Is Israel Planning Act of Desperation ?

Add to Google Buzz

by Gordon Duff

It still holds two stolen nukes for possible port attack

Whenever the gang that has seized power in Israel wants to move forward their agenda-their plan to use American lives to dominate not only the Middle East but Central Asia-they reach into their bag of tricks. Sometimes it’s a simple story: “rockets from Gaza” or another phony Bin Laden audio tape. However, too often, as we have learned time and time again, something very bad happens at just the right time. Some imaginary terrorist group with no planning ability, no logistics, and no influence or history of being able to move men or material shows up in New York, Detroit, London, Dubai, Madrid or Mumbai. The signature is always the same: help through airports, high quality documents and timed perfectly to advance the Israeli agenda. This time, with two stolen nuclear weapons in play, bombs built by South Africa and Israel available for detonation in a shipping container at any American or European port, we wonder, “Would Israel really go this far?”

The stolen nukes are part of the original ten weapons, Uranium-235 based, built by Israel in South Africa. The first one was tested on September 22, 1979 in the Indian Ocean and discovered by an array of sensors and satellites. The Israeli lobby in the US suppressed an American reaction and kept the story out of the press. However, as the story of these nuclear weapons is now established fact and subject of a recent speech by President Obama, denial is a waste of time. But what President Obama wasn’t told when he thanked South Africa for destroying these weapons is that three of them “went missing.”

While six weapons were shipped to the US and destroyed, three were in British hands but were hijacked, we were told initially, by Saddam Hussein and later Syria. This was the real reason for the invasion of Iraq. This was a useful story that killed off a rival of Israel’s-a useful lie that also killed 5,000 Americans.

Israel also told us Syria had them but we didn’t buy it. Then, Israel convinced the US that these bombs might show up in Gaza and be smuggled through tunnels into Israel. America agreed to support turning Gaza into a prison camp with us building the wall around it, using the Army Corps of Engineers.

This is another lie. The bombs have been in Israel all along, for the past 18 years-except for one that mysteriously exploded in North Korea.

Israel has been trying to hang that one on Pakistan. They are also setting the stage for nuclear terrorism by spreading continual stories about terrorists having access to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. It isn’t to get America to go in and seize it. Pakistan has a one million-man army, highly trained and well equipped. Not only are terrorists not going to get Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the United States isn’t up to the task either. Pakistan has never lost nuclear material but America has-several times. But that is another story.

Some time ago, Israel began preparing the US for a nuclear weapon to be detonated in a shipping container. Through Israeli assets in the US, starting with Senators Schumer, Waxman, Lieberman and McCain, to the mainstream media, to Chertoff, to the storytellers of Hollywood, the story has been planted in the minds of every American. “America can’t protect her ports.” “A ‘loose nuke’ can be used at any time.” “Billions need to be spent on Israeli technology to protect America.” “A weapon is ready to be unleashed at any time…”

The continual stories, the daily fabrications that Israeli security forces feed America’s intelligence network are never seen by most Americans. First, we are told Saddam has them. Then, Israel says Syria has them. Then, Israel tells us Syria sent them to Lebanon. Then, we are told they are in Iran. Then, we are told Hezbollah has them and is trying to smuggle them into Israel from Lebanon. Then, Israel tells us that they are on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on a Turkish ship, loaded by “Islamic extremists.” Read more of this post

Balochistan: CIA’s Crumbling Project

Ahmed Quraishi:

A photograph has surfaced that shows a terrorist wanted by Iran visiting a US military base in Afghanistan. Another terrorist wanted by Pakistan has also been spotted meeting Indian spies under American watch—in Afghanistan.  Iran arrests one such terrorist but Pakistan’s pro-US government refuses to take a stand on a terrorist insurgency openly backed by rogue US elements, with Indian support.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—After occupying Afghanistan, rogue CIA elements launched a campaign to create a new state of Balochistan out of two conjoined provinces in Pakistan and Iran.

This was done to create the shortest possible supply route from the sea to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

The Sunni-Shia divide was exploited in Iran and a language-based divide was used in Pakistan. In other words, the result was a sectarian Balochi insurgency in Iran and an ethnic one in Pakistan.

This is how Jundullah was born in Iran and Balochistan Liberation Army in Pakistan. Both were armed and supported by CIA using the Afghan soil.

But this American terror infrastructure is now crumbling. Fast.

The idea of using Afghan soil for regional US strategies – against Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China, as the need be – has failed miserably. One reason is exposure. Eight years is enough time for everyone to understand the double game being played in the region in the name of war on terror, which is America’s war no matter how many millions of dollars the US government invests in propaganda in the region to convince the people it is otherwise.

