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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anne Patterson, Queen of Pakistan

In her small womanly frame Anne Patterson packed a punch that the manliest of men would feel proud of. Thanks to WikiLeaks disclosures, it is public knowledge that during her 3-year sojourn in Pakistan as the USA Ambassador, she was effectively the uncrowned queen of Pakistan, before whom the half-men at the top of Pakistan’s power structure humiliated themselves shamelessly.





By an odd coincidence, I have recently been reading Fahmida Riaz’s collection of poetry, titled “Main mitti ki moorat hoon”. Two couplets struck me as particularly apt in describing the character and inner nature of those who kowtowed before Queen Anne. Though they appeared to possess the outward form of men they were, in reality, devoid of manhood.


فہمیدہ ریاض ؛ میں مٹی کی مورت ہوں


لب ہیں مصروف قصیدہ گوئی

اور آنکھوں میں ہے ذلّت عریاں


With utter degradation dancing nude in their eyes, they laid their personal and national honour at the queen’s feet! And who were ‘they’? Why, none other than our President, our Prime Minister, the leader of the main opposition party, the commander-in-chief of Pakistan’s army, and many lesser names – including a “maulana” who came bearing his religion on a tray, to be traded for personal gain.

کس سے اب آرزوے وصل کرے

اس خرابے میں کوئی مرد کہاں
When men lose their inherent manliness, what are poor women to do? Oh, the futility of longing for physical union when manliness has vanished from the scene!


After the storm
Nothing much seems to have changed. Those shameless men appear to be as busy as ever in their wheeling and dealing. If anything has changed it is an awareness that they need to "unite" so they can better serve themselves by deceiving the nation and lying to it! Fahmida Riaz, again:

اور دیس کے سب چوروں کو
ان پٹے ہوۓ مہروں گو
پھر جشن مناتے دیکھیں
شہنائی بجاتے دیکھیں



WIKILEAKS’ ROLL CALL OF SHAME [added 22 Dec 2010]

ZARDARI (President)
A glimpse of Z’s self-abasement before Queen Anne in January 2008: the loyal servant claimed the US was “our safety blanket”, and he reminded his queen that Benazir Bhutto had only returned to Pakistan because of “clearance” from the US. He begged: “I need help, especially from the US”. Anne’s assessment, cabled to her superiors in Washington, was that Z had designs to be PPP’s candidate for Prime Minister with Washington’s blessing. For once the Queen had underestimated the stupendous levels of her underling’s ambitions and his low cunning!
Zardari had no qualms humiliating himself before visiting Americans. At a meeting with two US congressmen in May 2008, he blurted out: “We are here because of you... We won’t act without consulting you.” The faithful servant has lived up to his word: he has been consulting the American Ambassador regularly on policy questions and political appointments (the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Senate chairman, the National Security Adviser, etc).
In Zardari Anne had found a perfect stooge to serve American interests in Pakistan. She recognised that Zardari’s government was “weak, ineffectual and corrupt”, but that was neither here nor there. What mattered was the value of that deeply unpopular Pakistani to the USA interests in Pakistan: “Zardari is our best ally in the government,” Anne cabled from Islamabad. A cable sent by her in February 2009 recommends: “we should help the Zardari/Gilani government complete its full five-year term in office”.

GILANI (Prime Minister)
This sorry specimen of humanity vies with Z to plumb the depths, to see who can sink lower. If it is possible to imagine a man entirely devoid of principles, the image of Gilani would come to mind (unless your favourite hate figures happen to be Z or Mush). Anne knew him inside out: ‘Gilani knows his place and will toe Zardari’s line’.
Gilani and Zardari are the only two people who showed extreme willingness to deceive the Pakistani nation and Pakistan’s National Assembly and to promote USA interests by sacrificing Pakistan’s. While loudly condemning drone attacks in public, they tell the Americans to carry on and not to worry. “We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it” Gilani told Anne in August 2008. Zardari, for his part, has been uncovered by American journalists: this sick man is reputed to have told the Americans that the heavy loss of innocent Pakistani lives that accompanies each drone attack does not bother him in the least – which he brushed away as “collateral damage” : wanton waste of human life treated in the same way as loss of property!
These two inhuman monsters, held in virtual bondage by the USA, have kept up with their sickening stream of incessant lies to the Pakistani public to this day.

ASHFAQUE KAYANI, Chief of Army Staff (C-in-C)
He was fond of sharing state secrets of the most sensitive kind with Queen Anne. He confided in her his distrust of Nawaz Sharif and the selection of a successor to Zardari after his possible removal from the Presidency!
At the time Musharraf was kicked out in August 2008, and in February/March 2009 over the restoration of the judiciary, Kayani nudged his Queen – possibly, also the British High Commissioner - to interfere in Pakistan’s domestic politics.

NAWAZ SHARIF (leader of the main opposition party)
Nawaz Sharif tried as hard as anyone to convince the Queen of his “pro-Americanism.” Freely joining the self-abasement ritual in January 2008, Nawaz reminded Anne that he had overruled his army chief and had contributed Pakistani forces to the US coalition in the first Gulf War. Nawaz expressed “hurt” that the US did not remember the valuable service he had performed in the face of PPP’s defiance: organising street demonstrations against the policy of Pakistan joining the coalition!
Nawaz also thanked the US for having arranged the appointment of Kayani as the army chief! So, was Kayani’s appointment the result of a USA act of benevolence or was it a USA conspiracy?
These gems came from a former Prime Minister of Pakistan who has ambitions to control the reigns of power once again!!

