North Waziristan, Pakistan fixation betrays Washington’s sincerity of intentions

By Asif Haroon Raja

In accordance with the chalked out plan, terrorism was intentionally pushed into Pakistan to destabilize the country. The two extreme flanks of Pakistan , FATA and Balochistan were inflamed to make things difficult for Pak Army, fundamentally poised to guard eastern border. Apart from CIA and FBI gaining a strong foothold in Pakistan under the pretext of chasing and nabbing terrorists’ right up to Karachi , the US Administration increased its influence inside Pakistan so comprehensively that Boucher and Negroponte started to micro manage its domestic affairs including local bodies’ elections and 2002 general elections and reduced the parliament into a rubber stamp. American intelligence agencies helped RAW to make inroads in trouble spots.

Pakistan was first harried on account of nuclear proliferation in 2004. Hue and cry was made over AQ Khan Network, and Iran and Libya put under intense pressure to establish a connection. Although Pakistan refused to make available Dr AQ Khan for interrogation after he made a public confession under duress; Pakistan inadvertently accepted that nuclear proliferation had taken place. It assured USA and IAEA that network had been effectively disabled. Pakistan thought that the matter was closed but it was never let off the hook and its nuclear program came under unceasing vicious smear campaign.

After 2005, The US began to change colors and became more intrusive and difficult. This change occurred because of resurgence of Taliban in southern and eastern Afghanistan , development of Gwadar Port with Chinese assistance, Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, and Pakistan economy getting robust. Pakistan was whipped by USA , India and even landlocked Afghanistan holding it responsible for their difficulties in Afghanistan . Pakistan bore the pain of whips and degradation to ensure US support and flow of US dollars. Pakistan kept chasing the faceless enemy without a comprehensive plan, intelligence, low intensity conflict training, counter terrorism equipment and motivational program. These shortcomings became serious impediments in tackling terrorism and allowed the Tehrik-e-Taliban to gather strength and expand its influence.

Having sufficiently embroiled the Army in war on terror and weakened its institutions the US started to inch closer towards achieving its goals and became more demanding. It repeatedly asked Pakistan to do more without compensating it for the immense sacrifices it was rendering. Instead of rewarding Pakistan for taking the main brunt of war on terror, the US awarded India in the form of lucrative civil nuclear and defence deals, well knowing that instead of curbing terrorism India had inflamed it through covert means. Ironically Pakistan didn’t raise even an eyebrow on this grave development. Its lackadaisical stance resulted in materialization of Indo-US nuclear agreement in 2008.

After vainly trying to put the ISI under Ministry of Interior in August 2008, the US exerted extreme pressure on Pakistan leadership to let its military intrude into FATA. Several aerial raids, artillery fire and a ground attack in Angoor Adda in September 2008 were carried out. These blatant intrusions indicated American growing impatience and their desperation to directly meddle in Waziristan . While Pakistan gave its tacit approval to drone attacks since this understanding had already been given by Gen Musharraf, Pak military under new commander Gen Kayani did not agree to the proposal of joint operation or any unilateral action and took a firm stand. Had this proposal been ceded to it would have amounted to allowing the head of a camel to enter the tent. Entry in FATA would have encouraged US military to keep creeping forward and to gradually envelope whole of Pakistan under the pretext of striking non-state actors. Mention of Quetta , Peshawar and Karachi as hiding places of high profile terrorists and main base of Al-Qaeda in FATA and Taliban Shura in Quetta exposed its intentions.

While attitude of US officials became belligerent, Indo-Israeli-US propaganda campaign became fiercer. Mumbai drama was stage managed on 26 November 2008 to give an excuse to India to heat up eastern border. Throughout 2009 India remained in a highly offensive mood. Pakistan’s policy of appeasement was taken as sign of weakness and subjected to unabated pressure to make Pakistan agree to Indian unfair demands of proceeding against suspects without evidence and to dismantle Indian specific terrorist network. The US instead of acting in a fair and unbiased manner brazenly supported Indian stance.