Despite a pliant Pakistani government, Pakistan, for example, is not ready to cooperate with the United States if Pakistani interests are not protected along with US interests. Pakistan took a long time to take a stand. But it has come around finally. Of course CIA was not operating alone. It enlisted the help of India and several Western intelligence agencies, turning Afghanistan into a source of regional destabilization. That’s exactly what al-Qaeda was doing before 2002.

The arrest of the ringleader of CIA-backed Jundullah group, Mr. Abdolmalek Rigi, is a major development. Iran’s intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi showed damning evidence today to the media, confirming beyond doubt the terror group’s link to US intelligence in Afghanistan:

In a press conference Moslehi showed a photograph of the leader of the group, Abdulmalek Rigi, 24 hours before his arrest at a US troops camp in Afghanistan, as well as an ID card, an Afghan passport and a Dubai visa belonging to Rigi and prepared by the US to facilitate his travels in the region as evidence to show the terrorist leader’s cooperation with Washington and certain other countries.

Last year, his younger brother Abdolhamid Rigi was arrested by Pakistani intelligence and handed over to Iran. The younger Rigi admitted on television to meeting US diplomats, or possible intelligence agents, in Karachi and Islamabad.

The worst part of the story is that former President Musharraf might have allowed CIA-backed Jundullah to use Pakistani soil, along with Afghanistan’s, to mount operations inside Iran. Of course there were times when Iran did the same: organize and arm sectarian militant groups inside Pakistan as part of Iran’s policy of militarizing Shia minorities in neighboring countries. But that was a different time. What the Americans were doing in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan was tied to the parallel terror insurgency in Pakistani Balochistan.

It is possible that this was one more concession that Mr. Musharraf granted US in Pakistan. But it is Pakistan and its intelligence that arrested and handed over Jundullah leader’s younger brother to Iran last year. Pakistani intelligence might have had something to do with the arrest of the elder Rigi too. But Iranian officials are denying that Pakistan helped them in any way in this arrest, and won’t say where Abdolhamid Rigi was seized. Read more of this post

Israel waging covert war across Middle East

Sheera Frenkel

Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East in an effort to stop its key enemies co-ordinating their activities. Israeli agents have been targeting meetings between members of Hamas and the leadership of the militant Hezbollah group, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They are also suspected of recent killings in Dubai, Damascus and Beirut. While Israel’s Mossad spy agency has been suspected of staging assassinations across the world since the 1970s, it does not officially acknowledge or admit its activities.

The current spate of killings began in December when a “tourist bus” carrying Iranian officials and Hamas members exploded outside Damascus. The official report by Syria claimed that a tyre had exploded but photographs surfaced showing the charred remains of the vehicle — prompting speculation that a much larger explosion had taken place. Several weeks later a meeting between members of Hamas, which controls Gaza, and their counterparts from Hezbollah in its southern Beirut stronghold in Lebanon was also attacked, resulting in several deaths. Hamas had sought to cover up the incidents because it was embarrassed, a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah told The Times.

“There has been growing co-operation between Gaza and Iran. Israel can read the writing on the wall and they know that with the help of Iran, the Hamas Government in Gaza will become stronger and will fight better. “But Israel is overstepping their boundaries. Other countries don’t want to become a killing field for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Most recently, the top Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in Dubai on January 19, 2010. He is believed to have been poisoned by a woman who visited his room at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. Israeli officials said that Mabhouh had been a key figure in procuring Iranian-made longer-range rockets for Hamas that could be fired at targets in central Israel. Read more of this post

Alert: Secret document bares Indian subversion in Pakistan

Defence Correspondent

Islamabad—Even as India and Pakistan were actively engaged in laying a framework for normalizing their relations in the aftermath of Operation Parkaram (Dec 2001 – Oct 2002), RAW’s Counter Intelligence Team – X (CIT-X), assigned to conduct subversive operations targeting Pakistan was working relentlessly to destabilize the country. According to well placed sources the details of these plans came to light once a copy of the classified document detailing these activities was accidentally lost and became available for public scrutiny.

The strategy to advance the interaction with Pakistan on the diplomatic channels, while perpetrating acts of terrorism on a parallel track, was envisaged after the failure of Indian spell of coercive diplomacy vis-à-vis Pakistan during the Premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpaee. The document lays out the extensive espionage network dovetailed into the diplomatic missions in Central Asia, particularly Afghanistan, and Middle East which the Indian under cover intelligence operatives utilize to rake trouble not only in FATA but in Pakistani hinterland as well.

