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Archive for July, 2010

Shuja Pasha Cancels UK Trip – Zardari Insists on Going

Posted by yourpakistan on July 31, 2010

Revealing the division within its ranks, the government struggled all day on Friday to come up with a unified response to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s disparaging terror remarks.

For once the PPP leaders were not just at odds with the military leadership, but also the Foreign Office, led by their party man. The army conveyed its displeasure after the ISI chief cancelled his upcoming visit to UK. After hectic day-long consultations, sources said the final decision was on these lines – President Zardari will go ahead with his visit to UK; ISI chief to call off the trip; and the Foreign Office, which is torn between the political and military cross-currents, to summon a British High Commission official. British Prime Minister Cameron’s remarks in India earlier in the week accusing Pakistan of exporting terror created uproar here with demands for a strong response to the statement.

Mr Cameron, despite protests from Islamabad which described the comments as saddening, and criticism back home, stood by his statement. Diplomatic observers say ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha’s decision to cancel the visit conveyed the disquiet in Pakistan on the issue, even though the president desired to downplay the diplomatic row by sticking to his plan.

Both Mr Zardari and Gen Pasha were to visit UK separately. Mr Zardari is going there on a five-day state visit, while the ISI chief was to visit London for consultations with intelligence counterparts.

The Foreign Office’s failure to announce President’s Zardari’s UK visit along with his visit to France, which are taking place back to back, fuelled speculations that the visit might be cancelled.

However, shortly afterwards it was clear that Mr Zardari was adamant to go ahead in view of what his aides described as “strategic partnership and broader bilateral relations”.

The Foreign Office, which had earlier indicated that British High Commissioner Adam Thomson would be summoned for receiving a demarche, came under intense pressure from the presidency to avoid the course. As a compromise between the FO and the presidency, sources said, the British charge d’affaires is likely to be summoned on Monday, when the high commissioner would be away to UK for President Zardari’s visit.

Officials at the Foreign Office denied any compromise or pressure from the presidency, saying they were considering options for conveying the displeasure. The Foreign Office’s position on the remarks, which followed leaking of US intelligence documents, was very much clear from the media briefing the other day.

A spokesman had termed the remarks ‘biased and unrealistic’. The Foreign Office is looking at WikiLeaks issue and the subsequent international reaction as an attempt by certain quarters for papering over failings of international community in Afghanistan. Behind this wrangling on response to Prime Minister Cameron’s comments is another interesting inconsistency in the country’s approach to its relations with other countries.

Besides UK, Pakistan, after theWikiLeaks, had also come under severe criticism from the US and Afghanistan for ISI’s alleged relations with Taliban and other extremist groups.

US National Security Adviser Gen James Jones had said: “The balance must shift decisively against Al Qaeda and its extremist allies.” US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen was more categorical in his comments: “There have been elements of the ISI that have got relationships with extremist organisations, and we consider that unacceptable.”

But no one is ready to take note of these statements and everyone is taking solace in the ‘US government’s acknowledgement of Pakistan’s contribution to the war on terror’. Even the ISI chief, who cancelled his UK trip, would be soon visiting Washington as part of a series of meetings with his American counterparts.

On the US, both political and military leaders look to be on the same page and accept the Obama administration’s clarification that it had no role in the leaks. Contrastingly, Afghan President Hamid Karzai came under harsh criticism for his terror comments. Mr Karzai’s remarks are being described as ‘incomprehensible’.

Pakistan’s Ambassador in Kabul, Mr Muhammad Sadiq, has been asked to seek an explanation from the Afghan government. A senior diplomat, explaining variations in the response to criticism by three different countries, said it was a ‘reflection of the power politics’.

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Leaks Destroy The American Case Against ISI

Posted by yourpakistan on July 30, 2010

  • US tries to hide American war crimes & shift focus to Pakistan
  • 90,000 documents on US military & CIA failures, only 180 on ISI
  • How safe are US nuclear, chemical and biological secrets
  • Most of the American propaganda on Pakistan is “Rumors, bullshit and second-hand information”

Since late 2006, United States government, military, intelligence and media have been orchestrating regular attacks against Pakistan, creating a false alarm about its nuclear capability and portraying its premier spy agency, the ISI, as a threat to world peace.

The weak and apologetic reactions by Pakistan’s political and military officials encouraged this American double game.

