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Archive for June, 2009

Pakistan Must Expand Its Nuclear Arsenal

Posted by yourpakistan on June 29, 2009


Pakistan—Pakistan’s nuclear program has been under attack right from its inception. The decade of seventies saw conspiracy theories of Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear technology clandestinely. The decades of 80s and 90s saw an orchestrated campaign to malign its program. After being forced to cross the nuclear threshold in May 1998, Pakistan established its Nuclear Command Authority three years before India; put in place, its Strategic Plans Division (SPD) to perform functions relating to planning, coordination, and establishment of a reliable command, control, communication, and intelligence network; yet Pakistan faces a concerted campaign to instill fears regarding the security of its nuclear assets.
Frederick Kagan, former West Point military historian, who devised the Bush administration’s Iraq troop surge, called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable Pakistan, including the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos.
The Washington Post carried a detailed report on war-games to take out Pakistan’s nukes. Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer, senior advisor to three US Presidents including President Obama on Middle East and South Asian issues came up with an Op-Ed “Pakistan and the bomb: How the US can divert a crisis” in WSJ (May 30, 09) based on half truths, conjectures and apparent twisting of facts in pursuit of an agenda. It has been refuted by various analysts including this scribe so let it rest at that though because of Mr. Bruce Riedel’s position in the US government, it may be construed that his views are reflective of the Obama administration.
Earlier, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS)’s David Albright’s presented sleuth-work: ‘Update on Khushab Plutonium Production Reactor Construction Projects in Pakistan’ and ISIS report implying “the Pakistani nuclear program is outta control”. In the former he provides “evidence” of a second Plutonium reactor at Khushab and in the latter, commercial satellite images “revealing a major expansion of a chemical plant complex near Dera Ghazi Khan that produces uranium hexafluoride and uranium metal, materials used to produce nuclear weapons”.
Independent US analyst Peter Lee has already retorted to it through ‘The world doesn’t have a Pakistan nukes problem … it has a David Albright problem’; quoting Scott Ritter’s “devastating rip job on Albright” in “Truthdig” titled: ‘The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was’. Characterizing Albright as a dilettante wannabe nuclear weapons guy, who has self-promoted himself, his honorary doctorate, and his institute (ISIS) using the flimsiest of pretexts. Ritter identifies Albright’s key credential as “a willingness to offer up uninformed and tendentious alarmism when the situation demands it.” I rest my case!
That brings me to the title of this article, Pakistan has been on the defensive far too long, the West and India have been verbally assaulting Pakistan’s nuclear program. First it was the proliferation issue and now the security of our nuclear weapons with flimsy make-believe conspiracy theories, straight out of fiction literature. It is high time Pakistan stopped being apologetic. It has established a sound and operational nuclear security program; learning from the slipups of USA and other nuclear powers, a very mature, multi-dimensional and sturdy mechanism that covers all aspects of security, including physical protection tiers, intelligence systems, counter-intelligence set-ups, technical solutions to security like “Permissive Action Links” (PALs) and more importantly the “Personnel Reliability Program” (PRP) that respond to the human factor threat.  Let it rest at that!
A more important aspect, which the world is perhaps being deliberately oblivious to, is Pakistan’s genuine security concerns. Pakistan’s ill-will bearing neighbour, India has been rewarded with a nuclear deal with USA, has been assured nuclear fuel for its reactors, is massively stockpiling nukes as well as building conventional weapons, has acquired multi-faceted force multipliers, has evolved a Pakistan-specific “Cold-Start Doctrine”, which has been designed to gain the element of surprise in mounting a major assault by land, sea and air, thus denying reaction time to Pakistan.
Under the above mentioned constraints, any prudent defense planner would take preventive measures to deter Indian adventurism. The response threshold has to take into cognizance both the conventional and the nuclear options.
Pakistan has never tried to match India in the number of conventional weapons; it has to offset the strategic imbalance through better planning, training of its human resource, reliability, dependability and sophistication of its material assets. In the nuclear arsenal, numbers do not matter; it is the delivery system, the precision capability of the warhead and more importantly, the second strike capability, i.e. the assured ability to respond to a nuclear attack with powerful nuclear retaliation against the attacker.
A misconception has been created perhaps by recent statements that Pakistan had dispersed its nuclear warheads to different locations across the country in order to improve their security. The same has been misinterpreted by a section of the Pakistani media wrongly implying that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons have been “stored in a disassembled state in more than one location. No warhead is attached to a delivery system. No delivery system is located in the same facility as the warhead parts.”
This is a very dangerous assumption and negates the very essence of “deterrence”. Let it suffice that in the face of threats like the “Cold Start” strategy, Pakistan cannot afford to let its guard down and reduce the reaction time or the credibility of its deterrence by following the hara-kiri implied notwithstanding the elaborate security measures described above.
Coming to taking the Plutonium option, in addition to the Uranium one, all Pakistan’s power reactors, past, present and future, are under IAEA safeguards.
As a burgeoning economy it also has legitimate energy needs. Pakistan is neither a signatory to the NPT, CTBT or any moratorium on nuclear stockpiles. As a sovereign country, it has the option of deciding for itself the number and quality of nuclear weapons it must have in its arsenal, directly proportional to the threat perception. No outsider has the right to declare “Pakistan is stockpiling nukes over and above its genuine needs.”

Pakistan’s nuclear program has been under attack right from its inception. The decade of seventies saw conspiracy theories of Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear technology clandestinely. The decades of 80s and 90s saw an orchestrated campaign to malign its program. After being forced to cross the nuclear threshold in May 1998, Pakistan established its Nuclear Command Authority three years before India; put in place, its Strategic Plans Division (SPD) to perform functions relating to planning, coordination, and establishment of a reliable command, control, communication, and intelligence network; yet Pakistan faces a concerted campaign to instill fears regarding the security of its nuclear assets.

Pakistan Cruise Missle

Babur, Pakistan’s first indigenously developed cruise missile, named after the 13th century Pakistani emperor, now buried in an old part of New Delhi, India’s capital built by a succession of Muslim rulers from Central Asia

Frederick Kagan, former West Point military historian, who devised the Bush administration’s Iraq troop surge, called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable Pakistan, including the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos. The Washington Post carried a detailed report on war-games to take out Pakistan’s nukes. Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer, senior advisor to three US Presidents including President Obama on Middle East and South Asian issues came up with an Op-Ed “Pakistan and the bomb: How the US can divert a crisis” in WSJ (May 30, 09) based on half truths, conjectures and apparent twisting of facts in pursuit of an agenda. It has been refuted by various analysts including this scribe so let it rest at that though because of Mr. Bruce Riedel’s position in the US government, it may be construed that his views are reflective of the Obama administration.

Earlier, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS)’s David Albright’s presented sleuth-work: ‘Update on Khushab Plutonium Production Reactor Construction Projects in Pakistan’ and ISIS report implying “the Pakistani nuclear program is outta control”. In the former he provides “evidence” of a second Plutonium reactor at Khushab and in the latter, commercial satellite images “revealing a major expansion of a chemical plant complex near Dera Ghazi Khan that produces uranium hexafluoride and uranium metal, materials used to produce nuclear weapons”.

Independent US analyst Peter Lee has already retorted to it through ‘The world doesn’t have a Pakistan nukes problem … it has a David Albright problem’; quoting Scott Ritter’s “devastating rip job on Albright” in “Truthdig” titled: ‘The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was’. Characterizing Albright as a dilettante wannabe nuclear weapons guy, who has self-promoted himself, his honorary doctorate, and his institute (ISIS) using the flimsiest of pretexts. Ritter identifies Albright’s key credential as “a willingness to offer up uninformed and tendentious alarmism when the situation demands it.” I rest my case!

That brings me to the title of this article, Pakistan has been on the defensive far too long, the West and India have been verbally assaulting Pakistan’s nuclear program. First it was the proliferation issue and now the security of our nuclear weapons with flimsy make-believe conspiracy theories, straight out of fiction literature. It is high time Pakistan stopped being apologetic. It has established a sound and operational nuclear security program; learning from the slipups of USA and other nuclear powers, a very mature, multi-dimensional and sturdy mechanism that covers all aspects of security, including physical protection tiers, intelligence systems, counter-intelligence set-ups, technical solutions to security like “Permissive Action Links” (PALs) and more importantly the “Personnel Reliability Program” (PRP) that respond to the human factor threat.  Let it rest at that! A more important aspect, which the world is perhaps being deliberately oblivious to, is Pakistan’s genuine security concerns. Pakistan’s ill-will bearing neighbour, India has been rewarded with a nuclear deal with USA, has been assured nuclear fuel for its reactors, is massively stockpiling nukes as well as building conventional weapons, has acquired multi-faceted force multipliers, has evolved a Pakistan-specific “Cold-Start Doctrine”, which has been designed to gain the element of surprise in mounting a major assault by land, sea and air, thus denying reaction time to Pakistan.

Under the above mentioned constraints, any prudent defense planner would take preventive measures to deter Indian adventurism. The response threshold has to take into cognizance both the conventional and the nuclear options.  Pakistan has never tried to match India in the number of conventional weapons; it has to offset the strategic imbalance through better planning, training of its human resource, reliability, dependability and sophistication of its material assets. In the nuclear arsenal, numbers do not matter; it is the delivery system, the precision capability of the warhead and more importantly, the second strike capability, i.e. the assured ability to respond to a nuclear attack with powerful nuclear retaliation against the attacker. A misconception has been created perhaps by recent statements that Pakistan had dispersed its nuclear warheads to different locations across the country in order to improve their security. The same has been misinterpreted by a section of the Pakistani media wrongly implying that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons have been “stored in a disassembled state in more than one location. No warhead is attached to a delivery system. No delivery system is located in the same facility as the warhead parts.”