As per details given in the purloined paper, agents for anti-Pakistan subversion were trained in 57 training camps established in the IHK, East Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Assam. Activists of anti Pakistan nationalist groups were the focus of Indian search for recruits who received cash weapons and ammunitions from undercover RAW operatives masquerading as Al Qaeda agents. While sections of the Taleban have been named as perpetrators of some of the most heinous and bloody acts of subversion in Pakistan, it were their Indian handlers who manipulated the invisible strings. Mossad’s tactics of infiltrating Palestinian resistance acted as model and provided the modus operandi for CIT – X to stir insurgency on Pakistan’s Western border that, hitherto fore, had remained free from a military threat.

Apart from concentrating on the FATA Region, stoking the fires of sub-national movements in Pakistan can be identified as one of the vulnerable area where Indian Agencies are focused; reveals the document. Targeting interior regions of Sind province, Seraiki belt and the Northern Areas of Pakistan forms pivots of the Indian plan, receiving riveting and ceaseless attention of CIT – X , reveals the classified document.
CIT “X” OPERATIONS

1. A declassified document of RAW has revealed CIT ‘X’ Operations which spells out the Mossad / RAW / CIA plot against Pakistan Indicating that Pakistan has been effectively engaged in for a long hot summer as the “Summer Offensive Continues”. Following contents are the proof that Pakistan has been looking for:-

a. Tactics of the Dragon Policy. In retaliation to the alleged unending terrorist pursuits of Pakistan, RAW and MOSSAD had conceived the “Summer Offensive” a year ago. Modus operandi has been successful. The operational tactics are:-

(1) Intelligence has successfully tapped known international drug and mafia dons against Pakistan. CIT “X” is effectively training agents for covert operations in Pakistan. Under the Vajpayee government, the CIT “X” and other sensitive organizations were authorized to strengthen contacts with sleeping agents, and recruit new front men to carry out covert operations in Pakistan.

(2) All possible international criminal and mercenaries, including Afghans were engaged for covert purpose during LK Advani’s tenure in the Home Ministry. CIT “X” is actively involved in drug trafficking to finance its covert operations.

(3) Illegal poppy is being cultivated in bulk in Himachal Pradesh, Arunchal Pradesh, Mizoram and Uttar Pradesh. Drug barons have close links with their Afghan counterparts, completely controlled, and continuously monitored by various intelligence agencies. India today stands as the fifth largest country in the world in the production of illicit opium. Laos is 4th with 20 metric tons and has directly tied up with RAW and internal drug barons. Some people of Indian origin living in Surinam and Holland have been engaged to facilitate Indian agencies in drug trafficking. Under the benign patronage of CIT “X” the business of drug trafficking is flourishing and the money earned is accounted for and is being directed towards covert activities in Pakistan.

(4) The summer offensive includes establishment of 57 training camps in Occupied Kashmir, East Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnatka and Assam to train and launch terrorists inside Pakistan. Trainees are generally drawn from the Indian hatched dissident groups of Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), Jiye Sindh Mohaz,

b. Offensive under Diplomatic Cover (The MOSSAD Hands)

(1) RAW Centers at London, Dubai, Iran, and South Africa operate against Pakistan jointly with Israeli MOSSAD. However, for its summer offensive RAW in a joint effort with MOSSAD has laid out a whole network around Pakistan to ensure success through destabilization.

(2) During Wana operations the miscreants were fed cash, weapons and ammunition indirectly by RAW operatives under cover of Al-Qaeda. Mossad and AMMAN have also contributed heavily towards the funding and material requirements for those operations.

c. Ministry of Information and Security (Iran’s Involvement)

(1) Iran, having contiguous borders with Pakistan, is a hot bed of intrigues and constant source of support and inspiration to RAW functionaries. The Indian Embassy at Tehran and Consulates in Zahidan, Mashhad and Bandar Abbas are actively engaged in establishing links with disgruntled elements of Balochistan and Sindh for destabilizing these provinces. RAW is maintaining contacts / their sources / links in Pakistan through their consulates at Zahidan and Dubai. Most of the staff at Indian Consulate in Zahidan is from intelligence / security organizations including RAW, Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence. Irani intelligence has been providing reliable information and support to RAW operations by using disgruntled Shia elements in Pakistan.

