central terrorist leader at the center of CIA/ISI Psyop, deception operation
By: Peter Chamberlin
The multitude of theories on the reasons for the arrests are divided between cooperation and confrontation theories, either it is explained by mutual interests or by rivalries. In my opinion, it is both.
Researchers and analysts are banging their heads against many walls, searching for meaning in reports of multiple arrests of Taliban, by the Pakistani government. Speculation is running rampant, that Pakistan has finally “seen the light,” that it represents a “split” within the Taliban, or that Pakistan has arrested Taliban who have been negotiating with Brits or Americans. In my opinion, the arrests began as a clean-up operation to remove links to the intelligence being revealed in British courts, but it turned into a tit-for-tat series of paybacks between the ISI and the CIA.
The true meaning of the arrests can be ascertained from the timing of the events. It may have been primarily an American/Pakistani operation to isolate Taliban leaders who had either negotiated with the British, or had been held at Guantanamo. British courts had taken up the case of Binyam Mohamed and American officials publicly stated that disclosing classified information about US abuse of this detainee would damage intelligence cooperation between the agencies of the two nations.
The first arrest, of Taliban number two, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was on, or about Feb. 7. Multiple news reports have tied Baradar to ongoing negotiations to identify and isolate “reconcilable” Taliban. These attempts at negotiating have all come from the British or Afghan sides, with the US supposedly prepared to take advantage of any breakthroughs.
On February 10, 2010:
“A British court has ordered the government to disclose classified information about the treatment of a former Guantanamo Bay…It was released after judges at an appeals court on Wednesday rejected the UK government’s claim that disclosing the information would damage intelligence co-operation with US agencies.”
In the days that followed, the western media was abuzz with more reports that Pakistan had made multiple “arrests” of the Taliban’s leadership. It is impossible to know how many of these names obtained from the Western media are correct, but some of them had also been tied to the British negotiations, while at least two of them were former inmates of Guantanamo.
Mullah Abdul Raouf. GUANTANAMO Taliban military chief for northern Afghanistan
Mullah Abdul Qayoum Zakir GUANTANAMO around 2006, then transferred to Afghanistan government custody in late 2007, eventually released around May 2008. American officials won’t say why he was let go and have not released a photograph of him.
Mullah Abdul Salam is unidentifiable, at this point, whether he is the governor of Kunduz, or the former Taliban who was involved with British diplomat Michael Semple and EU diplomat Mervyn Patterson, or still other candidates, such as former inmate of Guantanamo Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, or Mullah Abdul Salaam Rocketi.
Mullah Muhammad Hassan
Mullah Muhammad Younis. who is also known as Akhunzada Popalzai
Mullah Ahmed Jan Akhunzada (could be Akhunzada Popalzai)
Maulavi Abdul Kabir, aka Mullah Abdul Kahir Osmani
Mohtasim Agha Jan, son-in-law of Mullah Omer
Do the arrests mean that Pakistan has embraced the American mission in the war on terror?
The following timetable relates the arrests to the rest of the unfolding understory.
1/28- London conference
2/2-4- India/Iran development conference, topic opening Afghan route
2/8- Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
2/13- Operation Moshtarak offensive begins
2/17- Mullah Abdul Salam
2/18- Car-bomb targeting Mangal Bagh mosque, blamed on Berelvi “Ansar al-Islam”
2/18- Mohammed Haqqani killed in Predator attack
2/20- Two Sipah e-Sahaba militants killed Faisalbad
2/20- Pak Army adds 26 posts to border, Balochistan
2/23- Rigi arrested
2/23- Pak announces new naval base near Gwadar
2/24- Qari Zafar killed Predator
2/25- India/Pakistan talks
2/26- Kabul bomb targets Indian doctors
2/26- Khalid Khwaja petitions Lahore High Court to block deportation of Taliban.
2/27- Intra-Sunni battles Faisalbad (revival of Sipah e-Sahaba attacks on Berelvi)
2/27- Hafiz Saeed, “India will have to fight if it will not talk.” Silence on Taliban arrests
If you look at the timetable to understand whether or not Pakistan and the US are on the same page you see some clear evidence of a joint US/Pakistan mission to eliminate the Taliban leadership, but more than that, you see specific acts of resistance on Pakistan’s part.
There is one inescapable reality–the Pakistani Army will never truly turn on the Taliban, who represent their last line of defense, as well as their first option, in any contest with India. The historical relationship between the military and the militants has been one where the government has used sectarian terror groups (and even created them) to keep the tribes, sects and political groups in line. Keep these things in mind, as you consider the events.
