A tight field for Pakistan

By Sohail Parwaz

It was probably the first week of January 2010 when a story, made the headlines in Indian and international newspapers. It was about Chris Cairns who announced his intentions to sue the Indian Premier League Commissioner Lalit Modi for making derogatory comments against the legendry New Zealander in relation to the IPL’s decision to withdraw Cairns’ name from the initial list of potential players. It’s a world known fact that Chris was suspended by his franchise Chandigarh Lions on disciplinary grounds and that was for nothing else but for the reason that he didn’t reveal that he had an injury. One of his colleagues and an Indian test cap Dinesh Mongia was also suspended for hiding Chris’ injury. The story was bent and buckled by few tabloid newspapers and channels that started reporting it as an outcome of some match fixing crime and with this hazy and far-fetched media stuff available the Indian Bully Boy, Lalit Modi levelled the allegation against the second generation all-rounder of the New Zealand cricket. When Modi’s comments appeared on his Twitter page and also in an interview with Cricinfo, Chris remarked dejectedly that, “The allegation made by Lalit Modi that I have been involved in match fixing is scandalous and it has caused me huge personal distress and professional damage”. That childish act of Modi made Chris think to sue him. On the other hand few weeks later Modi while watching IPL’s final in South Africa had a nibbling knowledge about the troubles waiting, back home, for him.

There was a complaint laid by an NGO that not all of the money promised in a cheque handover to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the victims of last May’s Jaipur terror blasts had come through. Modi was granted bail on February 27, but was banned from leaving India without the Rajasthan High Court’s permission which he violated. The 45-year-old Modi was in fact, in the dog box over two complaints which endangered his cap as the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) and vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The first case is about an alleged forgery over property the Mumbai-based Modi bought in Jaipur in September 2004 in order to qualify for the presidency of the RCA on the basis of residency. The crime was to produce fake documents in order to purchase the property. The other case is one which simply refuses to die, his conviction for cocaine possession, kidnapping and assault while studying at Duke University in the United States in 1985. Modi pleaded guilty to all charges, was fined $10 000 and was sentenced to two years in jail, which he never served as he was given probation instead.

One might ask that why I am giving this account about an Indian Casanova who had a trail of failed ventures and defaults till four years back but has a lifestyle now that includes a private jet, a luxury yacht and a fleet of Mercedes S class and BMW cars all acquired in the last three years? Well the reason is very simple because the muck starts right from here. The senior Majeed brother (Mazhar Majeed) who made the startling disclosures to a reporter of the local tabloid, ‘The News of the World’ about matches and spots fixing is in fact a chum of Lalit Modi. The both have thick ties and exemplary covert relations. They both watch each other’s back. The only difference is that Lalit Modi is the senior partner. Soon it will also be disclosed that why the Pakistani players, called for the second edition of the IPL, were totally ignored and were not considered worth bidding. That surprised everyone and there were many who bite their fingers. That story will also be disclosed but only after the investigations that revealed that Lalit Modi has permanent interest in three teams; Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. There were quite credible reports that Modi has silent ownership in these three IPL teams, no matter these are owned by Manoj Badale, Shah Rukh Khan & Jay Mehta, (Juhi Chawla’s husband) and Akash Arora, the part-owner of the team along with Ness Wadia and Mohit Burman.  The role which Majeed Brothers have played in case of Pakistani cricket team is being played by Samir Thakral who is loyally working as a front man for Lalit Modi and whose phone records show conversations with bookies. The serious investigations are on into possible match-fixing and betting in IPL Season 2 which took place in South Africa. In fact the Indian income tax department has safely declared that the IPL teams were involved in the match fixing during the IPL second edition. The sources besides fearing that several IPL players could have been involved have also indicated that phone conversations have also been recorded and that possible questioning of IPL players could happen in this regard. Although the Income Tax investigation wing has filed a confidential report to the Indian finance ministry yet we all know that nothing will ever happen because Mr. Shard Pawar an Indian politician and a close friend of Lalit Modi is at the helm of the affairs in ICC. Read more of this post

Former Pakistani ISI Chief Gen. Hamid Gul: “God Help America!!” – The Alex Jones Show

In a landmark interview, Alex talks with former director of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, Hamid Gul. Mr. Gul recently characterized the “leaked” Wikileaks documents implicating him in a string of attacks against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan as “malicious, fictitious, and preposterous.”