None of the accusers took into account the hard fact that Pakistan had suffered as no other country in the world had from foreign sponsored terrorism. Its economy suffered a loss of over $45 billion and it lost over 8000 lives in the blowback of the militants in retaliation to military operations. Pakistan bore maximum brunt of foreign sponsored terrorism during the years 2008-09 and is still suffering. After targeting Peshawar incessantly, Lahore is the current target of RAW. From March 2009 onwards, dozens of terrorist and suicide attacks have taken place in capital city of Punjab and hand of RAW was visible in each incident.

Slight change in Indo-US-Afghan belligerence occurred after Pak Army’s successful fight against well-entrenched militants in Malakand Division, Swat, Bajaur and South Waziristan (SW) at a heavy price. These successes were achieved at a time when nothing was going right in Pakistan . Political situation was in a mess, economy had become fragile, law and order had worsened and Pak Army’s image had been badly dented due to an orchestrated smear campaign. Pakistan was being viewed as a failing state unable to protect its nuclear assets. Stories of balkanization or break up were in circulation and a very gloomy picture was painted. It was propagated that Pakistan ’s security forces were incapable of fighting the militants and protecting nuclear assets. US Special Forces started to fine tune their contingency plans to take away the nukes before falling into wrong hands. Indian strike formations had taken up a forward posture and Indian military had started beating drums of war. Read more of this post

Pakistan Looks for Change

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by Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja

The current rulers are simply wasting the precious time and energies of the nation for nothing else except for their personal survival.

“Nations are built by proactive visionary intellectuals and leaders, not by military dictators and bootlickers’ neo-colonial politicians pursuing egoistic agendas.”

Pakistan desperately needs a non-partisan government of national unity replacing the corrupt and illegitimate Zardari gang, a new proactive educated and intelligent leadership aiming at restoration of the domestic political harmony and social normalcy, ceasing the confrontational strategy in North Waziristan and demanding immediate withdrawal of the American and British troops from Afghanistan.

The 21st century is marked by the phenomenon of information age, knowledge driven global culture of change for new ideas and ideals, human vistas of new knowledge and creativity unknown to the self and surrounding environment to explore new horizons for the best of masses, service–oriented and people-focused political governance with systematic transparency of claims and actions and strong mechanism of moral, legal and political accountability. To comprehend and transform these real world phenomenons into workable realities, you need educated and THINKING intellectuals to draw plans for societal interests and needs and complement them with action plans to achieve the much desired goals and priorities for change and development. A decade earlier after the Tiananmen Square firings, a Chinese teacher asked a dissident: “where have the educated and intelligent Chinese gone who were active to bring about the societal change?” The dissident replied: “Either they are in the graveyards or have fled to foreign countries.” Pakistan of today is no different. Its cream – the intellectual thinkers and irreplaceable enlightened human resources are either buried in unknown graveyards or have fled to safety and new life in foreign lands. Those with strong longing for the homeland wanted to return would be disheartened and discouraged by the prevalent egoistic and corrupt political culture in the homeland. There is a critical absence of educated and rationally thinking Pakistanis in the political governance of the country. So what is left there?

Could those who cannot deal with the present be able to foresee the future of the nation? If known thugs and indicted criminals occupy the vital offices of the nation, would it be useful and productive for the nation? Who decides those failure in the present and an insult to common sense be the leader of the future? Do Pakistanis not know what their national interest is?