But here comes the smoking gun, more than 90,000 leaked US intelligence documents, which prove how the Washington establishment has been running a vilification campaign against Pakistan both under Bush and Obama administrations, without any evidence except malicious intent.

Here is a chance for Pakistan to use these documents to argue its own case more confidently.

As soon as the classified documents were leaked over the weekend, US government sprung into action to minimize damage by shifting the focus toward Pakistan.

US government and military officials succeeded in making Pakistan and ISI the main story and hide the massive and spectacular US failures in Afghanistan, including evidence on war crimes and civilian carnage. It’s an exercise that bears the hallmarks of a CIA-style public diplomacy [a la Iraq invasion]. Author : Ahmed Quraishi Unknown Object
Instead of brooding over the American failures and war crimes that have been neatly hidden from the world for eight years, the mainstream US media chose once again to indulge in anti-Pakistanism which is rampant and endemic within the US media and among think-tank types. A British journalist, Declan Walsh, couldn’t help but notice this anti-Pakistan streak in how the Obama administration handled the leaks.

“In issuing such a strongly worded statement with implicit criticism of the ISI,” Mr. Walsh wrote in The Guardian, “the White House may be trying to keep ahead of a tide of US opinion that is hostile towards Pakistan.”


Here’s a quick look at how ISI and Pakistan are a small part of the story blown out of proportion:

– Out of more than 90,000 classified US documents, only about 180 mention ISI, and only about 30 or so charge the legendary Pakistani spy service of wrongdoing in Afghanistan

– The whole case built by US against Pakistan and ISI is based not on evidence but on information sourced to ‘informants’, ‘sources’, initials [like A.E.], and sources linked to either the new US-created Afghan intelligence or the Indians. Both Karzai’s spies and the Indians have been telling anyone who’d listen that they are the preeminent source for any credible information on Pakistan

– Many of these classified US documents carry a disclaimer added by the authors or their handlers in the US military and intelligence. The disclaimer emphasizes that information in these reports can’t be trusted, is unverified, is sourced to people working for monetary gain or are linked to biased parties such as the Indians and Karzai’s intelligence

– Most importantly, many of these documents carry a warning that US policymakers should not rely on information in the reports to formulate policy

– According to the Guardian, most of the American propaganda on Pakistan is “Rumours, bullshit and second-hand information”


The real story, the one hidden in the bulk of the 90,000 leaked documents, is this:

– How the US government, military and CIA have hidden a US military disaster in Afghanistan from the American public and the world

– How the mainstream US media is complicit in misleading the American public and the world

– How the United States is involved in war crimes in Afghanistan, especially in mass murder of innocent Afghan civilians

– How the US and its allies within the Pakistani government and military are most probably hiding similar tales of mass murder of Pakistani citizens in Pakistan’s tribal belt who fell victim to CIA-run drones


An important question that arises out of these documents is this:

1. If this is the level of US propaganda against Pakistan over the past five years, why have Pakistan’s political and military leaders acquiesced in US’s anti-Pakistan pressure tactics and failed to appropriately respond to American disinformation?

2. If this is the quality of US intelligence in Afghanistan, why has Pakistan’s government and military accept faulty US intelligence to allow US covert military operations inside Pakistan that have almost pushed the nation to civil war?

Pakistan’s leaders have almost wasted one opportunity – the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue in March 2010 – to redefine the terms of cooperation between Islamabad and Washington in Afghanistan. The storm over the leaked secrets provides a second opportunity to Pakistani policymakers to review their generally weak and apologetic policy that has messed up Pakistan in little less than eight years. Author : Ahmed Quraishi

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Pakistan Slams UK ‘Terror’ Remark

Posted by yourpakistan on July 29, 2010

Pakistan has strongly criticised David Cameron, the British prime minister, for his remark that Islamabad should not “promote the export of terror”.

British PM - Davi Cameron

Abdul Basit, a foreign ministry spokesman, on Thursday said Cameron seemed to have based his comments on leaked US documents, which he called “biased and self-serving”.“We are obviously disappointed at these comments because these are not coming from any original source, rather biased sources and I would say not even raw intelligence but disinformation against Pakistan,” he told Al Jazeera.

On a visit to India, Cameron on Wednesday said Pakistan should know “that it is not right to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror”.

