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Archive for August, 2010

Twenty Years of Conflict has cost the Middle East $12 trillion

Posted by yourpakistan on August 31, 2010

The 20 years of conflict has cost the Middle East region 12 trillion U.S. dollars during the period from 1991 to 2010, Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported on Sunday quoting an Indian report.

The report was published in a book entitled “The Cost of Conflict in the Middle East” by the Strategic Foresight Group in India and translated by the Institute for Peace Studies of Egypt.

The Middle East region afforded a high record of military expenses in the past 20 years and is considered the most armed region in the world, the report said.

The conflict had a negative effect on the Palestinians. The death toll from the conflict has increased to 4,000 Palestinians since 2000, while the number of people living under poverty line has risen to more than one million since 2006, the report said.

The report added that 42 percent of Palestinian families were barred from health care facilities due to the segregating walls that divide their lands. Countries in the region could have reached a 6 percent growth of its national domestic production, but they failed due to the lack of political stability.

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Afghan Soldier Kills Two US-led Soldiers Over Insulting Women

Posted by yourpakistan on August 27, 2010

This isn’t the first incident, at least third in few months. and if US can’t even get along with Afghan troops, whatever will become of winning hearts and minds of ordinary folks.

A media report says that an Afghan soldier killed two US-led soldiers in a shoot-out when they tried to remove an Afghan woman’s veil by force. An exchange of fire between two Spanish soldiers and an Afghan police trainee left all three killed in northwestern Afghanistan’s Badghis Province on Wednesday.

Informed sources told the Pashtun language Benava website on Thursday that the deadly incident took place after soldiers were disrespectful to the women and insulted Afghans’ cultural and Islamic values.

Thousands of Afghan protesters subsequently staged a rally outside a Spanish base in the region.

The protesters also called on the Afghan government to send Spanish troops to their country.

Protesters set fire to parts of the base and were met by bullets from the foreign troops. US-led troops reportedly opened fire at demonstrators, killing dozens of people and wounding more than 20 other civilians.

More than 800 Spanish soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan within the framework of NATO forces.

Some 140,000 US-led troops are currently deployed in the war-ravaged country.

A further 10,000 are expected to be deployed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the security situation is believed to have been deteriorated in Afghanistan with US-led forces being killed by Taliban militants on a nearly daily basis.

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Book Review: RAW & Bangladesh

Posted by yourpakistan on August 26, 2010

RAW AND BANGLADESH is an illuminating book written by Mr. Zainal Abedin, a senior Journalist of Bangladesh and published by Fatema Shahad in November 1995. It is printed by Madina Printers and distributed by Madina Publications, 38 Banglabazar Dhaka – 1100, Bangladesh.

Mr. Zainal Abedin is a former student leader and a freedom fighter who crossed over to India in 1971 for military training, joined the Mujib Bahini and fought for the freedom of Bangladesh alongside the Indian Army. Mr Abedin holds a masters degree and a BEd.
In the book Mr Abedin ponders over the events of 1971 and ‘one particular incident chastises me the most’, he writes, It was in April 1971 in the district headquarters of Noakhali, his home district, where the freedom fighters were gathering, that he met his neighbour. A middle-aged, mature and sober person, his most staunch supporter and admirer. ‘He got hold of my hand and took me to a nearby restaurant’. Narrates Mr Abedin, ‘As we sipped tea, he started narrating the history of pre-1947 Bengal. He mentioned gory details of how the Hindus used to treat the Muslims and explained the reasons for creation of Pakistan. He said that struggling for one’s right is different from break up of the country. He stated that India would first weaken us by breaking our unity and then exploit us. He added that his life time experiences had told him that India would never be sincere to Muslims. With tears in his eyes and hands trembling with emotions he quipped, ‘Are you again going to make us the slaves of the Hindus?’.
Mr Abedin admits that he did not give any serious thought to the urging of his neighbour at that time as he was too young and emotional. ‘The said question now haunts me often’, he writes. ‘The realization of what lay in store for us started soon after I crossed over to India. The attitude of our Indian handlers and trainers indicated that they treated us (the Freedom Fighters) not as friends but as agents. The real Indian face lay bare after the surrender of Pakistani forces, when I saw the large scale loot and plunder by the Indian Army personnel. The soldiers swooped on everything they found and carried them away to India. Curfew was imposed on our towns, industrial bases, ports, cantonments, commercial centres and even residential areas to make the looting easier. They lifted everything from ceiling fans to military equipment, utensils to water taps. Thousands of Army vehicles were used to carry looted goods to India. History has recorded few such cruel and heinous plunders. Such a large scale plunder could not have been possible without connivance of higher Indian authorities’.