Because of Pakistan’s nuclear capability and unique position in the Islamic world, long before the 9/11 incidents, the Western strategic mythologists were articulating scenarios of Pakistan being “the most dangerous place on earth”, “the rouge state”, and the “hub of Islamic extremism” to threaten the Western political interests and strategic presence in the Arabian gulf region. After the 9/11, the American and British political lobbyists zeroed-in on Pakistan as the epicenter of “Islamic terrorism.” The American leadership and the neocons needed this escape from reality to reinforce “fear” as strategy in the hearts and minds of the America masses and to implement the PNAC ( Project for the New American Century), Plan for political domination of the oil-gas rich resources of the Middle East and Central Asia. Ignorant Pakistani military rulers like General Musharaf and cheap politicians were bought and bribed by foreign powers to make Pakistanis look-like terrorist enabling them to remake the global crusade against Islam. The mainstream news media was one of the innovative weapons used by the US-British political strategists. The NYT front page headlines (July 2007) reaffirmed that “Pakistani Generals are paid to do the job.” The Washington Post characterized General Musharaf in cartoon as “dog” that Commander Bush trusts as an ally. Was it an insult to Muslim Pakistan or was it a real world reflection how America sees the bootlicking General Musharaf standing before his Master. Musharaf was not a leaders but a stupid and timid soldier coerced by George Bush, Candeelica Rice, George Tenet (CIA Director) and General Powell to wage war against the Taliban run Afghanistan. The military dictator had no sense of the national interests of Pakistan. Musharaf did what no other responsible and intelligent could have done to join hands and allow Pakistani territory and facilities for the US warmongering. Consequently, the country is stampeded, its economic and social life ruined and so are its peace loving and simple people with destroyed social and natural habitats. While Pakistan and the nation is strangulated by the foreign powers, Musharaf lives happily in London $1.4 million flat, protected by the British security force. The end goal is chaos and destruction of the Muslim nation. The US used the same blueprint to enlist the allegiance of the Iraq Generals (22-24 or so) before and after the downfall of Saddam Hussein regime. Most were flown out of Baghdad, the day Iraq fell to US-British aggression in March 2003.

Ignorant military Generals, Bhuttos, Sharifs, Zardaris and few nameless feudal landlords and assembly rubber stampers always keen to change sides in political horse trading with one political entity or another called members of the National Assembly or the Senate – the misplaced people known as bogus agents of influence to carry on the usual political business in Islamabad. There are wrong people in the assemblies and political governance, and there are wrong people out of the governance and political assemblies devoid of reason and people’s representation.

Over the decades, if you want to be an active politician, you must have membership in some crime syndicate or a kind of political mafia gang specializing in looting and killing of the masses and doing what no civilized people could imagine to be fair, rational and tolerable in this age and time. Then, you will be a successful politician in Pakistan. The net outcome of this phenomenon is the Pakistan’s primitive dirty politics overwhelmed with military dictators consuming more than forty years of the national lifeline and its precious time and resources and producing Bhutto family, Sharif family, the obedient civil bureaucrats and few splinter groups to combine the mafia run governance of Islamic Pakistan. The nation MUST assume the responsibility for the time and opportunities lost and the current political extremism. The Generals, Musharaf, Bhuttos, Zardaris and Sharifs could not have done it alone. There are hundreds and thousands of their accomplices actively engaged in stealing the national financial resources, precious time and opportunities of the nation. Institutionalized corruption is not a one man job. Perhaps, these figures should be seen as corrupt leaders but not as absolute persons responsible for all the existing cruelties, mismanagement and stolen wealth and future of the nation. When people live in constant fear over certain period, they lose self-respect and sense of direction and start getting use to the oppressor and living under conditions to strive for the survival of the fittest. Read more of this post

A Tribute to Pakistan Armed Forces

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UN exposes myth of ‘Quetta Shura’

ISLAMABAD – A series of meetings among key Taliban leaders, top United Nations officials, and Indian and US diplomats took place during December 2009 and January 2010, prior to the one reported in a questionable news item carried by foreign news agencies.

After the publication of the particular report revealing a secretive meeting reportedly held on January 8 in Dubai between UN Afghanistan’s Chief Kai Eide and some moderate Taliban representatives allegedly hailing from ‘Quetta Shura’, this newspaper contacted its sources in United Nations Assistance Missions in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and representatives of some credible stakeholders, who said that such kinds of covert meetings had become a routine affairs and were extensively been held in Kabul with the active collusion of Indian consulates. It was the result of these negotiations that Hikmatyar’s spokesman had hinted about dialogue with Afghan government provided that ISAF and NATO devised a roadmap regarding their eviction from Afghanistan. Contrary to Taliban’s expectations, the London Conference did not address the issue of troop surge and laid the provisions of training programmes for Afghan National Army instead, which led the Taliban to reject London Conference.