In addition to the arrests, the timetable details American predator strikes which have eliminated some of the Army’s protected militants, in particular, Mohammed Haqqani and Qari Zafar. In between those two American assassinations, you have the arrest of American asset against Iran, Abdolmalek Rigi, thanks to Pakistan’s ISI. Between the Haqqani hit and the Rigi arrest, Pakistan set-up 26 border posts to block US hot pursuit into Balochistan. Long dormant Sipah e-Sahaba started anti-Berelvi rioting in Faisalbad. After the Rigi arrest, Pakistan announced plans for a new naval base near the Chinese-constructed port at Gawadar.
After the Predator killed Qari, the India/Pakistan talks started and quickly ended, followed by the bombing of the Indians living in Kabul. This was followed by Khalid Khwaja (of Daniel Pearl fame) interceding at the Lahore High Court to block extradition of the Taliban. But this does not leave us with a clear-cut case of Pakistan blocking American moves and supporting militants for political terrorism, but a record that speaks of both the United States and Pakistan together using militant Islamists and gangs for terrorism.
The Rigi case was a concrete example of the US supporting groups who are committing terror attacks, just like the case of Pakistan and the Taliban. Pakistan handing him to Iran is a clear sign of resistance to American plans, but it should probably be understood as retribution for the killing of Mohammed Haqqani. But in spite of all this, there have been new signs since all of this has transpired that points to a new direction for the CIA/ISI partnership that leads where all parties have always wanted to go—central Asia.
A new war drama has emerged in Baghlan province, the former domain of “shadow” governor, Mulla Mir Mohammad; there, the forces of ISI friend Gubuddin Hekmatyar (former CIA friend) have attacked the local Taliban who are hosting IMU terrorists (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan). This marks a new direction for a joint CIA/ISI mission. Together, Pakistan and the US will back Heckmatyar as the northern front is expanded (with the “discovery” of many new Uzbek militants) and moves to secure the new supply line.
Today’s news reports that Hekmatyar’s forces have surrendered to the Karzai (Northern Alliance) government. This opens the door to Pakistani-backed militants becoming part of the “reconciliation” program. This will allow the US to buy its way out of Afghanistan in such a way as to set-up the movement of US forces northward toward the hydrocarbon deposits of Central Asia.
Until this new level of cooperation was brought together, Pakistan and the US have been on a collision course over disagreements on the mission of the terror war, which began in the confrontations between Bush and Musharraf over the war in Waziristan. That period was marked by US and British efforts to penetrate the veil of secrecy that shrouded South Waziristan, as well as the North. One of the most effective of these intrusions was by the British through their agent Michael Semple and his efforts to find “reconcilables” and convert them to an anti-Taliban mission.
The Semple mission through Mansoor Dadullah penetrated the S. Waziristan cloak of secrecy, where it exposed another covert mission, a joint American/Israeli/Indian mission, known as the “Pakistani Taliban” (TTP), run by Mansoor’s big brother (Mullah Dadullah). Upon this discovery, the British mission was exposed and shut down by the American government (SEE: Dissecting the Anti-Pakistan Psyop).
The TTP project continued to rain havoc upon Pakistan, forcing the Army to finally take action, even though the local tribes had opposed past military offensives. The TTP would rain such hell down upon the heads of the innocent people of FATA and the NWFP that they would welcome the Army with open arms and even accept an American drone war in their midst. Anything, as long as someone got rid of those pesky militants!
After the Obama Administration took over, CIA sources were tricked into targeting the head of the TTP, Baitullah Mehsud, despite countless attempts to avoid him in the past, because he had become such a thorn in Pakistan’s side. His successor, Hakeemullah, was an even bigger pain, as he escalated the terror attacks upon both government and sectarian targets until he foolishly went too far, seeking revenge upon the CIA for Baitullah, leading to his own demise.
The killing of Hakeemullah’s mentor, Qari Zafar, and the subsequent elimination of the rest of the TTP leadership has eliminated the hierarchy that was carefully cultivated over many years by the consortium of spy agencies. The same airborne strategy that has eliminated former American assets like the Mehsuds through a succession of decapitation strikes, was also responsible for elevating them into their leadership positions in the first place.
The tricks of the trade that have been utilized to develop and control agents of influence in S. Waziristan, like Baitullah and Tahir Yuldashev (and especially their former mentor, Guantanamo inmate Abdullah Mehsud) are from the CIA’s deepest bag of dirty tricks. From what we know today, these “high-value” militants were subjected to military mind-control science, as the agency and the military pulled-out all stops in breaking these guys at Guantanamo and Bagram. Even more severe measures were used in Uzbekistan, where Yuldashev and others were persuaded to embrace our line of thinking. In addition to the various modes of torture employed at Guantanamo, we can safely assume that darker methods like psychotropic drugs and electroshock were also used on these reconditioned “Islamist” leaders, when we have already used them on our own troops.