From the conduct of the Indian Army it was evident that they treated Bangladesh as a colony. That was the time the question asked by his neighbour seriously surfaced in Mr Abedin’s mind. He feels that ‘India through her notorious deeds has proved time and again that she is not our friend but an arch roguish foe’, which has posed a grave threat to the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.

‘It is now evident’, writes Mr Abedin, ‘that India helped the creation of Bangladesh with the aim that it would be a step forward towards the reunification of India’. Soon after the creation of Bangladesh, India let loose all forces at her command to cripple the newly born country. Their aim was to precipitate its collapse and eventual merger with India to realize part of the Brahmanic dream about ‘Akhand Bharat’. The most significant player of this heinous game is India’s notorious intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing commonly known as RAW. Established in 1968 and still ‘eating into the vitals of Bangladesh’.

The author explains the main sources of inspiration for India’s intelligence agencies and her foreign policy – the ancient pundi-cum-political, Koutillaya, Prime Minister of Chandra Gupta. In his book ‘Arthshastra’ written about 300 BC Koutillaya laid down three guidelines: when your country is weak pursue the policy of peace; when your country becomes militarily strong follow the policy of war; when another state seeks your help, apply double standards. In his book Koutillaya has recommended six principles as the basis for foreign policy. These deal with peace, war, neutrality, military preparedness, formation of alliance and duel policy. Koutillaya’s final dictum is. ‘Power is the ultimate truth and the main aim of an organised state should be to obtain power’. The author shows how Mrs Indira Gandhi was an ardent follower of Koutillaya and subscribed fully to his policy of waging ‘battles of intrigues’ and ‘secret wars’ to achieve her unholy objectives. She created RAW, a secret intelligence agency functioning directly under the Prime Minister to pursue her ambitious but nefarious agenda particularly in the South Asian region.

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), explains the author, was raised in September 1968 from the foreign Intelligence Desk of Intelligence Bureau (IB). Mr Rameshwar Nath Kao was appointed its first director and assigned the task of collection, collation and analysis of intelligence from beyond India’s national frontiers. A ‘Special Operations Branch’ was included in its organisation for conducting secret and covert operations. RAW started with a staff of 250 persons and an annual budget of Rupees two crore. It expanded rapidly and by 1990 had a staff exceeding 8 thousand persons and a budget of Rupees 500 crore. Its present budget is around Rs. 1500 crore. It has its own aircraft and helicopters, the headquarters is located in large eleven storey building in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. The present director is Mr. A. S. Siyali.

RAW has its own agenda particularly concerning neighbouring countries and has great influence in formulation of external policy of India. Since the last few years RAW has become so powerful and influential that it has emerged as a major player in the internal politics as well.

Besides the usual functions as an intelligence agency, RAW is relentlessly working for attainment of the following objectives. One, to extend Indian sovereignty over unprotected and vulnerable smaller neighbours. Two, to enhance Indian influence particularly in the Indian Ocean region militarily, politically and culturally, so as to project and develop India as a future super power. Three, to implement the Brahmanic dream of establishment of ‘Akhand Bharat’.

The book explains how RAW’s popularity, acceptability and influence increased manifold after its success in disintegration of Pakistan in 1971 and annexation of Sikkim in 1975. However, its image suffered some setbacks due to debacle in Sri Lanka during 1987 and its failure to have Pakistan declared a terrorist state. Nevertheless it retains its image as the country’s premier intelligence agency wielding considerable influence in the formulation of foreign policy and internal security.

The book goes on to explain the cardinal principles of RAW inspired foreign policy. Which is to exert influence on other countries under the cover of friendship and co-operation: resort to threat and coercion to achieve desired objective when necessary; insist on policy of bilateralism etc. RAW attains these objectives abroad by conducting extensive espionage activities by the under cover diplomats and staff posted in Indian Missions abroad; recruiting leaders and other important persons; putting pressure or luring through incentives; brain washing intellectuals and spreading cultural influence; promoting internal clashes and developing separatist movements; influencing the government, members of parliament and government officials; forming pressure groups by spreading false, and distorted news; arranging assassination of important personalities etc.

The author explains the espionage set up of RAW in and around Bangladesh. Inside the country the prime centres are Indian High Commission at Dhaka and Deputy High Commissions at Chittagong and Rajshahi. Another RAW organisation operates around Bangladesh with its regional office at Malibagh, Calcutta. It has an annual budget of Rs. 20 crore and supervises the conduct of espionage and special operations inside Bangladesh. Its three regional offices are located at Darjeeling in the North Shillong, in the North East and Agartala in the East. Bangladesh is therefore very well covered from all sides.

RAW agents employed in Bangladesh can be divided into three broad categories. One, trained Indian nationals who come as diplomats, journalists, businessmen, students, cultural activists, literature etc. Two, Bangladesh nationals for a variety of motives including financial rewards, business interests, ideological considerations (some Hindus). Three, officials of multi-national organisations, NGOs, business houses etc.