d. Intelligence Model

(1) This intelligence model is an improvement on the practices of MOSSAD, which has infiltrated several Jewish agents into the occupied territory of Palestine as Muslims. These agents practice Islam like any ordinary Muslim. Mingle into local Muslim population just to wait for the appropriate time to strike. While Taliban and Al-Qaeda are getting the blame and Pakistan gets the rap for “not doing enough” by US and FRIENDLY” Afghan authorities

e. UAE Angle

(1) UAE is being used as a launching pad for terrorist activities in Pakistan. Agents are getting hold of young, disgruntled elements and after carrying out their proper brainwashing, they are dispatched to Dubai. Indian Consulate in Dubai is issuing temporary passport to these activists for getting training / briefing. After completion of their formal training, they are launched into Pakistan to carry out their terrorist / sabotage activities.

f. Fake Currency

(1) To cripple the economy of Pakistan, RAW has taken it upon itself the responsibility of pumping fake currency into Pakistan through various illegal means.

g. Subversion

(1) To fan flames of Sindhi Desh Movement subversive literature, published from Bombay and Jammu e.g. Sindh Sujag. Sindh Rises, Sindh Parcham, Sangat and lot of other subversive material is being pumped into Sindh clandestinely. Whereas, RAW is morally and maerially supporting the Saraiki Movement in southern Punjab. Regional Political Parties like Saraiki Suba Mahaz, Pakistan Saraiki Party and Saraiki Sahaliya Sangam are being effectively sponsored. Subversive literature in huge quantity is being published on the subject.

h. Balwaristan Movement

(1) RAW is also involved in sponsoring Balwaristan Movement. It is being organized under Abdul Hamid, self styled Chairman of his own faction of Balwaristan National Front based in Delhi. The Front is working for the independence of Northern Areas. It has been sending into Pakistan a highly subversive material from abroad.

2. The hostile intelligence operatives are making concerted / unified attempts to achieve their aim of destabilizing Pakistan through a well conceived / articulated plan. Pakistan needs to counter it by utilizing all means available.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Israel ‘poisoned Hamas leader’: report

A hit squad that killed a top Hamas commander in his Dubai hotel room injected him with a drug that induced a heart attack, photographed all the documents in his briefcase and left a “do not disturb” sign on the door.

The body of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, 50, was discovered by staff at the luxury Al Bustan Rotana hotel after lunch on January 20. There were no suspicious signs and local doctors diagnosed a heart attack.

Nine days later, after blood samples sent to Paris for analysis showed signs of poison, Hamas announced his death and blamed Mossad, the Israeli overseas intelligence service, for the assassination.

Al-Mabhouh was one of the founders of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, the Islamic organisation that seized control of the Gaza strip in 2007.

According to Middle Eastern sources, al-Mabhouh, who was the official responsible for arranging arms supplies from Iran to Gaza, was tracked from the moment he boarded Emirates flight EK 912 at Damascus at 10.05 on January 19.

He was said to have been travelling on a false passport and on arrival in Dubai was followed by two men described by local police as “Europeans carrying European passports”.

Al-Mabhouh left Gaza in 1989 and moved to Damascus. Israel blamed him for the abduction of two Israeli soldiers, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Saadon, both later killed.

Hamas said it would retaliate for the assassination by targeting Israeli officials in Europe. Israel made no official response to the Hamas claims. (The Sunday Times)

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

THE SALE OF PAKISTAN

Only the Air-Condition Pakistani class could think of such a wheeze and get away with it. Who says our leaders are brain dead? May Allah continue to shower His blessings upon the Zardari/Bhuttos, the Sharifs and all their hanger ons! Amen.

“Islamabad has established an extraordinarily welcoming investment environment that financiers will find hard to resist. The government’s Corporate Agriculture Farming (CAF) policy — spelled out on the Board of Investment’s website — effectively legalises foreign land acquisitions. It permits state land to be purchased outright or leased for 50 years, and allows investors to determine the size of their acquisitions (with no upper ceiling). These features apply to a broad range of agriculture from crops, fruits and vegetables to forestry and livestock farming.”

What a brilliant idea! Sell the most fertile parcels of state land to the oil saturated Arabs [the Saudis, the Emiratis and the assorted dung heads of Arabia] pocket your commission and live happily ever after in the Disney world of Dubai and the fleshpots of London’s Edgeware Road/Park Lane. As to the landless, sweating masses – turn them into Talibans, a la Swat style and get the Americans to keep them in their place by ‘droning’ them.

Only the Air-Condition Pakistani class could think of such a wheeze and get away with it. Who says our leaders are brain dead?  May Allah continue to shower His blessings upon the Zardari/Bhuttos, the Sharifs and all their hanger ons! Amen.


Putting the country on sale

The Nation, Jan. 31, 2010.