American attempts to block the British court ruling that would open the door to public discussion of the secret illegal methods used upon the inmates of Guantanamo is the reason for the breakdown of communications between CIA and MI6. It would make perfect “Imperial” sense to have Pakistan round-up and hold all the Taliban leaders who possessed first-hand experiences of the Guantanamo brainwashing process or those who had been exposed to the British negotiations which uncovered the actions of some of the brainwashed leaders in S. Waziristan.
In S. Waziristan, around the town of Wana, the graduates of the various CIA/military torture/brainwashing programs convened to create both the TTP and Jundullah, Rigi’s group. Abdullah Mehsud had come to Wana after leaving Gitmo, along with Tahir Yuldashev, forming the base of the “Pakistani Taliban.” There they agitated and terrorized the tribal region to accept Wahabbi “Shariah.” They were reinforced in 2007 by Mullah Dadullah Akhund, after he was released from his year studying at another American “Islamist university”, probably at Baghram.
Near Wana, the group hosted trainers from Lashkar e-taiba and Lashkar e-Jhangvi to turn-out the large number of TTP fighters who have plagued Pakistan’s Swat region. To this deadly mix, a radical Wahabbi preacher named Haji Namdar was exported to Bara in Khyber, from Saudi Arabia, where he had been radicalizing for the previous six years. Namdar was like all of the aforementioned Taliban leaders who had been taken earlier in the war and were in American hands in Guantanamo or Afghanistan for long periods of time, or they were indoctrinated in countries dominated by US forces, such as Saudi Arabia, in preparation for their return to Pakistan and the planned destabilization mission.
The same irregular warfare tactics that US forces and the CIA were employing in Pakistan were used in Afghanistan, as well. The same pattern of aerial decapitation inspired leadership changes, involving former Guantanamo prisoners, was followed in Afghanistan. Next in line to Mullah Omar, Mullah Akhtar Usmani, was killed by airstrike, after a phone call was intercepted by British drone. He was replaced by Mullah Baradar, who allegedly may be replaced by possible Guantanamo alumnus Mullah Zakir, although some reports have listed him among the recently captured. Zakir’s second in command is another Guantanamo parolee, Mullah Abdul Raouf.
The more we learn about the alleged “differences” between the missions of the Pakistani and the US military, the more we learn that they may not be that far apart on many issues. Most of the drama we have become accustomed to has been no more than political theater, designed to alter the opinions of the people of both America and Pakistan so that they would embrace the never-ending war of terror.
When you look closely at the conflict that has been generated in S. Waziristan and NWFP by the TTP terrorist strikes, it becomes apparent that that was all just more consensual drama, as well—all designed to deceive the people into allowing it to happen in Pakistan and allowing it to spread forth from there, like a plague upon all mankind.
By Peter Chamberlin
In the complicated calculus of the men who would plan our destinies for us, if we would only let them, it is often hard to fathom which line of reasoning represents their dominant thinking on any strategic subject. In Afghanistan and in Pakistan, it is getting harder to distinguish between the minimum acceptable goals for the Empire and less-desirable, though ultimately acceptable conditions for ending the war. In particular, thinking of the “pipeline wars” (which American corporations seem to be losing, badly), if America is projected to fail miserably in its plans for Central and South Asia, then what secondary objectives is the Empire preparing for the region?
Could it be possible that the rationale for the US terror war is falling apart so quickly since the big production in Abbottabad, that the secondary objective of playing spoiler for the winners in the energy war is replacing the primary mission of Central Asian energy-looting as America’s military solution for economic salvation? The war itself is unsustainable, absent the collective will of the American people to wage this war without a valid reason, or foreseeable end, the 911 attacks having been replaced long ago with whatever excuse Obama wanted to use as justification. On top of this, the bin Laden psyop is having the unintended consequence of undermining support for continuing the war and increasing the public uproar to find an end to this war that now has no adversary, in the absence of a terrorist mastermind. It is slowly winding-down to total defeat for the United States, absent another earth-shattering unifying, “Pearl Harbor-like event” in the near future. What will the American administration do to sustain this unpopular war? How far will they go to keep the Afghan/Pakistan war going?
The NATO side is currently still pursuing a policy of faking negotiations with old acquaintances of Mullah Omar, like Tayyab Aga, allegedly discussing reconciliation efforts for harmless “Taliban” (those who are not veteran Taliban fighters). These fighters are expected to turn-in their weapons for cash, even though the actual Taliban spokesmen for Mullah Omar insist that there will be no negotiations as long as occupation forces remain in Afghanistan. The US has staked-out the position that those who fought against the coalition government cannot be “reconciled,” meaning that all those who have fought against the American occupation have no other choices but to keep fighting until they die in combat, or turn themselves in for arrest. The Taliban still insist that there is nothing to talk about as long as the occupation continues. Mullah Omar has issued hand-written warning notes to local mosques stating that those who negotiate with the Americans are marked for death. There is no room for compromise there for either side. So what good will it do for US/British negotiators to talk to second or third level Taliban who have no sway with high command? It is more than likely that all of this reconciliation talk is merely for public entertainment purposes, maintaining popular support for the war and Obama, by pretending that Obama is getting it right and peace may be just around the corner.