He said: “We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country [Pakistan] is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world.” Though his comments were likely to be welcomed in India, Pakistan’s reaction has been quick and angry.

‘ISI role’

Basit strongly denied any Pakistani links with terror groups and defended Islamabad’s role.“Britain knows full well as to how Pakistan, particularly the ISI [the Pakistani intelligence service] has been extending help and assistance to Britain in thwarting so many terrorist plots in Britain.“They know the effectiveness of the ISI and our constructive and positive role in Afghanistan so we do not find any reason whatsoever for such remarks.”

Earlier, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s high commissioner in London, told Al Jazeera that he had received hundreds of calls from Pakistanis, who offered “a very sharp reaction” to Cameron’s comments.

“I think Cameron will review his statement, clarify his position, because we need to be supported not criticised for what we are doing,” Hasan said.

He also refuted renewed criticism of Pakistani intelligence services over its alleged ties to Taliban, following revelations by Wikileaks,  the whistle blower website. The site leaked US government documents suggesting links between Pakistan’s security services, the Taliban and other groups operating in Afghanistan.

“ISI was one of the conduits used by the CIA and other agencies to raise these Taliban, these mujahidin, to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Only [the] ISI can’t be blamed for it,” he said.

Cameron’s comments came as he prepared to wrap up a two-day visit to India, which is aimed at improving bilateral trade between the two nations.

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Diplomatic Talks and Af-Pak Trade Expose US-India Connection

Posted by yourpakistan on July 25, 2010

A series of diplomatic meetings and events have been observed in the past two weeks in Pakistan. The prominent figures to have visited here include: Indian External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna; US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; and, US Envoy to Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. While these three did not have a joint meeting, it seems that their collective presence had an objective that would obviously not favor Pakistan. S.M. Krishna’s demeanor made things horribly obvious, even though his presence here was supposed to be a good gesture. While he spent his time here, rather uncomfortably, Clinton and Holbrooke fulfilled their evil designs in the form of getting Af-Pak Transit Trade Deal approved. Implementation of this trade route will leave a gaping hole in Pakistan’s security, as it will open the road for more Indian-trained militants in Afghanistan to carry out attacks on Pakistani soil.

The Pakistani people largely focused on S.M. Krishna’s gesture visit in the form of the proceedings and outcomes of the talks between him [S.M. Krishna] and Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The Pakistani people had not paid enough attention to something going on that was terribly undemocratic; the so-called Af-Pak Transit Trade agreement, through which India will send and receive goods to and from Afghanistan, through Pakistan. This agreement has not been tabled in parliament, and there has been little or no objection to it at the government or opposition level. The terms of the agreement have been agreed to behind closed doors, and the people have not been taken on board through the parliament — Is this the brand of democracy we preach? While this is an important point to make, the major emphasis in this article is on the connivance of the US and India to manipulate and deceive our people with the help of our naïve leadership. It is important to also turn particular attention to the role of Hillary Clinton; being a well known Zionist Mouthpiece of India, it is no surprise at all that when she is around, things seem to work against our interests.

Though we have a feeble-minded government that has allowed the Af-Pak trade route, and a media, with the exception of a few, that hardly cares, the educated in Pakistan know what is going on. They are well aware of the existence and operation of the Indian- American-Israeli evil nexus, and we also know that their latest approach here is a result of their sheer failure in recent times.

The US failure in Afghanistan is becoming more and more apparent; they are losing soldiers on a daily basis despite US President Obama’s ‘surge’ tactic. Apart from Taliban strikes taking their lives, the suicide is surging. They now realize that they can’t win in Afghanistan, and they are the third super power to be buried – The US authorities know it, and so do the soldiers! As a result, the US is left with very little credibility, and they want to leave this war in the hands of the Pakistanis. This notion has been reinforced recently when Admiral Mullen said that Pakistan would eventually win this war. This explains why the US has been trying to shift the battle zone to Pakistan. However, they have an accelerated approach to achieving this in the form of the Af-Pak Transit Trade route agreement; it is nothing but an excuse to allow free access to Indians from the Afghan border. It is well known that India has been operating against Pakistani interests out of their hubs in Afghanistan, training militants to hit targets inside Pakistan.

While the people sit and wonder when sense will prevail in the Pakistani leadership, they now see some very uncomfortable moments in the US camp. Debates are going on regarding extra funding for troops in Afghanistan, and it is not easy to get funds for this unpopular and illegal war anymore. Also, law makers are questioning the legitimacy of US covert troops in Pakistan. As a result of all this pressure, we are seeing some very typical frustrated Holbrooke comments.

