Pakistan Is ‘Precursor of Today’s Terrorists

Pakistan Is ‘Precursor of Today’s Terrorists’, Says Afghanistan

the quint

 
Afghanistan has blasted Pakistan for spawning global extremist terror by promoting the Taliban, “the precursor of today’s terrorists” rampaging across the world, and called for targeting those responsible for it “within state structures.”

It was the Taliban and their backers who characterised the kind of terror that we witness today from various violent extremist groups. One can easily trace how the Taliban facilitated the creation of al-Qaida, Daish, and their ilk along with the divisive, hateful ideology.

Nazifullah Salarzai, Deputy Permanent Representative, Afghanistan

While avoiding any direct mention of Pakistan, he made clear Islamabad’s role saying that “circles within state structures outside of our frontiers” used ideology and violent behaviour to promote the Taliban in pursuit of their political objectives.

Targeting the promoters and drivers of such policies, who use violence in pursuit of political objectives within the state structures, especially in the security apparatus, is absolutely crucial to deal with the threats of violent extremism.

Nazifullah Salarzai

Wednesday’s Council debate was on “Countering the Narratives and Ideologies of Terrorism.” But Salarzai said in Afghanistan’s case the focus should instead be on the initiation, enabling, and facilitation role of political actors and their use of radical ideology for short term gains.
Nazifullah Salarzai. (Photo: IANS)
Nazifullah Salarzai. (Photo: IANS)

Tracing the antecedents of the current terrorist organisations, he said,

The creation of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1994 opened the current tragic chapter of terrorism in the world. Before the crafting of the Taliban, terror in its current behavior and form was little known to the world. The Taliban came into existence before groups like aI-Qaida, aI-Shabab, Boko Haram and Daish gained notoriety.

To drive home Pakistan’s role in promoting the Taliban and setting off the chain reaction of global terror, he diplomatically posed a series of rhetorical questions:

So the question is how and why did the Taliban come into being? We need to ask ourselves how did they learn to drive tanks and fly jets overnight, stage conventional warfare, and capitalise on prolonged political conflict in our country? Who trained them? Who provided them with supplies? Who financed them? Who provided them with safe havens and orchestrated their spring offensives year after year?

“Tension between military and civilian control in politics, an inherent
struggle emerging from militarism in society,” was one of the factors behind “circles within state structures” in the neighbour backing the Taliban, Salarzai said.

Another was the regional rivalry between nations coupled with “excessive anxiety and suspicion,” he said.

“Let us not forget,” Salarzai stressed, “that it was under the Taliban that Afghanistan became the jumping board for international terrorism, when thousands of young men received training and logistical support in terrorist camps. This was the precursor of today’s terrorists carrying out deadly attacks in Asia, Europe, US, Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.”

The repeated strong criticism of Islamabad in a global forum brings to the fore Afghanistan’s split with Pakistan after President Ashraf Ghani’s conciliatory approach failed.

When he was elected two years ago, Ghani had hoped its southern neighbour would help rein in the Taliban and bring it to the negotiating tables. But he felt betrayed by Islamabad when it emerged amid preparations for talks with the Taliban that its leader Mohammed Omar had died in Karachi in 2013 and Pakistani leaders had withheld the crucial information from Kabul.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)

US Congress May Make Pak Military Aid Contingent Upon Anti-Haqqani Operation

No military aid to Pakistan without action against Haqqani network: US

daily pakistan

Khawaja Daud

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meets Chief of Army Staff General Rahaeel Sharif in Islamabad.–File photo

WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – The United States has said that it is not prepared to support military aid to Pakistan unless the country takes action against the Haqqani network, a guerrilla fighter group in the country’s tribal areas.

“Key members of Congress have been clear they’re not prepared to support US military aid to Pakistan absent some specific actions,” Elizabeth Trudeau, a State Department official, said earlier this week during a news briefing in Washington.

Related: Pak-US ties strained due to F-16s, nukes and Dr Afridi, concedes Sartaj Aziz

Ms Trudeau said the United States had clearly conveyed its views to Pakistan on the activities of the Haqqani network and Islamabad was aware of the steps they needed to take against the militant group.

ffr“Pakistan has said that it will not discriminate against [militant] groups. We could encourage them to continue to live up to that,” she said when asked if the State Department was willing to certify that Pakistan had taken the ‘specific actions’ needed to justify releasing military funds to the country.

