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Archive for December, 2009

India’s Envy: Wants ‘POF-EYE’ type weapon to combat terror

Posted by yourpakistan on December 31, 2009


After Pakistan Ordinance Factory (POF) succesfully unveiled its ‘POF-EYE CornerShot’ at IDEAS-2008 last year, India has launched its own hunt for a similar weapon. Currently Pakistan and Israel are the only two countries who manufacture the CornerShot gun.

Having learnt lessons from the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the Army has launched a global hunt for suitable weapon systems `for shooting around the corner’ for its troops involved in counter-terrorism operations. These `cornershot’ rifles and pistols, with detachable high-resolution video cameras and monitors mounted on them, will help Army special forces like the Para-SF units to effectively tackle terrorists in urban warfare scenarios. “Such close-quarter combat weapons will help our commandos to observe and engage targets from behind a corner — for instance, while storming a building or a room — without exposing themselves to direct fire from terrorists,” said an officer.Unknown Object

“American, Israeli, Pakistani and a few other forces already use such weapons… The front parts of their barrels, mounted with video cameras, can swivel 60 to 70 degree on either side to scan and direct fire around corners,” he added.

Floating the Request for Information (RFI), the Army’s weapons and equipment directorate wants armament companies to submit their proposals by January 30. This comes soon after elite counter-terror force National Security Guards launched the process to acquire cornershot weapons as well as wall surveillance radars to monitor what is the situation inside a room without actually entering it. “Such new-generation equipment is very effective in neutralising terrorists in situations like 26/11, where commandos had to clear the five-star hotels in room-to-room flushing out operations,” said the officer.

The Army’s RFI specifies the cornershot weapons must be able to `engage targets effectively beyond 200 metres’ and have day/night vision capability. While the exact number of the weapons to be acquired is yet to be finalised, officers said transfer of technology to manufacture them indigenously was being sought since “a large quantity” was required. “The weapon systems should also have image downloading and transmission capability so that the enemy can be located and information shared with other troops to enable the commandos to take the best positions to engage the targets,” said an officer.

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Blame India For Karachi Terror

Posted by yourpakistan on December 29, 2009


Ahmed Quraishi

New clues emerge: Suicide attacks against Pakistani Shias in Karachi and Kashmir are unprecedented. There have been no sectarian or suicide attacks in Kashmir before. The attack in Karachi is the first major sectarian assault in five years. The attack in Karachi is the work of Indians. It cripples Pakistan’s business hub, it aims at a civil war between Pakistanis, it puts Pakistani military on the defensive, it strengthens America’s intention of invading Pakistan, it reinforces US propaganda that war is in Pakistan and not Afghanistan. The Indian role here is critical. India is responsible for poisoning the Afghan well for the Americans and for everyone else. India is the missing part in the story of how US blundered in Afghanistan.

Feeding sectarian tension is the last thing Karachi needed after the terrorist attack on a large Shia procession. But that is exactly what Interior Minister Rehman Malk unwittingly did when he quickly blamed ‘religious extremists’ for the attack, which in other words means Sunni militants. Unknown ObjectThat’s what the enraged crowds wanted to hear to bring Pakistan’s business hub to a halt.

Despite all his experience in the Federal Investigations Agency [FIA], Mr. Malik missed an important clue: In all the sectarian incidents Pakistan witnessed until 2004, none of the feuding Pakistani Shia and Sunni groups used suicide attackers against each other. This method was introduced in Pakistan a couple of years later by a shadowy group called Pakistani Taliban, whose manpower is partially Pakistani but its arms and funding are coming from powerful and organized supporters inside US-controlled Afghanistan.

The US says it’s unable to stop the support for anti-Pakistan terror from a US-controlled territory just as Pakistan is unable or unwilling to help in stopping the attacks by the Afghan Taliban against the US military in Afghanistan.

There are strong reasons why Islamabad should look at India for the terror wave inside Pakistan. It is strange why Mr. Malik won’t consider this possibility. His position becomes more untenable considering how his pro-US government has been reluctant to confront Washington and New Delhi on issues pertaining to Pakistan’s legitimate interests.

The position of Karachi’s largest political party MQM and its UK-based chief Altaf Hussain is worse. His support for the military operation against terrorists on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan should be appreciated. But Mr. Hussain has been exploiting recent terror attacks to get back at his political opponents. Mr. Hussain’s city has seen Indian-instigated terrorism over the years. But MQM chief never once criticized India for its meddling inside Pakistan, not even when Pakistani intelligence officials confronted Washington recently with evidence of Indian terrorism.