After recently praising Pakistan’s role in helping to wipe out terrorism, and how important Pakistan is to a stable Afghanistan, Holbrooke now says, “Pakistan is not playing the role that the US wishes.” With top US authorities putting pressure on people like Holbrooke, he feels the need to act, and this is how he does it, which is really dangerous. Even now retired US Top Commander for Afghanistan, General Stan McChrystal, holds the same view. A member of McChrystal’s team quotes him [MsChrystal] as saying that Holbrooke is “like a wounded animal….Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he’s going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He’s a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto. But this is COIN [Counterinsurgency], and you can’t just have someone yanking on [stuff]…”

Obviously, there is enough evidence to show that we have some pretty reckless US officials around ‘yanking’ at things simply because they aren’t achieving any objectives, and they’re just squandering billions of taxpayers’ Dollars. It’s apparent that they are desperate, and will continue to act they way they are. It is also evident that Indian officials are being pressurized to shake hands with Pakistan.

With the US masters ordering their Indian slaves to talk to Pakistan, it is quite likely that the so-called diplomatic meetings between Pakistan and India will carry on, in a perceivably increasingly difficult atmosphere. The next step in this dialogue entails Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi visiting India, in advance of which he has made some bold statements. It is left to be seen how far this progressive stance will be reciprocated by India, particularly when there seems to lack consensus regarding the diplomatic communication process with Pakistan. Regardless, with Pakistan and India entertaining each other at the diplomatic level, the US hopes to make sure Pakistan keeps the Af-Pak Transit Trade route open, thereby, allowing a free influx of arms and militants trained and sent to Pakistan to wreak more havoc.

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US lawmakers want American troops out of Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on July 24, 2010

“We have known that US forces have been operating in secret inside the territories of Pakistan without congressional approval,” Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich said Friday, pointing to reports the United States was stepping up its presence there. Paul said the US military has “significantly increased” its operations in Pakistan, without providing figures.

He also noted the increased use of unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan since President Barack Obama came to office a year and a half ago.”This increasing US military activity in Pakistan has little to do with protecting the United States and in fact is creating more enemies than it is defeating,” Paul said.

“The administration, like its predecessor, is misusing language in the original post-9/11 resolution to prosecute a wider regional war and Congress is sitting quietly on the sidelines. This must stop.”

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America’s Undeclared War on Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on July 23, 2010

It was a relatively flawless performance. With Washington stuck in its Afghan review and Pakistan’s cities under bombardment, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touched down in a hostile Pakistan in October 2009 on a self-proclaimed propaganda mission. Greeted with bombs from Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and treated with hard questions on the freshly signed Kerry-Lugar bill, Clinton left a foul impression after deploying her grating “do more” mantra on al-Qaeda’s leadership.

July 2010 would be different. No major explosions signaled her arrival, which Clinton attributed to Pakistan’s military success in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Drones have lost their controversial potency and US aid, always a third rail, grows increasingly palatable to an economically struggling Pakistan. Clinton beamed throughout her photo-ops and Pakistani leadership reflected the shine. She even managed to accuse someone within the government of knowing Osama bin Laden’s location without drawing attention, having landed in South Korea by the time her Fox News interview aired.

From Islamabad Clinton triumphantly landed in Kabul for what she hailed as a “turning point” in Afghanistan: a six hour international conference that pledged $20 billion in aid and declared Afghan security forces would assume command of all provinces by 2014. The choreography went off as planned, which of course is the point when the show is too good to be true.

Like a bridge, errors in one part of the span expose other flaws and threaten to bring the entire structure down with it.Though Clinton undoubtedly improved upon her last visit, charm can only beautify an ugly reality so much. Promises of aid were automatically linked to a military invasion of North Waziristan rather than Pakistan’s current strategy of negotiating with its hosts, Sirajuddin and Jalaluddin Haqqani. Clinton explicitly ruled out a dialogue with them, tagging US aid as conditional.

Already fearful of military servitude, it doesn’t help that US and foreign aid lacks the track record to inspire confidence among  average Pakistanis. The Kerry-Lugar bill, President Barack Obama’s celebrated achievement in civilian aid, stalled in Congress due to fears of misappropriated funds; a trade bill designed for the FATA similarly gridlocked. Pakistan had to jump through hoops to receive long-delayed reimbursement from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), while the Friends of Pakistan have delivered only $725 million of $5.6 billion pledged in April 2009.