“maulana” Fazlur Rehman (leader of a divisive politico-religious party)
In November 2007, he requested Patterson for her backing to become Prime Minister, no less! He hoped to visit the US because, according to his party’s political principles, “all important parties in Pakistan have to get the approval of the US.” Anne’s dismissive comment was that F had made it clear to her that “his still significant number of votes are up for sale.”

LAST WORD
Where do we stand today? On August 14, 1947, we thought we had found freedom, but it has turned out to be another kind of slavery. The Wikileaks dispatches make it abundantly clear. The independence of Pakistan is a myth. Pakistan is no longer a free country. Today it is not just a “rentier state”, not just a client state. It is a slave state with a puppet government set up by Washington.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Angelina Jolie, "UN Ambassador"

Following the devastating floods in Pakistan, and the world's indifferent response to the colossal damage to the country, not to mention the sufferings of some 20 million people, the UN eventually managed to pack off the comely - or, unappealing, depending on your point of view - actress to Pakistan. Her stay in Pakistan proved quite eventful.          
                                                                                
Jolie surprised and delighted many people by her willingness to visit the flood victims in remote areas. Dressed in simple clothes, similar to those worn by the homeless victims, she sat close to them, held their hands and consoled them. She also made generous contributions to the relief funds set up for the victims, which showed up the pitifully small contributions to the relief effort made by Pakistan's billionaire and mult-millionaire politicians. Above all, it was the warmth and humanity she showed towards the flood victims, destitute and homeless, which contrasted so oddly with the aloof behaviour of Pakistan's politicians who remained rooted to their power bases, looking down upon the victims from afar.




She was entertained lavishly  by the Prime Minister - whose looks seem to have impressed Jolie sufficiently to give him advice about a possible career in Hollywood! - and others. On her return to the US, Jolie produced a damning report about the glittering lifestyle and sheer wastefulness of Pakistani officials as the country creaked from recent calamities. Pakistanis who relegate their own language and culture to an inferior position in their own country waxed eloquent, praising her sky high.


Pakistan's dynamic Urdu press, however, saw things differently. One well known journalist, who writes in both Urdu and English, contrasted Jolie's behaviour with that of Pakistan's "elite" and concluded that even a person with Jolie's background was morally superior to the people who exercise power in Pakistan. His article in Urdu has unleashed a storm in Pakistan. Those who ostentatiously flaunt English, and its inevitable corollary, an alien culture which looks out of place in local conditions, cannot forgive this journalist for revealing the sordid details of Jolie's background to the millions who read Urdu newspapers. It is OK for westernised Pakistanis to know all about Jolie's personal life but readers of Urdu press? Hell, no! Pakistan's westernised bloggers are out in force to vilify the hapless journalist and to perpetuate a system of apartheid in Pakistan where certain things are left unsaid in the Urdu press.


My contributions to this debate have been in the form of comments at a couple of blogs:


ONE


 "I seem to have ended up here more by accident than design. I am saddened to read this piteous piece of writing by a Pakistani blogger whose mind has been conditioned through long exposure to an alien  culture and its language. The curse of celebrity worship is destroying western societies through a general process of dumbing down, and trivialisation of values which are essential for maintaining stable societies.

Talat Hussain has simply held up a mirror to the brainwashed Pakistanis - a veritable army of yes-men and women to whatever becomes fashionable in the West - in which they have seen their hideously distorted features and have recoiled in horror.  Talat is quite right: so many members of our westernised elite today rank , in moral terms, lower than the Hollywood actress who visited Pakistan recently.

Thank God for Talat Hussain who has found a way to live successfully in the weird  Pakistani society without  sacrificing his language and his culture."


TWO


Do you realise what you are saying? Just goes to show the extent to which Pakistanis have been brainwashed by the country’s bastardised educational system – which replaces independent thinking by a servile acceptance of high sounding, meaningless drivel uttered by arrogant Americans and other English speakers. The Americans and the British tend to hold the average English-spouting Pakistani in contempt because this sorry specimen of humanity is expected always to fall in line with the western view of things. What makes such obsequious Pakistanis so useful to the West is their utter failure to feel any sense of national pride or to comprehend what is good for their country as a whole.
You tell me that a country ravaged by floods – some 20 million people affected – needs to have its “awareness raised” by a visiting “UN ambassador”! The UN is a hypocritical organisation, a convenient tool in the hands of world powers to influence other countries. I suggest you do a little research and read the damning articles about the UN published outside the narrow, suffocating world inhabited by westernised Pakistanis.
The “UN ambassador” was invited to Pakistan by the fawning Pakistani government, not by Talat Hussain. As an independent journalist he is not bound by government policies and he is free to write about any subject he chooses to write on. You should know that when China’s leaders, or the Pope, tour abroad as official guests, large scale demonstrations take place to protest against their policies or their past misdeeds. Do Pakistanis inhabit a different planet?
The spirit of independence that Talat Hussain has shown needs to be applauded. It is such a shame that Pakistan’s brainwashed English-speakers, who derive their values from the trashy ideas circulating in the West at the moment, have leapt on him as a pack of hounds.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

EID MUBARAK

The Lessons of Ramzan 2010

This has been an extraordinary month, like no other I can recall. The Floods, of course, stand out high above everything else but there has been much else going on.

