Will “PakMil” recognise the real foe?

By Dr Shireen M Mazari

It is ISI bashing time again and this comes easy for the Western and Indian media especially, but also for the media at home since the ISI has figured as a larger than life organisation since the US-led war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. And undoubtedly the ISI has at times been highly controversial in the activities it has undertaken especially domestically. Both during period of civilian democracy and military rule, the ISI has been used by those in power and even today the ruling party is not devoid of this temptation, unfortunately.

Of course, like all intelligence agencies with an external agenda, such as CIA and RAW, the ISI has its own external agenda. But it needs to also be understood that the ISI is not an independent entity and the decision-making hierarchy of the organisation comes on routine postings from the military, primarily the army. So its external activities reflect the policies of the government, but especially the military. Be that as it may, post-9/11, the ISI has had to pay for its past sins in seeing itself demonised by the US and India – even though the former is supposed to be an ally of this country. Every time the chips are down for the US in Afghanistan, somehow or the other the ISI is lambasted by “leaks” to the Western, especially the compliant US media. It would appear that the CIA’s failures, as well as the US and NATO military failures, are all a result solely of the ISI! Now if only the ISI was really so effective, efficient and powerful, India’s occupation of Kashmir would have ended and Afghanistan’s future would have been moulded according to its desires! Unfortunately, that is not the case and the ISI is as riddled with inefficiencies as any large bureaucratic organisation is, but undoubtedly, it has better ground intelligence in this region than the US and its CIA since the latter has a blunderbuss approach to human intelligence gathering and has no sensitivity to nuances of any kind.

Be that as it may, the latest round of ISI bashing rather obviously sponsored by the CIA to hide its own failures in Afghanistan, once again, has come with the WikiLeaks’ story. Apart from The Guardian newspaper which showed some healthy scepticism about the leaked information, for the biased US media like The New York Times this was a journalistic feast – enough to feed the deep-seated anti-Muslim and especially anti-Pakistan bias that now dominates the American media. But let us get some facts straightened first and one has to concede that WikiLeaks itself is credible anti-war site. But what the media has done in terms of factual distortions of even these unverifiable leaks is dangerous and cannot simply be ignored by Pakistan because we are once again the targets. First of all, the leaked documents are based entirely on field reports filed by a variety of operatives in Afghanistan, allegedly primarily belonging to the Northern Alliance. Second, out of the 92,000 leaked documents, only 180 contain ISI references and of these only 30 mention the ISI in negative terms regarding Taliban-supporting activities. Third, of these 180 documents with references to the ISI, most of these reports have a disclaimer by the author at the end where the source was referred to simply as an “informant” and it was stated that this source was either not reliable or working only for monetary gains for either the Afghan intelligence, Indians or Afghan warlords! Or else the source was referred to simply by initials! Interestingly where the ISI is mentioned, it also states in the disclaimer that the information cannot be verified and therefore cannot be “used to make policies” (all this is on the website). So where does that leave the actual content of these leaked reports?

Officials in Pakistan are convinced that the CIA, when it found out about the leaks, sought to divert the expansive details of its own failures in Afghanistan by shifting the focus on to the ISI – a favourite bete noir of the Western media. According to WikiLeaks the source for the leaked documents sought to prevent the publication of some of them for fear of sensitive information! There is also a feeling in some quarters that the CIA has deliberately chosen to once again target the ISI because of the rising anti-war tide within the US. Most observers in the know now recognise that the US and NATO have lost the war militarily in Afghanistan and bad intelligence is certainly one of the causes. So what better way to escape blame than to put everything on the ISI. The timing of the “leaks” is not without purpose.

Be that as it may, the fact is that it is time for Pakistan to sever its links and cooperation with the US. How can we have information and intelligence sharing with a country that has systematically done and continues to do a hatchet job on our premier intelligence agency, as well as the Pakistan military in general? From our nuclear programme to the ISI, there is a continuous ongoing war being waged on us by the US. It may not be a military war but it has economic, political, diplomatic and psychological components. What is simply absurd is why the “PakMil” – a term Mullen has coined to show his intimacy with General Kayani and is used only by him when he meets the COAS apparently – is not seeing the ground realities? Instead of the ISPR issuing press releases now suddenly condemning the drone attacks in an attempt to fool the Pakistani nation, when they know only too well that these are being carried out with the support of the Pakistan civil and military leadership, the military should take a long hard look at what the US is doing to Pakistan on all fronts. If the Pakistani government, including the military, sees the drones as doing more harm than good, why do they remain complicit in this policy? Should they not send a clear message to the US by downing one of these drones? Read more of this post

Pakistan-China YOUYI-III (Friendship) Joint Military Exercise 2010 (video)

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PAF JF-17 Thunder in Farnborough Air Show 2010 (Pictures)

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Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder Arrive At Farnborough Airshow 2010

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Double standards in nuke cooperation

By Fu Xiaoqiang (China Daily)

The civil nuclear cooperation agreement between Pakistan and Chinese companies has attracted wide attention, with some countries even questioning the legality of the deal.