Public Enemy Number One: The American Press

STEALING AMERICA’S FREEDOMS LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT…

By Gordon Duff

It’s 2010 and a few members of congress have noted that we have a corruption problem in Afghanistan. Over a period of 9 years. $2.4 trillion dollars has been stolen with a dozen enquiries, dozens of reports, audits, all saying the same thing. The “war on terror” was more “pickpocketing” and not so much “Osama bin Waldo.” It’s 2010 and reports are trickling in that, just maybe, terrorist mastermind Osama has been dead for years and years. More reports tell us, finally, that he never ran a terror organization at all. For years, all those threats from a dead man. What a pack of fools we are.

Remember Pat Tillman, the brave soldier, great athlete and hero? The press told us he was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then the rumors came out that it was “friendly fire.” Now we know the truth or do we? There is a movie about Tillman coming out. How much will it tell? Tillman, not just an athlete but a very bright guy, had picked up on the fact that Afghanistan was a total scam and was talking about it. The administration ordered Tillman’s murder. Pat Tillman was executed. Enough high ranking members of the Bush administration and the military were involved in the cover up that, in any real democracy, not only jails would be filling but the execution dock as well. Murder is a capitol crime. Those involved in Tillman’s murder should be executed, no matter who they are. We are talking about every conspirator and members of the press who helped “spin” the tale.

Anybody know who Dr. David Kelly was? American papers said he killed himself because he was publicly attacked by Prime Minister Tony Blair who was upset because one of the world’s best known weapons scientists had gone to the press saying that Blair was a traitor for pushing the illegal invasion of Iraq. Kelly knew Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and was aware that Blair was lying to the public.

Dr. David Kelly was murdered. This was a government “hit.” The proof of the crime is beyond question. Now, years later, the British press is demanding arrests. If they get those responsible, chances are many will be the most powerful leaders of the last Administration. General Colin Powell went before the United Nations with a pack of humiliating lies, shaming himself and the United States. What could make a wonderful man like General Powell, a West Point graduate, lie like a dog? If you are waiting for a Sunday Morning talk show to have Powell on and ask him about this, you will die of old age first.

Our next joke is Iran. One of our writers, Bob Nichols, an expert on nuclear weapons design from one of those government top secret facilities, keeps telling me that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. He says the only way they could enrich uranium is using a laser system that has never been mentioned. There is absolutely no evidence they have one of those but there is vast evidence that they systems they do have could never make a nuke in a million years.

He also says the same about North Korea.

With America’s top secret nuke sniffers detecting that North Korea’s lone nuke was bought, not built, Nichol’s theory is proven correct. With Brits falling all over themselves with shipping receipts, loading crane designs and bomb cradle drawings on this North Korean rogue nuke, the picture is pretty clear.

Someone wanted North Korea to look like a nuclear threat when they really weren’t one. North Korea is a donkey driven third world rathole and no more than that. End of story.

Another major issue being buried by the news is that our terrorists we had been capturing for years have mostly turned out to be the wrong people. By mostly, 75% are proven the wrong people and maybe 75% of the other may be also.

This means that if we catch a thousand terrorists, 5 of them are real and the rest are jailed and tortured for years by mistake.

Funny thing, years ago we used to talk about reasons for terrorism. At first it was bin Laden after America because we had bases in Saudi Arabia and had “defamed” their religious shrines. This was all totally made up, never happened.

Now we make excuses because people fight back after we bomb or invade them. By these standards, we are terrorists and they are freedom fighters.

The only country that bin Laden or any of the others were angry at in the first place was Israel, not the United States. With only Muslims fighting beside our own troops, not one Israeli is helping defend America, we have to list America’s biggest ally as Pakistan. They are a nuclear power, have a competent million man army and take orders like “good little soldiers.”

Israel does little but get us into trouble and they don’t have a single man in the field anywhere Americans are fighting, not on our side anyway. Read more of this post

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

Why Afghanistan?

There are other reasons for the US to be involved in Afghanistan,al Qaeda not being the most important.Control of Afghanistan give the United States access to Iran to the north are many of the ” Stans” Afghanistan is a very Strategic area.