The statement coincided with a debate in the Pakistani parliament after Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz conceded that relations with the US had been under stress for the past three months.

Last week, a US congressional panel endorsed a move to block $450 million of military aid to Pakistan for failing to take action against the Haqqani network. And late last month, US senators stopped the administration from using foreign military financing to subsidize sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan.

ffr 

After improving a bit, relations between Pakistan and the US began to deteriorate again early this year when Pakistan’s efforts to persuade Taliban to join Afghan reconciliation talks failed.

Some analysts say that Pakistan does not have enough influence on the Taliban to persuade them to accept a peace deal. They argue that the militants will only join peace talks if they realize that they cannot win the war.

The Americans argue that Pakistan can play an effective role in making the Taliban realize their own vulnerability by taking direct military action against those who are hiding inside its borders.

Who is rattling nuclear club?

Who is rattling nuclear club?

pravda

57959

Source: Pravda.Ru photo archive

“It is time to start disabusing the Russian leadership of the notion that its nuclear saber-rattling is a safe, acceptable or successful tactic,” Steven Pifer, the US diplomat and former Ambassador to Ukraine, claimed.

Vladimir Kozin, Chief Adviser at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Professor at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, Member of the Scientific Board at the National Institute for Global Security Research commented Pravda.Ru on the statement of the American diplomat.

“Mr Pifer is an avid anti-Russian US diplomat. He is constantly speaking against Russia, contrives various horror stories, which are related to Russia as he believes, he is looking for some “nuclear” scarecrow in the other part of the world.

What about nuclear threats, which allegedly exist and are directed against the US and NATO, I’d advise Mr Pifer to look in the mirror. In other words, to look at the American nuclear potential, which is being constantly upgraded by Washington given both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons,” the expert noted.

The US will set to total renewal of its strategic nuclear arsenal in form of traditional triad in 2025 and keep it up till 2031. And since 2018 the US will start essential modernization of tactic nuclear arsenal in form of the high-accuracy smart aerial bomb B61-12, which is capable of settling both tactic and strategic nuclear tasks.

The United States is the only country in the world which has maintained its own nuclear weapons beyond its national territory since 1953, that is in the territory of four European countries, NATO allies (Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands) as well as the Asian part of Turkey.

“In fact, the US is the only country in the world, which keeps to the doctrine of offensive nuclear deterrence. It envisions delivery of a first nuclear strike against any state except for the US allies. It also has a parallel policy, which is called an “extended nuclear deterrence”. It envisages opening of an American “nuclear umbrella” above NATO allies, as well as countries which just have the US nuclear weapon or do not have it at all.

Beside that, it should be taken into account that the US along with two of its nuclear allies, namely Great Britain and France, united their air defence systems, missile nuclear weapons and common weapons within a single operative mechanism, that is forward-deployed means against Russia,” Vladimir Kozin told Pravda.Ru.

“It should be also kept in mind that Washington has not ratified agreement on total ban on nuclear tests yet. And this important agreement cannot enter into force unless it is ratified.

The Americans are constantly violating treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, when testing ballistic and cruise missiles, which they banned under creation of global air defence system. Along with Great Britain and France the US deploys dual-capable aircraft in the territory of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. Those can carry common and nuclear weapons. The operation is called the Baltic air policing. It has been operating in the territory of these countries 24 hours a day since March 2004.

Thus, Mr Pifer should scrutinize the US nuclear strategy, its nuclear build-up and practice which is carried out today and in the longer term. The Americans will possess nuclear weapons till the end of the current century at least, and all the previous American administrations intended to use it namely to deliver the first nuclear strike.

That is the US which rattles the saber. Namely it advances it closer and closer to the Russian borders. Given all the mentioned above circumstances, namely the US is the nuclear threat number one to the whole world,” the expert told Pravda.Ru.

Insane Foreign Policy Highlighted By Dueling, Simultaneous US/Russian War Games In Moldova

[U.S. Troops In Moldova For Joint Military Exercises]

Moldova: 500 Russian Soldiers Stage Military Exercises

abcnews_logo_v2

Some 500 Russian soldiers and 100 military vehicles stationed in Moldova’s breakaway republic are staging weeks of military exercises.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Friday that the exercises aim to test the capacity of troops in confronting and defeating conventional fighting groups engaged in trying to destabilize the situation in Trans-Dniester and seize strategic objectives.

