not taking the case of missing persons from Balochistan seriously and feared that all missing persons would be killed if this issue was not given proper attention.

He appealed the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations for playing their role for recovery of missing persons.

BLA Admits Motorcycle Riding Assassins Were Theirs

[SEE: The Motorcycle Assassins of Pakistan Strike Again and Again, With Impugnity]

The Baloch Hal news

KHUZDAR: An alleged spy was killed in Khuzdar here on Friday.

According to police, unidentified people who were riding a motorbike opened indiscriminate firing on a person at Faisal Chowk of Khuzdar town and managed to escape after firing. As a result, he sustained critical wounds and died on the spot.

Police moved the body to hospital for autopsy and later shifted body to hospital’s morgue for identification.

Meanwhile, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for the murder and said that victim was spying for Frontier Corps.

Politics of Alarm In Balochistan and Islamabad

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik

Through the length and breadth of the country, a chorus of troubled voices is sounding the alarm on Balochistan. Asked to comment on this mounting sense of panic, a senior army officer told The Friday Times: “This is mere alarmism. Alarmists have succeeded in creating a sense of imminent doom.”

In other words, chill out; no big deal.

Except common sense begs the question: if what is happening in Balochistan is no big deal, why does the army’s – and the state’s – response, today and in the past, wreak of alarm – even fear?

The killing of civilians by militants and indiscriminate use of force, disappearances of political activists and human rights abuses by the military and paramilitary forces: no cause for anxiety . Wiping out popular indigenous Baloch leadership and supporting apolitical, pro-establishment tribal chiefs as an alternative: a policy only a complacent state could follow for decades .  The Frontier Corps being allowed to establish a parallel government in Balochistan; opening fire on a student protest and killing two students and injuring four more in January this year: smells like nonchalance to me.

So, all those who think there’s anything wrong with Balochistan, think again.

Speaking to a local daily last week, a high-ranking army officer said as much: given that there are 100,000 security men in the province, “at most there will be a few thousand among the Baloch population capable of causing trouble. They will never be able to create big mischief .”

One can only wonder what counts as ‘big mischief’. Target killings, road side bomb blasts, land mine explosions and attacks by militants on police check posts, trains, gas pipelines and electricity lines: do these make the grade for ‘big mischief’? Since January this year alone, more than 250 people from other provinces who had settled in Balochistan have been killed in attacks; does that count as big mischief? Does the killing of Baloch leaders by their own militant Baloch friends constitute ‘big mischief’? Is the growing religious radicalisation of Balochistan something we can consider the result of ‘big mischief’? Perhaps we can choose not to be alarmed about this; perhaps we can ignore the radicalisation of Balochistan as we did that of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

Except with regards to Balochistan, the Pakistan Army – if one were to believe on- and off-the-record statements by army officers – seems peculiarly unalarmed for an army that uses alarm over an India-threat as the very reason and condition for its constant expansion. If the fuss about Balochistan is really just that, fuss, then why, over the course of six decades has Islamabad failed to come to terms with Baloch nationalism; why has the province almost always been under the effective control of the army and intelligence services; why has indiscriminate, brute force been used time and again? It was certainly an arrogant, but not unalarmed, Musharraf who warned Baloch militants during an interview in January 2005: “It isn’t the 1970s when you can hit and run and hide in the mountains. This time, you won’t even know what hit you.”

What hit them was a military operation complete with helicopter gunships – again, the recourse of an unalarmed Islamabad, of course. Indeed, it was a similarly unalarmed Pakistan Army that killed the 80-year-old Nawab Akbar Bugti with the help of modern precision weapons in September 2006. The Pakistan Army gave itself a good pat on the back and told doomsayers to relax: getting rid of Bugti and the broader insurgent leadership would provide the final answer to the active anti-Centre campaign mounted by the renegade Baloch; the situation in Balochistan could not escalate; Balochistan was different from East Pakistan; and so on.

Even if the political blunder that was Bugti’s killing was not the result of alarm, unfortunately for the government and the army, the reaction to Bugti’s killing was so alarming that the central government, unalarmed as ever, had to deploy the paramilitary Rangers, arrest over 450 people and impose an indefinite curfew. Musharraf went from cocky to, yes, alarmed , overnight. The mask of complacency worn by state officials was shed and a weak-kneed director-general of Inter-Services Public relations, in complete contradiction to earlier official statements, suggested that a ‘mysterious blast’ had led to Bugti’s killing; that 21 army personnel, including six officers, were also killed when the cave collapsed – in other words, that the state had, perhaps , not intended to target or kill Bugti.

It’s hard to accuse the Pakistani state of steadfastness. But that’s not the reason the Bugti episode comes to mind. It comes to mind because history, to teach important lessons, has a cruel way of making heroes of even dubious types like Akbar Bugti. His killing was meant to remind us of the devastating results of military dominance in Pakistan – dismemberment, violent sectarianism, Al Qaeda and Talibanism – and warn us of the terrible consequences for Pakistan if Balochistan were sucked into a new great game to redraw the map of the region once more. More than anything else, it was meant to remind us that while this wasn’t the worst that could happen, the worst wasn’t far around the corner if things didn’t change. In a word: that it was time to be alarmed .

The situation in Balochistan has reached its lowest ebb since the military operation that began in January 2005 and one thing is clear: the state apparatus in Islamabad has learnt nothing from the past. If there is anything to suggest that the civilian government still has no control over the army establishment, it is Balochistan. As Islamabad rolls out political and economic reforms, the army continues to pick up Baloch activists; the killing and disposing of of bodies of missing persons indicates the unchanged behavior of the Army.

The claim that the army, or Islamabad, aren’t alarmed by what’s going on in Balochistan is rubbish if one considers how they have responded to Balochistan over the years. No unalarmed state, or its army, will use force as indiscriminately as has been used in Balochistan – or be met with five sustained rebellions.

Yes, what we have today is Balochistan’s fifth sustained rebellion against Islamabad since 1948. It’s time now to be alarmed in all the right ways, lest this apathy turn into despair.

The writer is Contributing Editor, The Friday Times, and may be reached atmehreen.tft@gmail.com

Courtesy: The Friday Times, Lahore)