Peshawar – terrorism victim & neighboring states of Pakistan
Syed Hussain Shahheed Soherwordi
The car bomb blast that killed more than 105 and injured at least 200 others, mostly women and children, was the deadliest to hit Peshawar this year. Similar 18 attacks have killed 284 people in Pakistan in October, as the army carries out an operation against Taliban militants in South Waziristan. The blast came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began a visit to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Twin blasts in the International Islamic University; Islamabad, was the blow that previously had taken the entire nation by a shock. Every one asks how Taliban can bomb an Islamic University? This has also exposed that the present government’s strategy to counter terrorist acts is without any purposeful result. We still need to understand the evolution of terrorist movements, counter-terrorist strategies throughout the world, and to explore the nature of the terrorist threat we face today. Pakistan and then especially Peshawar is the victim of terrorism. However, I have a different perspective from most experts who study terrorism. I come from the kind of background that has witnessed many terrorist activities and I have spent most of my young life trying to understand them. When I consider a terrorist atrocity I do not think of the perpetrators as evil monsters but rather I think about the terrorist’s return to normal life so that he may not be glorified as a hero for the forthcoming terrorists and to be suicide bombers. I grapple with how a young idealist can believe that in murdering innocent people, he or she is battling injustice and fighting for a fairer world. I do not find their justification for their action convincing. Far from it, in my moral code, no body has the right to take the life of non-combatants. Nevertheless, I am stuck by how futile counter-terrorist policies are likely to be when they are based on a view of terrorists as one-dimensional evildoers and psychopaths. My perspective, like those who join terrorist movements as well as those who resolve to defeat them, is a product of my background. I grew up in the capital city of NWFP – Peshawar in 1980s. It was the era when Afghanistan was governed by a Soviet puppet regime under President Dr. Najibullah. Hence, due to Pakistan’s support to the Mujahideen, Peshawar was the target of remote control and time bombs. I still remember once we, the students of O-level were given a week-long school break as there was a bomb blast in a government primary school in which 14 young students of seven to 13 years of age were killed. I can’t forget the gory scenes of kids’ limbs hanging on electricity wires. Numerous buildings, bazaars and children schools were targeted in which scores of people, including young children, women and old died. Then came the era of 1990s. This time Taliban were glorified. They were fighting against the murderers of their homeland. A time came in 1996 when they took control of almost entire Afghanistan and established their own government in Kabul. This time, they were against the West and vice versa. I along with my classmates admired the Taliban in much the same way that my American friends admire Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The real difference, of course, is that Jefferson, Franklin and George Washington won their war of independence, and the Taliban lost their government just after 9/11. They did not hang together but the Taliban were executed for the security of the world and the US in particular. However, this all left us – the innocent people of Peshawar in particular and of NWFP in general in jeopardy. We are still facing problems in the shape of security threats, target killings and suicide bombings. Here it’s very important to distinguish between the two Taliban. It is a general perception in Pakistan that there are two types of Taliban: one are the good Taliban of Afghanistan who are fighting a war of liberation to throw the invading forces out of their country. They are “fighting western forces that have occupied Afghanistan” and carrying out a “jihad against occupiers”. One of the comments on the Afghan Taliban by a Pakistani is: ‘If tomorrow the US is invaded by the enemy forces would you call the Americans fighting against them as terrorists and militants? Hence the Taliban are fighting a war of liberation for their homeland.’ The others are those ‘extremists’, ‘fundamentalists’, ‘terrorists’, who are operating in different parts of Pakistan’s tribal as well as settled areas and who are fighting the Pakistani security forces. The Pakistani Taliban have nothing to do with the Taliban of Afghanistan. They are just cashing in on the name ‘Taliban’. Pakistani Taliban are targeting the innocent civilians while the Afghan Taliban target foreign forces as well as their ‘stooges’. Most of the Pakistanis especially in NWFP and Balochistan believe that ‘While the violence in the cities and towns of Pakistan committed by the Pakistani Taliban is condemnable, the Afghan Taliban deserve our moral support for their heroic struggle against the forces of occupation’. Such perceptions make the ‘war of terror’ more difficult and complicated. It also exposes how the East and the West look at the issue with much broader and wider perception and contradiction. For the West, the Taliban are Taliban without any distinction between the good and the bad. The government of Pakistan believes in a very simple equation: the Taliban vs. Pakistanis. I think it’s a too over-simplified and misunderstood notion. There are Pakistani Taliban who are playing havoc with peace of the country. However, there are also few other evil stake-holders who are trying to take full advantage of the grim situation in Pakistan. An attack on GHQ by the Taliban is understandable as both parties are at daggers’ drawn level. But attack on Islamic University that too in Sharia Block is completely incomprehensible what to think of numerous innocent civilian casualties in Peshawar. There is a very common talk of the town in Peshawar that the governmental security agencies are working to further aggravate the situation so that they may have a solid and strong support of the people Waziristan operation. However, we cannot ignore Indian factor as they have also bent upon taking revenge of the past-Kashmir insurgency allegedly imposed upon them by the Pakistani security agencies as well as the Mumbai terrorist incidents in the beginning of this year. Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s cosy relationship with India for investment and aid is no secret. In the present day international relations, no one cares what the 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan are doing against Pakistan. The money, weapons and the training camps to support terrorists for carrying out subversive activities inside Pakistan is a routine matter of the Indian consulates in Afghanistan. In a recent meeting between Afghan President Karzai and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, Karzai promised to close all such training camps on Afghan soil. This is further an indication to the fact that the Afghan land is being used against Pakistan. The Afghan government time and again expresses its frustration and hostile approach against Pakistan which gives alarming signals to Pakistanis that the Afghan government might also be involved in carrying out subversive activities inside Pakistan. Afghan secret agencies like KHAD have a long notorious history of bombing Peshawar’s civilian populace during 1980s. KHAD was and is supported by the Northern Alliance. Today, when they find Pakistan pushed to a corner by all and sundry, they would also take their revenge of Pakistan’s supporting the Taliban against the Northern Alliance during 1990s. My assertion is that there are more evil stake-holders than just two Waziristans. The government has to adopt multi- pronged, multi-layered and broad scheme to deal with such ‘enemies of mankind’. For that matter, the resolution of the issues starts with diplomacy. Pakistan’s Foreign Office must take up the subversive activities of RAW and KHAD inside Pakistan with their respective countries. India and Afghanistan must be given a stern note that instable Pakistan will never be to their advantage. Rather any potential threat to Pakistan’s existence would be a great blow to their survival and existence as well. South Asia is a very volatile region where the trends of the countries spill-over like a jungle fire into the neighbouring country. Any threat to Pakistan will soon reach New Delhi as well. I can’t say Kabul as it is already in the grip of violence. This is the time to adopt a regional collective bloc against the perpetrators and deal with them with an iron hand. The regional countries must understand the sensitivity of contiguity of South Asia. A terrorist must not only be denounced but also be taken to task. Understanding terrorism means peaceful region. email@example.com
The “Free” Enterprise System
By Robert Singer
Free enterprise, also called free market, is an economy governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.
Command economy is basically a slave enterprise where supply and price are regulated by the government rather than market forces.
The only thing I will agree with about the “law of supply and demand” is that supply at a downward-manipulated price, can create demand.
Downward manipulation is an uneconomic aberration first discovered in the precious metals market by the noted silver analyst, Ted Butler.
We are conditioned to believe free enterprise supply and demand would lead to inflated prices so the greedy corporations can make more money, but Ted Butler’s research in the silver market concludes the opposite.
The beneficiaries of this type of manipulation are the consumers because corporations can sell their products affordably and still make a profit.
Butler’s investigation has identified JP Morgan Chase, one of the founding members of the Federal Reserve, as the prime suspect, in the “ongoing intentional, not accidental” great crime of keeping the price of commodities low so the middle class can afford the American dream, a nightmare for the planet. 
I’ll get right to the point: McDonalds in the 1950s made a profit by selling a product for less than the competition, but a not-so-invisible hand produced cheap calories in great abundance so Ray “Crock” could sell a cheeseburger, fries and a large Coke for a price equal to less than an hour of labor at the minimum wage — and still make a profit. 
You don’t eat the hamburger at McDonalds because it’s a dollar: It’s a dollar to get you to eat it.
How did we get a food system that produced what should be a $35 hamburger downwardly manipulated to $1? 
“Taxpayer subsidies basically underwrite cheap grain, and that’s what the factory-farming system for meat is entirely dependent on,” Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist in the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). 
In other words, the Scoundrels behind the Federal Reserve, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Kuhn, Loeb and JP Morgan Chase, underwrite cheap grain and the factory-farming system for meat, so you can get a hamburger for a dollar.
Our current food system—characterized by monocultures of corn and soy in the field and cheap calories of fat, sugar and feedlot meat on the table—is not the product of any free market but rather the result of a specific set of governmental and monetary policies (from those Scoundrels at the Fed) and the free gift of fossil fuels from the world’s richest man in history and another founding member of the Federal Reserve, John D. Rockefeller.
He didn’t just give dimes away, he gave away his oil so you could get inexpensive fuel and food.
If you fly over Iowa from October to April you will notice the land is completely bare— black—because you are seeing an agricultural landscape created by cheap oil from John D.
Cheap energy enabled the creation of monocultures and vastly increased the productivity both of the American land and the American farmer but at the same time, subsidized monocultures of grain also led directly to monocultures of animals.
Since factory farms could buy grain for less than it cost farmers to grow it, they could now fatten animals more cheaply than farmers could.
So America’s meat and dairy animals migrated from farm to feedlot, driving down the price of animal protein to the point where an American can enjoy eating a hamburger or chicken McNuggets for a dollar.
Taking the animals off farms made no economic, environmental or ecological sense: their waste, formerly regarded as a precious source of fertility on the farm, became a pollutant—factory farms are now one of America’s biggest sources of pollution.
As Wendell Berry has tartly observed, to take animals off farms and put them on feedlots is to take an elegant solution—animals replenishing the fertility that crops deplete—and neatly divide it into two problems: a fertility problem on the farm and a pollution problem on the feedlot. The former problem is remedied with fossil-fuel fertilizer; the latter is remedied not at all.
After World War II, the US government pursued a monetary policy, at the direction of the Fed, subsidizing commodity crops by paying farmers (money created out of thin air) by the bushel for all the corn, soybeans, wheat and rice they could produce. One secretary of agriculture after another implored them to plant “fence row to fence row” and to “get big or get out.”
The chief result was a flood of cheap grain that could be sold for substantially less than it cost farmers to grow because a government (Scoundrel) check helped make up the difference.
As this artificially manipulated cheap grain worked its way up the food chain, it drove down the price of all the calories derived from that grain: the high-fructose corn syrup in the Coke, the soy oil in which the potatoes were fried, the meat and cheese in that burger until the price reached a dollar. 
ADM Gets Caught Putting Money In The Cookie Jar
“The Informant!” is a movie about the lysine price-fixing scandals that Archer Daniels Midland found themselves in the center of back in the 90s.
ADM was caught fixing the price lysine, an amino acid and very attractive animal feed additive used to make chickens fat, dumb, and happy, back up, after it was manipulated too far down for anyone to make a profit.
Price-fixing is a crime no matter how many people ADM feeds. 
From cradle to grave we are brainwashed to believe everything is about profit.
So, in the film, when Mark Whitacre tells the FBI that ADM cheated millions from the consumer by colluding to fix prices, we forget that Americans spend less than 10% of their incomes on food (down from 18% in 1966). When we eat inexpensive burgers and fries, it’s thanks to ADM downward-manipulating the price of lysine. 
Our not-so-free market economy based on consumer products, that is, products we are downward manipulated to want, not need, was never FREE or sustainable. Consumers consume…the resources of the planet.
The huddled masses should be thanking those scoundrels at the Federal Reserve for 60 years of downward manipulating the price of commodities: It resulted in unprecedented prosperity, but don’t forget to blame them because the American dream was an environmental nightmare for the planet. 
Amidst the mayhem gripping Pakistan today, there is also a deafening silence pervading the corridors of power and the ranks of the opposition on the prevailing security situation. That silence, too, is being heard now. Pakistan is at war, and this is a war that is being fought as much in our cities as on the frontlines in Fata.
Wednesday’s attack on a Peshawar market, selling mostly women’s merchandise, is an attack on our way of life more than anything else. It is not a statement of the Taliban’s anti-Americanism as Hillary Clinton lands in Pakistan, nor is it a sign of their hatred against the Pakistan Army, which is carrying out a military operation in South Waziristan. It is aimed at women, as you see that a big number of those killed in Peshawar are women shoppers; shoppers that the Taliban want confined within the four walls of their homes. It is an attack on our way of life as we have lived it in Pakistan.
But back to the silence first: President Zardari met Mian Nawaz Sharif over dinner in the security of the presidency on Monday, and the two leaders did not even utter a word of concern about what the people are having to go through in wartime. Islamabad is a city very much under siege; Lahore and Peshawar are no different. And if you ask parents with school-going children in Karachi, they will tell you the situation in the Sindh capital is no less alarming.
Bickering aside, what Mr Sharif told Mr Zardari at their meeting, that the people were becoming acutely aware of the lack of governance, would have made more sense if he had also said the same thing addressing the chief minister of Punjab. The lack of governance and security failures in that province where his own party rules the roost is equally appalling. This is just bad politics at a time when the people need to see their leaders showing more concern about the challenges staring them in the face.
Opening after a week of closure, many private schools in our cities have installed CCTVs, deployed snipers, and placed sandbags around their buildings as local police patrol the areas during school hours. A sense of fear grips parents dropping off their children at school; not a day goes by without terrorists trying to attack security forces’ personnel, amidst reports that all vital installations, media organs, and educational institutions are in the bull’s eye as far as extremist militants’ top targets are concerned.
Schools offering co-education have received threats from terrorists, which have to be taken seriously because of the history of attacks on and threats against schools and colleges in Swat, Peshawar, and across Fata. In Lahore, the Punjab government keeps shutting down schools which in the government’s view have not made adequate security arrangements. In Karachi, many schools ignored the government’s directive to reopen on Monday, choosing instead to wait until they have the security cover in place that they feel they need under the circumstances.
This, while there is little sense of newsworthiness attached to what’s happening in our cities, even when buildings and installations are not being attacked or security personnel made hostage. The media must share some blame for this state of apathy. Why is the war on terror, which has now come to our doorstep, not the primary concern of the prime time talk shows?
Instead, popular hosts keep inviting politicians to wash their dirty linen in public. Is it not the people’s war that is being fought today? Won’t the people of Pakistan be the biggest losers if we fail to win this war that is aimed at annihilating our diverse cultural norms and the social value system?
Yet, it’s just the number of casualties every day that now seem only to casually make the headlines; the media’s mainstay remains internecine party politics which seem to have little to do with the bigger reality marred by fear and depression gripping the whole nation. There are thousands more families that have been displaced by the ongoing military action in South Waziristan, and nobody talks about them. Millions of parents with school-going children have lost their sleep, and there’s little mention of the fear gripping the people in the face of the threat posed to everyday life in our cities.
The failings are staggering, and dangerously enough, they will be seen by many as the failure of democracy yet again. We are at war, finally seeking freedom from the forces of regression and a medieval, extremist way of thinking, and there is enough freedom of speech in this country to voice disgust and repulsion against this mindset, if only one would. The obtaining security situation has left no one untouched. Yet, surprisingly nobody comes forward to voice that sentiment of the silent majority.
The people want to go back to their mundane routines. Youngsters want to go out to the parks, to the beach, to bowl, to eat out. Women want to go shopping unescorted, and men want to go about their daily chores without worrying about families left at home. This is not happening anymore. People look tired and depressed; while many count their blessings that they are safe, some have had close encounters with terrorism; relatives, friends and acquaintances have been killed and injured, or had to leave their homes.
There’s little sense of an imminent end to the mayhem rattling the people’s minds. The citizens want their sense of security restored. They look to their leaders in askance for at least some soothsaying at this time of uncertainty and turmoil. What they get to hear instead is bickering and mudslinging.
Both the government and the opposition leaders need to come out to voice the people’s concerns and give them hope. They need to own the war being fought against the anti-people forces in Fata, and in our cities – as Wednesday’s attack on a women’s market makes amply clear.
Murtaza Razvi is Editor, Magazines, of Dawn.
Riaz Khan Daudzai
PESHAWAR: The business centres in the provincial metropolis remained closed on Friday to condemn the car bombing at Meena Bazaar and mourn the deaths of innocent citizens and material loss to the businesses.
The downtown city markets and posh business malls across the metropolis wore a deserted look and traffic on the city roads was very thin. Attendance in government offices was also low.
The traders observed a two-day shutter-down on the call of the Anjuman-e-Tajiran NWFP, while they have also announced three-day mourning after the car-bombing that killed over 118 people besides wreaking havoc on small businesses in the city.
President of the Anjuman-e-Tajran NWFP Haji Haleem Jan said the overwhelming response of the traders and even vendors and common people to the strike call showed their anger at the act of terrorism.
He said traders had approached them for even a longer strike, but the Anjuman opposed the idea, as it had to consider the difficulties of the traders. The traders’ leader said the businessmen would resume their activities today as the country, particularly the NWFP, needed economic normalcy and could not afford longer strikes and closure of businesses. He said that three-day mourning of the traders would, however, continue today.
Haleem Jan said the traders held no demonstration and rally, as they knew the difficulties being faced by the government in the province. He also confirmed that the leadership of traders had refused to meet chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti a day after the blast on Thursday. He said the traders had been complaining about the poor security arrangements in the congested and crowded bazaars of the city for months, but it always fell on the deaf ears of the rulers “so therefore, we didn’t meet the chief minister in protest.”
Haleem Jan said the traders would not meet the rulers unless and until they took sufficient security measures to protect businesses in the city. The shopkeepers were still in a state of shock on Friday and shops in Chowk Yadgar, Peepal Mandi, Meena Bazaar, Koochi Bazaar, Ghanta Ghar, Ashraf Road, Qissa Khwani, Hashtnagri, Kohati, Kabari Bazaar, Kabuli, Namakmandi, Jehangirpura, Karimpura, Shaheen Bazaar, main Saddar Bazaar, Liaqat Bazaar, Shafi Market and business malls on University Road and other business centres remained shut on third day of mourning.
The city bazaars wore a deserted look. The road was closed in Sikandarpura and mats were spread in the bazaar where shopkeepers recited the Holy Quran for the departed souls of the bombing victims. People remained indoors and very few came out of their homes to attend their offices.
One Hameed Yasir told this scribe that he only came to buy some medicines for his ailing mother; otherwise, he had no intention to leave home. He said he even skipped Juma prayers at his mohalla’s mosque in Faqirabad due to fear of terror.
The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a condolence reference for those killed in the bombing and asked the government to increase the presence of the personnel of police and other security agencies in the city. The SCCI also held Quran Khwani for the departed souls.
Speaking on the occasion, SCCI President Riaz Arshad said the traders and common people of the NWFP rendered numerous sacrifices and the government should immediately declare the province as war-affected and announce relief package for it as business activities had come to a standstill in the Frontier.
Jeff Gates (World View)
The lead-up to the first US-Iran talks in three decades saw a replay of the same modus operandi that induced the US and its allies to invade Iraq in March 2003.
Then as now, the invasion of Iran is consistent with a regime change agenda for Greater Israel described in a 1996 strategy document prepared by Jewish-Americans for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
As with Iraq, the threat of weapons of mass destruction is again marketed as a causa belli. As with Iraq, the claim is disputed by weapons inspectors and intelligence analysts. The Iraqi programme had been shut down a dozen years before the invasion. In Iran, there is no evidence that uranium is being enriched beyond the low levels required for energy and medical purposes.
Reports of a “secret” processing plant failed to note that Iran suspended uranium enrichment from 2003 until 2005. Seeing no change in the political climate except more sanctions and more Israeli threats to bomb its nuclear sites, Iran began building and equipping a new facility.
As with Iraq, there is no direct threat to the US As with Iraq, mainstream US. media focused not on Israel — the only nation in the region known to have nuclear weapons — but on Iran. Enrichment is relatively easy compared to the steps required to design, build and reliably deliver a nuclear warhead. Activity around each of those steps can be readily detected.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that even if Iran were attacked, that does nothing to alter Iran’s nuclear prospects — except provoke them to develop the very weapons that the evidence suggests are not now being produced. Is this a calculated move to exert pressure on Tehran? Or to provoke them? Or is this a move by Washington to buy time from an “ally” that threatens an attack — with disastrous effects on US interests and those of its genuine allies?
To catalyse a climate of insecurity among Jews, pro-Israelis periodically claim that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposes to “wipe Israel off the map.” A correct translation confirms that what he urged is that “this occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the pages of time.” Akin to the widely sought demise of the oppressive Soviet regime, that proposal enjoys the support of many moderate, secular and non-Zionist Jews who have long recognised the threat that Jewish extremists pose to the broader Jewish community.
No one can explain why Iran, even if nuclear armed, would attack Israel with its vast nuclear arsenal estimated at 200-400 warheads, including several nuclear-armed submarines. In mid-July, Israeli warships deployed to the Red Sea to rehearse attacks on Iran. As in the lead-up to war with Iraq, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is again beating the war drums. This is the same adviser who, four days after 9-11, advised G.W. Bush to invade Iraq.
Citing Iran’s “covert” facility, Wolfowitz claims it is “clear that Iran’s rulers are pursuing nuclear weapons…Time is running out.” Without a hint of irony, he argues that Iran (not Israel) “is a crucial test of whether the path to a nuclear-free world is a realistic one or simply a dangerous pipe dream.” In calling for “crippling sanctions,” Howard Berman, Jewish chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressed similar concerns as did Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, senior Republican on the Committee and also Jewish.
If pro-Israelis cannot induce a war with Iran, the ensuing stability will enable people to identify who fixed the intelligence that deceived the US to invade Iraq. Only one nation possesses the means, motive, opportunity and stable nation state intelligence to mount a covert operation over the lengthy period required to pre-stage, staff, orchestrate and successfully cover-up such an act.
The evidence points to the same network of government insiders and media proponents now hyping Iran. Who benefitted from war with Iraq? Who benefits from war with Iran? Not the US or its allies unless, despite the evidence, Israel is viewed as an ally—rather than an enemy within.
Like Afghanistan, Iran does not have a military solution. Nor does Iraq. Geopolitically, the greatest casualty of war in the region was the United States – its credibility tattered, its military overextended and its finances devastated by a debt-financed war that Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz projects could reach $3,000 billion. Compare that with the speedy exit and a $50 billion outlay that Wolfowitz assured policy-makers could be recovered from sales of Iraqi oil.
Those who induced that invasion persuaded Americans to commit economic and geopolitical hari-kari. No external force could have defeated the sole remaining super power. Instead the US was deceived — by a purported ally — to defeat itself by an ill-advised reaction to the provocation of a mass murder on US soil.
The only sensible and sustainable solution is one that serves unmet needs in the region while also restoring the credibility of the US as a proponent of informed choice and free enterprise. While making transparent the common source of the deceit that induced the US to war, policy-makers can also lay the foundation to preclude such duplicity in the future. That requires consultation among the US, its true allies and those nations in the region most affected by this treachery.
Only a design solution can counter today’s systemic sources of conflict, including the extremism fueled by extremes in education, opportunity, wealth and income. As with the fixed intelligence that induced the US to war in Iraq, those sources of conflict are obscured by a compliant and complicit media with an undisclosed pro-Israeli bias.
A transnational network of think tanks could expose in real time how facts are displaced by what “the mark” can be deceived to believe. With the media dominance of pro-Israelis in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and other Western allies, that task must include the capacity to show how this deceit operates in plain sight yet, to date, with impunity. Absent such transparency, systems of governance reliant on informed consent will continue to be manipulated to their detriment by those who hide behind the very freedoms that such systems are meant to protect.
Running parallel with that transparency initiative must be an education programme that deploys the best available technology to close the gaps in learning that sustain extremes in opportunity. Only a truly international effort can succeed in that essential task. Only trans-cultural education can preempt the mental manipulation that induced war in Iraq and now pursues war with Iran as proponents of The Clash of Civilisations gradually transform that concept into a reality.
What we now see emerging is yet another example of how wars are induced in the Information Age. Why would anyone expect modern warfare to be waged in any other way? As the common source of this duplicity becomes transparent, the solution will become apparent.
Lasting peace requires a Marshall Plan able to accelerate the transition to the Knowledge Society. This systemic challenge cannot be addressed absent a systemic strategy. The restoration of friendly and cooperative relations must include the practical steps required to heal this widening divide with education at the core.
Jeff Gates is author of Guilt By Association, Democracy at Risk and The Ownership Solution
By: Peter Chamberlin
It is easy to see why Pakistan has been chosen as the battleground of the century, but it is a real shame to us all that we have allowed our governments so much unsupervised freedom of action that they could get away with the things you are about to read about in the following article. It is a difficult story to tell, since an accurate narrative requires the merging of multiple streams of information into one. The story of the war in Wana is a tale of strange religions, secret alliances and governments that wage war upon themselves.
It would be nice to believe our governments, that they were actually doing their utmost to defend our lives and our freedom in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that they were really marshalling all of our forces and our most advanced military technology to defeat an army of rabid terrorists who were out to destroy us…but that in no way resembles the situation that we have created there on the ground. The “war on terror” is a great psycho-drama, staged to convince us that the world is out to get us and we must accept living in a state of permanent war.
The first thing that must be understood is that Pakistan’s allegiance to America in the past has come home to bite the generals in the asses. Running America’s militant/terrorist training camps, creating “Islamist” foot soldiers for the CIA to send all over the world, is suddenly a big deal. The world has finally recognized that the training program is a vast criminal enterprise, which Musharraf and his generals are all set to take the fall for, except there at home in Pakistan, right in the middle of world war III.
The Pakistani people are the most abused of all the victims of CIA/ISI terror. The Army is busy there staging a fake terror war, pretending to be fighting the TTP, in a modern remake of a farcical drama that last played in the Roman Coliseum. Thousands of Pakistani civilians and hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been sacrificed to convince the world that terrorists are waging war indiscriminately across FATA and the NWFP, even though their every action seems calculated to justify an American invasion.
The good people of Pakistan are greatly troubled, trying to understand the situation that they have been trapped in. Even as the government relocates millions of its citizens to fight entrenched terrorists who live among them, the news of the day (attack on GHQ) once again links “ex-officers” of the Army and ISI with terror attacks. Other news reports that hit men in sectarian attacks carried ISI identification. What could possibly motivate some military and government officials to participate in a plan to bring war to Pakistan?
If the evidence really proves military involvement in actual terrorism in the past and in the present, then it becomes a question of motive—Why would dedicated military men, who have taken oaths to serve and protect the Nation, kill innocent Pakistanis, or worse, their fellow officers? It seems that there could be only three possible answers to this question—money, insanity, or patriotism.
Patriotism stands-out as the most likely answer, since military minds see duty differently than civilian folks. It is conceivable that perhaps some Army or ISI guys could have been convinced that certain people were a threat to national security and had to be eliminated. This could explain how the following names of so many officers could be linked to confirmed terrorists:
Mr Aqeel , Aliases Dr Usman, who was named in Daniel Pearl’s murder and the GHQ attack Amjad Farooqi namesake of the (TTP) umbrella group which attacked GHQ Maj. Gen. Zaheer ul Islam Abbasi, who led an attempted coup against Benazir Bhutto, or former SSG commando Ilyas Kashmiri who alleged killed SSG Gen. Faisal Alvi. Khalid Khwaja, retired air force officer who led Daniel Pearl to Omar Sheikh dozens of active-duty military officers.… arrested for helping Amjad Farooqi try to kill Musharraf.