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By Timothy V. Gatto

Lately, I’ve been listening to folks like Rachel Maddow and Richard Holbrooke talk about the situation in Afghanistan. I’ve been hearing that the rate of illiteracy in that country runs in the area of 70 to 80%. The government is having a hard time enforcing the law because in cities like Kandahar, there are only 9 magistrates to hear court cases. I’ve also heard about the government, along with the military forces from NATO, have seemingly stopped cutting down Afghan poppy and marijuana fields so that farmers can stay afloat selling these crops.

I’ve heard that the primary mission of the NATO forces is to prevent “collateral damage” to civilians as they relentlessly hunt down the Taliban. It’s been reported that the Taliban gave al Qaeda a free hand to operate in this poor, backwards country which led to the September 11th attacks on the United States in 2001, and that this is the primary reason that the United States and NATO operate on the premise that if we don’t develop a strong central government in Kabul, that more attacks will surely hit the United states “Homeland” after being planned in Afghanistan.

During an interview with Rachel Maddow, Special Envoy to the nations of Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard C. Holbrooke remarked that NATO must create a strong central government in order to get the majority of the populace to align themselves with the government in Kabul. This supposedly, would break the grip that the Taliban holds over the people that live in the rural areas. Since a hefty majority or the Afghan population live in the rural areas, this becomes a very tall order.

While listening to Holbrooke pontificate on the problems that the central government faces in winning “the hearts and minds” of the Afghan people, I couldn’t help but remember the rhetoric that came out of Vietnam over 40 years ago. There too, we were involved in winning “the hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese people and there too, Richard C. Holbrooke was involved in that strategy.

Listening to Holbrooke discuss the reasons we are in Afghanistan made me think about what a wonderful nation the United States truly is. Even though we are experiencing a recession that is akin to the Great Depression of the 1930’s, with official unemployment figures running about 9 percent on average (while the true figures are obscured because so many have come off the unemployment rolls due to these people no longer being eligible for unemployment benefits due to the length of time they have been unemployed and many have ceased looking for work, while some economists claim the real figures are between 20 and 25%), we valiantly spend our nation’s treasure to “help” these unfortunate Afghan people to build a nation free from corruption and rule by tribal warlords.

Holbrooke claims that we are making substantial progress in opening schools while training the Afghan Army and police forces to bring about a nation run by law. Even though the main cash crop in that country is opium that accounts for something like 95% of Europe’s heroin supply and most of its hashish, we are asked to believe that soon Afghanistan will be a major supplier of corn and other foodstuffs after the central government “rehabilitates” the farmers that make their livings off of narco-agriculture. After all, why would farmers willingly grow poppies and marijuana when they could grow eggplants, melons and corn?

Listening to government officials like General Ben Hodges describe the Taliban’s way of settling disputes in Kandahar made me wonder if the military leadership over there are sampling the hashish being grown by the farmers. (). The truth as I see it, there is so much corruption and so little support from the government in Kabul, the idea of bringing Afghanistan into the twenty-first century could take decades.

The true nature of our involvement in Afghanistan is something that has yet to be defined. The obvious question is why are we there? What makes this nation (and I use the term loosely), so important that we need 150,000 troops from the U.S. (and almost as many mercenaries), and tens of thousands of troops from NATO as well as Mongolia, South Korea and other non-NATO countries, to perform the task of “nation-building”? Is it because of the TAPI petroleum pipeline that will run from the Caucuses to ports in India, thus bringing oil from the Caucuses without having to go through Russia, and insuring petroleum to Western Europe without the inconvenience of having it controlled by Russia and thus holding Western Europe hostage? Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the pipeline;

“The new deal on the pipeline was signed on 27 December 2002 by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2005, the Asian Development Bank submitted the final version of a feasibility study designed by British company Penspen. ‘Since the US-led offensive that ousted the Taliban from power,’ reported Forbes in 2005, “the project has been revived and drawn strong US support” as it would allow the Central Asian republics to export energy to Western markets “without relying on Russian routes”. Then-US Ambassador to Turkmenistan Ann Jacobsen noted that: “We are seriously looking at the project, and it is quite possible that American companies will join it.”[5] Due to increasing instability, the project has essentially stalled; construction of the Turkmen part was supposed to start in 2006, but the overall feasibility is questionable since the southern part of the Afghan section runs through territory which continues to be under de facto Taliban control.”