The book vividly describes how RAW operated in the former East Pakistan and helped in the creation of Bangladesh. After that it has consistently tried to destabilise the new country politically and financially with the aim of merging it with India as planned by the Indian National Congress. This fact is well illustrated by a letter written by Mr. Nehru on 23 May 1947 to Mr Ashrafuddin, a congress leader from Comilla quoted by the author and attached as an appendix to the book.

‘The Congress had stood for the union of India and still stands for it’. Wrote Mr Nehru, ‘But we have previously stated that we are not going to compel any part against its will. If that unfortunately leads to a division then we accept it. But inevitably such a division must mean a division also of Bengal and Punjab. That is the only way to have a united India soon after. If we can have a united India straight away without such a division, that will of course be very welcome’.

This book is written by a highly educated man who was a student leader, a freedom fighter, a politician, and is now a journalist of great standing in his country. It is written with great perception and knowledge, quoting accurate facts and figures to illustrate his point of view. It should be read by our policy planners and all those concerned with the well-being and prosperity of South Asia. The book does show India’s policy, present attitude and future plans concerning her small neighbours.

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US Drone Strike Destroys House Full of Children in Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on August 25, 2010

The Obama Administration’s policy of escalating drone strikes took another hit today, after the explosion from a drone attack against the house of “suspected militants” in North Waziristan also destroyed a neighboring house full of women and children.

The combined toll from the blast was 20 people killed, with at least four women and three children among the slain. At least 13 other civilians were also reported wounded, including a number of other children.

Pakistani intelligence officials say most of the “suspects” killed in the attacks were Afghans, but it is unclear how much evidence they had of wrongdoing. Large numbers of Afghan civilians have been living as refugees in the tribal areas since the 2001 US invasion.

The large numbers of civilians (700 in 2009 alone) killed in the US drone strikes has fueled considerable anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. When pressed during a previous visit Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shrugged off concerns about the civilians, saying only “there’s a war going on.”

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“Humanitarian Warfare” in Pakistan: Bombs not Bread

Posted by yourpakistan on August 23, 2010

The scale of the disaster caused by the floods in Pakistan, is barely comprehensible. As Juan Cole has written, expressing near disbelief : “The submerged area of the country is as big as the United Kingdom, fourteen million Pakistanis are affected, two million are homeless.” Six million need immediate relief, according to the UN., and thirty six thousand are suffering from acute diarrhoeal symptoms, with cholera already diagnosed. 1,600 are reported dead, with the number certain to multiply. Famine is a real possibility.

The great Indus river, one of the world’s longest, which flows also through China, India and Kashmir, rising in Tibet and flowing in to the Arabian Sea, has flooded Sindh and Balochistan provinces, forcing the evacuation of over ninety percent of the villages. With no place to hide, people watched their homes washed away, in a monsoon season that continues through September. Hundreds of villages are inundated or completely under water, with roads, rail links, thus transportation cut, as frantic people try to flee to safer ground. It is the worst flooding in the country’s history, with some experts saying the region worst affected for nearly one hundred years. A far wider area is now threatened.

When the waters subside, the million-plus people who are directly or indirectly dependent on the mangroves, will have had their livelihood affected or erased, as will the fishermen along this great expanse.

Looking at US., news sites, the enormity of this tragedy has evoked not pity, but almost universal vindictiveness. One with over 19,000 comments are typified by:

  • “Pray for more rain”; “Uncle Sam, I need your help again!!! …”;
  • “Doesn’t it just pull at your heartstrings that Dear Ol’ Uncle Sam wants to help out the enemy-“;
  • “Ha, God truly works in mysterious ways … forsaken by their false prophet”;
  • “What did it cost to deploy this missle to kill a measly 12 people? Not good use of our tax dollars! Get a bigger missle,12,000 would be better!”(1) are, sickeningly, a few of the milder ones, addressed to a River Valley civilization which dates to about 3,300 BC., with tools found, used fifteen thousand years ago.

Saturday 14th August, is Pakistan’s Independence Day, celebrated annually since 1947. Flags and flowers, traditionally decorate all, homes, roofs, vehicles. This year celebrations were muted to sombre, devastation and death dominated. Prayers for both replaced festivity. The army cancelled their celebrations and donated the funds allocated for their day’s events to the flood victims.

President Obama in a message for Independence Day, pledged U.S. support: “… in line with deepening partnership between the two nations”, praising the Pakistani people ” … as they bravely respond to widespread and unprecedented flooding.” He ended: “I have directed my Administration to continue to work closely with the Government of Pakistan and provide assistance in their response to this crisis.”

