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Archive for December, 2014

ISI Heroes & Heroines of Pakistan Intelligence – General Rizwan Akhtar,The New Chief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pakistan appoints Rizwan Akhtar to head intelligence agency

Close ally of army chief named as director general of the ISI, which has helped bring down governments in the past
Rizwan Akhtar
Rizwan Akhtar, who has been named as the new head of the ISI. 

A seasoned soldier who has battled Militants and criminal gangs in one of the world’s largest cities is to become head of Pakistan’s famous military intelligence agency, it was announced on Monday.

Akhtar is reported to be a close ally of Raheel Sharif, the army chief appointed last year, who in turn is said to have a warm relationship with the prime minister.

His appointment as director general of the ISI, along with the promotion of five other generals, means many of the old guard associated with long tenure of former army chief General Ashfaq Kayani have now left. 

“He’s no longer like a new CEO of an old company with a lot of heavyweight executives sitting around,” said political analyst Talat Hussain. “And it means the distance between the army and civilian government on how to pursue national interests is going to shrink.”

The director general of the ISI is widely regarded as being among the most powerful people in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state struggling to deal with the challenge of radical mullas.

The organisation has been accused of backing militants in proxy wars against neighbouring India and Afghanistan, as well as meddling in Pakistan’s domestic politics.

But many Pakistan watchers have argued that in recent years a new consensus has been forming within military circles, which increasingly see the fight against domestic terrorism as more important to the country’s survival than its traditional efforts to dominate Afghanistan and protect against the perceived threat from longstanding enemy India.

In a 2008 dissertation written while studying at the US Army War College Akhtar said Pakistan’s most important strategic challenge was to “aggressively pursue rapprochement with India”. He also said the role of Pakistan’s army, which has either directly or indirectly ruled the country for most of its history, “should be limited to ensuring the nation’s security from external threats and in waging war against terrorists.”

His move to the ISI next month comes after more than a year leading the struggle against Taliban militants and criminal gangs in Karachi, the megacity on Pakistan’s southern coast.

Adding to his background in counter-insurgency he also served in South Waziristan during an operation launched in 2009 against militants who had set themselves up in the tribal agency bordering Afghanistan.

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A Talk By Indian Ajit Doval, India ‘s National Security Advisor Who Planned Massacre of 134 Pakistani Children

http://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=898326933533928&set=vb.176100869089875&type=2&theater

 

A Talk By Indian Ajit Doval, India ‘s National Security Advisor Who Planned Massacre of 134 Pakistani Children  

 Indo Israel

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The News, Pakistan: Can another ‘Peshawar’ be averted ? Naeem Sadiq

The News

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27 Dec. 2014

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Can another ‘Peshawar’ be averted ?

Naeem Sadiq

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<naeemsadiq@gmail.com>

 The answer to this question may lie in the half- hearted, knee-jerk and ‘public- consumption’ measures taken by the government in the last few days. The post-trauma stress has squeezed the last traces of functionality from a set of rulers not famous for their intellectual dexterity.  There is much evidence to suggest that we may have learnt nothing except to recycle more of the same gibberish, packed as conferences and committees that have never ever served their purpose.
Taliban-sympathetic politicians, ministers, advisers and apologists continue to walk in the corridors of power?  The CDA Chairman not only allows but also pays for operating a militant pro-Taliban outfit in Lal Masjid located right under its nose.   Should the interior minister not be considered a promoter of Taliban for taking no action against Jamia Hafsa , which now acts as the ISIS  country headquarter and where the clerics swear allegiance to Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi ( http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2d0lmi  ) to wage war against the state of Pakistan.  How come many terrorists of Jhangvi, Lakhvi, SSP,  the ‘Jamaat-ud-dawah’ and those based in Punjab  still roam around free on the streets of Pakistan?  