This is a very dangerous assumption and negates the very essence of “deterrence”. Let it suffice that in the face of threats like the “Cold Start” strategy, Pakistan cannot afford to let its guard down and reduce the reaction time or the credibility of its deterrence by following the hara-kiri implied notwithstanding the elaborate security measures described above. Coming to taking the Plutonium option, in addition to the Uranium one, all Pakistan’s power reactors, past, present and future, are under IAEA safeguards.

As a burgeoning economy it also has legitimate energy needs. Pakistan is neither a signatory to the NPT, CTBT or any moratorium on nuclear stockpiles. As a sovereign country, it has the option of deciding for itself the number and quality of nuclear weapons it must have in its arsenal, directly proportional to the threat perception. No outsider has the right to declare “Pakistan is stockpiling nukes over and above its genuine needs.”

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Why Pakistan Will Never Catch Terror Leader Alive

Posted by yourpakistan on June 26, 2009


The mess in Pakistan’s western areas is not just a battle with religious extremism. A larger part is a battle of proxies. There are credible reports that Indian and Israeli intelligence involvement in U.S.-controlled Afghanistan has deepened in the past seven years. American military and intelligence officials are impressed with the record of both countries in fighting Islamic groups in Kashmir and the Mideast. Israel invested heavily in establishing schools that study the art of Islamic indoctrination. These schools were used to learn how clerics can brainwash recruits and then exploit them politically. Israeli spymasters have used this knowledge to penetrate Islamic groups and plant agents. They have passed this technique on to the Indians to help them counter pro-Pakistan religious groups in Kashmir. In the Kargil war in 1999, Pakistanis and Kashmiris faced a direct Israeli special operations intervention on the side of the Indian military.

Terrorists In Pakistan

Pakistan will probably never catch terrorist leader Baitullah Mehsud alive. Why? For the same reason that we will never really know why uncircumcised dead fighters have been turning up from the bunkers of what is supposed to be Pakistani Taliban. Or why alcoholic beverages were found from some of their hideouts. Or why citizens of China and Sri Lanka – two close military allies of Pakistan – were brutally attacked on Pakistani soil by people claiming to be fighting America. Or why this new Taliban is so eager to kill ordinary Pakistanis and harass anti-India Kashmiri activists and demand they fight Pakistan.

Similarly we will never know why listed companies like Google and Facebook are speeding up Persian translations of their sites when no profit is involved. [Will their stockholders accept democracy instead of profits?] Or why the government of President Zardari exerted pressure for the removal of the Saudi ambassador in Islamabad. And why the government did not object when the U.S. and other allied donors tried to create a special fund for Balochistan and NWFP with the condition that it operate outside Pakistan’s control. And why the Saudi ambassador strongly opposed the plan when Mr. Zardari’s team almost endorsed it. Could this be one of several reasons why the Saudi ambassador became unwelcome here, received threats to his life and then was unable to meet the President before leaving despite several attempts?
The popular Pakistani understanding of the battle against Baitullah Mehsud is more American than Pakistani. This prevents us from accepting that this insurgency is wrapped in multiple layers of deceit. The entire prevailing narrative of the situation is exclusively American, tailored to suit Washington’s worldview. It talks about a uniform threat of Taliban and al Qaeda with no distinction made between the Afghan Taliban and the new Pakistani version; the American narrative does not explain how or why the ranks of the Pakistani Taliban have been swelling steadily when the Afghan Taliban is not experiencing a similar surge; and why the American narrative suppresses any discussion of Pakistani grievances about an organized anti-Pakistan terror wave emanating from Afghanistan. The Pakistani counter narrative is missing on the government level and is probably limited to some circles within the Pakistani strategic and intelligence communities. The impression is that the Pakistani government is essentially bartering silence for U.S. aid. This is a dangerous bargain.
It means that Pakistani officials won’t take a stand on the use of Afghan soil to export terror to Pakistan. In fact, there are strong grounds to conclude that while other parts of the U.S. government engage Pakistan, freewheeling elements within the Central Intelligence Agency are probably conducting their own foreign policy on the ground in the region. The simultaneous trouble in both the Pakistani and Iranian parts of Balochistan is but one case in point. Another downside to our enthusiasm for U.S. aid money at any cost is our waning ability to resist the upcoming American plan to install India as the resident guardian over Pakistan and Afghanistan. A senior US national security official is expected to bring this plan to Pakistan in the next few days. Islamabad’s obsession with US aid while staying mum on vital Pakistani interest is absurd. Why is Prime Minister Gilani complaining now about the US ‘surge’ in Afghanistan when Mr. Zardari and his foreign minister wasted no time in warmly welcoming it when Mr. Obama unveiled the plan in March?
This explains why Mr. Zardari signed an American-proposed agreement to give India overland trade routes to Afghanistan. No wonder U.S. diplomats in Islamabad are so emboldened that recently some of them spent half the day camped at the federal petroleum ministry to force a rollback of the Iran gas deal.There are also fresh questions on the extent of support the United States is getting from two of its closest allies India and Israel in Afghanistan. There are credible reports that Indian and Israeli intelligence involvement in U.S.-controlled Afghanistan has deepened in the past seven years. Some American military and intelligence officials are impressed with the record of both countries in fighting Islamic groups, especially the Indian experience in occupied Kashmir. The Israelis have invested heavily in establishing schools that study the art of Islamic indoctrination. These schools were used to learn how clerics can brainwash recruits and then exploit them politically. Israeli spymasters have used this knowledge to penetrate Mideastern Islamic groups. They have passed this technique to the Indians to help them counter pro-Pakistan religious groups in Kashmir. In the Kargil war in 1999, Pakistanis and Kashmiris faced a direct Israeli special operations intervention on the side of the Indian military.
The mess in Pakistan’s western areas is not just a battle with religious extremism. A larger part is a battle of proxies. None of this means that we should treat Washington as an enemy. But it does have an agenda that is increasingly diverging from Pakistan’s strategic interests.

Similarly we will never know why listed companies like Google and Facebook are speeding up Persian translations of their sites when no profit is involved. [Will their stockholders accept democracy instead of profits?] Or why the government of President Zardari exerted pressure for the removal of the Saudi ambassador in Islamabad. And why the government did not object when the U.S. and other allied donors tried to create a special fund for Balochistan and NWFP with the condition that it operate outside Pakistan’s control. And why the Saudi ambassador strongly opposed the plan when Mr. Zardari’s team almost endorsed it. Could this be one of several reasons why the Saudi ambassador became unwelcome here, received threats to his life and then was unable to meet the President before leaving despite several attempts?

The popular Pakistani understanding of the battle against Baitullah Mehsud is more American than Pakistani. This prevents us from accepting that this insurgency is wrapped in multiple layers of deceit. The entire prevailing narrative of the situation is exclusively American, tailored to suit Washington’s worldview. It talks about a uniform threat of Taliban and al Qaeda with no distinction made between the Afghan Taliban and the new Pakistani version; the American narrative does not explain how or why the ranks of the Pakistani Taliban have been swelling steadily when the Afghan Taliban is not experiencing a similar surge; and why the American narrative suppresses any discussion of Pakistani grievances about an organized anti-Pakistan terror wave emanating from Afghanistan. The Pakistani counter narrative is missing on the government level and is probably limited to some circles within the Pakistani strategic and intelligence communities. The impression is that the Pakistani government is essentially bartering silence for U.S. aid. This is a dangerous bargain.

It means that Pakistani officials won’t take a stand on the use of Afghan soil to export terror to Pakistan. In fact, there are strong grounds to conclude that while other parts of the U.S. government engage Pakistan, freewheeling elements within the Central Intelligence Agency are probably conducting their own foreign policy on the ground in the region. The simultaneous trouble in both the Pakistani and Iranian parts of Balochistan is but one case in point. Another downside to our enthusiasm for U.S. aid money at any cost is our waning ability to resist the upcoming American plan to install India as the resident guardian over Pakistan and Afghanistan. A senior US national security official is expected to bring this plan to Pakistan in the next few days. Islamabad’s obsession with US aid while staying mum on vital Pakistani interest is absurd. Why is Prime Minister Gilani complaining now about the US ‘surge’ in Afghanistan when Mr. Zardari and his foreign minister wasted no time in warmly welcoming it when Mr. Obama unveiled the plan in March?

This explains why Mr. Zardari signed an American-proposed agreement to give India overland trade routes to Afghanistan. No wonder U.S. diplomats in Islamabad are so emboldened that recently some of them spent half the day camped at the federal petroleum ministry to force a rollback of the Iran gas deal.There are also fresh questions on the extent of support the United States is getting from two of its closest allies India and Israel in Afghanistan. There are credible reports that Indian and Israeli intelligence involvement in U.S.-controlled Afghanistan has deepened in the past seven years. Some American military and intelligence officials are impressed with the record of both countries in fighting Islamic groups, especially the Indian experience in occupied Kashmir. The Israelis have invested heavily in establishing schools that study the art of Islamic indoctrination. These schools were used to learn how clerics can brainwash recruits and then exploit them politically. Israeli spymasters have used this knowledge to penetrate Mideastern Islamic groups. They have passed this technique to the Indians to help them counter pro-Pakistan religious groups in Kashmir. In the Kargil war in 1999, Pakistanis and Kashmiris faced a direct Israeli special operations intervention on the side of the Indian military.

The mess in Pakistan’s western areas is not just a battle with religious extremism. A larger part is a battle of proxies. None of this means that we should treat Washington as an enemy. But it does have an agenda that is increasingly diverging from Pakistan’s strategic interests.