It is becoming clear to those who care to look for the truth about the war, that the US never intended to leave Afghanistan, it has always planned to use Afghanistan and Pakistan as a military beachhead into Central Asia (SEE: Neutral Afghanistan serves regional stability). Every American
spokesperson who has publicly denied these now obvious facts, has been consciously lying to the world, in order to advance this mass deception as far as possible before the American people wake-up. Researchers and analysts are breaking through the carefully constructed wall of American deception to understand just how cynically American leaders have manipulated Pakistan and India, playing them off against one another in a dangerous game of brinkmanship designed to serve only Imperial ends.
Indian and Pakistani writers have to dig deeper to understand the psyops that are still playing-out along the Durand Line. They must ask: How deep does the American deception go, or is everything about this war a deception? Only then can it become apparent the defensive actions that each nation must take, perhaps in a united action against the Imperial designs.
Indian writer M K Bhadrakumar reports on American attempts to sideline both Afghan and Pakistani governments from any negotiations with the Afghan Taliban (SEE: CIA instigating mutiny in the Pakistani army), in order to buy time to force an American compromise. His article offers the following novel explanation of why American leaders would intentionally engineer a risky potential “colonel’s coup” to unseat Gen. Kayani:
“The only way is to set the army’s house on fire so that the generals get distracted by the fire-dousing and the massive repair work and housecleaning that they will be called upon to undertake as top priority for months if not years to come.”
In the opinion of this former Indian diplomat, Washington was actively destabilizing Islamabad, and it was endangering the entire region in order to do it. A destabilized nuclear sub-continent has always been the implied result of these American machinations. It is only logical to ask whether this has always been the plan, and for what conceivable reasons? Did they really believe that they could force both Afghans and Pakistanis to follow orders that would harm their own countrymen, or that their plans would succeed even if they got everything that they wanted from them? What could American leaders hope to get out of this planned conflagration that they probably could have achieved by less violent, more honorable means? There is nothing “honorable” about this ongoing thirty-year war. Our “upstanding” national leaders have always planned to use American military muscle to protect their great redistribution of wealth (the exact opposite of the Marxist concept, the rich get everything), as they looted, raped and plundered the entire world, even our allies. It is only now, in the end game, when these things are being made clear to all who care to see.
The plan has always been to use American military muscle to create for themselves the power to dictate a political/military solution to the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, by sidelining all the valid neighborhood players, even the Afghan “straw man” government itself, much as it has already done for itself in Iraq. They have even applied the same time-tested formula for destabilization which was used in Iraq, but without the same results. The US is no more in position to dictate terms to Afghanistan today than it was ten years ago. Unlike Iraq, where the “Anbar solution” of tribal militias was field-tested, there are no major differences between Afghans to exploit. Iraq is nothing like Afghanistan or Pakistan. Different solutions were required, even though Pentagon and CIA geniuses only knew the one song of divide and conquer. That is why they have failed so miserably in the Far Eastern war theater.
Since they had only one song and dance routine, the CIA and their ISI counterparts have kept playing on the same theme, in their little war games, intended to hold the attention of patriotic Americans and Pakistanis. In Afghanistan, Western powers have manipulated the tribal and national differences by developing the Northern Alliance coalition of Hamid Karzai, which is mostly comprised of Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazara Shia, as a counterfoil to mostly Pashtun Taliban forces. The anti-Taliban coalition efforts of a massive nationwide propaganda effort, supplemented with an equally massive program of enormous pay-offs, backed-up by NATO firepower have failed to buy or intimidate loyalty from local warlords or join their forces to the Karzai/Northern Alliance government.
Since Karzai’s reelection, the Western media, politicians and generals have been steadily undermining the support Karzai did have, undercutting his efforts to create a High Peace Council, probably well on their way to grooming his replacement, someone like former Afghan spymaster, Amrullah Saleh, who is already a long-term CIA asset, besides being Karzai’s exact opposite. Saleh is one of those selected individuals, unfortunate enough to be native to a CIA-targeted country, who was sent to America before 2001, for specialized training by the CIA. As a top junior aid to legendary Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, he was there in Takhar Province, serving as the CIA liason, when the “Lion of Panjshir” was assassinated on September 9, 2001. He has been a favorite of the spooks since then, especially after the FBI forced him on Karzai as his new spy chief in Feb. 2004, coincidentally, just one month before Pakistani Taliban founder Abdullah Mehsud was released from two and one-half years at Guantanamo “brainwashing academy” into his custody as Afghan intelligence chief. The story of the Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan that he helped to inspire is a tale of grief and double-crossing. They are the “poison” that was introduced into the Pakistani soil, which Saleh so colorfully described.