So when Clinton announced “$500 million in several new development programs,” funded in part by the Kerry-Lugar bill, the many strings attached cast ominous shadows over her smiles. The attitude of Pakistan’s press was straightforward: “Given Pakistan’s current plight, any assistance from the outside world has to be welcomed. The recognition by the US that policy cannot be focused only on security issues is also a step in the right direction.”

Whatever the strings and grudges, Pakistan simply isn’t in the position to turn down assistance.

But Islamabad’s endgame is roughly the opposite of Washington’s. While the White House believes its efficiency in delivering military and humanitarian aid determines success in Afghanistan, Pakistanis base success on the effectiveness of Pakistan’s leaders. These aren’t the same goals. America needs Pakistan to improve and thus assist in stabilizing Afghanistan so that it can remain in the region, but Pakistan wants to utilize US aid to regain sovereignty of the state and ultimately rid South Asia of America’s military presence.

“The hugely positive tone adopted by the Secretary of State will of course have brought smiles to the faces of Pakistani leaders,” wrote The News International. “But they must recognize that the relationship between Pakistan and the US is a complex one. Many believe it is in fact the root cause behind our militant problem and that this cannot be solved until the US withdraws from the region.”

Clinton may have missed this not-so-subtle difference, but the chances of her merely ignoring it are higher. While admitting that Pakistani’s negative perception of America “wouldn’t change overnight,” she raved about its new environment – “I could feel a change” – and Pakistani officials who, “really believe that the people are understanding that the United States wants to be a real partner to us and that it’s not just killing terrorists.”

Pew Research Center listed Pakistani approval at 17% in June 2010, up 1% from last year but down from 19% in 2008.The News International warned upon her exit, “There is a very real risk that the latest aid offer will be seen as a kind of bribe intended to ensure that the fighting continues. The effort to persuade people that the war against militancy is Pakistan’s has so far been a faltering one.”

The Dawn analyzed “Hillary’s iron fist in a velvet glove,” while a less generous Nation concluded, “It is time we broke off from the present US stranglehold that is suffocating Pakistan to death.”

But Clinton’s most telltale contradiction: passing the blame off to George Bush. “Of course there is a legacy of suspicion that we inherited,” she argues, when Pakistan is actually one of the Obama administration’s favorite words – a “whole of government” problem. Anti-US sentiment has ran high for over 20 years and spans multiple presidencies, many staffed with the same officials that fill Obama’s cabinet and National Security Council. Pew still has Bill Clinton clocked at 22% in 1999.

Pakistan’s fate has always be decided by how the foreign chips fall, not how they stack up. America may uphold its obligations this time around, it just hasn’t before, and Afghanistan repeats the same story. The Huffington Post digs up the old bones of past “international conferences” and “turning points.”

Paradoxes in Kabul were equally numerous, for instance the massive quantity of foreign aid that may disappear. Karzai called for 50% to funnel through Afghanistan’s ministries by 2012, up from 20%, while dutifully promising to clean up corruption for Western ears. However, the conference followed a report from Integrity Watch Afghanistan that found corruption had doubled between 2006 and 2009. This story never seems to change, whether before or after Karzai’s controversial election victory in 2009, and the West’s power to reform this gray area remains suspect.

Reintegration prospects are dwindling too. Reconciliation appears a non-starter in Washington despite its public support for reintegration, a stance that hinders reintegration. On top of UK reports that few Taliban are switching sides, the idea of transferring authority to Afghan forces by 2014 implies that the West still expects to be fighting the Taliban rather than reintegrating it. This tidal wave of uncertainty finally throws the 2014 deadline into upheaval.

When Karzai insisted, “Afghan national security forces will be responsible for all military and law enforcement operations throughout our country by 2014,” he’s asking for the same three years Iraq needed after its surge.

Given that most deadlines in Afghanistan evaporate, history and the present offer no reason to define 2014 as realistic as NATO did. Marjah and Kandahar’s time-lines already protracted. Obama’s 2011 transfer deadline, if not postponed outright, will amount to a symbolic transition of power, and Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded “a couple thousand troops” is the likeliest withdrawal option. Clinton desperately tried to counter the slippery slope by arguing, “the transition process may be able to begin by the end of this year.”