The Floods

The floods brought out the best and the worst in our nation. There have been numerous instances of extraordinary heroism where people have put their lives on the line to save others from drowning, where people have shown extraordinary generosity to help the flood victims with hospitality and by making large contributions out of proportion to their financial circumstances. While the actions of these ordinary people have made us glow with pride, their has also been revealed the ugly face of our nation: robbers and thieves relieving the unfortunate victims of what little they had managed to save of their possessions; the sight of Pakistan’s nominal “president” roaming the world and showing off the obscene wealth he has amassed through his unscrupulous wheeling and dealing; the virtually dead inner state of Pakistan’s privileged class: the so-called “feudals” and rich industrialists who dominate Pakistani political life – no wonder people, and foreign donors, are loath to contribute to any “funds” that these corrupt and callous people set up under the camouflage of helping the victims of floods.

The mysterious "sectarian" killings

Then, no sooner had the ferocity of the floods abated a bit when the notorious “sectarian killings” hit the country again. I have written at length about this phenomenon before – see, for example, Terrorising Pakistan - and I say it again: the USA brought the cancer of sectarian killings to Iraq in order to achieve its political aims and it is repeating that experiment in Pakistan. Only this time it is being aided and abetted, not just by the Israelis but by the wholehearted participation of the Indian government and its agencies. Pakistan’s government, controlled by a gang of disreputable people put in place by the scheming foreign powers, is powerless to stop the descent of Pakistan into apparent anarchy.

The cricket circus and the abuse of Ramzan

There was also the sorry spectacle of the Pakistani cricket team, accused of all kinds of shady practices. In my view the spotlight has fallen on the wrong people. I see the cricketers primarily as victims, some of whom have progressed into hardened criminals, now indistinguishable from those who had planted in them the seed of corruption. There is something evil about the environment in which cricket is administered in Pakistan. The real culprits, in my view, are the administrators who deliberately expose a kid like Aamer to the evil operators in the world of gambling. The PCB chairman, and others who owe their appointments to political patronage need to be investigated but won’t be because they are the ones who control the reins of power and make all the decisions. Since the president of Pakistan is the patron of PCB and he appoints its chairman, the rot may well go all the way up to the presidency. In other words, you cannot expect a fair investigation! The PCB’s link with the president must be severed and this so-called sporting body must be depoliticised.  The ICC is utterly useless : by talking of lifelong bans on kids like Aamer it is merely deceiving the world about the evil that underpins Pakistan cricket. 

The corrupt PCB sees nothing wrong in arranging matches during Ramzan. This is a brazen abuse of Ramzan about which little is ever said. You see Pakistani fielders on a cricket ground abroad openly gulping down liquids during Ramzan. At the very least, the PCB is guilty of encouraging the young men to disregard a fundamental practice that Al-Qur’an says all Muslims should follow. I imagine that some of the cricketers continue with their saum/roza right through a cricket match but that implies they are being dishonest towards their own selves and towards the spectators who come to see them. The saum is an act of worship towards Allah, sport has nothing to do with it. Someone who chooses to go hungry and thirsty cannot do justice to his talents as a sportsman, which means a team composed of fasting sportsmen cannot provide the sort of challenge that the spectators have a right to expect in a genuine match contested by two fully fit teams at the peak of their game.

Worshippers of the five pillars

The sad fact is that to most Muslims today Islam has become a pliable tool to be manipulated according to their whims. It has stopped being a Code of Conduct – as Jinnah, the Quaid-e-Azam, put it – and has become a distorted jumble of rites and rituals which can be easily moulded into any shape and form! We are supposed to submit to the Divine Will and follow the Guidance we have been given but we have actually become more like pagans, worshipping the five pillars that the mullahs tell us constitute Islam. Our lack of principles has lost us the respect of other nations and we have moved far away from closeness to the Power of Allah that we ostensibly crave.

Na Khuda hii mila, na visaal-e-sanam
Na idher ke rahay, na udher ke rahay!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dialogue with a Giant


 Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan.

In December 1943, Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, gave an interview to a British journalist, Beverley Nichols. On returning to England from his tour of India, Nichols wrote a book, “Verdict on India” (publisher: Jonathan Cape). One of the chapters in this book has the title “Dialogue with a Giant”, a reference to Quaid-e-Azam. Extracts from this chapter are presented below. On the occasion of Pakistan’s Independence Day this month, we would do well to reflect on how far we have moved from Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan as a nation united under the banner of Islam, not so much a religion as a Code of Conduct. What this interview - and several of the Quaid's speeches - show is that, the Quaid was neither secular (as claimed by the so-called liberals) nor was he a religious demagogue in the sense that so many of Pakistan's self-styled religious leaders are.  