The Americans are hedging their bets in Afghanistan, like always, fronting two streams of the Afghan political spectrum at once. The Karzai/Rabbani alliance is backing the reconciliation talks with the Taliban that could lead to the partitioning of Afghanistan, split between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban in control of the south, in order to facilitate pipeline and development plans for the north. This is the State Dept. best solution. This position is allegedly unacceptable to Northern Alliance candidate Saleh, who advocates carpet-bombing Pakistan and night-time Special Forces decapitation raids all the way from Balochistan to Bajaur. His position is that there can never be victory in the war against the Taliban until their support lines to the Pak Army are cut. He represents the most radical factions of the CIA, who advocate total war with Pakistan.
In order to dissuade the Pak Army from continuing to support the Afghan Taliban, the CIA master-plotters have created their own versions of “lashkars,” such as the fake Pakistani Taliban, to battle and terrorize the Army and the people of Pakistan. Since 2003, Musharraf’s generals have been helping him and his successor Gen. Kayani, to revive the defeated Taliban movement as a substitute for concerted, decisive military action against the remnants of “al-Qaeda” and the Afghan Taliban leadership, who had all been allowed to regroup in Waziristan and Balochistan by both the ISI and the CIA. They originally relocated there from northern Afghanistan in the infamous “Kunduz airlift,” where they were spared from certain annihilation at the hands of Uzbek Gen. Dostum and the Northern Alliance forces. Once they were flown there, they began to reoccupy the old CIA/ISI training camps there which had formerly been vacated after they were used to drive-out the Soviets. The IMU terrorists of Tahir Yuldeshev, who were brought across the border with Abdullah Mehsud in his instant army of fake Taliban (composed of Northern Alliance fighters), ran the camps and shared their military expertise with the new Taliban recruits being readied to keep the Afghan conflict going.
Abdullah brought his Uzbek and Chechen fighters to Wana, where they joined-up with Nek Mohammed. This was long before the Pakistani Taliban began their waves of Pakistani terrorism, when they still had the trust of the real Afghan Taliban. Because of his trust for new militant leader Baitullah Mehsud, as well as his initial distrust of Abdullah Mehsud, because of the Guantanamo years, Mullah Omar sent his hand-picked emissary, celebrated veteran commander Mullah Dadullah, to bless the Pakistani Taliban union and name Baitullah as its head. Dadullah oversaw the effort in S. Waziristan, where he had been working closely with Nek Mohammed and his successors, Abdullah and Baitullah Mehsud to develop a formidable new Taliban army of 20,000 fighters or more, including a suicide-bomber academy. After Dadullah shepherded the Waziri Accord peace treaty between the Pakistani Taliban and the Army on orders from Mullah Omar himself, Dadullah was also targeted for drone assassination, just like Nek before him (even though British Special Forces claim the kill).
Under the command of Baitullah, the Pakistani Taliban (now called Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan, TTP) unleashed a wave of terror upon tribal leaders, government forces and the mosques of the unbelievers. At first, this terror was blamed upon the IMU terrorists who had been given shelter by the Mehsud leadership, providing an opening for the Pak Army to introduce a counter-insurgency, in the form of aggressive tribal lashkars of their own.
Local Ahmadzai Wazir militant leader Maulvi Nazir created a lashkar army of 900 heavily armed men, who proceeded to run the IMU terrorists out of his territory around Wana, S. Waziristan. The Army then began to replicate the lashkar-building process in other towns, hoping to enlist the tribals in a massive show of force to evict the “bad Taliban” and those labeled as “al-Qaeda” from Pakistan. Nothing much came from the effort, except for a bunch of dead lashkar militiamen.
Needing a concrete strategy to counter US destabilization plans and demands for total war in the Tribal Regions, Pakistan has continued to sell the “good/bad Taliban” theme as a path to eventual “reconciliation,” putting distance between the two groups, so that heavy force could then be used to eliminate the criminal Taliban in successive operations. But each time that Pakistan made a little headway, lashkar leaders would be eliminated in car-bomb attacks, or by the occasional Predator drone.
Beginning with the massive drone assault in Bajaur, on October 30, 2006, which killed 80 religious students, drone attacks have become the favorite weapon for radicalizing locals and driving them into the eager arms of the Taliban. This is one of the reasons for believing that American leaders have always secretly supported the formation of militant armies, in order to have someone to fight and to provide valid-seeming reasons for prolonging the war. Everything they do creates more resistance.