People in Pakistan have been exposed to this sort of news for many years, among them, there has been little doubt that the Army has always served American interests and the Army has always trained and used militants as part of this service. The terrorism in Pakistan, mostly the sectarian terrorism, has been committed by government-trained militants/terrorists, so much so that the people blame the Army for every bomb in a mosque.
The “militants” who have been trained by the professionals who had joined radical outfits are really no different than those who have trained them—both are radical extremists who are ready to kill or die for their country or for their religion. As long as the terror that they have unleashed upon their neighbors and countrymen was in the name of America, Pakistan, or Islam, then the terror was for a “just” cause. This kind of thinking causes military men like ISI Directorate chief Lieutenant-General Pasha to call men like Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Fazlullah “true patriots,” for offering to fight India, just like Reagan called the contras “freedom fighters.”
There is a theory making the rounds and gaining ground in Pakistan that tries to explain how the military/militant nexus that was openly nurtured to fight in Kashmir was applied covertly to the situation in FATA and NWFP. That theory attempts to explain how the Army could allow American and British intelligence agencies to secretly use India’s RAW and the Mossad to manipulate certain adherents of a local religious cult, the Ahmadiyya (a schism from Sunni Islam), to create a new series of schisms within Pakistani society. The theory seems to gain some validity due to certain facts that apply to many members of the cult—many are embedded within the Pakistani officer corps, a lot of them hold high positions in the government bureaucracy and their movement was founded in what is today the epicenter of sectarian terror, around the town of Jhang.
The basic reality of everyday life for Ahmadis within Pakistan makes them ideal candidates for recruits in a secret army, especially if the mostly poor Ahmadis are paid exceptionally well—because of religious persecution, they have always had to hide their religious identities; they advocate reunification with India; they prefer British rule over the status quo in Pakistan. If the world was being reordered by the Americans and British in a manner that would reunite India or bring all the Muslim people in Pakistan under the control of one organization that was America-friendly, perhaps also leading to Indian reunification, then surely the Ahmadi and some of their leaders could be counted upon to cooperate in bringing the plan about.
The Pakistani Taliban are the key to the entire psyop. Understanding who they actually are and what master they really serve is vital to understanding what is going down in the homeland of the “Islamic bomb.”
The Tehreek Taliban emerged from S. Punjab, spreading from there to S. Waziristan. Contrary to popular deceptions, they are an “anti-Taliban” force. Like everything else in Pakistan, they were meant to play a “double-game,” pretending to be part of the real Pashtun Afghan Taliban, while waging war in secret upon them. Musharraf and his generals created this “Taliban” force that was not really Taliban, by utilizing “Islamists,” who were not really Muslims. They were created to serve as a safe “loyal opposition,” who pretended to wage a fake war of terror for American audiences, without risking a fight with real rogue terror groups. The plan was to use military men to lead the criminal gangs of real revolutionaries and ordinary rabble,
The Tehreek Taliban are not really “Taliban,” they are more accurately described as a counter-Taliban force, an “anti-Taliban.” Like all the real Taliban, they follow a counterfeit Saudi Wahabi version of Islam. Unlike the real Afghan Taliban, their warped Wahabi Islam has been blended with another, even more radical “Islam” from India, Deobandi Islam. The result is the most sectarian bloodthirsty form of Sunni Islam yet devised, to them, anyone who doesn’t follow this perverse Wahabi-Deobandi fusion, just like them, is “Kfir,” the unbelievers. We are discussing the religious faith of people like Baitullah and Hakeemullah Mehsud, the same people who are now waging war in Pakistan.
The “Islamists” of FATA and NWFP wage sectarian war against all unbelievers in their areas of control, under the direction of ISI controllers. They also provide targets for American drones, using spies under ISI control to plant tracker chips on expendable “militants.” Whenever militant leaders, or criminal gangs working under their direction, get out of control, military action takes them out.
In addition to this ISI-controlled war in FATA and NWFP, there is another rogue element that is staging terrorist attacks outside of Army control, an American/British/Israeli/Indian force within the anti-Taliban themselves. The killers in this super-secret group are even worse bloodthirsty and hate-driven zealots than the Mehsuds. Pakistani writers refer to them as the “Punjabi Taliban,” because that is where they first sprang-up.
“Today the bulk of attacks in heartland Pakistan are carried out by Pakistanis from Punjab or Sindh, or by Pashtun fighters assisted by heartland Pakistanis,” says Rohan Gunaratne, author of Inside Al Qaeda.
“Punjab-based groups… were initially the creatures of the Inter-Services Intelligence, and had a Kashmir focus,” says Teresita Schaffer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The change began when President Pervez Musharraf outlawed two Punjabi militant groups (2002) —Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) — because of outrage over their attacks on Shias.
Many Jhangvi fighters then moved to the NWFP.
“Jhangvi is now the eyes, ears and operational arm of Al Qaeda and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [based in Waziristan],” says Gunaratne. “It is hard to distinguish between the three.”
The task of the Punjabi Taliban is to radicalize the TTP even more.
All the leaders in the Tehreek Taliban movement have been educated in Deobandi madrassas, where they studied under Muftis who had been steeped in the sectarian hatred of Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, the founder of the mother of all terror outfits in Pakistan, Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP). All Tehreek Taliban leaders came from SSP’s militant wing, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), or one of its sub-groups.
To counter the activities of the Shia organisation, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), with the blessings of the USA, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, encouraged a group of Deobandi Muslim migrants (Mohajirs) from the districts of what constitute the Indian Punjab and Haryana of today to counter the activities of the TNFJ [Shia]. Thus came into being the Ajuman-e-Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (since re-named as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan–SSP) on September 6,1984, under the leadership of Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, a semi-educated Khateeb who had his religious education in Darul Uloom, Kabirwala, and the Khairul madrasa of Multan in Pakistani Punjab.
There is a river of terror running through the heart of Pakistan, flowing down every highway, road and goat path. Wherever progress has gone, the terror has followed, carried by rabble-rousing mullahs/muftis, from the central reservoir of hatred in the town of Jhang, in southern Punjab. It is more sickening than it is ironic that the architects of the reservoir sit in Washington and criticize the Pakistani engineers for following their blueprint too precisely.
All the sectarian terror in Pakistan flows from this reservoir of hatred dug deep in the town of Jhang, in the southern Punjab Region. Of all the regions of Pakistan, the ISI knew that only Jhang could produce a common mindset that would both feed the sectarian hatred and convince otherwise sane individuals to join the effort to defend Pakistan by waging war within it.
Since its inception the SSP has relied on a core constituency of Sunni peasantry who felt exploited by Shi’a landlords and aristocrats. The Ahmadi are a merchant class who have lived under the thumb of Shia since first coming to Pakistan.
In Jhang a center of sectarian hatred and terror already existed, embraced by an ignored hidden cult, or schism within Sunni Islam, known as Ahmadiyya, or “Qadiani.” The record clearly documents a movement of anti-Shia hatred from Punjab, to Peshawar, to S. Waziristan, to Khyber, and beyond. There is no way to document how many of the terrorists that infiltrated NWFP and FATA were Qadians, but we know for certain that they were all Sipah/Lashkar Jhangvi.
Basically, Ahmadiyya may be the most glorified personality cult of all time, based on the ego of one man who thought that he could convert the religions of the world by the power of his reasoning skills. The end product was a type of pseudo-Islamic intellectualism which could be described as a “Hindu-ized” version of Islam, misrepresenting itself as all things to all believers, clearly an abomination to all true Muslims.
The Ahmadiyya believe that their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835-1908) was the Mahdi of Islam, the last incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu and the embodiment of the Christian Messiah. The followers of Ahmad settled on 1034 acres of land near Jhang in Punjab.
It is no coincidence that Jhang is the epicenter of sectarian terrorism in Pakistan, since it is also home to both the outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) and its most evil stepchild, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
Jhang had all the ingredients and Gen. Musharraf had all the proper credentials to go forward with the CIA plan to create an anti-Taliban force there, from an assortment of disillusioned Ahmadis and others from the mohajir community, who were fed-up with life’s burdens. Gen. Musharraf, a mohajir general, was supposedly a Berelvi-Sunni, but many Pakistanis claim that he is a secret Ahmadi. The evidence reveals that in 2003, the dictator sought the help of MQM leader, Altaf Hussein, who is known as a willing servant of American and British interests, to use MQM fanatics to manipulate the local mohajir community as part of the plan.
2003 was a pivotal year in the plan, as US forces withdrew most of their assets from Afghanistan to invade Iraq in March. Bush clearly just dumped the entire operation into Musharraf’s lap. Musharraf was expected to “give pursuit” to the “al Qaida” militants who had taken refuge in Waziristan. This was never the real mission, the alleged “mission” was only another part of the psyop; Musharraf’s job was to stall. He was to wage a pretend war to buy time for American forces to eliminate Saddam Hussein. For this, he needed a new “Taliban” force, one to fight inside Pakistan.
The moment that Bush passed Afghanistan to Musharraf, he began to call together the old Taliban alliance, under Mullah Omar. After being clearly routed in Afghanistan by American bombers and Northern alliance troops (who were mostly Shia), Omar needed a new army of zealous militants, fueled with a new desire to wage jihad against American and Afghan forces.
He needed a Pashtun publicity campaign that would follow the American model of motivational speakers, on “lecture circuits,” conducted by brave inspiring role models, such as Mullah Dadullah, to persuade young Pashtun men to go to war. For this task, nothing seemed to work better than using veteran Afghan Taliban, who were missing limbs, or eyes, such as the one-legged Mullah. He was brought into S. Waziristan, along with one-legged Abdullah Mehsud, who was probably released from Guantanamo just for this reason. After sufficient CIA brainwashing, he was released into Afghanistan, where he inspired an army of Uzbek fighters of IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) to follow him into S. Waziristan. These Uzbeks were reported in the media as “al Qaida,” as they terrorized the land and ran training camps around Wana, undoubtedly under direct ISI control.
In 2003, at the instance of the ISI, Mulla Omar, the Amir of the Taliban, reconstituted the Taliban army to launch a new jihad in Afghanistan—this time against the Western forces. He asked Mulla Dadullah, who continued to enjoy the confidence of the ISI, to act as the chief military commander of the new Taliban army, which consisted of experienced jihadi fighters of the pre-October 7, 2001, vintage as well as new recruits from the madrasas and Afghan refugee camps of Pakistan. The new Taliban army was trained by the ISI and started operating in the Pashtun majority areas of Southern and Eastern Afghanistan from sanctuaries in Balochistan and in the Waziristan area of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
In its issue of October, 2003, the “Newsline“, the reliable and well-informed monthly of Karachi, gave the following account of the re-constitution of the Neo Taliban army and the role of Dadullah in it:
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of youths from religious schools across Pakistan have joined the ranks of Taliban cadres that have regrouped in Afghanistan in the last few months. According to one estimate, at least 5,000 youths including former Taliban soldiers who went underground after the fall of their regime in December 2001, and students from religious seminaries from Balochistan, have joined their compatriots in Afghanistan. Many of these young men are known in the ranks as ‘sarbaz’ (those who have given their lives to the cause and readily sacrifice them in suicide missions). Regrouped, reorganised and rearmed, these warriors are now all set to launch a new guerrilla war for as long as it takes to expel what they call the ‘infidel forces’ from Afghanistan.
From this moment on, Pakistani proxies were at war with American and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The creation of the anti-Taliban, the TTP, with the help of the British (See: Unraveling the Anti-Pakistan Psyop), effectively acknowledged this fact and began to pit an American backed Pakistani proxy force, against Pakistan. If we were in a real war and not just a massive dramatic production, then this would have been a serious matter. As it was, it was just more geo-strategic chess, or “the great game,” as they like to call it on the sub-continent.
The forces organized under Dadullah had to fight a war within Pakistan that was totally convincing, one that was so intense that it would convince the world community that outside intervention (meaning: American intervention) was absolutely required to save Pakistan from itself. The real mission required many more terrorists, who were sufficiently vicious to kill religious opponents without hesitation. This required at least two more side psyops, both staged in areas that had already been marked by past sectarian conflicts—Karachi and Khyber.
In Karachi, Musharraf agitated the MQM supporters of Altaf Hussein. A fake “ultimatum,” allegedly from an unknown militant group, was issued around Peshawar, threatening to wipe-out all Ahmadis who refused to either convert or leave Pakistan.
A formal Threat and Ultimatum in Peshawar
Peshawar, NWFP: Fundamentalist organizations in NWFP like Dawat
Tehrir, Hizbullah and Jaish Muhammad have distributed threatening letters to Ahmadis
making specific demands and giving date and time by which these are to be met – or face
dire consequences. Translation of excerpts from one such letter to Mr. Saleem Ahmad
and his family, is produced below:
“Whereas the Organization for the Protection of Finality of Prophethood has approved a
resolution as a result of changing circumstances and the aggression of Jews and
Christians against suppressed Muslims, its summery is given below:
O proud sons of Islam,
In view of, (1) Muslims’ situation in Kashmir, Palestine, Bosnia and Iraq, (2)
Various actions against Jihdi establishment:
Ahmadis, who are agents of the U.S. and U.K., the enemies of Islam, are insensitive
to the honour of Muslims;
O eagles of Islam,
Finish off permanently these Qadiani traitors, insolents and infidels from this land.
These are your and Islam’s enemies……………
THEREFORE, District Amirs are urged to present an ultimatum to all the Qadianis
in their district that (1) All those who recant and bow down will be forgiven, (2) Declare
Jihad against those who refuse to comply, (3) Set their houses on fire, as these are the
ones who are enemies of Islam and the country.
Accordingly, you are warned to:
1. Within one day, declare Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani a false claimant, and become a
2. Leave this country within one day.
3. Spare and dedicate your son Haris for service to Islam. He will have to volunteer
for suicidal attack in the service to Islam and Mujahideen,
4. Pay the Jizya Tax at the prescribed rate within one day for support to the
OTHERWISE We are duty-bound to kill you.
Name : Saleem Ahmad S/o Sharif Ahmad. A/C Nr: 3215
Name : Khalida Saleem W/o Saleem Ahmad A/C Nr: 2158
Haris Ahmad S/o – W/o………… A/C Nr: 2508
Fatima S/o – W/o………… A/C Nr: 4325
From: Dawat Tehrir
With thanks to: Jaish Muhammad NWFP
Callers to well-being: Imamia Jamaat NWFP
Expiry time and date: 5.00 p.m. on 2 May 2003
The fear campaign had begun. MQM agitators began recruiting for a “Sunni Tehreek,” to take the war to Pashtun militants. An open deal with Musharraf was struck, which effectively closed-down a previous ISI-created anti-MQM faction, the MQM-Haqaqi, begun to undermine Altaf Hussain’s group, the MQM-H, the most violent of all the mohajir factions. It was driven underground and group leader Amir Khan was arrested (June 29), effectively making thousands of potential recruits available from his organization for ISI missions.
On May 22, Ahmadi leaders met in Ranpur to make plans for dealing with the threat from the mullahs. A wave of killing was unleashed upon the Ahmadi community, beginning in Karachi. On July 14, Shia leader Allama Hassan Turabi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in front of his home in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal section of Karachi. Brigadier Iftikhar Ahmad, a well-known Ahmadi was shot dead by three men on motorbikes at his home (across the street from Musharraf) in Rawalpindi, on July 17.
Turabi was a staunch critic of the Musharraf regime and a vocal opponent of Islamabad’s staunch ties to the United States. He was also outspoken against Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. He was an advocate for ethnic and sectarian harmony among Pakistan’s disparate ethnic, sectarian and tribal groups and for unity in the face of what he believed was a repressive and corrupt regime in Islamabad that was beholden to U.S. interests. His membership in the Sunni-dominated MMA representing Shiite Muslims—a loosely knit coalition of Islamist parties united in their opposition to the Musharraf regime that commands a wide following in the largely Pashtun regions of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan, as well as a sizeable representation in parliament—was seen as an effort on the part of Sunni Islamist factions to reach out to Shiites to curtail the sectarian violence that has plagued Pakistan for years.
In conjunction with this anti-Shia action in Karachi, another anti-Shia psyop was getting underway in Khyber Agency, but this operation was intended to produce a second schism, this one within Sunni Islam. Haji Namdar, a local extremist, who had been unexpectedly returned from Saudi Arabia, where he had been indoctrinated for the last ten years by Wahabi instructors. He returned to Bara, which has a large Shia minority, where he became outraged that new roads and power lines had carried “sin,” according to the Wahabi definition, into his hometown. He set-up his own religious police force after the Saudi model, “Suppression of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue,” and began administering Saudi justice.
He also started a pirate FM station, where he denounced local sinners. He began to agitate against Sunni sinners, as well, in particular, the Berelvi-Sunnis. He agitated the local Berelvis to the point where he thought he needed help, motivating him to bring in radical firebrand, Mufti Munir Shakir, who was just being run-out of Hangu, because of an anti-Shia bombing inspired by his preaching.
Mufti Shakir started his own radio war against local Berelvi leader Pir Saifur Rahman. Both sides raised their own armies, before another bomb in a local mosque forced the expulsion of both men. Mufti Shakir’s army, Lashkar-e-Islami (LI), was turned over to another extremist leader, Mangal Bagh, before he left. Bagh continues the religious policing duties transferred to him. Bara, a mere 14 miles from the major city Peshawar, continues to supply a steady stream of rocket fire and car-bombs to the besieged, unguarded city.
Mufti Shakir has been held by the government since then. He was/is a Sipah-e-Sahaba leader, who had exported the radical Sipah teachings from Punjab to Hangu. He was probably one of Hakeemullah and Baitullah Mehsud’s teachers at the Deobandi madrassas they attended near Hangu. Hakeemullah has been blamed for the terror bombing that got Shakir expelled from Hangu, just as he was credited with the grenade in the mosque in Bara, and after that the suicide-bomber that nearly killed Haji Hamdar, as well as the assassin who finally did kill him.
The point of all this background information is to describe the unbroken chain that ties the hotbed of sectarian terror created by the ISI for the CIA in Punjab, to the sectarian terror that now threatens Peshawar (and the strategic route through the Khyber Pass) and the authors of that terror in S. Waziristan. These operations in the Peshawar area and the operation in Karachi to stimulate the MQM-H had the desired results, filling the rosters of the sectarian outfits to supply Mullah Omar’s forces, as well as the new operations in FATA.
Musharraf became desperate to redeem himself in Washington’s eyes, after letting bin Laden’s forces escape from Tora Bora, so he turned to what he knew, the experience he had gained leading the operations in Kashmir, where he fronted terror groups as self-defense forces. Pakistani paramilitary forces and the militant groups that they had trained were brought together with the Punjabi militants, to share tactics and cross-training. The widespread national enthusiasm felt for these Kashmiri terrorists who were defending the Muslim population there was easily transferred over to the FATA fighters.
In S. Waziristan, during this same time frame, we see the rise of a succession of Lashkar Jhangvi terrorist leaders, who headed-up the new “Taliban” faction starting-up there. First, under the command of Mullah Dadullah, the new “Taliban” drilled under IMU Uzbek trainers of Sipah-e-Sahaba. According to plan, Dadullah (who had been selected by the British) was martyred by Predator drone attack, so that command could be transferred to Nek Mohammad, before he was martyred in the same manner, then Baitullah, before giving command to the most corrupt and most evil gang leader of the lot, Hakeemullah.
There have also been reports emanating from the Wana area that a group of Pakistani Army officers have defected to side of the terrorists holed up alongside the late Nek Mohammed’s lashkar in Waziristan. There are also reports of writ petitions being filed against the Pakistan Army leadership on behalf of another group of Pakistani army officers up to the rank of colonel. In these petitions it is alleged that the aforementioned Pakistani officers are being secretly held under arrest, in contravention of Pakistan Army rules, on the orders of General Musharraf. Per ISPR spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, these officers are under investigation for involvement in an attempt to kill Gen. Musharraf. Both these incidents of serious indiscipline highlight that there is considerable opposition to Gen. Musharraf in the officer corps of the Pakistan Army. (July 2004)
The officers mentioned in this excerpt included many of those who have been cited previously, especially those who were participants in the Musharraf assassination attempts, or in the murder of Daniel Pearl. These professional killers trained everybody who worked for Mehsud, including the suicide-bombers, but most importantly, they trained Jundullah (named for the town Jandolah, near Wana), the terrorist organization that is blowing the ongoing cover-up of what the CIA has been up to in Iran. Among the more notorious alumni of the IMU training camps of Wana (the same Uzbek camps that are reported to be at the center of the Army’s alleged offensive in S. Waziristan today) have been the Uyghurs of Western China, Abu Musab Zarqawi of “al Qaida in Iraq” and the Yemeni-Baloch cousins of Ramzi Yousef [nephews of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad].
The Yemeni-Balochs, along with military officers who were implicated in the hit on Musharraf, composed the core of Jundullah, the infamous irritant in Iran’s side. Some of SSP’s hardened terrorists were also infiltrated into Iraq with Zarqawi during the second Gulf War, where they carried-out multiple massacres upon Shiites, in order to follow the game plan set in Pakistan, total sectarian war. Yousef, Khalid Sheikh and the Jundullah boys were thereafter tied to nearly every major terror event in the region, including the murders of Daniel Pearl, Benazir Bhutto, and probably the grunts involved in the network behind 911.
Pakistan and American apologists for the policies of state terrorism used in Pakistan argue for the two Jundullah theory, claiming that the original group disbanded in 2003, when in fact, the first news of the original outfit did not leak-out until June of 04, when a group of them were arrested for an ambush on the Karachi Corps Commander, Lt. Gen. Ahsan Saleem Hyat. Ramzi Yousef conducted operations in the same area of Iran that is still being struck by Jundullah today. Saddam Hussein was one of the sponsors of SSP at that time; he financed operations in Iran and later allegedly sent Yousef to the United States for his own purposes, after the first Gulf War.
In 2006, the war in Iraq was going very badly. The American people had to be distracted, their attention refocused to the lesser war. A series of anti-Berelvi attacks swept across Pakistan, as open warfare exploded between the warring Radio Mullahs of Bara. On April 12th, a massive bomb went-off at a Sunni-Tehreek rally in Karachi. Known as the Eid Milad massacre, the leadership of the Sunni Tehrik (ST) was wiped-out, along with prominent members of the Jamaat-e-Ahle Sunnat. The group that worked for an end to sectarianism was nearly all eliminated, in a near fatal coup de gras that resembled the Turabi assassination in its thoroughness.
In 2007 Musharraf really began to lose control, as Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhury challenged Musharraf over the issue of so many “disappeared” (mostly Balochis). He allegedly threatened to expose to the world press the double-game that Musharraf and the Army had been playing in the war on terror. He was suspended by President General Musharraf on March 9, 2007. Rioting began to have him reinstated. On May 5, 2007, Chaudhry with his counsel Atizaz Ahsan, who is also the party member of PPP, traveled from Islamabad to Lahore to address the Lahore High Court Bar Association.
By Dr. Waqar Kazmi reports the following incident allegedly leaked from the ISI:
Pakistan’s military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, spoke on the telephone with the London-based leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) two days before the May 12 attacks on opposition activists and supporters of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry by the MQM in Karachi and asked Altaf Hussain to help “teach our opponents a lesson,” Pakistani intelligence sources have revealed.
A narrative of the events of ‘Black Saturday’ and the ‘stop-the-blame-game’ argument
“Here in Karachi, we avoid ‘name calling’ and ‘finger pointing’ due to fear of having our knees drilled…”
But this was the first time in Pakistan that live television cameras captured the situation for viewers to see: government tankers used to block off routes to the airport, police and rangers conspicuous by their absence or standing idle as armed men ran amok on the streets of Karachi, corpses and wounded bodies lying by the wayside in pools of blood.
“There were bodies lying at every street intersection,” ‘Uzi’, a reporter related later on her blog. “We picked up a whole bunch of them and put them inside police mobiles parked nearby.” As for the police and the Rangers: “They did NOTHING! They stood around and LOITERED while my city was tainted with blood.”
The following video contains live images of MQM supporters, clearly displaying the tri-color flag shooting at people and others in cars driving around passing out more weapons. Notice the flags in the following:
[NOTICE: video keeps disappearing.
On Saturday, Nov 3 the dictator declared a state of emergency and suspended the nation’s constitution and parliament at the same time.
Nov. 18 — American media carried a leaked report of a new classified American military proposal outlining an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban
On 19 November, while driving to work in his car in Islamabad, Maj-Gen Alavi was shot dead by three unknown gunmen on motorcycles. It was alleged that Ilyas Kashmiri, the chief of Azad Kashmir chapter of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, was behind the murder of Maj-Gen Alavi at the behest of the Taliban in North Waziristan. He had told a British reporter that a senior Pakistani general came to an arrangement with Mehsud “whereby – in return for a large sum of money – Mehsud’s fighters would not attack the army.”
December 14, 2007, representatives of armed groups active in various tribal areas of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan met in Southern Waziristan. Following their meeting, they announced the formation of the Taliban Movement of Pakistan — in Urdu Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or (TTP) — under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud.
Shia leader Benazir Bhutto was killed Dec. 27, 2007.
Since then, the Tehreek Taliban have been waging a terror war in every corner of NWFP and to a lesser degree in FATA. Due to this ongoing wave of bombings and unrelenting pressure from America, the Pakistani government felt compelled to stage some kind of offensive in S. Waziristan, mostly concentrating on the rogue force of Uzbeks around Wana who are loyal to Sipah derivative, IMU.
It is impossible to determine to what degree this is a real war and not another military excursion that levels lots of buildings and kills hundreds of civilians. Pakistan’s M.O. has been to empty each area of operations of civilian witnesses first, as much as possible, and to keep reporters out of the war zone. Every militant interviewed by anyone anywhere, to date, has consistently sworn that these operations are for the media’s benefit. Real witnesses from the Wana area who have fled report the same old story, lots of buildings leveled, lots of civilians dead. Who knows?
Recently, Foreign Minister Mr Shah Mehmood Qureshi came as close as any government spokesman has to admitting the truth, that the Tehreek Taliban are a government psyop:
“The Sunni Tehreek has decided to activate itself against Talibanisation in the country. A national consensus against terrorism is emerging across the country”. The Sunni Tehreek, of course, is an aggressive version of the Barelvi faith that has emerged in Karachi in the face of Deobandi-Ahle Hadith dominance in the mega-city and is now actively seeking cooperation from Barelvi organisations in the rest of the country to face up to the armed madrassa followers.
The state of Pakistan, just like its big brother, the United States of America, is waging war against its own people, while our Commander-in-Chief lies to the world that:
“This is a war of necessity…not of choice.”
Washington — Globe and Mail
California still facing $38-billion in deficits over the next three fiscal years.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he welcomes the debate about legalizing marijuana as the state struggles to avoid insolvency. A recent poll shows 56 per cent of Californians want pot legalized. A major push is on to put the issue to statewide referendum next year. And yesterday, state lawmakers held an initial hearing into a proposed law to end California’s 96-year-old pot ban.
“I think it’s time for a debate,” acknowledged Mr. Schwarzenegger, who as an actor portrayed a drug fighting undercover police officer in Kindergarten Cop.
A spokesman for the governor insists Mr. Schwarzenegger is opposed to legalization.
The move could generate as much as $1.4-billion (U.S.) in new tax revenue and save the state “tens of millions of dollars” in prison and police costs, state officials told the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee. They based their estimates on a $50-per-ounce levy.
“It is time to take our heads out of the sand and start to regulate this $14-billion industry,” said committee chairman Tom Ammiano, who is sponsoring the legalization bill. “By doing so, we can enact smart public policy that will bring much-needed revenue into the state and improve public safety by utilizing our limited law enforcement resources more wisely. The move toward regulation is simply common sense.”
