Tajikistan, A Frail Nation-State Amidst the New Great Game

Tajikistan, A Frail Nation-State Amidst the New Great Game

Written by John Daly

The past two decades since the 1991 collapse of Communism have seen the Russian Federation and the U.S. involved in an updated version of the 19th century’s “Great Game’ for mastery in Eurasia over the debris field of the former USSR.

Not surprisingly, Moscow regards its former colonial fiefdoms as part of its “near abroad,” a “Monroeskii Doktrin” variant of U.S. interest in Central and Latin American, where a priori interests rule.

U.S. interests in the post-Soviet Eurasian space since 1991 have fixated first on the region’s immense but underdeveloped energy resources, while the post-9/11 environment added a second dimension – military bases, handily useful for monitoring both the Russian bear and a rising China.

Washington’s confrontation with Moscow over regional dominance is increasingly coming to resemble the memorable scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (oddly enough, set in the same area), where Marion Ravenwood is involved in a boozy contest to drink her opponent under the table.

The last piece of gristle left on the gaming banquet table is Tajikistan, the poorest, then and now, of the former Soviet republics, but one in which now both the Russian Federation and the U.S. discern ‘strategic” interests.

What is tragic in this game of shadow boxing is how little is ‘trickling down” to the average Tajik, whose life is one of grinding poverty and diminished expectations. Tajikistan faces a daunting litany of problems – quite aside from the aforementioned poverty, the population’s misery index includes substantial portions of drug trafficking, persistent Islamic militancy and corruption. The 2010 Global Corruption Barometer, a recent report by Transparency International, ranked Tajikistan one of the world’s worst nation’s in terms of corruption, placing it at 154th out of 178 surveyed.

As for drugs, Tajikistan’s porous 810 mile-long border with Afghanistan is essentially wide open, a porous frontier which separates one of the world’s most unstable countries from one of the poorest.

Washington has belatedly recognized Tajikistan’s importance in its efforts to pacify Afghanistan. Last year the U.S. provided Tajikistan with a munificent $65.48 million in foreign aid. Washington’s twin concerns for Tajikistan are the drug trade and Islamic militancy, and there is little indication that either is being successfully contained. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates than in 2010 Afghanistan produced about 3,600 tons of opium, much of which transits Tajikistan on its way to European and American markets. In 2009, Tajik security services seized a paltry 4.5 tons of drugs. Any bets as to how much else slipped through?

As for Russia, it never really left. Last week Sergei Naryshkin, head of the administration of Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev, accompanied by Russian Defense Minister Anatoli Serdyukov  visited Tajikistan, and met with high-ranking Tajik officials. One immediate outcome of their discussions was Moscow’s decision to reduce customs duties for oil products exported to Tajikistan, no small matter for Dushanbe, which imports approximately 90 percent of its hydrocarbons from Russia.

As for Tajikistan’s Islamic militants, they are a legacy of the country’s brutal civil war. Of all the former Soviet “stans,” Tajikistan suffered the most following the 1991 collapse of the USSR, as in 1992 Tajikistan descended into a brutal civil war dominated by diehard Communists and Islamic militants. When it ended five years later with a UN-brokered agreement, more than 50,000 Tajiks had been killed in a nation of only 7.5 million, and more than one-tenth of the population had fled the country. In understanding the appeal of Islam among a people as downtrodden as the Tajiks, it is important to remember that Communism largely failed to improve their lives, while two decades of capitalism has enriched only a small portion of the country’s elite, leaving Abduallah Sixpack worse off than before, with a vast array of grudges.

As for the current administration, it is pinning its hopes on becoming Central Asia’s leading electricity exporter, seeking to complete the vast 3,600-megawatt Soviet-era Vakhsh River Rogun hydroelectric cascade, begun in 1976. Squeezing the population to support its glorius nationalist project, in December 2009 the Tajik government issued Rogun stock and made it compulsory for citizens to purchase nearly $700 worth of shares, a sum exceeding most Tajiks’ annual income, in order to collect $600 million for construction to continue.

The project has aroused anxieties in neighboring Uzbekistan, which fears that Rogun would diminish downstream water flows of resources critically needed for Uzbekistan’s massive cotton crops.

So, what to do?

It is time that Washington and Moscow realize their commonality of interests in Tajikistan, staunching the drug trade and diluting the appeal of radical Islam. Accordingly, aid should be centered on improving life in the countryside and reviving regional agriculture, however dull a subject it may be. Furthermore, both countries should agree that Tajikistan as a military asset is off the table and instead assist it in recovering from the heinous damage inflicted by its civil war, which left most of the country’s Soviet-era infrastructure in ruins.

As long as the country remains a pawn in the new “Great Game,” its population will listen to the alluring call of its Islamic heritage, and, as both Russia and the U.S. have discovered to their cost, that chorus includes a number of voices whose song is not necessarily supportive of either society. For Tajikistan, its time to get back to basics, which means, above all, providing the means for a man to support his family. The country’s population is 7.5 million – how hard and expensive can it be, especially for a superpower blowing $120 billion a year in neighboring Afghanistan?

By. John C.K. Daly of  OilPrice.com

Hillary Going To Condole India As She Sucks-Up

Hillary to share details of US -Taliban talks with India

From ANI

New Delhi, July 14: United States will update India about its preliminary talks with the Taliban and will also seek India’s suggestions on reconciliation when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits India for the strategic dialogue next week.

“US is continuing to explore whether it is possible to reach some kind of understanding with some elements of the Taliban leadership,” U.S. Charge d’Affaires A. Peter Bulreigh told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.

“Talks with Taliban is an ongoing event and a process that, I am sure, will continue for months and what I do want to say is that we will do our best to keep the Government of India directly informed of the developments and seek the advise of the Government of India,” he added.

The US envoy also ruled out differences between the two countries on the issue of troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Obama’s announcement of troops drawdown is quite acceptable to New Delhi,” he said.

“I understand there was some concern in India that it would be massive drawdown….my understanding is that the Government of India found announcement by Obama quite acceptable,” he added.

US President Obama recently announced a drawdown plan. He announced that 10,000 troops would return by the end of this year, and 23,000 more by next summer. There are currently 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.

“During the strategic dialogue, Secretary of State Clinton will also be discussing the situation in Pakistan. She will be apprised by the Indian side the evolving discussions between India and Pakistan,” Bulreigh told reporters.

The relations between US and Pakistan are on the downturn especially in the wake ofashington ‘s decision to pause military aid, Pakistan will also be an important area of discussion during the strategic dialogue.

Allaying apprehensions over the NSG’s ban on EPR technology, Charge de affairs Bulreigh reiterated that US is fully committed to fulfill the promises made in the 2008 civil nuclear agreement.