For those of us who had thought that the scheme of leasing out a million acres of agricultural land to foreign investors had been shelved by the government, the statement of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week served as a rude awakening. Shamelessly reaffirming his government’s commitment to go ahead with the sinister plan, he gave odd justifications for going ahead with it. He was in Dubai for a meeting of Frie-nds of Pakistan who are supposed to help us in this time of need. The Arab countries that have expressed interest in this unethical land grab, obviously have a poor sense of friendship. The message they, as well as the other so-called friends, are sending out is that when a friend is in need, exploit the friend and get a good price for his family silver.


One has yet to see anything worthwhile coming out of this motley group of countries that have created yet another club for the avowed purpose of helping out Pakistan in consideration of the price it has paid for fighting terrorism and to strengthen the now not-so-new democracy. Going by the Foreign Minister’s recent statement, it seems that the club serves the interests of the generous prosperous friends more than those of the one going around the globe with a begging bowl. Knowing the desperation of the beggar friend whose functionaries do not miss an occasion to register their economic helplessness and to plead with servile eyes and tones for some charity, these so-called affluent friends seem to be finding good bargains for whatever is to be grabbed in the state of Pakistan. All in the name of friendship of course.

It is surprising that after the treatment meted out to us by our best friend and ally, we still have a stomach for these so-called friendships, and as if one were not enough, we are willing to follow the tunes of this assortment of pied
pipers.


The government, instead of relying on such fickle friends, should be focusing on the wealth of resources at its disposal waiting to be managed properly.
After all, that is what it is there for. Or does the democratic government
believe that its sole purpose is to stay afloat in the short term, even if it means auctioning the country’s vital resources in a grand loot sale? Certainly, something better is expected of a democratic government.

In a ridiculous attempt at justifying the scheme, the Foreign Minister has now informed us that the land that the government intends to lease out is not owned by anyone. By that he means that the land is not owned by any private
individual. But does that mean that these precious acres are lawaris? Does he not know that land not owned by any private individual is owned by the state of Pakistan and is therefore collectively owned by the people of Pakistan?
Does he not know that the government is entrusted with looking after this land and not to sell it off to greedy friends mouthing sincerity? Does the government have no obligation to find ways of util-ising the invaluable resource for the betterment of the people it claims to represent?

To further expose his poverty of vision, the Foreign Minister said that the land to be leased out is not under cultivation and therefore we should not object to handing it over to the foreign investors who will pump in the
resources to cultivate it. Is it the best our democratic government has to offer us? If investors from distant lands with no tradition of agriculture can come and cultivate it, it should not be difficult for Pakistanis to do it, what with an agricultural heritage and knowledge going back to pre-historic times. Instead of wasting government funds on retrogressive schemes like the Benazir Income Support Programme that make beggars of able-bodied citizens rather than helping them stand on their feet, couldn’t the government spend them on helping landless farmers cultivate the land that it wants to throw away to foreign investors?

It is very unfortunate indeed that the government would insist on pushing such a hare-brained and patently nefarious scheme down our throats at the insistence of its dubious friends. But then, it is not just one nut in the
machine that the government is mowing down Pakistan and its citizens with. Whether it is for loans taken from the foul international financial institutions or for aid that it hopes to get from its best friend under the Kerry-Lugar Act,
or for crumbs it hopes to collect from the so-called Friends of Pakistan, the government is willing to compromise the well-being of the people in whose name it governs the country.

To be fair, the present government is only partially responsible for this state of affairs. In recent times, all successive governments have followed the same path. Whether it was the ‘Islamic’ dictatorship of Ziaul Haq or the quasi-democratic governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif that followed, or the moderate-dictatorship of Musharraf or the Q-government that he gave birth to, those at the helm of affairs have shown a similar poverty of
vision when it comes to managing the country’s economy and the abundant resources at their disposal. They come with new mantras and programmes, but beneath the shallow surface, nothing changes on this count. Those in charge of the future of the Paki-stani people have shown a propensity to become willing partners in their exploitation at the hands of investors, states and multilateral financial institutions. Together, this evil partnership has made a rich land poor, turning its gold to dust.

Granted that the present government has inherited much of this legacy from its predecessors, there is still no excuse for continuing with it, especially when the cost has become too high for the people of Pakistan to bear. More
than millions and billions of dollars that the government is breathlessly running after, what is actually required is a political vision that appreciates the true worth of this land and its people.



Going gaga over grain


By Michael Kugelman
Dawn News, Sep. 17, 2009.


Last May, while Pakistan’s military was waging its offensive in Swat, Islamabad officials were simultaneously launching another offensive in the Gulf: a charm offensive to secure investment in Pakistani farmland.

Appearing at ‘farmland road shows’ across the region, the investment ministry representatives depicted Pakistan’s soil as the perfect solution to the Gulf nations’ food insecurity.