Source: http://www.ahmedquraishi.com

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PPPistan or Nawazistan or Altafistan or Pakistan?

Posted by yourpakistan on June 24, 2009


For four days now, the flags of PPP, the ruling party, adorn the highway from the airport to the heart of the capital. No one dares remove them. The occasion for turning the capital of Pakistan into a capital of ‘PPPistan’ is the late party chairman Benazir Bhutto’s birthday. But that was four days ago. The flags are still there.
Before these PPP flags, on this very same poles a few days ago were the flags of Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s party. The occasion was the 11the anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests that officially turned our country into a declared nuclear power. Even national occasions have now been turned into narrow party occasions. We have few national occasions that bind all Pakistanis and even those are being eroded.
Political differences aside, late Mrs. Bhutto is a former Prime Minister of Pakistan. She has done a lot of good for the nation during her career and deserves full respect.
But this is not about her. This is about the gradual disappearance of everything Pakistani from our sights.
When the PPP came to power, somehow even the portrait of the Founding Father, the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was reduced into a dull, discolored and neglected little frame next to the fresh and newly framed picture of PPP leaders on the walls of the Presidency and the Prime Minister House.
Today, walk into any office of any federal minister and you will find party flags and pictures adorning walls and tables. PTV, the national TV network, has never celebrated the rich legacy of the Quaid-e-Azam the way it celebrated the founding fathers of a ruling political party. This happened a little over a year ago, when, for an entire week, the lobby of the PTV building in Islamabad was filled with the pictures of PPP leaders. And – believe it or not – audio recordings of the speeches of PPP politicians blasted from large speakers placed in the hallways of the building every day from morning till night for the whole week. Jokes have it that Aspirin consumption jumped in PTV during that week because of the headache from the noise but no one dared end the charade. [To be fair to PPP, the party didn’t order this event. The Managing Director of PTV at the time had put together this show in order to save his job!! But he was still kicked out and now he’s running another Pakistani news channel. So much for the ‘visionaries’ we have.]
Unfortunately, it is not just the PPP and Mr. Sharif’s PMLN who think their party flags take precedence over the National Flag. There is MQM and ANP and JSQM and BNP and BRP and God knows what else. All of them are allowed to flaunt their flags in public places. So much so that it is rare to see any of these parties owning the national flag.
Pakistan’s national flag, the Green and the Crescent, is slowly receding into the background. It is one sign of how the Pakistani identity has been weakened by these failed parties. I call them family-run businesses. When these parties have nothing else to sell to the people, they use ‘language and ethnicity’ and try to divide Pakistanis along language and ethnic lines, create new issues where none exist.
The average good-hearted Pakistani citizens await a group of strong leaders in Islamabad who will outlaw the public display of party flags and revive national confidence and morale. Until then, it should be the responsibility of every individual Pakistani to remind these ‘leaders’ why there is no place for the Flag of Pakistan in their offices, rallies, meetings, and press conferences.

For four days now, the flags of PPP, the ruling party, adorn the highway from the airport to the heart of the capital. No one dares remove them. The occasion for turning the capital of Pakistan into a capital of ‘PPPistan’ is the late party chairman Benazir Bhutto’s birthday. But that was four days ago. The flags are still there.

Before these PPP flags, on this very same poles a few days ago were the flags of Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s party. The occasion was the 11the anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests that officially turned our country into a declared nuclear power. Even national occasions have now been turned into narrow party occasions. We have few national occasions that bind all Pakistanis and even those are being eroded. Political differences aside, late Mrs. Bhutto is a former Prime Minister of Pakistan. She has done a lot of good for the nation during her career and deserves full respect.

But this is not about her. This is about the gradual disappearance of everything Pakistani from our sights. When the PPP came to power, somehow even the portrait of the Founding Father, the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was reduced into a dull, discolored and neglected little frame next to the fresh and newly framed picture of PPP leaders on the walls of the Presidency and the Prime Minister House. Today, walk into any office of any federal minister and you will find party flags and pictures adorning walls and tables. PTV, the national TV network, has never celebrated the rich legacy of the Quaid-e-Azam the way it celebrated the founding fathers of a ruling political party. This happened a little over a year ago, when, for an entire week, the lobby of the PTV building in Islamabad was filled with the pictures of PPP leaders. And – believe it or not – audio recordings of the speeches of PPP politicians blasted from large speakers placed in the hallways of the building every day from morning till night for the whole week. Jokes have it that Aspirin consumption jumped in PTV during that week because of the headache from the noise but no one dared end the charade. [To be fair to PPP, the party didn’t order this event. The Managing Director of PTV at the time had put together this show in order to save his job!! But he was still kicked out and now he’s running another Pakistani news channel. So much for the ‘visionaries’ we have.

Unfortunately, it is not just the PPP and Mr. Sharif’s PMLN who think their party flags take precedence over the National Flag. There is MQM and ANP and JSQM and BNP and BRP and God knows what else. All of them are allowed to flaunt their flags in public places. So much so that it is rare to see any of these parties owning the national flag. Pakistan’s national flag, the Green and the Crescent, is slowly receding into the background. It is one sign of how the Pakistani identity has been weakened by these failed parties. I call them family-run businesses. When these parties have nothing else to sell to the people, they use ‘language and ethnicity’ and try to divide Pakistanis along language and ethnic lines, create new issues where none exist.

The average good-hearted Pakistani citizens await a group of strong leaders in Islamabad who will outlaw the public display of party flags and revive national confidence and morale. Until then, it should be the responsibility of every individual Pakistani to remind these ‘leaders’ why there is no place for the Flag of Pakistan in their offices, rallies, meetings, and press conferences.

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BBC Caught In Mass Public Deception With Iran Propaganda Similarl Case WithPakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on June 22, 2009


If you still believe that CNN’s 12-hour straight coverage of Iran is about democracy, then Hitler was my mom! Here’s two articles that show you, with pictures, how CNN & BBC, the leaders of the Am-Brit media, were caught lying.

BBC Website Engaged In Anti Ahmedinjad Propoganda - False PictureNews corporation uses photo from pro-Ahmadinejad rally, claims it represents anti-government protest

Just when the Iranian protesters decided not to defy their government’s ban on street trouble, CNN and the rest of the American media went into an overdrive today to provoke the Iranian protesters, and especially mislead the younger ones, into creating a situation that could result in bloodshed.  Google and Facebook are speeding up Persian translations of their sites and BBC rushes to find other satellites to beam into Iran. Wow. Even companies feel for democracy and are willing to go the extra mile for the sake of democracy in Iran! Last question to all the buffoons who still think this is about democracy: How come we don’t see Russian, German, French, Singaporean, Indian or Israeli companies feeling the pain for democracy? Why is it that only Am-Brit companies are at the forefront of the fight for Iranian democracy?!!

The BBC has again been caught engaging in mass public deception by using photographs of pro-Ahmadinejad rallies in Iran and claiming they represent anti-government protests in favor of Hossein Mousavi.
An image used by the L.A. Times on the front page of its website Tuesday showed Iranian President Ahmadinejad waving to a crowd of supporters at a public event.
In a story covering the election protests yesterday, the BBC News website used a closer shot of the same scene, but with Ahmadinejad cut out of the frame. The caption under the photograph read, ‘Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi again defied a ban on protests’. The BBC photograph is clearly a similar shot of the same pro-Ahmadinejad rally featured in the L.A. Times image, yet the caption erroneously claims it represents anti-Ahmadinejad protesters.

The BBC has again been caught engaging in mass public deception by using photographs of pro-Ahmadinejad rallies in Iran and claiming they represent anti-government protests in favor of Hossein Mousavi. An image used by the L.A. Times on the front page of its website Tuesday showed Iranian President Ahmadinejad waving to a crowd of supporters at a public event.  In a story covering the election protests yesterday, the BBC News website used a closer shot of the same scene, but with Ahmadinejad cut out of the frame. The caption under the photograph read, ‘Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi again defied a ban on protests’. The BBC photograph is clearly a similar shot of the same pro-Ahmadinejad rally featured in the L.A. Times image, yet the caption erroneously claims it represents anti-Ahmadinejad protesters.

Ahmadinejad Supporters Rally

“Well I guess it sure was a popular fictional rally for Mousavi, because I later noticed while browsing the news sites a familiar picture on the BBC’s lead Iran story – it shows the same crowd, zoomed in to cut out Ahmadinejad,” a reader told the WhatReallyHappened website. “It is clearly the same protest as in the background are the same tree and odd circular building. However, the BBC managed to outdo the LA times in quality reporting – their actual comment under the photo from the huge PRO-Ahmadinejad rally reads ‘Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi again defied a ban on protests’ – a blatant lie and deliberately misleading description of what is actually occurring in Iran!”

As soon as the truth about the misrepresented images surfaced on the WhatReallyHappened website yesterday, the BBC changed the photo caption on their original article. The caption now reads, ‘Tehran has seen mass demonstrations by all sides since the disputed election’. This is not the first time the BBC has been caught red-handed using crude image and video framing techniques for the purposes of political propaganda. During the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, the BBC and other mainstream news outlets broadcast closely framed footage of the “mass uprising” during which Iraqis, aided by U.S. troops, toppled the Saddam Hussein statue in Fardus Square.

