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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pakistan's Pakistani "friends"



Pakistani's extraordinary article on BBC's website


On 24 November, 2009 the BBC published an article by a Pakistani writer Ahmed Rashid. If you are not told the author's name you would probably think it comes straight out of the USA's propaganda machinery. This article is noteworthy for wanton distortion of facts and for defending the interests of the USA and India at the expense of Pakistan's. My e-mailed a reply to BBC was:


The author seems quite ill informed and biased. His lack of intellectual honesty shows through in many of his comments, especially his reference to a "retired senior army officer" claiming that Hakimullah Mehsood has been whisked to safety by the Americans. This "officer" is none other than General Mirza Aslam Beg, the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, 1988-1992. He enjoys considerable prestige and is acknowledged to have reliable contacts in the Army and elsewhere. His claim is that the USA has been playing a double game against Pakistan which, I think, is apparent from the chain of events over the past few years and the mass of evidence unearthed by the Pakistan Army this year. 


The action of Pakistan's armed forces in Swat and South Waziristan has resulted in the capture of huge quantities of weapons manufactured in India and the USA. The capture of rebels and mercenaries has revealed the extent to which non-Pashtun mercenaries from Afghanistan and elsewhere have infiltrated Pakistani territory with the active assistance of Indians and Americans who have flooded Afghanistan. 


The loud propaganda by India and the USA has drowned the truth to the extent that the evidence that Pakistan Army has presented to the world has been ignored. Pakistan's corrupt and weak government, which was imposed on the country by a secret deal put together by the USA, is beholden to its foreign benefactors and says little. In my opinion, a lot of Pakistan's problems stem from the USA's attempt to keep a firm hold on those who rule Pakistan: after the fall of the unspeakable Musharraf they are probably delighted to have found a near-clone Zardari. However, the USA'a grip on Pakistan's armed forces is no longer as strong as it was under Musharraf. The current Army Chief, General Kayani, seems to have a genuine desire to follow a strategy which, in his judgment, is in the interests of Pakistan. I think he has many enemies within the country and without and his room for manoeuvre is limited. 


That Pakistan is entitled to pursue policies that are in its own interests is a sentiment that is beyond the comprehension of people like Ahmed Rashid. The USA is pursuing its own interests in Central Asia - what is good for it is not necessarily good for Pakistan. And vice versa. Of the key personalities in Pakistan who have a hand on the reins of power, only General Kayani seems to understand this. But his freedom of action appears to be limited. You can read more in "An Open Letter to General Kayani" in my blog: 


http://sakibahmad.blogspot.com/2009/11/terrorism-in-pakistan.html


Dekha jo kha ke teer kamee.n gaah ki taraf
Apnay hi dosto.n se mulaaqaat ho ga'ee !


TAILPIECE

Apparently, the BBC did not have the courage to publish the most critical part of my response. It only published the first and the last paragraphs, leaving out the two middle ones. You can read the original article, and readers' comments, by clicking this link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8369914.stm

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pakistanis with dual nationalities



Amreekani sues Pakistani newspaper 

 

Pakistan’s ambassador in the USA, Husain “Amreekani” Haqqani, is suing one of the most respected newspapers in Pakistan, The Nation, for Rs. 1 billion. Amreekani alleges “defamation” by The Nation for simply regurgitating a report  published in a USA magazine, possibly with Amreekani’s collusion. The Nation got wind of that report and revealed the details to Pakistanis – which was too much for the “USA’s ambassador in Pakistan’s embassy in Washington”. So the American publication is spared but The Nation will be hounded with a billion rupees legal suit!




Haqqani, I think, holds USA nationality in addition to Pakistan’s. He is far from an isolated case – Pakistan’s High Commissioner in the UK, and a number of ministers in the Pakistan government, are in the same boat. I would have thought it is downright common sense that appointing people with divided loyalties to highly sensitive posts is most unwise. Since they will be in a position to influence national policies, their flawed judgment will inevitably lead to a dilution of Pakistan's interests.
The horror stories of the damage that Pakistanis holding dual nationality have inflicted on the country are well known. These people have exploited their influential public positions and are believed to have siphoned off billions of dollars from Pakistan’s treasury and institutions and stored them in safe havens abroad.
Vohi jin ki tegh se ban gaya mera shehr maqtal-e-khoo.n fishaa.n

Sar-e-aam deeda-e-num liye vohi log noha-garo.n mein thay !