Such efforts have paid off for Islamabad (and according to media reports, more shows have been staged in recent days). Pakistan’s farmland is an increasingly popular target for wealthy, food-importing nations who, because of the volatility of world food markets, are taking food security matters into their own hands. These states (and also private investors) aim to buy or lease farmland overseas, grow their own crops and export them back home.

Given their lack of transparency, the details surrounding these investments are sketchy and the facts elusive. In Pakistan, uncertainty reigns over the exact amount of land made available to investors, the quantum of land sold or leased so far, and who is in fact doing the investing.

Still, even without these details, there is strong evidence to suggest that the race for Pakistan’s farmland — if not halted prematurely by farmers’ opposition or investor change-of-hearts — could trigger droves of land deals, acute resource shortages and even political strife.

Islamabad has established an extraordinarily welcoming investment environment that financiers will find hard to resist. The government’s Corporate Agriculture Farming (CAF) policy — spelled out on the Board of Investment’s website — effectively legalises foreign land acquisitions. It permits state land to be purchased outright or leased for 50 years, and allows investors to determine the size of their acquisitions (with no upper ceiling). These features apply to a broad range of agriculture from crops, fruits and vegetables to forestry and livestock farming.

Land investors flock to countries with strong legal protections. Cambodia’s government has reportedly established a national land concession authorising public land to be allocated to foreigners — and the country is now experiencing what the BBC describes as an ‘epidemic of land-grabbing’. Conversely, in India, foreign companies are banned from owning farmland — and considerably fewer investors have come calling.

Pakistan, like Cambodia, provides the legal cover farmland investors look for. However, the CAF goes beyond legal protections. It also offers generous financial incentives such as 100 per cent foreign equity; exemptions on land transfer duties; and customs-duty-free, sales-tax-free agricultural machinery imports.

Legal protection and financial incentives — what more could a foreign land investor in Pakistan want? Security, of course, and Islamabad purports to have this covered as well, through the formation of a 100,000-strong security unit. Pakistan’s government is so serious about concluding land deals that it has offered to deploy a force almost a fifth the size of the army to protect investors’ new holdings.

A rash of foreign land acquisitions in Pakistan would deepen the country’s resource crisis. Pakistan already suffers widespread water shortages, and could be water-scarce by 2020. However, supplies could dry up much sooner if enormous quantities of water are siphoned off to support large-scale, water-intensive agricultural production schemes.

To understand the scale of Pakistan’s water shortages, take a look at Aquastat, the FAO’s water statistics database. Of all the nations most often associated with relinquishing farmland, only one — Kenya — has less water availability per capita than Pakistan’s 1400 cubic metres. In fact, of the nearly 200 countries listed in the database, only 35 have less water than Pakistan — many of them the parched countries of the Gulf that are seeking the water-laden farmland they lack at home.

Indeed, quests for overseas farmland are water hunts as much as they are land hunts. Yet investors are seemingly so seduced by Islamabad’s legal and financial inducements that they disregard the fact that Pakistan’s water supply can barely sustain its own farming, much less that of immense foreign agribusiness projects.

Pakistan’s water and energy shortages could also limit the possible benefits accruing from the deals, including better technology, more employment and higher crop yields. With limited energy to operate upgraded farm machinery, and limited water to irrigate cropland, farming job prospects could suffer and talk of increased yields could become irrelevant.

Land deals could mean not just compromised small-holder livelihoods but also widespread displacement. Not surprisingly, critics argue that big land acquisitions could spark violent responses and mass political unrest. Such predictions may be premature — other than in Madagascar, opposition has been relatively localised — but they are not far-fetched in Pakistan.

Here’s why. According to the World Food Programme, 77 million Pakistanis are already food-insecure, and many of them live in the country’s most volatile areas. Foreign land holdings could cause a flare-up of this food vulnerability powder keg at the worst possible time. During the height of last year’s global food crisis, Pakistan imposed export bans to keep domestic food prices down.

According to a report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the UAE — which hopes to grow rice and wheat in Pakistan — then requested blanket exemptions from these bans.

Islamabad eventually relaxed export restrictions on Basmati rice. So a politically explosive scenario — such as the UAE trucking rice out of a drought-stricken or war-ravaged Pakistan and exporting it back to the Gulf while hungry locals look on — is not at all unrealistic. Throw that investment-protecting security force into the mix, and things could get really ugly.

Furthermore, there are long-standing rifts between Pakistan’s rural poor and its wealthy, landholding elite. Scores of huge land acquisitions — particularly if they displace poor labourers — would exacerbate these class-based cleavages.