There are other reasons for the U.S. to be involved in Afghanistan, al Qaeda not being the most important. Control of Afghanistan gives the United States access to Iran to the west and China to the east whiles to the north are many of the “Stans”. Afghanistan is a very strategic area. Read more of this post

Pak Interests Differ from US on Substantive Issues

By Dr. Shireen M Mazari

The Americans cannot understand mainstream Pakistan because they never get beyond the selected few amongst even the elite, the rulers and the civil and military bureaucracies. Ms Clinton never got the real picture on her earlier visit and surely she will not understand the depth of the anti-American sentiment that prevails in Pakistan today, despite (or perhaps because of) the massive inflows of intrusive aid into this country.

We are told she has come with a $500 million aid package and apparently the aid will go into power, agriculture, health and dams also – but as we all know for the Americans there is no such thing as a “free lunch” – and already our country is bleeding because of the alliance with the US so we are going to be bled some more with this aid package which is believed to be part of the old $ 7.5 billion Congressional aid package.

So why is one seeing this as a “bribe”? Simply because it is intended to soften the blow that the US is trying to deal Pakistan in terms of altering what remains of our indigenous foreign policy. So much has also been admitted by the self-styled expert on Pakistan, like many others on Holbrooke’s team, Vali Nasr. In a talk with CNN while he admitted that there was a wide trust gap between Pakistan and the US, besides stating that changing the relationship would take time. But his assessment was that “We are not going to be able to change their foreign policy on a dime.” If he had been a proper expert on Pakistan and actually knew the country well, he would have realised that it is not money that will alter Pakistan’s thinking (leaving aside the fifth columnists) on the US, but actually policy changes in US strategic policy especially in this region.

What are the primary changes the US will need to make to allow Pakistanis to rethink their perceptions of the US?

One, a stop in drone attacks, which can in definitional terms be regarded as state terrorism against the Pakistani people. Let Pakistan talk to its militants – many of whom are Pakistani citizens – rather than demanding our military simply kill the people of FATA indiscriminately.

Two, a new approach to the Pakistan-India relationship and a more even-handed policy towards both states. As long as the Indo-US nuclear agreement remains and the US pressurises Pakistan on its civil nuclear agreements with China, the US will be suspect. Also, the supply of state-of-the-art conventional weapon systems to India with no restrictions on their use, and the highly conditional sale of F-16s to Pakistan also add to the suspicions about the US agenda for Pakistan. And let us not forget the missile defence system for India, which will compel Pakistan to increase the number of its warheads and missiles. On Kashmir also, the recent statement by the US State Department, echoing the Indian position and ignoring the disputed status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir within the UNSC, hardly creates confidence in Pakistan. Many are asking why this is so and what the secret clauses are to this Agreement since the US is desperately seeking access for India through the land route across Pakistan into Afghanistan?

Three, the US has to rid itself of its approach to the Muslim World, especially towards Muslim states that refuse to toe the US line. Its killings of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan; its harassment of Muslims in the US itself all add to the anti-US sentiment. The US analysts are ignorant about the fact that Pakistan has since 1947 been in the frontline of assisting Muslim causes – be it our pilots flying Syrian planes against Israel or the Tunisian and Algerian leadership using Pakistani passports and our embassy in Paris as they struggled for independence from France – to cite a few examples only. Read more of this post

Not just terrorism!

By Farooq Hameed Khan

When the DG ISI recently briefed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, about foreign powers trying to destabilise Pakistan by sponsoring terrorist acts, the alarm bells should be ringing louder in the government corridors. Most significant was his remark that security forces were vigilantly monitoring the situation to forestall any ‘major eventuality’ that could threaten national security.

In the wake of the deteriorating internal security situation and the recent well coordinated anti-Pak army and ISI onslaught by the international media and London School of Economics, the ISI chief’s remarks reinforced the commonly held view that happenings all over Pakistan were more than just acts of terrorism.

The recent spate of target killings in Karachi is aimed to create political, ethnic and sectarian strife to weaken the country. Anti-state elements have destabilised Karachi, the country’s economic hub to an extent that both the federal and provincial governments appear helpless to control this mad killing spree.

How would one explain the reported blatant display of the provocative billboard of the Sindh Liberation Army (SLA) in Karachi? The billboard carries the picture of a SLA leader with a Kalas-hnikov, sporting a jacket and a Sindhi cap, urging people to join the movement for the liberation of so-called Sindhudesh. Is RAW up to its old mischief again in Sindh?