California could use the cash by taxing pot, just as it does cigarettes and alcohol. But legal experts, economists and law enforcement officials who testified Wednesday before a state committee warned that the proposal is fraught with unknowns.
And chief among them is how the U.S. government would react.
Possession, distribution and sale of marijuana remains a federal crime. And while California can eliminate state penalties and charges, it can’t fully legalize.
“We don’t know how the federal government would respond,” Paul Golaszewski, an official of the California Legislative Analysts’ Office, told the hearing. “It creates a great deal of uncertainty.”
Curt Hagman, the committee’s Republican vice-chair, wondered how California could collect any taxes unless the federal government legalizes marijuana.
Several court rulings have upheld the right of federal authorities to enforce its ban, even in cases involving medical use.
California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced that it would not prosecute users and sellers of medical marijuana. But Justice department officials made it clear that leniency doesn’t apply to recreational use.
The true jobless total is already over five million – and the young are hardest hit, says Edmund Conway.
One of my favourite moments from the television series The Wire comes towards the end of the first season. Two of the police officers who have been monitoring drug dealers arrive one morning to find that the area is deserted: no one is selling drugs, no one lounging on the street corners. “Maybe we won,” suggests one cop.
The reality, of course, is that this is only an interlude: the dealers have been lured away to an inter-gang basketball game. But I was reminded of that sense of false optimism this week, at a Royal Society of Arts discussion on youth unemployment. Someone asked Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, why, when her organisation tried to provide a job centre with opportunities for young people, those working there insisted they didn’t have enough applicants of the appropriate age. “Maybe,” said Mr Timms, “you have to see that as a good sign.”
It was little wonder that his comment provoked gasps of disbelief. When it comes to youth unemployment, there is precious little good news. The number of people aged under 25 and out of work is now just below a million – around one in five. This is up by 184,000 in the past year, and still climbing. As everyone apart from the minister could see, the absence of youngsters from a job centre reflects not a let-up in the problem, but shortcomings in the bureaucracy intended to combat it. According to Professor David Blanchflower, a labour market expert and former Bank of England policy-maker, it is highly likely that overall unemployment – currently just under 2.5 million, or 7.9 per cent of the working population – will climb to 3.4 million within a couple of years.
That would be higher than in the early 1980s, when the unemployment crisis was seen as just that – a social challenge of paramount importance, a cause for protests and riots. Yet so far, there has been far less handwringing, let alone any bold policies to deal with the issue.
This perplexing state of affairs owes something to three factors. First, unemployment lags behind the rest of the economy, so we are not aware of how bad the picture will get, convincing ourselves that the flexibility of the labour market – the ability of firms to cut hours and pay – will save us. Second, most of those losing their jobs are not those who find it easy to get their voices across – they are the young, the lower-paid, in the Midlands or the North. Third, economic policy before the 1980s had been explicitly aimed at fostering near-full employment; today’s focus on inflation means unemployment is regarded as less of an issue.
Yet this is an issue of paramount importance. The labour market is facing two crises: an immediate spike in unemployment, and a longer-term sclerosis after the slump is over. The first is primarily an economic issue, the second a social one, but both are due to government failure.
First things first: we must brace ourselves for further deterioration in the labour market. The most recent figures suggest that the picture is improving: by some measures, unemployment has actually stopped rising. But don’t be fooled. For a start, many “discouraged workers” who would previously have been categorised as unemployed have been labelled “economically inactive”. Include them, plus those forced to shift to part-time work, and the true jobless total is 5.6 million, or just under 15 per cent of the working population: not far below the 17 per cent level in the US.
But there could be worse to come. The best way to work out what will happen to unemployment in a recession is to look at productivity – economic output per worker. Given there are fewer people in work, you’d expect that productivity would have risen, as those still in work took up the slack for absent colleagues. But in fact, productivity has fallen by almost 5 per cent, implying that firms have kept workers on despite there being less for them to do.
Andrew Lilico of the think-tank Policy Exchange estimates that if employment shrinks to match the real level of demand in the economy, another two million will be on the dole. That would be a nasty enough prospect even if things had been hunky-dory before the crisis. But youth unemployment had been rising over the course of a decade: whether due to age discrimination laws, or the failings of the education system, employers have been luring old workers out of retirement rather than taking on youngsters. This problem – massively exacerbated by the recession – will burn a hole in the core of our economy and society if unchecked. Study after study has shown that youngsters who cannot find work are far more likely to enter permanent joblessness than someone who has already been in the labour market.
The Government must find ways of encouraging companies to take on youngsters rather than grandparents. It must also – as Prof Blanchflower has suggested on these pages – find the money to keep more children in school, perhaps by immediately raising the leaving age to 18, or to create a system of national community or civic service. Extreme ideas, yes. But we still haven’t yet absorbed how extreme this unemployment crisis will be.
Tom Shanker of the New York Times tells us that NATO defense ministers have given their “broad endorsement” to Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s plan to escalate the Afghanistan war into a full-Monty counter insurgency effort. NATO defense ministers love Afghanistan; it justifies their phony-baloney jobs.
(generally NATO nations, bar America/UK, are reluctant to get involved in pseudo-colonial wars, which serve no real obvious purpose for their countries; Wars which have no definitive objectives but quite the contrary seem to be open ended fair weather, ever changing explanations for why they must be in Afghanistan; Military operations which are well beyond the borders of NATO countries and their traditional operational mandate. Such disparities of issues gives NATO nations ample opportunity to reflect on the long term necessity of NATO, after the demise of the Soviet Union. The wishes of the Jewish one world government concept not withstanding—–instituted around the Protocols, which were written in the 19th century by the Rothschilds of England with agreement with all the rest of them, and the need to build security structures around that single desire and ideology for the future )
Like much of the U.S. military, NATO became irrelevant when the Cold War ended. Pseudo-counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen, who has been an adviser to David Petraeus and McChrystal (He is not American, but useful if you are thinking of building a global military force, which follows the Jewish master plan, which is not constrained by irritating debating and voting procedures of the UN. Yet yet another Celtic person…….This sounds like another Jewish instituted, albeit subliminal, race war…..Celts verses who though?) says one of the major reasons to press for a larger effort in Afghanistan is to preserve the NATO alliance. He doesn’t think counterterrorism is a particularly important reason to be in Afghanistan. (It’s not at the top of his list.) (From a Jewish one world master plan perspectives Kilcullen’s logic is perfectly reasonable….but obviously not for “ordinary” Americans out of the Jewish master plan loop……you use unnecessary wars to forge future global forces which will without question follow your dictates…”Starship troopers” (1997)..mocking anti-American satire from an European director, which unfortunately has become the reality with the USA, UK…….and even European countries, including the movie directors country Netherlands…..the insects in the desert are the rag heads who are faceless, dehumanised things which must be destroyed…..invaded….based on the thinest and wildest excuses straight from the colonial era………in the movies case asteriods being sent by the primitive insects at Earth. Afghanistan is profitable for them obviously, since it generates narcotics profits in the region of $50–80 billion annually……………..The Afghans harvest it and they get about 5%….Hamid Karzai’s brother: The American and British military protect and transport it. The proceeds are laundered in NY and London high street banks, and finally of course a select few in the Pentagon and in the UK profit from it.)
To escalate our woebegone war in Afghanistan because NATO wants us to would be the dumbest foreign policy choice our country has ever made, and we’ve made a lot of dumb foreign policy choices. (My favorite example is becoming involved in World War I. We should have stiff-armed that fandango, let the Europeans bleed themselves ashen, then offered to feed them on strict conditions. Alas.)
(“Dumb choices” is the wrong adjective because it suggests the people in power who make such choices were MERELY misguided, but for their choices…….I would argue otherwise……..the people who make the “dumb choices” for America are actually not that “dumb”, but have priorities which shall we say do not run parallel with the general true interests of the USA overall…….they are highly intelligent, articulate, aggressive, amoral criminals who have over time amassed power and privilege in American society. ……….This means that these criminals can both fund the Soviet Union covertly, giving it a decisive push in its creation in 1918, AND at the same time run a $6 trillion Cold War HOAX, involving many unnecessary proxy wars around the world in Korea, Vietnam, Cuban missile crisis, fighting their created monsters……etc etc, over 40 years. Saddam’s Iraq, and Taliban/”al-Qaeda” Afghanistan thus, along this line of facts isn’t a new phenomenon.
Getting perfectly intelligent capable gentiles all heated up, doing the woggy sun dance around their set of fake agenda’s, without the hindsight of being able to see their overall covert picture.Funding the Nazis into power; providing the materials and finance for German rearmament, and then building the coalition to defeat the Nazis…after 60 million people have perished.These games are not new)
The world needs NATO like fish need hammers. I had fun galore getting pie-faced with Brits and Germans and other Europeans at after-hour planning sessions for international combat exercises, but fun galore isn’t a reason to escalate our war in Afghanistan. How much more blood and treasure do we need to pour into one of the bleakest parts of the world in order to throw a party for our European pals?(No America does not need to be in Afghanistan. Osama is dead…his fictional non-existential organization constitutes no clear threat to the USA, and the Taliban can be managed via the Pakistan military comprehensively if America is serious about it)
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been consistently critical of NATO involvement in Afghanistan to date. Gates has danced on a lot of laps in regard to this subject. He always wants more help from NATO, but he doesn’t like the help he gets. NATO doesn’t know how to do counterinsurgency, Gates has complained. But now, they’re all lovey-dovey about counterinsurgency, now that they realize how manpower-intensive it is and how much throwing in with the McChrystal plan will defend their defense budgets. NATO, like much of the U.S. military, hasn’t had a reason to exist since the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in the early 1990s.
(Iran/Contra Gates is merely doing his duty for his real masters/constituency…..ensuring the Afghan narcotics flows into Europe and Russia, and his friends in the Pentagon, and UK profit from their sale…….$50—80 billion annually…presumably that is why he has been left at this vital post as a Republican appointee, and a crony of the Bush clan out of Texas. If Obama was really serious about curtailing this $1,500 billion gravy train which is the MIC, then he would have appointed a close trusted Democrat in that vital position, and not a left over from the Bush era…..this merely signals continuity, surely)
Ludicrous Dick Cheney has asserted that the Obama administration’s “dithering” on what course to take in Afghanistan will “embolden” the evil ones. Everybody who can find the ends of their noses knows Dick Cheney is a dithering idiot; he’s never been right about anything. The only entity that has been emboldened is the Western alliance’s military industrial complex, led by the Pentagon, who are fighting not for the safety of their countries but for their own existence.
(There we go again, calling “Darth Vader” Dick a dithering idiot…….the guy is a billionaire who has made is money through the American MIC, serving in several administrations, gradually shifting to the loony right as he progressed with age and senility. Dick makes money through war,……and did not become a billionaire from humble beginnings by being a dithering idiot full stop…a former lineman of humble background, who is now a billionaire….for him war is profitable…..obviously he is going to “fight” for America to continue on-going unnecessary wars, using what ever cock and bull snarling, grimace, hardball, nose expanding excuses he can think of ….but certainly not a dithering idiot—this gives a misleading analysis; as if he is somehow a cuddly man, who is inherently honest, forever doing the right and decent thing for America, selflessly at his post working away for America, but somehow quite not up to the job—-NOT. He is a businessman first and foremost, making money through war and conflict….merchant of death, looking after number one)
The Pentagon’s long-war grand strategy is good for everybody’s war business. The Afghanistan conflict is particularly suitable; it’s the kind of Orwellian war that can go on forever without getting too obnoxious, and in the case of America, it’s one that the Democrats, not the Republicans, have ownership of. Or at least it can be sold that way.
(Do you really need 500,000 Afghan and coalition forces to fight 10,000 poorly armed Taliban militia?—Obviously not…….to really fight the Taliban you squeeze the Pakistan military first and foremost, the Taliban’s main backers, and then arm the Afghan’s who don’t like the Taliban SINCERELY, and who do not have a criminal background, not tongue in cheek…and I am so JEW clever kind of way, and that is it….without the backing of the Pakistan military the Taliban cannot exist. Of course here we must talk about intentions…what are the true intentions…….of the occupation forces? Let us not leave out the $50–80 billion annual narcotics profits. Maybe this later fact can be circulated to the NATO members beyond the USA/UK……..a pimp force for international narco traders)
Shanker writes, “Mr. Gates, who has kept his views about additional troops close to his vest and has discouraged his commanders from lobbying too publicly for their positions, declined to be drawn out on this assessment.” That’s the biggest lie out of the New York Times since the Nigergate hoax that led to the invasion of Iraq. The media campaign the Pentagon has been waging to pressure Obama into acceding to McChrystal’s demands amounts to a soft coup.
(Obama has yet to make his decision. Let us hope that he is not fixed by the MIC too quickly and early in this new administration, which then fetters his policy options for the future, in Afghanistan, and domestically; both very linked you see…….guns or butter? You can’t have both. For Obama to realize his health care initiatives, education, social welfare programs he has to cut the real security budget of $1.5 trillion eventually…he can’t have both)
Candidate Obama stuck his nose in the wringer when he deflected criticism of his vote against the surge in Iraq by saying it took vital assets away from the effort in Afghanistan, the “war of necessity.” That may turn out to be the tragic flaw of his presidency. The war in Afghanistan is no more necessary than most other American wars have been. None of the 9/11 attackers came from Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda isn’t there any more. As best we can tell, what remains of al-Qaeda is in Pakistan, and very little remains of it.
(No they came from Israel and America. al-Qaeda does not exist. Doubtful if any of the 19 Arabs “hijackers” were actually involved…..remote controlled planes…the list of 19 hijackers was created/provided by Indian intelligence and forwarded to the FBI (as per Jewish desire for one world government, where international security/intelligence “cooperate” with each other around the Jewish master plan) never mind that Indian intelligence were dubiously unqualified to identify who the real perpetrators of 9/11 were IN AMERICA………far, far away in India….and that mysteriously some of the said identified hijackers are still alive in their countries…….GWOT reduced to its simple form is a Jewish war, instituted to enforce their agenda around the world, and for one world government. Thus when you have such an ambition security institutions play an important role obviously, because you need the sheep to follow your orders, whether they like it or not….as it was with Gestapo Nazi Germany…and the NKVD Soviet Union.)
America and its NATO allies account for about 90 percent of global arms sales. We have no competitors.
(Global arms sales are here to stay no matter what. The main issue rather is that rich powerful nations should not commit to war against Third World nations on dubious false grounds, and then attempt to continue with these military adventures with even more ever shifting dubious explanations, thereafter, through the Jewish controlled MSM)
There’s a lot of money to be made now on body and vehicle armor that don’t work. So the more kids we send to Afghanistan to get blown up, the more the folks who make the body and vehicle armor that don’t work make.
(The MIC in America could be worth $1.5 trillion annually…..a lot of money, power and lobbying goes behind that using the American MSM. As with the Soviet Union this is harmful for America in the long term. A society that invests in war, and arms, but not in health care, education and welfare must slowly deteriorate, as happened with the Soviet Union…….which on the eve of collapse in 1989 was spending maybe around 14% of GDP on defense, 5.5 million men under arms, 65,000 tanks, 30,000 artillery, 12,000 nuclear warheads, 8500 combat jets, …..ALL this despite the best efforts of Gorbachov, after four years in power.
The excessive expenditure on defense starved out the expenditure on all the other necessary investment areas such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, social welfare, and innovation in technology which results in manufacturing better cars, tv, hi-fi…etc…America is no longer the leader this vital area. The best engineers and innovators invariably end up working in the defense industry, rather than creating things which have real social value, and which contribute to the expansion of the economy in a meaningful way. Obviously since 1950 there has been a steady motion in this direction, but a strong administration can put a decisive break into that and forever save America from inevitable economic ruin. You simply can’t have a $1500 billion MIC and not want to twitch and itch for war to justify such a huge expenditure………the MIC and their Jewish overlords will find that excuse always, as they have…..so I say to the peace movement of America that the ultimate objective for America is not merely the withdrawal from the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the dismantling of the MIC, and a reorientation of the American culture away from war)
The neoconservatives who push our war agenda are invested in it, and they have, incredibly, gained a toehold in intellectually elite circles. That the “dumbest freaking human being on the planet,” Cheney sycophant Doug Feith, managed to become a visiting lecturer at Columbia University gives you an idea of how badly the national brain trust has been damaged by neoconservative influence. He eventually got canned, but he never should have been hired in the first place.
(Jewish Israeli Zealot Douglas Feith with the Celtic name is not dumb…….he is an accomplished lawyer, with connections to the MIC. He is a ardent Zionist Israeli firster, holding an Israeli Passport, and who penned the “Clean Break” 1996 document with other Neo-cons for Benjamin Netanyahu to be more bold in foreign policy, and then the PNAC 2000. He lived in Israel for many years. Merely dismissing him as, “dumbest freaking human being on the planet,” is a dangerously misleading disinformation, unintentional though it is. Feith knew perfectly well what he was doing FOR LIKUD ISRAEL, whilst serving in the Pentagon with Wolfowitz……….this very fact of his real agenda’s led to his removal from that position in 2005, along with the rest…….as potential Israeli spys at the center of American security)
The Obama administration has finally had direct talks with Iran. As physicist Gordon Prather wrote recently, “Director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Secretariat Mohamed ElBaradei is seeking approval by the Obama-Biden administration of an agreement which ‘could open the way for a complete normalization of relations between Iran and the international community.’”
Is it possible that the war crowd will allow that to happen? Prather notes that we’re on the verge of getting the kind of transparency on Iran’s nuclear program that Iran offered early on in the Bush administration, only to be shunned.
(2001, and 2003…everything America could have wished for Iran offered, but America at that time was not interested)
Let’s pray that Obama doesn’t make the mistake of listening to NATO or his generals or the right-wing noise machine, and does the smart thing by beginning to back out of Afghanistan, and continues toward normalizing relationships with Iran.
(There has been progression, no doubt borne by actual experience and the passage of time…..there was initial talk of invading Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and so forth within a few years in 2001…..Bush reiterated as much to Blair confidentially in January 2003. But this has not happened…so we must be grateful. Now Obama is in power, and hopefully significant new shifts can take place in American military planning under the new president/administration as he attempts to do the right thing domestically)
And, oh, mainstream media – especially the New York Times and the Washington Post – stop letting unnamed “officials” drop propaganda into your “news.” That sort of thing gets us into wars we don’t need to fight.
Here is another perfect example of Pakistan government working to please the US by helping them justify everything that Obama and the rest have said about this being the “same Al Qaida group that attacked us.” This is pure fabrication, just like the 911 hijacker ids being found in near perfect condition in rubble that had basically disintegrated. The only thing that ties every player in this mess together is their CIA/ISI connections. They call their own network “Al Qaida,” pretending that it is something separate from the CIA.
I thought that the American people were getting wise to this garbage, that of telling people anything you want and calling it all “truth.”
911 was a government contract. It is becoming obvious just whose names are on that contract.
Said Bahaji remains at large
Pakistan’s army says it has found in South Waziristan the passport of a man linked to two hijackers involved in the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.
The passport of Said Bahaji, a German of Moroccan origin, was among weapons, documents and jihadi literature seized by troops in the conflict zone.
The army showed the document to a group of reporters during a trip to the area.
The BBC’s Orla Guerin says there is no way of knowing if this passport is a genuine document.
Our correspondent was part of a team of journalists who were taken to South Waziristan by the military.
The passport was presented on a table with other documentation but there was no independent way of verifying its authenticity, our correspondent says.
Pakistan’s army is carrying out a major offensive in the area against the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants and the region is generally out of bounds for journalists.
Said Bahaji is suspected to be a member of the Hamburg cell which planned the 9/11 attacks.
He is believed to have been a close associate of Mohammad Atta, the leader of 9/11 hijackers.
He fled Germany shortly before the attacks and remains at large.
Mr Bahaji has been charged in his absence in connection with several thousand murders committed in the attacks.
Correspondents says if the document is authentic, this will be the first time a direct link can be established between the Taliban in South Waziristan and a suspect in the 9/11 attacks.
By Farhat Taj
Orakzai is the only agency in FATA that has no border with Afghanistan. It touches Khyber agency in the north, Darra Adam Khel in the east, Hangu and Kohat in the south and Kurrum in the west. Orakzai is occupied by the Taliban from Waziristan, Darra Adam Khel and Khyber agencies. Some local tribesmen have also joined the Taliban from the other agencies. Many of the locals who joined the Taliban used to be petty thieves and drug pushers, I was informed by the Orakzai tribesmen. The Taliban have imposed an alien ideology and way of life on the people. ‘We are living in hell and the rest of Pakistan does not even know or doesn’t care’, said one of them.
The activities of the Taliban in Orakzai have two interesting aspects. One, tribal affiliations under the code of Pakhtunwali have by and large countered sectarian differences that the fiercely anti-Shia Taliban want to exploit. In an area called Dobari for example, there are about 100 Shia families surrounded by the Sunni majority. Under Pakhtunwali, the majority community had taken upon itself to protect the 100 families, whom the Taliban wanted to banish from the area. The Sunni tribesmen, however, rejected the Taliban’s banishment and decided instead to remove the Taliban from the area by raising a tribal lashkar. The Ali Khel is the largest tribe in Orakzai and the leaders of the tribe then held a grand jirga to work out the details of a strategy to take on the Taliban. The grand jirga was scheduled for Oct 10 of last year and as it was being held it was attacked by a suicide bomber. Forty tribesmen were killed on the spot and the death toll climbed to over 100 over the next few days since many of those who had initially been injured later died in hospital.
In effect, the tribe’s main leadership was decimated and this paved the way for the Taliban to take control of the agency. However, despite this the Taliban were not able to succeed in dividing the Ali Khels along Shia-Sunni lines. Instead, in the intense rivalry between the Ali Khels and the Taliban, a Taliban commander who belonged to the Ali Khel tribe defected and joined his tribe. This angered the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan which put head money on the man.
The people of Orakzai say that the government and the military should have done more to help the tribe, especially when it had decided to take on the Taliban by raising its own lashkar. They say that had that help been forthcoming the situation perhaps would be different to what it is today – where the government’s writ is confined only to the agency’s headquarters and the Taliban control most of the rest of Orakzai. Every day, people are kidnapped, killed, beheaded or publicly insulted by the Taliban, who like in other parts of FATA, have also set up their own so-called ‘sharia’ courts. In recent weeks, a mentally ill man was even beheaded by the Taliban – he was a Shia and had mistakenly entered an area which the Taliban had banned for all Shia tribesmen.
So what is the way forward? Well, for starters, the Taliban are not a unified group. It is an umbrella of sectarian terrorists, global jihadis and even criminals, and their differences can be exploited by the intelligence agencies. And there are many proofs of such differences. In the Ferozkhel area recently, two groups of the Taliban fought each other and there were several casualties. The dispute was over whether or not to return a Shia boy who had been kidnapped by them to his family in exchange for one of their (the Taliban’s) colleagues.
The people feel that they have been left to fend for themselves. And they have taken matters into their own hands. Some weeks ago, three such volunteers intercepted a suicide bomber but could not stop him from triggering his explosives and as a result all three died. Also, of late, a Taliban court in the agency summoned 60 businessmen from the majority community – their alleged crime being that they were involved in business with tribesmen from the minority sect!
The writer is a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo, and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy. Email: bergen34@ yahoo.com
By Farhat Taj
Relationship between state and citizens is a social contract. A basic ingredient of the contract is that the state shall protect the life and property of its citizens. It is in this context that violence is the monopoly of the state which it shall use according to the law. In theory this is so in Pakistan as well. In practice it is not so, in many parts of Pakistan. But the most disgraceful and atrocious violation of the social contact can be seen in FATA and the NWFP in face of Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorism in the area.
The state has failed again and again to protect citizens from the atrocities of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The absence of state protection made many people in the NWFP and FATA create local lashkars (volunteer armies) to push Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists out of their areas. Most members of the lashkar had never been fond of violence. They would prefer a peaceful and quite life. The state’s abrogation of its responsibility to protect them had forced them to take up weapons in self-defence.
Even then the state never came forward to help the lashkars, most of whose leaders and members were slaughtered by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, with the state just watching as an unconcerned bystander. But still the resistance of the people continues on self-help bases in several parts of the NWFP and FATA.
There is a lashkar in Badaber, an area of rural Peshawar on the border with Darra Adamkhel, the area taken over by the Taliban, to the south, and with Khyber Agency, ruled by Mangal Bagh and Hakimullah, to the west. The Badaber lashkar is playing an impressive role in preventing Darra Adamkhel Taliban from taking over Peshawar. The lashkar has had several clashes with the Taliban, which led to death and injuries on both sides. A striking feature of the lashkar is that it is not only protecting the people of Badaber but also extending protection to law-enforcement agencies in the area. It is not uncommon to see police and FC vehicles and personnel being escorted by the lashkar’s vehicles and volunteers. Thus, in Badaber the social contract between the state and citizens is turned on its head: the citizens are protecting the state!
In another country such citizens would have become heroes. Not so in Pakistan. For a long time the state ignored the efforts of the citizens. But at last the one and only “recognition” came from the state: a letter of appreciation. It was issued on Nov 17, 2008, by the chief secretary of the NWFP and addressed to two of the lashkar’s leaders, Khushdil Khan, deputy speaker of the NWFP Assembly, and Gulzar Hussain, former chairman of thye Union Council of Badaber. The letter is copied to the governor of the NWFP, the speaker of the NWFP Assembly, the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar, the home secretary of the NWFP and the inspector general of the province.
The letter states: “The provincial administration would like to place on record its commendation/appreciation for the good work that your honour has undertaken regarding formation of Aman (peace) Committees for maintenance of law and order in Badaber and Sheikh Mohammadi areas of District Peshawar. This step would go a long way in ensuring maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the concerned areas in collaboration with law-enforcement agencies. Formation of Aman Committees is a commendable and enviable community measure emulable in other troubled areas all over NWFP.”
This letter has been a source of torture for many, if not all, members of the Badaber lashkar. Is this the recognition that they deserve from the state for the acute dangers they have taken upon themselves and their families by challenging the Taliban? Some lashkar members might have thought that it would have been better they never had that letter which is more a source of torture than appreciation for them.
In my view, the letter should have come from the highest political authority of the state: the president or the prime minister of Pakistan. If not that, then at least it should have come from the chief minister or governor of the NWFP. The letter should have clearly acknowledged the role of the lashkar in protection of the law- enforcement agencies. The letter should have been shared with the media so that everyone in Pakistan had seen that the state recognised the efforts of the lashkar.
But what is the most important is that the state must fulfil its responsibility to protect the people of the NWFP and FATA from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. For that to happen, the state must abandon the idea of strategic depth for good. The state must stop using FATA as a strategic space. The state must respect the fact that the people of FATA are its citizens who are fully entitled to its protection. The lashkar people, both in FATA and the NWFP, have not taken up arms for fun or out of habit.
They have done so because the state has abandoned them to the wolves, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The same would be the response of most human beings abandoned by their state anywhere in the world. A letter of appreciation on behalf of the state, although good in symbolic terms, means nothing in real terms. The state must robustly come forward to protect people in the Taliban-occupied areas and, wherever appropriate, should cooperate with the local people so as to inflict maximum damage on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda with the least collateral damage to the civilian population.
The writer is a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
[Believe it or not, Wall St. Journal Dares to ask the question. If they are Russian, then they can’t be Semitic.]
