Dire need to counter RAW’s terrorism

by Brig Asif Haroon Raja

It is now an established fact that no South Asian state has ever indulged in covert operations or cross border terrorism against its neighbors. The only culprit is India which resorts to this evil practice against all its neighbors, be it Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. It has dovetailed clandestine operations into its war strategy to apply it against its foes during peace time for harassment, intimidation and blackmailing purposes and for weakening them from within. Afghanistan has been used by Russia and India to raise the bogey of Pashtunistan, render support to Pakistani runaways and rebels and to launch covert operations against Pakistan. Karzai has belatedly assured Pakistan that it would not allow its soil against Pakistan. Hopefully he sticks to his commitment. Marching orders given by Karzai to his intelligence chief and interior minister, both venomously anti-Pakistan and favorites of Washington are positive signs though some more steps are needed to scatter away clouds of distrust built over nine years.

The US military has starting packing its bags to wind up its business in Afghanistan and go home starting July 2011. The US and Karzai’s tilt towards Islamabad are ominous developments for India vying to have complete sway over Afghan affairs after the departure of coalition forces. The entire Indian leadership is in a state of depression. Its spin doctors are at a loss but are still scratching their heads how to retrieve the situation. Indians are feeling out of place since they are akin to traits of a scorpion which stings compulsively.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Home Minister Chidambaram were here in Islamabad to renew talks. An Indo-Pak talk is a drama staged by India at the behest of USA. India loses all and gains nothing out of composite dialogue, which she had purposely stalled after Mumbai attacks. She stubbornly clung to her one-point agenda of no talks without Pakistan tackling India’s concerns about terrorism. After intense pressure from USA, stuck in Afghanistan and urgently requiring Pakistan’s services for a bailout, India has reluctantly relented and agreed to resume talks. However, the entire focus of talks was on terrorism. Chronic issues such as Kashmir dispute, Siachin and Sir Creek problems, water problem, RAW’s support to terrorists in Balochistan and in FATA were skipped. India wants solution to Kashmir as suggested by former President Gen Musharraf. It had been mutually decided to sideline UN resolutions on Kashmir, convert Line of Control (LoC) into soft border and to put the dispute in cold freezer as had been done during Simla Agreement in 1973.

But for lawyers movement which weakened Musharraf, the sellout plan would have been implemented in 2008. It is for this reason that Indian leaders fondly remember Musharraf and pray for his return. President Zardari was also in favor of this plan as was evident from several statements he had made on Kashmir and the so-called ‘good news’ he wanted to give to the nation. Had the Army under Gen Kayani not taken a firm stand and had Zardari not lost his reputation and credibility, he would have given a go ahead signal to the plan. Zardari’s inability to open up nuclear program for US and IAEA inspection, bring ISI under Interior Ministry and to implement Indian dictated Kashmir solution has disappointed USA and India. To twist his arm, he is off and on subjected to barrage of vilification campaign, most of which is based on facts.

Pakistan had been led up the garden path by India through much hyped composite dialogue in early 2004. It was pledged that all issues including Kashmir would be resolved through dialogue. Four rounds of talks were held but nothing concrete came out of the meetings. While Pakistan lost a lot, India gained a lot. Under the garb of friendship, India successfully completed fencing of LoC, defanged armed resistance in Held Kashmir, redirected all Jihadi outfits towards Pakistan, made Balochistan, FATA and large parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa restive, lowered the image of Pak Army and other institutions through propaganda campaign, consolidated tentacles of RAW within Pakistan, disturbed law and order situation, built several dams over rivers Chenab, Jhelum and Indus and reduced flow of water into Pakistan. India not only enhanced its presence in Afghanistan significantly but also spread hatred amongst Afghans against Pakistan to keep the two neighbors perpetually hostile to each other. Through these acts, it impoverished the economy of Pakistan.