The complex CIA schemes have forced Pakistan to develop its own ISI counter-schemes as a matter of self-defense against American demands to wreck the country and force the Pakistani people into open rebellion against their elected government. The ten-year deception in Pakistan has gone through many stages, fronted by many separate players, all of them having some stake in the Empire winning the contest. Today in Afghanistan we have an ongoing war, fueled by a series of major deceptions. The more obvious it becomes that the war is being lost, the more the deceptions will fall apart. At some point, the lies will fall apart faster than they can be reconstructed in a new form.
In Pakistan, we see at least ten times the number of major deceptions which we can see unwinding across the border. I guess that this is what they mean by an “intelligence driven war.” Every interested great power has a game at play now in Pakistan; every interested great power is double-gaming someone else, partners are being made to be cashed-in later, when it will bring the greatest advantage. Pakistan’s military, the “Establishment” and every one of the many “mafias” (land mafia, gas mafia, etc.) have their own separate games going on, all of them game off each other. Seeing daylight through this morass of webs of intrigue is almost an impossibility. It is not surprising that the game-players are having such a difficult time controlling the eventual outcome of this soon to be exploding psychological warfare experiment.
American mind-benders have playing their usual games and inventing a few new ones in their careful efforts to destabilize Pakistan without really upsetting the apple cart, losing control of the situation. It suits CIA and American military purposes to give the ISI enough rope to hang itself. This explains why they seem to go along with Pakistan’s generals, even when they are obviously lying or playing games to avoid causing a rupture in relations. In their international media campaign to embarrass the Pak Army and government, the media-masters are careful to go just so far in slandering them, but not far enough to force negative international reactions. US leaders understand the close relationship between the ISI and certain militant groups, but, until recently never charged the Army with supporting militants in public. Since open psychological war broke-out between the two sides in 2008 (SEE: US/Pakistan Showdown/Throwdown July12), they have maintained a love/hate relationship, creating difficult circumstances for fulfilling contracts and such. As far as the United States is concerned, Pakistan has a contractual obligation to help eliminate the “al-Qaeda” militants that the US and Pakistan have created together.
For these reasons, the CIA lets the ISI have its Lashkars and its “strategic depth” militants, preferring to seize the opportunity to use the controlled media to weave stories about the Wana battles into tales of “al-Qaeda,” the mythical international terrorist network. Beginning with the story about Mullah Nazir and his battle against the IMU terrorists of Abdullah and Baitullah Mehsud, CIA-sponsored Pakistani and Western reporters have invented stories of “good Taliban” turning against “al-Qaeda.” (The most reliable of these al-Qaeda story creators was Asia Times reporter Syed Saleem Shazad, the author of the Al-Qaeda/Taliban split story. Syed worked tirelessly, over several years to weave a tapestry out of whole cloth about the “al-Qaeda” monolith that stood astride the Durand Line, threatening the entire world with “Islamist terrorism.”).
Since its inception, the concept of “good Taliban vs bad Taliban has been fully implemented by both sides, although neither side could agree on whether the “bad Taliban” were those who attacked only Pakistan, or those who attacked only Afghan coalition targets. It seems that most of the time, there has been no Taliban who attacked both sides, except when the Pak Army gave in to American demands and turned its guns upon its friends. By cultivating peace treaties and non-aggression agreements with individual tribal groups, Pakistan had developed an equilibrium with the militants, and for short intervals, terror attacks seemed to have almost come to an end—until the Predator assassination campaign began, ultimately destroying any trust, driving tribal fighters by the thousands into the arms of the Taliban.
American drones have consistently targeted those militant leaders and outfits that the Pak Army has chosen to protect under the wing of its “strategic depth” concept. Both militant and lashkar leaders have fallen prey to drone missiles—the majority of them friends of the Army. The CIA has intensified the drone attacks as the administration upped the ante, demanding more and more that Pakistan dare not give, since national suicide is out of the question.
The big question then becomes then: Is Obama willing to accept a partial non-Haqqani offensive against the TTP, the mad dog killers of Col. Imam and Khalid Khawaja, in N. Waziristan, in place of an anti-Haqqani offensive? Of all the militant groups, the criminal gangs who have attached themselves to the psychopathic killer Hakeemullah Mehsud, heir to all that Baitullah stood for, are by far the most dangerous. The only explanation for such a grouping of monsters who have never attacked American or NATO troops, is that they consider them to be allies, or at least employers. If the US would support the elimination of these killers first, as a favor to our struggling ally, then perhaps Pakistan’s influence upon such “Taliban” as Haqqani can help bring the Afghan war to a resolution, if that is what Obama really wants.