Even Mr. Zardari’s ruling PPP tried to use the attack in its own legal battle over corruption charges and its tussle with the country’s powerful military over national security issues. Several of its spokespersons claimed the attack was the work of ‘anti-democracy’ forces.

Sectarian terrorism in Pakistan is linked to Iran and Arab countries. Iran’s new rulers after 1979 began exporting the ‘revolution’ and its Arab neighbors reacted. This clash is not indigenous to Pakistan. It’s not a battle that Pakistanis owned. Both Iran and Arab countries scaled back their support for sectarian Sunni and Shia terror groups in Pakistan over the past decade. Countermeasures by Islamabad helped reduce the footprint of the sectarian groups in Pakistan in recent years.  When money from Iran and Arab countries dried up, so did their proxy Sunni-Shia war on Pakistani soil.

That’s why Pakistan saw no major sectarian attack in the past five years. The last major attack occurred in Quetta in March 2004, and it was not a suicide attack.

The Karachi attack is unique in several ways.

The attack in Karachi was preceded by a terrorist explosion two days earlier in a public area with no specific target. It was meant to spread panic and instability. Pakistan saw similar attacks during the 1980s and early 1990s.  Our investigators and intelligence analysts are familiar with this footprint. Those attacks were executed by agents working for the Indian intelligence.

But two days before Karachi, there was an attack on a Shia procession in Azad Kashmir. This attack is also of special interest to Pakistani security analysts.

There has not been a suicide attack targeting Shias in Pakistan’s Kashmir before. The region is right next to India but too far away from south Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan, the hub of suicide attackers in Pakistan.

The only other suicide attack in liberated Kashmir’s capital, Muzaffarabad, happened in June this year. It targeted a Pakistan Army truck and killed two soldiers. It is unthinkable for anyone belonging to Pakistan’s religious groups, and especially groups fighting India in the occupied part of Kashmir, to attack Pakistani soldiers stationed there to keep an eye on India.

The June 2009 suicide attack and then Sunday’s attack against the Shias in Pakistani Kashmir confirms a theory gaining currency among Pakistani security analysts. This theory goes back to 2006, when an unknown Pakistani Pashtun named Abdullah Mehsud was released from Gitmo after serving three years there. He was not handed back to Pakistan but sent back to Afghanistan. He was allowed to reenter Pakistan. Once here, he organized a militia and kidnapped Chinese engineers and attacked Chinese interests in Pakistan.  In three years, his project has expanded into a major terror operation, well funded and armed. His militia introduced suicide attackers who kill Pakistanis, civilian and military.  Former President Musharraf’s blunder of pitching the Pakistani army against its own tribesmen provided the perfect excuse for Abdullah’s terror militia to recruit gullible and poor Pakistanis to kill other Pakistanis. CIA drone attacks, which killed more than 750 innocent civilians so far, indirectly help that militia, which is called the Pakistani Taliban, to recruit suicide attackers from among the affected people and tribesmen.

The terror militia, despite being surrounded from all sides in Pakistan by Pakistani soldiers, continues to receive state of the art weapons, ammunition, fuel and funding, all from Afghanistan. When Pakistanis confronted senior US military and intelligence officers about this, their answer was that the money is coming from the drug trade controlled by the Afghan Taliban and that the advanced US-made weapons in the hands of the Pakistani Taliban, used to kill Pakistanis, were stolen from the US-trained Afghan National Army.

However, the drug trade in Afghanistan is not controlled by the Afghan Taliban but by the warlord allies of US military and intelligence in that country. These warlords are part of the US-backed government. But more interestingly, their drug trade is supported by the CIA in Afghanistan.

In October, someone in the US intelligence community, probably trying to embarrass CIA, leaked a sensitive piece of information to the New York Times. The information said that Afghan President’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, considered one of the biggest drug traffickers in Afghanistan, is on CIA payroll.  The agency’s spokespeople later tried to minimize the damage by justifying it as part of the war effort.

This was a serious leak. This is how CBS News described it, “release of this sensitive information is troublesome and potentially game-changing in a dangerous war.”

Pakistan should have taken up this matter with its US ally but the country is too destabilized right now to focus.

But the implications for Pakistan are deadly. The CIA, or at least rogue elements in the agency, is directly involved in sustaining the terror capability of the militia in south Waziristan. This militia is CIA’s asset. And it is being used to punish Pakistan and its armed forces for not fully endorsing the US plan for the region, including accepting a larger role for India at the expense of Pakistani interests.