This much is known: In the mid-eighth century, the ruling elite of the Khazars, a Turkic tribe in Eurasia, converted to Judaism. Their impetus was political, not spiritual. By embracing Judaism, the Khazars were able to maintain their independence from rival monotheistic states, the Muslim caliphate and the Christian Byzantine empire. Governed by a version of rabbinical law, the Khazar Jewish kingdom flourished along the Volga basin until the beginning of the second millennium, at which point it dissolved, leaving behind a mystery: Did the Khazar converts to Judaism remain Jews, and, if so, what became of them?
Enter Shlomo Sand. In a new book, “The Invention of the Jewish People,” the Tel Aviv University professor of history argues that large numbers of Khazar Jews migrated westward into Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania, where they played a decisive role in the establishment of Eastern European Jewry. The implications are far-reaching: If the bulk of Eastern European Jews are the descendents of Khazars—not the ancient Israelites—then most Jews have no ancestral links to Palestine. Put differently: If most Jews are not Semites, then what justification is there for a Jewish state in the Middle East? By attempting to demonstrate the Khazar origins of Eastern European Jewry, Mr. Sand—a self-described post-Zionist who believes that Israel needs to shed its Jewish identity to become a democracy—aims to undermine the idea of a Jewish state.
Published in Hebrew last year, “The Invention of the Jewish People” was a best seller in Israel. In March, the French translation, also a best seller, received the prestigious Aujourd’hui Award, which honors the year’s best nonfiction book. Past winners include such intellectual titans as Raymond Aron, Milan Kundera and George Steiner. “The Invention of the Jewish People” is being translated into a dozen languages. Mr. Sand is delivering lectures this month in Los Angeles, Berkeley, New York and elsewhere.
What should we make of Mr. Sand’s radical revisionist history? There is reason to be very skeptical. After all, we have been here before. In 1976, Arthur Koestler published “The Thirteenth Tribe,” which argued that Diaspora Jews were a “pseudo-nation” bound by “a system of traditional beliefs based on racial and historical premises which turn out to be illusory.” The genetic influence of the Khazars on modern Jews is, he wrote, “substantial, and in all likelihood dominant.” Koestler’s speculations were not novel. The connection between the Khazars and the Jews of Eastern Europe had been debated by both scholars and conspiracists (the two are not mutually exclusive) for centuries.
“The Thirteenth Tribe” was savaged by critics, and Mr. Sand’s repackaging of its central argument has not fared much better. “A few Jews in Eastern Europe presumably came from the Khazar kingdom, but nobody can responsibly claim that most of them are the descendents of Khazars,” says Israel Bartal, a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We simply don’t know enough about the demographics of Eastern European Jews before the 13th century to make such an assertion, Mr. Bartal says, adding, “Sand has not proven anything.” According to Peter B. Golden, a professor of history at Rutgers University, the Khazars are likely one of a number of strains that shaped the Jewish population in Eastern Europe. But, he stresses, DNA studies have confirmed that the Middle Eastern strain is predominant.
In “The Invention of the Jewish People,” Mr. Sand suggests that those who attacked Koestler’s book did so not because it lacked merit, but because the critics were cowards and ideologues. “No one wants to go looking under stones when venomous scorpions might be lurking beneath them, waiting to attack the self-image of the existing ethnos and its territorial ambitions.” But Koestler was himself uneasy about scorpions. The Khazar theory, he knew, was an article of faith among anti-Semites and anti-Israel Arab politicians. Just a few months before “The Thirteenth Tribe” was published, the Saudi Arabian delegation to the United Nations declared Zionism illegitimate because it was conceived by “non-Semitic Jews” rather than “our own Arab Jews who are the real Semites.” (An Israeli ambassador, wrongly, countered that Koestler’s book had been secretly subsidized by the Palestinians.) Perhaps more disconcerting, the neo-Nazi National States Rights Party in the U.S. declared “The Thirteenth Tribe” to be “the political bombshell of the century” because “it destroys all claims of the present-day Jew-Khazars to any historic right to occupy Palestine.” Members of Stormfront, a self-described “white nationalist” Internet community, have predictably reacted to Mr. Sand’s book with glee.
I recently called Mr. Sand in Paris, where he is on sabbatical, to ask if he is concerned that “The Invention of the Jewish People” will be exploited for pernicious ends. “I don’t care if crazy anti-Semites in the United States use my book,” he said in Israeli-accented English. “Anti-Semitism in the West, for the moment, is not a problem.” Still, he is worried about how the forthcoming Arabic translation might be received in the Muslim world, where, he says, anti-Semitism is growing. I ask if the confident tenor of his book might exacerbate the problem. He falls quiet for a moment. “Maybe my tone was too affirmative on the question of the Khazars,” he reluctantly concedes. “If I were to write it today I would be much more careful.” Such an admission, however, is unlikely to sway the sinister conspiracists who find the Khazar theory a useful invention.
—Mr. Goldstein is a staff editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education.
11:40 / 10/28/2009
Yesterday, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldiz put an end to the empty talk about Azerbaijan’s ability to influence Ankara’s foreign and energy policy in any way. The aim of the empty talk was “enhancing” Azerbaijan’s regional influence by means of rhetoric. In fact, however, Baku exhausted its potential for energy diktat long ago – it has neither the necessary resources nor means of diversifying routes or political weight to torpedo Turkey’s strategic task of becoming the main point for hydrocarbons transit to Europe. That was the reason why billons of U.S. dollars were invested in the Baku-Ceyhan and Baku-Erzurum projects. Leaving the communications inoperative is as impossible for President Ilham Aliyev as yielding his chair to some Isa Gambar.
So the direction for the transit of Caspian resources at Azerbaijan’s disposal can by no means be changed. Another matter is that the reserves are not sufficient to meet both Turkey’s ambitions and Europe’s demands.
Ilham Aliyev is not to blame for the West having been unable to push through the Transcaspian gas main project. As a result, the two pipes of great length designed for supplying energy resources from Central Asia to Europe — the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline with an annual capacity of 50m tons, and the South Caucasus gas pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum with an annual capacity of up to 30bn cubic meters – actually run only to end in Azerbaijan’s well that is running dry. Strategically, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline was designed for Central Asian gas, rather than for Azerbaijan’s. It was laying the gas main through the bottom of the Caspian Sea than was supposed to make the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline part of the Nabucco project. Azerbaijan is capable of supplying only 1/3 of the necessary volume to this pipeline, which can hardly satisfy Turkey and the end consumers in Europe. The designed annual capacity of the Nabucco gas pipeline is 30bn cubic meters, and, in this context, Azerbaijan’s efforts are “a drop in the ocean.” By various estimates, over the following decade, Azerbaijan will be capable of supplying within 5bn cubic meters of gas to this pipeline, whereas at least 15bn cubic meters are required for it to be put into operation. Moreover, the volume Azerbaijan is ensuring now does not reach Turkey in full. Let us remember that Georgia, a transit country which completely upset its relations with Russia, became dependent on Azerbaijani gas, while Turkey “granted” its gas quota in the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline to Georgians. So Turkey has never received strategic amount of gas from Azerbaijan and hardly expects to receive it.
Realizing that Russia will go all out to prevent a pipe from being laid through the Caspian bottom, Turkey, without wasting time, joined the Russia-launched South Stream project. The difference of this project from Nabucco is as follows: from Central Asia the pipeline will run along the northern Caspian coast (a Near-Caspian gas pipeline), rather than through the bottom of the Caspian Sea, which, however, is not of essential importance for Turkey. On the contrary, this reduces the number of transit countries between Central Asia and Turkey — Russia in place of Azerbaijan and Georgia. The efforts exerted by RF Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi were crowned with success – Turkey joined the South Stream project. At that very moment Azerbaijan felt the hard slap delivered by its “big brother” – it was not while Yerevan and Ankara were signing the Protocols in Zurich.
The second slap proved to be even header. Baku got it yesterday, when Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz agreed on the details of Turkey’s participation in the South Pars project with Iran. It is the world’s largest gas field coverings an area of 9,700 square kilometers, with 3,700 square kilometers (South Pars) being in Iranian territorial waters. It can really serve as resource base for the Nabucco project, but Azerbaijan drops out of the game. Moreover, the West may share the same fate, as Turkey seems to be going to “uncap the Iranian barrel” with Russia. So Russia is “drawing” Central Asian resources into the South Stream and Blue Stream projects, while Turkey is ensuring access to the European market for Iranian gas. Thus, Europe’s energy security problem can be resolved by combined efforts of Turkey and Russia, with Iran’s energy potential necessarily used.
Armenia may play a key role in the Turkey-Iran-Russia energy triangle. In any case, over the last few years, Russia, slowly but surely, has been creating a powerful “electric energy base” in Armenia. With the Iran-Armenia gas main considered, Armenia’s prospects will be even better after the Armenian-Turkish border has been reopened.
As regards Azerbaijan, the only thing for it to do is to feed the West promises, beg compensation of Turkey for gas at a giveaway price and try to get Russia’s support by supplying ridiculously small volumes of gas (500m cubic meters) to the Gazprom Company by means of bypass routes.
Among the participants are Women Against Military Madness, Veterans for Peace Minnesota and the National Lawyers Guild
Please come participate in this protest of prima facie war criminal Condoleezza Rice who willfully and deceitfully sold Bush’s war on Iraq by fear mongering about “mushroom clouds” and who also OK’d going “to the dark side” of illegal torture.
She continues to be an apologist for the Bush administration with false statements about the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Security in Europe calling Guantanamo a model medium-security prison, and misleading claims that the ICRC made no allegations about interrogations at Guantanamo. She still says that we did not torture, in spite of ICRC reports, contrary claims from FBI interrogators, Bush administration withdrawals of Office of Legal Counsel torture memos, and statements of dismissal by our own Military Commission judges.
Now Rice is apparenty attempting to make big money off her wrongful actions in the Bush Administration. (The Beth El Synagogue is offering tickets between $50 and $1250 and selling tables at $12,500.00 to hear Condi Rice speak.)
Posted: 30 October 2009 1327 hrs
WASHINGTON : President Barack Obama Friday meets his top military chiefs to talk strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan in one of the final steps before deciding whether to send thousands more US troops to war.
Obama invited the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the heads of the branches of the US armed services, to the secure White House Situation Room to hear their input on his war plan and deliberations on troop numbers, officials said.
He will hold the meeting a day after his poignant visit to witness the return to home soil of fallen Americans from Afghanistan, after which he said the heavy sacrifice of US soldiers was weighing on his decision-making.
“It was a sobering reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our young men and women in uniform are engaging in every single day,” Obama said in the Oval Office, hours after watching remains of 18 US servicemen flown home.
“Obviously the burden that both our troops and our families bear in any wartime situation is going to bear on how I see these conflicts.
“And it is something that I think about each and every day,” Obama said, after the visit to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Thursday that the president was “at the end stages of what is this, sort of, close-hold, pre-decisional, confidential process over at the White House.”
Other signs that Obama may be nearing a decision are coming in a flurry of leaks of aspects of the coalescing strategy to major US newspapers.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Obama had asked senior officials for an analysis of Afghan provinces to determine which regions are well managed and which are not, to guide his decision on troop numbers.
Earlier this week, The New York Times reported the White House was settling on an Afghan strategy that would send more US troops to protect top population centers, but recognizes that the insurgency cannot be completely eradicated. Related article: UC plea for security
Obama has spent weeks deliberating over a request by top war General Stanley McChrystal for 40,000 more troops to fight the escalating Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, which warned the war could be lost without more men.
He has completed a string of in-depth discussions in the White House with senior aides, probing every aspect of US strategy in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Already fragile US public opinion on the war is being tested by a rush of recent casualties in Afghanistan, with October the bloodiest month for American troops of the eight-year conflict so far.
Expectations are mounting that Obama could reveal his answer to McChrystal’s request before he leaves for an eight-day trip to Asia on November 11.
But he is believed unlikely to reveal his decision whether to reinforce the 68,000 US troops in the country before the Afghan run-off election on November 7.
On Tuesday, Obama told servicemen and women in Florida he would not “rush” a decision on which lives depend.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said this week only that the decision will be made “in the coming weeks.”
Among senior officers expected at the White House on Monday were General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the joint chiefs; Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey; General James Conway, commandant of the US Marine Corps; Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations; and General Norton Schwartz, air force chief of staff.
Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Michael Mullen and other top Obama security forces were also due to attend.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, is escorted by Pakistani Rangers at the Iqbal Memorial in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. Clinton is on a three-day state visit to Pakistan.
(AP Photo/Mansoor Ahmed)
By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer Robert Burns, Ap National Security Writer – 1 hr 6 mins ago
ISLAMABAD – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chided Pakistani officials Thursday for failing to press the hunt for al-Qaida inside their borders, suggesting they know where the terror leaders are hiding.
American officials have long said that al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden and senior lieutenants of the network accused in the Sept. 11 attacks operate out of the rugged terrain along the border with Afghanistan.
But Clinton’s unusually blunt comments went further in asserting that Pakistan’s government has done too little about it.
"I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to," Clinton said in an interview with Pakistani journalists in Lahore. "Maybe that’s the case. Maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know."
There was no immediate reaction from Pakistani officials, but the thrust of Clinton’s comments were startling, coming after months of lavish public comments from her and other American officials portraying Pakistan’s leaders as finally receptive to the war against militants inside their own country.
As a political spouse, career public official and recently as a diplomat, Clinton has long showed a tendency toward bluntness, sometimes followed by a softening of her comments. But her remarks about Pakistan’s lack of action against al-Qaida comes at a particularly sensitive moment — amid a major Pakistani offensive against militants and a deadly spate of insurgent violence.
With Pakistan reeling from Wednesday’s devastating bombing that killed more than 100 people in Peshawar, Clinton also engaged in an intense give-and-take with students at the Government College of Lahore. She insisted that inaction by the government would have ceded ground to terrorists.
"If you want to see your territory shrink, that’s your choice," she said, adding that she believed it would be a bad choice.
Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S. representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters that Clinton planned to meet late Thursday with the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to get an update on the offensive that began Oct. 17 against Taliban forces in a portion of the tribal areas near the Afghan border.
"We want to encourage them," Holbrooke said of the Pakistanis. "She wants to get a firsthand account of the military situation."
During her exchange with the Pakistani journalists, one reporter asked Clinton why the fight against terrorism seemed to put Pakistan at the center and why other countries couldn’t do more. Clinton noted that al-Qaida has launched attacks on Indonesia, the Philippines and many other countries over the years.
"So the world has an interest in seeing the capture and killing of the people who are the masterminds of this terrorist syndicate. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan."
On Clinton’s flight to Islamabad after the interview with Pakistani journalists, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson said Clinton’s remarks approximate what the Obama administration has told Pakistani officials in private.
"We often say, `Yes, there needs to be more focus on finding these leaders,’" Patterson said. "The other thing is, they lost control of much of this territory in recent years, and that’s why they’re in South Waziristan right now."
In Lahore, dozens of students rushed to line up for the microphone when the session with Clinton began. Their questions were not hostile, but showed a strong sense of doubt that the U.S. could be a reliable and trusted partner for Pakistan.
One woman asked whether the U.S. could be expected to commit long term in Afghanistan after abandoning the country after Russian occupiers retreated in 1989.
"What guarantee," the woman asked, "can Americans give Pakistan that we can now trust you — not you but, like, the Americans this time — of your sincerity and that you guys are not going to betray us like the Americans did in the past when they wanted to destabilize the Russians?"
Clinton responded that the question was a "fair criticism" and that the U.S. did not follow through in the way it should have. "It’s difficult to go forward if we’re always looking in the rearview mirror," said Clinton, on the second of a three-day visit, her first to Pakistan as secretary of state.
The Peshawar bombing in a market crowded with women and children appeared timed to overshadow her arrival. It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since 2007.
She likened Pakistan’s situation — with Taliban forces taking over substantial swaths of land in the Swat valley and in areas along the Afghan border — to a theoretical advance of terrorists into the United States from across the Canadian border.
It would be unthinkable, she said, for the U.S. government to decide, "Let them have Washington (state)" first, then Montana, then the sparsely populated Dakotas, because those states are far from the major centers of population and power on the East Coast.
Clinton was responding to a student who suggested that Washington was forcing Pakistan to use military force on its own territory.
During her hourlong appearance at the college, Clinton stressed that a key purpose of her trip was to reach out to ordinary Pakistanis and urge a better effort to bridge differences and improve mutual understanding.
But her tough comments about Pakistan’s will to take on al-Qaida leaders might not sit well among Pakistanis who long have complained about American demands on their country.
Clinton has ruffled feathers before with blunt comments during international trips. On her first visit to Asia in February, she discussed the possibility of a succession crisis in North Korea and suggested the U.S. would not press China that hard on human rights.
On a later trip, she drew criticism from Israeli leaders for talking about a "defense umbrella" for Arab Gulf states to protect them from a potential nuclear threat from Iran.
Despite her comments during the town hall event in Lahore, Clinton declined to touch on the sensitive issue of missile attacks from U.S. drones against militants inside Pakistan.
The subject has stirred some of the strongest feelings of anti-Americanism in the country, but the U.S. routinely refuses to acknowledge publicly that the attacks are taking place.
"There is a war going on," Clinton said, adding only that the U.S. wants to help Pakistan be successful.
The United States has provided Pakistani commanders with video images and target information from its military drones as the army pushes its ground offensive in Waziristan, U.S. officials said this week.
The U.S. in recent months has rushed helicopters and other military equipment to the country as Islamabad began offensives.
"We’ve put military assistance to Pakistan on a wartime footing," Lt. Col. Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday.
Associated Press writers Tim Sullivan in Islamabad, and Pauline Jelinek and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.
JSQM–Jeay Sindh Hulchal or Jeay Sind movement was founded by Saeen G M Syed in 1972 but it was a brain child of Indra Ghandi who categorically admits in the Indian parliament that they will not hesitate to help sindhi liberation forces as they helped Bangalis in East Pakistan. The main motive of formation of JSQM was sind unification with India by getting help from prominent international players including India. It was later renamed as Jeay Sindh Tahreek by the various militant and separatist group
Published: July 25, 2009
KARACHI – Riots in the metropolis as well as in other major cities of the Sindh province in protest over the killing of President of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Thatta chapter, during indiscriminate firing on a party rally at Pehlwan Goth here on Friday.
As per report, two unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on the rally at Pehlwan Goth near Gulistan Coach bus stop, within the limits of Malir Cantt Police Station, killing JSQM Thatta President Mushtaq Khaskheli and injuring another person, Ejaz.
The JSQM activists also retaliated and killed one of the attacker identified as Mustafa Zahid Baloch, and injured his accomplice, who was later arrested by police. The dead bodies and injured were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
It may be noted that JSQM activists organised the rally and wanted to stage a sit-in demonstration at the Super Highway, Toll Plaza in protest against the killing of their party worker Zulfiqar Mallah, who was gunned down on 19th July by unidentified suspects at Hango Goth.
JSQM Chairman Bashir Khan Qureshi and Dr Safadar Sarki were leading the rally. As the participants of the rally started their march and reached near Gulistan Coach bus stand, two unidentified suspects, riding a motorcycle, opened indiscriminate fire on the car of Bashir Qurashi with sophisticated weapons.
JSQM General Secretary Dr. Safdar Sarki has confirmed the attackers wanted to kill Bashir Qureshi but he managed to escape narrowly. Sarki alleged the attackers belonged to intelligence agencies and wanted to sabotage JSQM struggle for the people of Sindh.
Following the incident, several areas including Safoora Goth, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Pelhwan Goth, Abul Isfahani Road, Juma Goth and Al-Asif Square echoed with heavy aerial firing while unidentified miscreants set ablaze a coach at the National Highway.
Meanwhile, a gang of four armed men barged into a petrol pump in Safoora Goth and deprived its staff of cash worth thousands of rupees and fled.
OUR MONITORING DESK ADDS: According to media report, after the incident, enraged people ransacked property and forced the closure of shops and markets in many parts of Sindh.
Hearing the report of killing of a JSQM activist, angry mobs took to the streets in Hyderabad while unknown men set a vehicle on fire parked outside the residence of District Naib Nazim Zafar Rajput. Unidentified persons also torched a bus parked at general bus stand.
On the other hand, people also resorted to aerial firing, smashed windowpanes of several vehicles and burned tyres in Wahdat Colony, Qasimabad and Liberty Chowk in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Tando Jam city witnessed complete shutter down in protest over the killing of a JSQM leader in Karachi. Angry people also blocked Mirpurkhas Road and burned bonfire. The party workers staged a sit-in on Thatta-Karachi Highway and forced the markets and shops to close in Thatta city.
Similarly, enraged people forced shutter down in Tando Muhammad Khan and Rato Dero while the JSQM activists staged a protest rally in Nawabshah and forced the shops to close.
Posted by email@example.com
By TOM HUSSAIN
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 26 October 2009 (The National) – [PMLQ-MQM
corrupt traitor] Pervez Musharraf, who in the eight years before 2007
was undisputedly the most powerful man in Pakistan, faces arrest
without the possibility of bail on murder charges if he chooses to
return home after a lengthy lecture tour of Britain and the United
The murder charge, registered on October 8  on the orders of the
Balochistan High Court, pertains to the 2006 killing, in a military
operation ordered by Musharraf, then the [PMLQ-MQM] president, of
Akbar Shahbaz Khan Bugti, a tribal chief and politician who led an
insurgency in western Balochistan province.
The court order is the latest chapter in the fall from grace of
Musharraf, the former [Pakistan] Army chief who seized power in a
bloodless coup in October 1999, rapidly growing in stature from being
a self-anointed “chief executive” in commando fatigues to an
immaculately groomed global statesman of the post-September 11 era.
The August 2006 killing of Bugti, for 40 years the leading politician
of Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province, sparsely populated but
rich in natural resources, is the earliest in a sequence of acts of
dictatorial governance that have come to haunt Musharraf.
He had greeted news of the killing, while sojourning at a hill resort,
by issuing a late-night public statement of congratulations to the
participating Army units.
An instant wave of public revulsion prompted his publicists to
withdraw the statement the next morning, but the damage it caused to
the public’s perception of Musharraf was irreversible.
For the first time, his [PMLQ-MQM] soft-touch government had owned up
to being the military junta it was, and an unrepentant, ruthless
dictator replaced the dashing figure cut by Musharraf, who had
actually succeeded in overshadowing Pakistan’s exiled popular
politicians, [PPP corrupt traitor] Benazir Bhutto and [PML-N corrupt
traitor Muhammad] Nawaz Sharif.
Indeed, the filing of the murder charges against a former
[unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful] head of state, unprecedented
in Pakistan’s legal history, is a blowback from Musharraf’s next
contentious move – his attempt in March 2007 to force Iftikhar
[Muhammad] Chaudhry, the [Pakistan Supreme Court] Chief Justice, to
The blocking of that move by a rebellious judiciary sparked the first
popular protests of the Musharraf era, and turned the [corrupt]
private cable news [TV] channels, which owed their existence to a
decision taken in the generous early days of the Musharraf era, into
his fiercest critics.
Stubborn and uncompromising, Musharraf went on to declare a state of
Emergency (which he admitted shortly afterwards was civilian window-
dressing for the imposition of [illegal military] Martial Law) in
November 2007, using it to fire judges, shut down [corrupt] private
news [TV] channels, and promulgate a [fraudulent and unconstitutional]
law – the National Reconciliation Ordinance [NRO] – that granted him
immunity from prosecution for those acts, in return for the withdrawal
of longstanding corruption and criminal cases against many
politicians, notably [PPP corrupt traitor Benazir] Bhutto and her
husband, [PPP corrupt traitor] Asif Ali Zardari, the current [PPP]
Musharraf had evidently thought the [illegal NRO] law – part of a
political transition deal brokered by the United States, Britain and
Saudi Arabia – would enable him to stay on as [PMLQ-MQM] president for
another five-year term, and to use the constitutional powers of the
post to control a fractious Parliament.
However, the assassination of [PPP Chairwoman Benazir] Bhutto in
December 2007 changed the political mood of the country and swept her
Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] into power in February 2008 [through
unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful, fraudulent and rigged
Under intense political and public pressure, the [Pakistan] Army,
which had months earlier assured Musharraf of its support, deputed
General Nadeem Taj, a relative, to ask him to step down “for the sake
of the reputation of our institution”, leading to his resignation in
Musharraf’s political career has since gone into freefall, with
erstwhile confidants abandoning him in droves.
His legal team, led by [corrupt lawyer] Sharifuddin Pirzada, author of
[many illegal] constitutional amendments enacted by several Pakistani
military juntas, and [corrupt lawyer] Malik Abdul Qayyum, a disgraced
High Court judge who was Musharraf’s attorney-general, have leaked to
the press their refusal to represent Musharraf in the Bugti murder
trial. The team has not in fact represented Musharraf since he
stepped down from power.
Indeed, Musharraf and two of the three politicians [including PML-Q
corrupt traitor Shaukat Aziz] also charged [with murder] have to date
been unable to find a lawyer willing to defend them in the Bugti
Similarly, practically all the politicians persuaded or coerced into
joining the civilian government pieced together by the military’s
Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] directorate after [unconstitutional,
illegal, unlawful, fraudulent and rigged parliamentary] elections in
2002, which [Benazir] Bhutto and [M. Nawaz] Sharif were barred from
contesting, have in recent months issued public statements saying
there was no room in their respective parties for Musharraf.
One motivation is the fear of being tarred with the Bugti murder
brush. Another is an attempt by Musharraf, even after being forced to
step down, to manipulate those politicians, with the aim of returning
to the political arena, ideally as the head of the Pakistan Muslim
League [PML-Q] faction he created soon after seizing power – a move
that caused the faction to fracture.
Musharraf thus finds himself on the margins of “Af-Pak”, a
geostrategic play he helped create, fighting another futile battle for
survival in the eyes of his former international partners, and
helpless to exorcise the ghosts of his domestic excesses.
More than 150 people were killed in the suicide attacks
Iraq has arrested more than 60 security force members, including 11 senior officers over Sunday’s twin suicide bombing in the capital Baghdad.
Those arrested include the commanders of 15 checkpoints near to where the attacks took place.
The attack in which more than 150 people were killed and 500 injured was the deadliest in Baghdad for two years.
Correspondents say the scale of the bombings raised new questions over the competence of Iraqi security forces.
The BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse in Baghdad says it is not clear whether those arrested are accused of negligence or collusion.
However, he added, it seems to confirm what many people have suspected – that the security forces are susceptible to infiltration by insurgents or are just not up to the job.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in a BBC interview that he wanted the UN to investigate external interference, accusing Syria of providing a safe haven for the bombers, which Damascus has denied.
Please turn on
Foreign Minister Zebari talks to the BBC
A militant group linked to al-Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq, said on Tuesday that it had carried out the attacks in a claim that could not be independently verified.
Sunday’s co-ordinated attacks near the Baghdad governorate headquarters and the ministry of justice came as Iraqi MPs were in deadlock over the rules governing next January’s general election.
The Iraqi parliament has until 31 October to break the deadlock, with differences between Arab and Kurdish factions centring on the disputed northern oil city of Kirkuk.
It is feared that attacks will become more frequent as militant groups attempt to destabilise Iraq in the run-up to the elections.
US President Barack Obama said he was outraged by the bombings.
[The extremist Uzbeks of the IMU, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, remain the most dangerous terrorists in the Tribal Region. They are the actual terrorists who have been described as “al Qaida” in the Western media. They trained both Mehsuds and their fighters, as well as the group of Yemeni-Balochs known as “Jundullah.”]
The army says that it capturing territory all over South Waziristan
Pakistani troops fighting the Taliban in South Waziristan have surrounded a key stronghold of Uzbek fighters, military officials say.
They say that the town of Kaniguram – one of the largest towns in the area – is also the “operational centre” of the Pakistani Taliban.
