Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The farce of Abbottabad, part 3 : the consequences

This blog post is a continuation of the issues discussed in the previous two - hence the words "part 3" in the title. 

What made the farce of USA's "daring" raid on Abbottabad - in which the hapless Osama died a second death - believable was not so much the brazen lies of the USA president as the humiliating response of Pakistan's President and the Prime Minister. It was as if both these puppets had been pre-programmed to utter nonsensical and demeaning words in response to a seemingly illegal act which violated Pakistan's sovereignty. The Chief Puppet Zardari described the operation as something which was "highly appreciated" while his sidekick Gilani called the degradation of Pakistan "a great victory". This was clear proof that the US held the Pakistan government by the throat, a dysfunctional government which had lost all notions of independence and sovereignty. No wonder the USA's Psychological Operation (PSYOP), targeting Pakistan's Army and its intelligence service, the ISI, had succeeded brilliantly. 

Over the last few years the CIA has succeeded in establishing a huge network of agents and local collaborators, including retired officers of Pakistan's armed forces with close links to serving officers. This was made possible by the Zardari-Gilani duo giving authority to Pakistan's ambassador in the US, Haqqani, to issue hundreds of visas to Americans without any checks whatsoever. This exercise was later repeated in Dubai when the Pakistan embassy was opened up in the evening for the sole purpose of freely issuing visas, bypassing the standard procedures of verification of personal data by the Foreign Ministry and by the ISI.

The rot began many years ago when the USA administration adopted a conscious policy of buying off influential people in Pakistan, starting with the top man Musharraf [see the blog post The case of missing persons ]. However, this policy of recruiting Pakistani traitors to assist with implementation of US policies in Pakistan has seen a huge expansion in recent years. Pakistanis who have sold out to the Americans can be found in all walks of life: the government, the civil service, the armed forces and the media. Pakistan's English language press, especially, is teeming with USA sympathisers who will never criticise US policies but they will virulently attack anyone and anything that offers resistance to the success of those policies. The Army, the ISI, Imran Khan and the Urdu language press (and patriotic Pakistanis writing in the English language press) are obvious targets.

Pakistan's tattered reputation
On Friday, 11 May, the Heads of Pakistan's Army and Air Force addressed a joint session of both the Upper and the Lower houses of Pakistan's Parliament. This session was a great disappointment. The assembled Generals could not summon the courage to clash head on with the Pakistani government and its USA masters, and sweep away the web of lies the two governments had erected. To do this the Generals would have had to admit that they, or a section of Pakistan's armed forces, had colluded with a foreign power to violate the country's airspace and murder a man in violation of Pakistan's laws. It is this sordid collaboration between the Pakistani leaders and the USA which is so hurtful. 

All the indications are that Pakistan's armed forces are infiltrated with traitors in powerful positions. There is immense pressure being exerted by the Americans and their Pakistani collaborators for Generals Kayani and Pasha (the Head of ISI) to toe the line. Pasha, especially, is being targeted and a way may be found to prise him out if he resists the expanding American influence in Pakistan. He appears to have been the driving spirit behind the unanimous Resolution that the two Houses of Parliament had agreed after a mammoth 10-hour session. This Resolution had 12 points, among them were:

* The USA's action in Abbottabad, constituting a violation of Pakistan's air space and sovereignty, was condemned.

* The USA's drone attacks on Pakistani territory were condemned. The USA was warned that if these attacks did not stop, the government would consider the closing down of routes used for the transport of supplies to the US and Nato forces in Afghanistan. Generally, Pakistan would review its working  relationship with the USA.

* An independent commission will be established to investigate the Abbottabad debacle. So far, not a single name has been announced as a possible member of that commission!

Three minor revelations - which people suspected anyhow - were made by the assembled military men:

* Pakistan's Shamsi airbase was not under the control of Pakistan Air Force! Apparently, it was owned by the United Arab Emirates and was sub-contracted to the USA, giving that country a free hand to fly aircraft from Shamsi for its nefarious designs. No one seems to have asked if the base will now be taken back into Pakistan's control!.

* Pakistan Air Force has the technology to shoot down the US drones which have killed well over two thousand Pakistani citizens. It is up to the government to give an order for shooting down the drones if the US continues to violate Pakistan's sovereignty [as the readers of this blog know well, Pakistan is a willing party to this arrangement].