If events follow the time-tested patterns of previous Pakistani offensives, then an operation in N. Waziristan would mean another flushing of refugees onto the roadways and trails of neighboring provinces (overwhelming limited social services wherever they come to rest, Pakistan already has more refugees than any other country). This will once again demonstrate Pakistan’s basic inability to carry-out the total war actions that the US is demanding from them. Pakistan doesn’t have either the manpower or the equipment needed to meet national disasters (just like most other nations), nor the capabilities required to eliminate an entrenched heavily armed insurgency. Will Obama accept this excuse for doing half of what he has demanded, just as Bush eventually did in the past?
The basis of the new great Show seems to be the “Waziristan Accords,” agreements between the Army and the Ahmadzai Wazirs of Mullah Nazir of the South and Uthmanzai Waziris in the North, led by Gul Bahadur. The agreement allegedly binds the tribes to police their own areas against Mehsuds or foreign terrorists. The antecedent to this Wazir option is the creation of multiple lashkars amongst the other tribes, even among the Mehsuds, if that is possible, considering the fate of the previous anti-Mehsud Mehsud leader, Qari Zainuddin Mehsud, that might prove to be impossible.
Pak plans to rope in tribals to take on al-Qaeda, according to the Indian press. If the plan really is to rebrand the Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan as the new “al-Qaeda,” as the IMU Uzbeks once were, then this might put Pakistan’s generals and American generals on the same page. Once the offensive actually gets underway it will become obvious exactly who is on what page. Until then, we will have to get by on the delicious clues given us in Pakistan news leaks, or the latest militant attacks, to try to understand the mindset of the generals on both sides, who continue to run the show.
In light of recent events in S. Waziristan that are described below, it is possible to project the shape of the upcoming offensive: The Army goes after Hakeemullah Mehsud and the foreign terrorists under his protection, demanding from Haqqani lieutenant and local Wazir tribal leader Gul Bahadar that he fulfill his treaty commitments under the Waziristan Accords and actively suppress foreign terrorists, as well as the criminal Mehsuds, if they violate his territory, thus limiting the operating range of fleeing TTP militants (SEE: Pakistan Using Wazir Tribe of Mullah Nazir to Set-Up Next Psyop):
“The alleged 2007 agreement referred to in [that] report, between Nazir and the govt., allows the Army to wash its hands of the Wana region, making the tribes responsible for keeping-out Uzbeks, Mehsuds, Al-Qaeda and other foreign militants, an impossible task for the outgunned tribes.”
But this plan too, is being undermined by the government leaks that “telegraph” their next moves to the militants, raising lashkars for what is coming next, giving their friends there plenty of time to either prepare or relocate. It might be that the Army telegraphing its next moves gives Hakeemullah the same opportunity to flee the area before the battle, that it gives to Haqqani. It is here where the Army will rely upon the new Kurram Treaty to bring Haqqani into action against Hakeemullah in Kurram and perhaps in Hangu, Hakeemullah’s home turf, as well. We are already seeing an impending confrontation between the two groups over continued TTP attacks upon Shia, in spite of having signed the truce, thus endangering the fragile peace (SEE: Kurram Agency: Haqqani warns Hakimullah not to ‘sabotage’ peace deal):
“Things have now reached a very awkward point … Haqqani has said some very strong words to Hakimullah: ‘Stop it yourself or my men will make you stop it’.”
It may be that Haqqani also has a personal grudge to settle with Mehsud, over the murder of Col. Imam and Khalid Khawaja, who was highly respected by his father Jalaluddin and by all Afghan Taliban, since Mehsud refused to spare the old jihadi teacher’s life. If that is the case, then he may be more than willing to help-out the ISI clean-up the mess.
The timing of the events around Col. Tarar’s kidnapping and murder nearly one year later, help to confirm the “rogue” out of control status of Hakeemullah Mehsud, when compared to the Haqqanis. Ignoring all Haqqani, ISI, or Afghan Taliban pleas, Hakeemullah Mehsud gave the order to kill Col. Imam, which can be seen on YouTube.
(SEE: Taliban release video of killing of Col Imam).
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Taliban release video of killing of Col Imam, posted with vodpod
His body was then dumped in the Danday Darpakhel area of Miramshah on January 23, 2011. This was clearly intended to serve as a challenge to Haqqani’s authority. On Jan. 27, CIA agent Raymond Davis shot two ISI agents dead in Lahore. The Haqqani-backed Kurram peace deal between the Turi tribe and Shia was struck ten days later, on February 3.
On Feb.7, 2010, top Taliban leaders were placed under protective custody (or arrest) in Pakistan, beginning with Taliban number two, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. As far as can be ascertained, the Mullahs were arrested to stop the previous attempt to initiate secret American/Taliban negotiations—that time they were with Mullah Omar’s actual second in command.