INDIA’S ROLE

The Indian role here is critical. India is responsible for poisoning the Afghan well for the Americans and for everyone else. India is the missing part in the story of how US lost Afghanistan.

India’s intelligence officers offered their services to the Americans at the start of the occupation. Their argument was attractive. India is an expert on all things Pakistan. India played the same role with the Soviets, helping them unleash a wave of terror bombings across Pakistani cities during the 1980s.

Except the pro-US government of Mr. Asif Zardari in Islamabad and a few supporters cultivated by the US Embassy here, almost everyone else in Pakistan understands this background to the continuous acts of terror in Pakistan.

In the case of the suicide attack in the capital of Azad Kashmir, the autonomous government there concluded from the available evidence that India’s intelligence agency, RAW, was involved in that attack. Kashmir has not witnessed any sectarian attacks before. Nor has there ever been attacks on the Pakistani military there except by the Indian army across the ceasefire line.  This is an important thread that the Pakistani media ignored. But the government of Azad Kashmir didn’t. The Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir directly accused India of masterminding this terror act in Kashmir.

After the attack in Karachi, groups of people unleashed organized vandalism in the heart of the business district. After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto this week a year ago, organized groups conducted selective targeting across the province of Sindh. Those targets were carefully chosen to spark language-based riots and divide Pakistanis. On Sunday, the same day of the suicide attack in Kashmir, one of the closest friends of Mr. Zardari and a man with a record of corruption, tried to ignite those tensions again when he revealed that he and some if his colleagues were plotting the breakup of Pakistan during the riots last year and were stopped by Mr. Zardari at the last minute.

These characters have been imposed on the people of Pakistan by the United States and the United Kingdom through a ‘deal’ with Musharraf. This deal allowed Washington to execute a regime-change in Pakistan and install a puppet government without the need for a war and invasion, as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Americans are interested in Karachi because it’s the closest fully operational seaport for the use of NATO forces in Afghanistan. But this link is incomplete without Balochistan, because of the new Gwadar port but also because of its proximity to Iran and the Gulf.

Terrorism and destabilization will continue in Pakistan. By the current standards, Pakistan is headed for serious domestic instability if the Pakistani government and the Pakistani military don’t stop the slide.

Pakistan needs to:

  1. Openly accuse the United States and its Indian ally of destabilizing Pakistan and the region.
  2. Warn India about its direct involvement in terrorism.
  3. End Pakistan’s involvement in America’s bungled war in Afghanistan.
  4. Launch direct talks between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban in order to stabilize the Pakistani tribal belt.
  5. Stop CIA drones and declare them a failure. Over 750 innocent Pakistanis, mostly women and children, were killed in the drone attacks with no first-tier al Qaeda leaders worth mentioning eliminated.
  6. Take punitive measures against India for stealing Pakistan’s water supply from the rivers of Kashmir and for supporting terrorism inside Pakistan. These punitive measures must include stopping Afghan land trade with Indian through Pakistan and the prospect of indefinitely closing Pakistani air space for Indian flights until India stops support for terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

By – Ahmed Quraishi

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An open declaration of war by Zardari, now what?

Posted by yourpakistan on December 28, 2009


Shaheen Sehbai

Hearing President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday was a painful experience. All, including the diehard PPP jiyalas, were stunned. Their co-chairman had just declared war on every institution, without telling them who were the enemies, what they were doing and why. It was aptly described by a journalist on Facebook as Zardari’s farewell address.

It was an outburst of a beleaguered man who could not hold it any further, yet it was not impromptu. He thundered, made sarcastic digs, portrayed himself as the biggest victim (although just one year ago he was the biggest beneficiary, politically and financially), positioned himself as the ultimate fighter and launched the pre-emptive first strike after weeks and months of thinking. His words were very calculated and measured, prepared by speechwriters and advisers.

Unknown ObjectUnfortunately his words confirmed many conspiracy theories, which until now were considered and attacked as mere media speculation and uneducated guesses of some antagonists. For instance, he confirmed that there was a serious ongoing confrontation between him and the Pakistan Army and all attempts by the Generals to resolve the situation had failed. The recent meetings of top Generals with Zardari, PM Gilani and others can now be seen in this context. These meetings, it is now obvious, did not produce any positive outcome.

He also confirmed that his survival was at stake and it was the most important challenge he faced because he did not talk about any other burning political issue, the NRO, the SC judgment, the 17th amendment etc. included.