The closely framed footage was used to imply that hundreds or thousands of Iraqis were involved in a Berlin Wall-style “historic” liberation, yet when wide angle shots were later published on the Internet . footage that was never broadcast on live television, the reality of the “mass uprising” became clear. The crowd around the statue was sparse and consisted mostly of U.S. troops and journalists. The BBC later had to admit that only “dozens” of Iraqis had participated in toppling the statue. The entire scene was a manufactured farce yet the propaganda technique of blocking wide-angle shots from being broadcast convinced the world that the event represented a triumphant and historic mass popular uprising on behalf of the Iraqi people. Whatever your views on the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad and the accuracy of the Iranian election results, the fact that the Anglo-American establishment and its media organs are exploiting and fanning the flames of chaos in Iran to provoke further instability is unquestionable.

Indeed, the U.S. State Department, which routinely demonizes the Internet as a tool of extremists and terrorists when it is used to criticize U.S. foreign policy, took the unprecedented step today of requesting that Twitter.com “delay planned maintenance work so that Iranian protesters can continue to use it to post images and reports of unrest,” according to a London Times report . For full story go to Ahmed Qureshi.com

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The Military Intervenes To Affirm Nuclear Pakistan Is Here To Stay

Posted by yourpakistan on June 21, 2009


Who Says Pakistani Nukes Are ‘Not Ready’?
Pakistan’s Nukes Are Here To Stay, Get Used To It
Why Bruce Riedel Has Lost My Respect
Pakistanis Laugh At Weak U.S. Nuclear Safeguards
The World Doesn’t Have A Pakistan Nukes Problem … It Has A David Albright Problem
Riedel And The Pakistani Bomb

Who Says Pakistani Nukes Are ‘Not Ready’?
Pakistan’s Nukes Are Here To Stay, Get Used To It
Why Bruce Riedel Has Lost My Respect Pakistanis Laugh At Weak U.S. Nuclear Safeguards
The World Doesn’t Have A Pakistan Nukes Problem … It Has A David Albright Problem
Riedel And The Pakistani Bomb

Pakistan Generals

While the US media continues to leak information about possible compromise by the Zardari government on the Pakistani nuclear program [there are reports that Mr. Zardari has agreed to transfer used Pakistani uranium to US for disposal, in addition to reports about increased access for foreigners to the offices of the Strategic Plans Division, which oversees the nuclear and strategic arsenal], the Pakistani military intervenes once again at the highest level to confirm this will not be allowed. This is reassuring because it is difficult to trust an elected government that has come to power with full foreign backing and some of its key figures appear to be working on a foreign agenda.

A top Pakistani military commander says Islamabad would retain its nuclear weapon at all cost in the troubled south Asian region.  “Our nuclear weapons are the cornerstone of Pakistan’s deterrence doctrine and we are determined to retain it at all costs. No amount of coercion, direct or indirect, can force us to compromise on this core interest,” Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Tariq Majid said Thursday at National Defense University, Islamabad. U.S. and Indian officials in recent months have raised concerns over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal amid growing insurgency across the country.

“Coercion, direct or indirect, can’t force us to compromise on this core interest,” said Gen. Majid while addressing the convocation of the National Defense Course, the Armed Forces War Course and the Allied Officers War Course at National Defense University (NDU). He said, “A vicious campaign has been unleashed to malign and discredit Pakistan by spreading disinformation about the security of its nuclear assets.” He said Pakistan had developed and put into operation an effective nuclear weapons security regime based on restraint and responsibility. “As the system conforms with international best practices and has the capacity to meet all challenges, there should be absolutely no doubt … [Pakistan] would not be deterred from taking any action whatsoever in ensuring that our strategic assets are jealously safeguarded.

Any attempt to undermine our core capability will be strongly resisted and defeated,” he said. The CJCSC made it clear that Pakistan’s “solutions are homegrown”. “No foreign individual, entity or state has been provided or shall ever be provided access to our sensitive information and insinuations to the contrary are plain mischief and need to be contemptuously dismissed,” he asserted. He said for a country like Pakistan, which was braving complex challenges, the task of policy and decision makers was not easy. “On one hand we have resource constraints, and on the other, we have pressing security and development needs to be addressed,” he said.


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Baitullah Mehsud – Connections To CIA, India, Israel

Posted by yourpakistan on June 19, 2009


Pakistan Army Operation Against Baitullah Mehsud

The contents of special edition have been divided into five sections.

Section one – latest scenario:

i.                    Editorial

ii.                  Statement by Afghan Taliban commander

iii.                Statement by close aide of Baitullah.

Section two – who is Baitullah Mehsud?

i.                    Who is Baitullah Mehsud?

ii.                  Initiative by Mullah Omar

iii.                Baitullah’s threat against Mujahideen fighting NATO/Indians

Section three – who is behind Baitullah?

i.                    Who is behind Baitullah?

ii.                  Non-Muslims fighting in Swat

iii.                US aware of Indian involvement and support to TTP

iv.                 Agent Mehsud on a mission to prove his worth

Section four – game exposed too early

i.           Baitullah Mehsud’s time is up

ii.         Take out foreign asset Baitullah Mehsud

Section five – conclusion

i.                    Pakistan winning against TTP

ii.                  Who will be preventing Pakistan’s access to Baitullah?

Since the start of Fitna-e-TTP, PKKH has been writing to clarify that Baitullah Mehsud is a foreign asset with assigned responsibility to create chaos in FATA for destabilizing Pakistan and he has nothing to do with Afghan jihad. It should be very clear to all that he is one small part of the big game being played against Pakistan which has three main objectives, i.e.:

  • De-Islamization of Pakistan,

  • De-Militarization of Pakistan, and
  • De-Nuclearization of Pakistan.

At PKKH, we have written on Baitullah Mehsud from time to time about his realities, the powers that are supporting and feeding him, the ways in which true mujahedeen fighting NATO forces have distanced themselves from TTP and how the powers with vested interests will be preventing Pakistan’s access to Baitullah alive at all costs.

The purpose of this special edition is to provide our readers a document to serve as “policy paper” covering A to Z of the conflict aiming to:

  • Eliminate every single confusion in hearts and minds of Pakistanis,
  • Expose realities of this Fitna in order to enable our readers on why should we support our troops who are fighting enemies of Islam and Pakistan alike, and
  • Emphasis the need to get out of dirty politics to support our brothers and sisters who are being mistreated after being named “IDPs”.

It is time that we put all our political differences aside, ignore false calls of our corrupt politicians and avoid blasphemous propaganda by sold-out media to stand-up united for providing to support not only to our armed forces but also to our brothers and sisters in need.  With prayers to Allah s.w.t. to give our nation political and tactical wisdom, ideological and military strength to defeat enemies of Pakistan and Islam in the region.

Pakistan Zaindabad, Pakistan Paindabad.

Baitullah Mehsud

SECTION ONE (ii) – “Latest Scenario”

Statement by Afghan Taliban Commander

“BAITULLAH MEHSUD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US” – SAYS AN AFGHAN TALIB COMMANDER

“Activities within Pakistan led to differences with Baitullah Meshsud, we are Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan and we have nothing to do with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan” – says Qari Zainuddin, representative of Afghan Taliban in an interview to a local news channel. Scholars like Maulana Hasan Jan declared suicide attacks as un-Islamic. The declaration led to the killing of Maulan Hasan. Islam cannot spread with the use of force but with invitation. Why the people who train suicide attackers not sacrifice their loved ones for the purpose. Baitullah Mehsud is ‘zalim’ (cruel) and responsible for all the destruction.

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India Wants To Fight In Afghanistan Until The Last American

Posted by yourpakistan on June 17, 2009


After months of arrogant behavior, the United States is conceding to some of Pakistan’s demands, like unconditional aid and a check on Indian terrorist activities against Pakistan using Afghan soil. But does Washington know that India wants a war in Afghanistan until the last American soldier?

It sounds strange but the fact is that the United States is now under pressure from Pakistani armed forces, it is pretty clear now. The US dependence upon Pakistan for war in Afghanistan and the passage of NATO supplies through Khyber and Chaman means that US has to remain sensitive to the demands of Pakistani armed forces. We are not saying Pakistani government here, as the government does not exist. Every decision the PPP government takes is either under US dictation or under pressure from Pakistan army. It has no direction, mind or vision of its own.
As far as India is concerned, Pakistan army has its own serious sensitivities despite US desire to change the strategic direction of Pakistan’s security establishment. US desire that instead of India, Pakistan should consider Afghan Taliban as the greater enemy and allocate resources to their elimination. But the Indians presence in Afghanistan, their support to TTP terrorism and Baluchistan separatist forces and their persecution of Kashmiri Muslims in IHK continue to convince Pakistani nation and GHQ that India remains the greater threat than Afghan Taliban. This is highly frustrating for US and this week we saw some really irritated statements from Washington and even western media asking India to behave. This is interesting to observe. Indians are highly offended when US or western media advice them on Kashmir.

It sounds strange but the fact is that the United States is now under pressure from Pakistani armed forces, it is pretty clear now. The US dependence upon Pakistan for war in Afghanistan and the passage of NATO supplies through Khyber and Chaman means that US has to remain sensitive to the demands of Pakistani armed forces. We are not saying Pakistani government here, as the government does not exist. Every decision the PPP government takes is either under US dictation or under pressure from Pakistan army. It has no direction, mind or vision of its own. As far as India is concerned, Pakistan army has its own serious sensitivities despite US desire to change the strategic direction of Pakistan’s security establishment. US desire that instead of India, Pakistan should consider Afghan Taliban as the greater enemy and allocate resources to their elimination. But the Indians presence in Afghanistan, their support to TTP terrorism and Baluchistan separatist forces and their persecution of Kashmiri Muslims in IHK continue to convince Pakistani nation and GHQ that India remains the greater threat than Afghan Taliban. This is highly frustrating for US and this week we saw some really irritated statements from Washington and even western media asking India to behave. This is interesting to observe. Indians are highly offended when US or western media advice them on Kashmir.