Yet believing in 2014, let alone Clinton’s new claim, makes no sense in a country where projects rarely start or finish on time.The last few days in Afghanistan brought no surprises. The White House in particular is facing renewed criticism from the US Congress and media to clarify the war’s objectives, and Clinton’s tour was its answer. But instead of leveling with the US, Afghan, and Pakistani peoples and shunning unrealistic expectations, Washington rolled out more smoke and mirrors to conjure the image of success.

Being illusions, the deadlines are likely to vanish one by one and ultimately fail to break the West’s cycle of mission drift in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

James Gundun is a political scientist and counterinsurgency analyst based in Washington D.C. Contact him in The Trench, a realist foreign policy blog,

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Who Pulled Indian Foreign Minister’s Legs?

Posted by yourpakistan on July 22, 2010

Indian Government Pulled Own Foreign Minister’s Leg

New Pattern: Indian Extremists Strike Before Every Peace Move With Pakistan

  • On 17 Feb. 2007, one day before Pakistan foreign minister arrived in India, Indian intelligence officers & Hindu terrorists burned alive 59 Pakistani peace visitors touring India
  • A nexus of Indian government, military, intelligence and Hindu extremist and terror groups is violently opposed to peace in Pakistan and Kashmir
  • Time to expose the pr-war camp within the Indian establishment that is behind meddling in Afghanistan and increasing tensions with Pakistan, China, Nepal and almost every nation neighboring India

This is not the first time that Indian extremists have sabotaged crucial peace talks with Pakistan.

On 19 February 2007, one day before Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri landed in New Delhi for peace talks, a bomb exploded aboard Samjota Express, or the friendship train launched as a peace gesture. Fifty nine Pakistani visitors to India were burned alive. Cynically, the Indian government accused ISI and Kashmiri freedom fighters but it turned out later that serving Indian Military Intelligence Officers and members of a Hindu terror group were involved. The Indian officers were arrested for a trial but a gradual blackout was slapped on the investigations.

It was the clearest evidence to date proving the existence of a pro-war camp in New Delhi that springs into action whenever anyone in the Indian government decides to discuss Kashmir with Pakistan. It is almost if there is an undeclared gag on Indian politicians warning them of consequences if they dare try to resolve disputes with Pakistan.

Unfortunately, the American and British media and politicians continue to turn a blind eye to the existence of extremists in New Delhi.The same Indian pro-war camp sprung into action on 15 July 2010. And its latest victim was Indian’s own foreign minister S. M. Krishna.

Mr. Krishna realizes the bitter truth: His government, or influential elements within it, pulled his leg as he landed in Islamabad for crucial peace talks with Pakistan.A bitter Mr. Krishna accused his own government’s interior secretary G. K. Pillai of sabotaging Krishna’s visit to Pakistan.

Pillai “would have been wiser” if he had not made his damaging statement, said Krishna in a television interview with CNN-IBN on Wednesday.Mr. Pillai, of course, acted on behalf of all the extremists in New Delhi in scuttling the talks.This political tussle in New Delhi was as intense as the melodramatic Indian movies.

As Mr. Krishna’s plane touches down in Islamabad on 15 July, 2010, Mr. Pillai in New Delhi issued a statement claiming Pakistani government and ISI were directly involved in Mumbai attacks.This statement ties Mr. Krishna’s hands and poisons the expected talks before they even begin.

Could anything be more dramatic than this?

Krishna told CNN-IBN’s Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesi that the Indian home secretary was almost responsible for destroying the talks with Pakistan.“Well, in hindsight, I think Pillai could have waited till I came back to issue a statement. Perhaps it would have been wiser if that statement had not been made just on the eve of my visit,” said Krishna.

But the real question that Mr. Krishna avoided discussing in public, possibly because it is damaging to India, is this: Who within the Indian government planned to sabotage talks with Pakistan?

Someone brave in the Indian media will have to step up and expose the pro-war camp within the Indian government, military, intelligence and Hindu extremist and terror groups. This pro-war Indian camp is violently opposed to peace in Pakistan and Kashmir.Pakistani government officials, the military, and the Pakistani civil society have to step up and draw the world’s attention to the terrorists in New Delhi who burned 59 Pakistanis alive one day before Pakistani foreign minister landed in New Delhi on 19 Feb.