He confirmed that in his tunnel view, democracy meant Zardari and if he was nabbed through the judicial or legal process, democracy in Pakistan would be derailed. He confirmed that he was scared of the process now inching towards its logical end and it was in his best strategic interest to politicise the fight, energise his cadres, rally Sindhis as if there was a conspiracy to throw Sindh out of Pakistan and take the fight to the GHQ before the soldiers were asked by the courts to intervene.

He confirmed that there actually was a much bigger conspiracy against him and the entire strategy of targeting four media men, Geo and The News journalists including me, was nothing but a lame excuse to find scapegoats. When the leader could not hold his guns, he burst out and now all those who have been blaming the media, day in and day out, look no better than stupid buffoons.

He confirmed that he was about to be cornered not by the barrel of a gun but through the legal and judicial process, which he had successfully subverted for years during his incarceration. He never let any court give a verdict and when the Swiss court had reached that point, the NRO was signed. He now knows that the only option left is to go on an offensive. Obviously he has no defence.

But the key question is now that the president has declared war, what would the other players do? It was just 72 hours ago that Prime Minister Gilani had told dozens of media persons that there was no conspiracy against democracy going on and had even promised to admonish his cabinet ministers who were indulging in media bashing. Mr Gilani now looks like a man lost in the maze. A similar message was given by the Opposition elder Mian Nawaz Sharif 24 hours ago.

Will the Naudero attack stop the judges from proceeding on the path that they had chosen to restore credibility of the judicial system? Will the civil society and the establishment stop supporting the judges who were restored after a major upheaval in the country? Will the media now back off because the thunderous threats of gouging out the eyes, amputating the hands and breaking heads have now been officially authorised by the head of state?

Will the huge banners in Islamabad and Rawalpindi blaming some media men, including me, now be spread all over the country? Will Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira now start looking physically for journalists to beat them up after slandering them on every channel that he could get on?

These questions will wait answers but Zardari has taken the entire debate to a whole new level – a battle for survival with the establishment, precisely the Pakistan Army led by General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. After all, against whom was the specific mention of tenure posts directed at if not the army chief?

The best response to this paranoid offensive would be for all others to ignore the rants and quietly and firmly continue the cleansing process, which has been started by the judiciary and take it to its logical end.

What should not be done is interference in the affairs of the institutions, including the presidency, but every one should be very careful and watch against misuse of any powers by any institution.

The situation also increases the responsibility of the other political parties and the seniors of the PPP to behave in a mature manner and take steps, which are needed to keep the democratic system going.

Mian Nawaz Sharif should quickly call a meeting of all political parties to consider the situation and evolve a political response. He should ask specific questions from Mr Zardari and PM Gilani about the conspiracies mentioned in the Naudero speech and make them public before the nation. A clash between the PPP and GHQ will have serious consequences for the entire political system, which must be avoided.

The Supreme Court should quickly release the detailed judgment of the NRO case so that the excuse of the government, a waiting game, to implement the SC judgment is no longer there and either action is taken or denied, with matching consequences.

The prime minister should immediately invite four other key men in the country – President Zardari, General Kayani, Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry and Mian Nawaz Sharif – for a session to thrash out issues, informally and privately. If someone there adopts a stubborn and arrogant attitude, it would become clear who is threatening the system. There is no threat to democracy as such but democracy should not mean protecting thieves, plunderers and looters. Convicting them through due process of law would strengthen all institutions, which is badly needed. No threats or warnings should be taken seriously as they are mere shrieks of cornered people. Source: PKKH

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Americans To Land Only In Islamabad

Posted by yourpakistan on December 27, 2009


In view of the irregular and suspicious activities of US citizens who have been allowed into the country on visas issued by Mr. Husain Haqqani for the vague purpose of ‘official business’ of the US government, Islamabad moves to restrict the activities of US intelligence and other departments which are being carried out right now under diplomatic cover.

Now Americans can land only on Benazir Bhutto Shaheed International Airport, Islamabad, as Government has banned other airports of the country for them.

A reliable source informed TheNation that unusual activities of Americans in Pakistan have forced the Government to take this decision and the arrest of five US nationals from Sargodha also played a key role in it.

Intelligence agencies have been reporting about increasing anger and agony against Americans among the general public, as the US nationals don’t abide by the laws. On many occasions, US nationals publicly didn’t abide the law of the state, as four times in Lahore and six times in Islamabad they were stopped on various police checkpoints and illegal weapons were recovered from them, but still they were allowed to move freely. This raised many questions about the integrity of Pakistan, and political parties, civil society and media were openly protesting against this discrimination.

Again five arrested Americans during interrogations have revealed important information that is against Pakistan’s integrity and this was the main reason of this decision, the source disclosed.