There are at least five other categories of militants

(besides the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ Taliban), just as hazardous and just as barbaric who also need to be eliminated before sanity returns to Pakistan.  These are
(a) those who kill others because of religious differences 
(b) those who incite violence and hatred from their pulpits 
(c)  those who engage in violence such as burning their bonded labour in kilns 
(d) those feudal land-lords who give nothing but lifelong  wretchedness and misery to their tillers and 
(e) those sophisticated urban  militants who live in posh areas of the country and  are engaged in crime, lawlessness and massive syphoning of national resources.  Just on one street of Karachi, stand 15 government vehicles (mis)used by the brother of a minister for the last seven years. His government however claims shortage of funds and remains unperturbed when 300 children die of hunger and thirst in Thar.  Creating planned poverty is another form of terrorism – only a shade higher.
 Pakistan failed to understand, what other nations had understood some 200 years ago. Religion could be the business of individuals but not of the state.  States do not have ideologies.  They have functions to perform, such as delivering justice, equality and wellbeing of citizens.  Pakistan’s foremost priority must be to implement Jinnah’s words, “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” Radical constitutional amendments are inevitable.  Failing to do so shall keep the religious groups eternally engaged in promoting their brands through indigenous and sponsored violence.
 The next essential step for Pakistan is to shed its addiction of living on beggary from the West and charity from the Mid-East – also called the  ‘beg-arity’ syndrome.   
Could we not survive without Arab countries sponsoring hundreds of  ‘ moulvis’, mosques and ‘madrassas’ in Pakistan? 
It is time to stop all charity and religious funding from any country to any individual or group in Pakistan.  The state has no capacity to reform the ‘madrassas’.  It simply needs to shut the militant ones and convert the rest to regular schools.  Needless to say that converting ‘madrassas’ into schools would be meaningful only after the syllabi has been purged of all hate and violence-inducing content. 
It is not clear if the army realises that  Zarb e Azab is necessary but not enough to ensure success.  
It can be won only if the three core components  of violence are dismantled simultaneously. 
These are

​(1) ​the weapons,
​(2) ​the illegal vehicles and
​(3) ​the non-traceable SIMs. 
These three factors are central to all acts of terrorism including the one that took place in Peshawar.   These factors have been repeatedly highlighted over the last many years.  However our ruling class, itself engaged (as individuals and parties) in proliferation of weapons, illegal vehicles and untraceable SIMS has refused to address these issues.  This class, often simplistically addressed as VIPs, is engaged in the ultimate form of terrorism by preventing any reforms to take place.
Peace is not likely to reappear by coincidence.  All individuals, ‘lashkars’,  private armies and political parties must be disarmed and prevented from possessing, carrying or displaying any weapon, licensed or otherwise.  Illegal, unregistered and fake number-plated vehicles need to be eliminated and SIMs not traceable to any individual ought to be blocked.  These actions have been taken by all those countries who fought terrorism and the least we can do is to learn from them.  If the state continues to remain unmoved, the civil society, shunning its differences, must make a collective push for change.   A small group of citizens protesting In front of Lal Masjid at Islamabad may have already shown the way to go. 
 
 naeem sadiq

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LONDON POST: Nawaz Sharif’s conflicting National and Business interests by Sabena Siddiqi

Report from LONDON POST

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Nawaz sharif’s conflicting National and Business interests 

The Sharif’s business interests in India have resulted in extra-ordinary negative repercussions for Pakistan’s security. Businessmen close to them are also pursuing Indian businesses with gusto not caring about fair or foul. There are various business ventures being initiated by PML-N, the business-friendly party currently in government and its friends, which break security norms and are most definitely not in Pakistan’s interest.

Mian Muhammad Mansha being one of them, declared Pakistan’s richest man by Forbes World 2013, his worth is $2.6 billion. Nishat Group, a subsidiary of Mian Muhammad Mansha,s business conglomerate is currently trying to bring in Indian investment for Pakistan’s controversial media industry .

As if Mir Shakilur Rehman’s Geo and Aman ki Asha stint et al weren’t enough for Pakistanis, Mian Mansha’s Nishat group is making efforts to establish Indian holdings in Pakistani media. The game is being started with collaboration with M/S Krian Media Ltd owned by a certain Mr Yezdi Dhanjishan Daruwala. Nowadays engineers from M/S Krian Media intend to get multiple entry visas for discussions with Nishat Group.

Shahid Malik former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India is now Director of Mansha Group, it is rumoured these days that he is trying to get the current Pakistani High Commissioner in India to grant the required visas immediately sans interviews. Another rumour is doing the rounds that the Prime Minister’s son Hasan Nawaz has also backed this visa deal. The visa in question is the EPR, a multiple entry visa and totally inadvisable. We all know how difficult it is to get an Indian visa for Pakistanis, then only certain cities are within limits, why should Pakistan make any visas easy for Indians and that also without even an interview?