Pakistan has requested helicopters from this US “partner”, close by in Afghanistan, however : “A senior U.S. military official said transfer of additional helicopters, which are in short supply in Afghanistan, would require a political decision in Washington. ‘Do they exist in the region? Yes’, he said. ‘Are they available? No’ “, writes Robert Naiman.

What was available, on Pakistan’s National Day, and the third day of the holy month of Ramadan, were US drones. A US missile strike on (as ever) a “militant” compound on the Afghan border, killing thirteen “rebels” and wounding five others on Saturday, in the village of Eisori, in North Pakistan, is widely reported. Wait for the bodies of the militant children, women, teenagers. It is still confusing to know how these “militants” are recognised from the air, from a computer in the US, given so many have turned out to be families having a meal, tending their land, or mince-meated infants. What happened to Courts of Law?

Unmanned drones, decimating lives since 2004 in the US’s “deepening partnership” country, operated by those who have graduated from computer games to war games, with real human targets, has to be one of life’s more memorable, bizarre, cowardly, illegal obscenities. Some “partnership.”

The good news or the bad?

A shipload of U.S. Marines and helicopters did arrive to boost relief efforts in flooded Pakistan on Thursday (12th August.) However, given the number of US Special Services alleged to have been at sites of bombings in Pakistan, from schools to communal compounds, the cynic might wonder whether this is in spirit of co-operation and “partnership” or an eye to the main chance.

And the US has a bit of form when it comes to Ramadan missiles. In Ramadan in Iraq, the US., military signed their missiles with: “Have a nice Ramadan, Saddam.”

UN Secretary General, Ban, has finally limped in to Pakistan, saying not a lot. The Taliban have offered, allegedly, twenty million dollars in aid if Pakistan rejects US aid (given US form, they could possibly be on to something – further once in, the US., have a tendency to stay) and President Obama and his family are swimming in Florida to promote tourism in BP infested waters.

One commentator reached a US news site, and compared poor Michelle Obama to Marie Antoinette. A long way from: “Change we can believe in.”

Nearly five hundred years ago, William Shakespeare put it well : ” … perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame; savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust.”

Funny world.

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Get Out Of Kashmir, India

Posted by yourpakistan on August 22, 2010

Canadian Sikh Leader Says The Sikh Nation Will Stand By Kashmiris, And Wants Freedom For Sikh Homeland

Worried Indian diplomats sneaked behind the curtains of the windows at the building of the Consulate General of India in this Canadian city as Kashmiris, Pakistanis, and Sikhs gathered across the street, drawing the attention of the Canadian media and public to an important idea whose time has come: an end to the Indian occupation of Kashmir.

World Kashmiri Diaspora Alliance held a peaceful rally in front of the Consulate General of India in Toronto to ask the world powers important questions that must be answered that must be answered: “Should India get away with defiance of international agreements?”  and “Who has given India a license for the genocide of the Kashmiris and other minorities?”

The demonstrators included children, women, and the elderly. They raised slogans of protest saying, “Kashmiris demand the right to life.”

Protesters were carrying placards demanding “Indian Army: quit Kashmir”; “We demand self-determination, as agreed upon in 1948”; “India honor her pledges given at the UN”; “Stop killings & inhumane crimes in Kashmir”; “Stop state terrorism in Kashmir”; “Kashmiris demand peace & justice”.

Since June, 2010, the Kashmir Valley has been burning. A renowned Kashmiri leader Farooq Siddiqui said:

“Our parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins are undergoing unwanted sufferings and uncertainties. Protests and demonstrations have been rocking Kashmir; strikes and curfews have brought the Kashmir’s life to a standstill. We would like to draw the world attention on Indian armed personnel’s presence which is more than 800,000 in the civilian population to intimidate the Kashmiris. It is horrifying to imagine more than 192,685 killings, 215,877 arrests, and 110,000 disappearances, 115,665 home demolitions, committed by Indian Forces, leaving 122,675 widows and 207,218 orphans in the last six decades. India has been committing crimes such as rapes, torture, atrocities, humiliation, dehumanization and gross human rights violations of the Kashmiris. Nobody has paid any attention to the agony of the Kashmiris for over 63 years. Despite all these atrocities, India still claims to be the world’s largest democracy. It is evident that India’s treatment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is vastly different than its other states. “

Canadians participated in the rally. Of special significance was the participation of activists from the United Front of Sikhs, a renowned Sikh organization based in Toronto, Canada.

Sikh leader Sardar Balkar Singh, a victim of India’s terrorism and in charge of the United Front of Sikhs, announced that the Sikh nation will work together with their Kashmiri brethren in order to achieve sovereignty for both Kashmir and Khalistan, the Sikh homeland that waits to be freed from Indian occupation.

He also stressed that they were present to show solidarity with their Kashmiri brothers and fully support to their just cause. They were also carrying banners displaying “The Indian Government must cease the illegal occupation of Khalistan.”