Quetta and interior Balochistan continue to witness attacks on Punjabi settlers and security personnel on a dangerous scale by the RAW,. CIA and RAAM funded and armed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). Articles by foreign writers circulating on the internet, debate the ‘final solution’ for Pakistan, including the envisaged carving out of an international corridor from Gwadar up north into Balochistan.

It seems the nation has forgotten the infamous Blackwater phenomenon that emerged mysteriously in our major towns and cities in the last two years or so? Operating under the new banners of Xe/Dyn Corp, these hundreds of private foreign security contractors and their secret network must now be well entrenched in Pakistan’s major cities. It cannot be dismissed as a mere coincidence that wherever these foreigners moved, that city soon got engulfed in terrorist acts that appear to instigate sectarian and ethnic violence and civil strife.

Is the Baghdad model, that involves attacks on religious shrines to provoke confrontation between different Muslim sects, being replicated in Lahore? Here the question is, does this ‘Xe network’ have links with our banned extremist organisations and ethnic groups? It is true that those who execute these violent acts appear to be well trained and brainwashed religious fanatic Pakistanis with a mix of Afghan nationals. But are the foreign contractors, with support from their friends across our eastern borders, the real masterminds of these bloody events? Even the Honourable Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court has sought a report from the Punjab government regarding any covert involvement of these shady security personnel in the ongoing terror wave in Lahore.
Read more of this post

Pak-US vs Pak-China relations

By S.m. Hali

Decision makers in Pakistan are often torn between opting for strategic relations with the US or China: ties with either of the two should be mutually exclusive. However, as Pakistanis wonder whether Pakistan is a US ‘ally’ or ‘target’, China with its quiet unobtrusive help continues to win the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan. The question here is, why is it that the US continues to pump money, train Pakistani security forces and provide technical support, yet it continues to draw flak? It is worth examining the reason for this dichotomy.

The Pak-US military relations have been like a rollercoaster ride. Historically, no US ally has faced as many sanctions from it as Pakistan. A brief history of the Pak-US military relations indicates that they commenced in 1954/55, with the signing of the SEATO/CENTO pact, after which Pakistan started receiving weapons and training from America. In July 1957, Pakistan permitted the US to establish a secret intelligence facility in the country and for the U-2 spy plane to operate from Badaber, near Peshawar. But when the plane was shot down by the Soviet army and its pilot captured alive on May 1, 1960, it embarrassed the US and brought Soviet ire on Pakistan. Since the Pakistani government was kept in the dark regarding the clandestine US operations, it asked the US to wind up its activities in Pakistan.

During the Indo-China war in 1962, the US supply of defence equipment to India, despite Pakistan’s objections, soured the Pak-US relations. On the contrary, the US did not come to Pakistan’s aid either in the 1965 or the 1971 Indo-Pak wars, despite a pact for mutual defence, forcing Pakistan to denounce its SEATO and CENTO membership. In addition, the Pak-US relations underwent a severe blow with Pakistan’s nuclear tests on May 28, 1998, and the ensuing sanctions. The ouster of then premier Nawaz Sharif in 1999 in a military coup led by General Musharraf gave the US government another reason to invoke fresh sanctions under Section 508 of the Foreign Appropriations Act, which included restrictions on foreign military financing and economic assistance.

Now let us examine Pak-China relations briefly. The relationship between the two countries began in 1950s when Pakistan was among the first countries, and the only Muslim nation, to recognise the People’s Republic of China and tried to build good relations with the newly independent country. Pakistan also helped China become a member of the United Nations and has been instrumental in helping it to maintain relations with the Muslim world. It has also played a leading role in bridging the communication gap between China and the West, through Henry Kissinger’s secret visit in 1971, which became the forerunner of President Nixon’s historic Beijing tour, establishing to the world that China was a lawful entity. Read more of this post

India Blind To New Realities

New Dynamics Are In Place
India cannot fathom the new ground realities

By Moin Ansari

As Tomas Kunh said a long time ago “The paradigm has shifted, and when the paradigm shifts, everything goes back to zero”. The world watched (pun intended) aghast as the Swiss watch making industry was decimated by an electronic watch marketed by TI and Casio. Ironically the electronic watch was invented by the Swiss themselves. Within years 60% of the Swiss labor force had to scramble to find non-existent jobs.