While preaching friendship, Indian military feverishly built up its strength and former Indian chief Gen Kapoor hurled threats of Cold Start and limited war under a nuclear overhang. Pakistan quietly digested all the insults and harms inflicted upon the body of Pakistan under the skewed policy of appeasement and under a misperception that Kashmir issue would be resolved. In return, India didn’t budge an inch over any of the disputes and continued to maintain its pre-2004 rigid stance on all issues. It showed its ugly face after Mumbai carnage and reverted to its old policy of antagonism. Read more of this post

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Nothing is going right for USA in final phase in Afghanistan


By Asif Haroon Raja

Washington and Kabul were marching in step till end 2009. As the final phase in Afghanistan drew nearer, the two fell out of steps and so far they have been unable to get back in steps. Major reason for this is Washington ’s unhappiness over Karzai’s performance and latter’s conflicting views on solving Afghan imbroglio. Obama’s straight talk with him advising him to improve and produce results caused heart burns to Karzai. He got miffed at the role of USA and UK in last presidential election and feels convinced that it had been purposely made controversial to weaken his position. He has become aggressive and has been off and on giving anti-US statements and even threatening to join the ranks of Taliban.

Karzai is not in favor of Kandahar operation and wants reconciliation with all without making a wedge between reconcilable and irreconcilable. In this respect he has been making repeated overtures to Pakistan which has been resented by several segments in Washington , India , Northern Alliance leaders and Israel . He suspects that rocket attack on the jirga he hosted at Kabul on 2 June was conducted either by intelligence chief Amrullah whom he subsequently sacked or Blackwater at the behest of USA . Sacking of Amrullah and interior minister by him was a major blow to USA in the given troubled times since the two were their loyalists. Seething with rage that he has been unseated at the behest of Pakistan , anti-Pakistan Amrullah organized an attack on an isolated post in Mohmand Agency held by paramilitary troops to cause embarrassment to Pakistan.

According to US Congressional subcommittee investigations led by John Tierney D-Mass, US military is paying millions of dollars to insurgents, Afghan warlords and corrupt government officials to ensure safe passage of supply of convoys. It is part of Pentagon’s $2.1 billion transport contract for food, water, fuel and ammunition to US troops serving at 200 forward bases. Reportedly Afghan security firms have been extorting as much as $4 million a week from contractors and then dishing out the booty to warlords and Taliban. Watan Risk Management Security firm under scrutiny contends it has to pay $1000 to $10000 in monthly bribes to every Afghan governor, police chief, local military unit whose territory is trespassed. Trucking companies maintain that for safe passage payments have to be made to local security firms with ties to Taliban, or warlords who control the roads. Such undesirable activities are undermining larger US objectives of curtailing corruption and strengthening effective governance in Afghanistan . Interestingly, in Pakistan instead of extorting money, militants torch supply convoys.

Another problem area is the flourishing drug trade which has doubled since 2005 and has helped finance insurgents and encouraged corruption. In Marjah , US troops stopped Afghan officials from destroying poppy fields. Read more of this post

US “Surge” in Afghanistan in Disarray

by Barry Grey

In the midst of one of the bloodiest weeks for US and NATO forces in the nearly nine-year war in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the overall commander, announced Thursday that major military operations around Kandahar would be delayed until September.

The offensive had been slated to begin this month, but, as McChrystal admitted, the US has been unable to win the support either of tribal leaders and power brokers or of the populace in and around Afghanistan’s second largest city. The town of 450,000 in the heart of the Pashtun-dominated south is the birthplace of the Taliban and remains a key stronghold of the anti-occupation insurgency.

The top US general in Afghanistan also acknowledged that the much-touted US offensive earlier this year against Marjah, an insurgent stronghold in rural Helmand province, had failed to uproot the Taliban, who retain control of much of the region.

One recent study found that the majority of the population in Marjah had become more antagonistic to NATO forces than before the operation. Late last, month McChrystal referred to the region as “a bleeding ulcer.”

The worsening security situation for the US and NATO in Helmand was highlighted on Thursday when British Prime Minister David Cameron, on his first trip to Afghanistan, was prevented from making a scheduled appearance at a military base in the province after British officers intercepted calls indicating that insurgents were planning to shoot down his helicopter.

So far this month, at least 35 NATO soldiers have been killed, including at least 23 Americans. The week’s bloody toll began on Sunday, June 6, when 6 NATO troops were killed. The next day, 10 NATO troops were killed, 7 of them Americans. That was the deadliest day for occupation forces since the killing of 11 US troops in a helicopter crash last October.

On Tuesday, two US soldiers and a British soldier were killed in separate incidents in the south. On Wednesday, four more US soldiers died when their helicopter was shot down in Helmand province. A fifth NATO soldier was killed the same day.

Four additional NATO troops were killed Friday, including two Americans. On Saturday, a Polish soldier was killed in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, and a second NATO soldier was killed in the north.