The Sikh leader said the Sikh nation has been struggling for the sovereignty of Punjab (Khalistan), which is also occupied by the Indian Government since the day India received freedom from Britain on August 15, 1947. This was day when the Sikh nation and PUNJAB were ‘robbed’ by the deceitful Indian government masters and made the Sikhs a ‘Landless Sikh Nation.” So far, India has murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Sikhs since 1984.

Habib Yousafzai, a member and spokesperson in Toronto for the World Kashmiri Diaspora Alliance, strongly demanded that, “The Indian democracy must honor its own words to the inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir whose sovereignty is disputed as per various United Nations resolutions. Their fate should be decided by the right of Self-Determination by the people of Kashmir. The New Delhi administration, he said, must:

i. declare ceasefire against Kashmiri innocent peoples
ii. remove curfew, and
iii. withdraw all its armed forces to let the people of Jammu and Kashmir decide their own destiny and the future for their
coming generations, by a democratic verdict of referendum

Others who addressed the rally included Mr. Mohammed Aslam Rathure, Mr. Hussain Yousafzai, Mr. Mueen Hakak, Mr. G.S. Dhaliwal, Mr. Altaf Qazi, Sardar Kuljit Singh and Ms. Khaoula Siddiqi.

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Who Really Controls Shahbaz Air Base?

Posted by yourpakistan on August 20, 2010

  • Both US And PAF Are Responsible For Flood Relief Hurdles
  • Aid workers confirm they can’t reach half a million victims due to a US-related security cordon
  • Jacobabad cut off from the rest of the country

Pakistan Air Force arranged a hurriedly organized media tour yesterday to prove that the base is not under US control. But this does not appear to be the whole truth. Over the past eight years, PAF offered and withdrew different types of facilities to US military at the base. The Americans used the base mostly for logistical purposes and not to stage direct attacks against targets in Afghanistan or inside Pakistan’s northwestern region. But there were times when the number of US personnel at the base crossed 200, including special-forces operatives. According, Pakistani newspaper Daily Times claimed on 10 March 2004 that the airbase was under US control, “with an inner ring of facilities off-limits to Pakistan’s military,” according to the paper. But in August 2010, there is credible information that new special residential barracks for US personnel have been constructed. Unfortunately, Pakistan has accepted to house US personnel who will ensure the country’s doesn’t ‘misuse’ the new F-16s. So despite PAF’s – and US Embassy’s – sharp reaction, it is clear there is some merit to the statement of Federal Health Secretary Kamran Lashari that US presence at the base is preventing using the base for flood relief operations. Another related issue is the level of Pakistani involvement in CIA drone attacks inside Pakistan that have killed a huge number of innocent Pakistanis and turned Pakistani citizens against their country. []

The floods have not only shown the ineptitude of the Pakistan government but also the confusion that prevails within government institutions. On Wednesday the Federal Health Secretary informed a Senate Panel that Jacobabad air base was under the US control so health relief operations could not be provided.

On Thursday, the PAF through APP issued a strange press release stating that “certain sections of the print and electronic media have wrongly reported that the PAF Base Shahbaz (Jacobabad) is under the control of the US. This has been spread by uninformed people”. So was the PAF referring to Federal Health Secretary Khushnood Lashari as “uninformed? After all, it was he who gave out the information about the Base being under the US control and to a Senate Panel.

While the PAF stated that Shahbaz Base was under complete command and control of the PAF and was being used extensively for providing relief and medical care to the affected people of the area, the US embassy had already issued another interesting response to the Khshnood Lashari’s claim. On Thursday, the US press note issued from Embassy of US in Islamabad stated that Shahbaz Air Base in Jacobabad is a Pakistan Air Force Base and is commanded and operated by PAF forces. The base is home to Pakistan’s newest F-16 Block 52s, which arrived this summer. PAF personnel maintain high security standards there to ensure that the technologically advanced aircraft can be securely maintained and operated from the base. On August 18, at the request of the Pakistan government, US Air Force C-130 aircraft flew to Shahbaz Air Base from the Pakistan Air Force Base in Rawalpindi bringing urgently needed relief supplies for Jacobabad.

What was left unsaid was that it was the PAF that was denying all manner of access to the airbase because of the presence of US personnel who had come along with the Block 52 F-16s, which were delivered at this base and had US conditions attached to the delivery of the planes, including the presence of US personnel to “keep an eye” on how the planes were used by the PAF. While the PAF was responsible for the security of the base, it was the pressure from the US on security grounds that was preventing access to the base-even for Pakistanis who had been involved in carrying out building work at Shahbaz.