Now Americans can land only on Benazir Bhutto Shaheed International Airport, Islamabad, and they will have to complete the whole immigration process – Source: Ahmed Quarishi

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PAKISTAN’S FAKE PRO-US DEMOCRATS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST JUDICIARY

Posted by yourpakistan on December 26, 2009


IT is unfortunate that the PPP has chosen to effectively defy the Supreme Court decision on the NRO and its aftermath. The message going out to the public at large is that the rulers will defend their alleged corruption and will not adopt a high moral ground (which could have set an example for their people) by relinquishing their offices till their names have been cleared. Interestingly, many questions are being asked about the whole Defence Minister and the ECL episode, which some say could not have happened without the clearance of the Interior Ministry at the highest level – not simply at the level of the Secretary.

In other words, the whole thing was engineered to put those implementing the SC decision in a negative light. Additionally, it again made the ECL a controversial issue – but if we are clamouring to bring back Musharraf and others so that they can be tried for their sins, why should the NRO beneficiaries be allowed an escape route out of the country?
A more dangerous path that is now being adopted by the NRO beneficiaries of the ruling party is to try and discredit the judiciary by starting a massive campaign on the internet and in the media which, in a most bizarre fashion, seeks to imply that by having struck down the NRO, the judiciary has become political. Strange argument, since striking down something that contravened the Constitution and allowed whitewashing of the illegal acts of corruption and murder is a legal act alone with no political connotations – except that the affectees also include politicians. Ironically, an attempt, in this campaign, is also being made to show the whole SC striking down of the NRO as a civil versus military confrontation. Yet, the NRO had amongst its beneficiaries many military personnel as well. So all should now stand subject to the law which alone must be allowed to take its course. Therefore, to try and undermine the independence of the judiciary and its decision on the NRO, by painting it as a civil versus military struggle is unfair, unjust and totally irrational. As for the argument why the SC allowed the NRO to go to Parliament, it seems to be a case of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”! If the SC sought to allow the elected representatives to convert a black ordinance into a law through parliamentary consent, then that was an attempt to allow Parliament a chance to express the popular will and make this dictatorial ordinance a law through democratic expression. The efficacy of the law would still have been challenged in the Supreme Court by petitioners. That the government chose not to pursue the NRO in Parliament was a political decision. But to try and undermine a sound legal decision, that will allow for effective accountability of the elite, both military and civil, through legal means is a dangerous and detrimental game for the government to play – if they care about Pakistan at all.

IT is unfortunate that the PPP has chosen to effectively defy the Supreme Court decision on the NRO and its aftermath. The message going out to the public at large is that the rulers will defend their alleged corruption and will not adopt a high moral ground (which could have set an example for their people) by relinquishing their offices till their names have been cleared. Interestingly, many questions are being asked about the whole Defence Minister and the ECL episode, which some say could not have happened without the clearance of the Interior Ministry at the highest level – not simply at the level of the Secretary. In other words, the whole thing was engineered to put those implementing the SC decision in a negative light. Additionally, it again made the ECL a controversial issue – but if we are clamouring to bring back Musharraf and others so that they can be tried for their sins, why should the NRO beneficiaries be allowed an escape route out of the country?

A more dangerous path that is now being adopted by the NRO beneficiaries of the ruling party is to try and discredit the judiciary by starting a massive campaign on the internet and in the media which, in a most bizarre fashion, seeks to imply that by having struck down the NRO, the judiciary has become political. Strange argument, since striking down something that contravened the Constitution and allowed whitewashing of the illegal acts of corruption and murder is a legal act alone with no political connotations – except that the affectees also include politicians.Ironically, an attempt, in this campaign, is also being made to show the whole SC striking down of the NRO as a civil versus military confrontation.

Yet, the NRO had amongst its beneficiaries many military personnel as well. So all should now stand subject to the law which alone must be allowed to take its course. Therefore, to try and undermine the independence of the judiciary and its decision on the NRO, by painting it as a civil versus military struggle is unfair, unjust and totally irrational. As for the argument why the SC allowed the NRO to go to Parliament, it seems to be a case of  “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”! If the SC sought to allow the elected representatives to convert a black ordinance into a law through parliamentary consent, then that was an attempt to allow Parliament a chance to express the popular will and make this dictatorial ordinance a law through democratic expression. The efficacy of the law would still have been challenged in the Supreme Court by petitioners. That the government chose not to pursue the NRO in Parliament was a political decision. But to try and undermine a sound legal decision, that will allow for effective accountability of the elite, both military and civil, through legal means is a dangerous and detrimental game for the government to play – if they care about Pakistan at all.   Source – The Nation

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USA Intrusive Ambassador In Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on December 24, 2009


While the Boston Globe advises President Obama to scale back meddling in Pakistani politics, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson launches a covert campaign to convince politicians to support President Zardari.

