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Archive for category Pakistan-A Polaris of Earth

Shaikh Rasheed’s Interview With Dr.Danish

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A Hellfire From Heaven Won’t Smash The Taliban

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A Hellfire From Heaven Won’t Smash The Taliban
By Pepe Escobar
 
June 02, 2016 
 
So Taliban supremo Mullah Mansour’s white Toyota Corolla was rattling across the Balochistan desert just after it had crossed the Iranian border when a Hellfire missile fired from a US drone incinerated it into a charred / twisted wreck.
That’s the official narrative. The Pentagon said Mansour was on Obama’s kill list because he had become «an obstacle to peace and reconciliation».
There’s way more to it, of course. Mansour was a savvy businessman who was extensively traveling to Dubai – the Taliban’s historic clearing house where all sorts of dodgy deals are made. He was also in close connection with Jundullah – a.k.a. the hardcore Sunni anti-Tehran militia very much active in Sistan-Balochistan province in Iran.
This time Mansour was in Sistan-Balochistan on a medical visit – allegedly to eschew hospitals in Pakistan heavily monitored by the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence]. Yet arguably Pakistan intel knew about it – so US intel also may have known about it and thus were able to track him.
But then there’s the real ace in the hole: the New Opium War.
The usual suspects in the Beltway insist that the Taliban profit handsomely from overseeing the opium trade out of Afghanistan –and now operate as a multi-billion-dollar drug cartel. That’s nonsense.
Bets can be made that Mansour’s kill will not reduce Afghanistan’s opium production – which has been steadily on the rise for years now. Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, Mansour’s former number two, has been designated as the new leader.
The fact is, poppy production in Afghanistan remains at the highest levels in provinces that are – in thesis – controlled by Kabul. More opium was produced last year – also in thesis the last year of NATO’s Enduring Freedom operation – than in any other year since the UN started tracking it way back in 2002. In 2016 Afghanistan will produce more opium – thus heroin – than the entire global consumption.
An inkling of what’s really going on in the New Opium War is provided by a recent book (in Italian) by Enrico Piovesana. He tells of shady military operations conducted by NATO in which massive quantities of opium have been sequestered by helicopter – never to be seen again.
So we’re back to the same old CIA opium rat line, which translates into control of the Afghan opium market in collusion with local police, military high brass in Kabul and the Karzai family, of former President a.k.a. «mayor of Kabul» Hamid Karzai. Doing business with narco traffickers has also handily provided liquidity – as in dirty money – to Western big banks. None of this has anything to do with the Taliban, which actually brought down opium production to near zero in 2001, before 9/11 and the American bombing/occupation of Afghanistan.
Those shadowy Af-Pak players
The first US drone strike ever in Baluchestan (another Obama «first») remains something of a mystery. A credible working hypothesis is that this was a covert US-Pakistani co-op. The hit allegedly came via the Pentagon, not the CIA. Mansour’s Corolla was something like 40 km inside Baluchestan after it had crossed the border – in an area where US drones would have been quite vulnerable to upgraded (in 2011) Pakistani air defenses.
A plausible – but unconfirmed – scenario would see RQ-170 Sentinels tracking Mansour’s Toyota, with the coordinates then fed to Reaper drones flying out of Kandahar airfield. Assuming the drones began tracking the Toyota at the Iran-Pakistan border, they would have been in action over Baluchestan air space for hours on end, undisturbed.
But then there are the incongruities. Pakistani sources mention that the Toyota – as in any real drone hit – was not totally smashed, but was still on its wheels. And a mysterious passport (Mullah Mansour’s) also showed up on the scene, unscathed.
As for the original HUMINT that led to Mansour’s trail, the notion that Washington had scored it stretches credulity. It would be more like a very well placed/rewarded asset somewhere – be it a military in Kabul or a disgruntled ISI operative.
What was Mansour really up to? He was quite savvy in playing for time. He clearly saw through the US «strategy» – which boiled down to encouraging Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to convince Islamabad to get the Taliban to the negotiating table.
Mansour though knew the Taliban could always advance militarily without negotiations; that’s why he duly announced the 2016 spring offensive – an annual Taliban ritual. At the same time he was very careful not to antagonize Islamabad so Taliban safe havens in Pakistan would not be compromised.
As far as what Islamabad is up to, that’s way hazier. Islamabad’s man in the Taliban succession was actually Sirajuddin Haqqani. After the death of his notorious father, Haqqani leads the homonymous network – which is very cozy with the ISI, arguably closer than the traditional Kandahar/Quetta Shura, a.k.a. the historic Afghan Taliban.
The new Taliban supremo will now have a handy window of opportunity to consolidate power. By early 2017 there will be a new US president, a new Pakistani army chief but the same Afghan so-called National Unity Government still disunited. The Taliban know what they want; be part of the government in Kabul, and get their cut in case the fractious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline will ever be built. The more things change in Afghanistan, the more they hark back to two decades ago, during the second Clinton administration.
Meanwhile, former CIA asset, former pal of Osama bin Laden and still one of the US’s Public Enemies, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, defined by Washington as a «global terrorist» and the leader of the Hezbi Islami organization, is about to close a deal with Kabul.
Hezbi Islami is the second largest «insurgency» in Afghanistan. Most of the top brass have defected to the Taliban. Hekmatyar lives in exile somewhere in Pakistan; the ISI, of course, knows all about it. So if Ghani in Kabul can’t bag the Taliban, at least he bags a currently much smaller fish, Hekmatyar. Does it help? Not really. It will fall eventually to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – as in Russia-China joint leadership – to solve the Taliban riddle. Certainly not to Operation Enduring Freedom Forever – no matter the size of their kill list
 