The pact is however a routine development and is a sign of pragmatic cooperation that will in fact be closely supervised by the concerned international authorities.

The strategic cooperative endeavor is not intended at targeting any third party. China has been an important source of assistance to Pakistan in several fields and this cooperation is the result of comprehensive bilateral strategic relations based on mutual trust.

Energy shortage has restricted economic development in Pakistan. Building nuclear power stations is an important solution to this problem.
The first and second stage of construction of the Chashma Nuclear Power Station has already been completed due to this bilateral cooperation initiative.

Civil nuclear cooperation is the fruit of deepening bilateral ties and is not only a win-win choice for both nations but also contributes to the stability and prosperity of South Asia.

Chinese companies’ involvement in civil nuclear projects is a routine economic activity. The overall installed capacity of civil nuclear power in Pakistan will increase several-fold in the next decade, turning Pakistan into an important market for international nuclear power service suppliers.

In this context, China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC) construction of two new nuclear reactors for Pakistan, which is being closely supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), should be deemed normal entrepreneurial behavior that does not breach China’s promise of nuclear non-proliferation as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

In fact, the US has already started talks with Pakistan about civil nuclear cooperation. Due to domestic political compulsions, the nuclear tycoons of the West cannot compete in Pakistan’s nuclear reactors market. This should not, however, be made into an excuse to stop other nations’ companies from initiating routine nuclear cooperation with Pakistan.

It is illogical to approach the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between China and Pakistan using double standards. To some extent, similar cooperation – between the US and India – has provided China and Pakistan with a practical model.

After signing a nuclear cooperation agreement with the US in 2006, India became free to accept civil nuclear fuel and core technologies from the US – as long as it separated its civil nuclear facilities from military ones – even though the country hadn’t signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

The IAEA council agreed to provide supervision guarantees to India after the US and India lobbied widely for the same in 2008. Forty-five members of the NSG reached agreement to lift restrictions on nuclear export to India later in the same year, after which the India-US cooperation entered a crucial stage. The US has reportedly sold nuclear material to India ever since, while Russia is helping India build more than 10 reactors.

Since it initiated large-scale nuclear cooperation with the US and Russia, it is groundless for India to complain about similar cooperation – on a much smaller scale – between Pakistan and China. It is India and the US that has opened the so-called nuclear Pandora’s box.

Their cooperation has, in some degree, removed obstacles for the Sino-Pakistan pact. Anybody nodding to the US and India has no reason to dissent to China and Pakistan now. The international community should abandon its ideological prejudice towards China and Pakistan.

Some Westerners think the civil nuclear cooperation between India and the US will certainly help improve the lives of ordinary Indian citizens simply because of their shared identity as free democratic countries.

In contrast, the deal between China and Pakistan, so-called non-democracies, must be evil and threatening, they aver. These double standards are a typical legacy of the Cold War era power politics. Any conclusion drawn from such a mentality deserves second thought. Read more of this post

Objectives of Pakistan’s adversaries remain unaccomplished

By Asif Haroon Raja


The US is the strongest military and economic power of the world but its behavior is amateurish and childish and doesn’t correspond to its stature, strength and capability. After 2nd World War, it never clashed directly with an adversary matching its capabilities but always attacked very weak foes. Like a typical bully, it prefers tiny David over giant Goliath and clobbers the former mercilessly but as luck would have it, USA didn’t even succeed against David. After North Korean fiasco in 1953-54, its physical strength was put to test in Vietnam where it got embroiled with small-height, impoverished and ill-equipped Vietcong under inspiring leadership of Ho-chi-Minh in North Vietnam who were no match to the well fed, tall and strongly built GIs backed up with massive sophisticated military and technological resources. They wanted to succeed where French had failed against Vietminh led by Gen Giap (1946-54). During its ten-year stay (1964-1974), the US military applied maximum force to annihilate the opponents. It dropped 7.8 million tons of bombs including napalms and mustard gas, sprayed 75 million litres of defoliants including Dioxin over fields, forests and villages causing 7 million casualties including 3 million dead. Despite wholesale massacre and destruction the Americans failed to break the will and resilience of Vietnamese to fight back. The resistance forces were covertly backed by USSR and China since the two considered it their moral duty to provide material assistance to the beleaguered neighbor believing in same ideology.