The disconnect is breathtaking. Globe’s position (“Show US neutrality in Pakistan”) also serves to signify how much the US public opinion is unaware of the extent of the intrusive presence of the United States in Pakistan. Part of what US officials describe as rising anti-Americanism in the country is actually nothing more than Pakistani backlash for this meddling.

Mr. Zardari’s team and his closest aides – especially Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Ambassador in Washington Husain Haqqani – have been on a collision course with the Pakistani military. They have permitted possibly tens of private US defense contractors – private militias, to be accurate – into Pakistan.  Moreover, Pakistanis have strong reasons to believe that Mr. Zardari and his team had consented to some conditions, or secret understandings, with Washington prior to taking charge in Pakistan last year. It is no secret that the incumbent pro-US Pakistani government is the result of a ‘deal’ brokered by the Bush administration in 2007. That deal imposed the current set of discredited politicians on Pakistan.  In some ways, this was the third US-led regime change, after Kabul and Baghdad. But unlike those two capitals, regime-change in Pakistan happened without the need for a full fledged military invasion. This was and continues to be an achievement for US diplomacy and military, and a moment of shame for most Pakistanis.Unknown Object

To be fair, Washington could not have done it with the help of Pakistani insiders. Former strongman Musharraf was under no compulsion to agree to this wild American idea. Yet for inexplicable reasons he chose to agree to a power-sharing agreement with late Benazir Bhutto, as part of the US-brokered deal.

It is encouraging to see some Americans – like the editorial writer at Boston Globe – cut through the fog of official US media manipulation and see developments in Pakistan through Pakistani perspective.  But most Americans don’t know, for example, how their envoy here, Ms. Anne W. Patterson, is quietly meeting Pakistani politicians at private residences of trusted friends to strategize domestic politics. These meetings are not acknowledged by the US Embassy or by Pakistani politicians and hence do not make it to the front pages of Pakistani newspapers.

More recently, a US defense contractor on whose behalf Ms. Patterson lobbied senior Pakistani officials for special weapon permits was found to have paid bribes to a Pakistani minister’s aide to the tune of US $ 250,000. In short, the US ambassador’s name came up several times during a case of bribery involving the national security of the host country.

Pakistani politicians in government are too timid to put the US government on notice about the extracurricular activities of its diplomats in Pakistan.

[This is one blatant aspect of US meddling in Pakistan. Another is the sudden media reports in the US complaining about Pakistani harassment of US diplomats. Those leaks were stunning by all accounts because they showed the US at the receiving end of Pakistani high handedness. The reality is totally different but who cares. US government spinners released the story first and that’s what counts. Pakistanis are lousy at media projection anyway. More on this later.]

So, who will stop Ms. Patterson from trying to manipulate Pakistani politics? And why such a heavy US investment in the Zardari government? And why is the US orchestrating the encirclement of the Pakistani military, from the borders of Afghanistan to the civilian pro-US government in Islamabad?

And the most important question: Is Pakistan the enemy? Every US move in the region says it is. Even the financial aid is being used as an instrument of coercive policy rather than an instrument of development, which is what US officials make it sound like. Here again the US official language says one thing and does another. Source – Ahmed Quarishi

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American trainers to Islamabad police headquarters

Posted by yourpakistan on December 23, 2009


Following protests from the media and the lawyers’ fraternity, who have questioned the American presence at the Police Training College in Sihala, the Pakistan Government has decided to shift the US trainers to Islamabad Police Line Headquarters.

The quarters concerned have asked the Islamabad police to vacate two blocks of Police Line Headquarters for the Americans who would be shifted there from Sihala.

“Presently they are giving training to police at Sihala College and possess a lot of training equipments that’s why they would be shifted there, as area is ideal for them for training and security point of views,” The Nation quoted a senior police officer, as saying.

Sources said that Islamabad police officials, who are residing in Police Line Headquarters, showed great reluctance and demanded of the authorities concerned not to shift the Americans there.

Police officials suggested to their high-ups to shift the Americans somewhere else like Diplomatic Enclave but not at Police Lines, which is already a high security risk.

Last year, a suicide blast rocked the Police Line Headquarters and the area is considered as a sensitive zone.