It is not Mumbai attacks of 2008 but the Samjota Express attack of 2007 that hold the key to exposing who is stalling efforts to resolve Kashmir and other disputes between Pakistan and India. by Ahmed Quarishi

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Time For Pakistan To Exit War On Terror

Posted by yourpakistan on July 20, 2010

  • Time to take a hard line on this US-led farce called Friends of Democratic Pakistan
  • FoDP – a group that will immediately dissipate when NATO and the US pull out of Afghanistan
  • Pakistan cannot afford to remain in this US-led mess of a war anymore since the costs on all fronts are too great
  • IMF and the economic managers imposed on us will lead Pakistan further down the road to economic disaster

The Friends of Democratic Pakistan met in Islamabad on Saturday and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister informed them of the losses suffered by Pakistan in terms of civilian and military personnel killed, as well as the financial losses due to lost markets, investments and trade. He also made it clear that unless the FoDP fulfilled its commitments, Pakistan could not, as he put it, “win” the war against terror.

Apparently, there was an agreement to start implementing the Integrated Energy Sector Recovery Report. However, the real point was once again missed by the FoDP and it would seem by the Pakistani government as well: that unless Pakistan is given the access to the markets of the US and EU, it will continue to suffer economically because of the disastrous US-led “war on terror”.

Already, since 9/11 Pakistan has suffered losses of over $ 43 billion. Even more critical, it has lost 3000 civilians, and 2,550 security personnel as well as over 7000 citizens injured. And no one has tallied up the costs to the environment and the social structures of the country.

In other words, what the Pakistani government should be doing is informing the FoDP that it simply cannot afford to remain in this US-led mess of a war anymore since the costs on all fronts are too great and the main players like the US have failed to live up to any of their commitments. As for the FoDP, they have been holding continuous meetings but nothing substantive has come Pakistan’s way from them. In fact, the IMF and World Bank continue to insist on distortions in our economy that target the poor more than the rich. If anything, the IMF and the economic managers thrust on the country by them will lead Pakistan further down the road to economic disaster and political instability. It is time Pakistan took a hard line posture towards what is fast becoming the farce of the FoDP.

Not that that mere economic assistance would have reduced the costs for Pakistan. Certainly access to markets would have had a more enduring positive spin off. But at the end of the day, what is required is for Pakistan to delink itself from the US-led war against terrorism and devise its own strategies taking into account ground realities so that we can fight our extremist and terrorist threats more effectively. This is what the Foreign minister should have told the FoDP – a group that will immediately dissipate when NATO and the US pull out of Afghanistan, leaving Pakistan with the collateral damage. Already US troops are suffering a major morale problem and June 2010 saw the highest number of US army suicides than in any month since the Vietnam War and things will not improve for the US military. That is why it is desperate to extricate itself from its Afghan mess. It is time Pakistan realized the US game plan and began distancing itself from the US which seeks to shift the centre of gravity of the whole war on to Pakistan and its territory. That is simply unacceptable. posted in The Nation

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General Kayani: The Party Pooper

Posted by yourpakistan on July 18, 2010

The stage had been set for another round of the cordial, cosmetic but utterly pointless excercise at the behest of Washington as the US and NATO try and control the India-Pakistan proxy war on Afghan soil and convince Pakistan to shift its focus to the Western border. A lot of groundwork had been done to project the gradual normalization of relations between India and Pakistan in the run-up to the foreign minister-level talks.

However, India’s Home Minister GK Pillai’s direct allegation on the eve of the talks that Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) was ‘literally controlling and coordinating it (the Mumbai attacks) from the beginning till the end’ – had doomed the latest round of talks even before they commenced.

Pillai Unleashed

The latest outburst by Pillai – who had also recently blamed the unrest in occupied Kashmir on the ISI while absolving the trigger-happy Indian security forces of any blame – was part of a calculated attempt to undermine and pressure the ISI as the rift between it and the CIA continues to grow over Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s ‘democratically elected’ leaders, implanted at Washington and London’s behest, had been all set to play their part in this malarky as they have done in the past, most noticably when they attempted (and failed) to clip the ISI’s wings by pushing it under Rehman Malik’s interior ministry in the early days of Zardari’s government.

