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Archive for October, 2011

Double Games

Posted by yourpakistan on October 31, 2011


So, Pakistan was recently accused of playing a “double game” yet again. This time in a documentary aired on BBC. It is unacceptable and unimaginable for the West, America, and many groups in Pakistan itself for the country to have a single contact with a party that was once a legitimate government in Afghanistan (yes, international recognition by three countries makes it legit). 

BY Siddique Humayun 

But in our predictable attitude to bandwagon, we forget to see the other side of the picture. Like we forgot to see the other side of the picture in Qadhafi’s case, where Nato and the rebels have without doubt done more harm than good.

I will go back to Charlie Wilson’s war, even the most pro-Western lobbies in Pakistan believe that, we as an ally, were not only betrayed, but perhaps back stabbed with sanctions upon sanctions. American objectives were met and it withdrew seven seas apart leaving us to deal with the mess on our doorstep. Over two decades later, Hilary Clinton formally accepted that the “people we are fighting today, we funded 20 years ago”. And yet, it is Pakistan that has been playing a double game?

It has become a fashion among pseudo intellectuals to blame everything on Pakistan, ISI, or if nothing else, religion. Which intelligence agency does not maintain contacts, one way or the other, with the enemy? After all, it is negotiations that can end such a conflict, not indiscriminate carpet bombings. Even if Pakistan’s intelligence has connections in whatever network in or outside Afghanistan, at least, we do not send Raymond Davis to spy on an ally, so much for playing a double game.

More recently, while blaming Pakistan of having contact with the Haqqanis, Hilary Clinton publicly stated that Washington is ready to have Mullah Omar in the negotiations to end this conflict. Such colluding with the enemy while telling Pakistan to “do more” is not what a country wants that already fumes with anti-American sentiments and has been bled dry participating in a war that has been imposed on it.

Perhaps America did try its best to split the “Quetta Shura” that is supposedly led by Mullah Omar and isolate the leader of the Taliban, but the point is it failed. It not only failed but now it wants to negotiate with them. Where would such history repeating itself leave Pakistan?

Let us assume for the sake of discussion that Pakistan is that faithful ally that despite losing tens of thousands of its civilians and soldiers along with billions of dollars of loss to its economy is going to do even more. It is going to serve American interests in the region to whatever degree the world wants, it will not keep any contact with any group in Afghanistan and then, one day, American negotiations with the Taliban reach a settlement, America leaves the region, and Taliban come to power, then what? It does not take a genius to figure out what our position would be in such a scenario.

So let us all stop blaming Pakistan for the sheer amount of sacrifice the country and its people have given over the course of the last decade. Let us stop insulting those brave soldiers that fight these militants and let us stop wounding the martyrs of this war on terror by suggesting that Pakistan is not serious in eliminating this threat.

The least we deserve is recognition and respect. Perhaps, it is time that American institutions realise that in order to effectively put an end to this bloody war, it cannot act unilaterally on one hand by reaching out to the Taliban, and blaming Pakistan of double game for doing the same. A stable Afghanistan is more in the interest of Pakistan than it is for America.

The author is a policy analyst and a social worker from Islamabad who believes that the glass is half full. He can be reached at siddique.humayun@gmail.com and facebook.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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NATO Should Act Against Terrorist Safe Havens In Afghanistan

Posted by yourpakistan on October 30, 2011


Pakistan’s top military commander fighting militants in the northwest Saturday said Pakistan will act against terrorist safe havens and urged NATO and Afghanistan to do the same.

Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, who is supervising military operations in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told reporters that his troops would not leave the area until complete security had been ensured.

“We will take action against the terrorists in our area and NATO and Afghanistan should also take action against them (terrorists) in their area across the border,” he said.

Malik was speaking during a visit to the development projects started by Pakistan army in the Kotkai area of South Waziristan tribal district on the Afghan border, where the military launched a ground offensive two years ago.

“Pakistan will not tolerate any infiltration in its area. The Afghan government and Nato should not allow terrorists’ safe havens in Afghan provinces along the Pakistan border,” he said.

“Our troops will stay here until complete security is ensured in this area, the Pakistan army is not going back from the tribal regions,” Malik said,

Militants are dug in on both sides of the border, and last week the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Pakistan to do more to squeeze militant safe havens in its territory, notably those of the Haqqani network.