However, given that the particular news item surfaced just a day after London Conference, its timing and ‘selected venue’ make the entire affair very suspicious as a concocted plan to malign Pakistan. It is widely believed among diplomatic circles that US has deliberately floated this unfounded news among the sections of media and associated it with ‘Quetta Shura’ only to breed the evasive notion that unrest in Afghanistan was nurtured and sponsored by Pakistan.

In addition, the statement, quoting a UN official in the specific news report as saying (about Taliban) “They don’t want to vanish into places like Bagram,” bears less relevance with existing scenario in the wake of UN’s demand regarding expediting the review process pertaining to Bagram detainees. The closure of notorious base is under heated discussion.

It needs to be questioned since when did the term ‘Quetta Shura’ which had been coined just recently, started existing, while bordering areas of Afghanistan, especially North Waziristan and FATA, had been slammed by the West and Afghanistan for sponsoring cross-border terrorism. After Pakistan’s military command and key regional players have taken a tougher stance on Indo-US nexus and it became evident that Afghan terrorism is indigenous and its corruption-ridden government is incapable of combating the menace, Quetta has been selected as a new scapegoat for the purpose.

The news regarding ‘Quetta Shura’ has proved this perception true that all those calls seeking Pakistan’s support in London Conference are likely to be given a reversal in the days ahead and India was deliberately kept out of London Conference to avoid negative fallout.

After UN has given a clean-chit to Pakistan and has categorically slammed Afghan government in its reports exposing massive corruption, administrative deficiencies and rigged presidential elections coupled with UN’s statement in the Security Council that Pakistan has suffered more than any neighbouring country ever suffered, US needed a loud excuse to justify its nexus with India in Afghanistan, and the ‘Quetta Shura’ is ‘destined to do the favour.’

Pakistan’s neighbouring countries say their concerns regarding the planted London moot were not unfounded and the signs of malicious Indo-US alliance are evident. These neighbours’ reservations surfaced out of tiptoe meetings in Afghanistan. US, UN and Indian diplomats have met Taliban and are still believed to be meeting them mostly in Kabul, its suburbs and unspecified venues in Middle East and Europe. by Sikander Shaheen

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Another US drone crashes in North Waziristan

MIRAMSHAH: A US drone crashed in Hamzoni area of North Waziristan on Sunday evening, but local tribesmen claimed to have shot down the pilotless aircraft.

According to the tribesmen, five drones were hovering over the area, about 10km west of Miramshah, and one of them flying at low altitude came down.

Drones usually fly low before attacking a target.

AP adds: The tribesmen were congratulating each other for shooting down the drone, said Saudur Rehman, a resident.

“I saw that the aircraft was coming down and finally crashed in an open area a distance from me,” said Rehman, who indicated he heard gunfire just before the crash.

The crash occurred at around 6pm, said two officials.

It is pertinent to mention here that a US drone had also crashed in North Waziristan a few days back. (Agencies)

Logic behind “war against terrorism”

It is no new development that almost every week two-three American or even British delegations come to Pakistan in order to deliver the newest instructions not only about how to fight the ‘war on terror’ but even on how to run the country. While the Jewish senator Lieberman was pressurizing Pakistan to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, David Milliband was advising our government on how to deal with the situation in Karachi. Though we have to concede that this government in power even lacks certain professionalism and may need one or the other advice it is unfortunate that it is the former colonial ruler who wants to further mislead us in this melee drama.

The same is the situation with the so-called ‘war on terror’ and our role as allies of the US and the West in this war. While we do have our own problems with extremism in Pakistan those problems are very different from the ones the US and the West are having. Their efforts to use Pakistan in order to fight and win their war in Afghanistan by deliberately pushing the taleban into Pakistani territory and pressurizing with the threat of stopping the money flow and the Pakistani government and army to fight the war according to their rules and principles has acquired an obstinacy during recent weeks which is really amazing. Judging by the latest remarks of special envoy Holbrooke it looks as if they are offering to run the country for us -at least for the time being, because Pakistan has no place in their ultimate agenda of building American Empire.He also seems to think that we have forgotten the treacherous role he had played at that time in Kosovo and Palestine, which reflected his anti-Islam sentiments.