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World Bank refuses to accept Kashmir as Indian Territory

Posted by yourpakistan on December 22, 2009


The World Bank has refused to accept Indian Occupied Kashmir as an integral part of India and has rather insisted upon a disclaimer from the Jammu and Kashmir government that funding for a project will not be seen as recognition of India’s territorial claim on the state.

The agency has put a ‘disclaimer clause’ for bankrolling a key project in the disputed state which indicates that funding of projects in disputed areas should not be used to endorse territorial claims.

“If you have a query on World Bank’s decision on J&K, Ask Prabhu now”. This has been communicated to New Delhi by the occupying state government which wants the World Bank-funded Rs 740 crore ‘Participatory Watershed Management Project’ to be completed.

Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s Forest Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad, along with MPs from the state met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee recently in New Delhi to discuss the issue.

Jammu and Kashmir’s occupying government wants the New Delhi to settle issue with the World Bank, which has refused to fund more projects in the state, treating it as disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Ahmad said the World Bank had raised the disclaimer issue last year after assessment of the project which was then at the funding stage.

He said if the Centre pursued the matter; the bank could be convinced to give up the disclaimer condition. Despite Ahmad’s views to the contrary, this is a shocking development. The World Bank was instrumental in committing India to allow the waters of the state’s three principal rivers – the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab – to flow unimpeded under the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

Article XI of the treaty is quite emphatic in that it will deal with only the water-sharing issue and its implementation will not acknowledge or waive any other rights other than those specified in the treaty. In other words, it will have nothing to do with the territorial dispute between the two parties.

In the troubled history of India-Pakistan relations, the Indus Water Treaty stands out as a major success for which the World Bank, the third signatory to the treaty, deserves great credit. As party to the treaty, the bank created an $895 million Indus Basin Development Fund to which India contributed some $174 million.

This is the second time this year that India has had friction with a multilateral development agency over project funding in a state that has a border dispute. An Asian Development Bank (ADB) country loan to India had run into trouble because it included funding for a watershed development project in Arunachal Pradesh – a point that was objected to by the Chinese at the ADB meeting. The World Bank had funded two projects in Jammu and Kashmir under the integrated Watershed DevelopmentProgramme with Rs 90 crore from 1990 to 1999 and Rs 198 crore from 1999 to 2005 without bringing up the disclaimer issue.

A team of the World Bank headed by Norman Piccioni had visited the occupied state from May 5 to May 12 last year to assess the feasibility of the Participatory Watershed Management Project.

The project is likely to cover 3,14,705 hectares for adopting integrated watershed management to reverse the degradation of the natural resource base and improve the livelihood of poor rural households in the project area.

The World Bank will finance 80 per cent of the project and the state government 17 per cent. Participatory communities will contribute 3 per cent. If implemented 1,74,250 households will be covered while 50,675 households will directly benefit from the project. Overall, it is expected to benefit over 10 lakh people and generate 45 lakh person-days of wage employment besides providing jobs to 2,000 people regularly for seven years.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah first raised the issue in a June 24 letter to the Union finance minister.

He said the project was appraised by the World Bank for international development assistance credit of US$ 120 million equivalent in May 2008. After the appraisal, the director of the World Bank sent a letter on May 21, 2008 announcing the tentative dates of negotiation for the project in June last year. But no final date was conveyed by the bank. The Chief Minister said the state government also did not get any communication from the department of economic affairs of the government of India in the matter. “I therefore request you to have a special consideration for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and ask the department of economic affairs to immediately take up the issue with the World Bank so that the project can be negotiated and taken up for implementation during the current financial year itself.” Efforts to contact World Bank officials in Delhi on Sunday failed. Source – Ahmed Quraishi

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US faces harsh reality with Islamabad

Posted by yourpakistan on December 21, 2009


Pakistan will not go as far as Washington wants, and there’s nothing the U.S. can do about it: That’s the sobering reality as the U.S. tries to persuade a hesitant Pakistan to finish off the fight against terrorists.

Expand the current assault against the Taliban? Pakistan has made clear that will happen only on its own terms. U.S. officials acknowledge that so far they haven’t won the argument that militants who target America are enemies of Pakistan, too.

The U.S. has offered Pakistan $7.5 billion in military aid and broader cooperation with the armed forces. The assistance is intended to help Pakistan speed up its fight not only against internal militants, but also against al-Qaida and Taliban leaders hiding near the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistanis are deeply suspicious of America’s power and motives, making it difficult for their leaders to accede to Washington’s pressure in public, lest they look like U.S. puppets.