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Pakistan Rejects US Claims on Border Fire

Posted by yourpakistan on October 29, 2011


I completely reject this, this is wrong and baseless, says military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pakistan on Friday rejected US accusations that Pakistani armed forces allow insurgents to fire on American troops across the border in Afghanistan.

“I completely reject this, this is wrong and baseless,” military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP.

US officials have reported a sharp rise in cross-border attacks against its forces in eastern Afghanistan as relations deteriorated after US forces raided Pakistan to kill the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, in May.

Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti, the deputy US commander in Afghanistan, said that rocket and mortar fire against his forces appears to come from within sight of Pakistani military posts. “In some locations from time to time you will see what just appears to us to be a collaboration… or at a minimum a looking the other way,” he said.

He said that the border forces come from Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps, who are locally recruited and not as highly trained as army units. Asked about Scaparrotti’s comments, Abbas told AFP: “I told you, it is not true, all this is wrong.”

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Pakistan Successfully Conducts Test Fire of Cruise Missile Hatf-VII

Posted by yourpakistan on October 28, 2011


Pakistan Friday conducted a successful test fire of the multi tube, indigenously developed Cruise Missile Hatf – VII (Babur) having a range of 700 kms. The missile test was conducted to validate the design parameters of the weapon system and a new Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV).

The Nation PK

According to ISPR, Babur Cruise Missile is low flying, terrain hugging missile with high maneuverability, pin point accuracy and radar avoidance features. It can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads and has stealth capabilities. It also incorporates the most modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC).

A special feature of today’s launch was the validation of a new multi tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV) during the test. The three tube MLV enhances manifold the targeting and deployment options in the conventional and nuclear modes. With its shoot-and-scoot capability, the MLV provides a major force multiplier effect for target employment and survivability.

The test was witnessed by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. General Khalid Shahmeem Wynne, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General (Retired) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Commander Army Strategic Force Command, Lieutenant General Tariq Nadeem Gilani and Chairman National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Mr Muhammad Irfan Burney, senior officers and from the armed forces and strategic organizations, scientists and engineers. The test will consolidate Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability and further strengthen national security.

The successful test has also been warmly appreciated by President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, who have congratulated the scientists and engineers on their outstanding success.

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Can The US Afford To Lose Pakistan?

Posted by yourpakistan on October 27, 2011


I wish she (Hillary) had also commented over General Kayani’s other statement that the US would think ten times before attacking Pakistan. In this game of brinksmanship between two so called ‘allies’ and nuclear armed nations, the Americans had clearly blinked first. 

By Brig Farooq Hameed khan

If one were to describe the strange nature of a complex Pak- US relationship, it seems more akin to a roller coaster ride with uneasy highs and frustrating lows, a relationship based on mistrust, which has remained US sanctions oriented with arm twisting of an ally that has remained allied with the United States from the SEATO/CENTO defence pacts of the fifties to the Afghan jihad of the eighties and the post 9/11 war on terror.

The last ten years have been particularly characterized by the ‘do more’ mantra and grumpy ‘mother in law’ style nagging from a super power that is determined to stitch together a security system to protect its interests in Afghanistan and the region. Pakistan considers this to be inimical to its vital national security interests.

While the American stooge, Karzai talks ridiculously of coming to Pakistan’s rescue in case of a US or Indian attack, he cunningly signed at US behest the strategic cooperation agreement in New Delhi that allows Indian Army to train the Afghan National Army/police. This obviously implies increased presence of Indian Army advisors/trainers and RAW’s intelligence operatives on Afghan soil leading to greater Indo-US- Afghan destabilization efforts in FATA and Balochistan.

Pakistan resents US efforts to promote India as a regional/hegemonic power. From our perspective, the scenario of an Afghan Army trained with an Indian mindset, deployed along Pakistan’s borders is simply unacceptable and a threat to Pakistan’s security. As long as the United States follows this flawed strategy of giving the Indians an unduly key role, the dream of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and the region would remain elusive.

Why does the United States remain obsessed with Iran Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project? It is planned to transmit 20 million cubic meters of natural gas daily from Iran through Balochistan province and is expected to be operational by 2014, or perhaps even earlier. During her recent visit to Pakistan, Hillary Clinton referred to Iran as ‘a dangerous neighbor’ and once again expressed reservations about the IP project that is so critical to Pakistan’s strategic energy requirements.

Iran may be dangerous for United States and Israel but has remained friendly to Pakistan despite some hiccups in the historical and traditionally warm and close relations between the two Islamic neighbors. Pakistanis would consider it an unfriendly act by United States if it tries to sabotage or stall the IP gas pipe line project.

The US opposition to IP gas pipeline project also stems from its concerns that this pipeline could be extended to China via the Karakoram Mountains to link with China’s restive eastern Xinkiang province. While Americans eye Balochistan as a trade and energy corridor linking the Arabian sea warm waters to energy rich central Asian states via Afghanistan, it is opposed to any Chinese presence in Gwadar port on Balochistan’s coast which is also being planned as Pakistan’s future energy hub due to its geo strategic/commercial importance at the mouth of the Persian Gulf .

While Pakistan is a signatory to the TAPI( Turkmenistan- Afghanistan – Pakistan- India) gas pipeline agreement, this mega project will remain a non starter unless the security situation in Afghanistan improves as well as has total support of the Afghan resistance groups including the Taliban and Haqqanis. The Americans are keen to promote TAPI not out of love for Pakistan but see the prospects of lucrative contracts to American oil firms.

It is therefore easy to comprehend the conspiracy behind US led efforts to keep Balochistan hot through baloch insurgency, so as to derail the IP project and keep Chinese investors and workers out of this mineral rich province of Pakistan. Aware of such clandestine activities, Pakistan has not allowed the United States to open a Consulate in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province as this would provide them much needed foothold for further subversion in coordination with string of Indian Consulates on the Afghan side across Balochistan.

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton made few important admissions in her latest visit to Islamabad in a bid to pacify heightened anger and anti US sentiments amongst Pakistanis, since Admiral Mike Mullen’s astounding allegations against Pakistan Army /ISI in the wake of the deadly Kabul attacks few days before his retirement.

In an outright rejection of misleading hype/propaganda by their own Chairman Joint Chiefs, she absolved the ISI of any role in the Kabul attacks, confirmed US contacts with Haqqanis through ISI’s good offices, dismissed reports of unilateral US led ‘boots on ground’ operation in North Waziristan and agreed with Pakistan Army Chief, General Kayani’s assertion that Pakistan was neither Iraq nor Afghanistan. The Americans had clearly lost face before the international community.

I wish she had also commented over General Kayani’s other statement that the US would think ten times before attacking Pakistan. In this game of brinksmanship between two so called ‘allies’ and nuclear armed nations, the Americans had clearly blinked first. Here if Raja Mujtaba is quoted when he said in his article, Prepare For Armageddon, “Before the US ventures into other Muslim lands, the US would want a submissive or a broken and denuclearized Pakistan. In both the scenarios it would mean Pakistan’s death. In such a scenario, Pakistan maybe compelled to go for non conventional weapons; if such a development takes place, India, Israel and the US installations in the region would not be safe. Can the US risk such a situation would only depend on the arrogance and sanity level of the US leadership,” would be very appropriate as it reflects a true feeling of every Pakistani.

The US desperation for a safe and honorable exit from Afghanistan is understandable. If after spending billions of US dollars that has brought US economy on the verge of collapse and failure of the much trumpeted Obama’s surge strategy, Kabul and Afghan countryside still remain vulnerable to daring Taliban daylight attacks, then White House and Pentagon Generals have a lot to answer to the angry American nation. Remember Obama’s re-election is at stake as Americans go to the ballot box in less than a year.

The US Secretary of State knew fully well that the days of coercing or dictating Pakistan were over. After CIA agent Raymond Davis’s episode and May 02 Osama Bin Laden strike, the Pakistani mood viz a viz the Americans had changed to ‘Enough is enough’. Clearly stabbed in the back through CIA’s covert intelligence network across Pakistan, it was time to review and redefine the entire gambit of Pak-US relations.

The Pakistani political and military leadership had unitedly sent a strong message through the All Parties Conference (APC), few weeks before Hillary’s visit. The APC Resolution is in fact a renunciation of ‘war on terror’ and instead declares a national reorientation towards peace, reconciliation and dialogue with the Pakistani tribal / extremist groups.

Pakistanis openly question the wisdom of allying with the US led war on terror that has only brought misery and destruction to Pakistan, a failing economy that suffered 100 billion US dollar losses with over 35000 Pakistanis dead including military/law enforcement personnel. This war was never ours, one which was thrust on us in which Pakistanis were the ultimate victims.

During her visit, Hillary Clinton also referred to the Haqqanis, their old Afghan jihad allies, in her remark ‘ you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and only expect them to bite the neighbors’. The US dictation to Pakistan Army to attack the Haqqani network in North Waziristan makes no sense. First, because the Haqqanis carry out all anti US operations from inside their bases in Afghanistan. Second, the Haqqanis are no enemies of Pakistan. While the US has short term interests in Afghanistan, ours are long term in nature. Therefore, why should Pakistan sacrifice its long term interests for their short term gains?

But Pakistanis are also furious over tacit US- Afghan support to Tehreek-e Taliban militants who attack Pakistan Army in Dir and Chitral from across Afghan border in Kunar and Nuristan. This double game or a blackmailing approach will not take the US any where forward if it desires friendly support from the Pakistan side.

While Pakistan could use its influence to facilitate the Afghan Taliban and Haqqanis to support the Afghan peace and democratic process, yet results cannot be guaranteed in days and weeks as per US expectations for the forthcoming Istanbul and Bonn international conferences in November and December respectively.

The regional stakeholders as well as Afghan resistance groups demand a total and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces and do not support US bases on Afghan soil after 2014. The US has therefore has hard choices to make, continue the lost war and be doomed or adopt the path of peace, dialogue and political reconciliation in Afghanistan. Even more important, Can it afford to lose Pakistan?

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US Responsible For Pakistans Plight: Gulbadin Hikmatyar

Posted by yourpakistan on October 26, 2011


Engineer Gulbadin Hikmatyar, Afghanistans former prime minister and head of his own faction of the Hizb-e -Islami, an active insurgent group fighting against US-led forces, has said that the US was responsible of all the problems facing Pakistan.

According to a message issued here on the occasion of tenth anniversary of US invasion of Afghanistan, the insurgent leader said, Pakistan was being blamed by the Americans despite the fact that the country facilitated US attack on Afghanistan.It is beyond understanding, he added.

Pakistan launched military campaigns in swat, Bajaur, Mohmand Agecny and other areas but still it is blamed for supporting US opponents , the insurgent leader said.

He said that had Pakistan not facilitated US invasion of Afghanistan ,the Americans could not have occupied Afghanistan. Hikmatyar said that his group was ready to facilitate the US drawdown from Afghanistan, adding that if the US decided to continue fight, people of Afghanistan were ready to fight.

He further added that Americans would not benefit from the occupation rather Iran and Russia would exploit the situation.

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BBC: Pakistan’s Been Supporting Taliban For Years Against The US

Posted by yourpakistan on October 25, 2011


The United States now believes that for the last 10 years Pakistan has been playing a double game, publicly acting as America’s ally, while secretly training and arming the Taliban in its war against the US in Afghanistan.

In a prison cell on the outskirts of Kabul, the Afghan Intelligence Service is holding a young man who alleges he was recruited earlier this year by Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence agency, the ISI.

He says the Pakistanis trained him to be a suicide bomber, to be used in the Taliban’s intensifying military campaign against the Western coalition forces. After fifteen days training, he was ready to head to Afghanistan. The prisoner claims the preparations for his mission were overseen by an ISI officer in a camp in Pakistan.

Taliban bases in Pakistan

The man recruited to be a suicide bomber changed his mind at the last minute and was later captured by the Afghan intelligence service.

But his story is consistent with a mass of intelligence, confirming suspicions the Americans had been harboring about the Pakistanis increasingly over the last decade – that it has been secretly arming and supporting the Taliban in its attempt to regain control of Afghanistan.
“There were three of us. We were put into a black vehicle with black windows. The police did not stop the car because it was obviously ISI. No one dares stop their cars. They told me … you will receive your explosive waistcoat, and then go and explode it.

These suspicions started as early as 2002/3 – with the Taliban launching attacks from their bases in Pakistan on American forces in Afghanistan, but they became more widely held after 2006 when the Taliban’s assault increased in its ferocity, not least against the ill-prepared British forces in Helmand province.

The final tipping point in American eyes was the attack on Mumbai when 10 gunmen rampaged through the Indian city, killing 170 people – two weeks after Obama’s presidential victory in November 2008.

Despite Pakistan claiming it played no part in the attack, the CIA later received intelligence that it said showed the ISI were directly involved in training the Mumbai gunmen.

Bruce Riedel, a veteran CIA officer, called in by President Obama to review all intelligence on the region says the evidence was damning:

“Our own intelligence was unequivocal. In Afghanistan we saw an insurgency that was not only getting passive support from the Pakistani army and the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, but getting active support.”

Training and Supplies

Pakistan has repeatedly denied the claims but the BBC documentary series, Secret Pakistan has spoken to a number of middle ranking – and still active – Taliban commanders who provide detailed evidence of how for the last 10 years the Pakistan ISI has rebuilt, trained and supported the Taliban in its war on the US in Afghanistan.

“For a fighter there are two important things – supplies and a place to hide,” According to one Taliban commander, who fights under the name Mullah Qaseem:. Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly, they provide us with weapons.”

Another commander, Najib, describes how, following the American troop surge introduced by President Obama in Afghanistan in 2009, the Pakistanis responded in kind.

“Because Obama put more troops into Afghanistan and increased operations here, so Pakistan’s support for us increased as well. It increased a great deal.”

The Taliban commander describes the remarkable contents of a single supply truck he claims the Pakistanis delivered to his group, “500 landmines with remote controls, 20 Rocket propelled grenade launchers with 2000 to 3000 grenades. They brought AK47s, machine guns and rockets.”

Pakistani Military

To American soldiers like Major Mike Waltz, on the ground in the dangerous border regions of Afghanistan, the evidence of Pakistani support for the Taliban was plain to see:

“When we were operating near Pakistani military posts they would often flash signal lights and we could see them from ridge line to ridge line to ridge line and then down to the Pakistani military post and a series of signals and then mysteriously the folks that we were going to interact with were gone. The Pakistani military was clearly signalling with folks up in the mountains which we knew were insurgents.”

The Americans have responded by taking matters into their own hands. In President Obama’s first year in office, there were an estimated 53 drone strikes inside Pakistan on Taliban camps or key figures in the insurgency – more than the previous five years combined.

The drone attacks are deeply resented by Pakistan. “The problem with the drone attacks is that the overwhelming population of Pakistan thinks they are terrible,” said former National Security Adviser, General Asad Durrani. “So just because of that, I think the cost is too heavy.”

At the same time, the attacks have become increasingly effective as intelligence has been withheld from the Pakistanis, claims Riedel.

“At the beginning of the drone operations, we gave Pakistan an advance tip off of where we were going, and every single time the target wasn’t there anymore. You didn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to put the dots together.”

Bin Laden’s capture and killing followed this same model – the Americans acting on their own, to the humiliation of the Pakistan. Trust between the two supposed allies has never been lower.

Killing bin Laden was the reason America had attacked Afghanistan and overthrown the Taliban – but in the ten years since 9/11, that war had taken on a life of its own.

The Taliban’s refusal to hand over Bin Laden to the US ’s death was the original reason for war, and his death has removed a major obstacle to peace.

But those who claim that Pakistan’s hidden hand has shaped the conflict, fear the same is true of the negotiations for peace. Last year, in the Pakistani city of Karachi, Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s second in command, was captured by the ISI.

Secretly Baradar had made contact with the Afghan government to discuss a deal that would end the war. He had done so without the ISI’s permission and according to Britain’s special representative to Afghanistan, that was unaccceptable to the ISI.

“The story I heard was that the Pakistanis were able to find and detain Baradar and their motive in doing so was to bring him back under control and to send a message that if you want to do a deal you have to do it with Pakistan. You can’t plough an independent furrow.”

The Afghan government began peace talks with the Taliban but these were abandoned after its chief negotiator, former President Rabbani was killed by a suicide bomber, purporting to be a Taliban envoy.

Any future peace will have to be concluded with Pakistan President Karzai has since declared

To American policy advisers like Bruce Riedel, the message is clear:

“The ISI may not be able to deliver the Taliban to the negotiating table, but they can certainly spoil any negotiations process. So far, there’s very little sign, that I’ve seen, that Pakistan is interested in a political deal.”

While denying links to the Taliban, Pakistan insists that it is doing no more than what any country would do in similar circumstances. According to their chief military spokesman, General Athar Abbas:

“We cannot disregard our long term interest because this is our own area.”

According to General Durrani:

“The point is history changes. And in history you have friends with somebody today, and you’re mortal enemies with him tomorrow.”

As for Pakistan itself, there are those like Bruce Riedel who fear that the forces unleashed in ten years of war may yet come to haunt the whole world:

“There is probably no worse nightmare, for America, for Europe, for the world, in the 21st century than if Pakistan gets out of control under the influence of extremist Islamic forces, armed with nuclear weapons…The stakes here are huge.”

What happens in Pakistan, may yet be the most enduring legacy of 9/11 and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

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Uprising Against Capitalism and the Role of Pakistan’s Media

Posted by yourpakistan on October 24, 2011


On September 17, a new activist website in America dedicated to exposing the abuse and corruption of high-ranking corporations and banks based in New York was propped up, aptly titled ‘Occupy Wall Street’ whose fundamental objectives include shutting down of defaulter banks and institutes, diverting government expenditure on bailouts towards spending money for the betterment of American citizens by providing them with better healthcare and especially employment opportunities so that they can atleast maintain their most basic standard of living. The anonymous activists behind this powerful website rightly say that money has taken over politics and that a group of high-level bankers and industrialists exert their influence on both sides of the electoral playground. This can be summed up in an allegory, “They win, whether the coin lands on heads or tails”.

By Zaki Khalid

This synopsis of social and economic control of the world’s populace at the hands of a few multi-billionaires with common agendas is what directly coincides with the reality-based concept of totalitarian bankers and lobbyists playing their favorite game of transcontinental geopolitics to intake trillions in income and enjoy a bit of dummy control along the way i.e. controlling governments and their economies through stock exchanges and monetary organizations. This advanced more rapidly after the demolition of the former Soviet Union which took along Communism’s leftovers to be buried in the sands of Afghanistan.

Keeping China as a Communist power aside, the capitalist world at large is now also following in the footsteps of its Russian Communist counterpart. It has been burying itself in the sands of Afghanistan also. Trillions of debt for waging wars in Iraq and especially Afghanistan resulted in exceeding the limit of domestic loans from the Federal Reserve. Naturally, the cost of living in the United States of America became less and less affordable for the ordinary public.

The activists who have been calling for an end to capitalism ignited a fire that swept across America from Zuccotti Park on Wall Street, New York to San Franciso on the West Coast. A few days later, protests erupted in no less than 82 countries across the globe. Thousands upon thousands of people raised slogans against feudal capitalism, whereas those in the Muslim world availed of this opportunity by demanding imposition of the Islamic economic model. Financial hegemony by satanic bankers in Wall Street and the City of London had to be rebelled against sooner or later. Now that people have been taking strong notice and action against these clutches, it is highly surprising where Pakistani media is amidst all these developments. I would not like to talk about the American media at large, since almost its entire mainstream is itself corporate and agenda-oriented. It takes injections of small millions in each channel to shush them.

On the contrary, alternative news channels such as Russia Today, Iran’s Press TV and China’s Xinhua are giving regular coverage. Russia and China have their own pro-Communist leanings. What about Iran though? Iran’s President Ahmadinejad recently gave another statement that the US is trying to frame his country on false terrorism charges simply to divert world attention from the latter’s crumbling socioeconomic endeavors. Will this massive “Anti-Capitalism Spring” succeed in uprooting the evils of capitalism? Time will tell. For now, as far as our Pakistani media is concerned, I feel no hesitation in only assuming that someone might be funding/prohibiting it from airing these most crucial geopolitical events. A few headlines and sliding tickers on screen will not do. Our media is acting sluggish and ignorant. What is it that the Pakistani media fears? Why are there no proper talk shows on this issue and where are our local ‘golden boys’ of economic affairs to explain the worldwide resentment and uprising against capitalism?

The writer is a research analyst and English media coordinator at the Tanzeem-e-Islami’s Qur’an Academy (Lahore)

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Fazlullah Vows New War in Pakistan

Posted by yourpakistan on October 23, 2011


Afghanistan-based Taliban leader Maulvi Fazlullah, a leading figure in the insurgency, has vowed to return to Pakistan to wage war as the country came under renewed American pressure to tackle militancy.

“We sacrificed our lives, left our homes and villages for the sake of Sharia (Islamic Law) and will do whatever we can to get Sharia implemented in the Malakand region and rest of Pakistan,” Sirajuddin Ahmad, a close adviser, told Reuters, describing Fazlullah’s position.

He was answering written questions submitted by Reuters. The Taliban threat was issued as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top US military and intelligence leaders delivered a tough warning to Pakistan to crack down hard on militant groups, an issue heavily straining ties between the uneasy allies. Fazlullah was the Taliban leader in Swat Valley, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Islamabad, before a 2009 army offensive forced him to flee.

Also known as FM Mullah for his fiery radio broadcasts, he regrouped in Afghanistan and established strongholds, and poses a threat to Pakistan once again, said army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas. The Pakistani Taliban, which is separate from but aligned to the Afghan Taliban fighting foreign forces in Afghanistan, has declared war on the Pakistani state for providing support to the US-led war on militants in the region.

Pakistan recently complained that Afghan and US-led forces had failed to hunt down Fazlullah who was responsible for a spate of cross-border raids. On the other hand, Afghanistan and the United States have accused elements in the Pakistan government of supporting members of the Afghan Taliban.

Fazlullah, a leading figure in the Pakistani Taliban insurgency, is based in Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan, said Abbas. Other leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella of about 12 groups, and the government have suggested they are open to peace talks to end a conflict that has killed thousands of people.

But Fazlullah seemed sceptical about the government’s intentions. “Pakistani rulers always approach us through some people whenever their relations with the United States become unfriendly and make appeals to us to help them in restoration of peace in the country,” said his adviser.

“But they forget their promises and become more harsh and cruel when their relations are restored with the United States. We know these tricks of the Pakistani rulers and do not trust in their promises.”

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Pakistan Wins Non-Permanent Member Seat Of UN Security Council

Posted by yourpakistan on October 22, 2011


Winning the bare minimum required to win the hotly contested elections, Pakistan won a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term. Securing 129 out of 193 votes in the United Nations General Assembly, exactly the two-third majority required to win the seat, Pakistan will now be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in a term that begins on January 2012 and will end in December 2013.

The seat is on the Asia-Pacific and Africa group, where Pakistan will join India amongst other countries as non-permanent members. Morocco was also elected as a member of the non-permanent seats in the UNSC. Pakistan’s sole competition was expected to be with Kyrgyzstan, which was also hopeful of winning the Asia-Pacific seat. According to reports, Pakistan had secured support from India, China and the UAE amongst other countries to help Pakistan win the election.

Pakistan has been a member of the 15-member Council on six occasions in the past — 1952-53, 1968-69, 1976-77, 1983-84, 1993-94 and 2003-04. This would be the seventh time Pakistan would serve on the Security Council, and the fourth time its term would overlap with India. India and Pakistan have shared terms in the Security Council in 1968, 1977 and 1984.

Marking the culmination of a vigorous campaign spearheaded by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, said Pakistan’s election to the Security Council is the acknowledgement by the international community of its services and its capabilities to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security which is the main function of the Security Council. The Pakistan delegation, led by Ambassador Abdullah Haroon, thus appeared to be confident of victory. “We have worked very, very hard over the past months,” Ambassador Haroon said.

A statement released from the permanent mission of Pakistan at the UN read “Pakistan is joining the Security Council at a time of great international upheaval and challenges. Pakistan’s extensive experience and active participation in the UN system makes it uniquely qualified to positively contribute towards addressing the current problems.”

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