So, it appears that both the US military and the PAF together are responsible for the relief work hurdles as news from the ground shows that the hurdles are very much there. Hopes are fading away to provide food and clean drinking water to 500,000 to 700,000 people who have been displaced from Jacobabad, Thul, Kandhkot, Kashmore Ghouspur and Karumpur (currently camping in Dera Allah Yar) as Jacobabad was still no-go area for choppers or C-130 due to security concerns to the American personnel deployed at the Jacobabad air base, well-informed sources told TheNation on Thursday. Organisers of national and international NGOs told TheNation on condition of anonymity, when contacted on telephone, that they could not reach Jacobabad to provide food and drinking water to as many as 500,000 to 700,000 flood victims due to strict security conditions adopted for Shahbaz Air Base. Although Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has ordered PAF to form an air bridge of relief supply for Jacobabad which has been cut off from the rest of the country and make operational an airfield near Sibi for immediate supply of relief goods to flood-hit areas in the vicinity, however, Jacobabad is still the only location in Pakistan where rescue choppers of PAF have no access to carry out relief operations.

The sources told this scribe that foreign health teams could not start their relief operations in remote areas because there are not airstrips close to several areas, including Jacobabad.

The town has been evacuated and 500,000 to 700,000 people have been affected. The people displaced from Jacobabad, Thul, Kandhkot, Kashmore, Ghouspur and Karumpur are camping in Dera Allah Yar.

Earlier, it was reported that Shahbaz Air Base was under control of American personnel who were guarding the air base while monitoring the operations of F-16s against militants and extremists in FATA and Waziristan. As one seeks to discover the reality on the ground, the flood-stricken people of this devastated area of Sindh continue to suffer.

Report published by TheNation. Newspaper’s rights are reserved.

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Airbase near Jacobabad under US Control

Posted by yourpakistan on August 19, 2010

Health relief operations in Jacobabad are not possible because the airbase in the area is controlled by the US.

The stunning statement was made by Health Secretary Khushnood Lashari during an appearance at the Senate Standing Committee on Health on Wednesday.

“Health relief operations are not possible in the flood-affected areas of Jacobabad because the airbase is with the United States,” Mr Lashari said while answering a question asked by Senator Semeen Yusuf Siddiqui of PML-Q.

Dr Jahanzeb Aurakzai, coordinator of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Centre, said: “Foreign health teams could not start relief operations in remote areas because there are no airstrips close to several areas, including Jacobabad.”

The town has been evacuated and 500,000 to 700,000 people have been affected. People displaced from Jacobabad, Thul, Kandhkot, Kashmore, Ghouspur and Karumpur are camping in Dera Allahyar.

“It is very unfortunate that Americans can launch a drone attack from Shahbaz airbase but the government is helpless even in using the country’s base for relief operations,” Senator Semeen said while talking to this correspondent.

She said the health ministry should have requested the army to ask the US to allow relief operation from the base.

“I don’t know why the health minister failed to report the matter to the quarters concerned, specifically the Pakistan Army.

“The airbase, which I think the government has given on lease to the Americans, should be used to provide immediate health relief to the flood-affected people.”

The committee, headed by Senator Kulsoom Parveen, was briefed by officials on health-related operations in the affected areas.

APP adds: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has ordered PAF to form an air bridge of relief supply for Jacobabad which has been cut off from the rest of the country and make operational an airfield near Sibi for immediate supply of relief goods to flood-hit areas in the vicinity.

Presiding over a meeting, he asked the air staff to use all available human and material resources to provide timely relief to the affected people.

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Check Indian, Afghan Dams For Floods In Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on August 18, 2010

  • Indian company controls dam on Kabul River, tens of dams control flow of Kashmir water into Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan
  • Flood gates of Afghan Sarobi Dam, Indian Baglihar Dam were opened to drown Pakistani plains
  • Two US allies, the puppet regime in Kabul and the ‘strategic ally’ in New Delhi, declare water war on Pakistan
  • The tragedy one again raises question marks on the US double game against Pakistan in the region
  • · Melting glaciers have nothing to do with this tragedy; it also doesn’t explain why Kabul river surged

It’s not as if the clouds dodged borders and focused on Pakistan only. Pakistan’s water flows from Indian-occupied Kashmir and from US-occupied Afghanistan. A natural deluge should have shown some spillover effect into Indian and Afghan regions adjoining Pakistan. It is interesting that a second and a third wave of floods is expected in Pakistan when there’s no rain to justify it. Where is the water coming from? Here’s a perspective by Mr. Zaid Hamid, a security analyst at BrassTacks, and Ms. Gulpari Mehsud, a researcher at []Unknown Object

There is a very sinister aspect to the floods in Pakistan that no one is discussing in the media. While there were rains and flooding in some rivers of the country, the size, scale and the gush of water suddenly pumped into these rivers defies logic. This is especially true considering that rains have slowed down since the breakout of the floods on 29 July.