Nichols:
How would you describe the ‘vital principles’ of Pakistan?

Jinnah:
In five words. The Muslims are a Nation.

Nichols
When you say the Muslims are a nation, are you thinking in terms of religion?

Jinnah:
Partly, but by no means exclusively. You must remember that Islam is not merely a religious doctrine but a realistic and practical Code of Conduct. I am thinking in terms of life, of everything important in life. I am thinking in terms of our history, our heroes, our art, our architecture, our music, our laws, our jurisprudence …… [pause]
.... [continuing]:
In all these things our outlook is not only fundamentally different but often radically antagonistic to the Hindus…….  Take one example, the eternal question of the cow. We eat the cow, the Hindus worship it. A lot of Englishmen imagine that this ‘worship’ is merely a picturesque convention, an historical survival. It is nothing of the sort. Only a few days ago, in this very city, the cow question became a matter for the police ……. But the cow question is only one of a thousand.

Nichols:
Are the Muslims likely to be richer or poorer under Pakistan?

Jinnah:
Supposing you were asked which you would prefer, a rich England under Germany or a poor England free – what would your answer be?

Nichols:
It’s hardly necessary to ask.

Jinnah:
Quite. Well, doesn’t that make your question look a little shoddy? This great ideal rises far above mere questions of personal comfort or temporary convenience. What conceivable reason is there to suppose that the gift of nationality is going to be an economic liability? A sovereign nation of a hundred million people – even if they are not immediately self-supporting and even if they are industrially backward – is hardly likely to be in a worse economic position than if its members are scattered and disorganized, under the dominance of two hundred and fifty million Hindus whose one idea is to exploit them.

….. the Muslims are awake …  they’ve learnt, through bitter experience, the sort of treatment they may expect from the Hindus in a ‘United India’. A ‘United India’ means a Hindu-dominated India. It means that and nothing else. Any other meaning you attempt to impose on it is mythical. ‘India’ is a British creation, it is merely a single administrative unit governed by a bureaucracy under the sanction of the sword. That is all. It is a paper creation, it has no basis in flesh and blood.

Nichols:
The ironical thing is that your critics say that Pakistan itself is a British creation – that it is an example of our genius for applying the principle of ‘divide and rule’.

Jinnah (with some heat):
The man who makes such a suggestion must have a very poor opinion of British intelligence, apart from his opinion of my own integrity. The one thing that keeps the British in India is the false idea of a United India, as preached by Gandhi. A United India, I repeat, is a British creation – a myth, and a very dangerous myth, which will cause endless strife. As long as that strife exists, the British have an excuse for remaining. For once in a way, ‘divide and rule’ does not apply.

Nichols:
What you want is ‘divide and quit’.

Jinnah:
You have put it very neatly.

Nichols:
You realize that all this will come as something of a shock to the British electorate?

Jinnah:
Truth is often shocking. But why this truth in particular?

Nichols:
Because the average, decent, liberal-minded voter, who wishes Britain to fulfil her pledges, and grant independence to India, has heard nothing but the Congress point of view. The Muslims have hardly a single spokesman in the West.

Jinnah [bitterly]:
I am well aware of that. The Hindus have organized a powerful Press and Congress – Mahasabha are backed up by Hindu capitalists and industrialists with finance which we have not got.

Nichols:
As a result they believe that Congress is ‘India’, and since Congress never tires of repeating that India is one and indivisible, they imagine that any attempt to divide it is illiberal, reactionary, and generally sinister. They seriously do believe this. I know that it is muddle-headed, but then a democracy such as ours, which has to make up its mind on an incredible number of complicated issues usually is muddle-headed. What they have to learn is that the only liberal course, the only generous course, the only course compatible with a sincere intention to quit India and hand over the reins of government  ….

Jinnah:
And the only safe course, you might add, is …

Both: PAKISTAN!


To appreciate Islam more as a Code of Conduct and less as religion (as commonly understood), you might like to click on the following link:

http://sakibahmad.blogspot.com/2009/10/islam.html

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Terrorising Pakistan: part 2