U.S. officials say that while Pakistani officials cooperate more in private, there are definite limits. The U.S. wanted Pakistan to move forces deeper into the tribal belt before winter. It didn’t happen, and might not at all.

A senior U.S. diplomat hinted at a separate agreement that would allow the U.S. itself to take on some of the hidden war against Pakistan’s militants.  Continue…

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Strategic Punishment: A Program To Assassinate Pakistani Military Officers

Posted by yourpakistan on December 20, 2009


The bombings in Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan are part of a strategic punishment against Pakistan’s military. This punishment has now entered a new stage: a systematic program for assassinating Pakistani military commanders.

Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was a possible target during the commando-style break-in and siege at General Headquarters in October. Maj. Gen. Mushtaq Baig was assassinated earlier this year, near GHQ. Four senior Army officers were ambushed commando-style on the streets of the Pakistani capital, one Brigadier was killed. Police arrested a suspect who is linked to DynCorp, a military contractor deployed at the US Embassy in Islamabad. The latest is the daring Dec. 4, 2009 operation targeting a mosque frequented by military officers. The attack carried the hallmarks of Special-Ops training. While at least some of the attackers were Pakistanis from the tribal belt, the training, logistics and execution were impeccable, military-style by all standards, which is the kind of training not available except in military schools. Al-Qaeda is not known to have mounted any kind of similar attacks anywhere in the world. The list of the assassinated officers in this attack was long and deadly: a serving major general, 11 serving and retired army officers, five soldiers and 13 children, most of them sons of army officers. The wounded include a retired four-star army officer.

These attacks on military commanders marked a shift that Pakistani security analysts failed to notice. Hardly any group ever existed inside Pakistan that could be a match for the Pakistani military. The attackers in all of the incidents above have shown a level of training and organization that is beyond the abilities of a loose army of bandits based in the isolated mountains of South Waziristan. The only plausible explanation for the daring attacks inside Pakistan is that a source outside Pakistan is feeding the anti-Pakistan insurgency with money, expertise, equipment and weapons in a manner that renders ineffective any countermeasures by the otherwise highly professional Pakistani military.

When this is coupled with the evidence that ISI chief Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha is reported to have shared with CIA director Mr. Leon Panetta in their meeting on Nov. 20, the picture gets clearer. While the US media, intelligence and politicians attack the Pakistani military and blame it for their regional troubles, a shadowy insurgent force supported by CIA, British and Indian elements in Afghanistan is used on the ground to launch direct attacks on Pakistani military officers and their families, possibly as a last-ditch effort to force the Pakistanis into compliance with US objectives.

Important segments of the Pakistani media, intelligentsia, political elite and the military remain in partial denial. But it is no longer possible – and might even be suicidal – to ignore the reality. Pakistan’s military is the only major roadblock for the Indo-US interests in the region. The Indo-US interests overlap more than the Pak-US interests.  The rest is plain math.

STRATEGIC PUNISHMENT
Pakistan, and specifically the military and the ISI, are being punished for a number of things:
1.   The attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul in July 2008, which killed the Indian defense attaché.
United States and New Delhi blamed Pakistan and ISI. No evidence was presented.

2. The attack on Mumbai in November 2008.
3.  The Jan. 2008 attack on Serena Hotel, Kabul.
This punishment is eerily similar to the events of the 1980s when a foreign power occupying Afghanistan decided to punish Pakistan. At the time, India offered its intelligence expertise on everything related to Pakistan. The Soviets were glad and the security services of their client regime in Kabul helped unleash a wave of terror across major Pakistani cities.
US-TAILORED POLITICAL INSTABILITY
The political turmoil in Islamabad is directly linked to blatant interference by United States in Pakistani politics.
US ambassador Anne W. Patterson is personally involved in meeting politicians in private houses recently to rally support for US-installed President Zardari.
Under Ms. Patterson’s guidance, US Consul Generals and other diplomats posted in Pakistan take turns every couple of weeks or so to issue belligerent press statements claiming without evidence that Pakistan is sheltering al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. They indirectly threaten to bomb major Pakistani cities. These allegations draw little reaction from a government in Islamabad that is actively pursuing a US agenda.
This month, this Web site revealed that a handful of federal Interior Ministry officials were bribed over US$250,000 to issue illegal arms permits in a case that Ms. Patterson was personally involved in. The Personal Secretary to the Pakistani State Minister for Interior is under arrest in the case.
Pakistani officials have already told CIA chief Leon Panetta on Nov. 20 that CIA operatives are involved in supporting a wave of terrorism inside Pakistan.

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