On 2/26/2010, Khalid Khwaja petitioned the Lahore High Court to block US efforts to have the arrested Taliban extradited to Afghanistan and into US custody.
One month later, 03/25/2010, former ISI agent Khwaja was abducted, along with Col. Imam and the British journalist Asad Qureshi, in North Waziristan. They were allegedly in Waziristan at the insistence of retired generals Beg and Gul, trying to interview Sirajuddin Haqqani and Wali-ur Rahman Mehsud.
“The Asian Tiger organization… offered to release them in exchange for three important Afghan Taliban figures — Mulla Abdul Ghani Biradar, Mulla Abdul Kabir and Mansoor Dadullah — presently ‘in the custody of the Pakistan government’. The group didn’t even know that Kabir wasn’t, in fact, in detention in Pakistan.”
Khalid Khwaja was found dead in Miranshah on April 30, 2010. Qureshi was ransomed.
The Murder of Col Imam was a turning point for several parties, in many areas of their relationships. The fact that Hakeemullah ignored pleas from fellow Islamist Sirahuddin Haqqani, as well as the ISI, confirms the split between the Pakistani Taliban group and the ISI-supported Afghan Taliban. Hakeemullah Mehsud and his TTP followers, especially the IMU Uzbeks and the just as radical Punjabi recruits of the Lashkar e-Jhangvi are a criminal/terrorist menace and must be eliminated from Pakistan. The US military has no intention of helping the Pak Army with this formidable task, such as focusing drone attacks first upon this criminal network, even though it would be a simple task, even considered as an obligation to help an ally and old friend. The American military is only interested in those fighters in Pakistan who wage war on NATO, not those who choose to fight against Pakistan. Reciprocity might be the better choice over issuing demands and making ultimatums to Pakistan’s generals.
Col Imam was a bitter critic of the United States which, he said, had left the Afghan mujahideen in the lurch after the defeat of the Soviet forces in the late 1980s. The CIA hated Imam and the Pakistani Taliban hated him. When he went to N. Waziristan he was carrying a list of 14 Taliban leaders who worked for India and probably the US. That list ended-up in Hakeemullah’s hands. His name was alleged at the top of the list. Perhaps that was why he had to die.
From the Pakistani press comes the claim that Col. Imam and Khalid Khawaja may have been killed by Ilyas Kashmiri, as revenge for his being tortured by the Army in 2003 for trying to kill Musharraf. Other elements of the national press claim that the pair were killed for calling the Afghan Taliban mujahedeen and the Pakistani Taliban criminals.
If that was the case then it would justify Pakistan setting Kashmiri up for a drone kill in Wana on June 3. Unlike the surreptitious drone whacking of Baitullah Mehsud (where ISI allegedly tricked the CIA into striking Baitullah), it appears that a potential joint effort to get Kashmiri may have been conceivable, considering Headley’s testimony about Kashmiri’s connections to the Mumbai attack, made Ilyas Kashmiri an embarrassment for both sides. Like always, in this tortuously slow dance between Pakistani and American leaders, that has been grinding-on for decades now, at times it is impossible to tell whether the two sides are in almost perfect step with each other, whether they are hopelessly out of sync, or even at times, whether they are moving at all. Judging by today’s deadly drone strike on Haqqani forces in Kurram, it seems like they might be at odds with each others plans. Recent reports have revealed that the US is attempting to draw Ibrahim Haqqani into negotiations, even though US drones continue to strike Haqqani targets in Kurram Agency.
Can the Obama team accept Pakistan’s revised game plan and spin it in an effective manner, so that it will fool the yokels back home, even after all the yelling that they have done over North Waziristan? Or is the great game suddenly no longer about maintaining the illusion? Has the American/NATO position deteriorated so far down that they must force a “game-changer” upon us all? Have run up against so many walls that we have given-up entirely upon the American vision for Afghanistan and Pakistan as the new international strategic corridor, the new “Silk Road” to Central Asia? Is the new intent to simply so destabilize the region that no one else can reap the economic rewards?
There are many good questions here that no one wants to touch, or to see answered. The questions will answer themselves in short order, whenever it becomes apparent whether Obama opts for Pakistan’s pacification or for its destabilization. Will he maintain and escalate the state of confrontation until it leads to widespread violence between two old allies, or will he choose to calm things down in Pakistan, even as he risks revealing the American hand and long-term plans for moving into Central Asia?
Perhaps the most important part of this whole new (recycled) psyop is that the Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan will now play the role of “Al-Qaeda” (SEE: The CIA/ISI Soap Opera In South Waziristan) for the remainder of this drama.