“We are completely committed to our previous agreements with India including 123greement and NSG waiver for India, and so I have no doubt that the nuclear issues would be discussed during the meetings. As far as the US is concerned, we want to fully implement agreements that have been made earlier,” he said.

“We would like to see American companies to have contracts for nuclear reactors here in India as other countries are moving ahead we want to do that too,”


he added, while briefing media persons on the forthcoming visit of US Secretary of State to India.

Downplaying Washington’s apparent exasperation over getting out of the MMRCA fighter aircraft deal, he said: ” US and India have long- term relations. One deal here or there cannot make or break the relationship.” By Naveen Kapoor(ANI)

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com

Squandering Our Children’s Future To Protect Someone’s Bottom Line

[If I trusted any of these guys I would be tempted to say that, anything that the chairman of the Fed and the president of the US Chamber of Commerce both opposed HAD TO BE good, but I understand where those creeps are coming from.  The only thing that can “save” the United States at this point, from a planned permanent state of slavery to the bankers, is to let their ill-gotten Empire to collapse of its own dead weight.  No matter how much economic pain and suffering is caused by an American financial meltdown, it will seem like nothing, compared to the pain that all of us and our children, and their children, will suffer, if we waste what is left of America’s economic strength, instead of repairing our Nation (and the damage we have done to the world), after thirty or more years of the neocon destroyers.  They have laid waste to the American economy to line their own pockets, even while they were waging actual war upon the rest of the world.  If these assholes get away with squandering what little we have left, to protect their looting operation, then we will deserve to be slaves in a “post-apocalyptic” nightmare world.]


Tempers flare as debt-limit deadline nears

By David Jackson and Mimi Hall


WASHINGTON — With time growing shorter, President Obama and congressional leaders grew angrier Wednesday in their effort to reach a deal to increase the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. At the same time, the chairman of the Federal Reserve and the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that a failure to act could trigger a financial meltdown.

Republican leaders are at odds with the White Houseover a broad deal to cut spending and raise taxes while raising the debt limit by the Aug. 2 deadline set by theTreasury Department. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also warned recalcitrant members of his own party that the GOP‘s political fortunes would suffer if the marathon White House sessions don’t soon produce agreement.

Moody’s Investor Services issued a stark reminder of the stakes by placing the nation’s AAA bond rating on review for a possible downgrade. Moody’s cited the “rising possibility” that the United States for the first time will default on its loans.

But none of the warnings helped foster a deal — or tamp down the harsh rhetoric.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told reporters after the fourth White House meeting in as many days that when he proposed a short-term extension of the debt ceiling, Obama became “agitated.” Cantor said Obama, who has firmly opposed a short-term measure, warned him not to “call my bluff.”

In an effort to reach a deal, Obama said the White House could reach $1.7 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years without new revenues, said two Democratic aides familiar with the meeting. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

He could reach $2.4 trillion over 10 years with extra revenues, Obama told the group, the aides said.

The president then said there was too much “positioning, posturing and catering” to lawmakers’ political bases, and he stood up and left the meeting, “Enough is enough,” Obama said, according to the aides.

“I know why he lost his temper,” Cantor said. “He’s frustrated. We’re all frustrated.”

Earlier, in a jab at Republicans who oppose any tax increases, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.,, said those hewing to a “rigid ideological agenda” are “playing Russian roulette” with the economy. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that negotiating with the White House has been “like dealing with Jell-O.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, meanwhile, warned that if the government defaults on its debt, it could throw “shock waves through the entire financial system.”Thomas Donohue, the Chamber president, warned in an opinion piece on usatoday.com that failing to raise the debt ceiling would kill jobs, increase the debt and deficits and depreciate the dollar.

Their warnings added to McConnell’s, who in an interview with conservative radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham, cautioned that Republicans will be blamed if the debt limit isn’t raised.

“I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy,” he said, adding that after two years in office, Obama is now responsible for the economic conditions that began under former president George W. Bush.

On Tuesday, McConnell floated a complex formula that would allow Obama to raise the debt limit even in the absence of an agreement on how to reduce the debt and deficits going forward.

But his fellow Republicans balked. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told CBS’ the Early Showthat he was against that idea. DeMint, a leader in the conservative anti-tax Tea Party movement, said “Republicans weren’t elected last November to make it easier to spend and borrow and add to our debt.”

GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has said flatly that she won’t vote to raise the debt limit.

On Wednesday, Treasury also said the deficit for the first nine months of the fiscal year reached $971 billion.

“Nothing Happens by Accident…If it Happens, It Was Planned That Way.”–FDR

The Truth is Out There


“Ignorance…brought about anguish and terror. And the anguish grew solid like a fog and no one was able to see.”
– The Gospel of Truth, 17:10, Nag Hammadi Texts

“Humanity is asleep, concerned only with what is useless, living in a wrong world….Do not prattle before the People of the Path, rather consume yourself. You have an inverted knowledge and religion if you are upside down in relation to Reality. Man is wrapping his net around himself. A lion (the man of the Way) bursts his cage asunder.”
– The Sufi Master Sanai, teacher of Rumi, in The Walled Garden of Truth (1131 C.E.).

What role does conspiracy and cover-up play in the multifarious facets of life in the closing years of this twentieth century? Are powerful groups manipulating events as part of a long-range strategy to bring about a totally controlled global society? Does recognition of conspiracies lead to paranoia and delusion? Or does it actually explain events and thereby empower people?

It is not the purpose of this short article to examine the range of crimes, cabals and secret plots broadly covered by the word conspiracy. Nor do we intend to prove the existence of some international conspiracy at work in the crisis torn world of the 90s. What we want to touch on is the implications of conspiracy theories for personal transformation. What we want to explore here is a different way of seeing the world.

First let us define the meaning of that seemingly disturbing word: “conspiracy”. Webster’s International dictionary gives, as one connotation, “a combination of men for an evil purpose; a plot”. The Oxford Dictionary of English agrees, defining conspiracy as “a combination of persons for an evil or unlawful purpose; an agreement between two or more to do something criminal, illegal or reprehensible; a plot”.

If, as a significant number of researchers claim, it can be shown that influential – largely hidden – elites have knowingly combined their efforts in a plot(s) to manipulate and control people and events, then on the basis of the standard definition just cited, a conspiracy does indeed exist.

Readers who are accustomed (or is it conditioned?) to automatically regard any mention of conspiracy as irrational paranoia, will find this very subject a ‘problem’.

Jonathon Vankin, the author of two excellent books exploring a host of conspiracy theories, observes that, “The word ‘conspiracy’ may be a ‘problem’ for some, but only because it represents the unknown, mystery, and risk. Those are the things that grip the human mind and bring it to life. These ideas can only be a problem for those who wish to keep our minds under control.”

Last century the British politician, Benjamin Disraeli, a man of wide political experience, declared that “the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” This century U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt has been quoted as saying: “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, it was planned that way.”