The pro-Russian region broke away from Moldova in 1990 and a war broke out in 1992, leaving 1,500 dead.

The commander of the Russian troops in Trans-Dniester, Dmitry Zelenkov, was quoted as saying the exercises would last until the end of May.

Russia’s defense ministry says some 1,300 troops are stationed in Trans-Dniester, of which 350 are peacekeepers.

Moldova protested the presence of Russian troops in a Victory Day parade in Trans-Dniester this week.

Afghanistan facing undeclared war, Pak Taliban greatest threat: Ghani

Afghanistan facing undeclared war, Pak Taliban greatest threat: Ghani

hindustan

Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London on Thursday. (RUSI)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has described the Pakistani Taliban as the “greatest threat to the region” and said his country is facing an “undeclared war” from Pakistan, which did not accept his offer of peace.

Delivering a well-received lecture on the theme “Fifth Wave of Political Violence” at the Royal United Services Institute on Thursday, Ghani expressed frustration at Afghanistan becoming a battleground for fighters from various countries, but mainly from Pakistan.

“Who fights in my country? Chinese, Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks, but the greatest one of course is a huge movement from Pakistan. Then, of course all the rejects from the Arab world are sent on to us,” he said.

Ghani added, “Our fundamental issue is peace with Pakistan. There has been undeclared war against us and that I framed during my visit. I went to the (Pakistan Army’s) GHQ. I invested enormous amount of political capital to make sure the road to peace was the proper road. Our extended hand was not shaken.”

He asked the packed audience, “Can anyone point out a historical precedent or a political framework where people who do not belong to a nation and do not have a quarrel internally (have) such a presence?”

Ghani said, “Who are we posing a threat to? Do you know of a single Afghan who has blown himself up? Why are so many being sent to us? The TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) is becoming the greatest threat to the region.”

He rejected the impression that Afghanistan is becoming a safe haven for Al Qaeda but admitted the group is networking. There is also a “displacement effect”, he said, noting the displacement of people caused by the Pakistan Army’s operations along the Durand line, largely in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

“TTP is a displacement phenomenon due to the operations of the Pakistani army. We have gone after the leadership of TTP multiple times. If Mullah Fazlullah has seven lives, that’s not our fault,” he said.

“But can the state of Pakistan point out a single operation against the Haqqanis or the Taliban leadership? Are their addresses not known? Where do they congregate, where do they meet, do they not meet openly, do they not recruit openly, do they not receive arms openly?”

Mullah Fazlullah is a top Taliban commander who fled to Afghanistan after the army launched a drive against his fighters in northwest Pakistan.

Ghani told the audience his commander of Helmand province went to the Pakistani city of Quetta and told his counterpart, who was the former director of military intelligence: “’Would you like to take a tour, so we can point you to specific locations?’ He kindly refused the offer. We do not differentiate between good and bad terrorists, and consequently we face terrorism.”

Setting out his analysis of the global state of political violence, Ghani said in his region, “unfortunately” states felt inclined to both sponsor “malign state actors or even use some of their own organisations behaving as malign. This is a lose-lose proposition.”

He said, “Anyone who believes that terrorism could be classified as good or bad terrorism needs to rethink the fundamental assumptions. Daesh has taken all the oxygen, but what keeps me awake is Al Qaeda. Is it gone down dark and deep? Is it preparing another surprise? Which is going to be the more enduring phenomena: What is visible or the dog that did not bark?”

According to Ghani, one of the characteristics of the current – or fifth – wave of political violence is the change in networking. “Previously we used to have face-to-face or in small groups. Now the militants have become face-to-faceless or face-to-Facebook”, which makes recruitment “extraordinarily effective” and replication does not depend on central authority.

Ghani went on to say: “When Afghans face battles of survival, we aggregate, congregate and we defeat and we will defeat this wave. Don’t have any doubt about it. Look at our history, but the price is unbelievably high.”

The President calmly responded to noisy interruptions during the event by some demonstrators who protested against the decision to route a major transmission line in the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan electricity project through Salang, instead of Bamyan.