Any new business coming in from India should be in Pakistan’s interests and not a ploy to destroy our cultural foundations and identity. Sonia Gandhi once talked about Pakistan’s ‘cultural invasion‘ which actually meant secularising us and decreasing Islam’s importance here so that Pakistan can ‘blend back’ into India. It was a ridiculous idea but the whole Geo modus operandi underlined this theory, the Aman ki Asha spin only benefited Indians and Pakistanis were thought to be stupid enough to be lured in with song and dance.

Anyway, why does the PML-N want to provide Indians so much space to influence young minds in Pakistan? If Indian movies and drama are anything to go by, their media can only promote loose morals and nudity plus a lot of Hinduism / Hindutva ideology. Pakistanis do not need Indian media houses forced on them by the Nawaz government and friends. India is our neighbour and business with it should not clash with our culture and societal norms. Where will our ideology, two nation theory, Jinnah and Pakistan’s existence as an Islamic republic stand if interpreted by Indian media backed up by India’s Research & Analysis Wing?

Sultan Lakhani is again one of Pakistan’s richest men, he has vast business interests in India, mainly he is the partner of most Indian Brands, from Titan to Tetley Tea. Tetley Tea and Titan watches are both Indian companies sold in Pakistan by Sultan Lakhani. Not a co-incidence that Lakhani owns Century Publications which owns the newspaper Express Tribune, there are various Express channels as well which must have helped to further Indian interests. Be it print media or news media, Indians want a foothold in Pakistan by hook or by crook.

Recently, the controversial Arsalan Iftikhar, son of ex-CJ Iftikhar Choudhry has been provided the chance to lure in foreign and local investors to the huge gold and copper mines in Rekodiq Balochistan. He was hardly an epitome of honesty, nor did he have the credentials to be made Director, Bureau of Investment for Baluchistan , a province rich in mineral resources. It is a known fact that Pakistan’s enemies want to deny us Baluchistan as it can greatly improve Pakistan’s economy and Arsalan Iftikhar definitely did not deserve such an important post as has been provided for him by the current government.

It is very disappointing that this government is following in the footsteps of Rehman Malik, the erstwhile Interior Minister for the PPP government. He had facilitated the Americans to an unusual extent, eventually he was suspected of having brought in scores of CIA and maybe ‘Blackwater ‘ agents, he had also very graciously issued arms permits for lethal weapons foreigners should not be allowed to carry in Pakistan. Now it seems that the Sharif government is too eager to please India etc for the sake of business interests and soon Pakistan could be flooded with RAW operatives in disguise. An army operation is underway in North Waziristan which is imperative for peace in Pakistan, in war-time bringing in flocks of Indians to further destabilise the situation is sheer lunacy. 

 

 

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PAKISTAN TODAY : Finding the Correct Path the Hard Way by Humayun Gauhar

PAKISTAN TODAY 

 

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 December 28, 2014

         

Finding the Correct Path the Hard Way

 

‘Terrorist Taliban Pakistan’ killed our future; kill them to reclaim our future  

 

Humayun Gauhar

 

We had two choices: give in to the terrorists and face the consequences or fight terrorism and face the consequences. Sensibly we opted for the latter, the correct decision, so fight it is. Else we would have been at their mercy and what passes for justice Taliban style. All men would have grown beards, women hidden behind veils and not allowed education or outside their homes, minorities forcefully converted, forced to flee or massacred. Pakistan would have gone down the drain as Afghanistan did after the Taliban conquest with our stupid help. We saw a glimpse of it after the ‘Terrorist Taliban Pakistan’ or TTP were allowed to rule Swat and impose ‘Nizam-e-Adl’ with the complicity of a supine government. They whipped a girl for leaving her house with a man who was eligible to marry her. They paraded the streets holding the chopped heads of soldiers in their hands to spread terror.

 

That the decision to fight terrorism of all hues countrywide flowed from the barrel of a gun as​,​too ,​the reluctant acceptance of the ‘National Anti-terrorism Plan’ by all parliamentary politicians is a no brainer, as,​too,​the prime minister’s speech announcing it. This becomes inevitable in crises when there is utter political and judicial failure and all three branches of government are confused, unable to decide, only talk.

 

So praise what is good and don’t worry about who did it. Don’t quibble with details. Wrinkles can be ironed out later, lacunae plugged. You cannot argue with correct decisions. That should be the  motto of every writer – ‘Proclaim Truth’ Mujhay Hai Hukm-e-Azaan La Illaha Il Allah.

 

Politicians, army and even the judges deserve praise for finally coming together on the right track for one objective: fighting terrorism together to its end. Well done. Better still would have been a National Government of Unity to show that they are fighting the war together. Without it I wouldn’t bet on this forced unity lasting long as each party jockeys for advantage. We are already hearing voices of dissent from pro-Taliban and pseudo democratic politicians quibbling about military courts, fearing not quite incorrectly, that they might bypass due process and be used to harass or eliminate opponents. They should recognize that it is utter judicial failure that has led to military courts. If the normal constitutional courts cannot dispense justice, someone else has to and that someone is always the most powerful institution standing.

 

We will support our government in this war as long as it stays the course and remains steadfast. If our leaders don’t break with their false notions of the past and waver one bit the war will be lost. Then we will oppose them tooth and nail as we do criminal governance. Revolt and military intervention will then stare politicians in the face. Else, Balkanization could be our harvest. For the record, Altaf Hussain of the MQM was the only politician persistently warning about growing ‘Talibanisation’ for years, but no one took heed. Today we reap the harvest.

 

Fighting a war, especially in your own country, is psyche-damaging but not fighting it and leaving enemies the run of the place damages the national psyche even more. It desensitizes you, brutalizes you and dehumanizes you until you become an animal yourself. Having exhausted all others, we were left with no option but to fight. What we need now is God’s pleasure with our endeavors. But God will only be pleased if we realize our own past mistakes that have led us to this sorry pass and repent – Taubah – never to be stupid and repeat them again.

 

Now that our politicians and generals have finally seen the Correct Path that humankind prays to God to show them in the first chapter of the Quran, ‘Fateha’, they must start treading on it tirelessly and doggedly and defeat the multi-headed hydra of terrorism breathing fire on us. We must also defeat the multi-sectoral implosion that we are faced with if Pakistan is to survive. Selfish ‘allies’, misguided clerics and pseudo intellectuals local and foreign will divert us along the way Satan-like, but we must learn to clearly differentiate between what is good for us and what is bad. I am concerned that our leaders’ native stupidity doesn’t get the better of them – all of them, army, politicians and judges. The best way to keep native stupidity in check is to follow the universal process and principle of decision making: know who to take good advice from, do relevant research and analysis without getting paralyzed, set up counter syndicates and before taking each step ask yourself whether it is good or bad, right or wrong and ensure that it will please God by not violating his humane injunctions.

 

Last week I wrote that seeing a photograph of our politicians discussing terrorism the day after the Peshawar carnage made one’s heart sink. Are these the people, I asked, who are going to lead our destiny? Seeing another photograph of them in their second conclave would have made our hearts sink lower, beholding the unbelievable sight of what a parliament of monkeys looks like, bearded, bewigged and botoxed wearing half a pound of makeup. Thus far, all we have heard from them are pious declarations of intent and hollow words and more words. Our rulers have confused words with bullets. No longer, hopefully.

 

Conspicuous by their presence in the conclave of political geniuses were the army and ISI chiefs, signifying that real power had quietly passed to the army. General Raheel Sharif was wearing four hats: the army chief’s, the foreign minister’s, the defence minister’s and the interior minister’s with the chief executive’s hat in his holster. No wonder there was consensus. A silent coup if ever there was one. Better this than a takeover upfront, but if our politicians continue in their usual vein of bickering, nitpicking and bellyaching busy splitting hairs, I’m afraid they will cause a direct coup yet again.Coups too are part of political evolution – unhealthy political evolution – and are certainly not good for the country or the military. They are backward evolution, not forward. They have no system of succession. Only a genuine people’s revolution that upturns an iniquitous status quo and replaces it one better is forward evolution.

 

Those who were gleefully awaiting a coup should think again. It is no long-term solution. Instead, it ends up leaving a mess by prolonging the life of a decrepit political system flourishing in the name of democracy and retards healthy political evolution. The system should be allowed to self-correct or die its natural death, not be made a martyr again and given longer life by putting it on life support. It is fast reaching an ignominious end anyway, so why stop it?