The death toll so far this year for US and NATO forces is more than double that of a year ago. Since the start of the war, more than 1,100 US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. This month, the war in Afghanistan surpassed Vietnam as the longest war in US history.

To date, the US and its allies have little to show for the increased carnage, which is far worse for the Afghan people. Speaking Thursday, on the first day of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, McChrystal hinted at the massive popular opposition, especially in the Pashtun south, to the US-led occupation.

Explaining the decision to delay the start of the military offensive in Kandahar, he said, “When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them.”

He suggested that the operation in and around Kandahar would continue at least until the end of the year, telling the Financial Times, “Operationally, it will be tough to the end of the year, casualties will stay high and may go higher than they are now.”
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Pentagon Seeks Contractor to Move Weapons Through Pakistan/Afghanistan

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by Jeremy Scahill

The United States military is in the process of taking bids from private war contractors to secure and ship massive amounts of US military equipment through sensitive areas of Pakistan into Afghanistan, where it will then be distributed to various US Forward Operating Bases and other facilities. According to thecontract solicitation (PDF), “There will be an average of 5000″ import shipments “transiting the Afghanistan and Pakistan ground lines of communication (GLOC) per month, along with 500 export shipments.” The solicitation states that, “This number may increase or decrease due to US military transportation requirements,” adding, “The contractor must maintain a constant capability to surge to any location within Afghanistan or Pakistan” within a 30-day period. Among the duties the contractor will perform is “intelligence, to include threat assessments throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

And while it seems the United States is trying to put a Pakistani or Afghan face on the work, the terms of the contract mandate that US personnel will be involved with inherently risky and potentially lethal operations. Among the firms listed by the Department of Defense as “interested vendors” are an Afghan company tied to a veteran CIA officer and run by the son of Afghan defense minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, and a Pakistani outfit with links to Blackwater.

Perhaps most striking about this US military contract solicitation is the admission by the military that contractors are being used for shipping and guarding military hardware as a runaround to the current official policy of the US and Pakistan governments that the US military does not conduct operations in Pakistan. “Due to current limitations on having US military presence in Pakistan and threat levels precluding US Military active involvement with the contractor ‘outside the wire’ in Afghanistan, the contractor must be proactive at identifying appropriate methods for obtaining the necessary in-transit visibility information,” according to the contract solicitation.

Many of the companies that have currently expressed interest in the contract are registered as Pakistani or Afghan businesses. It is well established that the US military depends on Pakistani and Afghan intermediaries to pay off the Taliban and other resistance groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan to allow safe passage of US military hardware and other supplies, meaning the United States is effectively funding both sides of the war. As my colleague Aram Roston reported last year for The Nation, “US military officials in Kabul estimate that a minimum of 10 percent of the Pentagon’s logistics contracts–hundreds of millions of dollars–consists of payments to insurgents.” Other US military sources have told me the number might be as high as 20 percent.

The current contracting arrangement for which the DoD is soliciting bids is essentially a more formalized way of doing the same thing. But while the contractor may place a Pakistani or Afghan stamp on the paper trail and allow the United States and Pakistan to deny that US personnel are involved, the security language of the solicitation actually mandates that US personnel work the operations.

According to the solicitation, the contractor must provide personnel “capable of facilitating, coordinating, obtaining, and reporting critical movement control data and information from the appropriate US government personnel at multiple locations.” The personnel must “have the ability to obtain necessary identification…to gain access to base camps within Afghanistan without escort.” Most importantly, “Personnel must have a valid US Secret Security Clearance.” That level of clearance—”Secret”—cannot be issued to a foreign citizen, meaning that the contract actually necessitates US citizens working on the contract, presumably in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This arrangement is not new. In fact, this is precisely the arrangement I reported on last year for The Nation (See “The Secret US War in Pakistan“). According to Blackwater and US military sources, US military shipments were being protected on a contract with Kestral Logistics, a powerful Pakistani firm, which specializes in military logistical support, private security and intelligence consulting. It is staffed with former high-ranking Pakistani army and government officials. A former senior Blackwater executive with experience in Pakistan told me that Kestral subcontracted to Blackwater and that “Blackwater has provided convoy security for Defense Department shipments destined for Afghanistan that would arrive in the port at Karachi. Blackwater, according to the former executive, would guard the supplies as they were transported overland from Karachi to Peshawar and then west through the Torkham border crossing, the most important supply route for the US military in Afghanistan.” Blackwater, he said, was paid by the Pakistani government through Kestral for consulting services. “That gives the Pakistani government the cover to say, ‘Hey, no, we don’t have any Westerners doing this. It’s all local and our people are doing it.’ But it gets them the expertise that Westerners provide for [counterterrorism]-related work,” according to the former Blackwater executive.

All of this is consistent with the US military’s current contract solicitation. What’s more, Kestral is listed as an “interested vendor” on the current DoD contract. According to federal lobbying records, Kestral has hired former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega, who served in that post from 2003 to 2005, to lobby the US government, including the State Department, USAID and Congress, on foreign affairs issues “regarding [Kestral’s] capabilities to carry out activities of interest to the United States.” Noriega was hired through his firm, Vision Americas, which he runs with Christina Rocca, a former CIA operations official who served as assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 2001 to 2006 and was deeply involved in shaping US policy toward Pakistan. Since late 2009, Kestral has paid Vision Americas and a Vision Americas-affiliated firm, Firecreek Ltd., at least $60,000 to lobby on defense and foreign policy issues. Read more of this post

Pakistan’s Role In Afghanistan

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-> THE KEY TO AFGHANISTAN’S SECURITY IS PAKISTAN

-> THE KEY TO PAKISTAN’S SECURITY IS AFGHANISTAN

by Gordon Duff

US policy in Afghanistan hasn’t so much failed as it hasn’t even materialized. With the original rationale for overthrowing the Taliban their relationship with Osama bin Laden now long forgotten, buried with, not only the death of bin Laden many years ago but much more. No ties between bin Laden and 9/11 have ever been established, none of the training camps seen in the online videos existed anywhere but in fiction, truth is such a delicate thing. Children in Afghanistan are taught to be fighters from birth. Training an Afghan to fight is like training a fish to swim.

The legacy of Karzai and Hollbrooke and McChrystal, pointless posturing, mismanagement, a deluge of narcotics and a sea of corruption have spelled failure, a failure from the first days, a failure in Marjeh, and more failures to come. The result of these failed polices is more delegitimization and debt for the US and destabilization and terrorism for Pakistan, but it has been far worse for the tribal regions of both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The explosion of terrorism has come with a variety of causes, beginning with the collapse of the Taliban, flawed though it may have been as a government, it governed, eliminated drug production and brought stability. The arrogance of the Taliban was misconstrued by the United States, misconstrued purposefully by a government looking to point a finger of blame somewhere for 9/11, point away from Israel, away from Saudi Arabia and away from themselves. The Taliban in Afghanistan made the perfect “fall guy.”

Whatever government the Taliban was, built partially from the Mujahideen fighters the US and Pakistan armed against the Soviet backed Kabul regime in the 80s, the Taliban had become inconsistent with the needs of the majority of the people of Afghanistan, certainly the northern tribes, now overrepresented through Karzai and his Indo-Israeli connections. The Taliban were destined to fail Afghanistan’s women who not only deserve education but also full participation in national life. With so many of Afghanistan’s most talented having fled the Soviet occupation, every human resource is a vital one.

Pakistan had understood the Mujihideen and many of their military had built strong relations there. That was decades ago, decades that mean much more in Afghanistan than the west. There, almost two generations have past and allegiances are only a memory. The desire many in Pakistan have expressed, to see an American withdrawal and the return to a stability from the past is unrealistic, as that stability is from a past that may never have existed nor can it be created. The Russian occupation wiped out any remnants of a cohesive Afghanistan.
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After US and India, Karzai Changes His Tone

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‘India is a close friend of Afghanistan, but Pakistan is a twin brother’ – Karzai


Foreword by Ahmed Quraishi: This coming from the same man who spent the past eight years working closely with the Indians and CIA to build BLA and TTP and send terrorists to Pakistan. But thanks to Afghan Taliban, they all had a falling out and everyone wants to save his hind. That’s why all of a sudden US is ready to ditch India to appease Pakistan and Karzai says India is a friend but Pakistan is a ‘brother, a twin’. We Pakistanis are certainly brothers and twins of our cousins the brave Afghans, but certainly not of the snakes planted there by others.

Reuters – Afghanistan does not want a proxy war between Pakistan and India or anybody else fought on its soil, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday during a visit to Pakistan.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan are vying for influence in Afghanistan, complicating U.S.-led efforts to end an intensifying Taliban insurgency and bring stability to Afghanistan more than eight years after the Taliban were ousted.

Karzai said he did not want any country using Afghanistan against another. His visit comes after Pakistan has intensified efforts to fight militancy, winning U.S. praise.

“The bottom line is, Afghanistan does not want any proxy wars on its territory,” Karzai told a news conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

“It does not want a proxy war between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan, it does not want a proxy war between Iran and the United States in Afghanistan,” he said.

India has developed close relations with Karzai’s government while ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been fraught with tension over recent years, mostly over Afghan suspicion Pakistan is quietly helping the Taliban.

Analysts say Pakistan sees the Afghan Taliban as a tool to promote its interests in Afghanistan, where it wants to see a friendly government in power and to limit India’s influence.

While India accuses Pakistan of backing militants who attack its interests in Afghanistan, Pakistan accuses India of using its diplomatic missions in Afghanistan to help separatist militants in its southwestern province of Baluchistan.

“TWINS”

Karzai said India was a very close friend and had given much support but Pakistan was like a brother.

“India is a close friend of Afghanistan but Pakistan is a brother of Afghanistan. Pakistan is a twin brother … we’re conjoined twins, there’s no separation,” he said.
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An open secret revealed by RAW

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Ali Sukhanver:

According to all dictionaries of English language, ‘raw ‘means crude and coarse, unprocessed and untreated; these meanings seem very much close to reality when we look at the working of the world famous intelligence agency RAW. The name coined for it very truly matches the accurate meanings of the word. Raw has very surprisingly succeeded in getting the record of the telephonic conversation between the ISI chief General Ahmed Shuja Pasha and President Karzai of Afghanistan. During this telephonic conversation, Gen. Pasha tried to convince the Afghan president to curtail the Indian involvement in Afghanistan. Gen. Pasha promised to smooth the way for negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government if Karzai cooperates in this context.

RAW’s claim to trace the conversation between Karzai and Gen. Pasha is the best example of RAW’s ‘unbelievable and astonishing’ working. However this ‘Breaking News’ could have been more credible and fascinating if it were supported by authentic proofs which are yet awaited. RAW high-ups must speed up the process of proof finding in this respect other wise this ‘research’ of Raw would be taken as much non-serious and childish as that of the Mumbai blasts. The question arises why did RAW spend a lot of its precious resources and valuable time on tracing the conversation details of the telephonic talks between Gen. Pasha and president Karzai if it ever happened as reported by RAW. Whatever General Pasha said to Mr. Karzai must not be a hidden reality. If there were any conversation of this type, he might have simply conveyed the policy and demand of the government of Pakistan. Everyone knows that Pakistan has its own reservations regarding the increasing influence of India in Afghanistan. Since the very first day of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan is of the opinion that the situation would never be bettered if India is given a free hand in Afghanistan because a long lasting peace in Afghanistan is not in favour of India. In the name of different development projects India is sending agents of its different intelligence agencies in Afghanistan. Even the staff of the Indian consulates in Afghanistan constitutes of the RAW agents. With the help of these consulates India is providing monetary as well as military support to the terrorist groups working in the tribal areas of Pakistan. During the operations against the miscreants in Swat and other afflicted areas Pakistan army has recovered a lot of weapons with Indian mark on them. Same is the case with the diaries which were found in the possession of different arrested miscreants. The pages of these diaries indicated a very clear cut involvement of Raw Agents in worsening the law and order situation in these areas. These are the reasons for which Pakistan is always worried about the increasing involvement of India in Afghanistan. If Gen. Pasha has ever talked to Mr. Karzai on this issue, he has committed no crime. Being the chief of ISI, what else one can expect of him. He heads a department whose sole responsibility is to take care of the interests of Pakistan on every front.
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CIA’s Rogue Afghanistan Operations

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Ahmed Quraishi:

The face of a CIA-recruited drug lord. Read below for details.


CIA needs authorization from US Congress before launching covert operations in other countries. Congress approves releasing funds for the operations.

Because of this requirement CIA has to give people in government details about the covert operations it is asking money for.

To avoid this disclosure, CIA has been looking for funding from other sources to launch ‘rogue’ operations, ones that are not fully endorsed by the government.

In Afghanistan, CIA has launched several covert operations since 2002 meant to target not al-Qaeda or Taliban but some of the neighboring countries whose policies may not sync with US interests.

For example, Pakistan allowed Chinese personnel to build a huge strategic seaport called Gawadar. This Chinese presence was not in US interest. So CIA used Karzai’s intelligence people and India’s offer of help to target Chinese engineers in Pakistan. CIA did this quite successfully by slipping terrorists inside Pakistan pretending to be Taliban or al Qaeda.

It was easy for CIA agents to carry out this operation because Pakistan under former president Pervez Musharraf had granted US personnel, civilian and military, unprecedented freedom of movement within the country.

When these CIA agents killed a couple of Chinese engineers back in 2004, CIA psy-ops used the incident to put the blame on Afghan Taliban, thereby creating doubts in the minds of Chinese officials that Pakistani intelligence might have had something to do with this since Pakistan maintained ties with the Afghan Taliban government in Afghanistan before 2002.

Similarly, CIA launched covert operations against Iran, western China and Pakistan. It used Afghan soil in all of them, which made logistical issues pertaining to these operations much easier.

Where did the money come from for all of these operations?
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Incessant targeting of Pakistan

Dr. Shireen M Mazari:

The US duplicity in its dealings with Pakistan continues unabated and I have always maintained that the scale of their enterprise in destabilising Pakistan can only be understood by finding linkages in seemingly unconnected events and publications. Just when the Pakistan military has taken a strong position on its military operations in FATA and the pull towards dialogue with the tribals is becoming evident, the US subversive activities against Pakistan are becoming more overt, and old CIA connections are taking centre stage again including so-called “experts” on Pakistan! Let us look at some recent developments and see the linkages.

First, after incessant cries from ignorant US officials and even more ignorant but imperialist minded media, of Pakistan not doing enough against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, when the Pakistanis captured a leading Taliban commander, suddenly the Americans – and their media and officialdom do have close connections – through their media led forth a new chant of why Pakistan had arrested this man! There were conspiracy theories that immediately began floating that somehow Pakistan arrested this Taliban commander to disrupt the dialogue that Karzai is seeking with the Taliban because Pakistan wants to remain in control of any such dialogue. Talk about bizarre assumptions! So, as some of us have always maintained, in the eyes of the US, Pakistanis will always find themselves in a position of “damned if we do and damned if we don’t.” It is time therefore to wash our hands off this whole US-led misguided “war on terror” and evolve our own strategies to deal with our own problem of violence and extremism which is multidimensional and cannot be straitjacketed into merely a Taliban framework.

Nor is this all. A new campaign has begun in the US, published first in the Wall Street Journal where two American lawyers, David Rivkin and Lee Casey – both of whom served in the Justice Department during the Reagan and George Bush administrations – have accused Pakistan’s Chief Justice Chaudhry of being “the leading culprit in an unfolding constitutional drama.” Supporting Zardari, the lawyers make all manner of unsubstantiated accusations against Pakistan’s chief justice. What seems to have upset these Americans is the CJ’s popularity being far greater than Zardari’s in the eyes of the Pakistani people – by their own admission! But then the American anger at the CJ is understandable because he has fought the cause of the Pakistani people especially through the Missing Persons issue – many sold to the US – while President Zardari and his loyalists have continued to plead the US cause. But it should be unacceptable to any self-respecting Pakistani to have their CJ referred to in such a derogatory fashion. Look how Holbrooke reacted when Pakistanis protested at the miscarriage of justice in New York in the Dr Aafia case, despite the fact that the US has a record of such miscarriages of justice against African Americans and minorities, especially Muslims post 9/11.

A third line of attack is the revival of the Baloch separatist issue with that old Pakistan basher Selig Harrison reviving his fortunes again and taking the lead in targeting the Pakistani state. He first took up this passion when the Soviets went into Afghanistan and led the chorus of how Pakistan was not doing enough of the US bidding in Afghanistan. He was an “Afghan” expert at the time but once Afghanistan receded into the background he became a “Balochistan” expert and now he is deeply involved in aiding Baloch separatists in Iran and Pakistan. Various platforms have been used by him and the latest is the ongoing conference in Bangkok, Thailand, supposedly sponsored by an unknown group calling themselves the Baloch Voice Foundation (BVF) and supported by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) based in The Hague and, of course, Selig Harrison! The BVF interestingly is funded by the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation which, according to information available on the internet, is controlled by Freedom House which in turn is linked to the CIA.
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When the Guns Fizzed and the Gizmos Fizzled