* Raymond Davis was freed on the order of the central government - but the ISI top man, Pasha, declined to provide further details relating to that mysterious case.

The USA's hammer blow
The show of defiance by Pakistan's National Assembly was too much for the American masters. Scarcely had the ink dried on the 12-point Resolution than the world's only Superpower delivered a hammer blow by launching drone attacks on Pakistan and daring it to implement its worthless Resolution. Separately, the USA's creation, the Pakistani Taliban, launched a suicide attack which destroyed almost a hundred Pakistani lives (most died on the spot, others in hospital later). Further terrorist bombings followed on a smaller scale, culminating in a sophisticated assault on the Mehran Naval base on 23 May, which destroyed reconnaissance aircraft on the ground and inflicted immense damage. This was not a random act of terrorism. The attackers had precise instructions about the layout of the naval base and the targets to destroy. This attack came a couple of days after the announcement by Pakistan's Defence Minister, Ahmed Mukhtar, to the effect that China would be asked to build a new naval base in Gwadar and the  operational control of Gwadar port would be transferred from a dubious Singapore company to reliable Chinese hands.

With the exception of those who have sold themselves for dollars, Pakistanis are coming to a realisation that the sophisticated weaponry supplied to the terrorists through Afghanistan and, more importantly, the timing of attacks which coincides  with American warnings to Pakistan, can only mean one thing: the mastermind behind this human slaughter is the world's foremost terrorist state (aided and abetted by other arch enemies of Pakistan). Having terrorised Iraq and destroyed the spirit of its people through indiscriminate killings, the USA is engaged in similar bloodletting in Afghanistan (which it already occupies) and Pakistan (which it occupies through its proxies). This immoral superpower will go to any lengths in pursuit of its selfish policies.

A glimmer of hope
The government and the opposition are both silent, having already forgotten the brave wording of the 12-point Resolution. No orders were given to shoot down the drones and the supply routes to Afghanistan remained open. It fell to Imran Khan to stage a sit-in in Karachi over the two days 21-22 May, which resulted in the temporary suspension of USA/Nato supplies. Imran is expected to announce a long march in protest against the USA's drone attacks on Pakistan's citizens and the US's interference in Pakistan's affairs.

In the midst of the destruction unleashed on Pakistan following Parliament's  Resolution, Imran Khan's dharna (the sit-in) has been the only show of defiance. The day after his dharna ended,  John Kerry, chairman of the US Senate's foreign relations committee, came to Pakistan, wagging his finger and telling the Pakistanis that he had not come to apologise for the raid on Pakistani territory. The sheer arrogance of his words and his body language, and the way the Pakistani leaders cowered before him, may have been the last straw for the long suffering Pakistani nation. More and more people, including the judiciary, are able to see that Pakistan's fake democracy - effectively, subjugation to the USA - needs to be replaced with the genuine article. The first priority is to clean up the electoral register which contains no less than 37 million bogus names (some 44% of the eligible voters). Millions more who are eligible to vote need to be added to the voting lists. Free and fair elections in the near future are needed desperately to get rid of the criminals and traitors who rule Pakistan.

The Tojan Horses in Pakistan
In the blog post The Fall of the American Empire I mentioned the American-financed newspaper, The Express Tribune, which defends the policies of the US government irrespective of the harm they inflict on Pakistan. The online version of that publication had censored my comments on its editorial relating to the notorious Raymond Davis case. More recently, I offered comments on ET's story relating to the discussions in Pakistan's National Assembly. People were being provoked to demand that "heads must fall" - a euphemism for the heads of Kayani and Pasha - but my comments, which opposed that view, were censored. My unpublished comments are given below, which also show how badly my judgement was affected at that time by the "tsunami of lies" unleashed by the Americans:

Are the Americans taking the Pakistani nation for a ride? Why do so many people echo the Americans' sentiments and accusations?

Go back to 9/11 when the sole super power was hit at the heart of its military and commercial centres. Were there any resignations? Not one!

Let us, therefore, keep things in perspective and avoid shooting ourselves in the foot. No one is perfect and mistakes will always be made. After each mistake, we need to re-assess the situation and correct any weaknesses that come to light. If we weaken our military and the ISI at this time the obvious winners will be the USA and India.