A guest post by Asif Haroon Raja 


In accordance with the chalked out plan, terrorism was intentionally pushed into Pakistan to destabilize the country. The two extreme flanks of Pakistan , FATA and Balochistan were inflamed to make things difficult for Pak Army, fundamentally poised to guard eastern border. Apart from CIA and FBI gaining a strong foothold in Pakistan under the pretext of chasing and nabbing terrorists’ right up to Karachi , the US Administration increased its influence inside Pakistan so comprehensively that Boucher and Negroponte started to micro manage its domestic affairs including local bodies’ elections and 2002 general elections and reduced the parliament into a rubber stamp. American intelligence agencies helped RAW to make inroads in trouble spots.    
Pakistan was first harried on account of nuclear proliferation in 2004. Hue and cry was made over AQ Khan Network, and Iran and Libya put under intense pressure to establish a connection. Although Pakistan refused to make available Dr AQ Khan for interrogation after he made a public confession under duress, Pakistan inadvertently accepted that nuclear proliferation had taken place. It assured USA and IAEA that network had been effectively disabled. Pakistan thought that the matter was closed but it was never let off the hook and its nuclear program came under unceasing vicious smear campaign.
After 2005, The US began to change colors and became more intrusive and difficult. This change occurred because of resurgence of Taliban in southern and eastern Afghanistan , development of Gwadar Port with Chinese assistance, Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, and Pakistan economy getting robust. Pakistan was whipped by USA , India and even landlocked Afghanistan holding it responsible for their difficulties in Afghanistan. Pakistan bore the pain of whips and degradation to ensure US support and flow of US dollars. Pakistan kept chasing the faceless enemy without a comprehensive plan, intelligence, low intensity conflict training, counter terrorism equipment and motivational program. These shortcomings became serious impediments in tackling terrorism and allowed the Tehrik-e-Taliban to gather strength and expand its influence.
Having sufficiently embroiled the Army in war on terror and weakened its institutions the US started to inch closer towards achieving its goals and became more demanding. It repeatedly asked Pakistan to do more without compensating it for the immense sacrifices it was rendering. Instead of rewarding Pakistan for taking the main brunt of war on terror, the US rewarded India in the form of lucrative civil nuclear and defence deals, well knowing that instead of curbing terrorism India had inflamed it through covert means. Ironically Pakistan didn’t raise even an eyebrow on this grave development. Its lackadaisical stance resulted in materialization of Indo-US nuclear agreement in 2008.
After vainly trying to put the ISI under Ministry of Interior in August 2008, the US exerted extreme pressure on Pakistan leadership to let its military intrude into FATA. Several aerial raids, artillery fire and a ground attack in Angoor Adda in September 2008 were carried out. These blatant intrusions indicated American growing impatience and their desperation to directly meddle in Waziristan . While Pakistan gave its tacit approval to drone attacks since this understanding had already been given by Gen Musharraf, Pak military under new commander Gen Kayani did not agree to the proposal of joint operation or any unilateral action and took a firm stand. Had this proposal been ceded to, it would have amounted to allowing the head of a camel to enter the tent. Entry in FATA would have encouraged US military to keep creeping forward and to gradually envelope whole of Pakistan under the pretext of striking non-state actors. Mention of Quetta , Peshawar and Karachi as hiding places of high profile terrorists and main base of Al-Qaeda in FATA and Taliban Shura in Quetta exposed its intentions.
While attitude of US officials became belligerent, Indo-Israeli-US propaganda campaign became fiercer. Mumbai drama was stage managed on 26 November 2008 to give an excuse to India to heat up eastern border. Throughout 2009 India remained in a highly offensive mood. Pakistan’s policy of appeasement was taken as sign of weakness and subjected to unabated pressure to make Pakistan agree to Indian unfair demands of proceeding against suspects without evidence and to dismantle Indian specific terrorist network. The US instead of acting in a fair and unbiased manner brazenly supported Indian stance.
None of the accusers took into account the hard fact that Pakistan had suffered as no other country in the world had from foreign sponsored terrorism. Its economy suffered a loss of over $45 billion and it lost over 8000 lives in the blowback of the militants in retaliation to military operations. Pakistan bore maximum brunt of foreign sponsored terrorism during the years 2008-09 and is still suffering. After targeting Peshawar incessantly, Lahore is the current target of RAW. From March 2009 onwards, dozens of terrorist and suicide attacks have taken place in capital city of Punjab and hand of RAW was visible in each incident.
Slight change in Indo-US-Afghan belligerence occurred after Pak Army’s successful fight against well-entrenched militants in Malakand Division, Swat, Bajaur and South Waziristan (SW) at a heavy price. These successes were achieved at a time when nothing was going right in Pakistan . Political situation was in a mess, economy had become fragile, law and order had worsened and Pak Army’s image had been badly dented due to an orchestrated smear campaign. Pakistan was being viewed as a failing state unable to protect its nuclear assets. Stories of balkanization or break up were in circulation and a very gloomy picture was painted. It was propagated that Pakistan’s security forces were incapable of fighting the militants and protecting nuclear assets. US Special Forces started to fine tune their contingency plans to take away the nukes before falling into wrong hands. Indian strike formations had taken up a forward posture and Indian military had started beating drums of war.
It was under such daunting challenges that Pak Army fully supported by the government and the public turned the tide and blunted coordinated external and internal onslaughts and left the detractors gaping with wonder. CIA-RAW-Mossad supported Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is on the run; its liberty of action is curtailed. During the operations, the Army came across irrefutable evidence of involvement of RAW in all the restive regions. Besides arresting Hindu RAW agents, some disguised as Taliban, heaps of Indian origin weaponry was captured. Israeli made Uzi weapons and telescopic rifles were also found. It was a surprise to find highly encrypted communication system in use of TTP which could not be intercepted but could jam and listen to Army’s telephone/wireless network. Mossad had provided Israeli made specially designed transmitters for FM radios to Fazlullah which played a key role in expanding his influence in Swat and Malakand Division?
In June 2009 when Pak officials confronted Washington with evidence that terrorists in Pakistan were using sophisticated American weapons, the US media quickly leaked stories about US weapons missing from Afghan National Army. The figure of losses ran into thousands and it couldn’t be that ANA soldiers were operating without weapons or with locally manufactured weapons without being noticed by superiors.
No sooner was TTP base routed in SW that the US started exerting pressure on Pakistan to mount another offensive in North Waziristan (NW), painted as epicenter of terrorism. Several RAW created terrorist groups including Asian Tigers and some runaways of TTP have sprouted in NW to create anarchic conditions. Gen Kayani has rightly remained firm that no further stretching into NW till full consolidation of Swat and SW, which includes rehabilitation of IDPs, rebuilding of destroyed infrastructure and transfer of power to civil administration. For this he needs expeditious delivery of promised funds. He has also desired speedy delivery of counter insurgency equipment for achieving long term tangible results.
148,000 troops are already committed in FATA and Swat. Army cannot afford to further thin out troops from eastern border as long as Indian intentions are hostile. India has so far not closed training centres and Pakistan specific consulates in Afghanistan wherefrom covert operations are being launched. The US has been told that Pakistan would not like any military role for India in Afghanistan including training of ANA after the departure of US-NATO troops. Kayani prefers training of Afghan security forces by Pakistan Army. This has been partly agreed to and hopefully Afghan officers would be sent to attend training courses in various schools of instructions.
Pakistan has also been urging Washington to facilitate settlement of disputes with India . While little headway has been made on Pakistan ’s requests, the US is relentlessly asking Pak Army to speedily jump into boiling cauldron of NW irrespective of consequences. Hilary Clinton, Holbrooke and Adm. Mike Mullen are fixated on NW and have hinged successful outcome of Afghanistan war on neutralization of NW. All three in quick succession have issued tough statements to maximize pressure on Pakistan . They see Osama hale and hearty living in Pakistan . Minuscule Haqqani network and diminutive Lashkar-e-Taiba are being portrayed as most dangerous monsters. As a super power, the US should have felt ashamed in even making a passing mention of these insignificant entities. But such are the ways of bullies who by design project a Lilliputian into a Gulliver.
The US rules out scope for negotiations with Haqqani network in NW whereas it has given a blank cheque to Karzai to hold negotiations with Taliban and has not put any pressure on Gen Petraeus as to why he is not expediting operation against Kandahar. Instead of making some headway, visitors from 27 countries in Kabul were given fanciful news that ISAF would be able to hand over security of Afghanistan to ANA by 2014. While remaining fixated on NW, the US is least concerned about fast deteriorating security situation in Balochistan and Karachi where RAW and Blackwater in concert with local anti-state elements are actively involved in target killings. It betrays US sincerity of intentions.
Brig Asif Haroon Raja is Staff College and Armed Forces War Course qualified, holds MSc war studies degree; a second generation officer, he fought epic battle of Hilli in northwest East Bengal during 1971 war, in which Maj M. Akram received Nishan-e-Haider posthumously. He served as Directing Staff Command & Staff College, Defence Attaché Egypt and Sudan and Dean of Corps of Military Attaches in Cairo . He commanded the heaviest brigade in Kashmir . He is multi-lingual and speaks English, Pashto and Punjabi fluently. He is author of books titled ‘Battle of Hilli’, ‘1948, 1965 & 1971 Kashmir Battles and Freedom Struggle’, ‘Muhammad bin Qasim to Gen Musharraf’, Roots of 1971 Tragedy’; has written number of motivational pamphlets. Draft of his next book ‘Tangled Knot of Kashmir ’ is ready. He is a defence analyst and columnist and writes articles on security, defence and political matters for numerous international/national newspapers/websites. Email: asifharoon7751@yahoo.com
Tailpiece