Last week, we had given following assessment of the Indian thought process.

“Indians are extremely upset with developments in Pakistan and in their neighboring territories with Pakistan – Kashmir and Punjab. Following major developments are seriously irritating the Indians.

Pakistani High Court released JuD chief Hafiz Saeed on account of no proof against him on charges of terrorism. Indians wanted him for Mumbai terror attacks.

Kashmir civil disobedience and unrest if once again flaring up.

Sikhs in the Indian State of East Punjab have rallied once again to demand a separate homeland and freedom from India.The Indian assets of TTP operating in Swat and FATA are being badly burnt by Pakistan army’s operation in the region, undoing years of Indian efforts to sponsor insurgency in Pakistani regions.

The unrest in Kashmir is gaining momentum and Indians fear is that any external support by militants or Pakistan can turn this unrest into an inferno. With massive Indian support to TTP terrorists, the idea must be bubbling in Pakistani mind to get even in Kashmir and Indian Punjab. Despite best US efforts to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan and to initiate a “peace process” between the two especially over Kashmir, this is not happening in any time in near future. Even a pro-Indian Zardari government cannot do much about it against public and military sentiments which see Indians as prime enemies. For now, both countries would remain engaged in diplomatic and proxy wars where Indians definitely have an upper hand as Pakistan is forced to fight a high intensity war within its own borders, courtesy massive Indians covert support to TTP terrorists”

In fact, Indian frustration on the LoC is growing as Kashmir protests continue to gain momentum.

Understandably, Pakistan would continue to treat India as the most serious threat, despite best US and Indian efforts. Indians too want to present a soft face to Pakistan, trying to take full advantage of the pliant PPP government and Mr. Zardari, who feels “that there is an Indian in every Pakistani”.  But here, both Indians and US are facing serious obstacles as Pakistani forces continue to treat India with the contempt it deserves. While, Indians are disappointed, they will not give up, but without compromising on their defined stance that Kashmir remains non-negotiable and Pakistan should do more to check militancy into Kashmir. This harsh stand is basically destroying all US hopes and attempts to initiate any kind of peace talks between two countries. Pakistan is welcoming US pressure on India.

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Bhutto’s Colleague: Political Parties Destroying Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on June 14, 2009


The Pakistani system is highly biased in favor of the rich. Thugs and those with political power are in evil conspiracy with the administration of police, judiciary and the tax collectors. Money and power is the currency to get all legal and illegal work done in government offices. It takes decades to get cases decided in the courts. Corruption plays a big part in decisions. Outright lies are spoken in recording evidence in the court. No one is ever punished for perjury in Pakistan. The gulf between the rich and the poor has widened enormously. Ninety-eight per cent of the population is in a state of despair and frustration and has lost hope. The wealthy 2 per cent, armed with foreign passports and visas with huge wealth stashed abroad are ready to leave the country any time.

PPP

The main political parties and their leaderships are undermining the existence of Pakistan. Over the years, they have failed to understand that the state of Pakistan is unraveling. The administrative structure of the state is no longer capable of ensuring the performance of the basic duties of the state, mainly the protection of life, property and dignity of the people, dispensation of justice to all citizens as equals, semblance of equitability in the distribution of wealth and assuring a sense of belonging to the Balochs, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Punjabis that the Government at Islamabad is their Government. The system of administration is highly biased in favor of the rich and influential. Ghundas and thugs and those with political power are in evil conspiracy with the administration of police, judiciary and the tax collectors. Money and power is the currency to get all legal and illegal work done in government offices. It takes decades to get cases decided in the courts. Corruption plays a big part in decisions. Outright lies are spoken in recording evidence in the court. No one is ever punished for perjury in Pakistan.

The gulf between the rich and the poor has widened enormously. Ninety-eight per cent of the population is in a state of despair and frustration and has lost hope. The wealthy 2 per cent, armed with foreign passports and visas with huge wealth stashed abroad, are ready to leave the country any time.
The old grievances among the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and NWFP have reached all time high. Cooperation at the federal level has disappeared; complaints and prejudices have taken the place of patriotic fervor.
What had begun in the early years of Pakistan as grievances and complaints between East and West Pakistan, between the Bengalis and Punjabis, has now been replaced by tensions between Punjabis, Sindhis and Mohajirs and between independence-seeking Balochs and Pashtuns. The absence of cooperation between the provinces has snowballed, making Pakistan a fragile state.
President Obama was wrong in terming the Government of Pakistan as fragile.
How can a government be called fragile when the two main parties in the parliament work in almost total consensus. President Obama should have stated that it was not the government but the state of Pakistan that is fragile.
The US of A, supposed to be the greatest ally of Pakistan, instead of strengthening the state seems to have adopted a policy of further weakening it. The Pakistan army which has been the bulwark protecting the structure of the state, is being weakened by taking upon the task of fighting which amounts to chasing the proverbial wild goose.
It is time that people of Pakistan, the Government and the political parties and leaders realize that utmost attention should be paid to strengthen Pakistan internally. Without being strong internally there could be no achievements in pursuing the best possible of foreign policy and no military successes can bring lasting peace and tranquility.
Pakistan needs a change in its structure of governance. Full provincial autonomy has to be achieved by the provinces. The rights of autonomous people of FATA must be respected. In the new structure of governance, there has to be introduced people’s oversight over the performance of police. The system of jury should be introduced for criminal justice. Widest delegation of executive powers is required from top to bottom. What can be decided at the level of Tehsil/Tauloka and Town must not be in the domain of a district. Similarly, what can be decided at district and provincial levels, should not be in provincial and federal domains.
The introduction of a new structure of governance will guarantee solidarity, prosperity and integrity of Pakistan.
Dr. Hasan, a Pakistani nationalist, was the cofounder of the Pakistan People’s Party with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1967. Click here to read his biography. He can be reached at Mh1@lhr.comsats.net.pk

The system of administration is highly biased in favor of the rich and influential. Ghundas and thugs and those with political power are in evil conspiracy with the administration of police, judiciary and the tax collectors. Money and power is the currency to get all legal and illegal work done in government offices. It takes decades to get cases decided in the courts. Corruption plays a big part in decisions. Outright lies are spoken in recording evidence in the court. No one is ever punished for perjury in Pakistan. The gulf between the rich and the poor has widened enormously. Ninety-eight per cent of the population is in a state of despair and frustration and has lost hope. The wealthy 2 per cent, armed with foreign passports and visas with huge wealth stashed abroad, are ready to leave the country any time.

The old grievances among the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and NWFP have reached all time high. Cooperation at the federal level has disappeared; complaints and prejudices have taken the place of patriotic fervor. What had begun in the early years of Pakistan as grievances and complaints between East and West Pakistan, between the Bengalis and Punjabis, has now been replaced by tensions between Punjabis, Sindhis and Mohajirs and between independence-seeking Balochs and Pashtuns. The absence of cooperation between the provinces has snowballed, making Pakistan a fragile state. President Obama was wrong in terming the Government of Pakistan as fragile. How can a government be called fragile when the two main parties in the parliament work in almost total consensus. President Obama should have stated that it was not the government but the state of Pakistan that is fragile.

The US of A, supposed to be the greatest ally of Pakistan, instead of strengthening the state seems to have adopted a policy of further weakening it. The Pakistan army which has been the bulwark protecting the structure of the state, is being weakened by taking upon the task of fighting which amounts to chasing the proverbial wild goose. It is time that people of Pakistan, the Government and the political parties and leaders realize that utmost attention should be paid to strengthen Pakistan internally. Without being strong internally there could be no achievements in pursuing the best possible of foreign policy and no military successes can bring lasting peace and tranquility. Pakistan needs a change in its structure of governance. Full provincial autonomy has to be achieved by the provinces. The rights of autonomous people of FATA must be respected. In the new structure of governance, there has to be introduced people’s oversight over the performance of police. The system of jury should be introduced for criminal justice. Widest delegation of executive powers is required from top to bottom. What can be decided at the level of Tehsil/Tauloka and Town must not be in the domain of a district. Similarly, what can be decided at district and provincial levels, should not be in provincial and federal domains.

The introduction of a new structure of governance will guarantee solidarity, prosperity and integrity of Pakistan. Dr. Hasan, a Pakistani nationalist, was the cofounder of the Pakistan People’s Party with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1967. Click here to read his biography. He can be reached at Mh1@lhr.comsats.net.pk

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No Pakistani Politician Wants To Condemn Brahamdagh Bugti For Bombing A Train, And No One Wants To Name India Or US

Posted by yourpakistan on June 13, 2009


I can’t understand why our politicians can never muster enough guts to name the foreign nations involved in spreading terror in Pakistan? Please watch the Siyasi Log (http://www.pakistanherald.com/prog_show.aspx?prog_id=1209) and observe how nobody answers the question directly; especially, esp government spokeswoman Fozia Wahab.
Who needs enemies when we have politicians like PPP spokeswoman Fozia Wahab? She is an apologist for every other country except Pakistan. We have seen her recently defend America better than any American official, much like Husain Haqqani who is infamously called an American ambassador and not Pakistan’s.

I can’t understand why our politicians can never muster enough guts to name the foreign nations involved in spreading terror in Pakistan? Please watch the Siyasi Log (http://www.pakistanherald.com/prog_show.aspx?prog_id=1209) and observe how nobody answers the question directly; especially, esp government spokeswoman Fozia Wahab. Who needs enemies when we have politicians like PPP spokeswoman Fozia Wahab? She is an apologist for every other country except Pakistan. We have seen her recently defend America better than any American official, much like Husain Haqqani who is infamously called an American ambassador and not Pakistan’s. The foreign-backed terrorists working for Brahmdagh accepted responsibility for killing and injuring innocent Pakistanis. And yet it was stunning to see that the Chief Minister of Balochistan refused to condemn these terrorists. And he’s not alone. What about the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan? What about ‘national’ politicians like Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Shujaat? Is there not a single Pakistani politician willing to call a spade a spade?