Ominously, the Taliban’s actions in Swat reveal a new ability to exploit class divisions by pitting landless farmers against their landlords. Militants may well use farmland acquisitions as a pretext for fomenting a fresh class revolt in Punjab, the fertile, populous province coveted by the Taliban and reportedly ground zero for the farms race in Pakistan. Such a thought is enough to make one wonder if those farmland road shows are really worth the effort.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

The Toy Boxes Of Arabia

I expected it but not so soon. Eat your heart out, O you Sheikh of Dubai. The dung head next door is going to build a 1 km tall Tower of all Towers. While the Palestinians are shackled and the Chosen Ones overlord the whole of Middle East this enlightened luminary of House of Saud, aka The Corrupt of the Earth, can find no better use for his petro dollars than building another sand tower. Al Waleed once was the largest stockholder of Citi group and CNN’s Riz Khan a few years ago eulogised him in a widely publicised biography as the man with vision. Well, some vision. Fisk puts the absurdity of the situation succinctly thus:

“Afghanistan is collapsing in blood; Iraq remains a state of semi-civil war; the Israelis continue to thieve land for Jews and Jews only from the Arabs who hold the title deeds to that property – and Prince al-Waled wants to build a tower reaching a kilometre into the sky. Do the Saudis – who gave so much largesse to the Taliban (we have to forget this, of course, along with the fact that the Saudis provided most of the murderers of 9/11, which is why we bombed Kabul rather than Riyadh) – not have the slightest idea of what is going on around them?”



Robert Fisk’s World: The stakes get higher as Arab princes try to outdo each other

Do the Saudis not have the slightest idea of what is going on around them?

Prince al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia is quite a man.

He says he doesn’t want to be the prime minister of Lebanon – everyone who wants to be the prime minister of Lebanon says that – but he is immensely wealthy. True, his bank balance has sunk from $23.7bn to a mere $13.3bn since 2005 (thus sayeth Forbes magazine). But he’s just announced that he wants to construct the world’s tallest building – a 1km-high goliath which will dwarf his neighbour emir in Dubai who last month opened the paltry 25,000ft Burj Khalifa amid the sand dunes of his bankrupt creditors. The nephew of King Abdullah, al-Waleed understandably calls his company Kingdom Holdings. He also happens to be a major shareholder in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp – which is why you won’t be reading these words in The Times. Long live Kingdom Holdings, I suppose.

Because yesterday morning, I was taking an al-Jazeera television crew around the repulsive, obscene, outrageous, filthy, stinking slums of the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps not far from my home in Beirut, a place of such squalor that the gorge rises that human beings even live there. Sabra and Chatila – yes, the site of that infamous massacre in 1982 when Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel slaughtered up to 1,700 Palestinian civilians while the Israeli army surrounded the camps, watched the killings – and did nothing. They were the survivors of the great exodus or ethnic cleansing of 1948 – or their sons or grandsons – who fled Galilee for the “temporary” safety of Lebanon and, like the visa applicants of the movie Casablanca, wait and wait – and wait – to go home. Which they will never do. “I am very positive,” Prince al-Waleed said when he announced his new priapic tower, to be constructed in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. “We are always looking for new investments.”

Now I know that there are a lot of fine philanthropists in the Gulf, Prince al-Waleed among them, but what is one to make of all this? Afghanistan is collapsing in blood; Iraq remains a state of semi-civil war; the Israelis continue to thieve land for Jews and Jews only from the Arabs who hold the title deeds to that property – and Prince al-Waled wants to build a tower reaching a kilometre into the sky. Do the Saudis – who gave so much largesse to the Taliban (we have to forget this, of course, along with the fact that the Saudis provided most of the murderers of 9/11, which is why we bombed Kabul rather than Riyadh) – not have the slightest idea of what is going on around them?

For example, we all know that the Americans maintain stocks of weapons among their allies. They keep munitions in South Korea and, indeed, in the Arab Gulf (aka Saudi Arabia). But very quietly this week, they agreed to double their munitions supplies in Israel from $400m of weapons to $800m. Of course, Washington’s gift of $9bn to Israel up to 2012 – never, of course, to be spent on those illegal colonies which are built against international law on Arab land but which Barack Obama now pusillanimously ignores – has nothing to do with this. But don’t imagine that – in the event of a new “preventive” war – Israel cannot draw on these supplies for its own army and air force. After all, it was a missile taken to Saudi Arabia by the US marines for use against Iraq in 1991 that ended up in the hands of the Israeli air force as part of a quid pro quo for not joining in the war against Baghdad – and which was subsequently used to kill civilians in a Lebanese ambulance in 1996.