In another paradigm shift the books on international relations had to be rewritten and map makers had to work overtime to paint the new realities. The planet watched the demise of the USSR and the liberation of Central Asia Republics and the unity of Germany.   The profound change dissolved the dreams of Catherine the Great of reaching the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. Pakistan as a new custodian of those waters breathed a sigh of relief.

The impending US withdrawal and its “coopetition” with China is another paradigm shift which transforms South and Central Asia. Pakistan has been building its relationship with China for decades. It was a gift born out of the blunders of Nehru in Kashmir and Tibet. If Nehru had not triggered belligerency with Pakistan and China in 1948, the world would have been different. However he and other politicians in Delhi had an opportunity to build Asia–they tried to build Akhand Bharat–aggravating each and every one of their neighbors. Today Bharat faces a foreign policy Armageddon–but it is one of its own making. It cannot see Pakistan. It wants to devour Bangladesh, Sikkim and Bhutan. It wants to colonize Afghanistan. It wants to step on Lanka. It wants to bamboozle Nepal. The chickens have come home to roost. In an opportunistic move to please Israel and America it betrayed Iran, and that betrayal will cost it Afghanistan. All have teamed up and want nothing to do with Bharat. Even Afghans in the Kabul palaces want Delhi out. The sad thing is in instigating trouble in all its neighbors, it has rocked the boat internally. Bharat faces colossal issues within its boundaries.

The Times of India is one of the most vocal critics of anything Pakistani. This week the chagrin has been more vitriolic than usual. Perhaps it is chagrined by the Pakistani deftness in Afghanistan, or it is pure hatred of anything to do with Islamabad–one can never tell. This much is certain, the entire Bharati (aka India) media is in a tizzy fit about Bharat’s diminished role and imminent eviction from Pakistan. South block and the entire Bharati diplomatic corps are seeing the world change in front of them, and they can’t seem to do anything about it. Mad dashes to Riyadh, Tehran, and Beijing have come to naught.

Delhi seems to represent a rejectionist front all on its own. No other country has joined the “stay the course in Afghanistan”. The world seems to have rejected the Delhi notion of “no compromise in Afghanistan”, no “talks with Pakistan”, and no “Nuclear deals with China”.

The Planet wants a Pan-Afghan solution, certainly the Afghans want it. The neighbors want it, and Pakistan desires it. Pakistan and Afghanistan are natural partners with a built in mechanisms to unite. What’s more important is that the US, the UK and Europe have bought into it and just want a face saving exit from Kabul.

Delhi’s think tanks are beyond panic on the NSGs silence, and the American wink wink nod nod whispered acquiescence of China’s policy of helping Pakistan. Many analysts have actually said that President Obama has asked China to help Pakistan in energy and other fields. Some international think tanks also say that the US and China have held a “Malta” type of conference and allocated areas of influence–and Asia and Africa falls in the Chinese lap, while Europe and the Americas fall under American influences. In other words Bernard Lewis’s map of the Confucian power is being implemented.

The Bharati media is stung not by the Nuclear deal, but by the fact that the NSG simply ignored Delhi. Delhi pulled all the stops in its opposition to the Pakistan-China deal–and ended up in knots. Neither the US, nor any of the European countries seem to be concerned about the Pakistani-China deal. Only Delhi is jumping up and down antagonizing Beijing, irritating the US, and pouring water on the peace process with Pakistan. Bharat’s stance in front of the NSG is comical–it goes something like this “make an exception for us, but not for anyone else, be it Pakistan or Iran”.  In Psychiatric terms, Delhi’s self image differs dramatically from the image others have of it–when the images are very different, it is a true sign of lunacy. Bharat sees itself special. Other powers see it as a bully, a paper tiger, and a spoilt brat—a naked penury strken one with a distended stomach. Bharat sees itself as a huge powerful elephant. These two images cannot be reconciled by a $42 billion Call Center industry–which affects 6 million Bharatis only. Its the other billion that overwhlems the world–its the other billion which are not shown on Bollywood and which doesn’t seem to exist for the Delhi politicians. The Delhi politicians are busy projecting power when huge cavities in Kashmir, Assam and Naxal control area sap the strenght of any argument that emanates from Bharat.