The so-called Balochistan Republican Army is part of a list of three or four terrorist groups that do not really exist on the ground but are the joint creation of CIA and Indian intelligence in Afghanistan, with Karzai’s intelligence acting as facilitator. This operation is headed by a traitor of his country and people named Brahmdagh Bugti, who keeps moving around in various Indian-protected safe houses in Kabul plotting how best to damage Pakistan.

Brahmdagh and some of our misguided kids recruited by anti-Pakistan foreign powers in Afghanistan pulled another terrorist attack inside Pakistan this week when they planted a bomb inside Bolan Express, a train connecting Karachi with Quetta.The foreign-backed terrorists working for Brahmdagh accepted responsibility for killing and injuring innocent Pakistanis. And yet it was stunning to see that the Chief Minister of Balochistan refused to condemn these terrorists. And he’s not alone. What about the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan? What about ‘national’ politicians like Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Shujaat? Is there not a single Pakistani politician willing to call a spade a spade? Granted that problems in Balochistan need to be resolved but can’t we even condemn those who are openly working against the country with the support of our enemies? What kind of a bankrupt politics is this?

These are the same politicians who refuse to blame the US for turning Afghanistan into a base for anti-Pakistan activities. Balochistan’s chief minister and other politicians could have used the images from the killed and injured in the train to discredit the foreign-backed terrorists. But this chance has been asted.Pakistanis must take notice of this major failure of these politicians who consider their own interests more important than Pakistan’s.We have a bunch of jokers in power in the most difficult hour in our homeland’s history. Only in Pakistan can you blow up a train and then find no one ready to condemn you.

Only Savior Of Pakistan In The Current Scenario Is God Almighty & Pakistan Army

PAKISTAN-US-UNREST-HOLBROOKE

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So Who Did Kill Benazir Bhutto?

Posted by yourpakistan on June 10, 2009


 

Trying to identify assassins of the great is a zero sum game. Theories sprout up instantaneously, depending on where the theorists are coming from politically. The real assassins are hardly ever definitely identified. Surprising, then, that an experienced journalist like Seymour Hersh slipped into the maze called ‘Who killed Benazir Bhutto?’
 
I should refresh your memories. Pakistani newspapers of May 18, 2009 carried a story by Online, a private Pakistani news agency, that Hersh had claimed in an interview to an Arab TV channel that a “US special squad killed Benazir Bhutto”? The channel was not identified. Try as I might I have not been able to find the purported interview on any English language Arab television channel. The salient points in the story are?
 
1.       Seymour Hersh told an Arab television channel that the Joint Special Operation Command was formed and headed by Dick Cheney.
2.      Within the JSOC is a “death squad”.
3.      The squad killed Benazir Bhutto.
4.      At the time General Stanley McChrystal, the new US army commander in Afghanistan, headed it.
5.      It also killed Rafik Hariri and the Lebanese army chief for refusing to allow the US to set up military bases in Lebanon.
6.      Ariel Sharon, the then prime minister of Israel, was also a key man in the plot.
7.      Many websites suspect that Benazir was killed because she said in a November 2, 2007 interview to Sir David Frost on Al-Jazeera TV that Osama Bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Saeed Sheikh because it took away the justification for the presence of the US army in Afghanistan.
8.     The BBC website that carries transcripts of Al-Jazeera interviews edited out her words about Osama’s death.
 
Newspapers of May 20 carried a vehement denial by Seymour Hersh. The Nation also carried a rather acerbic letter to the editor written, it seems, in some umbrage by the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson. Hersh described as “complete madness” reports that the squad headed by General McChrystal “had also killed Hariri and the Lebanese army chief.” “Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Hariri or Bhutto. I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet.” McChrystal, he said, had run a special forces unit that engaged in “High Value Target activity…while I have been critical of some of that unit’s activities in the pages of the New Yorker and in interviews, I have never suggested that he was involved in political assassinations or death squads on behalf of Cheney, as the published stories state.” He regretted that he hadn’t been first contacted by any of the publications before they printed the story (point taken). “This is another example of blogs going bonkers with misleading and fabricated stories and professional journalists repeating such rumours without doing their jobs…and that is to verify such rumours.”
 
Then there’s Her Excellency, who made the following points:
1.       “We…are offended and outraged that your newspaper would republish this especially repugnant brand of spurious and unsubstantiated rumor.”
2.      “Regrettably, these baseless, sensational and third-hand allegations have been repackaged and republished without any responsible attempt at either verification or solicitation of comment from an official source of the United States government.”
3.      “This, without any byline story, was distributed by a Pakistani wire service, which in turn allegedly quoted an unidentified Arab broadcast organization, which in turn allegedly quoted a single source (a journalist), who in turn relied on comments that were allegedly erased from an interview that took place almost two years ago.”
4.      “Regrettably, these baseless, sensational and third-hand allegations have been repackaged and republished without any responsible attempt at either verification or solicitation of comment from an official source of United States government…most troubling of all is the complete failure to provide an opportunity for the accused party, the United States government, to refute these claims.”
5.      “…We take exception to allegations that the US government had anything whatsoever to do with the tragic assassination of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, late Benazir Bhutto.”
Lectures on the ethics of journalism we’ve all heard before and some of her points are correct. How one wishes, though, that Her Excellency would deliver the same lecture on the ethics of journalism to US media. They need it more than we do – “The Taliban are about to take over Islamabad”, “Pakistan’s nuclear weapons about to fall into terrorist hands” and other such garbage. The important point in her letter, one that cannot be challenged without proof, is that the US government had anything to do with Benazir’s assassination.
 
Benazir certainly alleged that Omar Saeed Sheikh had killed Osama Bin Laden because on January 4, 2008 the BBC’s Steve Herrmann acknowledged that, “Under time pressure, the item producer responsible for publishing the video on the BBC website edited out the comment, with the intention of avoiding confusion. The claim appeared so unexpected that it seemed she had simply misspoken. However, editing out her comment was clearly a mistake, for which we apologise…” On January 9 the BBC added: “As promised above, we’ve now updated the original clip with the full version of the interview.”
 
People have heard the interview many times. Benazir said the words deliberately and cautiously, after stopping and taking a breath before uttering Osama’s name. Spurious excuses such as these insult people’s intelligence and beget conspiracy theories for which people are then mocked by the perpetrators of spurious excuses.
 
What adds spice to the story is that former President Pervez Musharraf says in his best selling autobiography that Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national educated in the London School of Economics, was first recruited by Britain’s intelligence agency MI6 and sent to Bosnia and Kosovo to fight the Jihad there. It could be that he later ‘turned’, says the general. But it could also be, say I that he is still working for MI6 pretending that he has ‘turned’ as a smokescreen or camouflage. Isn’t that what is called a ‘double agent’?
 
What makes me not believe the theory that Benazir was killed by the US – a point that Hersh missed – is: If she was killed because she revealed that Osama Bin Laden was dead, killed by Omar Saeed Sheikh, in her interview with Sir David Frost was telecast on Al Jazeera on November 2, 2007, why was the first assassination attempt against her was made two weeks earlier, on October 18? Or was that somebody else? If it was, then how do we know that it was not that somebody else that killed her on December 27, 2007 and not the US? In any case, her assassination was more a case of misadventure. Her assassins were certainly there, but got no opportunity until she suddenly stuck her head out of the sunroof of her vehicle, which she was not supposed to. That is when they went for her with everything blazing. While everyone has been asking why the place was hosed down, no one has asked why Khalid Shahinshah, supposed to be looking after her security, along with two photographers behind him, were making such peculiar gestures standing besides Benazir on the stage, as if signaling something to someone? What possessed her to break with security protocol and stick her neck out of the window? Have the numbers on the SIMs of all the phones of those in her vehicle been examined, including her own phone?
 
Hersh’s denial is interesting, for it reveals more than it denies. He certainly makes it clear that he never said or wrote anywhere that a US special death squad killed Benazir Bhutto and I haven’t found anything where he even remotely says so. However, he doesn’t deny the existence of what he called “an executive assassination wing” in a speech at the University of Minnesota on March 10 this year… “General McChrystal ran a special forces unit that engaged in High Value Target activity.” If people – important politicians and not just terrorists or those that the US thinks are terrorists – are not “High Value Targets”, I’ll eat my hat Mr. Hersh.
 
Perhaps I’ll continue with this next week because there’s so much to tell, unless something happens – which is well within the realm of possibility – that demands more attention.
 
PART TWO
 
I ended last Sunday’s article, “Who killed Benazir?” with the promise that, “Perhaps I’ll continue with this next week because there’s so much to tell, unless something happens – which is well within the realm of possibility – that demands more attention.” Well something did happen, to wit President Obama’s seminal speech in Cairo to what is euphemistically called ‘the Muslim World’. It demands attention, but also requires consideration, not a knee-jerk article written in a couple of days just to show that I recognize the importance of the speech. It is precisely because I recognize its great importance and its great potential that I am leaving comment till full consideration.
 