But these days, Arab compliance reaches new heights every day. Now, for example, we have the Egyptian government – and its ever popular president (see the American-approved presidential election results which are way above 90 per cent) – building a wall around Rafah, part of the vast mass of poverty which constitutes Gaza, thus preventing food, gasoline (and, no doubt, weapons) from reaching the trapped Palestinians of this prison camp. A camp, one has to add, which meets with the full approval of Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara, whose honourable involvement in the invasion of Iraq has now been outdone by is extraordinary success as peace envoy to the Middle East.

Egypt’s intelligence boss (a certain Mr Sulieman who might be the next president of Egypt were it not for his pattern of heart attacks) approves of this wall, which is a very definite assistance to Israel and which will yet further impoverish the Palestinians of Gaza to the point at which the inhabitants of Sabra and Chatila might actually feel themselves lucky they don’t live in “Palestine”.

In Israel itself, the deputy foreign minister humiliates the Turkish ambassador – while complaining about an anti-Semitic series on Turkish television – by forcing the diplomat to sit on a low sofa, refusing to shake hands and addressing him, with two colleagues, from higher chairs. The foreign minister himself, our dear friend Mr Lieberman, has now acquired the habit – every time poor old (and I mean old) US envoy George Mitchell raises the question of Jerusalem – of walking out of the room. That’s what Obama’s point man is worth. Israel’s crazies – Netanyahu is a moderate chap by comparison – now prove that Israel can be just as much a banana Raj as the rest of the Middle East.

But fear not. The princes and the emirs and the caliphs and the presidents will be able to outbid each other in towers and hotels. I have a bigger painting set than yours. I have a sharper pencil, more crayons, a larger train set (Qatar, please note), a bigger bear than yours. And the world will watch this tragedy and marvel at the toy boxes now being opened in the Middle East. And, by the way, how many crayons do the children of Sabra and Chatila have?

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

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

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Mutallab mystery

Intelligence sources: Plane incident a false flag involving trinity of CIA, Mossad, and RAW

(WMR) — The Christmas Day attempt by the son of a prominent Nigerian banker and business tycoon connected closely to top Nigerian leaders to detonate a chemical improvised explosive device aboard Delta Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Detroit was a false flag operation carried out by the intelligence tripartite grouping of the CIA, Mossad, and India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), according to WMR’s Asian intelligence sources who closely monitor the activities of the three agencies in India and Southeast Asia.

The tripartite alliance of the CIA, Mossad, and RAW were behind the terrorist attacks on Mumbai earlier last year and on December 28 Rupee News reported the three agencies worked together, along with former Afghan KHAD intelligence agents, to assassinate former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto: “The Benazir assassination was pre-planned and executed via triangulation by KHAD, RAW, CIA and Mossad using the most modern radioactive weapons available in the market.

The Israeli PM publicly admitted helping India in Kargil recently. The purpose of the covert KHAD, RAW, CIA, Mossad operations is to destabilize Pakistan. The IMF plan to de-fang Pakistan in 2000 did not work, but provincial autonomy will make the center bankrupt triggering an implosion.”

The outcome of the failed terrorist attempt by Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab on the Detroit-bound plane has resulted in major Christmas gifts for the neocons and militarists who still call the shots on U.S. policy:

The deployment of privacy-invasive millimeter wave (MMW) full body scanning equipment at airports in North America and Europe.

The ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter King (R-NY), who is an ardent defender of the Catholic Church and its prelates in Ireland, has defended the scanning system which can image the naked bodies of passengers, including children and babies, an increase in the U.S. military and intelligence presence in Yemen, retention of US USAPATRIOT Act surveillance provisions, an increase in racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims — and because Mutallab is African — blacks in the United States, and more cumbersome travel restrictions for airline passengers.

The neocon propagandists are already spinning counterclaims to reports that indicate that Mutallab was a witting accomplice of a larger plot cooked up by American, Israeli, ajd Indian intelligence agents to carry out yet another false flag terror operation on American soil. The eyewitness testimonies of Michigan attorney Kurt Haskell and his attorney wife Lori Haskell are being pilloried by the corporate media after the two were featured on major U.S. television networks. Haskell and his wife witnessed a “well-dressed Indian man” arrange for Mutallab to board Delta 253 without a passport at the check-in desk at Schiphol.

Haskell told CBS News: “Only the Indian man spoke, and what he said was, this man needs to board the plane, and he doesn’t have a passport. And the ticket agent then responded saying you need a passport to board the plane, and the Indian man then said he’s from Sudan. We do this all the time.” Read more of this post
%d bloggers like this: