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War On Terror Is A Fraud

Posted by yourpakistan on November 30, 2010


Prof. AKHBAR NAVEES | PakPotPourri
WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

Americans are large-hearted people, hardworking problem-solvers. They created a genuine democracy capable of unifying mankind. But their politicians, big business and global warriors have ruined it. Can the Americans save their homeland?

The US today is, temporarily, the world’s foremost power. It is a country whose people are blessed with wonderful qualities of the head and heart. They are honest, hardworking problem solvers, large-hearted, decent and deeply innocent. The emergence of the US as a power with the greatest ever reaches in human history is the result of a conscious and sustained effort on the part of Washington to make America a great power.

Central to this nation-building process was the key emphasis on cultivating and creating knowledge of nature, and of the high-level of integrity and commitment of the average American. However, the evolution of the US Public State, as a genuine democracy with the ability to unify mankind on a broad basis, has been derailed consistently, and perhaps irreversibly, by corporate cliques that have taken the US on the path of global conquest and exploitation of the poor but resource-rich countries. This path will eventually lead to USA’s defeat, beginning in Central Asia, and its rapid and bloody decline in a decade or two, unless, of course, the Americans can bring to book those criminal cabals which currently control, chain and exploit this great nation.

Michael Ledeen wrote: “Every 10 years or so the US needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” This “business” is corporate business.

The corporations operate secretly, illegally and without regard for the deeper interests of the people or of humanity. Thus, the exploited countries see the US as a power of unprecedented and unmatched ruthlessness. The US is not only the greatest scientific force in history, but it is also the greatest subversive power ever to afflict this globe.

To murder a few million, to destroy countries and cultures, to plunder like no one has ever plundered before, to burn and to ravage the environment beyond imagination, is something that the US forces do in service of its corporate masters. As General “Howling” Jacob Smith told his troops during the Philippine war: “I wish you to kill and burn. The more you kill and burn, the better you please me.” Or as the contemporary American writer Michael Ledeen wrote: “Every 10 years or so the US needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” This “business” is corporate business.

Corporations have gained ascendancy in the White House, the US legislative bodies and judiciary, as well as the US agencies, some of which, such as the CIA, were created on the persuasion of, and for Wall Street. This corporate ascendancy in US power structure is now a constant and deeply embedded feature of the American domestic and international politics. The people of the US are now out of the loop completely, and perhaps permanently. Therein lies the real danger to the future of mankind.

The current eruption of US militarism reflects the desperate urge of corporate cabals to hastily enslave mankind and apportion all its resources for the US elite, in the name of the US “people” and “civilisation” of course. It was Orwell who once wrote: “As I write highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.” What took the US into World War I was, more than anything else, the financial interests of the House of Morgan.

The House of Morgan enjoyed a very special relation with the British, who decided to borrow money for its war costs from the J.P. Morgan Bank. Without a British victory these loans would be lost. As noted in 1920 by Morgan’s partner Lamont: “The national debts of the world have increased by 210 billion or about 475 percent in the last six years.” Wilson had been elected on the slogan of keeping America out of the war, but he betrayed his people and entered World War I in the interest of US banking and business. This war, fought secretly for the control of petroleum reserves, resulted in an estimated 16 to 20 million deaths, half of them civilian.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (TC) were set up by the Rockefeller family, the latter in 1973. These “think tanks” work perpetually for the interests of “Big Oil” and related businesses owned by the wealthiest families of the planet. Winston Lord, former US Ambassador to China and former CFR member, once said: “The Trilateral Commission does not run the world, the Council on Foreign Relations does that.” In 1973, David Rockefeller met with 27 heads of state, as well as the Pope and representatives of China and the USSR.

A cabal involving George Bush Sr., Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney et al has emerged – the so-called neocons. This rightwing cabal started gaining influence during the Ford presidency, when Rumsfeld became Secretary of Defense and brought in his unknown 33-year old protégé Dick Cheney. As Professor Peter Dale Scott puts it: “In the November of 1975, the team of Rumsfeld and Cheney roughly occupied the same position of dominance in the Pentagon and White House that they would come to occupy in the George W. Bush administration of 2001.” They sabotaged the policy of détente, forced the US to abandon the policy of peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union and subverted the normal democratic channels of decision making. Much of the woes of the world of today result from the neocon strategy: permanent war and permanent subjugation of US public interests to corporate interests.

The neocon movement was funded by an alternative group of wealthy men, who wanted to “roll back”, and not just contain Russia and eventually to set up a global US empire. The Olin Foundation, which funded this movement and the American Enterprise Institute became more important as money was spent on propagating the neocon agenda.

With the advent of Reagan the neocons finally had their way and it was the neocon political trajectory that led to 9/11. It is now very clear that 9/11 was staged so that the US could, under the garb of fighting terrorism, scatter military bases worldwide and embark on its program of military conquest. As Professor Michel Chossudovsky has put it, the war against terrorism is a “fraud”.

Prof. Akhbar Navees is the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Punjab at Lahore, Pakistan. This article was first published at Yasmeen Ali Agha’s PakPotPourri.

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Identifying Submarine Corruption halted my promotion: Adm Javed Iqbal

Posted by yourpakistan on November 29, 2010


 

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US And India Are Exploiting Mumbai

Posted by yourpakistan on November 28, 2010


India’s Case Has Weakened After Two Years on the tragedy but Washington is using it to blackmail Pakistan. Here’s How.

AHMED QURAISHI |WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

Two year later, no one has probed the international aspect of the planning for the Mumbai attacks. Both India and the United States are focused only on the alleged Pakistani part of the attacks. The Pakistani part is limited. The international dimension of the planning and preparations for the attacks is vast and full of leads that have been deliberately suppressed by the Indian and US governments.

India is focused on settling political scores with Lashkar-e-Tayyeba. The United States insists on becoming a party to the Mumbai attack and is using the group’s name to peddle conspiracy theories about LeT’s ‘global ambitions’ in order to pressurize Pakistan on the Afghan front and rid India of one of its most formidable Kashmiri foes.

India is yet to convict the lone surviving terrorist in the attacks, Ajmal Kassab. New Delhi is yet to reveal crucial parts of its own probe, especially any information on the backgrounds and identities of the ten terrorists who carried out an impressive attack against India on Indian soil with near impunity.

By delaying the conviction of Kassab for two years, India has lost the credibility of its case and weakened its allegations against Pakistan. The only reason there’s no conviction is because there’s no evidence. And as time passes, more information emerges about the international aspects of this crime. The new information further weakens India’s get-Pakistan campaign.

That’s good news for Pakistan. But there’s a whole bundle of trouble for Pakistan that has developed since 2008. It would be suicidal for the Pakistani government to ignore it:

1. India has used the attacks as cover to settle scores with Kashmiri and pro-Kashmir groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba [LeT]. These groups have given India’s military a bloody nose in Kashmir in the 21 years since the start of armed struggle by Kashmiris against Indian occupation. These groups are naturally based in Pakistan due to a large number of Pakistanis being of Kashmiri heritage and because of Kashmir’s geographical contiguity with Pakistan. India has used the attacks to advocate Israel-style limited aerial strikes inside Pakistan against the offices of the Kashmiri and pro-Kashmir groups. Perpetrators of Mumbai attacks must be punished, but India and its enthusiasts in Washington must not be allowed to use this as a pretext to suppress legitimate Kashmiri freedom activism.

2. There is no evidence so far linking LeT and other Kashmiri or pro-Kashmir groups to Mumbai attacks. The India’s case is built on two threads. One is the person presented by the Indian police as the lone surviving terrorist. If the Indian version of interrogations is to be believed, Ajmal Kassab is supposed to have provided an insider account of alleged Pakistani/Kashmiri/LeT involvement. Experts know that young operatives in such terror cases are often low-level pawns with little knowledge about the real organizers and planners. Knowing this, it is easy to see how this suspect can’t provide useful info beyond a certain point, which is his immediate involvement with the group that carried out the attacks. And even here, it is worth exploring why Indian interrogators failed to extract and release any information about the other 10 attackers: their identities, names, places of origin, etc. The second thread on which India’s case is built is the Internet. There’s a lot of confusing material on voice-over-Internet and cell phone communications passing through third-country telecom networks. This involves several countries beyond Pakistan and India. It makes Mumbai attacks a truly multinational crime and suggests possibilities for the involvement of criminal and intelligence cells in those third countries in some aspects of the Mumbai attack plan. This contradicts India’s position that all investigation be focused on Pakistan and pro-Kashmir groups.

3. The CIA-FBI angle: What confirms the point above is evidence that a longtime FBI agent, a half-Pakistani named David Headley, was recruited by CIA and planted close to LeT and other pro-Kashmir activists in Pakistan. Islamabad has smartly refrained from commenting on his case. The Indian government has its own suspicions but it too won’t probe the Americans too hard on them beyond occasional murmurs. This further weakens the Indian case in any impartial judicial review.

4. The US is exploiting Mumbai attacks more than the Indians. Washington is making itself party to the case simply because one or two Americans were involved. This is fascinating because an Australian priest and his two underage kids were burned alive in 1999 and Australia never pursued the case. Nor did any of the American Christian organizations that are at the forefront today in demonizing Islam.

5. This fall, Washington has come out with incredible and fantastical theories about a threat to US and Europe from LeT. In some cases US officials have put LeT ahead of al-Qaeda as a bigger threat. US officials have also tailored new threats to suit LeT’s Mumbai-related profile by, for example, insisting that Europe is facing the possibility of ‘Mumbai-style attacks.’ US officials have also theorized that LeT suddenly has ‘global ambitions’. None of these American presentations and conspiracy theories comes with evidence. The LeT and other Kashmiri groups were created because of massive Indian military atrocities in Kashmir, including rapes and Serbian-style mass graves. Victims produce motivated cadres that seek revenge. They are focused on Kashmir and India’s role in this tragedy. These groups and their activists don’t have global ambitions.

6. It is US policy now that Pakistan relinquish its historic claim to Indian occupied Kashmir. If Pakistan complies, it won’t have any reason to object to a major Indian role in Afghanistan in support of the United States and as part of a common Indian-Pakistani-American-NATO front hedging China, Iran and Russia.

The one crucial recommendation that Pakistan’s political and intelligence officials must consider before it is too late is this: Declare firmly and clearly that Pakistan will not and cannot be held responsible for terror attacks in third countries carried out by the citizens of those countries. David Headley is American. So is Faisal Shahzad, and the Germans alleged by CIA to have traveled to the Pakistani tribal belt through Afghanistan and are planning ‘Mumbai-style’ attacks in Europe.

Alleged future attacks are being linked to the Pakistani tribal belt to help Washington push Pakistan into a new war in that region. Making such claims has become easy for the US and British governments.

Pakistan should India and the United States from exploiting Mumbai. And the best way to do this is to demand a wider probe into the full aspects of the Mumbai carnage and not limit the investigations to the Pakistani connection, which is weak and circumstantial at best.

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India is Responsible for Bolachistan Unrest

Posted by yourpakistan on November 27, 2010


Musharraf says evidence of Indian involvement has been shared with everyone, including
Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karazai and the US.

Former president Pervez Musharraf said that the Indian government is responsible for creating unrest in Baochistan, while speaking to Munizae Jahangir during an interview on the Express 24/7 programme ‘Face Off’ in London. Musharraf reiterated his earlier claims that Indian and Afghan involvement in Balochistan was creating unrest there, adding that the Pakistani government had solid evidence of their involvement and that the evidence had been shared with everyone. “Even (Afghan) President Karzai has been given (the evidence),” he said.

Musharraf said the military operation against Nawab Akbar Bugti was justified as he had been creating trouble in Balochistan. “There is a person who is firing 500 rockets on Sui. There is a person who has occupied the hill features and is firing rockets and weapons… on the Frontier Corps. They are blowing up the gas pipeline, the electric pylon, the railway line”.

He said that Nawab Akbar Bugti’s grandson, Bramdagh Bugti is received by agents from the Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), when he goes to India. “I know that they finance him, they give him weapons to create trouble and stab us in the back in Balochistan.”

While talking about the ongoing probe on the murder of Benazir Bhutto, he said that the three people named by Benazir Bhutto in her letter before she was assassinated were not behind her killing.

“I knew about Pervaiz Elahi and Ejaz Shah, they were very responsible people and I know they wouldn’t be planning to kill her, I mean, it would be utterly stupid of them to do that. Hamid Gul is a man who… always uses his ex-intelligence connections a lot and I know that he hated her. But I don’t know whether he was planning an assassination.”

When asked if there were ex-intelligence people involved in Benazir’s murder, he said that he did not know. The first part of the interview will air today (Friday) at 8pm in Pakistan.

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Who In Pakistan Is Responsible For CIA Drones?

Posted by yourpakistan on November 26, 2010


Who should be held responsible: retired General Pervez Musharraf, President Asif Ali Zardari or COAS Gen. Ashfaque Parvez Kayani? They can’t shun their responsibility for the rise in CIA drone attacks in Pakistan in the past three years and someone will have to become answerable in front of the Pakistani nation.

SALIM BOKHARI |
WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

The increase in the American drone attacks in the South and North Waziristan has now become unbearable. The stage has come where our leadership should pick up the guts to tell US President Barack Obama enough is enough. The main question is who should be held responsible for allowing the ruthless killing of innocent civilians in collateral damage- former military dictator Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf, COAS Ashfaq Parvez Kayani or President Asif Ali Zardari? Although no immediate answer is available, yet none of them can shun responsibility and the day is not far off when they will have to account for their role.
Even if we argue that this is being done to eliminate Al-Qaeda and extremist elements from the tribal region, nothing justified carrying out 200-plus drone attacks since they started in 2004, killing well over 2,000 innocent civilians as only 30 suspected terrorists were hit. The ratio of striking against the Al-Qaeda operatives achieved by these drone attacks, according to military estimates is as low as 2.5 per cent, which is not enviable by any standards.

Unanimous resolutions the Senate and the National Assembly passed in November 2008 in a session open to public and similar four others adopted by the provincial legislatures fell on deaf ears of the ruling elite, let alone impacting the masters of our destiny sitting in Pentagon and CIA who can be held accountable for this agonizing human tragedy. Violations of Pakistan’s territorial integrity and disregard for its national sovereignty as an independent state are continuing unabated and there appears to be no move by the Pakistani government to seek an end to it. Each time drones come and fire missiles inside Pakistan, the Foreign Office issues a mildly-worded condemnation. Sometimes even a condemnation is not considered necessary. Often the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi reacts only to justify American attacks.

The Washington Post has come out with a hilarious report that says that the American military leadership is seeking expansion in areas where drones could launch attacks, impliedly meaning to stretch the operations to Balochistan and Southern Punjab. It will be a big folly on part of the United States to go for such an adventure as it might lead to popular uprising against the sitting rulers.
It is worth mentioning here that a former Chief of Air Staff had said categorically that the PAF has the ability to shoot down drone aircraft provided the government has the political will to do so. Similarly, sometime back former Chief of the Army Staff, Gen. (retd.) Mirza Aslam Baig had also said that American drones should be targeted when they violate Pakistani airspace.

Former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, in an interview, explained that the agreement between the Musharraf regime and Washington was limited to allowing CIA drones to gather intelligence and share it with Pakistan so that Pak Army could carry out operations to eliminate terrorists. Under no circumstances, Kasuri insists, were the Americans given permission to carry out attacks within Pakistani borders.

It is about time that the Troika – comprising the president, the prime minister and the COAS – put their heads together and worked out a policy about US military attacks inside Pakistan. Pakistan has already paid a heavy price in term of lives of military personnel and civilian population besides ruining its economy. The attacks have created a situation that no investor is willing to invest in Pakistan. We are suffering due to suicide bombings, explosions and target killings in every nook and corner of the country.
The assertion made by President Obama during his recent address to the Indian Parliament that a stable Pakistan is in the interest of Washington and New Delhi is nothing but farce-eyewash. Obama says India is interested in peace in Pakistan when he hardly needs any more evidence that India is sponsoring terrorism in Balochistan and trying to take control of areas in Afghanistan along the Pakistan border. The US role is duplicitous as well. The United States has deployed a large number of Blackwater and other security personnel to keep the province bleeding.

Our leadership has to come out with a workable solution to drone attacks failing which it should get ready to face people’s anger. It must take into consideration that the Americans would not hesitate to leave us alone the moment their objectives are achieved. In our case the list of US betrayal is very long. Compelling ground realities call for a decision in the best national interest. Will our sitting leadership take that decision without wasting any further time is a million-dollar question.

Mr. Bokhari is the editor of The Nation. This is an edited version of a report first published by The Nation. Reach Mr. Bokhari at salimbokhari@hotmail.com

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How To Milk America: India’s Experience

Posted by yourpakistan on November 25, 2010


From day one India has played rough against Pakistan. Now it is playing with fire by assuming that it
is at par with China. Let’s hope for sanity to prevail in Chanakyapuri.

HARRISS KHAN | Columnists
WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

Give the devil its due credit. An overwhelming majority in Pakistan considers India as a devil. Going by the idiom, India should be fully credited for sharp and foxy diplomacy for swaying the U.S to do the needful and fulfill their demands.

Obama started his visit by avoiding Indian media’s demand of demonizing Pakistan. But he ended the visit doing just that. He lost midterm elections because of economy. So it was a smart move to hedge his bets for 2012 by committing India to buy $15 billion’s worth of American goods creating more then 60,000 jobs back home.

The US is the largest spending economy followed by the Europeans. Since these markets are saturated, looking for new buyers makes sense. With a billion people, India is a legitimate consumer. That’s why more than 150 CEOs of large US corporations traveled with Obama to sell.

America needs to sell its weapons somewhere. The Iraq war theater has dried down and Afghanistan is next to melt down so why not ask one of the largest arms purchasers to buy some of the weapons lying around. Boeing sold some C-17s and G.E. (General Electric) offered engines to Tejas, the troubled Indian light combat aircraft that has been in the testing phase for years.

From economy to defense to diplomacy, the Indians smartly played their cards by keeping them close to their chest and exploited the superpower for its weakness: the ailing economy.

In return, the US committed itself in a joint statement to eliminate alleged ‘terror safe havens’ in Afghanistan and Pakistan and defeat all terrorists networks including the Kashmiri group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LET) plus getting a nod from Obama for his support of Indian bid for UNSC permanent seat. Net result: a win-win situation for India.

There is not shred of a doubt that Obama came out as a loser in the fast moving thriller.

In all of this, India did what it is best in doing: deception. Once a nonaligned leader, India today is assuming a role it is not equipped to take: play rough against china and Pakistan.

Indian policymakers committed a huge blunder by playing hardball against Pakistan and poking China during Osama’s visit. From day one India has played rough against Pakistan and is now playing with fire by assuming that it is at par with China. Sanity should now prevail over the policymakers in Chanakyapuri [a suburb in New Delhi where families of Indian ruling elite reside] as U.S is a shrewd practitioner of realpolitik. By playing along, India is expected to balance China. India and everyone else knows that’s a tough task for India.

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What Exactly Is Inside Reko Diq, Pakistan’s Biggest Gold Mine?

Posted by yourpakistan on November 24, 2010


IKRAM SEHGAL | The News International
WWW.PAKNATIONALSITS.COM

Reko Diq is a remote location in the north-west of Chagai, a sparsely populated district in north-western Balochistan. The weather in the desert there ranges from searing summers of 40-50°C to freezing winters of down to -10°C, with precipitations (winter rain and some snowfall) of less than 40mm. Periods of high wind and dust- and sandstorms have a demobilising impact on local activities and trade. Access to Chagai district is from the Zahidan-Quetta highway.

A large low-grade copper porphyry deposit, Reko Diq has total mineral resources of 5.9 billion tons of ore with an average copper grade of 0.41 per cent and gold grade of 0.22 g/ton. The economically mineable portion of the deposit has been calculated at 2.2 billion tons, with an average copper grade of 0.53 per cent and gold grade of 0.30 g/ton. The annual production is estimated at 200,000 tons of copper and 250,000 ounces of gold contained in 600,000 tons of concentrate. At today’s international prices of copper at $8,600/ton (with cost of production at $1,500/ton) and gold at $1,350/ounce (with cost of production $350/ounce), the profit works out to $1.42 billion for copper and $2.5 billion for gold, $4 billion approximately annually from a revenue of $4.65 billion. This translates to $224 billion’s profit from revenues of $260 billion over the life of the mine.

HP Billiton initially signed the exploration licence with the government of Balochistan in 1993, while Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) was being formed in Australia, with BHP Billiton having 75 per cent and the Balochistan government 25 per cent. With gold and copper established in substantial quantity, BHP sold its stake 37.5 per cent each to the Chilean Conglomerate Antofagasta Minerals and the Canadian company Barrick Gold. TCC has completed an extensive exploration programme at Reko Diq with more than 300,000 meters’ drilling. Negotiations with the Balochistan government and the government of Pakistan are underway for getting the very crucial mining licence, since the exploration licence expires in February.

As soon as the mining lease is granted, it will be followed by project financing and construction of ancillary infrastructure to make the mine operational. $3 billion’s investment is required over a four-year period of construction to build a world-class copper and gold open-pit mine that will utilise a conventional “truck and shovel” technique. Giant mechanical shovels will be used to dig out the copper ore, which will then be loaded onto 360-ton trucks to haul copper ore on a daily basis from the mine to the processing facility. The rocks (ore) will be crushed in giant crushers, and the crushed ore will be transferred to a fine-grinding stage and converted into a powdered form. Containing small quantities of copper and gold, this powder will pass through a separation process called “flotation,” resulting in 30 per cent concentrated slurry of copper and traces of gold.

The initial processing plant envisages 110,000 tons of ore per day (and another 170,000 tons of waste) processed through the flotation process. A 682-kilometre concentrate pipeline, the world’s largest, will then transport the slurry from the mine site to Gwadar to a dedicated marine terminal facility at the port for storage and subsequent transfer to shipping vessels.

Commercial mining operations are anticipated to last 56 years at an estimated annual operating expense of about $400 million, approximately half of which will be spent within Pakistan. TCC claims to have already spent over $200 million since 2006 on exploration and technical studies.

Plans include a 189MW dedicated plant which will provide power for the project, ancillaries and the residential colony. Heavy furnace-oil-based combined cycle reciprocating engines will be installed to provide 99.5 per cent availability. The concentrate produced at the processing plant will be further fluidised into a slurry of 53-57 per cent and transported to Gwadar via a pipeline.
The other main features of the pipeline, apart from its being the world’s largest underground pipeline for slurry, are that leak-detection equipment will be installed and the pipeline will be encased in concrete at river crossings and three booster stations will be established along the route.

A number of facilities will be built at Gwadar port in order to handle the concentrate for final shipment. They include dewatering facilities and pressure filters for the removal of concentrate to from the slurry, a covered shed to store dried concentrate, a conveyor belt to transport the concentrate from the storage yard to the shipping berth, and a ship-loader to load the ship with the concentrate cargo.
About the investors, BHP Billiton is the world’s largest supplier of iron ore and sea-traded hard coking coal, largest producer of export thermal coal, lead and zinc and third-largest producer of copper. It is the world’s sixth-largest producer of aluminium and produces three per cent of the world’s diamond supply. It has a significant oil and gas business.

To build and operate a railway from the northern Chilean port of Antofagasta (which gives the name to the company) to the Bolivian capital of La Paz, Antofagasta and the Bolivia Railway Company were incorporated in London in 1888. A majority interest in the company was acquired in 1980 by the Luksic Group, a Chilean industrial family. The patriarch of the Luksic family, the late Andronico Luksic, who died in 2005, was born to a Croatian immigrant and a Bolivian mother. In 1982, Antofagasta Holdings Plc (renamed Antofagasta Plc in 1999) was formed as the new holding company in Chile. Antofagasta diversified into a number of other sectors, including mining. Today it is one of the largest international copper-producing companies in the world.

Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation, owned by the Munk family, is the gold industry leader, with 25 operating mines and a number of large, long-life projects located across five continents. Its founder-chairman, Peter Munk, is, like Luksic an immigrant, but from Hungary. It has the world’s largest reserves of 139.8 million ounces of gold, 6.1 billion pounds of copper reserves and 1.06 billion ounces of contained silver within gold reserves as of Dec 31, 2009. In 2009, Barrick produced 7.42 million ounces of gold at the net cash cost of $363 per ounce and 393 million pounds of copper at the net cash cost of 0.85 per pound. It has since reduced costs even further.

Who in the government of Pakistan or the Balochistan government originally gave the waiver to BHP Billiton to palm off its 75 per cent share and at what price, without being privy to the deal? Why are the Chileans and Canadians risking life and limb, as well as their investment in such a dangerous area, except for a huge profit? Why is Tethyan not making the smelting plants in Pakistan, instead of shipping the concentrate abroad? Why don’t we do the mining ourselves, paying for foreign expertise.

Considering that cyanide will be used extensively in the mining, this should go well with the dirt which we will be left with at the end of this scandalous transition. Who is now trying to sell this gold mine for nothing? Can the Supreme Court please make an example out of someone?

Mr. Sehgal is a defense and political analyst. Reach him at isehgal@pathfinder9.com

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Pakistan-US Collaboration: A Mess

Posted by yourpakistan on November 23, 2010


The War On Terror Is A Shortcut To Pakistan Army’s Impending Demise.

ZAINAB CHEEMA |  usa.mediamonitors.net
WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

At times, one may wonder at the seeming irrationality of US foreign policy toward Pakistan. When the floods struck, the US government was the most prolific donor, with USAID politicos expressing ready sympathy for the victims. American officials have declared that it is imperative to broadcast a beneficent image of the United States, worriedly citing polls that track the rise of anti-American sentiment in the Pakistani public. This is sandwiched by CIA bombing campaigns in Waziristan and hired mercenaries like Blackwater (now Xe) Corporation conducting terrorizations that alienate hearts and minds throughout Pakistan.

A fresh development in this schizophrenic saga is the return of Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf to the political arena. From his current perch in London, Musharraf announced on October 1 that he is creating a new political party — the All Pakistan Muslim League — to run for office in Pakistani elections. Proud collaborator of the War on Terror, his speeches show that the destabilization and social terror he helped inflict hasn’t impaired his flair for the grandiose. “Today, God has given me the opportunity to set the tone for my political legacy,” he announced at his London press conference. “Come join me in changing Pakistan’s destiny. It is not an easy task but one we must work for, as Pakistan is ours.” Frederick Turner would be gratified — Manifest Destiny indeed.

But Musharraf’s return is hardly possible without international — or shall we abbreviate and say, American — support. As with Iraqi counterparts such as former spook Iyad Allawi, he belongs to the pool of collaborators who court funds and favor in order to return to their posts of glory in the Third World.

Let’s cue the rewind button here. Musharraf assumed power in October 1999 after a military coup deposing then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. However, his political fortunes changed only after 9/11. Prior to this, US officials had sneered at the architect of yet another military coup, admonishing Pakistan with the example of democratic India which was then on the fast-track to becoming America’s bosom-buddy. With 9/11, US representative in South Asia, Richard Armitage, offered Musharraf an elegantly simple choice — either join us or “we’ll bomb you back to the Stone Age.” Musharraf likes his cigars and whiskey, those macho pleasures of civilization, so he opted for the Faustian handshake.

But like the necromancer’s curse, the grizzly reality of Stone Age was not to be escaped. As Henry Kissinger once observed, while being America’s enemy is dangerous, America’s friendship is disastrous. A discarded Cold War ally, Pakistan’s coffers had been dry and creaky. With the handshake, military aid poured in to the tune of $7 billion. Besides graft and elaborate pay-offs for army officers, Musharraf was even able to reroute some of the funds earmarked for fighting the war on terror into F-16 fighter planes for Pakistan’s armed non-aggression against India, or as one independent observer put it, toys for his boys in uniform.

Pakistan’s politicos have always shown remarkable generosity in passing down the costs of their decision-making to the people. It is a self-evident truth, bordering on a truism, that Pakistan has been turned into a war on terror parking lot: 3000 American Special Forces units operate in Pakistan at the present. The cost? Aafia Siddiqui is only the most famous case of secret abductions and kidnappings run by the FBI and CIA throughout the country.

To elaborate, thousands of people simply disappear, after commando style raids on their homes during night-time or high-speed kidnappings in public. Human Rights Watch has flagged this unconstitutional disappearance, noting the pain and terror this spreads in families and neighborhoods. When Pakistani Special Forces and the FBI stormed Zain and Kashan Afzal’s home in Karachi, they broke through the concrete walls, tied up their ailing mother, and threatened to kill the family. The brothers’ 5-month sojourn in prison reaped a burst eardrum, lacerations on the back, and other souvenirs of US attempts to win the “hearts and minds” of the Pakistani public.

As it turns out, Guantanamo is a thriving industry in Pakistan and the foremost field of Pakistan-US collaboration. In fact, Pakistan’s police, army, and other law and order institutions have been subsumed in the American security apparatus. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan conservatively notes that 5,000 cases of police torture are connected with the war on terror. The methods used in these interrogations should be familiar as cinnamon-scented apple pie: beating, burning with cigarettes; whipping the soles of the feet; prolonged isolation, electric shock, denial of food or sleep; hanging victims upside down, and forced spreading of the legs with bar fetters. The Iraq and Afghanistan playbook is clearly not gathering dust-mites.

And while most of the dirty work is done by Pakistani policemen, American interrogators stamp the whole operation as “Made in the US of A” in the victim’s minds. When Zain Afzal asked to be formally charged and tried in court, the FBI interrogators threatened to ship him to Cuba and told him, “We are the court.”

Musharraf’s reign, which only ended after widespread civilian demonstrations for civil elections, also inaugurated the beginning of the Waziristan war.

The infamous drone attacks, which Obama parodied when warning the Jonas Brothers to stay away from Malia and Sasha at a White House event, are no joke for the Pashtun and other residents of the Pakhtunkhwa-Khyber (PK) — formerly the North West Frontier (NWFP) — province. Around 800,000 people have had to flee from their homes and are living in squalid, disease-infested camps with no water. Even the US media does not bother to cover up the fact that drone attacks are causing the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Media reports calculate that in 2009 alone, the drones killed 700 people. They have spread a palpable veil of terror over the area — the Pashtuns call the unmanned aircraft bangana, or thunder clap for the sound of laser-guided Hellfire missiles.

While the war on terror gave Musharraf his credentials, it was also the war on terror that pulled the curtain on his political career. The lawyers’ movement, students’ movement, and other anti-Musharraf mobilizations from Pakistan’s civil society, were rooted in the public perception that he had sold the country, from its Himalayan crown to the Arabian Sea waters, to George W. Bush.

But US fortunes in the area only improved after the general’s exit. Asif Ali Zardari has scrupulously taken up Musharraf’s duties after he “won” the 2009 elections on a sympathy vote following Benazir Bhutto’s murder. It is an open secret that Mr. Ten Percent treats Pakistan as his own personal Ponzi scheme, enriching himself at the expense of the 170 million people he pretends to rule. Meanwhile, the Black Ops, renditions, abductions, drone attacks, torture, and urban bomb blasts have only accelerated.

Even the most symbolic change, replacing military rule for a civilian one, is a fraud. As Patrick Cockburn writes in his recent article, Is Pakistan Falling Apart?, the army still commands the biggest slice of Pakistan’s shrinking economic pie. “Military bases all over the country look spruce and well cared-for, while just outside their razor-wire defenses are broken roads and slum housing,” he notes.

So, why would the US handlers dust off Musharraf and install fresh batteries in him, when Zardari has shown himself to be fairly reliable?

As it turns out, US policy toward Pakistan is not conflicted — it is rather simple, like the five-year-old’s plan of attack when his parents refuse to buy him the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers figurine. For all the souped-up rhetoric on the war on terror, the Pentagon recognizes that the danger of terrorism in Pakistan is hardly the harbinger of Armageddon.

Rather, the goal is AfPak balkanization, as it is rather inelegantly called. The strategic location of this Eurasian chessboard is tomorrow’s energy geography. In a world where energy has become the most scarce and precious resource, maintaining centralized states like Saudi Arabia in the region would be too expensive — they would demand too large a cut from the profits. And while Pakistan has indeed proved to be a loyal and tractable ally through the years, its secularized elite has not been able to purge the stigma of Islam inherent in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan before their imperial handlers. The reminder of this came with the bomb.

Pakistan’s death knell was rung by the sonic blasts and mushroom clouds of the 1998 nuclear tests. The nuclear tests followed India’s. Pakistani politicians and the military were forced by their rival’s display of atomic strength to reveal their own cards and maintain the uneasy deterrence that prevailed since 1971. Irony is a rough taskmaster; this perceived act of self-preservation turned its superpower ally against the Land of the Pure. The generals and politicians could hardly have guessed that at the height of its prosperous liberal secularism, the Judeo-Christian roots of US political culture would revolt at the thought of a Muslim country stepping out of its place and acquiring the symbol of great power éclat — the atomic bomb. Many independent observers have noted the fact that the US decision to end its hard-to-get games in South Asia, and definitively ally with India dates from the 1998 tests.

So, what does balkanization look like in this region?

Pakistan is to be split into independent Balochistan and Free Pashtunistan governed by co-opted tribal proxies a la the Anbar Awakening in Iraq. As outlined by Colonel Ralph Peters in the June 2006 issue of The Armed Force Journal, these would be accompanied by an independent Sistaan, carved from a “Persianized” Iran, and a Kurdistan extracted out of Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. Peters also ruminates on handing over Makkah and Madinah to a rotating Vatican style authority and reducing Saudi influence down to a “rump Saudi Homelands Independent Territory” around Riyadh, where “the House of Saud would be capable of far less mischief toward Islam and the world.” Clearly, there is more openness and deliberation on how to carve the Thanksgiving turkey than there is on distributing territory in the Muslim world.

Let us measure the dough being baked in this oven. The rewards of transforming PK (former NWFP) and Balochistan into orbit states are fruitful indeed. India would be gratified by the destruction of its historic rival, securing a US-Israeli-Indian triumvirate that is already well on its way. Splintering Pashtunistan and Balochistan would ensure US control over the current PK corridor to the Afghan battleground and offer a convenient Balochi platform for invading and running black-op missions in Iran. Not to mention, it would guarantee a docile geography for gas pipelines being constructed from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Balochistan itself possesses fabulous gas reserves, making it an important station in the emerging map of Pipelinistan.

Pakistan’s balkanization is just as much about keeping rivals out as it is about securing the best perch in the playground. The Iran-Pakistan Friendship pipeline (IP) in the works (formerly the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline before the US weaned away India with its nuclear fuel deal) is planning its route through Balochistan. While Pakistan can occasionally make such inconvenient deals with a neighbor that Israel and the US are determined to exterminate, the groomed Balochi tribes would follow more the acceptable Karzai pattern of subservient obedience. Meanwhile, terrorizing the PK is laying the ground for the US’s own pipeline project snaking its way through Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI).

After all, why pay people to leave their homes for the greater good of American prosperity, when you can scare them away? As Colonel Peters helpfully declares in his article: “one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: ethnic cleansing works.”

Balochistan also boasts the warm-water port of Gwadar, constructed by the Chinese in the hopes of acquiring a maritime base near the Straits of Hormuz — the most important commercial highway for the world transit of Persian Gulf oil. Heavy Chinese investment in Gwadar, encouraged by Musharraf, sparked widespread panic in US and Indian political halls. India accused China of nursing covert imperialism in the Indian Ocean, while the US response manifested itself in bomb attacks and assassinations of Chinese engineers and workers. The reprimand had its effect: China announced that for now, it is scrapping the Gwadar project.

As it happens, the patterns of terror in the Pakistani front of the war on terror closely match the planned outlines of a balkanized Pakistan. While abductions and kidnappings in major city centers like Karachi and Lahore garner the most media attention, most abductions actually take place in the rural provinces of PK and Baluchistan, exponentially increasing the despair of peoples that have no access to resources or venues to publicize their stories. Meanwhile, the US is co-opting select tribes and religious groups from these regions into the Pakistani version of Latin American militias. The CIA and ISI are mobilizing remnants of Taliban and Taliban-like groups like the Sipah-e-Sahaba to run black-ops in the province and in neighboring Sistaan-Baluchistan located in southeastern Iran.

This is accompanied by efforts to train the PK’s Frontier Corps, a ceremonial tribal police left over from the British Empire, into a formidable armed militia that will orchestrate Iraq-style bomb blasts and terrorize civilians. A report entitled Plan for Training the Frontier Corps is being circulated at the US Central Command headquarters, and the Pentagon’s current budget has earmarked $75 million for training the Corps in counter-insurgency techniques.

And while the war on terror perfected the Pakistan army’s control over the country, it is actually a shortcut to its impending demise. Visibly involving the Pakistan army in their apparatus of terror, the US has successfully dissolved the political capital held by the military from the past three wars with India. As a matter of fact the Pakistani military’s proxy role is perhaps the canniest move in US program of balkanization. Once viewed by the Pakistan public as the stabilizing force holding the country together, the post-Musharraf military is now exposed as little more than a self-serving US tool. And while the US certainly does covet hearts and minds in the war on terror, it doesn’t need all the hearts and minds. As long as a corrupt cadre can be seduced in their quest to gain natural resources gratis, the fury of a few hundred million people is chump change.

“Within an Orwellian framework, Pakistan and NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan are deliberately being destabilized while there is talk about stabilizing them,” notes Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya of Global Research. He is also right on the draw in pointing out that many of Pakistan’s elites are party to this agenda — consciously.

This is clearly spelled out in our would-be Napoleon’s campaign trail. If Musharraf has learned a lesson from his 2008 exile, it is that his sole duty is to be a loyal employee of US War Inc. Plunging Pakistan into chaos and fear is hardly a source of regret — it is that he didn’t do enough for the Pentagon while in office. He promises to immediately redress this in his second reign over the hapless country. In a speech given last year at Trinity College, he made headlines with his statements that Pakistanis will simply have to buckle up and accept casualties from the war on terror.

“We need to inject more forces. And may I say we have to defeat [the enemy], whatever it costs,” he told the crowd. “So therefore, may I suggest to this august gathering, we have to accept casualties, ladies and gentlemen.”

He received a standing ovation.

We’ll have to wait to see what Musharraf’s return to Pakistani politics really signifies. It may be the posturing of Le General anxious to show that he is still in touch with the country that afforded him fame and fortune at the expense of political enslavement. It may be that the US is determined to give him another run just for the sake of hammering in another nail in the coffin of the Pakistani army en route to securing the nukes. However, the other options aren’t appetizing. In the swing dance of Pakistani politics, nearly all of the politicos who promise to replace Zardari stink of the same graft and greed. As a Dawn Newspaper columnist aptly put it, Pakistanis are “up to their necks” in the nets of war and horror.

First published by usa.mediamonitors.net. Reach Zainab Cheema

 

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China Sold Large Number of F -10 Fighter Jets to Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on November 22, 2010


Australian defense experts said that China sold Pakistan from the low-end sales of advanced fighter aircraft to the present, showing their intention to enhance strategic influence in Asia. Professor of Asian Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic Zi Yani Mallika said: “China is developing weapons production and export of its actual capacity. China has to rely on Russian technology once, but it is clear now than when it has Strong many. “expert fighters to Pakistan, sourcing from China, as China is expanding its military power in the evidence.

A Western official said: “countries such as Iran, and some Middle East countries, if we can find in China, the technology can be comparable to Western countries, will be very happy to deal with China. Pakistan will act as a test pilot the aircraft in China room, if these aircraft in the hands of Pakistani air force performed well, then other countries will follow suit to buy. “today’s China, though not arrogant, but it can indeed talk about the strategic impact of the topic.

More times, giving the green light by China to Pakistan to allow export of the F -10 fighter embodies the friendship between China and Pakistan railways to enhance Pakistan’s military strength irons Union, better Sudi India to contain China, China will regain sovereignty over our country to create a better South Tibet strategic posture. Pakistan Air Force in addition to receiving 250 FC-1 Xiaolong (Pakistan said the JF-17 Lightning) light aircraft to act as the cornerstone of Pakistan Air Force fleet, the import of Chinese F -10 fighter and airborne early warning and control aircraft, will greatly strengthen the Pakistan’s air force and the overall military strength.

India, however, in recent years in the military are expanding rapidly, a serious military construction of the Indian subcontinent broke the balance. Strengthening of the Indian armed forces, both against the Sudi Pakistan, and there is a huge deal with China’s territorial disputes. India’s military buildup a strong army, always clamoring for the “China threat theory” as its expansion in China to take cover. The face of this situation, no doubt Pakistan is worried that China does not say that, in fact, still feel that the Indian military construction aggressive.

India’s unilateral military is strong, will result in damage to the interests of China and Pakistan. India, China wants to reduce the threat to our country, to ensure the safety of sea lanes to protect the oil imports, and the recovery of the sovereignty of southern Tibet, should find ways to support Pakistan. In accordance with the friend of my enemy’s enemy is the theory that India is our enemy countries. Therefore, China should have the courage as the courage to meet the requirements of national defense construction in Pakistan and help Pakistan. So for our country to allow export of Pakistani F -10 fighter, strengthen our country’s most trusted friend of Pakistan’s military against the common enemy of India, in fact, is to strengthen China’s military construction.

Article is translated in English which is Posted oDaily Military Network

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Peace Talks Mere Propaganda: Mulla Omar

Posted by yourpakistan on November 21, 2010


If the US-led coalition needed the Taliban position to calibrate its transition strategy in Afghanistan at the Nato summit in Lisbon this week it has been supplied by Mulla Omar himself. In a message posted on the Taliban website, a ritual coincidental to every Eid, he has denied, forcefully and in no uncertain terms, negotiations with the Afghan government.

“The Islamic Emirate believes the solution of the issue lies in withdrawal of invading troops and establishment of true Islamic and independent system in the country,” says his message. Mulla Omar also decries the “cunning country which has occupied our country”, for its moves on the one hand to expand its military operations and on the other “wants to throw dust into eyes of the people by spreading rumours of negotiations”.

Coming hard on about a dozen Mujahideen leaders who have joined the Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani-headed peace council, he asks them: “We cannot figure out why you are unilaterally co-operating with the invaders.” In 1936, Mao Zedong explained his sixteen character guerrilla warfare formula: “The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps we harass; the enemy tires we attack; the enemy retreats we pursue”. Mulla Omar’s not very different. The Taliban would wear down the foreign forces “in an exhausting war of attrition”, as it was done against the Red Army. The strategy, he said, is to increase military operations step by step and spread them all over Afghanistan “to compel them to come out of the hideouts and then crush them through tactical raids…This experiment was effective in Marja, Kandahar and some other areas”.

Two important developments preceded Mulla Omar’s stout denial of negotiations with the Afghan government. One, President Karzai lambasted the US-led coalition presence as unacceptable intrusion and warned against night raids and special forces operations, obviously to influence the forthcoming Lisbon summit and President Obama’s much-awaited ‘Strategic Review’ next month. Two, the reported refusal of some 35,000 government jobs by Mulla Omar as price for the Taliban’s readiness to join the peace parleys by surrendering arms didn’t take place as expected in Makkah soon after the Hajj. Naturally, the hard line taken by the Taliban’s top leader has come as big disappointment both to the Karzai government and the coalition capitals. But it is not likely to seriously impact the collective mindset of the coalition governments that further military engagement in Afghanistan would be counterproductive. Of course, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton stands at the back of General Petraeus by upholding the latter’s best-option night raids – and in the general’s view as the make-or-break issue between the Afghan government and the US-led coalition forces.

By all accounts the Afghan war has entered its last year; beyond that there would be only political and diplomatic moves and manoeuvres as guns are likely to rest mostly if not fall silent completely. The question on the table would be how soon the administration can be handed over to the Afghans and the contemplated ouster date for that handover is 2014, give or take a few months. Will the Karzai-led government be strong enough by then to accept this challenge the answer is almost equally divided? Certainly, it wouldn’t be a neat cut-and-run thing for the United States and its allies, as was the case in Iraq.

But the Afghans as a society are not as sharply aligned with various forces as Iraqis are – where the invaders greatly succeeded in sowing the seeds of sectarian disharmony that plays out every other day. Socio-cultural and ethnic divisions in Afghanistan do not run through national politics. Therefore, it won’t be unrealistic to imagine that the post-war Afghanistan would enjoy a fair amount of co-existential harmony.

And there is something the stakeholders in the Afghan peace must know: they should not worry about the so-called ‘vacuum of power’, the misconception often blamed for the civil war that ensued following the Soviet withdrawal. Given the motif of resistance to Soviet occupation various Mujahideen leaders had acquired a person-centred clout, which could not be overlooked – even when the Pakistan-brokered negotiations had greatly succeeded. But the more serious obstacle to a single-point power point was the outside interference, which helped create Northern Alliance and lionised it. Now that the Nato summit is going to deliberate on the transition/exit strategy it would be politically right for Afghanistan that the so-called ‘vacuum of power’ is allowed to impede the withdrawal process. It is essentially for the Afghans to decide their political future. Published in Brecorder.com

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