It is two weeks since the rains stopped but water continues to rise in the rivers Indus and Chenab. There was no flooding in India or in Afghanistan. Never before have rivers in all the provinces of Pakistan flooded at the same time without a similar act affecting the upstream, the source. While some parts of the country, like some areas of Khyber Pakhtun Khwa saw flooding in 1929, the simultaneous floods covering all of Pakistan and in all of the rivers flowing in from Afghanistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir is something truly unprecedented.

This speed and quantity of the gushing water and the short span of time in which it picked momentum preclude the possibility that water from melting glaciers are solely responsible for the floods.

There is no evidence that suggests that glaciers decided to melt at a faster speed just in time for the heavy monsoon rains.

There is every likelihood that what we are seeing today is that the Indians and the US-backed regime in Kabul are using water as a weapon for the first time to deluge Pakistan. There is no doubt about it.

From an initial look at the data, it seems that a natural spill of heavy rain was exploited by releasing water reservoirs in Indian-occupied Kashmir and on river Kabul. Let’s remember that the Met Office in Pakistan had already forecast heavy rains almost ten days before the first downpour. Different people received this news in different ways. Pakistani politicians, inept and incompetent as usual, slept over it. The anti-Pakistan terrorists based on Afghan soil and supported by several countries used this information to exacerbate terror against Pakistani citizens in the southwestern province of Balochistan, knowing that the State machinery would be distracted.

Interestingly, even when it comes to water, it is Indians where are sitting to the left and right of Pakistan’s borders. The dam on Kabul river is handled by Indian personnel, while tens of dams choke Pakistan from the side of occupied Kashmir.


In February, the Obama administration organized a meeting for senior government officials in Kabul and Islamabad who handle agricultural issues. The meeting was strangely held in Doha, Qatar, on US request. The agenda was to force the Pakistanis to grant agricultural concessions to the US-propped government in Kabul, without Pakistan getting anything in return.

But in the meeting, Mr. Zahoor Malik, a senior Pakistani bureaucrat leading the Pakistani delegation, raised the issue of an Indian company with close links to the Indian government building a dam on river Kabul near the border with Pakistan. It is not clear what the Americans and Karzai’s officials had to say about this. There is a track record, however, that the incumbent pro-US government in Islamabad has often swept such issues under the carpet in order not to jeopardize Washington’s support for the Zardari government.

All major rivers flowing into Pakistan including the Indus are blocked by Indian-built dams.

US and British officials often defend India and dismiss Pakistani concerns as ‘conspiracy theories.’ Some Pakistani analysts accuse elements within US government and intelligence of using Afghan soil against Pakistan.

But imagine this: India, a country that faces a debilitating conflict over Kashmir with Pakistan, goes to build tens of small and medium sized dams on all the rivers flowing down to Pakistan, and everything is supposed to work out smoothly? Not possible, even theoretically. But luckily Indian actions on the ground more than strengthen Pakistani concerns.

After the first wave of floods, the other rivers were flowing normally and no extraordinary rains followed. But suddenly Chenab and Indus Rivers overflowed and the flow picked up speed, turning into a flood. India’s Baghliar Dam in occupied Kashmir opened its flood gates to cause a tragedy in the plains of Pakistan [Sindh and Punjab]. While Sarobi Dam – the Indian-maintained dam near Kabul – controls the flow of Kabul River entering Pakistan. The same thing happened here. Monsoons did not lash Afghanistan and there was no flooding there of any magnitude. But again, strangely, water flowing from river Kabul into Pakistan dramatically picked up speed as water levels increased turning into a flood. The speed with which this transformation occurred could have happened only because of one of two reasons: massive rains in Afghanistan or because Sarobi Dam released large amounts of water over a sustainable period of time.


ANP, a US-allied party with strong links to Kabul and New Delhi and ruling the Pakistani northwestern province, has always opposed the construction of the Kalabagh Dam which would have saved thousands of lives and property had it been there. The ANP has argued that building the dam would drown the city of Nowshehra. Ironically, ANP’s lie was exposed when not only Nowshehra but also Charsadda drowned without the Kalabagh Dam being there and thanks to the artificial floods created in Kabul River by ANP’s Indian and Afghan patrons.

[Earlier this year, Washington and New Delhi came to ANP’s defense on the Kalabagh Dam project by lobbying the World Bank to refuse Islamabad’s request for funding the dam. The Bank obliged and said it can’t fund the project due to Indian objections.]


How Pakistan responds to this latest Indian water war and aggression is something that remains to be seen. What is confirmed is that the incumbent pro-US government in Islamabad is useless when it comes to defending the Pakistani interest. To be fair to this government, this unusual situation in Islamabad started under former President Musharraf and continues with the current ‘elected’ government with amazing continuity. This water aggression has proved more lethal than the TTP [so-called Pakistani Taliban] and the BLA insurgencies, both of which were started from the Afghan springboard to punish Pakistan.