When the casualties of US soldiers began to mount and reached the figure of 58000 fatalities and home pressure intensified, adamant US leadership instead of winding up the war extended it to Cambodia under the warped logic that unless safe sanctuaries of Vietcong in neighboring Cambodia were neutralized, victory in Vietnam War was not possible. Additional troops were sought to expand the scope of war. When this experiment failed after massacring tens of thousands of Cambodians, USA had to finally eat a humble pie and order retreat in sheer disgust and disgrace.

Stewing in the juice of humiliation, the US got an opportunity to avenge its disgrace when Soviets forces barged into Afghanistan and Mujahideen backed up by Pakistan confronted them at their own. Instead of jumping into the fray and battling with Soviet forces in an even match, USA decided to resort to indirect strategy. It provoked and backed Mujahideen to directly take on Soviet troops and Afghan Army to liberate Afghanistan. It also lured Pakistan through $3.5 billion aid package to act as a frontline state and undertake a proxy war. Its forces stayed out of the Afghan war since USA had learnt a bitter lesson of direct confrontation in North Korea and North Vietnam.

Thanks to outstanding fight put up by rag tag Mujahideen and immense sacrifices rendered by them and Pakistan, Afghan war was decisively won and Soviet forces pushed out. When it came to collecting awards, the US stood alone on the victory stand and gathered all of them leaving the actual winners high and dry. The US having avenged its dishonor in Vietnam with the help of others declared itself a winner without losing a single soldier.

This grand success which drastically truncated USSR and reduced it into Commonwealth of Independent States, ended bi-polarism and made USA the sole super power. This unprecedented elevation went into the heads of arrogant US leaders and they started viewing America as the mightiest and invincible. They forgot that their military had played no role in the defeat and demise of Soviet Union. Drunk with power and megalomania, they wanted to punish the very forces that had elevated USA to prestigious position of unchallenged super power and had put their lives at stake. Afghanistan under Taliban was among the most impoverished countries of the world, devoid of armed forces and technological base.

Regardless of their handicaps, the Americans forgot that Afghanistan was the traditional graveyard of many mighty empires where it was easy to get in but far more difficult to get out. They wanted to succeed where none had succeeded. Soviet Union jumped into the inferno of Afghanistan because of paranoia of Islamic resurgence. It had the advantage of geographic contiguity and dedicated logistic tail. It had strong political roots in Afghanistan in the form of Khalq and Parcham parties, had a heavy presence of military advisers and had committed 150000 troops at the outset. Yet it failed in its mission and had to withdraw. US leaders were so buoyed up with the prospects of commercial gains from Central Asia that they completely overlooked US military handicaps. To hide their real motives they raised false slogans of freedom and democracy and demonized Taliban, with whom US UNOCOL was in secret contacts. They ignored over 1.5 million human losses of Mujahideen, mostly Afghans and the brilliant work done by ISI under Gen Akhtar Abdur Rahman and later under Gen Hameed Gul. Read more of this post

Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder Arrive At Farnborough Airshow 2010












The JF-17s will be displayed for the first time at the Farnborough Air Show alongside other modern aircraft of the world. The JF-17 Thunder distinguishes Pakistan Air Force as the only air force in the world that manufactures combat aircraft.

It is an all-weather, multi-role, combat aircraft that has the potential to be the mainstay of any modern air force. Read more of this post

Pak-Turk joint defence production

ANKARA: Pakistani Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who is leading a defence delegation to Turkey, visited Turkish defence organizations including Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and ASELSAN in Ankara. Possibilities of local production, co-production, and transfer of technology for defence related products according to needs of the two countries were discussed during the visit.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of TAI, Lt. Gen (Retd) M. Yalchinkaya briefed the visiting delegation about the main areas of activities of the organization. Progress on existing defence related projects between Turkey and Pakistan was reviewed. The delegation also visited the facilities of aircraft manufacturing, overhauling, and were shown unmanned aerial (UAV) vehicle indigenously developed by TAI.

The delegation also visited ASELSAN, another defence production company, working under public private partnership. They were particularly briefed about the academic-industry linkage arrangement that is giving a big boost to R&D for the Turk defence production sector.

Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar also desired for a strong academia-industry linkage. He said innovation and best research is possible when industry is linked with the academic institutions. Read more of this post

Pakistan Navy war game Shamsheer-e-Behr IV

The opening session of Pakistan Navy war game Shamsheer-e-Behr IV held here on Monday. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was the chief guest of the event. A Navy press release said that speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister underlined the significance of war games in military planning process and said in todays’ fast changing world, regular conduct of war games to evolve new concepts and doctrines is extremely important.