The TOI report had a horrid headline. However the roundup of the news from Pakistan is a true representation of the level of consternation in Delhi. The Bharati media was championing Incredible India which would rule the world. Egged on by the religious right, the sensational newspapers reported the Neocon nonsense and the naive Bharati population lapped it up.

When the rubber hit the road, Bharat discovered that Condaleeza Rice could coronate Bharat as a super power, even if she wanted to. Slumdog pured water on the dreams and the aspirations of the irredentist and revanchist media weaned on the Indian National Congress propaganda machine which projects a hyperbolic version of the future of Bharat. Foreign Leaders know what the Bharati media wants to hear. They say the right words and then laugh their way to the bank.

Meager success in the past decade has given the media a false sense of security. The hubris and arrogance is unfathomable and very nonsensical. No America president or European Prime Minster is as arrogant an ordinary two-bit Bharati bureaucrat.

The TOI report below is a treat to read, because it gives a real vignette of what Bharati’s are thinking. Mr. Zardari has a strong government supported by a friendly opposition, by the army and by the international media. Calling Mr. Zardari names simply informs us that the TOI is frustrated at the success of the Zardari government in dismantling Delhi’s designs in the neighborhood.

The China National Nuclear Corporation recently announced that China would set up two power reactors in Pakistan. It was a move that raised India’s hackles.

Iran and China forge stronger relationship with Pakistan

TOI, the Bharati media and the Delhi establishment seem to have discovered the C-3, and C-4 Nuclear plants  as “new deals”. Rupee News has been reporting on them for years. Mr. Zardari’s trip to China has little to do with C-3 and C-4, that was already presented by China to the NSG as a fait accomplii. Mr. Zardari’s trip was multifaceted and profound in many ways. It has engaged China in economic, industrial, housing,  and transit ventures which will literally transform all of Asia. The Trans-Korakoram rail link will be an engineering feat and will connect Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan etc to the warm waters of the Arabian sea. This was the dream of Catherine the Great and one of the visions of Mao Zedung.

The rail and road links will enhance trade, and commerce along the silk route. While the Bharati media discusses the 150 km road in Afghanistan day in and day out–it cannot appreciate or fathom the engineering marvels that are going on in the Karakorums.  The trip now allows two additional points of contact between China and Paksitan. These three links have colossal potential and will help China in getting its goods to the sea quickly and rapidly.

The TOI articles are myopic only about the Nuclear deal which was signed a decade ago–before the Indo-US deal. Bharat’s brouhaha about the Sino-Pakistani deal is an acknowledgement of Pakistan’s Nuclear status and the growing Sino-Pakistani relationship.  Noise from Delhi has highlighted Pakistan’s civilian nuclear deal which will encourage other countries to follow suit. The US is on the fence–and has moved from a “solid no” to a “maybe” to a “soon” to a “OK” stance. It needs a little more encouragement, and will award Pakistan parity—just like the NSG has done. Read more of this post

Afghan War: Petraeus Expands U.S. Military Presence Throughout Eurasia


by Rick Rozoff

On July 4 General David Petraeus assumed command of 142,000 U.S. and NATO troops in a ceremony in the Afghan capital of Kabul. He succeeded the disgraced and soon to be retired General Stanley McChrystal as chief of all foreign troops in Afghanistan, those serving under U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A)/Operation Enduring Freedom and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

He now commands military units from 46 official troop contributing nations and others from several additional countries not officially designated as such but with forces in or that will soon be deployed to Afghanistan, such as Egypt, Jordan and Colombia. Neither the Carthaginian commander Hannibal during the Second Punic War nor Napoleon Bonaparte in the wars that bore his name commanded troops speaking as many diverse tongues.

That Petraeus took charge of soldiers from fifty nations occupying a conquered country on his own country’s Independence Day has gone without commentary, either ironic or indignant. In 1775 American colonists began an eight-year war against foreign troops – those of Britain and some 30,000 German auxiliaries, the latter a quarter of all forces serving under English command in North America. Currently the three nations providing the most troops for the nearly nine-year-old and increasingly deadly war in Afghanistan are the U.S. (almost 100,000), Britain (9,500) and Germany (4,500).