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Terrorism in Pakistan

AN OPEN LETTER TO GENERAL ASHFAQ KAYANI


Dear General Kayani,


Over a month ago, on 7 October, you issued a press release relating to the current security situation in Pakistan. I quote from the press release: “COAS reiterated that Pakistan is a sovereign state and has all the rights to analyse and respond to the threat in accordance with her own national interests.” In particular, the statement made a pointed reference to the clauses in the USA’s Kerry Lugar Bill – since signed by the USA president into that country’s  law – which compromised Pakistan’s security.


Over the last one month the security situation has, if anything, grown worse while our puppet of a government has accepted the American offer of “aid” with all of its humiliating conditions intact. In my view – which I believe is shared by countless Pakistanis - the increasing incidence of terrorism in the country has a causal link to our people’s, and our armed forces’, opposition to the American interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. It is inconceivable that the Peshawar outrage, and the attack on the headquarters of the Pak Army, could have been mounted solely by a ragtag army of so-called “Taliban”. Clearly, a great deal of sophisticated planning lies behind much of the terrorist activity that is taking place currently to break the will of the Pakistani nation to resist the foreign stranglehold on our country.


Quite simply, our armed forces have to fight ALL terrorists. On the one hand, there are the so-called 'Taliban' and their foreign backers and, on the other hand, there lurks an equally deadly but elusive enemy: the armed mercenaries who roam the streets of our major cities (for example, Xe Services/Blackwater, under the guidance of their CIA handlers), the scheming, prying “armed diplomats” and, sad to say, the Pakistani collaborators in influential positions. If the action of our armed forces is limited only to South Waziristan we run a grave risk of being pushed into North Waziristan and made to fight the Americans' war there. Surely, the ISI has already collected a lot of evidence uncovering the foreign involvement in the terrorism that is spreading like a contagion?


It is high time, General Kayani, for you to issue another press release and to live up to the brave words of the earlier statement: “to respond to the threat in accordance with our own national interests”. There is an increasing realisation that the Waziristan action, taken in isolation, will lead us into an American trap from which it will be difficult to escape. There has to be parallel action in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi, to free our people from the curse of foreign-inspired acts of terrorism.


TAILPIECE (20 Nov 09)


The Pak Army says little, Parliament's lips are sealed and the American presence in the country grows stronger! Here is an eye opener published in "The Nation" today:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/20-Nov-2009/Americans-in-Pakistan/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

America captures Pakistani airwaves

News item, 7 November 2009 (summary copied from ahmedquraishi.com):


Pakistan Cedes Media Control Over Waziristan?







A former Voice of America employee, now part of Pakistani government, hands over airwaves over the tribal belt to the Americans

After coming to power last year, one of the first things the new government did was appoint Mr. Murtaza Solangi, a Voice of America employee, as the head of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.  Mr. Solangi worked for Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani, who worked for VOA before getting a seat in the Senate of Pakistan representing the PPP government.  She is also the spouse of Mr. Husain Haqqani, Ambassador to Washington who is also the present government's undercover media guru [tasked with defending anything to do with Zardari and US].  Reorganizing Pakistani foreign policy and media policy were two things Mr. Haqqani focused at the start of his government's term.  Solangi, Ispahani and Haqqani do not represent the 'pro-US lobby' within the incumbent Pakistani government.  They are just the tip of the iceberg.  In our tribal belt, you can hardly catch the signals of PTV News, the state-run Pakistani channel, but Mr. Solangi deemed it appropriate to give VOA three transmitters to unleash US propaganda inside this small patch of Pakistan.  Mr. Solangi is a professional Pakistani journalist.  The problem with the deal he struck with VOA is that it expands US influence in a country that has too much of it, in an area where Pakistan's national security interest is already under attack from foreign elements in Afghanistan.

MY COMMENT


Whenever the Americans talk of "winning hearts and minds of people", read "brainwashing the ignorant fools". It is unfortunate that so many Pakistanis, especially those with dual nationalities and with close links with western countries, have chosen to collaborate with a foreign power that is spreading its tentacles far and wide into Pakistan. We cannot counter the invidious influence of such malcontents in our midst simply by writing articles. It is the job of our National Assembly to discuss national issues of importance. The Opposition, especially, is supposed to guard national interests by maintaining a watchful eye on the actions of the government. Why has the cabinet's capitulation to the Americans' demand to control the minds of Pakistanis in Waziristan not been challenged in Parliament? 'The Nation' (Pakistan's foremost English language newspaper), and other reputable journalists who are aware of the problem, need to lobby our representatives in Parliament and persuade them to debate the issue openly.


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