This article was first published at the 'People of Pakistan' blog on 26 July 2010. This article touches on some of the issues I raised in my last blog post and it introduces some new ones. I do not necessarily agree with everything that Brig Asif Haroon Raja says but I do think that he raises important issues which need to be more widely known. 


You can see the original article by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Terrorising Pakistan

A conspiracy of silence.

Already this year there have been five deadly attacks in Pakistani cities resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Pakistanis. The most recent act of savagery occurred on 9 July in Mohmand in the North West of Pakistan, close to the border with Afghanistan, when over 100 ordinary citizens lost their lives and some 200 were injured (see Tailpiece for a full list of attacks since 2007). This crude suicide attack is clearly the work of “Pakistani Taliban”. Other attacks, requiring considerable planning and a degree of sophistication, point to an altogether more sinister and better organised presence in Pakistan.

The head of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, gave a briefing to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security last week, which told a tale of foreign intrigue and sinister collaboration between an ostensible “friend” and a sworn enemy of Pakistan. The complicity of foreign states in the sort of terrorist activity that we have previously witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan has been an open secret for a long time. It is good to see someone in authority acknowledging it at last. But we need to go further and shout the reality underlying terrorism in Pakistan from the rooftops – speak up boldly at international forums and provide the incriminating evidence, though it will inevitably incur the wrath of the USA.

In Pakistan itself a strange silence hangs over the country. Save for a few brave souls in Pakistan’s journalistic community, and some outspoken politicians such as Imran Khan, people who occupy influential positions in Pakistani society have either sealed their lips or they deflect all suspicion on to Pakistani Taliban, shielding the stars of this macabre drama of murder and intrigue. Many of Pakistan’s top politicians and functionaries are neck deep in corruption and various fraudulent acts, which makes them susceptible to blackmail. Others are bought off with a combination of monetary bribes and threats of violence. Generally, there is little honest attempt at analysing Pakistan’s complex, rapidly changing situation and relating it to preceding events.

Separating reality from illusion

Let us take the three most recent attacks to see if there is a pattern we can observe. 

1.  The massacre of Ahmadis in Lahore
On 28 May a group of people attacked two mosques belonging to the Ahmadi community at a time when they were overflowing on the occasion of Friday prayers. Some 90 members of the congregation died and as many as a hundred were injured. Immediately, Pakistan’s westernised “intellectuals”, with pockets and hand bags bulging to bursting point with wads of American dollars, declared that the attack amounted to inhuman persecution of the Ahmadi community, blah blah blah. That the Ahmadis are indeed a persecuted minority in Pakistan is a well known fact but linking a terrorist attack to such persecution showed that a conscious attempt was afoot to deceive Pakistanis about the origin of the terror unleashed on them. As you can see from the Tailpiece, this attack was simply one of a series intended to terrorise and destabilise Pakistani society. My own response to this atrocity was given in my blog post Self destruction of Pakistan, and in comments elsewhere:

“……… please remember that the tragic loss of life on Black Friday was not the result of sectarian violence. It was an attack by sub-human creatures who had previously murdered Pakistanis of all religious denominations.

The situation in Pakistan is so warped at the moment that it is difficult to understand what is going on. The horror story that is being acted out on the vast Pakistani stage can be witnessed by all but the hands directing this nightmarish scene are hidden from view. Hence the preponderance of what some people have termed "conspiracy theories", a most unfortunate term that discourages people from uncovering the ugly truth.

At several blogs run by Pakistan's self-styled "liberals" this tragedy has been used as a ploy to divert attention away from other issues of great national importance. I have felt sickened by the hypocritical public chest beating of these liberals, some of whom clearly have ulterior motives. What conclusion can you draw when people start suggesting that Pakistanis should focus only on their internal sectarian problems - on this occasion, at least, it is NOT a case of sectarian violence - and stay away from protesting against Israel's murder of Turkish citizens taking relief supplies to Gaza!”

2. The massacre at the shrine of Ali Hajveri, “Data Ganj Bakhsh”, Lahore
This occurred on Thursday night, 1 July, when the shrine was full of devotees of the saint. A single suicide bomber killed himself and some 45 others, and some 200 people were injured. There have been reports of suspicious foreigners taking photographs of the Data Darbar shrine some days before the suicide attack.
 
 Once again, the westernised chattering classes of Pakistan have had a field day, talking loudly about religious intolerance and sectarian strife. Very cleverly, two new phrases  ‘religious intolerance’ and ‘sectarian violence’ have replaced ‘religious persecution’ this time. As before, the real culprit behind the wicked deed is cleverly covered up.

There seems little doubt that there is a conspiracy to refuse to analyse and investigate each deadly act of violence and to draw appropriate conclusions. This, in my opinion, shows the extent to which the USA agencies have managed to deflect suspicion away from their own anti-Pakistan activities towards the dormant cancer of sectarian hatred that blights Pakistani society.

3. The massacre of Pakistanis awaiting rehabilitation in Mohmand Agency (North-West Pakistan)

Close to the Pak-Afghan border, this is an area where “Pakistani Taliban” - an organisation which owes its birth to American patronage - had earlier been defeated by the Pakistan army and they had escaped further north. The army had declared the area to be safe from Taliban and the government was asked to arrange for the return of people who had been displaced by the fighting. The government responded by telling the people to return but it made no effort to establish a viable civic administration to offer security to people going back to their ruined towns.

On 9 July the unfortunate souls awaiting re-settlement were mercilessly cut down by two suicide bombers, in a car and on a motorbike. Over a hundred people died and some 200 sustained horrible injuries. This attack was launched by Pakistani Taliban as a revenge for their earlier defeat.

The hands of the murderers

There are three distinct pairs of hands:

1. The Pakistani Taliban, who carry out atrocities in places like Mohmand. They are an obvious target, and they are being pursued relentlessly by the Pakistan army.

2. Pakistan’s avowed enemy India, which has been given a free hand by our treacherous friend in Afghanistan, the mighty USA. The Indian influence in Afghanistan is massive – Indians are said to work closely with Afghanistan’s “Northern Alliance” and with the Israeli experts in urban terrorism. To understand it fully requires a separate article – suffice it to say that India, which forcibly occupies Kashmir by stationing a huge army there numbering 700,000, is delighted to help the USA destabilise Pakistan. The Indians in Afghanistan finance, train and provide sophisticated weapons to mercenaries and Taliban, who are then sent over the Pak-Afghan border to attack pre-determined targets. The USA, which is supposed to maintain high tech surveillance of the long Pak-Afghan border, is a willing accomplice in these dastardly terrorist operations.

3. The vast presence of the USA operatives, contractors and mercenaries in Pakistan (CIA agents and those belonging to Dynacorp and Blackwater/Xe Services). It is these who are suspected of planning and executing attacks in the large cities such as Lahore and Rawalpindi.
 