 

By murdering our children the Taliban killed our future. Terrorist students murdering genuine students exposes our decline beyond the pale, beyond Islam or any secular or spiritual creed. Instead of exterminating terrorists we have been soft on terrorism for years because we confused it with Jihad and forced our entry into the realm of national infidelity with God, humanity and all civilized norms. That other countries wearing the garb of civilization are also in the realm of national infidelity is no excuse for us to be there too. We should have realized that terrorists don’t fight any Jihad but spread discord and disharmony through wanton murder and destruction. That they would be another front in conventional war is a pipedream.

 

Hopefully, we have reached our tipping point and our exit from national infidelity has started. We are determined that we will not go silent into the night. We will fight them to the last man and woman. We will no longer tolerate any laxity, sympathy, apology or confusion by our authorities. If our rulers don’t shape up we will ship them out. Terrorist enablers, sympathizers and apologists should be treated as terrorists and get the same treatment, no matter how high their office. That goes for mosques, madrassas and misled mullahs too, like Lal Masjid has been turned from a House of God into a House of Satan, another Masjid al-Zirar (‘Dirar’ in Arabic) meaning Mosque of Opposition, Dissent and Harm spreading ‘Fitna’ and ‘Fasad’, discord and disharmony, to the extent that it is mentioned in the Quran. Masjid Zirar was burnt down on the orders of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

I likened terrorism to a tree. We have to destroy it root and branch. Military operations will just cut the leaves, branches and trees. In tandem, government has to destroy its roots, which means destroying the soil of injustice in which terrorism flourishes, arming our young with the best contemporary education, bringing semi-literate mullahs of mosques and madrassas to heel and all media within proper regulation, fighting cyber terrorism on the social media and cell phones and above all, ending State Terrorism on which non-State terrorism feeds. We rightly grieve for the 132 children brutally massacred in Peshawar but we don’t have tears for the 250 children killed by state terrorism neglect in Tharparker and over 54 percent undernourished children in Balochistan and everywhere in Pakistan. We don’t give a thought for our 55 percent living under the poverty line – 110 million. State terrorism my friends is not only armed terrorism as in the Model Town massacre; more sinister is economic terrorism of loot, plunder and corruption, absence of basic needs and fundamental rights, and the lies, crass hypocrisy and insensitivity of our rulers…

 

More suggestions to add to the government’s 20 points:

  1. Extreme vigilance at all entry and exit points.
  2. Maximum scrutiny and security checks before issuing visas to anyone and I mean anyone and everyone just as the US has done. No more wholesale visas without check to American ‘contractors’ and assassins like Raymond Davis as happened in the ‘democratic’ Zardari era.
  3. Extreme vigilance in letting in overseas Pakistanis hiding behind our passports. Many of them have joined terrorists or are their sympathizers and funders.  
  4. Upgrade and strengthen the selection, training, emoluments and equipment of police. Weed out criminals recruited by political governments into the force. Fighting criminality and internal terrorism is police, not army, work.
  5. Afghanistan should be told to  forthwith remove India’s terrorism proliferating offices along our border – or else.
  6. Many hospitals and jails have become terrorist hubs with computers and mobile phones. End it.
  7. Repatriate all Afghans under the guise of ‘refugees’ even those carrying Pakistani passports and identify cards or born here. Afghanistan’s occupation is ending and there is no more justification for Afghans staying here like leeches.
  8. Make new provinces in tribal areas and bring them under Pakistani laws. Don’t pander to the myth of the Pukhtoon code. If they are as brave as advertised, they should prove it by fighting terrorists who are destroying them most.
  9. If we genuinely believe that we are good Muslims, let us publicly and loudly proclaim the terrorist creed as unIslamic heresy, infidelity and Kufr.
  10.    While making laws more effective, one cannot stress enough not to plan in anger because if we drop due process we will become an uncivilized police state and the terrorists would have won.
  1. What about Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of Salman Taseer Shaheed? Qadri is a hero to many, including lawyers and judges. When is he going to be brought to justice? I would rather that they first extracted the full story of who really was behind his assassination. Salman had become a pain for the Sharifs while Mumtaz Qadri was an employee of the Punjab Police under Shahbaz Sharif and had no business being in Governor Taseer’s security detail.

 It won’t take two years but one generation to end terrorism root and branch. So get on with it. There will certainly be more blowbacks so don’t lose your nerve and remain steadfast. Problem is, this army and political leadership won’t last that long. What guarantee that their successors will be as steadfast? If the terrorists hold out long enough for weak leadership to succeed, then what? So think long-term.

 I am still not done.

 humayun.gauhar786@gmail.com

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