Their losing position in the Afghan war and especially the recent deadly attack on their CIA operational base in Khost has made all the alarm bells ring in Washington. The panic is so big that whatsoever logic there might have been in the “war against terror” is falling prey to it. While it is an established fact that US and other Western think tanks and intelligence agencies considers that al Quaida has been relocating their “dispensable staff to Yemen after their situation became uncomfortable in Fata and Afghanistan, and it is alleged that several attacks on US installations have been launched earlier from Yemen and Westerners have been abducted for ransom on a regular basis the US states that still Yemen is not so important and the center of activity is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That is why the pressure on our government and army is mounting to push us into a full fledged civil war.

The consequences of this will be disastrous not only for the US but for this and every coming government which pursues the same policy. Anti-American and anti-Western feelings will rise and that means that on the long run Islamic or Islamist parties and forces will gain influence. Just recently a London think tank making a forecast of political development in Pakistan during the coming three to four years predicted that anti-American feelings and sentiments will rise though probably Islamist forces will not be able to take over the reins of government in Pakistan, as it is nothing but just a propaganda tool for Western media. But the fact that about 70% of the Pakistani population wants the implementation of the Islamic shariah -even if the opinions about what that actually means are quite controversial- should be of course a reason for concern to the government. But the US is not only pressurizing Pakistan to help winning their losing war. They are pressurizing their European allies as well.

By now the Afghan war is thoroughly unpopular in most of the countries of ‘old Europe’ as narrated by former US Secretary of Defense Mr.Rumsfield. Be it Britain or Germany or France, the governments of these countries bound by contracts to the NATO and the US are at loss to explain to their population why and how there is a need to “defend the freedom of their respective countries by waging war in the Hindukush”.

In the situation when all those economies have to deal with a crisis, when the rates of joblessness are going up and the social security systems are under threat, each and every government has to take loans in order to run the economy and re-start it, why there have to be billions of dollars spent on war in Afghanistan and why innocent people have to die there.

Interestingly, the West was never ready to sacrifice the lives of their own soldiers in that war; they always thought that somehow it would be the enemy only who would die – and may be the “collateral damage” of that population that a highly computerized war would cause. That is why it is only the Western dead who are counted, never the dead Iraqis, Afghanis or Pakistanis. And the immediate death toll is only the beginning.

We are just getting first reports about a rising number of children in Iraq being born with birth defects and later developing cancer. The cancer rate in Iraq has gone up manifold as a result of the radiation which has been released in the wake of the carpet bombings. Given the inaccessibility of the Afghan territory such reports may take a while to emerge from there also; but they are bound to come. This situation clearly shows how crazy the logic of this whole ‘war on terror’ is and how physically and politically dangerous its outfall will be on Pakistan, when US and NATO forces leave Afghanistan ultimately.

US allies, NATO & ISAF have murdered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, terrified millions of innocent Pakistani and Afghani through their 9/11 drama to justify attack on Afghanistan & Iraq.

In 1996 US oil Mafia and Unocal were negotiating oil pipeline building project between the Caspian Sea and the markets of East Asia and Europe. At that time US Government welcomed Taliban’s rise to power as a promising source of stability in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance, so the claim that they are waging this war to liberate Afghanis from Taliban is nothing but a white lie.

As an immediate outfall, Pakistan has become a victim of this war because of our spineless rulers. If immediate corrective measures are not taken and those advising to do more are not shown the door, our survival will remain at stake as millions of people are forced to beg for food, clean water, flour, sugar, gas, electricity, safety and security. Pakistani nation has been trapped in the quagmire of an endless war of terror or civil war, which needs to be ended otherwise the wheels of history are going to grind us all without any exceptions.(Ali Ashraf Khan)

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