A historical perspective

What we have to ask is: who will benefit from the spread of terror and insecurity in Pakistan? Pakistan's descent into hell has been preceded by similar experiences in two places: Iraq and Afghanistan. What is the common factor between them? You don't need rocket science to work that out - all you need is simple common sense and some basic honesty.

The USA government is adept at launching “false flag” operations. An utterly obscene example of this “art” was the staged farce of 9/11, which was promptly linked to backward Afghanistan though no evidence has ever been produced, then or since. To deceive the world about the 9/11 outrage, the USA government destroyed all evidence of that heinous crime against humanity. They then spun a weird tale which defied the facts and gave rise to a whole industry devoted to unearthing the truth about 9/11.

The Americans swung their formidable propaganda machine into action, responding to all criticism by rubbishing it as “conspiracy theories”. In 2002, when the USA appeared to have Afghanistan in the palm of its hand, George Bush’s White House aide spoke the chilling words which revealed the real intentions of the neoconservatives surrounding Bush:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors …. and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”



Since then the USA’s “false flag” operations have multiplied. Iraq is a good example, where the targeted killings of Shias were used to inflame passions against the Sunnis, and vice versa. The internecine violence weakened the Resistance against the occupiers and the USA government claimed a pyrrhic victory.  The architect of that strategy, General David Petraeus, is now trying out his evil schemes in Pakistan. He is clever enough to recognise that, unlike Iraq, Pakistan has a free press and he has to muzzle journalists by bribing them heavily.

Remember that Americans are roaming all over Pakistan, among them Urdu and Pashto speaking “contractors” and CIA agents. A compliant Pakistani government, installed by the Americans under a false façade of “democracy”, issues visas freely to Americans in accordance with the demands it receives from the USA government.

Though Pakistan is not a desperately poor country, the lack of governance and general mismanagement of the country’s resources, have produced a perilous situation where families routinely suffer starvation and dishonour. It is not uncommon to hear of whole families committing  suicide. There is thus a vast pool of people from which the sinister foreign presence in the country can recruit willing suicide bombers.

The ugly reality

Let us learn to think critically: what you see may only be an illusion, hiding an ugly reality underneath.

 That ugly reality behind the attempts to terrorise the civilian population of Pakistan is the increasing USA pressure on Pakistan to send its troops into North Waziristan and attack the Afghan Resistance to USA occupation from the Pakistani side of the Pak-Afghan border. Since an action in North Waziristan will trigger a civil war in Pakistan, a second aim is to destabilise Pakistan and to weaken its army, which will enable the USA to take possession of Pakistan’s  nuclear arsenal, and India to gobble up Kashmir (where India's occupation army has gunned down 17 youths recently).
  
The Americans have been in Afghanistan nearly 9 years and, by all accounts, they are staring defeat in the face. To put things in perspective the number of Americans who have died in this totally unnecessary conflict stands at a little over 1000 while the Nato forces have probably suffered under a thousand casualties. To the Americans these are very high figures and they are putting pressure on Pakistan to get its army to do the fighting for them. Pakistani lives, it seems, are dirt cheap when it comes to achieving the evil designs of USA politicians, who do not acknowledge that Pakistan army’s loss so far is several times that of USA’s. 

Pakistan’s servile obedience to the USA’s war aims has resulted in the loss of thousands of our soldiers and our citizens, and it has brought us close to financial ruin. Having lost so much already as a “friend” of the USA, what more is there for us to lose? Let us, for once, sample the blessings that will ensue from breaking that bond of enforced friendship.



Tailpiece

The following is a list of major attacks since July 2007 [source: The Nation, 9 July, 2010]:


2007

July 19: Three suicide attacks in the northwest of the country kill 54 people, including more than 20 soldiers and police officers.


October 18: Bomb attacks targeting two-time former premier Benazir Bhutto kill at least 139 people in Karachi, just hours after she returned to Pakistan for the first time in eight years. She survives unhurt, but is killed along with around 20 people in another gun and suicide attack on December 27.


December 21: At least 56 are killed in an attack on a mosque in the northwest of the country.


2008

August 21: Twin suicide attacks kill at least 64 people outside Pakistan's main arms factory in Wah, near Islamabad.


September 20: At least 60 people are killed when a suicide attacker rams a massive truck bomb into the gates of the five-star Marriott hotel in Islamabad.


2009
October 28: A massive car bomb destroys a Peshawar market crowded with women and children, killing 125 people.


December 7-8: Four attacks, including two almost simultaneous blasts on a market in the eastern city of Lahore, leave at least 66 dead.


2010

January 1: A suicide bomber blows up a car packed with explosives in the middle of a crowd gathered for a volleyball game in a northwest village, killing at least 101 people.

March 12: Twin suicide attacks seconds apart target the Pakistani military in Lahore, killing 5.


May 28: Gunmen wearing suicide vests storm two mosques belonging to a  minority sect in Lahore, bringing carnage to Friday prayers and killing at least 82 people.


July 1: At least 43 people are killed when suicide bombers strike at the tomb of an Islamic saint in Lahore.

July 9: Two suicide bombers blow themselves up in a crowd of people in a busy market in Mohmand district, killing over 100 people and wounding some 200.




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