When the West has no cogent argument it accuses Pakistanis of wallowing in conspiracy theories. Sure people are vulnerable to conspiracy theories – I guess the most have to do with Kennedy’s assassination – but who plants their seeds? Here’s an example. Many believed that Benazir damaged the justification for the continued US presence in Afghanistan by saying to Sir David Frost on Al Jazeera that Osama Bin Laden was dead, killed by Omar Saeed Sheikh, the former or current MI6 agent, God alone knows which. This view gained great currency when the BBC website first edited out Benazir’s crucial sentence – one excuse was that perhaps she had “misspoken” – then apologized and restored it. I said last week: “People have heard the interview many times. Benazir said the words deliberately and cautiously, after stopping and taking a breath before uttering Osama’s name. Spurious excuses such as these insult people’s intelligence and beget conspiracy theories for which people are then mocked by the perpetrators of spurious excuses.”
 
It has been alleged by President Musharraf that British born Omar Saeed Sheikh was first recruited by MI6 but then “turned”. Perhaps he didn’t and is a “double agent”. I have never read any clarification of this from the British authorities, which also causes people to see possible conspiracies.
 
The Seymour Hersh kafuffle started with his startling statement, to put it mildly, at the University of Minnesota on March 10 this year. “Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination wing, essentially. And it’s been going on and on and on. And just today in the Times there is a story saying that its leader, a three-star admiral named McRaven, ordered a stop to certain activities because there were so many collateral deaths. It’s been going in…under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.”
 
Wow! That’s more damning than anything I’ve ever read or heard from the worst American enemy. Look at it.
 
1) Its a rogue “executive assassination wing” (or death squad, same thing) because “Congress has no oversight over it.”
 
2) It is “under President Bush’s authority” no less, far worse than being under Vice President Dick Cheney’s authority.
 
3) It goes into countries secretly because it doesn’t talk to the US ambassador or the CIA station chief. That’s typical hit men stuff.
 
4) They have a list of people to execute, whom they find, kill and then leave – the opposite of Schindler’s list, what?
 
Being in the position that it is landed in, Pakistan must be the most visited destination of this executive assassination wing, but then neither Ambassador Patterson nor the CIA station chief would know anything about it, would they, which explains her umbrage that led her to write a rather acerbic self-righteous letter to The Nation. What Mr. Hersh has said is damning indeed, as damning as saying that a US death squad killed Benazir Bhutto. So tell me: “Who killed Benazir Bhutto?” Do you still blame Pakistanis, a people who have been victims of many conspiracies, for believing in ‘conspiracy theories’, one of which is that the US killed Benazir? The seeds of many a ‘conspiracy theory’ are often sowed by the US and its western allies and their media’s “Nescafe journalism.”
 
There’s more, enough to write a book. Soon after Hersh’s Minnesota speech, the CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Dick Cheney’s former National Security Adviser John Hannah about Hersh’s claim. “Is there a list of terrorists, suspected terrorists out there who can be assassinated?” And this is what Hannah said: “There is clearly a group of people that go through a very extremely well-vetted process, inter-agency process…that have committed acts of war against the United States, who are at war with the United States, or are suspected of planning operations of war against the United States, whom authority is given to the troops in the field and in certain war theaters to capture or kill those individuals. That is certainly true.”
 
Wolf Blitzer: “And so, this would be, and from your perspective – and you worked in the Bush administration for many years – it would be totally constitutional, totally legal, to go out and find these guys and to whack ’em?”
 
John Hannah: “There’s no question that in a theater of war, when we are at war, and we know – there’s no doubt, we are still at war against al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and on that Pakistani border, that our troops have the authority to go after and capture and kill the enemy, including the leadership of the enemy.”
 
Hersh told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! “The problem with having military go kill people when they’re not directly in combat, these are asking American troops to go out and find people and…they go into countries without telling any of the authorities, the American ambassador, the CIA chief, certainly nobody in the government that we’re going into, and it’s far more than just in combat areas. There’s more — at least a dozen countries, and perhaps more…The President has authorized these kinds of actions…our boys have been told they can go and take the kind of executive action they need…there’s no legal basis for it.”
 
Hersh on Guantanamo: “An internal report that I wrote about in a book I did years ago, an internal report made by the summer of 2002, estimated that at least half and possibly more of those people had nothing to do with actions against America. The intelligence we have is often very fragmentary, not very good. And the idea that the American president would think he has the constitutional power or the legal right to tell soldiers not engaged in immediate combat to go out and find people based on lists and execute them is just amazing to me…the thing about George Bush is, everything’s sort of done in plain sight. In his State of the Union address, I think January the 28th, 2003, about a month and a half before we went into Iraq, Bush was describing the progress in the war, and he said…that we’ve captured more than 3,000 members of al-Qaeda and suspected members, people suspected of operations against us. And then he added with that little smile he has, ‘And let me tell you, some of those people will not be able to ever operate again. I can assure you that. They will not be in a position’. He’s clearly talking about killing people, and to applause.”
 
About the JSOC, Hersh told Amy Goodman: “Well, it’s a special unit. We have something called the Special Operations Command that operates out of Florida, and it involves a lot of wings. And one of the units that work under the umbrella of the Special Operations Command is known as Joint Special Op — JSOC. It’s a special unit. What makes it so special, it’s a group of elite people that include Navy Seals, some Navy Seals, Delta Force — what we call our black units, the commando units. ‘Commando’ is a word they don’t like, but that’s what we, most of us, refer to them as. And they promote from within. It’s a unit that has its own promotion structure. And one of the elements, I must tell you, about getting ahead in promotion is the number of kills you have. Of course. Because it’s basically devised – it’s been transmogrified, if you will, into this unit that goes after high-value targets. And where Cheney comes in and the idea of an assassination ring — I actually said ‘wing’ — that reports to Cheney was simply that they clear lists through the Vice President’s office. He’s not sitting around picking targets. They clear the lists. And he’s certainly deeply involved, less and less as time went on, of course, but in the beginning very closely involved. And this is the elite unit. I think they do three-month tours. And last summer, I wrote a long article in The New Yorker, last July, about how the JSOC operation is simply not available, and there’s no information provided by the executive to Congress.
”
 
So who did kill Benazir Bhutto? The question is still suspended in the air, where it will remain forevermore if they can help it.

Trying to identify assassins of the great is a zero sum game. Theories sprout up instantaneously, depending on where the theorists are coming from politically. The real assassins are hardly ever definitely identified. Surprising, then, that an experienced journalist like Seymour Hersh slipped into the maze called ‘Who killed Benazir Bhutto?’ 

I should refresh your memories. Pakistani newspapers of May 18, 2009 carried a story by Online, a private Pakistani news agency, that Hersh had claimed in an interview to an Arab TV channel that a “US special squad killed Benazir Bhutto”? The channel was not identified. Try as I might I have not been able to find the purported interview on any English language Arab television channel. The salient points in the story are? 

1.       Seymour Hersh told an Arab television channel that the Joint Special Operation Command was formed and
          headed by Dick Cheney.

2.      Within the JSOC is a “death squad”.

3.      The squad killed Benazir Bhutto.

4.      At the time General Stanley McChrystal, the new US army commander in Afghanistan, headed it.

5.      It also killed Rafik Hariri and the Lebanese army chief for refusing to allow the US to set up military
          bases in Lebanon.

6.      Ariel Sharon, the then prime minister of Israel, was also a key man in the plot.

7.      Many websites suspect that Benazir was killed because she said in a November 2, 2007 interview to Sir David Frost on Al-Jazeera TV that Osama Bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Saeed Sheikh because it took away the justification for the presence of the US army in Afghanistan.

8.     The BBC website that carries transcripts of Al-Jazeera interviews edited out her words about Osama’s death. 

Newspapers of May 20 carried a vehement denial by Seymour Hersh. The Nation also carried a rather acerbic letter to the editor written, it seems, in some umbrage by the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson. Hersh described as “complete madness” reports that the squad headed by General McChrystal “had also killed Hariri and the Lebanese army chief.” “Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Hariri or Bhutto. I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet.” McChrystal, he said, had run a special forces unit that engaged in “High Value Target activity…while I have been critical of some of that unit’s activities in the pages of the New Yorker and in interviews, I have never suggested that he was involved in political assassinations or death squads on behalf of Cheney, as the published stories state.” He regretted that he hadn’t been first contacted by any of the publications before they printed the story (point taken). “This is another example of blogs going bonkers with misleading and fabricated stories and professional journalists repeating such rumours without doing their jobs…and that is to verify such rumours.” 

Then there’s Her Excellency, who made the following points:

1.       “We…are offended and outraged that your newspaper would republish this especially repugnant brand of spurious and unsubstantiated rumor.”

2.      “Regrettably, these baseless, sensational and third-hand allegations have been repackaged and republished without any responsible attempt at either verification or solicitation of comment from an official source of the United States government.”

3.      “This, without any byline story, was distributed by a Pakistani wire service, which in turn allegedly quoted an unidentified Arab broadcast organization, which in turn allegedly quoted a single source (a journalist), who in turn relied on comments that were allegedly erased from an interview that took place almost two years ago.”

4.      “Regrettably, these baseless, sensational and third-hand allegations have been repackaged and republished without any responsible attempt at either verification or solicitation of comment from an official source of United States government…most troubling of all is the complete failure to provide an opportunity for the accused party, the United States government, to refute these claims.”

5.      “…We take exception to allegations that the US government had anything whatsoever to do with the tragic assassination of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, late Benazir Bhutto.” Lectures on the ethics of journalism we’ve all heard before and some of her points are correct. How one wishes, though, that Her Excellency would deliver the same lecture on the ethics of journalism to US media. They need it more than we do – “The Taliban are about to take over Islamabad”, “Pakistan’s nuclear weapons about to fall into terrorist hands” and other such garbage. The important point in her letter, one that cannot be challenged without proof, is that the US government had anything to do with Benazir’s assassination.  