The army says its offensive against the militants was “making good progress”.
But a US-based rights group warned of “catastrophe” if aid is not allowed in to help civilians trapped in the area.
In a statement released on Thursday Human Rights Watch said that Pakistani authorities should ensure that civilians who cannot escape the fighting should have sufficient access to basic necessities.
The group cites reports of people trying to escape the fighting before the onset of a harsh winter.
Tens of thousands of civilians have fled the conflict zone since hostilities broke out.
The army says that two medical camps have been set up for displaced families and existing basic health units are being upgraded.
The army has declared South Waziristan a closed military zone until the operation ends.
It also announced “substantial successes” on fronts in the Nawazkot and Razmak-Makeen areas, adding that 11 militants and one solider had been killed in the latest fighting. But analysts say that stiff resistance being put up by militants indicate that all is not going to plan for the army.
Journalists have been denied access to the area and so cannot verify army reports of fighting.
Fight to the death
The town of Kaniguram, which troops are currently battling for, has between 85-90,000 residents and is second only to the town of Wana in terms of its population.
The BBC’s Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says that at least 1,500 Uzbek militants are thought to be there.
In the past Uzbek fighters have been led by Tahir Yuldashev, head of the the hardline Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
Mr Yuldashev is believed to have been killed recently, but the Taliban have denied his demise and for the moment there has been no word on a successor.
Our correspondent says that even without a leader, the Uzbeks will know this is a fight to the death for them.
While a few Uzbek militants have been living in Kaniguram for years, most arrived after being evicted from Wana by pro-government Taliban commander Maulvi Nazir in March 2007.
Pakistan’s military establishment holds the IMU primarily responsible for the re-orientation of the formerly Afghanistan-focused Taliban towards Pakistan and its security forces, analysts say.
The Uzbeks are said to be the driving force behind the ideology of “fighting the enemy who is closer first” – in this case the Pakistan army.
Our correspondent says that this fact – and the urban nature of the battle – means that fighting in Kaniguram is likely to be intense and casualties high.
The majority of the residents of Kaniguram are of the Burki tribe – who dominate the area. But there are also members of the Mehsud and Wazir tribes.
The town is notable for hosting a substantial number of militants loyal to the Pakistani Taliban led by Hakimullah Mehsud.
Kaniguram itself is surrounded by mountains, the highest of which towers to 12,000 feet. There is a network of tarmac roads connecting it to the rest of the region, but they generally remain blocked in winter.
South Waziristan is considered to be the main sanctuary for Islamic militants outside Afghanistan.
Pakistan launched its offensive after a wave of militant attacks, believed to have been orchestrated from South Waziristan, killed more than 150 people in October.
More than 90 people were killed on Wednesday when a car bomb ripped through a crowded market in the Pakistan city of Peshawar.
By Saeed Shah in Islamabad and Emal Khan in Peshawar
Published: 7:55PM GMT 28 Oct 2009
The attack was the deadliest terrorist strike in Pakistan for two years and came as Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, arrived in the region to shore up confidence in America’s beleaguered ally.
Women and children were among the victims of the bombing, for which Pakistani officials blamed the Taliban. More than 200 were injured as the blast flattened rows of shops and started a fire that engulfed the area inside Peshawar’s congested old city. The Peepal Mandi market is known for selling make-up, and wedding-related goods, making it popular among women. Shopkeepers previously had been threatened by Islamist extremists objecting to women shopping.
“I’ve seen seven bodies of women, some of them charred, brought out from the debris of the razed buildings,” said Noor Khan, who had been shopping in a neighbouring market in Peshawar. “It was a deafening sound and there were plumes of smoke and dust all around the narrow and already dark streets.”
Ali Akhbar, a clothes shop owner, said. “It was like a massive earthquake. Everything in my shop fell on me. There was so much smoke. When everything fell on me I passed out.”
Doctors at Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital said many of the casualties were women and children. “We have 92 dead bodies and 217 injured people. Nineteen of the dead are women and 11 are children. All the dead are civilians,” said Doctor Zafar Iqbal.
It was Pakistan’s worst terrorist atrocity since bombers killed 150 people at a rally held in Karachi in October, 2007, to welcome home Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister. She was assassinated in a later attack.
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, said he was outraged at the “appalling loss of innocent lives” in the market attack.
Cities across Pakistan have been targeted in bomb and gun attacks since the beginning of this month when the army began preparing for an offensive in South Waziristan, the heartland of insurgents on the Afghan border.
Peshawar is home to 2.5 million people and a gateway to the tribal territory.
“The terrorists are trying to demoralise the people and the government,” said Bashir Bilour, a senior provincial minister visiting the scene. “Even if we have to die, we’ll keep fighting these terrorists until our last breadth.”
Mrs Clinton began a three-day visit to Pakistan, amid extraordinary security measures. Many Pakistanis blame the American presence in the region for the instability that has struck Pakistan and Afghanistan. “I want you to know that this fight is not Pakistan’s alone,” Mrs Clinton told a news conference in Islamabad. “This is our struggle as well.”
Mrs Clinton was visiting Pakistan amid anger over rigorous stipulations in a new aid package passed by the Congress that requires the country prove that its civilian officials control the military and that it can maintain adequate safeguards for its nuclear facilities.
Pakistan has protested that the requirements infringe its sovereignty.
[Read Part I here]
UK BLOCKS VISA TO PASHTUNS
Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.
If you are a Punjabi you will be given a Visa. Although all the attacks occurring in UK and India were the Handy work of Punjabis and belonging to Punjab Pakistan the people belonging to terrorist Organizations based in Punjab. Not a single Pashtun Taliban has caused an attack on US and UK soil in 9/11 and since 9/11 or any where in the world.
Gordon Brown the Prime Minister of Britain, Apologized to NWFP parliament and People of NWFP after a resolution was passed In NWFP assembly demanding an Apology from Prime Minister of UK after his Comments about all Pashtuns are terrorists .
His judgmental and generalizing Comments were very insulting for pashtuns and it caused an Uproar here in NWFP and from Pashtuns all over the world.
Even In Canada, a video was shown on Canadian TV which also generalized Opinion about Pashtuns as terrorists. This activated a Lot of Pashtuns of Canada and US to sign a petition against it. However, who is Listening.
Breaking news appeared on Peshawar , based www.khybernews.tv, that Visa have been blocked on Pashtun only residents of Pakistan .
American dumb dependence of Pakistani Intelligence agencies
The Comments probably were influenced by the Information Provided to Him by Pakistani Establishment, which provides Human –IT (Human Intelligence). Pakistan Establishment leave no stone un-turned in labeling Pashtuns as bone of all Terrorism globally and putting a veil on those in Southern Punjab and their Protected Madrasshas.
The Western Democracies believe them, as they are unable to have their own efficient Intelligence Networks. As a result, a complete Network of 2000 or so Madrassha in southern Punjab is completely off the radar of Western power in Southern Punjab in Bhakkar, Bahawalpur, Multan, and Roojhaan and DG- Khan and it tribal Areas of Punjab. http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsSep2009/coverstorysep.htm.
Pashtun will not get Visa from Western Countries from now but Punjabis will !
So while formulating policy they have conveniently blocked the Visa, s to only Pashtuns of NWFP and Pakistan , while not that of other Pakistanis.
This Tunnel vision of UK, US, and other European countries too, as claimed in Breaking News by www. khybernews.tv a Local Pushto Language TV in Peshawar.
While, it is need of the hour to have a Dialogue with Pashtuns of NWFP , FATA , Balauchistan and Afghanistan . The Western Powers and US and UK especially has shifted its Visa services from Peshawar .
The US although Maintains Embassy in Peshawar for Clandestine services, it does not issue visas from here, Gordon brown has shifted the Visa services from Islamabad Pakistan to Abu Dhabi UAE . While it has embassies in Islamabad and Karachi .
Now In order to travel to UK one has to spend money and go to UAE by obtaining its visa first and then staying there and paying Loads of money to Fed –Ex and other courier services for Documents and then apply for Visa for UK in UAE. All this after spending, a lot of Money.
While you are ethnically Pashtun who will still not be given Visa even after conforming to all requirements of UK and its laws and even if you are not a terrorist but you will not be given a Visa to UK and USA ,
If you are a Punjabi you will be given a Visa. Although all the attacks occurring in UK and India were the Handy work of Punjabis and belonging to Punjab Pakistan the people belonging to terrorist Organizations based in Punjab. Not a single Pashtun Taliban has caused an attack on US and UK soil in 9/11 and since 9/11 or any where in the world.
How convenient the Pashtuns are being treated worse then Palestinians who don’t even have a country and are allowed visas. While Pashtuns Being citizens of Pakistan are not, courtesy of our Pakistani Establishment.
Not a single word of protest from any Non-Pashtun Pakistani Leader was heard or President or prime Minister of Pakistan. While I am writing some Pashtun Students are Languishing in UK Jails as well while they are innocent and not have been charged for any crime.
All the Damage and Loss of Life occurs in Pashtun Areas Rewards go to Punjab?
But the fact remains , that Not a single , Afghani / Pashtun was involved in any terrorist activity any where in the world and Punjabis were as demonstrated in July 2007 attacks on London Tube stations . As they belonged to Punjab Bases Terrorist organizations.
While in NWFP we are getting the brunt of collateral damage and 100 Billion rupees worth of damage has occurred as 98% of damage occurs in Pashtun Areas fighting the US war on terror.
Pashtuns land is being wanted, but the Pashtun People are not welcome in any Policy From the Establishments of US and UK .
Pashtuns are not allowed any rewards. While the Punjabis are. Why I may ask. Is Pashtun not citizen of Pakistan . Why this Discrimination which even Israel does not do with Palestinians even .
Over 10,000 people in NWFP have lost their lives in Just Last three years only. This is promoting hate against America specifically here in Pashtun Areas, as deaths are caused here not in Punjab ,
In Punjab only 100 deaths have occurred in 2009 and less then 300 since war on terror .
A Bi-Partisan Pakistan is emerging as Pashtuns, human rights are violated and even the UN had to ask America and what authority the death and destructions is being held in FATA and NWFP with drone attacks in Pakistan without any UN authorization.
The Pakistani Government has not publicly raised this point with US Authorities.
Only Punjab based parties , especially the Religious parties is raising hue and cry about Drones , while the NWFP based parties care less as drone strikes in FATA not in NWFP
FATA is under control of Punjabi based Establishment in Islamabad and as NWFP assembly has no role in FATA .
As NWFP people are fed up of Terrorist attack on NWFP themselves from Punjab based Lashkers Tobias , Jahngavi and Jaishes Mohammad ’s other such terrorist Originations who claim to be Tehrik Taliban Pakistan , http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsSep2009/coverstory2sep.htm
NWFP people care less if drones cause collateral damage and if somebody innocent dies in Drone attack in FATA , the Dead bodies don’t come to NWFP they come to Punjab . http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsSep2009/coverstorysep.htm.
In friend of Pakistan meeting to arrange funds for Reconstruction in NWFP like Swat , and FATA and other areas , the Punjabi Dominant Pakistani Establishment , insistences through Suadia Government threatened to boycott the meeting if money is directly given to NWFP and FATA . The Paki Establishment put all it weight beyond this and was the winner and US and UK has to bow to Money transfer through Central Governement .
This resulted in harsher condition in Kerry Lugar Bill demanding more accountability clauses and Audit requirements. As Previously 15 Billion given to Mushraff government was all un- accounted for and not spent a dime on Pashtun Areas of NWFP , FATA and Baluchsitan .
Flawed Policies of UK and US for Pashtun Areas:
While social reform should be targeted to Pashtun and their areas, the Failure of Both US and Pakistani Establishment to allow this evident. As Direct Investment was not allowed in NWFP and Balauchistan and it was stressed in Friends of Pakistan meeting that, all then money should pass through Central government where it is all channeled to Punjab and Sindh.
NWFP is just recipient of 11 % and Baluchsitan only 6 %, FATA only 2% according to population wise distribution of funds as per Pakistani constitution which is bone of contention between provinces , while it is Balauchistan the Biggest in area wise province, in Pakistan only receives so less as 6% is no even enough for roads and infrastructure
That was the reason of Pashtun and Balauch and Sindhi Insurgencies, which Pakistan Army Faced many times since its creation because of Punjabi domination for last 65 Years and Gordon Brown fell in trap laid for him by our Punjabi Establishment .
As a result, there will no development occurring in NWFP and Baluchsitan, although these are these areas that are most important, to Great Game Players and can never to be made calm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_game
Hence, America and UK is failing in Afghanistan because of same Reasons. While policy Lectures that money will be given to Afghans / Pashtuns.
This Racist and discriminatory Policy is beyond comprehension which is causing so much loss of Lives in NWFP, Afghanistan and US too , which resembles economic Blockade of Israel against Palestinians .
Remedial measure .
Establishment of Universities and schools in NWFP and FATA, and providing Industrial base at southern NWFP and FATA for creation of jobs .
The America and UK should open up universities and schools that should emphasize on good Educational levels and promote English language so that poor people should have access to education not the ISI , Saudia and CIA funded Madrasshas.
Stern Action should be taken against the Madrasshas in southern Punjab and where in Pakistan they are.
Visas and scholarships program, which should be aimed at Pashtuns, should be opened.
Cross-cultural exchanges of workers and Student and teacher Exchange program be opened up for Pashtun Areas of NWFP, Balauchistan and Afghanistan .
Media should be promoted in NWFP and FATA, by opening up Powerful FM and TV stations, which can work on Terrestrial signals and not subscribed as Cable.
Currently in Pashtun Areas there is complete Black out of media and do not understand the good work of UK and USA in making roads and promoting education in Afghanistan .
To Our Elite And Not Just The President: Was a reception for a foreign guest more important than sharing the grief of your people?
More than one hundred innocent Pakistanis killed in one day, more than two hundred in less than a month. Attacks linked to our own and America’s failed Afghan policy. Attacks supported by anti-Pakistan forces in the region and not just unknown ‘extremists’. Children left without parents, a nation terrorized. And the response of our political elite? Dinner, toasts and merrymaking in Islamabad. Was a reception for a foreign guest more important than sharing the grief of your people? A shameless foreign-backed ruling elite.
By AHMED QURAISHI
Thursday, 29 October 2009.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—One hundred and ten killed in one day. More than two hundred dead in less than a month. If this were any other country, emergency would have been declared, nation would have been mobilized, and intellectuals would have moved to question the policies of rulers who draw their strength from Washington and London and not from the people and the interests of Pakistan.
Above all, there would have been a national mourning.
But not in Pakistan. Not in a country where one ruler sold his nation in exchange for a deal offered to him by the Am-Brits and where ‘elected’ rulers consider receiving someone from Washington and London the high point of their careers.
The list of grievances is long:
1. WHERE ARE THE RAPID EMERGENCY TEAMS: Many of the dead in Peshawar probably died beneath collapsed buildings. Where are the millions of rupees that were spent after the 2005 earthquake on rapid response rescue teams?
2. MOUNRING: How many innocent Pakistanis should be killed before our ruling elite decide to declare national mourning? How many Pakistanis should die before our President and Prime Minister cut short their toasts for Mrs. Hillary Clinton and rush to Peshawar to be with their own people?
3. FIND CULPRITS: We know our own citizens are involved in this terrorism, but the small terror army in South Waziristan is not getting its money and weapons from inside Pakistan. Rehman Malik’s Interior Ministry and the military’s spy agencies have credible, strong and detailed information about how a US-controlled Afghanistan is being used for anti-Pakistan activities. BLA and TTP terrorists have a safe haven there. Terrorist Abdullah Mehsud was killed in 2007 slipping back from Afghanistan through Balochistan [and not the tribal belt] after meeting his backers there. We know why the Chinese were targeted here. We have enough evidence of the condemnable role played by India and its puppets in Kabul, and of the suspicious role of at least the US intelligence if not the US military and the Obama administration. And yet our government and the ruling elite of Pakistan are shy of mentioning this publicly. How many Pakistanis should die before they move? How many of our children must be orphaned before you speak up? You are being forced to ditch Kashmir and submit without questions to whatever Washington wants to do in Afghanistan. Why can’t you take a stand? What are you afraid of? That your assets in American and British banks will be seized?
4. SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES: US diplomats camouflaged as Afghan Taliban carrying weapons and pictures of sensitive buildings have been arrested, not once but many times. US ambassador Anne Patterson has been using her personal rapport with President Zardari and the Interior Minister to allow US security firms into Pakistan, mostly to repeat the same mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan. Pakistanis don’t want any of this. Pakistanis don’t agree with the American view that Pakistan is a war theater following Iraq and Afghanistan, and we will resist this. ‘Extremism’ is not the only explanation for the terrorist army in South Waziristan. America’s role in Afghanistan is also a big reason for the regional mess.
I make these grievances, and so do most Pakistanis, knowing that we are seeing a shift in this country. Patriotism and PakNationalism is on the ascent here. Take the example of one Pakistani politician who received a call from the US embassy last week. Senator Tariq Azim was asked to visit the US Embassy building in the secured diplomatic enclave because a former State Department analyst-turned-academic, Mr. Daniel Markey, wanted to see him.
Senator Azim accepted the request for the meeting but politely declined to come to the embassy. He said if Mr. Markey wants to see him he should come to the senator’s office. Sen. Azim’s action was not about being antagonistic to Washington. He is a proponent of strong ties with America but he wanted to make a statement on US meddling in Pakistani politics, where Washington’s diplomacy with Pakistan shifted over the past two years from the Pakistan Foreign Office to direct contacts and private dealings with political parties.
Show some pride and compassion and share the grief of your people before it’s too late.
PESHAWAR: A car bomb tore through a packed market in Peshawar on Wednesday, killing 95 people and trapping casualties under pulverised shops, in one of Pakistan’s deadliest attacks.
The explosion detonated in a crowded street in the Meena Bazaar of Peshawar, one of the most congested parts of the volatile northwest city, sparking a huge blaze and ending in carnage routine shopping trips for scores of people.
The attack underscored the scale of the militant threat in Pakistan just hours after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad for three days of talks with political and military leaders.
‘There was a huge blast. There was smoke and dust everywhere. I saw people dying and screaming on the road,’ witness Mohammad Siddique told AFP.
Angry flames leapt out of burning wreckage and smoke billowed in the air as a building collapsed into dust and rubble. Police evacuated panicked residents from the smouldering wreckage and firemen hosed down the flames.
‘It was a car bomb. Some people are still trapped in a building. We are trying to rescue them,’ bomb disposal official Shafqat Malik told reporters.
‘We have received 86 dead bodies, 213 people were injured, we are facing a shortage of blood,’ Doctor Hamid Afridi, head of the Peshawar’s main Lady Reading Hospital told AFP as staff declared an emergency.
A hospital official outside the casualty wing made a public announcement, appealing on people to donate blood as doctors spoke of harrowing scenes.
‘There are body parts. There are people. There are burnt people. There are dead bodies. There are wounded, I’m not in a position to count. But my estimate is that the death toll may rise to 70,’ said Doctor Muslim Khan.
Rescue workers and government officials had warned that casualties were trapped under collapsed shops at the bomb site, where a large blaze, a toppled building and the narrow streets hampered the relief effort.
‘I am counting the dead bodies, 86 are confirmed dead, the injured are more than 200, there are children and women among the dead,’ Mohammad Gul, a police official at the hospital, told AFP.
The area was one of the most congested parts of Peshawar and full of women’s clothing shops and general market stalls popular in the city of 2.5 million.
‘A building structure has collapsed… People are trapped in the fire and buildings. This is the most congested area of the city,’ Sahibzada Mohammad Anees, a senior local administrative official, told a private TV channel.
Peshawar, a teeming metropolis, is a gateway to Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt, where the military is pressing a major offensive against Pakistani Taliban militants blamed for some of the worst of the recent carnage.
Tensions have soared across Pakistan following a spike in violence blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked extremists in which more than 240 people have died this month.
Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.
NWFP and Balauchistan has been abandoned by Pakistan establishment and they don’t care about our plight and we are left at Mercy of Terrorists to create horrific news items with Swelling Casualties which have reached 10,000 from last three years and almost 700 Terrorists incidents occurring last three years here . 200 have so far occurred in 2009 uptil now. One Terrorism incident every 40 hours in NWFP.
Slaughter of Women and Children in Blast
In Chock Yadgar Area of Peshawar , a Bomb Blast occurred yesterday on 28th October 2009 . Majority of Dead were just women and children, innocents and neglected Peshawar Citizens as it was shopping center not some combat unit . About 80-100 People died and 200 Got Injured according to , www. dawnnews.tv , mostly Women and children and Six Shopping Plazas Collapsed too as construction Material was made of Wood and was hundred of years old . The Clothes shops were on Fire and many People were burned . clearly the hate and terrorism are working together .
According to www.khybernews.tv a Peshawar based Cable TV, the Car used for bombing carried 150 Kg of Explosive in a Green Toyota corolla which was parked nearby and occupant probably walked away . According to rumors were women but not confirmed.
The Army which comes, to rescue of rest of Pakistan, when Floods occurs and when elections are held it goes to Polling stations, and when Census is held it counts the people. But it will not protect the people of NWFP and Peshawar .
May I ask is that amount of death and destruction which is more then Afghanistan , Kashmir put together occurring for last 3 years in NWFP. Is that not emergency? , Government of Pakistan does not think so. When so much death and destruction has occurred and Army is ding nothing to prevent it .
Media Bias to NWFP
Even The media is biased when something occurs in Punjab , they show interviews of victims and their kith and Kins and even their Victims Neighbors are not even spared, they are interviewed too. The whole show goes for one to two weeks .
When something occurs in NWFP they event does not even last 24 hours coverage. This shows the biases and apathy. Even a Bombing happening in Peshawar just a few hours away was not shown at all by cameras. DI-Khan areas and Kohat areas of NWFP are completely blacked out from media.
The Intelligence agencies also turns a blind eye to NWFP and no Prior, warnings of attacks are deliberatively, not given why. While the Prior reports of Punjab Incidences to occur are showed on Media.
If it is Intelligence failure then why not profess it honestly. Nevertheless, why the Bias and Neglect to NWFP?
When a Bomb Blast occurred in a wedding, in Outskirts of Peshawar in late hours just 12 hours before it was not, given space on Pakistani Cable TV two dozen TV Channels and Pakistani failed to grieve on it as the cameras looked the other way and useless discussion on Nawaz Shareef PML-N and Zardari meeting was discussed and highlighted.
Lack of Concrete measures to stop Terrorism?
Why this is war on Pashtuns only, why the southern Punjab where more then 2000 Madrassahs associated with Banned terrorist organization occur , and Terrorists are bred and Trained there as alleged by Article in news line at Southern Punjab Training grounds , http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsSep2009/coverstorysep.htm
There are no bomb Blast and incidence not even a single one at southern Punjab even at Dera Ghazi khan just a stone throw away from Waziristan , where Baitullah and Hakim Ullahs and Wali Ullah of Waziristan are .
They have been trained at Banned Religious Outfits Madrassahs southern Punjab of Bhakkar , Bahawalpur , Multan and Faislabad of LET ( Lashkar Toiba ) and LJ ( Lashkar Jhangavi ) and JM ( Jaish Mohammad )
Why the Theater is NWFP? Where every 40 hours , a Terrorism Incident occurs. With Such scary statistics there are no visible actions by Government of Pakistan to curb it and want to keep Madrasshas and Terrorist intact in Southern Punjab .
The Punjabi Establishment , USA and China wants the land of Pashtun in NWFP and Afghanistan where the Great Games Wars are being Played to grab it rich Oil Resources , as described in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_game
Fata is Safer:
It may be noted while only 70 Incidents occurred in FATA as compared to 200 in NWFP . FATA incidents which includes the Frequent drone attacks and military actions included as well , is safer then NWFP . FATA interestingly is safer to live as compared to NWFP . In FATA 80 % of these Terrorism incidents occurring is because of Military action not some terrorists doing it . While in NWFP all the Collateral damage and killing are occurring because of Genuine Terrorists incidents.
War on Pashtuns:
Is this war on NWFP and Educated pashtuns while protecting FATA and Southern Punjab the home base of Terrorists? , The collateral Damage in NWFP is all right to them as long as Punjabi the home of Power base of Pakistan is safe . Clearly Partisan ship is demonstrated while NWFP and Balauchistan are spared of any concrete measures.
Distinction between Southern Punjab and Pashtun Jihadis
According to Ayesha Siddiqua a News analyst, in her article in News line at , the Two Faces of jihad at News line a reputable magazine says that In Article the two Faces of Jihadis. At http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsSep2009/coverstory2sep.htm
It is Southern Punjab Jihadis who Provide Suicide Bombers attackers manpower and the Car Bomber attackers are provided from Southern Punjab too as they are more educated then FATA Jihadis as elaborated by Ayesha Siddiqua and easy to perform these Tasks .
While the head chopping incidents of NWFP Citizens is Hall Mark of Uzbeks and Tajiks, Clearly Tajiks who were slave of Pashtuns Kings were released and freed in 1930 by Last king of Afghanistan Amir Abdur Rehman Khan have basic hatred against Pashtuns of NWFP and Afghanistan too for best Subjugation.
A clear Forensic distinction , as it is understandable as Punjab as Pashtun Jihadis . Hatred in Heart of Punjabis is clear who were ruled by Pashtun too form last 2000 Years historically , till reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab in 1801. The hero of Punjabis .
The rule was given rule to him by King Nadir Shah a Pashtun King of Af-pak region , after he left the rule of Punjab to his governor Ranjeet Singh in 1801. As wanted to leave for Afghanistan to Quash Insurgency led by Uzbeks and Tajiks in the Northern, Afghanistan .
Ranjeet Singh Quickly Rebelled and took over rule of Punjab forgetting Gratitude of Pashtuns. He even attacked kabul too and Failed and Brutally ruled Peshawar for few years with his general Hari Singh who killed many Peshawarites.
Is some form Punjabi , Tajik and Uzbek and Pashtun jealousy at work?
Same kind of jealousy and hate is present even Today and is Part of This war of Terrorism. Southern Punjabis they don’t care about secular views of NWFP or its Citizen as Brother or Muslims. This kind of propagated by Intelligence agencies and their reporters in newspapers too.
That Explains the Attacks on Left winger ANP Awami National Party , a secular party representing Pashtun Nationalism is attacked and 101 of its workers have died since Feb 2008 elections in NWFP. . While Parties of Punjab the PML-N ( Nawaz Shareef ) PML-Q ( Chaudhry Shujhat party and Gen Mushraff political Wing ) and JUI ( Jammat Ullema the Muslim Priests ) and JI ( Jammat Islami ) , have never been attacked and form right Wing parties .
They are able to Hold political rallies in NWFP and even DI Khan and Bannu region right next to Waziristan area without any incident and Law and Order situation. Where they spew hate against America and cash on it and cause Potential Terrorist to be Motivated against the Secular parties and Killing of innocent citizen who support them . Their support is strongest in Punjab and has waned in NWFP only remaining in FATA.
Clearly, there is Political Angle to all this terrorism and Pakistan Punjabi Establishment is Involved in it and Involvement of Punjabi Establishment is found . Same is case in Balauchistan where Writ over province is in Shreds and it kept by these Rightist parties Influence through fake Ballots handy work of ISI.
Army’s Apathy to Lives of NWFP Citizens
It is beyond logic why there are no check Post of the Army on the roads of Peshawar leading from FATA to Peshawar why there are no patrolling on streets of Peshawar . Maybe they are scared to do that.
Even the Tiny Regimental Units of Army, has scanners in Peshawar and while the Poor NWFP Policemen on streets and roads do not have one. How criminal of Government of Pakistan. They are taking us for granted and Army men are sitting protected and Hiding. Tell me how many attacked have occurred in Army Installations in last one decade, none.
Now why is Army not helping the Citizens of Peshawar, why cant chivalric Army men save us here , maybe they are busy Helping American masters in their Quest for Dollars and Kerry Lugar Bills and providing their service to Fight the terrorists.
Central Government lack of Providing helping hand rather Helping Anarchy
Even after a complete decade passed after 9/11, Rehman Malik just announced to raise Frontier constabulary force of 50 Platoons, which will take a year to come on Duty. How shameful. They can spend 35 Billion on Lahore By –Pass but not spend a billion on Police and FC in NWFP. Clearly, Money is not Trickling down here.
May I ask the Interior Minister what about 50 Platoon of Frontier Constabulary, already borrowed and performing duty in Punjab and Islamabad ? Send them back to NWFP ASAP .
Isn’t NWFP important for you, that we are insulted and neglected. The life of Punjabis is more important then an NWFP citizen is not it.
The Army should declare emergency in NWFP immediately to combat this, and come to Action, otherwise we have lost faith in it and I don’t accept Army can win the Waziristan war at all. It has Lost Already in our hearts.
As a spokesman of Pakistan army on Saturday claimed to have recaptured Kotkai, the birthplace and stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, in the South Waziristan tribal area, the displaced civilians from that area talking to a BBC Urdu reporter described their displacement as ´an opportunity to get out of the central prison.´ David Rohde, a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Logar, Afghanistan, and held in Waziristan for 7 months, had earlier described this ´central prison´ as ´the fundamentalist state that existed in Afghanistan before the 2001 American-led invasion. The loss of thousands of Afghan, Pakistani and American lives and billions in American aid had merely moved it a few miles east.´ The local people blame Pakistan for turning this rigid mountainous and strictly tribal area into a ´fundamentalist state´ for Al Qaeda and Taliban and a ´central prison´ for the local people. A teacher, who fled from Waziristan and interviewed by BBC Urdu in Dera Ismail Khan, said: ´I think Pakistan could not properly tell the Taliban what they were created for. Pakistan created them to fight against the Americans in Afghanistan, not Pakistan.´
Why did the militants turn against their mentors is clear: once they were powerful and unified, they wanted to establish their own writ. More importantly, several militant groups of Punjabi origin who were trained and brainwashed to fight in Kashmir could not tolerate the humiliation when their organization was dissolved and they were banned by the Pakistani state in a bid to improve relations with India. Later on, these groups shifted their activities to Waziristan and other tribal areas, and besides training and supporting the Afghan insurgents, encouraged the Pakistani Taliban to revolt against the state and the government. They did, and were able to challenge and shake the foundations of the Pakistani state.
To prove its ability of establishing its writ and showing the world that it is committed in the war against terror, the government of Pakistan launched several military operations against the militants who were hostile to Pakistan. Yet, elements inside the army and the ISI remained loyal to them. They reportedly continued to train and finance the Taliban and other extremist groups in the region. In December 2008, a Pakistani army officer told media that all the militant groups, including Baitullah Mehsud and Mulla Fazlullah, were ´patriot Pakistanis.´ In response, some militant leaders announced that they will send suicide bombers to target Indian cities. This, political analysts think, resulted into Pakistan forcing the international community to interfere and stop India from attacking Pakistan. India was widely supposed to be preparing for launching an attack on Pakistan, or at least to target terrorists inside Pakistan, after the November 27 attacks that killed nearly 200 people, including a high number of foreigners, and terrorized the whole nuclear-armed, largest South Asian country.
Just few days before the Waziristan operation, on Oct. 13, the new Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, in an interview with a British newspaper, expressed the same views. He said that, ´he would send his soldiers to the Indian border to fight once Pakistan had been turned into an Islamic state.´ This is what the Pakistan army would love, but not the civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari. Hence, the army still seems to be sympathetic to the terrorists in Waziristan. ´There is no government presence in South Waziristan. [The government] should first come to the area and identify who are terrorists and who are not. After that, it should make a plan and then launch operations. In the current military operation, most of the damage is inflicted on innocent civilians,´ said another person from the South Waziristan interviewed by BBC Urdu. Yet, the Pakistan army´s claims of successes against terrorists are much different: it has claimed to have killed more than 100 terrorists so far. But reporters are not allowed in the area, so there is no independent source to verify this information.
As a result, people think that, the ongoing Waziristan operation, though important, is not going to be decisive against the terrorist networks. However, it may change policies, or even the political situation, in Islamabad. Pakistani army and intelligence services are already ´furious at the observations made on Pakistan´s security establishment in the Kerry-Lugar bill´ that provides $ 7.5 million in aid to Pakistan for 5 years. The Bill was initially welcomed by the political leadership, but the army forced President Zardari to ask the US to change the ´insulting language´ about the army and the ISI. The Taliban leader´s offer to the army of ´stop attacking us and we will stop attacking you´ and the increasing militant attacks on military targets which have put the whole country into an emergency state may again bring both the forces to a tacit agreement which will not be acceptable to the political leadership and the United States. The outcome will be an aggravation in tension between the government and the army that, as a result, may turn things upside down in Islamabad. The recent reports of differences between the Pakistan Peoples Party´s leadership and the army, the rumors of a military coup in Pakistan, and the statement by Indian officials of being ready to fight against the Taliban strongly support this argument.
[The highly touted system for executing selected individuals is really no different from any other terror bomb. The fact that American operators use these drones to detonate Hellfire missiles in the middle of mosques, or funerals, or in homes, or in crowded vehicles shows a total lack of concern for killing dozens of innocent people who happen to be friends, relatives, or complete strangers to these targeted “miscreants.” Killing a dozen or more for the sake of killing one man is no different than throwing a large pipe-bomb into a crowded theater or church. The use of large bombs to kill one man instead of acting responsibly within the accepted legal norms, doesn’t demonstrate American technological prowess, it demonstrates cowardice. America has adopted nearly all of Israel’s terror tactics in fighting this war, targeted assassination by drone happens to be one of the worst of them.
But we made even bigger mistakes, we embraced the entire racist Zionist philosophy of oppression that projects the opposition as less than human, mere livestock (goyim). Seeing those potential victims as cattle or vermin justifies using technological overkill to prevent risking the lives of any soldiers while exterminating them. The notion that American or Israeli troops’ lives are more valuable than the lives of the innocent people they kill is an ugly racist policy. It must be easier for the little geeks in military uniforms playing with their joysticks in Nevada to murder dozens of Pakistanis if they dehumanize their targets, as cattle, or Hajis, or towelheads.
Pakistanis and Palestinians are humans beings, no different from the racist American and Israeli supremacists who plot their deaths to wage a fake war of terror. Think of the outrage that would be vented across this country if the Taliban or the Iraqis had nearly invisible little robot planes and they were lobbing bombs into military barracks, or into our churches.]
(AFP) – 10 hours ago
UNITED NATIONS — US drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan could be breaking international laws against summary executions, the UN’s top investigator of such crimes said.
“The problem with the United States is that it is making an increased use of drones/Predators (which are) particularly prominently used now in relation to Pakistan and Afghanistan,” UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Philip Alston told a press conference.
“My concern is that drones/Predators are being operated in a framework which may well violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” he said.
US strikes with remote-controlled aircraft against Al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan have often resulted in civilian deaths and drawn bitter criticism from local populations.
“The onus is really on the United States government to reveal more about the ways in which it makes sure that arbitrary extrajudicial executions aren’t in fact being carried out through the use of these weapons,” he added.
Alston said he presented a report on the matter to the UN General Assembly.
He urged the United States to be more forthright about how and when it uses drone aircraft, something about which the US Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) usually keep silent.
“We need the United States to be more up front and say, ‘OK, we’re willing to discuss some aspects of this program,’ otherwise you have the really problematic bottom line that the CIA is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws,” Alston said.
Since August 2008, around 70 strikes by unmanned aircraft have killed close to 600 people in northwestern Pakistan.
“I would like to know the legal basis upon which the United States is operating, in other words… who is running the program, what accountability mechanisms are in place in relation to that,” Alston said.
“Secondly, what precautions the United States is taking to ensure that these weapons are used strictly for purposes consistent with international humanitarian law.
“Third, what sort of review mechanism is there to evaluate when these weapons have been used? Those are the issues I’d like to see addressed,” the UN official said.
Lahore, Oct 28 (PTI) A key terrorist leader linked to the recent attack on Pakistan army’s fortified General Headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi has been arrested, police claimed today.
Qari Ishtiaq, described as a central commander of the Punjabi Taliban network, was arrested a few days ago in Bahawalpur district of southern Punjab.
This region is considered a stronghold of the Punjabi Taliban, which mainly comprises operatives of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Police seized 400 kg of explosives, 11 grenades, four assault rifles, a rocket launcher and scores of bullets from his possession.
Seven accomplices of Ishtiq were subsequently arrested in Sargodha, Gujranwala and Mailsi, police said.
[Criminal gangs continue to wage war upon the innocent citizens of Peshawar in the name of their counterfeit religion. These men are monsters who work for foreign governments, while the Army looks the other way, doing nothing that will endanger the flowing pay-offs, that somehow make it all acceptable.]
Dozens killed by terrorist strike in Peshawar coinciding with visit to Islamabad by US secretary of state
- Declan Walsh in Islamabad
A bombing in the Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed dozens of people, many of them women and children, as the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, arrived for a three-day visit.
The explosion ripped through a crowded bazaar in the old city, filling the narrow streets with burning debris and trapping dozens of people under twisted wreckage and charred roof beams.
Iftikhar Hussain, a spokesman for the provincial government, said 80 people had been killed and 200 injured in the blast.
According to Pakistani television local hospitals have declared an emergency and are appealing for blood.
A senior government official in the city, Azam Khan, told Reuters. “It was a car bomb. The car was parked outside a market frequented mostly by women,” he said.
Live television coverage showed rescuers scrambling to pull from the rubble survivors with shredded clothes, many crying for help. A three-story building collapsed into a narrow street, kicking up a large cloud of brown smoke and debris.
Men in white prayer caps ferried the dead and injured on makeshift stretchers. Women scrambled to safely through alleyways filled with smoke. Businesses across the city closed immediately.
Television stations, quoting hospital officials, said more than 50 people had been killed and more than 100 injured, with the death toll expected to rise.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the most likely culprits were Taliban militants resisting a giant army operation against their South Waziristan stronghold.
Over the past three weeks more than 250 people have been killed in a series of bombings, gun attacks and targeted assassinations in Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore. The army says another 200 people, mostly militants, have been killed in heavy fighting in the mountains of South Waziristan.
The Peshawar bomb went off as Clinton arrived in Islamabad, a two-hour drive away. She praised Pakistan for leading the fight against extremists. “I give the government and military high marks for taking them on,” she said. “That wasn’t what they were doing before.”
She admitted relations between the two countries had developed a lot of “scar tissue” and promised to move away from a primarily security-related agenda. “We also recognise that it’s imperative that we broaden our engagement with Pakistan.”
American efforts to aid Pakistan have been fraught with controversy. This month the Pakistani military raised vocal objections to a $7.5bn (£4.6bn) package that it described as a tool of interference in the country’s affairs.
|“The Action Plan To Combat (Islamic) Reactionaryism”, which was seized in the Office of Serdar Öztürk, one of the defendants under arrest as part of the Ergenekon probe, comprises 300 pages. The action plan incorporating strategic assessments contains suicides, bombing actions and attacks, which would lead to repercussions in the public.
It has been found out that the strategic assessments uncovered on Öztürk’s computer are an updated text for April 2009, and that the plan containing assessments for 2008 and 2009 was kept current through updating at certain intervals every year.
A 4 page part of the document, which has been allegedly prepared by Senior Colonel Dursun Çiçek working in Support Section Directorate No 3 of the Operations Department in the Office of the Chief of General Staff, was published in the daily, Taraf, on June 12, 2009.
Eric S. Margolis
|According to Eric Margolis from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, “An intensifying struggle is under way between the two camps. On the surface, it’s “secularism” versus “Islamic government.” But that’s just shorthand for the fierce rivalry between the military-industrial-security complex and Erdogan’s supporters, many of whom are recent immigrants to the big cities from rural areas, where Islam remains vital in spite of eight decades of government efforts to stamp it out or tightly control it.”|
Turkey’s Violent Storms-Courtesy of Mother Nature, Ergenekon Trial
The name “Ergenekon” may not be familiar to non-Turks, but this murky affair has riveted Turkey’s 70 million people.
Thirty-three members of a neo-fascist group called Ergenekon have been on trial, accused of murder, terrorism, and trying to overthrow the elected government. The trial was temporarily suspended after the courthouse was flooded out.
The trial has been laying bare the workings of the “deep state,” a powerful cabal of retired military officers, security forces, gangsters, government officials, judges, and business oligarchs that has long been the real power in this complex nation.
Turkey’s military vigorously denies any links to the Ergenekon.
The “deep state” advocates extreme Turkish nationalism and revived Pan-Turkism, or Turanism, the unification of all Turkic peoples from Turkey to the Great Wall of China. Its extreme right-wing members are bitterly anti-Islamic, and violently oppose any admission of guilt for the mass killing during World War I of many of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians. Most Turks insist the killings occurred in the chaos of war and insurrection. Armenians insist it was the 20th century’s first genocide.
Turkey’s hard right also opposes improving relations with neighbors Armenia and Greece, or making any more concessions to Turkey’s sizeable Kurdish minority.
Ergenekon’s plotters stand accused of plans to assassinate officials of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a democratic, modernizing movement advocating Islamic principles of fairer wealth distribution and social welfare. While AKP is generally viewed as a moderate, centrist party, Turkey’s secularists, without any serious evidence, claim it is the spearhead of a radical Islamic movement. The real issue is as much about the secularist right to protect its long-enjoyed economic and social privileges as it is religion.
The plotters reportedly hired hit men to kill leading liberal intellectuals, including acclaimed writer Orhan Pamuk, and may have murdered a prominent Armenian-Turkish journalist and three Christians. They also oppose Turkey’s entry into the EU as a threat to “Turkishness.”
What makes this case particularly interesting is that Ergenekon may well be linked to Gladio, a secret, far right underground group created in the 1950s by the U.S. and NATO during the Cold War as “stay behind” guerrillas to resist Soviet invasion or Communist takeovers. Gladio had a network of agents and caches of arms across Europe with secret links to NATO intelligence services.
Gladio staged numerous bombing attacks and assassinations during the 1970s and ’80s in a effort to promote far-right coups in Italy, Belgium and Turkey, where it remains active.
A cell was even recently uncovered in Switzerland. In Italy, Gladio members played a key role in the P2 Masonic Lodge intrigue and the Vatican’s Banco Ambrosiano scandal that led to the murder of banker Roberto Calvi.
The Ergenekon plot is one facet of the intense struggle between Erdogan’s Islamist-lite reformists and Turkey’s 510,000-man armed forces which sees itself as defender of the anti-religious, Westernized secular state created in the 1930s by Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey.
Turkey’s generals are also allied to the deeply entrenched secularist oligarchy of business barons, judges, university rectors, media groups, and the security services that has made Ataturk’s memory and anti-religious values into a state philosophy.
Turkey’s right-wing generals have overthrown three governments and ousted a fourth. The Turkish military establishment is traditionally close to the U.S. and Israel, with whom it’s had extensive military, arms and intelligence dealings.
Until Prime Minister Erdogan’s election, the military was Turkey’s real government behind a thin façade of squabbling elected politicians, a fact lost on Western observers who used to urge Turkey’s “democratic” political model on the Muslim world.
An intensifying struggle is under way between the two camps. On the surface, it’s “secularism” versus “Islamic government.” But that’s just shorthand for the fierce rivalry between the military-industrial-security complex and Erdogan’s supporters, many of whom are recent immigrants to the big cities from rural areas, where Islam remains vital in spite of eight decades of government efforts to stamp it out or tightly control it.
Right-wing forces recently got allies in the Appeals Court to lay spurious corruption charges against Turkey’s respected president, Abdullah Gul. The Erdogan government struck back by levying a $2.5 billion tax fine on the powerful Dogan media conglomerate that has been a fierce critic and enemy of the prime minister. Both foolish acts injure Turkey’s image as a modern democracy.
Erdogan has been Turkey’s best, most popular prime minister. He has enacted important political, social, legal and economic reforms, and has drawn Turks closer to Europe’s laws and values. He stabilized Turkey’s formerly wild finances and brought a spirit of real democracy to Turkey. The EU keeps warning Turkey’s growling generals to keep out of politics.
After 50 years of trying, Turkey still can’t get into Europe. Europe clearly wants an obedient Turkey to protect its eastern flank, but not an equal partner and certainly not a new member, even though Turkey is as qualified for the EU as Bulgaria or Romania.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s Nicholas Sarkozy, both leaders of Europe’s anti-Muslim right, keep saying no to the Turks. The EU wants no more farmers-and productive, lower cost ones at that-and no more Muslims.
On November 22, 1990, the European Parliament passed a resolution on Operation Gladio. It states that these calendestine organizations have existed for 40 years and have escaped all democratic controls. The document underlines the danger that “such clandestine network may have interfered illegally in the internal political affairs of Member States or may still do so.”
European Parliament then calls the governments of the member States to take the necessary measures, “if necessary by establishing parliamentary committees of inquiry”, and the judiciaries to “clarify any action they may have taken to destabilize the democratic structure of the Member States”.
On November 22, 1990, the European Parliament passed a resolution on Operation Gladio.
Joint resolution replacing B3-2021, 2058, 2068, 2078 and 2087/90
A. having regard to the revelation by several European governments of the existence for 40 years of a clandestine parallel intelligence and armed operations organization in several Member States of the Community,
B. whereas for over 40 years this organization has escaped all democratic controls and has been run by the secret services of the states concerned in collaboration with NATO,
C. fearing the danger that such clandestine network may have interfered illegally in the internal political affairs of Member States or may still do so,
D. whereas in certain Member States military secret services (or uncontrolled branches thereof) were involved in serious cases of terrorism and crime as evidenced by, various judicial inquiries,
E. whereas these organizations operated and continue to operate completely outside the law since they are not subject to any parliamentary control and frequently those holding the highest government and constitutional posts are kept in the dark as to these matters,
F. whereas the various ‘Gladio’ organizations have at their disposal independent arsenals and military ressources which give them an unknown strike potential, thereby jeopardizing the democratic structures of the countries in which they are operating or have been operating,
G. greatly concerned at the existence of decision-making and operational bodies which are not subject to any form of democratic control and are of a completely clandestine nature at a time when greater Community cooperation in the field of security is a constant subject of discussion,
1. Condemns the clandestine creation of manipulative and operational networks and Calls for a full investigation into the nature, structure, aims and all other aspects of these clandestine organizations or any splinter groups, their use for illegal interference in the internal political affairs of the countries concerned, the problem of terrorism in Europe and the possible collusion of the secret services of Member States or third countries;
2. Protests vigorously at the assumption by certain US military personnel at SHAPE and in NATO of the right to encourage the establishment in Europe of a clandestine intelligence and operation network;
3. Calls on the governments of the Member States to dismantle all clandestine military and paramilitary networks;
4. Calls on the judiciaries of the countries in which the presence of such military organizations has been ascertained to elucidate fully their composition and modus operandi and to clarify any action they may have taken to destabilize the democratic structure of the Member States;
5. Requests all the Member States to take the necessary measures, if necessary by establishing parliamentary committees of inquiry, to draw up a complete list of organizations active in this field, and at the same time to monitor their links with the respective state intelligence services and their links, if any, with terrorist action groups and/or other illegal practices;
6. Calls on the Council of Ministers to provide full information on the activities of these secret intelligence and operational services;
7. Calls on its competent committee to consider holding a hearing in order to clarify the role and impact of the ‘Gladio’ organization and any similar bodies;
8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Secretary-General of NATO, the governments of the Member States and the United States Government.”
PESHAWAR: Three persons have been killed and more then 10 wounded in blast occurred in Meena Bazar near chowk Yadgar in Peshawar. Police have confirmed the causalities.
The fire has been erupted in nearby shops after the blast as fire tenders are trying to douse the fire. Thick smoke has been seen at the site of the blast. The injured have been shifted to Lady Reading Hospital.
The blast shattered windowpanes of nearby buildings and created panic among the people. The nature of the blast is yet to be identified.
Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.
A Total , Paranoia and State of Confusion occurs in Pakistan and Especially Punjab regarding Security of Citizens . According to Statistics, I collected from Terrorism Portal only 16 Incidents of Terrorism have occurred in Punjab in whole 2009 year. In the same period, 200 incidents have occurred in NWFP.
Clearly, Target is NWFP not Punjab . While the Overactive CM of Punjab has given a very Paranoid 8 point measure for Protection of Schools which has raised the Fees of each Student to 500 to 1000 Rupees gleefully to their advantage.
The raise in price does not guarantee any Security at all. The Establishment is Making Forts out of schools while it is not targeting the Terrorists at its Place of origin where they are Trained and breed and born, Like Southern Punjab and FATA.
Even media hushes up Headlines to Banned Religious Outfits and not their real Identities like Sipah Sahaba , Lashker Taiba , and jaish Mohammad etc. Clearly, The GHQ attacker belonged to these outfits. Ostrich Like closing eyes is state policy.
Furthermore, Security in NWFP Citizens is Abandoned Deliberately, by Establishment as if we are Not Pakistanis at Mercy of Terrorists as if there is nothing can be done here. Terrorist from Punjab , Afghanistan , Arabia and CIS countries freely settle eat, and drink here and establishment turns a Blind Eye as an Official policy.
Even the Mud huts are demolished in Punjab and islamabad of these refugees and are sent to NWFP to cause Mayhaym here and save Punjab and do it in NWFP is allright . All activities are Allowed according to State Policy . Even the Inteligence agencies give reports about Terrorist attacking punjab is given on media , the ones occuring in NWFP is not given at all , another state policy .
The Frontier constabulary meant to Police NWFP and FR -regions are all situated in Islamabad and Punjab . Vacuum areas are created Deliberatively in Areas called FR –region although they are Part of NWFP Cities like Peshawar , DI Khan , Tank , Bannu and Kohat are all without any State Governance apparatus which are occupied by Drug Dealers , Afghan and CIS Citizens and Terrorists with facilities provide to them openely like Mobile phones Sims and basic Amenities like gas and Electricity as per State Hidden policy even the Sim used in Exploding the Car on Motorway was bought easily and activated with False Identitly as state Provides them with This facility and we are given Cock and bull story that mobile companies dont comply and will leave investment here .
It is interesting that , In FATA there is Frontier Corps ( Army ) , FC ( Constabulary ) , and Political agent and Army itself . In Fr- regions, there is nothing all Deliberate. Same is case of Southern Punjab where the Terror Madrassahs work under Government protection.
I don’t, Understand NWFP which is Highly targeted (200 Incidents) , is neglected Punjab is raising hue and cry in very high Pitched manner which had only 16 Incidents .
Thanking you in Anticipation from ,
Email : Khurrumuk@gmail.com
[Munāfiq (n., in Arabic: منافق, plural munāfiqūn) is an Islamic Arabic term used to describe a religious hypocrite, who outwardly practices Islam, while inwardly concealing his disbelief (kufr), perhaps even unknowingly.
The Qur’an has hundreds of ayāt (verses) discussing munāfiqūn, referring to them as more dangerous to Muslims than the worst non-Muslim enemies of Islam.]
Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.
Jammat Islami being part of MMA along with other Munafiq Jammat called JUI, who got a Lot of Plots from GHQ, has just concluded a referendum against Kerry Lugar Bill, while it fails to find a genuine Issue of Pakistan to address like Terrorism and controlling their Rogue Madrasshas. While its Previous members like Dr Usman, who led the raid on GHQ was a previous Jammat islami member too, with Links to Mansoora.
It has cunningly held the Referendum in Punjab where its Power base is situated and not in NWFP and FATA. Where it has lost it support with Pashtun people. Hence the referendum cannot be termed as accurate and Voice of people of Pakistan. It can only be known, as Voice of People of Punjab and just one city Karachi.
The people of Punjab think differently than NWFP people, as people in NWFP are Pro-Drone and want the Terrorists in FATA clearly eliminated. It is not Kerry Lugar Bill, which is forming this opinion.
It is just we are fed up with Bearded Terrorists and their Jammats, Lashkers and Jaishes all by products of Jammat islami and JUI who worked for America and Israel in the Past and maybe now too, as they form Pressure groups to ruling coalition, when they do something that is not liked by America.
Jammat and JUI is corrupt to core and no one has Courage to take up the Cases of Land allotments from GHQ, Welfare Directorate to JUI and Jammat members . Can somebody do the Audit Finances of these Jammats and the Madrasshas?
While the Wafaq-ul- Madaras , is in Private sector and is Government within government and it Grabs lands of Government and its Departments at will with No Police and judiciary Challenging them as they are Gods men and beyond Accountability . Maybe the Allah Command of Cutting one hand and One leg for corruption is not implementable in them , which is part of their Islamic belief too as they are above Allah,s law too.
Where they are getting their money from, maybe the Secular parties don’t want to know because they are corrupt to boot themselves. They want to scratch their backs while they scratch theirs too.
A Katyusha-type rocket fired from al-Jamal valley which is located between the villages of Houla and Mays al-Jabal in southern Lebanon hit northern Israel on Tuesday night without causing any casualties. Israel has retaliated by shelling the launching point.
The rocket landed in an open ground east of the northern Israeli settlement of Kiryat Shmona and started a fire, which did not cause any damage, the Israeli police said.
Israeli northern military command held an immediate meeting to discuss the incident and retaliation options. The Lebanese government was held responsible.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Army and UNIFIL rushed to the scene and encircled the incident’s zone as their patrols roamed the area.
Reports mentioned that the Israeli jetfighters were roaming densely the sky of the South.
This was the fourth rocket attack this year from Lebanon towards Israel and comes as cross-border tensions have been increasing.
On September 11, at least two rockets fired from the southern village of Al-Qlaileh slammed into Israel without causing casualties but triggering retaliatory artillery fire.
A group linked to Al-Qaida claimed responsibility.
In February, Israeli artillery bombarded Al-Qlaileh in response to a rocket attack. There were no casualties in Lebanon, while a few Israelis were lightly wounded.
In January, during Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, four rockets fired from Lebanon hit northern Israel, wounding two women.
[America’s “Elite” war planners seem determined to contaminate every square inch of this planet with so-called “safe DU.” After Obama gets to let-off a few nukes global radiation levels will climb even higher. Is that the plan? Do they think that raising planetary radiation levels will cause some evolutionary changes, beneficial or otherwise? If they have knowledge that tells them that mankind must mutate for some reason, where did that knowledge come from?]
:: Article nr. 59407 sent on 27-oct-2009 08:32 ECT
Meron Rapoport in Jerusalem
|Map of Greater Israel
The Guardian, October 26, 2009
• Settlements lawyer reveals core beliefs
Major Adrian Agassi did not make the connection between the Bible, the land and the Jews when, fresh out of university, he left England for Israel in search of his roots. He was not even a practising Jew.
But over the past quarter of a century, the Israeli army lawyer and then military judge at the forefront of arguably the most significant battle in the occupied West Bank – the confiscation of Palestinian land for the construction of Jewish settlements – has come to see himself as in service of a higher duty.
In an unusually frank interview, which offers insights into the melding of religion, politics and law that underpins land seizures in the occupied territories, Agassi has laid out his belief that Israel has a biblical claim to territory beyond its borders and that he, even as an immigrant, has a right to live on it when those born there do not.
“When we [Israelis] say that this is a political conflict, then we lose the battle,” he told the Guardian, adding that it should be remembered that the ancient land of Israel is “given to us by the Bible, not by some United Nations”.
Agassi, one of the most important officials in the military courts wielding authority over large parts of the West Bank, says settling Jews on lands that made up ancient Israel stands above all other biblical commandments and only when it is done can they have “a promised land and a promised life”.
“You say that these lands ‘passed into Jewish hands’. Others would say that they came back into Jewish hands. Others would say that they are obviously ours, inherently,” he said. It was, he claims, a mistake to call it the State of Israel. “If we would have named it the State of Jews, the Arabs would have understood that this land belongs to the Jews.”
Agassi served in the legal department that oversaw the confiscation of land in the West Bank to build Jewish settlements and was then appointed to the military court that decided Palestinian appeals against the seizure of their property. The Palestinians almost never won. His court also ruled on legal disputes between Jewish settlers and Palestinians.
Agassi denies his credo affected his legal judgments but his court was considered so biased by some critics that on one occasion the military prosecution, in an unusual step, appealed against Agassi’s ruling in favour of settlers to Israel’s high court.
Agassi was born in Southgate, London, in 1964 to a family of rabbis from Baghdad. He studied law in the UK and emigrated to Israel at the age of 24 “with £500 and all of Bob Dylan’s records”. Four years later he found himself dragged into the first Palestinian uprising, the intifada, as a legal adviser to the military in the West Bank.
“I was very young and suddenly found myself in front of the stones and Molotov cocktail and the hate. I studied law, I had a liberal education, but I was at war and I knew we were right,” he said. “I was 26 years old, I came from a foreign land. Those actions guarded our existence in the land of Israel. It lies at the heart of the conflict. It’s a legitimate means to continue the works of our forefathers Abraham, Joseph and David.”
Agassi says a peace agreement with the Palestinians “goes against nature” because as far as he can see nothing had changed in last 4,000 years in the land of Israel, and that back to biblical times Arabs and Jews were at each other’s throats.
Agassi uses the term Arabs because he claims Palestinians do not exist.
He came to this conclusion over the past decade while serving as a special judge for administrative arrest. Based on confidential intelligence reports, without trial, Agassi sent several hundred Palestinians – deemed to be terrorists or security threats – to prison for six months or more.
“You read the raw intelligence material and you see that most of them are moved by religious doctrine, not by a political one. They use religion in order to justify killing as many Jews as possible. Is this not a religious war?”
Jpost Video: Right wing MKs call for Jews to also defend the Temple Mount:Right wing Knesset (Israeli Parliament) members from Likud and National Union Parties calling on Jewish extremists to violate the sanctity of Al Aqsa [Third Holiest site in Islam], calling their actions “defending the right of Jews to defend the temple mount” a temple that does not exist and hasn’t existed for thousands of years, and whose location has not been found and proven to date.” Leave it to the zionist settlers [colonists] to twist words out of shape and call aggression a defense. How else was Israel able to cover up its colonialist crimes.www.uruknet.info?p=59408
Vodpod videos no longer available.
For those in the NYC area…please provide a suitable welcome for this credibly-accused perpetrator of genocide.
When police admit you could be put on a secret database for being at a demo, it’s time to worry
I was sent the now notorious “police spotter card” through the post. It’s an official laminated card for “police eyes only” and labelled as coming from “CO11 Public Order Intelligence Unit”. The card contained the photographs of 24 anti-arms trade protesters, unnamed but lettered A to X. My picture appeared as photo H. You can imagine my reaction at finding I was the subject of a secret police surveillance process … I was delighted. I phoned my agent and told him I was suspect H. He replied: “Next year we’ll get you top billing … suspect A.”
The Metropolitan police circulated the card specifically for the Docklands biannual arms fair in London to help its officers identify “people at specific events who may instigate offences or disorder”. Which is such a flattering quote I am thinking of having it on my next tour poster. While being wanted outside the arms fair, I was legitimately inside researching a book on the subject, and uncovered four companies illegally promoting “banned” torture equipment. Questions were later asked in the Commons as to why HM Revenue & Customs and the police didn’t spot it. Though, in fairness, none of the torture traders featured on the spotter card.
What exactly was I doing that was so awfully wrong as to merit this attention? Today’s Guardian revelations of three secret police units goes some way to explain the targeting of protesters and raises worrying questions. The job of these units is to spy on protesters, and collate and circulate information about them. Protesters – or, as the police call them, “domestic extremists” – are the new “reds under the bed”.
Many of those targeted by the police have committed no crime and are guilty only of non-violent direct action. So it is worth reminding ourselves that protest is legal. Sorry if this sounds obvious, but you might have gained the impression that if three police units are spying on and targeting thousands, then those people must be up to something illegal.
The very phrase “domestic extremist” defines protesters in the eyes of the police as the problem, the enemy. Spying on entire groups and organisations, and targeting the innocent, undermines not only our rights but the law – frightfully silly of me to drag this into an argument about policing, I know.
Protest is part of the democratic process. It wasn’t the goodwill of politicians that led them to cancel developing countries’ debt, but the protests and campaigning of millions of ordinary people around the world. The political leaders were merely the rubber stamp in the democratic process. Thus any targeting and treatment of demonstrators (at the G20 for example) that creates a “chilling effect” – deterring those who may wish to exercise their right to protest – is profoundly undemocratic.
No police, secret or otherwise, should operate without proper accountability. So how are these three units accountable? Who has access to the databases? How long does information remain in the system? What effect could it have on travel and future employment of those targeted? How closely do these units work with corporate private investigators, and does the flow of information go both ways? Do the police target strikers?
A police spokesman has said that anyone who finds themselves on a database “should not worry at all”. When a spokesman for the three secret units will not disclose a breakdown of their budgets, and two of the three will not even name who heads their operations (even MI6 gave us an initial, for God’s sake), then the words “should not worry at all” are meaningless. Indeed, when the police admit that someone could end up on a secret police database merely for attending a demonstration, it is exactly the time to worry.
This kind of highly confidential document – pictured above – is rarely seen by the public.
These so-called “spotter cards” are issued by police to identify individuals they consider to be potential troublemakers because they have appeared at a number of demonstrations.
The photographs are drawn from police intelligence files. This card was apparently dropped at a demonstration against Britain’s largest arms fair in 2005.
H is Mark Thomas, the comedian and political activist. Asked why it was justifiable to put Thomas, who has no criminal record, on this card, the Metropolitan police replied: “We do not discuss intelligence we may hold in relation to individuals.”
Thomas had been acquitted of criminal damage after attaching himself to a bus containing arms traders at a previous fair.
The Met said: “This is an appropriate tactic used by police to help them identify people at specific events … who may instigate offences or disorder.”
The arms fair “is a biannual event that is specifically targeted by known protest groups, who in the past have stated their intention was to shut down or disrupt the event.” As the cards are “strictly controlled”, the officers who lost it were “dealt with”.
THE FOLLOWING IS PART OF THE PSYOP, ONLY TRUE SHEEP
WILL LET THEM KNOW HOW THEY ARE DOING.
• Are you featured on the card? How do you feel about it? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Israel has asked Germany to deliver two warships for free.
The German daily Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Saturday that Tel Aviv has asked Germany to help bolster its defenses by providing a pair of MEKO corvettes that would probably cost hundreds of millions of euros.
Built at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, the ships feature advanced radar-evading capabilities and are exclusively designed to carry US-made missile systems.
Israel receives much of its military funding and equipment from the United States. According to the Wall Street Journal, US military aid to Israel will total $2.55 billion in 2009.
Tel Aviv has also received assistance from Germany over the years.
The Kiel shipyard Howaldtswerken Deutsche Werft had earlier delivered three submarines between 1999 and 2000.
In addition, two more submarines are currently being built in Kiel, costing at least 500 million euros apiece, for which Germany is to pay a third. They are slated to be delivered to Israel by 2012.
Berlin has not yet responded to the request, but according to the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, “influential politicians in northern Germany” are secretly supporting the deal, claiming it will help German shipyards weather the global economic downturn.
Labour threw open Britain’s borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a “truly multicultural” country, a former Government adviser has revealed.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.
He said Labour’s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration” but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working class vote”.
As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.
Critics said the revelations showed a “conspiracy” within Government to impose mass immigration for “cynical” political reasons.
Mr Neather was a speech writer who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, in the early 2000s.
Writing in the Evening Standard, he revealed the “major shift” in immigration policy came after the
publication of a policy paper from the Performance and Innovation Unit, a Downing Street think tank based in the Cabinet Office, in 2001.
He wrote a major speech for Barbara Roche, the then immigration minister, in 2000, which was largely based on drafts of the report.
He said the final published version of the report promoted the labour market case for immigration but unpublished versions contained additional reasons, he said.
He wrote: “Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.
“I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”
The “deliberate policy”, from late 2000 until “at least February last year”, when the new points based system was introduced, was to open up the UK to mass migration, he said.
Some 2.3 million migrants have been added to the population since then, according to Whitehall estimates quietly slipped out last month.
On Question Time on Thursday, Mr Straw was repeatedly quizzed about whether Labour’s immigration policies had left the door open for the BNP.
In his column, Mr Neather said that as well as bringing in hundreds of thousands more migrants to plug labour market gaps, there was also a “driving political purpose” behind immigration policy.
He defended the policy, saying mass immigration has “enriched” Britain, and made London a more attractive and cosmopolitan place.
But he acknowledged that “nervous” ministers made no mention of the policy at the time for fear of alienating Labour voters.
“Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom.
“But ministers wouldn’t talk about it. In part they probably realised the conservatism of their core voters: while ministers might have been passionately in favour of a more diverse society, it wasn’t necessarily a debate they wanted to have in working men’s clubs in Sheffield or Sunderland.”
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, said: “Now at least the truth is out, and it’s dynamite.
“Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right.
“This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage.”
The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, said: “We welcome this statement by an ex-adviser, which the whole country knows to be true.
“It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “Our new flexible points based system gives us greater control on those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come.
“Britain’s borders are stronger than ever before and we are rolling out ID cards to foreign nationals, we have introduced civil penalties for those employing illegal workers and from the end of next year our electronic border system will monitor 95 per cent of journeys in and out of the UK.
“The British people can be confident that immigration is under control.”
After fleeing from latest war zone, grandfather Haji Abdullah had hoped for a warmer welcome when he reached safety. “When they realise you’re a Mehsud, they treat you like a suicide bomber who’s wearing an explosive jacket,” said Abdullah, one of 120,000 people to have fled an anti-Taliban army offensive in the South Waziristan tribal belt. “It’s simply humiliating,” added the 67-year-old, who travelled from his home in Makin, a Taliban redoubt, with five sons and seven grandchildren. Like many of those fearing for their lives, Abdullah made his way to the city of Dera Ismail Khan where he soon encountered hostility as a member of the same tribe as Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud. Such is the wariness of locals in a town which has endured a history of militant attacks, Abdullah’s family says he was only able to find somewhere to stay three days after one of his relatives put up guarantees. “No landlord was willing to rent out his house to me,” he added. But locals say they have every reason to suspect the uninvited new-arrivals from Waziristan, which lies outside direct government control, and believe many are active Taliban followers who are masquerading as innocent victims. “These people are a security risk as most of them belong to the Mehsud tribe and have strong Taliban sympathies,” said Adeel Shahzad, a shoe shop salesman. “The situation has become very tense in our city because of the arrival of these people,” Shahzad said, accusing them of triggering an increase in crime. A local police commander said his men had received strict orders from the provincial government to keep a close eye out for trouble. “We have clear orders from the government to keep an eye on the displaced persons as the situation may further deteriorate with their arrival,” district police chief Gul Afzal Afridi told AFP. “We have intelligence reports that many of these displaced persons were strong supporters of Taliban,” he said, adding that dozens of new police checkposts have been set up across the city. Police and army personnel can be seen patrolling the streets round the clock in the city, which has a history of Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence as well as Taliban attacks. Hospitals and hotels have shut their gates and only people with valid identity documents can enter these places. “We have shut our gates and nobody without proper identification papers can enter,” said Haji Munawar Khan, who works as a manager in a local hotel. The International Crisis Group says the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Waziristan are being neglected in a climate of animosity between Pashtuns from the tribal belt and those from the settled areas. “Few efforts, local or international, have been made to identify their needs or to help them rebuild their homes, schools, shops and places of work once they return,” it said in a policy report published last week. “Most FATA (tribal belt) IDPs have not received adequate assistance or any compensation for the destruction of their properties and livelihoods.” The think-tank accused the military of not allowing camps for Waziristan IDPs on the “unjustifiable grounds that they would offer jihadi groups pools of easy recruits,” forcing Mehsuds to seek accommodation in private homes. “Host families have frequently faced harassment by the security agencies, including the military, paramilitary and police,” said the report. Cleaning the barrel of his gun with a handkerchief, Ghazanfar Ali, a private security guard, blamed lawlessness in his city on Afghans and the Taliban. “The Afghan refugees who migrated to Pakistan in 1980s started the law and order problems in our city and now it’s the Taliban,” Ali said, accusing the Taliban for all the attacks to have rocked the flashpoint city in recent years. Such attitudes infuriate Merajuddin Mehsud, who insists there is no reason for him to be tarred by association with the Islamist hardliners. “I found a house after roaming around for days but still the landlord wanted my national identity card and educational certificates of my son as a guarantee,” said the 45-year-old, who has four children.”We were fed up with the attitude of Taliban in South Waziristan and here it is police and the local population who are creating problems for us.”
[It’s not a “war,” it’s crisis management of a few militants who want to write their own scripts.]
ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Sunday visited Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan Agency, to meet the field commanders and troops deployed in the area.
During the day-long visit, General Kayani appreciated the morale and spirit of the troops employed in the operation Rah-e-Nijat, said a press release of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). General Kayani made it clear that the Pakistan Army was not conducting operations against any tribe or area, but against a handful of terrorists who had not only destroyed peace and tribal traditions of the area but also held the majority of the people hostage to their anti-state agenda.
He reiterated that the operations against terrorists were being conducted by the armed forces without any outside support. On arrival in the area, General Kayani was received by the Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Muhammad Masood Aslam.
Extremist forces are inciting villagers in the Punjab to kill minorities in the name of religion.
By Adnan Adil
|Talib Masih, a Christian street hawker and scrap dealer from a village near Gojra town, Toba Tek Singh, did not know that the wedding celebrations of his daughter would end in grim tragedy: six Christians were burnt alive by Muslims on blasphemy charges later that week. Incidentally, the charge of desecrating the Quran was levelled on a family in another Christian village, while the mob looted and destroyed a different Christian colony, located eight kilometres away from the site of the disputed incident.
The trouble began on July 25, 2009, when friends and family of Talib Masih had assembled to celebrate his daughter’s wedding ceremony in the village of Korian, about eight kilometres from Gojra city and 40km from Faisalabad. Korian has a large Christian community with nearly a hundred Christian families living in 60 houses in the village. Muslim friends of the family were also invited to the function. During the ceremony, some children started throwing pieces of paper in the air in a show of celebration. Ostensibly, some Muslims heard these papers were inscribed with verses from the Holy Quran and accused three Christians, namely Talib Masih, Mukhtar Masih and Imran Masih, of committing blasphemy.
Intriguingly, Muhammad Ashraf, the man who lodged a formal complaint with the police, is not even a resident of the village where the incident took place, and what’s more, he registered his complaint on the night of July 30, 2009 – five days after the alleged desecration took place. The burning incident took place on August 1.
Christian rights organisations maintain that on July 26, the day after the accusation was made, a meeting convened by the elders of the two communities, Christians and Muslims, had asked Talib Masih to offer an apology over the alleged desecration and that he had, indeed, apologised and the matter was resolved. However, enraged local Muslims tell a different story. In an FIR against Talib Masih, they say that a conciliatory meeting took place five days after the incident, on July 30, where Talib Masih had refused to apologise and abused the Muslims present at the meeting. They also claim that at this meeting Talib Masih had passed blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s sayings and the Quran. Independent observers, however, told the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) that a quarrel broke out at the meeting and the Muslims beat up Talib brutally and his wife and daughter had to come to his rescue.
On July 31, which was a Friday, announcements were made from the loudspeakers of local mosques in Korian and the nearby villages, asking the Muslims to assemble at Malkanwala Chowk in Gojra city on August 1, to take action against the Christians for committing blasphemy, which they said was punishable by death. Upon hearing this, most Christians in Korian fled their homes for safety.
After a couple of hours, Muslims arrived on the scene in groups, armed with clubs, firearms and kerosene oil, chanting slogans against Christians and began attacking their houses. First, they broke the electricity wires and water pumps to deprive the residents of the two basic necessities: electricity and water. This is a familiar pattern that was also observed in an earlier attack on Christians in Kasur, on July 1, 2009 in which more than a hundred Christian houses were burnt down in an organised manner. The mob in Korian reduced 57 houses to ashes, after looting valuables such as television sets, cattle and bicycles from the premises. The marauders also attacked two local churches and desecrated Christian religious books. The next day, the police registered a case against 21 arsonists who were identified by the Christian community and a few others.
It is widely alleged that a local cleric Qari Noor Muhammad, connected with a banned sectarian outfit, the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), played a leading role in inciting hostility against the Christians. The cleric was not arrested till after the Gojra carnage. As the tension built up, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif anticipating violence in Gojra, had alerted the police and intelligence agencies to ensure public safety. But when the mobs went on the rampage, the police looked the other way – a grim reminder of the civil agencies’ lack of capacity and willingness to handle sensitive and volatile situations, and the state’s inability to protect the citizens from organised and well-armed groups.
According to eyewitnesses, thousands of people, including clerics and local traders, gathered in Gojra as planned. Among them were activists of the SSP, who had travelled from their headquarters in the nearby Jhang district. The procession arrived at a Christian Colony, Chak 95-JB, which had nothing to do with the alleged desecration incident in the nearby Korian village. The police did not take any preventive measures to stop the hostile demonstration near a minority settlement at a time when tempers were running high.
Observers report that the Muslim protesters started pelting stones and stones at the Christians and burnt down the house of Riaz Masih, an old, ailing Christian who died of a heart attack soon after. Following this, the Christians too retaliated by throwing rocks and fired in the air to stop the armed men from marching towards their homes. A few Muslims also sustained injuries. Meanwhile, many Christians fled their homes for safety and some locked themselves inside their houses to protect themselves.
After a few hours, a mob of Muslims led by armed, masked men, assembled near the Christian colony and, using petrol and chemicals, set ablaze 68 Christan houses, burning six Christians alive, and shot dead Hameed Masih. The mob also looted valuables from the houses, desecrated copies of the Bible and ransacked two churches. The police, which was present, stood as silent spectators to the gory events. Initially, they even refused to register a case filed by the victims. It was only when the Christian community blocked the Multan-Faisalabad railway track for several hours and refused to remove the coffins of their dead from the track, that the FIR was registered. Later, the Punjab government deputed the Rangers to restore peace in Gojra and announced monetary compensation for the victims.
The Gojra carnage is not a solitary incident of its kind, it is symptomatic of the simmering tension between the two communities following grave acts of provocation against the Christians. In March 2009, a Christian woman lost her life in Gujranwala after a local church was attacked. In April 2009, a mob attacked another church and Christian houses in Karachi’s Taiser Town in which one young Christian man was killed and several others were injured in the firing. On June 30, 2009, a mob attacked Christian houses in the village of Bahmaniwala in Kasur district, destroying more than 50 houses, damaging furniture and household goods and stealing gold jewellery and cash from the premises.
This last incident of violence was triggered off when a Christian Sardar Masih, driving a tractor, asked a Muslim landlord, Chaudhry Muhammad Riaz, to remove his motorbike from the way to allow him to pass. When Riaz refused, a quarrel broke out between the two. Following the incident, announcements were made from mosques that Christians had committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), inciting the public to take action against the Christians of Bhamaniwala. Riaz also filed a criminal case with the police against 11 Christians. The next day, a group of angry men, wielding sticks and carrying petrol, attacked Christian homes. They burnt motorbikes belonging to the community and beat up every Christian they could find. The mob also attacked the local church with stones. No loss of life occurred, as most Christians had already fled their homes upon hearing of the planned attack. A Christian rights organisation, the National Commission for Justice and Peace, says a Christian woman suffered a miscarriage when she tried to save herself and a child.
A common thread runs through all the recent incidents of violence against the Christian community. The mobs are led mainly by members of the SSP, which is known to have links with the Taliban; the attacks are well-organised and planned well in advance and the attackers carry petrol and chemicals along, which gives an inkling of their nefarious designs.
It seems that after the army mounted pressure on the Taliban in Swat and the tribal areas, forcing them to retreat to the mountains, they have opened up a new front in the Punjab to create a law-and-order situation in order to divert the attention of the security forces from the tribal region. While jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir has suffered a setback in recent years, those who were trained to carry out jihad in these areas have turned their guns on their own fellow citizens. Meanwhile, the country’s civil administration seems to have no clue of how to tackle this unfortunate situation.
By Ayesha Siddiqa
A few years ago, I met some young boys from my village near Bahawalpur who were preparing to go on jihad. They smirked politely when I asked them to close their eyes and imagine their future. “We can tell you without closing our eyes that we don’t see anything.”
It was not entirely surprising. South Punjab is a region mired in poverty and underdevelopment. There are few job prospects for the youth. While the government has built airports and a few hospitals, these projects are symbolic and barely meet the needs of the area. It’s in areas like this, amid economic stagnation and hopelessness, that religious extremists find fertile ground to plant and spread their ideology.
The first step is recruitment – and the methodology is straightforward. Young children, or even men, are taken to madrassas in nearby towns. They are fed well and kept in living conditions considerably better than what they are used to. This is a simple psychological strategy meant to help them compare their homes with the alternatives offered by militant organisations. The returning children, like the boys I met, then undergo ideological indoctrination in a madrassa. Those who are indoctrinated always bring more friends and family with them. It is a swelling cycle.
Madrassas nurturing armies of young Islamic militants ready to embrace martyrdom have been on the rise for years in the Punjab. In fact, South Punjab has become the hub of jihadism. Yet, somehow, there are still many people in Pakistan who refuse to acknowledge this threat.
Four major militant outfits, the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), are all comfortably ensconced in South Punjab (see article “Brothers in Arms”). Sources claim that there are about 5,000 to 9,000 youth from South Punjab fighting in Afghanistan and Waziristan. A renowned Pakistani researcher, Hassan Abbas cites a figure of 2,000 youth engaged in Waziristan. The area has become critical to planning, recruitment and logistical support for terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In fact, in his study on the Punjabi Taliban, Abbas has quoted Tariq Pervez, the chief of a new government outfit named the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NCTA), as saying that the jihad veterans in South Punjab are instrumental in providing the foot soldiers and implementing terror plans conceived and funded mainly by Al-Qaeda operatives. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the force that conquered Khost in 1988-89 comprised numerous South Punjabi commanders who fought for the armies of various Afghan warlords such as Gulbuddin Hikmatyar and Burhanuddin Rabbani. Even now, all the four major organisations are involved in Afghanistan.
The above facts are not unknown to the provincial and federal governments or the army. It was not too long ago that the federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik equated South Punjab with Swat. The statement was negated by the IG Punjab. Perhaps, the senior police officer was not refuting his superior but challenging the story by Sabrina Tavernese of The New York Times (NYT). The story had highlighted jihadism in South Punjab, especially in Dera Ghazi Khan. The NYT story even drew a reaction from media outlets across the country. No one understood that South Punjab is being rightly equated with Swat, not because of violence but due to the presence of elements that aim at taking the society and state in another direction.
An English-language daily newspaper reacted to the NYT story by dispatching a journalist to South Punjab who wrote a series of articles that attempted to analyse the existing problem. One of the stories highlighted comments by the Bahawalpur Regional Police Officer (RPO) Mushtaq Sukhera, in which he denied that there was a threat of Talibanisation in South Punjab. He said that all such reports pertaining to South Punjab were nothing more than a figment of the western press’s imagination. Many others express a similar opinion. There are five explanations for this.
Firstly, opinion makers and policy makers are in a state of denial regarding the gravity of the problem. Additionally, they believe an overemphasis on this region might draw excessive US attention to South Punjab – an area epitomising mainstream Pakistan. Thus, it is difficult even to find anecdotal evidence regarding the activities of jihadis in this sub-region. We only gain some knowledge about the happenings from coincidental accidents like the blast that took place in a madrassa in Mian Chunoon, exposing the stockpile of arms its owner had stored on the premises.
Secondly, officer Sukhera and others like him do not see any threat because the Punjab-based outfits are “home-grown” and are not seen as directly connected to the war in Afghanistan. This is contestable on two counts: South Punjabi jihadists have been connected with the Afghan jihad since the 1980s and the majority is still engaged in fighting in Afghanistan.
Thirdly, since all these outfits were created by the ISI to support General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamisation process, in essence to fight a proxy war for Saudi Arabia against Iran by targeting the Shia community, and later the Kashmir war, the officials feel comfortable that they will never spin out of control. Those that become uncontrollable, such as Al-Furqan, are then abandoned. This outfit was involved in the second assassination attempt on Musharraf and had initially broken away from the JeM after the leadership developed differences over assets, power and ideology. Thus, the district officials and intelligence agencies turned a blind eye to the killing of the district amir of Al-Furqan in Bahawalpur in May 2009. As far as the JeM is concerned, it continues its engagement with the establishment. In any case, groups that are partly committed to the Kashmir cause and confrontation with India continue to survive. This is certainly the perception about the LeT. But in reality, the Wahhabi outfit has also been engaged in other regions, such as the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Badakhshan since 2004.
Fourthly, there is confusion at the operational level in the government regarding the definition of Talibanisation, which is then reflected in the larger debate on the issue. Many, including the RPO, define the process as an effort by an armed group to use force to change the social conditioning in an area. Ostensibly, the militant outfits in the Punjab continue to coexist with the pirs, prostitutes and the drug mafia, and there is no reason that they will follow in the footsteps of Sufi Mohammad and Maulana Fazlullah, or Baitullah Mehsud. Since the authorities only recognise the pattern followed by the Afghan warlords or those in Pakistan’s tribal areas, they tend not to understand that what is happening in the Punjab may not be Talibanisation but could eventually prove to be as lethal as what they call Talibanisation.
Finally, many believe that Talibanisation cannot take place in a region known for practicing the Sufi version of Islam. There are many, besides the Bahawalpur RPO, who subscribe to the above theory. A year ago in an interview with an American channel, Farahnaz Ispahani, an MNA and wife of Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, stated that extremism couldn’t flourish in South Punjab because it was a land of Sufi shrines. This is partially true. The Sufi influence would work as a bulwark against this Talibanisation of society. However, Sufi Islam cannot fight poverty, underdevelopment and poor governance – all key factors that encourage Talibanisation.
South Punjab boasts names such as the Mazaris, Legharis and Gilanis, most of whom are not just politicians and big landowners but also belong to significant pir families. But they have done little to alleviate the sufferings of their constituents. A visit to Dera Ghazi Khan is depressing. Despite the fact that the division produced a president, Farooq Khan Leghari, the state of underdevelopment there is shocking. Reportedly, people living in the area in the immediate vicinity of the Leghari tribe could not sell their land without permission from the head of the tribe, the former president, who has been the tribal chief for many years. Under the circumstances, the poor and the dispossessed became attractive targets for militant outfits offering money. The country’s current economic downturn could raise the popularity of militant outfits.
In recent history, the gap created due to the non-performance of Sufi shrines and Barelvi Islam, or the exploitative nature of these institutions, has been filled partly by the Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith madrassa conversion teams and groups, such as the Tableeghi Jamaat, and militant outfits. This alternative, unfortunately, is equally exploitative in nature. Sadly, today the shrines and Barelvi Islam have little to offer in terms of “marketing” to counter the package deal offered by the Salafists for the life hereafter, especially to a shaheed: 70 hoors (virgins), a queen hoor (virgin queen), a crown of jewels and forgiveness for 70 additional people. This promise means a lot for the poor youth who cannot hope for any change in a pre-capitalist socio-economic and political environment, where power is hard to re-negotiate. Furthermore, as stated by the former information minister Mohammad Ali Durrani, who had been a jihadi from 1984-90, a poor youth suddenly turning into a jihadi commander is a tremendous story of social mobility and recognition that he would never get in his existing socio-economic system. More importantly, the Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith offer a textual basis for their package, which is difficult for the pirs to refute due to the lack of an internal religious discourse in the Islamic world. The modern generation of pirs has not engaged in an internal discourse to counter this ideological onslaught by the Salafis. The main belief of Salafism is that all Muslims should practice Islam as it was during the time of Prophet Muhammad. The religion at that time, according to them, was perfect. Salafism – which pre-dates Wahhabism – is often used interchangeably with Wahhabism, which is actually an extension of Salafism.
Punjab offers a different pattern of extremism and jihadism. The pattern is closer to what one saw in Swat, where Sufi Mohammad and his TNSM spent quite a few years indoctrinating the society and building up a social movement before they got embroiled in a conflict with the state. South Punjab’s story is, in a sense, like Swat’s in that there is a gradual strengthening of Salafism and a build-up of militancy in the area. The procedure of conversion though, dates back to pre-1947. Still, the 1980s were clearly a watershed, when both rabid ideology and jihad were introduced to the area. Zia-ul-Haq encouraged the opening up of religious seminaries that, unlike the more traditional madrassas that were usually attached with Sufi shrines, subscribed to Salafi ideology. In later years, South Punjab became critical to inducting people for the Kashmir jihad. The ascendancy of the Tableeghi Jamaat and such madrassas that presented a more rabid version of religion gradually prepared the ground for later invasion by the militant groups. Two reports prepared around 1994, firstly by the district collector Bahawalpur and later by the Punjab government, highlighted the exponential rise in the number of madrassas and how these fanned sectarian and ideological hatred in the province. These reports also stated that all of these seminaries were provided funding by the government through the zakat fund.
The number of seminaries had increased during and after the 1980s. According to a 1996 report, there were 883 madrassas in Bahawalpur, 361 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 325 in Multan and 149 in Sargodha district. The madrassas in Bahawalpur outnumbered all other cities, including Lahore. These numbers relate to Deobandi madrassas only and do not include the Ahl-e-Hadith, Barelvi and other sects. Newer estimates from the intelligence bureau for 2008 show approximately 1,383 madrassas in the Bahawalpur division that house 84,000 students. Although the highest number of madrassas is in Rahim Yar Khan district (559) followed by Bahawalpur (481) and Bahawalnagar (310), it is Bahawalpur in which the highest number of students (36,000) is enlisted. The total number of madrassa students in Pakistan has reached about one million.
Everyone has been so focused on FATA and the NWFP that they failed to notice the huge increase in religious seminaries in these districts of South Punjab. According to a study conducted by historian Tahir Kamran, the total number of madrassas in the Punjab rose from 1,320 in 1988 to 3,153 in 2000, an increase of almost 140%. These madrassas were meant to provide a rapid supply of jihadis to the Afghan war of the 1980s. At the time of 9/11, the Bahawalpur division alone could boast of approximately 15,000-20,000 trained militants, some of whom had resettled in their areas during the period that Musharraf claimed to have clamped down on the jihad industry. Many went into the education sector, opened private schools and even joined the media.
These madrassas play three essential roles. First, they convert people to Salafism and neutralise resistance to a more rabid interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah in society. Consequently, the majority of the Barelvis cannot present a logical resistance to the opposing ideology. In many instances, the Barelvis themselves get converted to the idea of jihad. Secondly, these madrassas are used to train youth, who are then inducted into jihad. Most of the foot soldiers come from the religious seminaries. One of the principles taught to the students pertains to the concept of jihad as being a sacred duty that has to continue until the end of a Muslim’s life or the end of the world. Lastly, madrassas are an essential transit point for the youth, who are recruited from government schools. They are usually put through the conversion process after they have attended a 21-day initial training programme in the Frontier province or Kashmir (see box “A Different Breed”).
State support, which follows two distinct tracks, is also instrumental in the growth of jihadism in this region. On the one hand, there has generally been a link or understanding between political parties and militant groups. Since political parties are unable to eliminate militants or most politicians are sympathetic towards the militants, they tend to curb their activities through political deal-making. The understanding between the SSP and Benazir Bhutto after the 1993 elections, or the alleged deal between the PML-N and the SSP during the 2008 elections, denote the relationship between major political parties and the jihadis. Currently, the SSP in South Punjab is more supportive of the PML-N.
The second track involves operational links between the outfits and the state’s intelligence apparatus. As mentioned earlier, some of the outfits claim to have received training from the country’s intelligence agencies. Even now, local people talk of truckloads of weapons arriving at the doorstep of the JeM headquarters and other sites in the middle of the night. While official sources continue to claim that the outfit was banned and does not exist, or that Masood Azhar is on the run from his hometown of Bahawalpur, the facts prove otherwise. For instance, the outfit continues to acquire real estate in the area, such as a new site near Chowk Azam in Bahawalpur, which many believe is being used as a training site. Although the new police chief has put restraints on the JeM and disallowed it from constructing on the site, the outfit continues to appropriate more land around the area. Junior police officials even claim seeing tunnels being dug inside the premises. The new facility is on the bank of the Lahore-Karachi national highway, which means that in the event of a crisis, the JeM could block the road as has happened in Kohat and elsewhere. Furthermore, the outfit’s main headquarters in the city is guarded by AK-47-armed men who harass any journalist trying to take a photograph of the building. In one instance, even a police official was shooed away and later intimidated by spooks of an intelligence agency for spying on the outfit. Despite the claim that the SSP, the LeJ and the JeM have broken ties with intelligence agencies and are now fighting the army in Waziristan, the fact remains that their presence in the towns of South Punjab continues unhindered.
Is it naivety and inefficiency on the part of officialdom or a deliberate effort to withhold information? The government claims that Maulana Masood Azhar has not visited his hometown in the last three years. But he held a massive book launch of his new publication Fatah-ul-Jawad: Quranic Verses on Jihad, on April 28, 2008, in Bahawalpur. Moreover, JeM’s armed men manned all entrances and exits to the city that day – and there was no police force in sight. The ISI is said to have severed its links with the JeM for assisting the Pashtoon Taliban in inciting violence in the country. Sources from FATA claim, however, that the JeM, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and LeT are suspected by the Taliban for their links with state agencies.
In addition, intelligence agencies reportedly ward off anyone attempting to probe into the affairs of these outfits. In one case, a local in Bahawalpur city invoked daily visits from a certain agency after he assisted a foreign journalist. Similarly, only six months back, a BBC team was chased out of the area by agency officials. In fact, intelligence officials, who had forgotten about my existence since my last book was published, revisited my village in South Punjab soon after I began writing on militancy in the area and have gone to the extent of planting a story in one of the Urdu newspapers to malign me in my own area. In any case, no serious operation was conducted against these outfits after the Mumbai attacks and the recent spate of violence in the country. Hence, all of them continue to survive.
The Deobandi outfits are not the only ones popular in South Punjab. Ahl-e-Hadith/Wahhabi organisations such as the Tehreek-ul-Mujahidden (TuM) and the LeT also have a following in the region. While TuM, which is relatively a smaller organisation, has support in Dera Ghazi Khan, the LeT is popular in Bahawalpur, Multan and the areas bordering Central Punjab. Headquartered in Muridke, the LeT is popular among the Punjabi and Urdu-speaking Mohajir settlers.
There are obvious sociological reasons for LeT’s relative popularity among these people. The majority of this population represents either the lower-middle-class farmers or middle-class trader-merchants. The middle class is instrumental in providing funding to these outfits. And the support is not confined to South Punjab alone. In fact, middle-class trader-merchants from other parts of the Punjab also feed jihad through their funding. This does not mean that there are no Seraiki speakers in Wahhabi organisations but just that the dominant influence is that of the Punjabis and Mohajirs. The Seraiki-speaking population is mostly associated with the SSP, LeJ and JeM, not to mention the freelancing jihadis that have direct links with the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP).
The LeT’s presence in South Punjab is far more obvious than others courtesy of the wall chalkings and social work by its sister outfit, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Despite the rumours of friction between the LeT and the JuD leadership, the two segments operate in unison in South Punjab. Three of the favourite areas of recruitment in South Punjab for all outfits are Cholistan in Bahawalpur, the Rekh in Dera Ghazi Khan, and the Kacha area in Rajanpur. The first two are desert areas known for their poverty and underdevelopment, while the third is known for dacoits. However, another known feature of Kacha in Rajanpur is that the clerics of the Lal Masjid come from this area and have partly managed to push back the dacoits. Local sources claim that the influence of the clerics has increased since they started receiving cooperation from the police to jointly fight the dacoits.
Organisations such as the LeT have even begun to recruit women in the Punjab. These women undergo 21 days of ideological and military training. The goal is to ensure that these women will be able to fight if their menfolk are out on jihad and an enemy attacks Pakistan.
The militant outfits are rich, both ideologically and materially. They have ample financial resources that flow from four distinct sources: official sources (in some cases); Middle Eastern and Gulf states (not necessarily official channels); donations; and the Punjabi middle class, which is predominantly engaged in funding both madrassas and jihad for social, moral and political ends. With regard to donations, the militant outfits are extremely responsive to the changing environment and have adapted their money-collection tactics. Gone are the days of money-collection boxes. Now, especially in villages, followers are asked to raise money by selling harvested crops. And in terms of the Punjabi middle class, there are traders in Islamabad and other smaller urban centres that contribute regularly to the cause. These trader-merchants and upcoming entrepreneurs see donations to these outfits as a source of atonement for their sins. In Tahir Kamran’s study “Deobandiism in the Punjab,” Deobandiism (and Wahhabiism) is an urban phenomenon. If so, then the existence of these militant outfits in rural Punjab indicates a new social trend. Perhaps, due to greater access to technology (mobiles, television sets, satellite receivers, etc), the landscape (and rustic lifestyles) of Punjab’s rural areas has changed. There is an unplanned urbanisation of the rural areas due to the emergence of small towns with no social development, health and education infrastructure. Socially and politically, there is a gap that is filled by these militant outfits or related ideological institutions.
Fortunately, they have not succeeded in changing the lifestyles of the ordinary people. This is perhaps because there are multiple cultural strands that do not allow the jihadis to impose their norms the way they have in the tribal areas or the Frontier province. This is not to say that there is no threat from them in South Punjab: the liberalism and multi-polarity of society is certainly at risk. The threat is posed by the religious seminaries and the new recruits for jihad, who change social norms slowly and gradually. Sadly nothing, including the powerful political system of the area, which in any case is extremely warped, helps ward off the threat of extremism and jihadism. Ultimately, South Punjab could fall prey to the myopia of its ruling elite.
So how does the state and society deal with this issue?
Deploying the military is not an option. In the Punjab this will create a division within the powerful army because of regional loyalty. The foremost task is to examine the nature of the state’s relationship with the militants as strategic partners: should this relationship continue to exist to the detriment of the state? Once this mystifying question is resolved, all militant forces can be dealt with through an integrated police-intelligence operation.
This, however, amounts to winning only half the battle. The other half deals with the basic problems faced by the likes of those young jihadis-in-training from Bahawalpur who said, “We don’t see anything” in our futures. Presently, there is hardly any industrialisation in South Punjab and the mainstay of the area, agriculture, is faltering. The region requires economic strengthening: new ideas in agriculture, capital investment and new, relevant industries. This is the time that the government must plan beyond the usual textile and sugar industries that have arguably turned into huge mafias that are draining the local economy rather than feeding it.
Investment in social development is desperately needed. A larger social infrastructure that provides jobs and an educational system that is responsive to the needs of the population can contribute to filling the gaps. The message of militancy is quite potent, especially in terms of the dreams it sells to the youth, such as those disillusioned boys from my village. Jihad elevates youngsters from a state of being dispossessed to an imagined exalted status. They visualise themselves taking their places among great historical figures such as Mohammad bin Qasim and Khalid bin Waleed. It is these dreams for which the state must provide an alternative.
Militants from South Punjab tend to be better educated and more ruthless than those from the NWFP.
By Ayesha Siddiqa
The Punjabi jihadis are different from their counterparts in FATA: the former are comparatively more educated. There are many, such as Maulana Masood Azhar, who were educated in the Banuri town madrassa in Karachi and completed their dars-e-nizami – an eight-year course in religious ideology that inculcates the significance of jihad in the pupil. There is a constant flow of students from religious seminaries in South Punjab to Karachi. There are also those who have a secular education and are given responsibility for further education or conversion, and not just jihad. Additionally, there is also a reverse flow of militant religious scholars from South Punjab to other parts of the country. A prime example is Lal Masjid’s Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi and his wife, who hail from Dera Ghazi Khan.
Besides being relatively more educated, the Punjabi jihadis are also distinguishable from the Pashtoon jihadis in terms of their style of fighting. A lot of the fidayeen (suicide bombers) come from the Punjab and are reputed to be much more brutal in their handling of victims. Frontier Governor Owais Ghani says some of the more ferocious commanders of the Taliban forces in Waziristan and Swat are South Punjabi jihadis and are much more difficult to crack than their Pashtoon counterparts. They have no emotional ties with people up north, he states, and are mainly ideology-driven, just like their Arab and Uzbek brothers-in-arms. So, as one freelancing jihadi confided, Uzbeks chop off a victim’s head with extreme precision and fight with an enviable commitment. The Punjabi jihadis want to avenge the rape of Muslim women in Chechnya, Bosnia, Palestine, Kashmir and Afghanistan by waging a war against non-Muslims. Militant groups show films of the killing of Muslims in these conflict zones and the rape of women to draw potential warriors. The preachers assure the fighters that a holy war is not only sanctioned by Islam but is a must for every able-bodied Muslim male.
So, it does not really matter that the territories mentioned above are not connected with the immediate social reality of the fighters. Unlike the Pashtoons, the South Punjabis are not motivated to wage war because they have lost one of their own in the war on terror. Instead, they are willing to give up their lives (or offer others in their family) because they are highly motivated about higher, selfless causes. Jihad provides an immediate sense of empowerment to people who now begin to see themselves as being capable of helping helpless women in far away lands. Those who are sent are even given Arab names to inculcate in them a sense of history.
U.S. efforts in Romania and Bulgaria are part of a global redeployment strategy started in the early years of the Bush administration to shift U.S. forces out of Germany and move them eastward.”
“The number of US military men at the two bases is not going to be large, but who can say that it will not be doubled, tripped or quadrupled in the future? Furthermore, the appearance of NATO bases on the Black Sea coast will come as an addition to the US military [deployments] in the Baltic region. As a result, Russia will find itself trapped.”
“[T]he new land, sea and airbases along the Black Sea will provide much improved contingency access for deployments into Central Asia, parts of the Middle East and Southwest Asia.”
Last week was an eventful one in Eastern Europe.
The two top foreign policy veterans in the current U.S. administration, Vice President Joseph Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, visited the capitals of Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. Biden was in Warsaw, Prague and Bucharest to recruit all three nations into the new U.S.-led, NATO-wide interceptor missile system and to make arrangements for the deployment of American Patriot missiles and troops to Poland, the first foreign soldiers to be based in that nation since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact eighteen years ago.
Gates was in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, for a two-day meeting of NATO and partner states’ defense chiefs which also focused on the establishment of a missile shield to encompass the entire European continent as well as the unparalleled escalation of the U.S.’s and NATO’s war in Afghanistan.
A few days earlier the U.S. armed forces publication Stars and Stripes announced that the Pentagon will spend an additional $110 million to upgrade two of the seven military bases in Bulgaria and Romania it acquired the use of in agreements signed in 2005 and 2006.
The report led to political fallout in the two host countries with Bulgarian and Romanian officials scrambling to qualify the news and pretend that somehow their own subservient governments would retain control over the expanded bases. Sofia and Bucharest have no more say in how the Pentagon and NATO have used and will intensify the use of air fields and other bases in their nations than they do in determining which war zones their nations’ troops are deployed to, which of late include Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. (read here)
The current global downturn, the worst since the Great Depression 70 years ago, pounded the last nail into the coffin of globalization. Already beleaguered by evidence that showed global poverty and inequality increasing, even as most poor countries experienced little or no economic growth, globalization has been terminally discredited in the last two years. As the much-heralded process of financial and trade interdependence went into reverse, it became the transmission belt not of prosperity but of economic crisis and collapse.
Foreign Policy in Focus – 2009-09-03
Court: Complaint alleges police, Olympia violated rights while clearing way for military equipment
The first civil trial arising from the Port of Olympia protests two years ago won’t begin today, the result of a scheduling conflict.
The trial, prompted by a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma by William Hamilton and Larry Mosqueda, will begin Tuesday at the earliest. They claim that the city and Olympia police officers violated their civil rights as part of efforts to clear the roads of protesters so military equipment could be returned to Fort Lewis.
The jury trial had been scheduled to begin today. It was delayed because U.S. District Court Judge Robert Bryan, who will preside over the proceeding, is the jurist on another case scheduled to go to trial today.
The attorneys for both sides have asked Bryan to set a firm trial date if Tuesday is unavailable.
Hamilton alleges that three officers pepper-sprayed him even though he was demonstrating in a “safe area” that at least one city employee had designated near the protest site Nov. 10. He alleged that the next day, two officers struck him with batons and two others hit him with pepper-spray projectiles as he attempted to use the crosswalk at Franklin and Market streets, ground zero for the encounters between protesters and law enforcement.
Mosqueda alleged he was hit with pepper spray Nov. 10 during a protest at Fourth Avenue and Plum Street.
In an earlier ruling, Bryan allowed several of the plaintiffs’ claims to go forward.
Neither man was arrested.
The jury will decide whether the city’s actions violated the plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful seizure through the use of excessive force, as well as their First Amendment right to free speech. The plaintiffs claim the city followed through on an official policy to use force on war protesters to chill their free-speech rights, and to use pepper spray and other chemicals to move people who did not present an immediate threat to anyone’s safety.
The jury also will determine whether the six officers violated Hamilton’s First and Fourth amendment rights. Bryan has dismissed Mosqueda’s First and Fourth amendment claims because Mosqueda wasn’t able to identify the officer who sprayed him.
Lastly, the jury will decide whether the defendants committed battery and negligence under state law in their dealings with Hamilton. Mosqueda’s claims were dismissed because he couldn’t identify the officer.
The city and officers deny the allegations. They contend Hamilton was not pepper-sprayed but felt the effects of the chemical directed at someone else. They also argue that the officers took the actions against Hamilton the following day as he tried to bully his way through a police cordon. They say Mosqueda refused to comply with the officer’s orders and obstructed attempts to bring an unruly crowd under control.
Both plaintiffs, the six officers and Olympia Police Chief Gary Michel are expected to testify.
Hamilton and Mosqueda seek damages to be determined by the jury.
Christian Hill: 360-754-5427
Preliminary investigations by the Pakistani authorities indicate that the terrorists who had targeted the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi on October 10, 2009 and those involved in the October 15, 2009 multiple terrorist attacks in Lahore at three different places were in fact Punjabi Taliban belonging to at least three Sunni Deobandi sectarian-cum-jihadi organisations which are working in tandem with the Pashtun-dominated South Waziristan-based Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to carry out joint terrorist operations in almost every nook and corner of the country.
The GHQ attack has not only highlighted the growing threat from the Waziristan-based Pashtun Taliban, but also from the Punjabi Taliban. As a matter of fact, Aqeel alias Dr Usman, the ring leader of the GHQ attackers, too happens to be a Punjabi Taliban from the Kahuta area of Rawalpindi who had been affiliated with the Army Medical Corps till 2006. According to his interrogators, in the aftermath of the July 2007 Lal Masjid operation in the heart of Islamabad, Aqeel and several other hardcore jihadi elements floated a new organisation by the name of Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab, which is currently led by one Farooq Bhai, who had been affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Jaish-e-Mohammad in the past. The two organisations of the Punjabi and the Pashtun Taliban reportedly share a Sunni-Deobandi ideology and a common objective to wage jihad against the Pakistan Army which is siding with the forces of the infidel in the ongoing war against terror. The Punjabi-Pashtun nexus of the two Taliban organisations reportedly share each other’s religious seminaries, training facilities, sanctuaries as well as jihadi cadres to carry out terrorist operations across Pakistan. However, the terrorist activities of Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab have so far been limited to the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad as well as Lahore.
Much before the TTP henchmen targeted the GHQ building the Pakistani intelligence agencies had informed the government that some of the southern Punjab-based banned militant-cum-sectarian groups were gaining military strength, especially after joining hands with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. As per the intelligence information, several activists of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and the Harkatul Jihadul Islami (HUJI), who had taken part in the Afghan jihad, have tied up with the TTP to carry out terrorist operations against important government and security installations. The facilitators of the terrorists who targeted the provincial headquarters of the Inter Services Intelligence and the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore recently, besides attacking the training facilities of the Punjab police as well as the Sri Lankan cricket team were all Punjabi Taliban.
South Punjab actually grabbed the attention of the intelligence agencies over the past couple of years due to involvement of the Punjabi Taliban who were arrested from different parts of the province after a spate of terrorist attacks targeting the country’s security and intelligence establishment. However, two years down the road since then, the growing power of the Punjabi Taliban poses a serious threat. While Punjab has been the hub of religious extremism and radical Islamists for long, it is the southern part of Punjab, also known as the Seraiki region, which faces the most threat serious of Talibanisation. Investigators believe local militant groups in Punjab provide logistical support and human resource to the Pashtun Taliban for carrying out their terrorist operations in Punjab.
Initially made up largely of Pashtuns, the Taliban movement in Pakistan is now largely dominated by Punjabi militant groups created by the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment with a view to ’liberate’ Jammu and Kashmir. However, like Frankenstein’s monster, these jihadi groups, which are mostly based in Punjab, have joined hands with the Taliban and al-Qaeda to take on their creator. With a population of approximately 27 million, South Punjab comprises 13 districts: Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan, Jhang, Layyah, Lodhran, Khanewal, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalnagar, Rajanpur, Bhakkar, Vehari and Dera Ghazi Khan. The investigators believe that local militant groups in Punjab provide logistical support and human resource to the Pashtun Taliban for carrying out their terrorist operations in Punjab. But fresh recruits for most of the Sunni Deobandi sectarian-cum-militant jihadi groups come from the religious seminaries of Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur and Muzaffargarh.
Once indoctrinated at these religious seminaries, the young madrassa students from Punjab are taken to the terrorist training camps in the country’s Pashtun tribal belt. According to rough estimates, over five thousand youngsters from the religious seminaries of southern and northern Punjab Province have reportedly moved to South and North Waziristan in the backdrop of the Lal Masjid operation. Once they completed their military training, these youngsters eventually proved themselves to be valuable partners for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, keeping in view their first hand knowledge of the important urban centres of Punjab, such as Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. These very elements have apparently let loose a reign of terror in both the federal capital Islamabad and the provincial capital Lahore by launching unprecedented fidayeen attacks on key military and police installations.
Despite reports regarding the existence of Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab, analysts say the existing network of the Punjabi Taliban lacks any organisation or command structure and operates as a loose network of elements from distinct jihadi and sectarian organisations, including Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) led by Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) currently led by Qari Mohammad Zafar, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) led by Maulana Masood Azhar, Jamaatul Furqan, the splinter group of the Jaish, led by Maulana Abdul Jabbar and both the Azad Kashmir and the Pakistan chapters of the Harkatul Jihadul Islami (HUJI), led by Commander Ilyas Kashmiri and Qari Saifullah Akhtar respectively. They further believe that the purpose of undertaking terrorist operations under the name of the Punjabi Taliban is to have the freedom to operate without the level of command and control inherent when working for the more established militant outfits.
A careful scrutiny of newspaper files show that the term Punjabi Taliban was first used for ethnic Punjabis affiliated with the Harkatul Jihadul Islami of Qari Saifullah Akhtar, once he had reached Kandahar along with his fellow jihadis after being freed by the Pakistani authorities, following the dismissal of the second Bhutto government in November 1996. Qari had been arrested for plotting to take over the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi during the Corps Commanders Conference and later overthrow the Benazir government to eventually enforce their own brand of Islamic Shariah in Pakistan. However, after the dismissal of the Bhutto government, Qari Saifullah Akhtar was released. He went to Afghanistan and was inducted into the cabinet of the Taliban Ameer Mullah Mohammad Omar as his advisor on political affairs.
Once in Afghanistan, the militants of Qari’s HUJI were called Punjabi Taliban and offered employment, something that other jihadi organisations could not get from Mullah Omar. Interestingly, three ministers in the Taliban regime and 22 judges of the superior courts also belonged to the HUJI, whose militants are known to have supported Mullah Omar in difficult times. At least 300 HUJI militants lost their lives while fighting the Northern Alliance troops, prompting Mullah Omar to give HUJI the permission to build six more training camps in Kandahar, Kabul and Khost, where the Taliban army also used to receive military training. Before the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent invasion ofAfghanistan, the HUJI had branch offices in 40 districts across Pakistan. While funds were collected from these grass-root offices and from foreign sources, the Harkat had accounts in two branches of the Allied Bank in Islamabad.
While HUJI’s Pakistan chapter is led by Qari Saifullah Akhtar, its Azad Kashmir chapter is autonomous and headed by Commander Ilyas Kashmiri, a veteran of the Kashmir jihad who is considered to be one of the most dangerous al-Qaeda-linked Pakistani commanders. No. 4 on the Pakistani Interior Ministry’s Most Wanted list, Kashmiri had spent several years in an Indian jail before escaping. He was then arrested by the Pakistani authorities following the December 2003 twin suicide attacks on General Musharraf’s presidential cavalcade in Rawalpindi. However, Kashmiri was set free in February 2004 on the intervention of the United Jihad Council’s chief, Syed Salahuddin. He later shifted base to the North Waziristan region on the Pak-Afghan tribal belt and joined hands with Commander Baitullah Mehsud.
Having switched from the freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir to the Taliban-led resistance against the NATO forces in Afghanistan, Kashmiri established a training camp in the Razmak area of Waziristan and shifted most of his warriors from his Kotli training camp in Azad Kashmir. In May 2009, Kashmiri was accused of plotting the assassination of Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani, in collusion with al-Qaeda. In September 2009, Kashmiri was reportedly killed in a US predator strike in South Waziristan but he reappeared almost a month later in October to belie official claims of his death, besides vowing retribution against the US and its proxies. As things stand, both the Punjabi Taliban leaders of the HUJI — Ilyas Kashmiri and Saifullah Akhtar — are reportedly operating from South Waziristan and carrying out joint terrorist operations in Punjab with the help of their fellow militants from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
On the 10th of October, 2007, at Hotel Hilton in Tel-Aviv, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated the following: “We are buying up Manhattan, Hungary, Romania and Poland.”Link: http://nrg.co.il/onl…
Vodpod videos no longer available.
On the 10th of October, 2007, at Hotel Hilton in Tel-Aviv, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated the following: “We are buying up Manhattan, Hungary, Romania and Poland.”Link: http://nrg.co.il/onl…
Vodpod videos no longer available.