Petraeus’s remarks on the occasion of accepting his new dual command contained the standard U.S. and NATO characterization of their war in Afghanistan as aimed exclusively against armed extremists, in particular those portrayed as fighters from other countries. A representative quote states “al-Qaeda and its network of extremist allies will not be allowed to once again establish sanctuaries in Afghanistan.” Two hundred and thirty-five years ago the government of King George III may well have spoken in a similar vein concerning the likes of Johann de Kalb, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Casimir Pulaski, Friedrich Von Steuben and the Marquis de Lafayette illegally entering British territories along the Atlantic Seaboard and waging warfare against the Crown’s troops.

Petraeus arrived in Kabul on July 2, direct from Belgium where he had addressed NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the 28 member states’ permanent representatives in the North Atlantic Council and representatives of 46 ISAF contributors at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Egon Ramms, Commander Joint Force Command Brunssum, and other senior military staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe near Mons. (Two days later at NATO headquarters in Kabul he had two flags bestowed on him, “one for the U.S. and the other for NATO.”) [1]

NATO chief Rasmussen was in Lisbon, Portugal the day Petraeus left Belgium for Afghanistan, in part to prepare for the November summit of the world’s only military bloc there in November, where NATO will adopt its new, 21st century, Strategic Concept and endorse plans for an integrated interceptor missile grid to cover almost the entire European continent in conjunction with, and under the control of, the U.S.

In reference to General Petraeus taking up his new duties, Rasmussen stated at a press conference with Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado that “It has been a change of command but it will not be a change of strategy.”

A week after Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan [2], an ephemeral scandal that disappeared as quickly, which is to say instantaneously, as it developed, the U.S. Senate voted as it customarily does in matters of foreign policy – unanimously – and in a 99-0 vote confirmed Petraeus as the new commander of the world’s longest and largest-scale war.

He told Senate members on June 30 that “My sense is that the tough fighting will continue; indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months.”

A few days earlier he said of President Barack Obama’s proposed date for beginning the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan that the meaning of that pledge by the president, Petraeus’ commander-in-chief, was “one of urgency – not that July 2011 is when we race for the exits, reach for the light switch and flip it off.” Last December Petraeus asserted that there was no plan for a “rush to the exits” and that there “could be tens of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan for several years.” [3]

In May he spoke at an Armed Forces Day dinner in Louisville, Kentucky – on a day that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was visiting the same state – and insisted that “the US must continue to send troops to Afghanistan….” [4]

To indicate how thoroughly the Pentagon and NATO are inextricably enmeshed in not only the Afghan campaign but in a far broader and deeper partnership, a few days before Petraeus, speaking of his then-role as chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said that he has striven to “operationalize” U.S.-NATO military integration at CENTCOM “where up to 60 representatives of coalition partner countries serve. In addition, officers from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia act as representatives of CentCom, increasing further the need to share sensitive information.” [5]

Afghanistan falls within CENTCOM’s area of responsibility and the war in that country is a mechanism for extending the Pentagon’s military contacts, deployments, acquisition of bases and general warfighting interoperability with scores of nations both within and outside CENTCOM’s formal ambit.

In April, three months before taking up his Afghan war post, Petraeus was in Poland – covered by U.S. European Command (EUCOM) – to meet with the nation’s Chief of the General Staff, General Franciszek Gagor, discuss the war that has now cost the lives of nineteen Polish soldiers, and disclose that “in a few months a 800-1,000 strong U.S. battalion would reinforce Poland’s ISAF forces in the Afghan province of Ghazni.

“Petraeus said that the U.S. troops would be placed under the Polish commander who is responsible for the province.” [6]

He also met with Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich and President Lech Kaczynski as well as delivering a lecture at the National Defence Academy. Kaczynski, who would perish in an airplane crash three days later, presented Petraeus with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Iraq Star. [7]

Other new NATO members in Eastern Europe are equally involved, with the Pentagon employing seven new military bases in Bulgaria and Romania to train Stryker brigades and airborne troops for the war in Afghanistan. [8]

As commander of CENTCOM and superior to General McChrystal in Afghanistan, Petraeus methodically laid the groundwork for expanding the scope of the greater Afghan war throughout his command’s broad geographical reach, the heart of what has been deemed the broader Middle East – from Egypt in the West to Kazakhstan in the East, taking in Iraq and the rest of the Persian Gulf region, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, and all of Central and much of South Asia. Read more of this post

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