Osama was supposed to have died some years ago as a result of kidney failure. That, I think, was the view of the ISI as well. However, it was obvious that the Americans were driven insane by their own obsession with Osama, but they wouldn't say why they thought he was alive and they wouldn't share with the ISI the underlying reasons for holding that view. That being so, ISI was simply passing on any information it picked up about Al-Qaeda to the CIA - which eventually succeeded in pinpointing Osama. All the time the CIA kept the ISI in the dark about the follow-up investigations based on the intelligence that the latter had made available.

It is clear that the Americans, our so-called "friends" and "allies", have stabbed Pakistan in the back and, very cunningly, rubbed our collective nose in the dust while the whole world stood watching aghast.

دیکھا جو تیر کھا کے کمیں گاہ کی طرف
اپنے ہی دوستوں سے ملاقات ہو گئی

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A tsunami of lies

Those who feel overwhelmed by the tsunami of lies which has come roaring from the governments of the USA and Pakistan following the OBL drama in Abbottabad should not despair. Help is at hand!

FIRST, let us go back to an earlier blog, Anne Patterson, Queen of Pakistan , at the end of which there is a quote from Roedad Khan, a retired senior civil servant who had worked closely with several Pakistani rulers:

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.

Bear these words in mind as you read on.

SECOND, today the British newspaper The Guardian has published a stunning report by its Pakistan correspondent, Declan Walsh, a first rate journalist with extensive contacts. You can read the full report here .

Briefly, what Walsh is saying is that some 10 years ago the USA and Pakistan had signed a secret agreement - a humiliating sell-out by the dictator Musharraf - under which the Americans had been given a free hand to launch raids into Pakistani territory in the event of the Al-Qaeda leadership being spotted in Pakistan. The term "leadership" included Osama himself, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and whoever happened to be the Al-Qaeda No. 3. If such a raid did take place, "Pakistan would vociferously protest against the incursion"! Later, in 2008, when Musharraf was still president but a PPP civilian government had been formed, this dirty deal was renewed. By then Ashfaq Kayani was the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan's army and he would have been fully in the picture.

So, the "bravery" and "courage" of US Navy Seals is little more than a myth which has been created by the US publicity machine. The truth is that the Pakistanis knew what was taking place and they looked the other way, which made it an easy, risk-free operation for the Americans. Indeed, shortly after midnight on 1 May, men of Pakistan army had gone round knocking on the doors of people living in the vicinity of the run-down house occupied by Osama, warning them to stay indoors. 

The Pakistan Prime Minister, Yusuf Gilani

This slippery, chameleon-like individual is an expert at saying contradictory things to different people and reversing his own statements without batting an eyelid. Following the US raid into Pakistan, which humiliated and stunned the Pakistani nation, this man strutted around smugly, justifying the USA's seemingly illegal action and violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. He declared that the operation was "conducted in accordance with the declared US policy"! People wondered what was Pakistan's declared policy when international laws are broken and the honour of the country is trampled underfoot. Thanks to Declan Walsh, we now know the answer.

The reaction to Gilani's idiotic statements was a rising crescendo of demands for him and Zardari, the president, to resign. Eventually, a week after the event, General Kayani was able to knock some sense into this two-headed monster, and Gilani stood up before Pakistan's National Assembly on 9 May, "to take the nation into confidence". This calculating man, who seems devoid of common sense, chose to deliver his lies in English for foreign consumption! The Pakistani nation understood only that some sort of trick was being played on it and Gilani was up to his old tricks which had been fully disclosed by Wikileaks (see "Anne Patterson, Queen of Pakistan" for full details). In a nutshell: for domestic consumption, publicly issue loud warnings to the USA but, privately, tell the Americans not to worry and go ahead with whatever they planned to do.

Ashfaq Kayani's opportunity to emerge as a hero

In 2008 General Kayani would have been aware of the humiliating terms of the deal that Musharraf-Zardari-Gilani had entered into with the Americans. He can claim that his hands were tied by that deal and he could not have stopped the American violation of Pakistani airspace. Many people think highly of him, some even consider him to be a man of honour. If he is that, then he needs to divulge the terms of the secret deal to the nation and seek a consensus on the type of working relationship Pakistan should have with the USA. Musharraf had heaped humiliation upon humiliation upon Pakistan. Does Kayani have it in him to redress the wrongs of the past and end the lopsided, demeaning relationship with the USA?

Kayani can seize this opportunity and emerge as a hero or he can sink into oblivion. 

Is Osama really dead?

A lot of people - I among them - had believed that he had already died as a result of kidney failure. In view of developments over the past week, I now think that the sick Osama had survived somehow. Pakistan's ISI had handed over significant pieces of information to the American CIA, which eventually led them to Osama's hideout. The way the Americans have humiliated Pakistan and hogged all the plaudits for themselves has been an unedifying, disgusting spectacle. 

I agree with the Pakistani journalist Saleem Safi, who writes for Jang newspaper, that Osama has probably been abducted by the US raid party and he is being held in secret for questioning. If he is waterboarded and tortured, no one will know since the world has been led to believe that he is already dead. 

Tailpiece (added 12May)

This blog post has attracted abusive comments, which will not be published.  If people wish to post here an essential requirement is to avoid abuse. The opinions expressed should be well argued and backed up with identifiable sources of information. You should also be aware that a citizen of Pakistan is called Pakistani, and there is no acceptable abbreviation. If you insist on using an abusive term then your comment will not be published.

One person says that I have erred in saying that prior to the helicopter attack men of the Pakistan army had spread out in the neighbourhood, warning people to stay indoors. My recollection is that this is what the unfolding story on The Daily Telegraph’s website said, which I was following. I tried to look up a record of the commentary at the newspaper’s website but it no longer seems to be there.  The BBC website, however, has kept a record of the developments in the aftermath of Bin Laden’s assassination.  Relevant extracts are given below, the link to the report is:

“Early reports suggested that residents had been commanded in Pashto - not the common language of the area - to turn off their lights, and that the order may have come from Pakistani security forces.
But residents told BBC reporters that Pakistani forces had not arrived on the scene until after the raid was finished, and that US personnel involved in the raid may have warned residents off in rudimentary Pashto.
A senior official at the Pakistani foreign ministry, Salman Bashir, said Pakistan was only alerted to the raid when one of the US helicopters crashed.
But a Pakistani intelligence official has also told the BBC off the record that the US did inform Pakistan that a raid was under way against an unidentified "high value" target, once their helicopters entered Pakistani air space.
This led to the scrambled Pakistani jets being called back in, the official said.”
Make of it what you will. Most people would consider this a roundabout way of saying that Pakistan knew what was going on.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The death of Osama Bin Laden

According to the Americans, they killed Osama Bin Laden in the very early morning today in a raid on a mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This is the main news item on British television as it no doubt is in the rest of the world. As the day wore on I found myself becoming more and more confused thinking about the claims that the Americans have made, and their uncritical acceptance by the BBC and the British newspapers. Eventually, I expressed my thoughts in a discussion taking place in the online version of a British newspaper. This is what I wrote:

"Surely, someone must have photographed the dead body of OBL or, perhaps, made a video. Why are the pictures not being shown? A photograph of a dead man's bloodied face was shown today on a Pakistani TV channel. Though viewers were asked to accept the face as that of OBL, it looked quite different: a younger, broader face and with a mostly black beard.

There is also the American claim that the dead man's DNA identifies the body as OBL's. Well, this is just a claim. Who carried out the tests?

The helicopters flew all the way from Afghanistan and the Pakistan army, which recently shot dead 5 Nato troops when the latter violated the border, was caught napping! is it possible that this is just a sleight of hand that the CIA/ISI have played on the world? Is this a face-saving formula to allow the Americans to make an "honourable" exit from Afghanistan?

Finally, the Americans celebrating a death brings to mind the images of people in the Middle East gloating over American deaths. What's the difference between the two? Deep down, they are all barbarians.

I shouldn't be asking these questions. I am simply amazed at the gullibility of so many journalists who have swallowed the American announcements uncritically."


Somehow, I omitted to mention the most comical aspect of this story: the disposal of the dead OBL in the deep blue sea! It has made me guffaw all day.

These are my thoughts on day 1. These may change in the coming days - we'll have to wait and see what transpires.

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