Benazir certainly alleged that Omar Saeed Sheikh had killed Osama Bin Laden because on January 4, 2008 the BBC’s Steve Herrmann acknowledged that, “Under time pressure, the item producer responsible for publishing the video on the BBC website edited out the comment, with the intention of avoiding confusion. The claim appeared so unexpected that it seemed she had simply misspoken. However, editing out her comment was clearly a mistake, for which we apologise…” On January 9 the BBC added: “As promised above, we’ve now updated the original clip with the full version of the interview.” People have heard the interview many times. Benazir said the words deliberately and cautiously, after stopping and taking a breath before uttering Osama’s name. Spurious excuses such as these insult people’s intelligence and beget conspiracy theories for which people are then mocked by the perpetrators of spurious excuses. 

What adds spice to the story is that former President Pervez Musharraf says in his best selling autobiography that Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national educated in the London School of Economics, was first recruited by Britain’s intelligence agency MI6 and sent to Bosnia and Kosovo to fight the Jihad there. It could be that he later ‘turned’, says the general. But it could also be, say I that he is still working for MI6 pretending that he has ‘turned’ as a smokescreen or camouflage. Isn’t that what is called a ‘double agent’?

 

What makes me not believe the theory that Benazir was killed by the US – a point that Hersh missed – is: If she was killed because she revealed that Osama Bin Laden was dead, killed by Omar Saeed Sheikh, in her interview with Sir David Frost was telecast on Al Jazeera on November 2, 2007, why was the first assassination attempt against her was made two weeks earlier, on October 18? Or was that somebody else? If it was, then how do we know that it was not that somebody else that killed her on December 27, 2007 and not the US? In any case, her assassination was more a case of misadventure. Her assassins were certainly there, but got no opportunity until she suddenly stuck her head out of the sunroof of her vehicle, which she was not supposed to. That is when they went for her with everything blazing. While everyone has been asking why the place was hosed down, no one has asked why Khalid Shahinshah, supposed to be looking after her security, along with two photographers behind him, were making such peculiar gestures standing besides Benazir on the stage, as if signaling something to someone? What possessed her to break with security protocol and stick her neck out of the window? Have the numbers on the SIMs of all the phones of those in her vehicle been examined, including her own phone? 

Hersh’s denial is interesting, for it reveals more than it denies. He certainly makes it clear that he never said or wrote anywhere that a US special death squad killed Benazir Bhutto and I haven’t found anything where he even remotely says so. However, he doesn’t deny the existence of what he called “an executive assassination wing” in a speech at the University of Minnesota on March 10 this year… “General McChrystal ran a special forces unit that engaged in High Value Target activity.” If people – important politicians and not just terrorists or those that the US thinks are terrorists – are not “High Value Targets”, I’ll eat my hat Mr. Hersh. Perhaps I’ll continue with this next week because there’s so much to tell, unless something happens – which is well within the realm of possibility – that demands more attention. 

Part Two 

I ended last Sunday’s article, “Who killed Benazir?” with the promise that, “Perhaps I’ll continue with this next week because there’s so much to tell, unless something happens – which is well within the realm of possibility – that demands more attention.” Well something did happen, to wit President Obama’s seminal speech in Cairo to what is euphemistically called ‘the Muslim World’. It demands attention, but also requires consideration, not a knee-jerk article written in a couple of days just to show that I recognize the importance of the speech. It is precisely because I recognize its great importance and its great potential that I am leaving comment till full consideration. When the West has no cogent argument it accuses Pakistanis of wallowing in conspiracy theories. Sure people are vulnerable to conspiracy theories – I guess the most have to do with Kennedy’s assassination – but who plants their seeds? Here’s an example. Many believed that Benazir damaged the justification for the continued US presence in Afghanistan by saying to Sir David Frost on Al Jazeera that Osama Bin Laden was dead, killed by Omar Saeed Sheikh, the former or current MI6 agent, God alone knows which. This view gained great currency when the BBC website first edited out Benazir’s crucial sentence – one excuse was that perhaps she had “misspoken” – then apologized and restored it. I said last week: “People have heard the interview many times. Benazir said the words deliberately and cautiously, after stopping and taking a breath before uttering Osama’s name. Spurious excuses such as these insult people’s intelligence and beget conspiracy theories for which people are then mocked by the perpetrators of spurious excuses.” 

It has been alleged by President Musharraf that British born Omar Saeed Sheikh was first recruited by MI6 but then “turned”. Perhaps he didn’t and is a “double agent”. I have never read any clarification of this from the British authorities, which also causes people to see possible conspiracies. The Seymour Hersh kafuffle started with his startling statement, to put it mildly, at the University of Minnesota on March 10 this year. “Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination wing, essentially. And it’s been going on and on and on. And just today in the Times there is a story saying that its leader, a three-star admiral named McRaven, ordered a stop to certain activities because there were so many collateral deaths. It’s been going in…under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.” 

Wow! That’s more damning than anything I’ve ever read or heard from the worst American enemy. Look at it. 

1) Its a rogue “executive assassination wing” (or death squad, same thing) because “Congress has no oversight over it.” 

2) It is “under President Bush’s authority” no less, far worse than being under Vice President Dick Cheney’s authority. 

3) It goes into countries secretly because it doesn’t talk to the US ambassador or the CIA station chief. That’s typical hit men stuff. 

4) They have a list of people to execute, whom they find, kill and then leave – the opposite of Schindler’s list, what? 

Being in the position that it is landed in, Pakistan must be the most visited destination of this executive assassination wing, but then neither Ambassador Patterson nor the CIA station chief would know anything about it, would they, which explains her umbrage that led her to write a rather acerbic self-righteous letter to The Nation. What Mr. Hersh has said is damning indeed, as damning as saying that a US death squad killed Benazir Bhutto. So tell me: “Who killed Benazir Bhutto?” Do you still blame Pakistanis, a people who have been victims of many conspiracies, for believing in ‘conspiracy theories’, one of which is that the US killed Benazir? The seeds of many a ‘conspiracy theory’ are often sowed by the US and its western allies and their media’s “Nescafe journalism.” 

There’s more, enough to write a book. Soon after Hersh’s Minnesota speech, the CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Dick Cheney’s former National Security Adviser John Hannah about Hersh’s claim. “Is there a list of terrorists, suspected terrorists out there who can be assassinated?” And this is what Hannah said: “There is clearly a group of people that go through a very extremely well-vetted process, inter-agency process…that have committed acts of war against the United States, who are at war with the United States, or are suspected of planning operations of war against the United States, whom authority is given to the troops in the field and in certain war theaters to capture or kill those individuals. That is certainly true.” 

Wolf Blitzer: “And so, this would be, and from your perspective – and you worked in the Bush administration for many years – it would be totally constitutional, totally legal, to go out and find these guys and to whack ’em?” 

John Hannah: “There’s no question that in a theater of war, when we are at war, and we know – there’s no doubt, we are still at war against al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and on that Pakistani border, that our troops have the authority to go after and capture and kill the enemy, including the leadership of the enemy.” 

Hersh told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! “The problem with having military go kill people when they’re not directly in combat, these are asking American troops to go out and find people and…they go into countries without telling any of the authorities, the American ambassador, the CIA chief, certainly nobody in the government that we’re going into, and it’s far more than just in combat areas. There’s more — at least a dozen countries, and perhaps more…The President has authorized these kinds of actions…our boys have been told they can go and take the kind of executive action they need…there’s no legal basis for it.” 

Hersh on Guantanamo: “An internal report that I wrote about in a book I did years ago, an internal report made by the summer of 2002, estimated that at least half and possibly more of those people had nothing to do with actions against America. The intelligence we have is often very fragmentary, not very good. And the idea that the American president would think he has the constitutional power or the legal right to tell soldiers not engaged in immediate combat to go out and find people based on lists and execute them is just amazing to me…the thing about George Bush is, everything’s sort of done in plain sight. In his State of the Union address, I think January the 28th, 2003, about a month and a half before we went into Iraq, Bush was describing the progress in the war, and he said…that we’ve captured more than 3,000 members of al-Qaeda and suspected members, people suspected of operations against us. And then he added with that little smile he has, ‘And let me tell you, some of those people will not be able to ever operate again. I can assure you that. They will not be in a position’. He’s clearly talking about killing people, and to applause.” 

About the JSOC, Hersh told Amy Goodman: “Well, it’s a special unit. We have something called the Special Operations Command that operates out of Florida, and it involves a lot of wings. And one of the units that work under the umbrella of the Special Operations Command is known as Joint Special Op — JSOC. It’s a special unit. What makes it so special, it’s a group of elite people that include Navy Seals, some Navy Seals, Delta Force — what we call our black units, the commando units. ‘Commando’ is a word they don’t like, but that’s what we, most of us, refer to them as. And they promote from within. It’s a unit that has its own promotion structure. And one of the elements, I must tell you, about getting ahead in promotion is the number of kills you have. Of course. Because it’s basically devised – it’s been transmogrified, if you will, into this unit that goes after high-value targets. And where Cheney comes in and the idea of an assassination ring — I actually said ‘wing’ — that reports to Cheney was simply that they clear lists through the Vice President’s office. He’s not sitting around picking targets. They clear the lists. And he’s certainly deeply involved, less and less as time went on, of course, but in the beginning very closely involved. And this is the elite unit. I think they do three-month tours. And last summer, I wrote a long article in The New Yorker, last July, about how the JSOC operation is simply not available, and there’s no information provided by the executive to Congress.
” 

So who did kill Benazir Bhutto? The question is still suspended in the air, where it will remain forevermore if they can help it. (Article By Humayun Gauhar)

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