Pakistan has taken another serious hit, more from its corrupt rulers than external enemies. These Indian Dams now need to be destroyed. India has declared war on us by exploiting and orchestrating these floods.

Mr. Hamid can be reached at and Ms. Mehsud can be reached at Research associates contributed to this report.

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U.S. Military’s Relief Effort in Pakistan Prompts Suspicions About Its Intentions

Posted by yourpakistan on August 16, 2010

The U.S. military is pressing ahead in its efforts to support Pakistan’s army in bringing relief to millions of people affected by the worst flooding in the country’s history, undeterred by suspicions about its intentions.

Amid conspiracy theories that U.S. forces deployed in Pakistan could also be used against terrorists, a senior officer says the military does not spend a lot of time or energy worrying about rumors of hidden agendas behind the assistance.

“We would chase these things endlessly if we decided to make that our focus,” U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata told reporters in a conference call from Pakistan.

“What we try to do every single day is provide the support, the assistance and the partnership that the Pakistani government and military ask us for,” he said. “We’re not here to conduct anything other than humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Pakistan Sunday he had never seen such devastation, despite having witnessed the results of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and this year’s earthquake in Haiti.

Although the current death toll, around 1,600, is much lower than those earlier disasters, an estimated 20 million people reportedly are affected, with two million homeless and some six million in serious need of food and water. Cholera and other waterborne disease epidemics are looming, health experts warn.

The longer term damage in the still-unfolding disaster is harder to quantify, but huge swathes of Pakistan’s farmland have been destroyed, setting the scene for a major food crisis in the coming months.

The cotton crop also has been ruined. According to the Center for Research and Security Studies cotton and related products account for 67 percent of Pakistan’s export earnings.

Although the flooding has affected all four of Pakistan’s provinces and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the worst-hit area for fatalities (about 1,000) and destruction of homes (415,000 plus) has been Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly the North-West Frontier Province), according to Pakistani government figures.

On August 4 the U.S. Army deployed six helicopters from Afghanistan to an airbase in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and over the ensuing days they rescued more than 3,500 stranded people and delivered hundreds of thousands of pounds of emergency relief supplies, despite poor weather conditions.

On August 11 Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered in 19 U.S. Marine and U.S. Navy helicopters, and the first of these, U.S. Marine CH-53E Super Stallions, began arriving the following day. Some are deploying from the USS Peleliu, an amphibious assault ship now in waters off Karachi.

As happened in the aftermath of a massive South Asian earthquake in 2005, charities linked to militant organizations are reportedly carrying out relief missions in flood-stricken areas where government aid has yet to reach, especially in the north-west.

They include Jamaat ud-Dawa (JuD), which the U.S. State Department calls a “front operation” for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a jihadist group playing a growing role in anti-coalition terrorism in Afghanistan.

Nagata, who is attached to a division of the U.S. Embassy known as the Office of the Defense Representative Pakistan, said there had been no reports of encounters between U.S. forces involved in the relief effort and militants.

He acknowledged the militant threat in the region, but said the Pakistani military “have done simply an incredibly energetic and totally committed job at providing multiple layers of security around our activities both in the air and on the ground. And frankly, we’ve just seen no evidence of a threat so far.”

‘Reports of thousands of troops not true’

The U.S. has been pressing Pakistani authorities – without success – to expand a military offensive in the country’s northwest to take in areas of FATA that are havens for Taliban and allied terrorists fighting in Afghanistan like the Haqqani network.

Against that background, rumors quickly began circulating on Pakistani Web sites and blogs that the U.S. military relief mission may provide a cover for anti-terror operations, with talk of “thousands” of U.S. troops inside the country.

Nagata could not put a definitive figure on the number of U.S. personnel involved but said it was far lower than that. Before the floods there were about 250 personnel in the country, either based at the U.S. Embassy or involved in training and “other forms of engagement with our Pakistan military partners,” he said.

A U.S. Army element involved in the initial flood relief comprised about 100 people – helicopter crew, logistics, maintenance staff. Now a U.S. Marine contingent is taking over, but there were probably fewer than 100 Marines on the ground as of late last week, he said.

Nagata said “talk about thousands of Marines or thousands of U.S. military personnel that are in Pakistan” was simply “not true.”

The U.N.’s emergency relief coordinator John Holmes has appealed for $460 million in international aid, saying the most critical priorities include food, clean water, shelter and emergency health care.

According to the State Department, the U.S. has pledged approximately $76 million in assistance.

Americans also are being invited to contribute by texting the word “SWAT” to 50555. Each text sends a $10 donation to a U.N. High Commission for Refugees program to provide tents and emergency aid to displaced families.

Patrick Goodenough – CNS News

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