All the “Daisy Cutters”, Nuclear tipped bombs, and the finest drones on the planet could not stand up to the raw grit of those that opposed occupation. All the kings horses and the all the kings men could not put humpty back together or subdue the fierce fighters of Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are clear signs of operationalization of the peace plan in Kabul. The surge was imply to assuage the hawks in the Republican Party–the real Afghan reassessment was to get American boys out of the treacherous Hindu Kush. Defeat is a clichéd word–there are no winners in war. Victory is exaggerated concept. Absolute defeats have never been able to quell the resistance. Absolute victories have always lead to future wars–be it Sparta, Versailles or Kabul.

As Shakespeare would say “when the hurly burly’s done, and the battle is lost and won“–there is time to make a fresh start.

When a country is not able to impose its will and might–it is some sort of defeat. The Americans today need a face saving exit strategy from Afghanistan. The Taliban, Pakistan and all other countries of the world should assist the US in a phased, expeditious and honorable withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Over the past several years, we have predicted that the US will exit Afghanistan in 2011 right before the US elections. The tell tale signs of the operationalization of this policy is writ in large all over the billboards called newspapers.

There are numerous indications confirming our well calculated predictions: the polite decline to Delhi on their exuberance to begin training the Afghan forces; the offering of Shadow drones to Pakistan; the peace talks with the Afghan Taliban; the mood and the statements of the big boys in preperation of the Afghan Conference on January 28th, 2010; the acceptance of the Pakistani point of view on halting further operations in FATA; the usage of Pakistani mediators in back channel diplomacy to include the Taliban in the current Kabul government; and the offer of further US military and financial aid to Pakistan. The carrots offered to Pakistan are not for free–Milton Friedman was right “that ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. Pakistan is being offered new toys and more Dollars for her assistance in helping the American extricate themselves out of the Afghan quagmire.

America had a decision to make. Stick with General McChrystal’s policy of more soldiers, more mercenaries and more war–supplemented with more drone bombing and more targeted murders (drones and otherwise). More war has always created more enemies. This has never been more true than in Afghanistan and Pakistan today.

Washington’s other choice was less war, less soldiers and less enemies. President Obama hedged his bets with the first option, and then is pursuing the 2nd option aggressively.

While some may claim that the Great Game is over–and Pakistan won. However, this is not the time for crowing from the rooftops. This is the time to let loose the doves from the allow them to to fly into the sun. There are many steps between the lips and cup. There are many impediments to peace in the Panshir and tranquility in Waziristan. We believe that the right steps are being taken.

A show of strength followed up with massive financial aid and assistance will yield the right results. Once the troops begin leaving, the civilian surge, accompanied with suitcases full of Dollars will persuade the warlords to switch sides (just like the Northern Alliance switched sides in 2001).

There are huge dangers to he peace deal. Bharat (aka India) keenly aware of its sagging influence in Central Asia (specially after the ignominious eviction from Tajikistan) may play the chagrined loser, and stage another Mumbai type of false flag, and try to wage war on Pakistan. This would derail the peace plan. Some of Bharati surrogates in Balochistan and the TTP may be allowed to torpedo peace in the Khyber Pass by assassinating another Pakistani leader, in trying to create ethnic strife in Pakistan. Other international powers may have vested interests in ensuring that the Taliban do not come into power or even share the government in Kabul. Both Israel and Iran are scared of The Talibs.

If President Obama is able to pull this off–it will be a miracle. He has to keep the Indians at bay by selling them toys (double advantage, dollars and Peace); he has to appease the Pakistanis so that they continue their assistance in achieving peace; he has to browbeat Iranian resistance through sanctions and threats; he has to assuage the Chinese that Afghan venture is over with no threat to Beijing; and he has to keep the Russians cool so that they do not think that Central Asia has been taken from them. If he can do this tap dance, the US corporations can make huge profits.

Delhi needs Viagra to prove its manhood. The US can offer the blue pills in many forms–obsolete nuclear plants declared unsafe for America, stripped down F-16s (with lots of spare parts and services), and tons of below quality equipment that the Indians would love to plunk down hard cash for. After all the business of America is doing business. If the US can figure out how to sell billions of Dollars of machines (which will rust in a few years) to Delhi that would be a great achievement. If the US can make a profit out of the Afghan war to recuperate some of its losses, it will be a happy camper. Read more of this post

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