“Ruling elites will use conspiracy,” states political scientist and activist Dr. Michael Parenti. “They will finance elections, publicity campaigns, publishing houses, wire services, and academic studies. They will use surveillance, mobsters, terrorists, assassins and death squads.”

Conspiracy researchers ‘look behind the dark curtain’ that shrouds history and the sacrosanct assumptions reinforcing contemporary society.

There really are, as investigative author Jim Hougan says, two kinds of history, the safe, sanitized “‘Disney version,’ so widely available as to be unavoidable…and a second one that remains secret, buried, and unnamed.”

This “second” version of history, Jonathon Vankin and John Whalen argue, does indeed have a name: “conspiracy theory.” According to the co-authors of 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time the official, safe “Disney” version of history “could just as easily be called the ‘New York Times version’ or the ‘TV news version’ or the ‘college textbook version.’ The main resistance to conspiracy theories comes not from people on the street, but from the media, academia, and government – people who manage the national and global economy of information.”

The structure of the modern world demands mass adherence to faith in the institutions that maintain the existing order and make it run. These institutions are innumerable: government, business, science, education, politics…and their survival is dependent on people’s faith in authority.

“We have to believe the institutions are functioning in our best interests,” wrote Vankin in his 1991 ground-breaking book Conspiracies, Cover-Ups and Crimes. “We have to believe what the people within those institutions assure us to be true.”

This is why ‘conspiracy theories’ are universally anathema to the Establishment. They directly challenge the status quo, undermining the blind faith of the ‘brainwashed’ masses in society’s machiavellian ‘leaders’!

Vankin quotes anthropologist Jules Henry as saying that “our civilization is a tissue of contradictions and lies.” Henry used the term “sham” for the everyday deceptions that reinforce this malignant society. “Sham gives rise to coalitions because usually sham cannot be maintained without confederates.” In other words, to keep the system afloat requires a conspiracy. “In sham,” Henry continues, “the deceiver enters into an inner conspiracy against himself.”

Acknowledging the conspiracies and cover-ups behind history and contemporary events means we can no longer lie to ourselves, like Colin Wilson’s “Outsider” who “cannot live in the comfortable insulated world of the bourgeois, accepting what he sees and touches as reality.”

Modern civilisation is a conspiracy against Reality.

R.D. Laing explains in The Politics of Experience how people are ‘conditioned’ and ‘brainwashed’ by modern society. Beginning with the children, Laing says, “It is imperative to catch them in time. Without the most thorough and rapid brainwashing their dirty minds would see through our dirty tricks. Children are not yet fools, but we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high IQs if possible.

“From the moment of birth, when the Stone Age baby confronts the Twentieth century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father, and their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities, and on the whole this enterprise is successful. By the time the new human being is fifteen or so, we are left with a being like ourselves, a half-crazed creature more or less adjusted to a mad world. This is normality in our present age.”

In our conditioned environment we accept what we are told, largely without question. Society, or more precisely the ruling elites, define reality.

Central to every conspiracy is the suppression of specific information or the deliberate avoidance of certain key facts. Control of information is a mechanism of social control. If information is used by the ruling elites to programme and mentally enslave people, then information can be used to deprogramme and liberate them. Knowledge is the key to freedom.

According to the Sufis, the potential for clear, direct perception in man in his everyday life is largely frustrated by a distorting complex of sociopsychological conditioning factors. Often these appear in the seemingly innocuous forms of unfounded assumptions and expectations. Consequently man is ready mental putty in the hands of powerful manipulators. Conspiracies are detected only by the exercise of unfettered perception and thinking. Thus, conspirators must propagate a necessary level of confusion in those whom they seek to deceive and control.

The mere realisation of the existence and activities of various ‘conspiracies’ orchestrated by powerful ruling elites, has a largely liberating effect on a thinking individual, disclosing to him as it does the vast magnitude of the lies and deception incorporated in the various layers of official culture. The whole social structure, educational structure, economic and political structures are directly challenged.

Once a person realises that there is a ‘hidden history’ behind our so-called history, they invariably start to want to break away from the futile human pattern of seeing reality as it is not and thereby living a lie. They want to abandon the anaesthetic of ignorance and suppression within which man cocoons himself and to embrace the intensity of reality – as it is.

Conspiracies and cover-ups do exist. However, their underlying root cause is our own irresponsibility, ignorance and inactivity. The world tells us what we want to hear, giving us justifications for different states of irresponsibility. Civilization may well be destroying itself, but individuals don’t have to destroy themselves with it.

The modern world with its phobias, neurosis, contradictions and conflicts, is what we must overcome. We must break our links, sever our ties; plumb the depths of our unconsciousness, and cut the bonds with which we’ve bound ourselves.

Confronted by the intrigue of conspiracy and cover-up, we don’t react to the sham by constructing an equally dogmatic, paranoid worldview. Nor do we become down-cast, depressed or consumed with red-hot anger. There is no point in hiding away or running wildly in the street. Just be AWARE. From the inner certainty, clarity and calm of AWARENESS proceeds right and constructive action. Channel your anger, your fear, your hopes and dreams into TOTAL AWARENESS. By discerning society’s true condition you are free from the bonds of ignorance and no longer a pawn in the game. Awakening from the sleep of conditioned existence we can appreciate the words of the Sufi teacher Al Ghazzali: “The higher one ascends a mountain, the farther one sees.”

Some radical students of the Bible identify the existing social, political and economic order as “Babylon”. A name synonymous with a system of total oppression and exploitation, taken from the Book of Revelation. The government, the bureaucracy, indeed all worldly authorities are mere instruments of Babylon. Babylon, built on falsehood and sustained by ignorance, will one day come crashing down because of fundamental untruths. Awakened to the actual nature of this world, one’s life is that of exile. A stranger in a strange land. Conspiracy and cover-up is what we first encounter when we begin to perceive real life in Babylon.

“It may be that mankind has been invited to participate in a bizarre kind of contest with some undeclared cosmic opponents,” says Brad Steiger, a writer on the paranormal. “Man may have been challenged to play the Reality Game; and if he can once apprehend the true significance of the preposterous clues, if he can but master the proper moves, he may obtain a clearer picture of his true role in the cosmic scheme of things.”

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 31 (July-August 1995).

© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.


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The Elite, the ‘Great Game’ and World War III

The Elite, the ‘Great Game’ and World War III

new dawn magazine

By Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran

The control of the US, and of global politics, by the wealthiest families of the planet is exercised in a powerful, profound and clandestine manner. This control began in Europe and has a continuity that can be traced back to the time when the bankers discovered it was more profitable to give loans to governments than to needy individuals.

These banking families and their subservient beneficiaries have come to own most major businesses over the two centuries during which they have secretly and increasingly organised themselves as controllers of governments worldwide and as arbiters of war and peace.

Unless we understand this we will be unable to understand the real reasons for the two world wars and the impending Third World War, a war that is almost certain to begin as a consequence of the US attempt to seize and control Central Asia. The only way out is for the US to back off – something the people of the US and the world want, but the elite does not.

The US is a country controlled through the privately owned Federal Reserve, which in turn is controlled by the handful of banking families that established it by deception in the first place.

In his interesting book The Secret Team, Col. Fletcher Prouty, briefing officer of the US President from 1955-63, narrates a remarkable incident in which Winston Churchill made a most revealing utterance during World War II: “On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, ‘Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing – this is total war.’ He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, ‘Time and the Ocean and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are’.”

Prouty further states: “This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a ‘High Cabal’ that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity.” This “High Cabal” is the “One World Cabal” of today, also called the elite by various writers.

The High Cabal & What They Control

The elite owns the media, banks, defence and oil industry. In his book Who’s Who of the Elite Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. states: “It is my opinion that they own the US military, NATO, the Secret Service, the CIA, the Supreme Court, and many of the lower courts. They appear to control, either directly or indirectly, most of the state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.”

The elite is intent on conquering the world through the use of the abilities of the people of the United States. It was as far back as 1774 that Amschel Mayer Rothschild stated at a gathering of the twelve richest men of Prussia in Frankfurt: “Wars should be directed so that the nations on both sides should be further in our debt.” He further enunciated at the same meeting: “Panics and financial depressions would ultimately result in World Government, a new order of one world government.”

The elite owns numerous “think tanks” that work for expanding, consolidating and perpetuating its hold on the globe. The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and many other similar organisations are all funded by the elite and work for it. These think tanks publish journals, such as Foreign Affairs, in which these imperialist and anti-mankind ideas are edified as publications, and then, if need be, expanded in the form of books that are given wide publicity.

Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger et al, as well as the neo-con “thinkers,” owe their positions and good living standards to the largesse of the elite. This is an important point that must be kept in full view at all times. These thinkers and writers are on the payroll of the elite and work for them. In case someone has any doubts about such a statement, it might help to read the following quotes from Professor Peter Dale Scott’s comprehensively researched book The Road to 9/11 – Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (University of California Press, 2007):

…Bundy’s Harvard protégé Kissinger was named to be national security adviser after having chaired an important “study group” at the Council on Foreign Relations. As a former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, Kissinger had been paid by Rockefeller to write a book on limited warfare for the CFR. He had also campaigned hard in Rockefeller’s losing campaign for the Presidential nomination in 1968. Thus Rockefeller and the CFR might have been excluded from control of the Republican Party, but not from the Republican White House. (Page 22)

The following quote from page 38 of the book is also very revealing:

The Kissinger-Rockefeller relationship was complex and certainly intense. As investigative reporter Jim Hougan wrote: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always a protégé of his patron Nelson Rockefeller, even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”

Professor Scott adds:

Nixon’s and Kissinger’s arrival in the White House in 1969 coincided with David Rockefeller’s becoming CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. The Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy of detente was highly congruous with Rockefeller’s push to internationalise Chase Manhattan banking operations. Thus in 1973 Chase Manhattan became the first American bank to open an office in Moscow. A few months later, thanks to an invitation arranged by Kissinger, Rockefeller became the first US banker to talk with Chinese Communist leaders in Beijing.

How They Manipulate Public Opinion

In addition to these strategic “think tanks” the elite has set up a chain of research institutes devoted to manipulating public opinion in a manner the elite desires. As pointed out by John Coleman in his eye opening book The Tavistock Institute on Human Relations – Shaping the Moral, Spiritual, Cultural, Political and Economic Decline of the United States of America, it was in 1913 that an institute was established at Wellington House, London for manipulation of public opinion. According to Coleman:

The modern science of mass manipulation was born at Wellington House London, the lusty infant being midwifed by Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothmere. The British monarchy, Lord Rothschild, and the Rockefellers were responsible for funding the venture… the purpose of those at Wellington House was to effect a change in the opinions of British people who were adamantly opposed to war with Germany, a formidable task that was accomplished by “opinion making” through polling. The staff consisted of Arnold Toynbee, a future director of studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), Lord Northcliffe, and the Americans, Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays. Lord Northcliffe was related to the Rothschilds through marriage.

Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, a fact never mentioned, and developed the technique of “engineering consent.” When Sigmund Freud moved to Britain he also, secretly, became associated with this institute through the Tavistock Institute. According to Coleman, Bernays “pioneered the use of psychology and other social sciences to shape and form public opinion so that the public thought such manufactured opinions were their own.”

The Tavistock Institute has a 6 billion dollar fund and 400 subsidiary organisations are under its control along with 3,000 think tanks, mostly in the USA. The Stanford Research Institute, the Hoover Institute, the Aspen Institute of Colorado, and many others, devoted to manipulation of US as well as global public opinion, are Tavistock offshoots. This helps explain why the US public, by and large, is so mesmerised as to be unable to see things clearly and to react.

Bilderberg researcher Daniel Estulin quotes from Mary Scobey’s book To Nurture Humanness a statement attributed to Professor Raymond Houghton, that the CFR has been clear for a very long time that “absolute behaviour control is imminent… without mankind’s self realisation that a crisis is at hand.”

Also keep in mind that currently 80% of US electronic and print media is owned by only six large corporations. This development has taken place in the past two decades. These corporations are elite owned. It is almost impossible for anyone who is acquainted with what is going on at the global level to watch, even for a few minutes, the distortions, lies and fabrications, incessantly pouring out of this media, a propaganda and brainwashing organ of the elite.

Once your picture is clear it is also easy to notice the criminal silence of the media on crimes being perpetrated against humanity at the behest of the elite. How many people know that the cancer rates in Fallujah, Iraq are higher than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the use of depleted uranium, and maybe other secret nuclear devices, by US forces? Fallujah was punished for its heroic resistance against the American forces.

The Importance of Eurasia

Why is the US in Central Asia? In order to understand this, one has to look at the writings of the stooges of the elite – Brzezinski, Kissinger, Samuel P Huntington, and their likes. It is important to note that members of these elite paid think tanks publish books as part of a strategy to give respectability to subsequent illegal, immoral and predatory actions that are to be taken at the behest of the elite. The views are not necessarily their own – they are the views of the think tanks. These stooges formulate and pronounce policies and plans at the behest of their masters, through bodies like the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, etc.

In his infinitely arrogant book The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, Brzezinski spelled out the philosophy behind the current US military eruption. He starts by quoting the well-known views of the British geographer Sir Halford J Mackinder (1861–1947), another worker for the elite. Mackinder was a member of the ‘Coefficients Dining Club’ established by members of the Fabian Society in 1902. The continuity of the policies of the elite is indicated by the fact Brzezinski starts from Mackinder’s thesis first propounded in 1904: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island: who commands the World-Island commands the world.”

Brzezinski argues that for the first time in human history a non-Eurasian power has become preeminent and it must hold sway over the Eurasian continent if it is to remain the preeminent global power: “For America the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… About 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia… Eurasia accounts for about 60 percent of the world’s GNP and about three fourths of the world’s known energy resources.”

It is not just the geostrategic location of this region – it is also its wealth, “both in its enterprises and beneath its soil,” that holds such attraction for the elite whose greed for money, and lust for power, remain insatiable, as if there was a sickness afflicting it.

Brzezinski writes: “But it is on the globe’s most important playing field – Eurasia – that a potential rival to America might at some point arise. This focusing on the key players and properly assessing the terrain has to be a point of departure for the formulation of American geostrategy for the long-term management of America’s Eurasian geopolitical interests.”

These lines were published in 1997. Millions of people have died in the past two decades and millions have been rendered homeless in this region but it remains a “playing” field for Brzezinski and his likes! In his book Brzezinski has drawn two very interesting maps – one of these has the caption The Global Zone of Percolating Violence (page 53) and the other (page 124) is captioned The Eurasian Balkans. The first of these encircles a region which includes the following countries: Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, all Central Asian states, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Russia as well as India. The second one has two circles, an inner circle and a wider circle – the outer circle encloses the same countries as in the first map but the inner circle covers Iran, Afghanistan, eastern Turkey and the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia.

“This huge region, torn by volatile hatreds and surrounded by competing powerful neighbours, is likely to be a major battlefield…” writes Brzezinski. He further writes: “A possible challenge to American primacy from Islamic fundamentalism could be part of the problem of this unstable region.” These lines were written at a time when this kind of fundamentalism was not a problem – subsequently the US manipulated things and chose to make it one by its provocative and deceptive tactics. According to its strategic thinkers, the US might face a serious challenge from a coalition of China, Russia and Iran and must do whatever it can to prevent such a coalition from forming.

For Brzezinski, “terrorism” – a Tavistock-type concept – is just a well planned and well thought out strategy, a lie and a deception, to provide cover for a military presence in the Central Eurasian region and elsewhere. It is being used to keep the US public in a state of fear, to keep Russia in a state of insecurity about further breakup (the US has trained and supported Chechen fighters, “terrorists,” throughout) and to justify presence of US troops in and around Central Asia.

The Concocted War on Terrorism

Terrorism provides justification for transforming the United States into a police state. According to theWashington Post of 20 & 21 December 2010, the US now has 4,058 anti-terrorism organisations! These are certainly not meant for those so-called terrorists who operate in Central Asia – the number far exceeds the number of so-called terrorists in the entire world. Unbridled domestic spying by US agencies is now a fact of life and the US public, as always, has accepted this because of the collusion of media and Tavistock type institutes owned by the elite.

The US historian Howard Zinn puts it very well: “The so-called war on terrorism is not only a war against innocent people in other countries, but also a war on the people of the United States: a war on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth of the country is being stolen from the people and handed over to the superrich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And the thieves are in the White House.” Actually the thieves control the White House and have been doing so for a very long time.

In his outstanding book Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Ruppert points out that much of the violence in the Central Asian region as well as in Pakistan, which has been encircled in two maps in Brzezinski’s book, was “initiated by the US proxies.” “Given that these maps were published a full four years before the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, they would fall in a category of evidence I learned about at LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department]. We called them ‘clues’.” This means that the eruption of US militarism after 9/11, and the event itself, were part of a pre-planned and coherent strategy of global domination in which the people of the US were also “conquered” through totalitarian legislation carried out in the wake of 9/11.

As Brzezinski puts it:

America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a popular democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being… The economic self-denial (that is, defence spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.

Certainly post 9/11 legislation, the extraordinary expansion of agencies and surveillance of the US public is a cause of great satisfaction for the elite – the US can hardly be called a democracy now. As reported by the Washington Post, the National Security Agency intercepts over 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other communications every day and stores them. No wonder Bush called 9/11 “a great opportunity” and Rumsfeld saw it analogous to World War II to “refashion the world.”

In order to achieve the objectives of the elite, the US destroyed Yugoslavia while Russia stood by mesmerised and impotent, carried out regime changes in Central Asia, set up military bases in East Europe and Central Asia, and staged highly provocative military exercises testing Russia’s and China’s will. It set up a military base in Kyrgyzstan that has a 500 mile or so border with China. When the Chinese protested recent naval exercises with South Korea were too close to Chinese territory, a US spokesman responded: “Those determinations are made by us, and us alone… Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, with what assets and so forth are determinations that are made by the United States Navy, by the Department of Defence, by the United States government.” As journalist Rick Rozoff notes: “There is no way such confrontational, arrogant and vulgar language was not understood at its proper value in Beijing.”

The US has acquired bases in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and the Czech Republic – and set up the largest military base ever built in the region, Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo. According to a report in the Russian Kommersant newspaper on 3 March 2011, a four-phase plan for deployment of a US missile system in Europe is to be fully implemented by the end of 2020. The US is also busy setting up bilateral military ties in Russia’s backyard with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and is pursuing the goal of a “Greater Central Asia” from Afghanistan right up to the Middle East, a great corridor from where the oil, gas, and great mineral wealth of this region will flow to the coffers of the US elite, at bloody expense to the local people.

As remarked by the Indian career diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar: “The time is not far off before they begin to sense that ‘the war on terror’ is providing a convenient rubric under which the US is incrementally securing for itself a permanent abode in the highlands of Hindu Kush, the Pamirs, Central Asian steppes and the Caucasus that form the strategic hub overlooking Russia, China, India and Iran.” The scene for a great war involving the great powers of the time – US, Russia and China – is now set, by design of the elite. It is just a matter of time.

Time and again the US elite has taken its good people into great wars through documented and proven deceptions – the sinking of the Lusitania during World War I, Pearl Harbour in World War II, and so on. The elite considers us “human garbage” – a term first used by the French in Indo-China. It is also generating a good deal of “human garbage” in the US. A World Bank report points out that in 2005, 28 million Americans were “insecure” – in 2007 the number had risen to 46 million! One in every five Americans is faced with the possibility of becoming “destitute” – 38 million people receive food coupons!

Michael Ruppert laments:

My country is dead. Its people have surrendered to tyranny and in so doing, they have become tyranny’s primary support group; its base; its defender. Every day they offer their endorsement of tyranny by banking in its banks and spending their borrowed money with the corporations that run it. The great Neocon strategy of George H.W. Bush has triumphed. Convince the America people that they can’t live without the ‘good things’, then sit back and watch as they endorse the progressively more outrageous crimes you commit as you throw them bones with ever less meat on them. All the while lock them into debt. Destroy the middle class, the only political base that need be feared. Make them accept, because of their shared guilt, ever-more repressive police state measures. Do whatever you want.

A global economic system erected on inhuman and predatory values, where a few possess more wealth than the billions of hungry put together, will end, but the end will be painful and bloody. It is a system in which the elite thrives on war and widespread human misery, on death and destruction by design. As Einstein said, “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth – rocks!”

Prof. Dr. MUJAHID KAMRAN is Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, and his book The Grand Deception – Corporate America and Perpetual War has just been published (April 2011) by Sang e Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue 16.

© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.


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U.S. building new jails across Afghanistan despite drawdown

U.S. building new jails across Afghanistan despite drawdown

Stars and Stripes
The U.S. is supposed to hand over control of its massive new detention center outside Bagram Air Field to the Afghans this year, but new contracts reveal plans to build more jails in the war zone, Danger Room reports.

Afghanistan will take over the Parwan detention facility later this year, although negotiations have been difficult because of worries regarding the country’s corruption-prone judicial system. Hoping to create a new justice model, the U.S. military set up a judicial complex near the prison, but complaints from troops and Afghans persist throughout the country.

Despite the transfer at Parwan, high-risk detainees from Parwan will likely remain in U.S. custody and be transferred to new U.S.-run facilities, according to Danger Room.

The Army recently awarded a no-bid contract to an Afghan contractor to build a new U.S. government-controlled detention facility and plans to build another larger facility equipped with maximum-security holding cells, the military and technology blog noted.

Mumbai’s diamond, gold merchants furious at government apathy

Mumbai’s diamond, gold merchants furious at government apathy

Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) The country’s diamond and gold jewelery hubs in Mumbai, with a daily turnover of over Rs.10 billion, are angry and aghast at the manner in which thay have been blatantly targeted on three occasions by terror blasts.

The entire market — spread over barely two square kilometres in south Mumbai – remained shut today (Thursday) to protest the attack Wednesday evening in Zaveri Bazar and Opera House, the hubs of gold and diamond trade respectively.

Now, there are plans to keep the market closed even on Friday as all the top trade associations plan to meet and discuss their future course of action vis-a-vis the government in the face of terror.

Bombay Bullion Association president Prithviraj Kothari said this industry alone accounts for nearly Rs.10 billion (Rs.1,000 crore) trade per day, and over Rs.300,000 crore per year.

‘From these massive business volumes, calculate our huge contribution to the nationalexchequer by way octroi, VAT, sales tax, other levies, etc.’ Kothari, who has convened the emergency meeting of nearly a dozen trade associations, told IANS here Thursday.

‘Unfortunately, each time there is an attack, the industry goes on blink for nearly three months.’

According to Kothari, soon after the blasts, the national and international customers are reluctant to enter the vicinity in view of severe security restrictions and a general fear psychosis, hitting the trade severely.

Besides the gold and diamond industries, even the wholesale pharmaceutical, iron and metals, crockery and plastics markets are situated in the vicinity, leading to a cascading effect on the overall losses, he pointed out.

The area has a working population of nearly 200,000 people directly or indirectly engaged in the jewellery business, besides over hundreds of thousand from all over the country and overseas visit some 4,000 offices daily, Kothari said.

‘Naturally, we have initiated our own security precautions like private guards, close-circuit TV cameras, entry-exit restrictions. But what have we got from the government for our security despite making such a huge contribution to the exchequer?’ he asked.

Another prominent diamond merchant, Girish Shah said that in the past couple of decades, it has become practically impossible to carry on the business in south Mumbai where it has been concentrated for nearly a century.

‘We are told to shift to the newly-constructed Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in the suburban Bandra-Kurla Complex, but it is not a practical proposition for a vast majority of the traders here,’ Shah said.

‘The government keeps people like Afzal Guru and Kasab alive while we are left to be killed in these terror attacks,’ he said bitterly, referring to the March 12, 1993, Aug 25, 2003, and the latest — July 13, 2011, blasts in the jewellery hubs.

Shah said they were a soft target who cannot retaliate strongly enough, but instead of shutting down the markets periodically, it would be better if the industry people went on an indefinite hunger strike to shake the authorities.

Kothari said that each time a ‘red alert’ is declared in Mumbai, police and other security officials virtually lay siege to the gold and diamond markets, creating major hurdles for the residents and visiting businessmen.

‘Security agencies are doing their job well, but this is a truly sensitive area. There is also the famous Mumbadevi temple and Jama Masjid, besides several other places of worship and important buildings, not to mention the massive hawker menace,’ he said.

‘All this makes us an easy target.’

He said that while many businesses have shifted to the BDB, in view of several teething problems they treat it as a front office and the existing offices in south Mumbai continue to be their retail or wholesale outlets.

Both Shah and Kothari said that wholesale shifting to the BDB would pose many other security and logistical problems for the people engaged in the business.

While the Opera House and Zaveri Bazar offer easy walkable approach from Charni Road, Marine Lines and Masjid Bunder railway stations, Bandra-Kurla Complex is very far away from both Bandra or Kurla stations, and the approach is through thickly populated slums.

They apprehend their employees, who carry small packet containing high value diamonds, could be targeted by anti-social elements. ‘Until viable alternatives are available, we shall have to contend with these terror attacks,’ said Shah.

(Quaid Najmi can be reached at q.najmi@ians.in)

India’s Gem Council Reassures Foreign Diamond Buyers

India’s Gem Council Reassures Foreign Diamond Buyers

By Avi Krawitz

RAPAPORT… India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) assured foreign visitors to Mumbai that it would do all it could to ensure their safety following the terror attacks that hit the city’s main diamond trading areas on Wednesday.“We will make every effort to ensure that foreigners are safe and that everyone is taken care of,” Sanjay Kothari, vice president of the GJEPC told Rapaport News. “There is nothing to worry about and the attacks will not have an impact on the industry.”

More than 20 people were killed and over 100 were injured when terrorists simultaneously set off three bombs in the different locations during rush hour in the city. Two of the bombs went off in South Mumbai, at Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar, which are both focal points for the city’s diamond and jewelry trade. Kothari confirmed that diamond brokers and dealers were among the fatalities.

The GJEPC is preparing to host its largest trade event of the year when large delegations of diamond dealers from Belgium, Israel and d the Far East are expected to attend the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) in Mumbai at the beginning of August.

Yair Sahar, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) sent condolences to his counterpart at the Bharat Diamond Bourse.  “Living as we do in a country that has experienced the horror and tragedy of terrorism many times in the past, we are well aware of the significance and the impact of such incidents,” Sahar wrote. “On behalf of the entire diamond community in Israel, please convey our deepest condolences to the people of India and to the Bharat Diamond Bourse.”

Kothari reported that most offices are open for business today although police have kept one or two buildings closed. “We must be strong enough to minimize the impact the terrorists have on our lives and give support to those that have been affected,” he said. “It will take a few days but soon things will be back to normal.”

Terror Bombing On Mumbai’s Diamond Industry By LET or Mafia (Perhaps Russian Mafia)?

[SEE:  Russian mafia and not government controls Goa ; Molotov on Mandovi … the “Russian mafia” in Goa ]

21 killed, 141 injured as terror strikes Mumbai again


The scene after a blast near Opera House, Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre

The scene after a blast near Opera House, Mumbai on Wednesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Three bomb blasts go off within 11 minutes at Zaveri Bazar, Kabutarkhana, and Opera House

Three blasts between 6.54 p.m. and 7.05 p.m. on Wednesday rocked the crowded areas of Mumbai, killing 21 persons and injuring 141 others. The most powerful one, suspected to have been set off by an IED (improvised explosive device), occurred at Zaveri Bazaar in south Mumbai, a congested part of the city, the second at Kabutarkhana near the Dadar suburban railway station in central Mumbai and the third at Opera House, also in south Mumbai.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, confirming the death toll, said the blasts were a terror strike and the police would get to the bottom of it. He said the blasts occurred at 6.54 p.m., 6.55 p.m. and 7.05 p.m.

Appealing to Mumbaikars to remain calm, Mr. Chavan said he had spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and both of them assured the State all help.

In the blast near a bus stop at Kabutarkhana, according to eyewitness accounts, a car that was passing by was shattered and its driver injured. The damaged bus stop and broken glass of nearby shops bore testimony to the intensity of the bomb, which was placed near the Hanuman Mandir, according to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Umeshkumar Sarangi.

Mr. Sarangi said the bomb at Zaveri Bazaar was placed in an umbrella, while the one at Opera House was in a manhole. While Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik confirmed that it was an IED that was used at Zaveri Bazaar, investigations are still on to confirm the kind of explosive used at the other two places.

At Dadar, eyewitnesses said, the explosion was so loud many thought a building had collapsed. Rajendra Rathod, who has a shop just opposite the place where the bomb went off, told The Hindu that the intensity caused him to fall on the ground. A motorcyclist riding by also suffered the impact. The police cordoned off the entire area which was crammed with onlookers and the media.

There was a scuffle as workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) insisted the police were late in taking away the injured persons to hospital. People said they saw at least four persons lying injured and one dead.

Luckily, no schoolchild was injured, said Amruta Parab. For at this time of the day, usually lots of children and parents would be moving around the nearby school. Kabutarkhana is one of the most crowded areas outside the Dadar suburban station and usually there would be 150-200 people around. Rahul Gokhale heard the blast sound a little away at Portuguese Church where he lives in, and came to the site, where he witnessed chaos and confusion.

Pointing out that it was a difficult situation, Mr. Patnaik said Mumbai had witnessed blasts again and again. He promised the people that the guilty would be brought to book.

This is the third bomb blast at Zaveri Bazaar, the heart of the diamond trading area of the city. The earlier two happened in 1993 and in 2003.

On Wednesday, the bomb exploded in an area popularly called “Khau Galli” where people gather to have a snack in the evenings. It was littered with shattered glass and crowds surged to the site.

Jayesh Labdhi, a diamond merchant, was coming out of his office when he heard the loud explosion which he thought was caused by firing. Then he heard people running around and saying it was a blast. He said that he took 14-20 people to hospital. He saw almost 30 people lying around with injuries.

Some eyewitnesses said that they heard two blasts one after the other. Pravinbhai Tanna said the bomb exploded outside a shop called Super Tools. Its owner Syed Radhanpurwalla and some others inside the shop were seriously injured.

Mustafa Patakdawalla, who was helping the injured, saw a huge plume of smoke rising into the sky. Dheeraj Degliya was injured in the leg and hurt by metal particles. After the explosion there was complete darkness in the smoke-filled area. He said rains were a blessing because fewer people were out on the road.

In Opera House the bomb exploded outside the J K building in the Panchvati diamond chowk area. Pankaj Jain, a diamond trader, was in his ground floor office nearby when he heard the explosion which brought a sleet of shattered glass inside. He sustained head injuries and fled the scene to get admitted to the Saifee Hospital. There were scenes of chaos at both the Saifee and Harkisondas hospitals with relatives and the media thronging the place for information.

Jayant Sanghvi lost his hearing after the explosion. Speaking to The Hindu at the Saifee hospital, he said he had suffered head injuries too. The blast was heard a km away and even two streets down the road. On a normal day there would be 3,000 to 4,000 people in the area.

At the GT Hospital, Sadashiv Bhane was badly shaken as his son, who works in Kalbadevi as a clerk, was injured. Barun Samanta, a gold worker is frantically searching for his colleague, Kamal Dalai.

A hospital worker said nearly 30 injured persons were brought from Zaveri Bazaar and most of the serious cases were transferred to JJ and KEM.

Bombings expose India’s counter-terror effort

Bombings expose India’s counter-terror effort


Injured victims of the explosion in Zaveri bazar are taken to medical care in a truck, in Mumbai. Photo: AP
APInjured victims of the explosion in Zaveri bazar are taken to medical care in a truck, in Mumbai. Photo: AP

In spite of multi-million investments, investigations into 5 urban terrorist attacks since 26/11 continue to flail about in dark

In spite of massive investments in investigation and counter-terrorism intelligence capabilities since 26/11, police forces across the country have made little progress in identifying the perpetrators of the five major urban attacks which have taken place since then.

The attacks include the February 2010 bombing of the German Bakery in Pune; the April 2010 serial bombings at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, the drive-by shooting at Delhi’s iconic Jama Masjid in September 2010, and the December 2010 bombing at the Shitla Ghat in Varanasi.

In May this year, a car bomb planted outside the Delhi High Court, mercifully caused no loss of life, apparently because the electronic circuits in the explosive device malfunctioned in the extreme heat.

The National Investigation Agency, set up with fanfare in 2009 to assuage public anger over a similar series of failures leading up to 26/11, has been assigned three of these cases — but it is yet to register success.

In 2010-2011, the latest annual report of the Union Home Ministry records, large investments were made in “new measures to meet the grave challenges posed by global terrorism.” The report says the MHA’s major achievements include the establishment of new rapid-response hubs for the National Security Guard special forces, and the establishment of an online National Intelligence Grid.

Experts say the poor dividends from these measures were predictable. “Even though both State and Central governments have been scrambling to set up all kinds of special counter-terrorism forces,” says Dr. Ajai Sahni, Director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, “there has been no real effort to improve intelligence-gathering and investigations capabilities from the bottom-up.”

“No computer,” he points out, “is going to help you solve a case if you’ve got no worthwhile data to feed into it”.

Flailing investigation

Investigators believe all the five attacks are linked to members of the Indian Mujahideen — the Lashkar-e-Taiba linked terrorist group responsible for a string of attacks in several Indian cities between 2006 and 2008. Little hard evidence, however, has emerged to support the claims, though police say the available intelligence suggests that the organisation has been attempting to regroup.

Part of that evidence, the Gujarat Police say, came from Danish Riyaz, a software engineer arrested earlier this year on charges of having participated in the Indian Mujahideen’s 2008 strikes in Ahmedabad.

Mr. Riyaz, the Gujarat Police claim, left his job with a software firm in Hyderabad soon after the bombings, and moved to Ranchi. There, he is alleged to have helped harbour several fugitive Indian Mujahideen figures — key among them being Abdul Subhan Qureshi, who liaised among the multiple jihadist cells which carried out the organisation’s urban bombing campaign.

Police say that Qureshi left Ranchi for Nepal in 2008, tasking Mr. Riyaz with finding new recruits for the organisation. He, however, did not, according to investigators, have any success. “Local members of the Students Islamic Movement of India,” an official associated with the investigation said, “did not want anything to do with his efforts.”

Eight other alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives, three of them linked to the 2008 attacks in Gujarat, were recently arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police. Investigators say interrogation of the three men, Mujeeb Sheikh, Muhammad Faisal and Mehboob Malik, did not throw up any specific information that fresh attacks were being planned.

Police have been accused, with some reason, of attempting to manufacture evidence in an effort to conceal the lack of progress.

In May 2010, Mangalore resident Abdul Samad Siddibapa was arrested on charges have having carried out the attack — an apparent breakthrough that led the Union Home Minister to publicly congratulate State and Central authorities on “apprehending the prime suspect within hundred days of the incident.”

The Hindu, however, first revealed that Mr. Siddibapa, who had been interrogated several times for his possible connections with the Indian Mujahideen, had no connection with the incident.

Fabrication of evidence

Later, Mumbai Police investigators claimed to have evidence linking Latur resident Mirza Himayat Baig to the Pune bombing. In a charge sheet filed in December, the investigators said Mr. Baig was ordered to carry out the attack by Muhammad Zarar Siddibapa — Mr. Siddibapa’s younger brother, who closely resembles a man captured carrying the bomb by closed-circuit television cameras.

The charge sheet also states that Mr. Baig was trained by fugitive Lashkar operatives Fayyaz Ahmad Kagzi and Zabiuddin Ansari, who are alleged to have been responsible for a series of strikes

Lawyers for Mr. Baig have, however, since said that Mr. Baig was in the custody of the Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism police at the time the German Bakery was bombed.

Fabrication of evidence by the police forces is alleged to have undermined past investigations into several Indian Mujahideen attacks. Investigations by The Hindu, for example, revealed credible evidence that Indian Mujahideen operatives likely carried out the 2006 bombings of Mumbai’s suburban train system — an offence for which several other suspects are now being tried.

The pictures of people injured or killed in the Mumbai bomb explosions may cause distress to readers. They are being published to show the horror, the trauma, and the human suffering inflicted by the terrorist attacks.

Pakistan will continue busting private CIA rings, Pasha to tell US

Pakistan will continue busting private CIA rings, Pasha to tell US

Meetings between military, intelligence officials aim to salvage relations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top spy chief is purportedly going to give the following message to his American counterpart in Washington: yes to formalised anti-terror cooperation, no to private CIA network.

Chief of Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha was due to meet acting CIA Director Michael Morell on Wednesday.

The decision to send Pasha to Washington was reportedly taken at the corps commanders’ meeting on Wednesday, a day after US central command head Gen James Mattis met with top military officials, including the Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Sources add that the new US head for international forces in Afghanistan Lt-Gen John Allen is arriving in Islamabad on Thursday.

The flurry of meetings between top military and intelligence officials from Pakistan  and the US are seen as fresh efforts to salvage their ‘shaky’ war on terror alliance after a series of setbacks in recent months.

Hectic efforts are being undertaken both in Islamabad and Washington to rescue their relations from the brink of collapse.

No to ‘private network’

The back-to-back meetings of military and intelligence officials follow the US administration’s decision earlier this week to withhold $800 million in military aid to punish Pakistan’s security establishment for expelling several dozen alleged American spies operating in the country.

Top Pakistani military commanders on Wednesday said they would use their own resources to carry forward the war on terror in what appeared to be a ‘mild but defiant’ snub to Washington’s move.

According to senior intelligence officials here, Pasha would tell the American spy chief that the ISI has no objection to anti-terror cooperation between the two agencies but would never tolerate a private ‘network’ the CIA is secretly maintaining in Pakistan.

“We are willing to cooperate with CIA in war on terror … but there is no room for a private network. That is our position and we are going to stick to that,” said an official, giving a hint of what would be discussed during Pasha’s interaction with the Americans.

The Pakistani military has been in the process of busting what is described as an underground human network the US established over the past decade.

These local individuals associated with the CIA are believed to have played a critical role in a secret manhunt that led up to the unilateral raid in which bin Laden was killed.

The US administration has been pushing Pakistani spy agencies to release at least several hundred people who were part of the CIA network and the issue is likely to feature during Pasha’s meetings as well.

But officials here said they believed the decision to dismantle these private clusters was final and there won’t be any second thoughts.

Salvaging US support

The decision to send Pasha to the US was apparently taken at the corps commanders’ meeting on Wednesday because the military still considers American financial support vital for their war on terror campaign.

Experts believe Pakistani military’s policy of still continuing the war on terror cooperation with the US emanates from fears that Washington might keep them out of the loop on any endgame in Afghanistan.

American troops start their partial withdrawal from Afghanistan in a month’s time.

There were already signs of Pak-US cooperation getting back on track when Gen Kayani visited the embattled Mohmand tribal region on Wednesday where more than a thousand terrorists surrendered to political authorities.

Local operational commanders also informed the army chief that seven factories of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the border area were destroyed by troops after being tipped of by US intelligence.

Releasing the doctor

Washington is pressing Islamabad to release a doctor – said to have helped in tracking Bin Laden using DNA samples – in the wake of bitter diplomatic relations, the Guardian reported.

Dr Shakir Afirdi is being held by ISI after it discovered that he was recruited by the CIA for carrying out a fake vaccination programme in Abbottabad, trying to track down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

According to the report published earlier in the Guardian, Afridi, a senior government employee, was initially taken into custody in Peshawar but may have been transferred to Islamabad.

Pakistani and US officials say that American authorities are trying to rescue the Pakistani doctor, his wife and children, and take them to the US.

Published in The Express Tribune