SM Krishna and Shah Mehmood Qureshi appeared quite relaxed and happy when they broke for lunch around 1300 hrs (Pakistan Standard Time) after the first round of talks. After having painstakingly worked out numerous CBM agreements and cosmetic gestures during Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao’s visit to Islamabad last month, both Foreign Minsters were set to announce these agreements. A draft joint-statement was also ready in which the Pakistani side had appeared to give more concessions than they got in return – namely more promises to reign in JuD and Hafiz Saeed yet no word of protest on the Indian attempts to implicate the ISI in terrorism or to include Kashmir in talks.

This is when Kayani was forced to step into the picture and hold separate meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, making it absolutely clear on the two that Pakistan will not let itself be bullied, and there will be no further talks unless the following issues were included in discussion:

1) India’s human rights abuses in Kashmir

2) India’s covert support to TTP terrorists and Baloch separatists

3) India’s continued attempts to point the finger at Pakistan’s military establishment, as evident by Pillai’s statement

Krishna’s schedule was to leave at 3.20 pm and reach Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s office to meet him at 3.30 pm. The call on president Asif Ali Zardari was to follow at 5.30 pm at the Presidential palace. Just 15 minutes prior to his departure, Krishna was informed that the order has been reversed and the call on Zardari will precede.

In the time slot Krishna was to meet Gilani, Kayani met the Prime Minister after having met with Zardari earlier.According to the official release issued after Kayani’s meetings with Pakistan’s political leadership, the army chief discussed the security situation in the country and operational matters of the army.

However, when the talks resumed after Krishna’s two call-ons, the atmosphere totally changed.

Qureshi’s Switch

The tone and tenor of Qureshi changed at the third and final rounds of the marathon talks. He is said to have demanded on the time frame for settlement of various issues, as well as a resumption of the composite dialogue on Kashmir. He also raised the issue of India’s covert support to terrorists in Pakistan and the role its consulates in Afghanistan are playing in arming and training terrorists from the TTP and various Baloch separatist groups. Finally, Pakistan responded to India’s requests of blocking Hafiz Saeed’s right to speak publicly by telling the Indian contingent to put a leash on India’s official state actors such as Pillai and stop them from making statements that can only further strain the relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

India caught with its pants down

To say that the sudden shift caught the Indian contingent as well as the country’s media and analysts off-guard would be an understatement. Heads were scratched and editorials were hurriedly scribbled trying to decipher what prompted the suddent change in Pakistan’s stance, from being apologetic in recent months to the new ‘take it or leave it’ posture which sent alarm bells ringing not just in Delhi but as far as Washington and Langley.

In Qureshi’s defence, he went far and above the call of duty and warned India not to expect him to come over to India for the next round of talks unless India was prepared to actually discuss all unresolved issues including Kashmir, and not use Mumbai as a stalling tactic which it has done succesfully for the last couple of years.

With the endgame for US being spelt out in the mountains of Afghanistan, this is the latest signal in the gradual shift of power in the region – one where Pakistan can and will dictate terms as per its own national interest – even if it takes an Army chief to hold the US-backed puppet goverment to task to protect the national interest, just as when Kayani forced the reversal of the order that would have put the ISI under Rehman Malik’s control almost exactly 2 years ago.

Dan Qayyum is an Afghanistan and India analyst for, Pakistan’s leading online alternative news website, as well as the defence and security publication Fortress Magazine, published out of Karachi, Pakistan.

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MQM Urges India to Open Consulate in Karachi

Posted by yourpakistan on July 16, 2010

Pakistani politicians called on visiting Indian External Minister S M Krishna here on Friday. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) delegation was the first who met with Krishna followed by ANP delegation. Talking to media after a meeting, MQM leader Farooque Sattar said terrorism is a regional issue and India should also come forward to meet the challenge.

He called for positive talks between Pakistan and India adding that all contentious issues including Kashmir should be discussed in the process of talks. He said the party delegation urged the Indian minister for arrangement of the visa facility (Indian consulate) in Karachi. He said the delegation also talked over boosting bilateral trade ties and making the SAARC forum more effective. He said the Indian foreign minister denied any deadlock in the talks. Indian External Minister invited MQM delegation to visit New Delhi. Later, a three-member delegation of ANP comprised of Haji Adeel, Hashmi Baber and Tajuddin met Krishna.MQM, Altaf Hussain, Karachi, Indian Consulate

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