He lauded the realistic stock taking, exhaustive analysis and objective decision making of the Force Commanders who earlier presented their detailed plans.

Earlier, on his arrival at the venue, the Prime Minister was received by Chief of the Naval Staff along with the key naval commanders.

Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Operations, Vice Admiral Abbas Raza, then presented an overview of the war game outlining objectives set forth and concepts to be tried.

He particularly stressed on the significance of naval base at Gwadar for ensuring an impregnable defence of motherland and relevance of Pakistan Navy under new and emerging challenges.

He added that being a tri-service event with representation of relevant ministries, Shamsheer-e-Behr IV is the Flag ship war game of Pakistan Navy that is held biennially to try various concepts which are then validated in subsequent Navy-wide field exercise before being developed into naval strategy. Read more of this post

Foreign powers behind terrorism: DG ISI

ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha

ISLAMABAD: ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha said Thursday that the policy against terrorism should be co-related with the national interest.

“The foreign powers are involved in terrorism and destabilization of the country,” said DG ISI.

During a briefing in the National Security Committee session headed by Senator Raza Rabbani, DG ISI Ahmed Shuja Pasha said that the western powers are involved in the terror activities of the country.

“The US policy against terrorism is under consideration and the changes will be brought with time in accordance with the national interest,” he said.

According to sources the committee members has demanded the clear changes in the policies against terrorism. SAMAA

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Dirty ISI Stalks Poor CIA, Again

By Ahmed Quraishi

A dirty program is underway in Afghanistan where poor elements within Pakistani religious groups are recruited to conduct senseless mass murders and bombings in Pakistani cities. Terror outposts in South Waziristan are used as conduits but the puppeteers hide inside outposts along the Afghan border.

A Washington Post story today, titled, ‘CIA and Pakistan locked in aggressive spy battles’, accuses ISI of trying to penetrate CIA outposts inside Pakistan.

The thrust is that Pakistan and ISI are paranoid and that the poor CIA agents are doing nothing wrong and yet are being harassed [remember the US media stories last year about Pakistan ‘harassing’ US diplomats? Well, now we’re harassing CIA agents!].

But there is, however, a self-serving half-sentence innocently buried in the 1,467-word report. This half-sentence is supposed to provide a reason for Pakistani suspicions.

That half-line says, ‘The CIA has repeatedly tried to penetrate the ISI and learn more about Pakistan’s nuclear program.’

That’s all. The tone of the author of the report is that it is ok for the CIA to try to penetrate ISI and ‘learn’ about Pakistan’s nuclear program but that it is wrong for the ISI to counter this unwarranted meddling and protect Pakistan’s interests.

Rest of the report is a sap story about how the bad ISI is trying to spy on CIA.

This is not the first report of its kind published by the US media. There have been several stories like this during the past three years. They coincided with rising voices in Pakistan about CIA playing double games with Pakistan. In plain words, CIA has been deceiving Pakistan from the start of Washington’s 2002 Afghan adventure, courting Pakistan while empowering anti-Pakistan forces in the region.

This attack against ISI is part of an effort to drown out Pakistani complaints. The United States has shown that it is adept at managing media and info wars. Pakistan is no match.

The truth is that ISI cooperated honestly with CIA after 9/11 but the Americans played a double game with Pakistan and turned the Afghan soil into ‘Anti-Pakistan Central’ and generally made life miserable for Pakistan and Pakistanis in their own neighborhood. And now when Washington’s game is up the Americans are trying to atone for their sins through aid programs and generous public praise.

Nevertheless, dirty American games against Pakistan continue unabated. Terrorists claiming to represent Pakistani Baloch continue to find safe havens in Kabul and Kandahar, and money and weapons continue to flow from Afghanistan to terrorists who use them to kill Pakistanis by the dozens. There is also a dirty program underway in Afghanistan where poor elements within Pakistani religious groups are recruited to conduct senseless mass murders and bombings in Pakistani cities. Terror outposts in South Waziristan are used as conduits but the puppeteers hide inside outposts along the Afghan border. These bombings are then linked to the Afghan Taliban and the Kashmiri groups. And if that doesn’t fly the Americans and their allies inside the Pakistani government link the terrorists to low-level Pakistani sectarian groups in order to justify a military operation in areas of the Punjab province where pro-Kashmiri groups are based.

The net result of all this is to pressure Pakistan into stopping the promotion of its vital interests in Afghanistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir. Read more of this post

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