 
 

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No, Fareed Zakaria, you cannot blame Pakistan for the mistakes made by the US in Afghanistan

No, Fareed Zakaria, you cannot blame Pakistan for the mistakes made by the US in Afghanistan

Published: October 15, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Considering your reputation, I was disappointed by your 800-odd word opinion piece on The Washington Post. PHOTO: AFP

Dear Fareed Zakaria,

You are certainly a titan of journalism. Your CNN show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, is watched by countless worldwide, while your footprint can be found in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Slate, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, to name a few.

The career trajectory you’ve taken is nothing short of incredible. After leaving your home in Bombay where you were born to Rafiq Zakaria, an Islamic scholar and a politician associated with the Indian National Congress, and journalist Fatima Zakaria, a former editor at Mumbai Times and the Times of India, you eventually made your way to the US, where you graduated from Yale University, and later Harvard University. From here, you never looked back, striking one milestone after another.

Considering your reputation, I was disappointed by your 800-odd word opinion piece on The Washington Post.InThe key to solving the puzzle of Afghanistan is Pakistan’ you laid the entire blame of the failure of the 14-year American military campaign in Afghanistan, on Pakistan’s double dealing with the Taliban.

Your faulty cause and effect analysis was not only overly simplistic but granted far too much credit to Pakistan for Afghanistan’s problems. Yes, Pakistan carries a long list of issues, but to paint the nation as an all-powerful bogeyman dilutes the gravity of Afghanistan’s home-grown issues.

Now, before I continue, I’d like to clarify, I am not another Pakistani nationalist peeved by a journalist who still maintains strong ties with India. If anything, I find patriotism to be an entirely stupid emotion. My recent blog, which was eventually taken down, questioning Pakistan’s blind love for a national hero during a war, where they were the aggressors, was received more negatively than a teetotaling dwarf would be at a Dwarven pub in Middle Earth.

Yet even I was put off by your article.

Let’s start with when you say:

“Why, after 14 years of American military efforts, is Afghanistan still so fragile? The country has a democratically elected government widely viewed as legitimate. Poll after poll suggests that the Taliban are unpopular. The Afghan army fights fiercely and loyally. And yet, the Taliban always come back.”

It is as if you are about to start a fairy tale in which the US armed forces, along with the Afghan army and the new national government, created a utopia in Afghanistan, where unicorns fart rainbows and candy grows from trees. This was, as you say, until the Taliban, backed by the evil and jealous Pakistani neighbours, came back, leaving the heroes in turmoil.

In reality, the Taliban have been welcomed back by many Afghans due to the incompetence and corruption of their own government and law enforcement officials.

Take for example, the town of Marjah, where nearly 15,000 NATO troops alongside Afghan forces fought against the Taliban, promising the locals good governance as motivation to shun the brutal militants. Unfortunately, they did not live up to these vows. According to Associated Press, Marjah residents believe the ‘counterinsurgency experiment has failed’.

Huffington Post:

“Nearly three years after US-led forces launched the biggest operation of the war to clear insurgents, foster economic growth and set a model for the rest of Afghanistan, angry residents of Helmand province say they are too afraid to go out after dark because of marauding bands of thieves.

And during the day, they say corrupt police and government officials bully them into paying bribes. After 11 years of war, many here long for a return of the Taliban. They say that under the Taliban, who routinely punished thieves by cutting off a hand, they were at least safe from crime and corruption.

‘If you had a box of cash on your head, you could go to the farthest part of Marjah and no one would take it from you, even at night’, said Maulvi Daoud, who runs a cubbyhole sized-shop in the town of Marjah. ‘Today you bring your motorcycle in front of your shop and it will be gone. Now the situation is that you go on the road and they are standing in police and army uniform with weapons and they can take your money’.

Many claim the US-funded local police, a type of locally sanctioned militia, routinely demand bribes and threaten to accuse those who do not comply of being members of the Taliban. Good governance never came to Marjah, they say.

Daoud, the Marjah shop owner, said there was more security under the country’s Taliban regime that was ousted by the US-led invasion in late 2001.”

Reuters explains how the billions of dollars spent on fighting the Taliban are all for nothing when the new government is so corrupt. Having taken advantage of this, the militants have gained control of two out of seven districts in Kunduz, and are spreading their dark fingers fast across others.

Tell me Fareed, is Pakistan to blame for this as well?

“Sardar, a 23-year-old working in his brother’s barber shop in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, said local officials had asked for bribes to resolve a long-running family dispute over land.

When the backhanders failed to have their desired effect, he turned to the Taliban, the austere Islamist movement that has been fighting foreign forces since it was ousted from power 13 years ago.

‘They came to our home in Chahar Darah and took two days to solve the problem’, he said.”

Huffington Posts says the Afghan government is not the saint you describe it to be:

“The Taliban has since charged that Afghan intelligence purposely gave the US the hospital’s coordinates. Even the possibility that such an accusation is true — and the duration of the sustained attack suggests that something unusual happened — points toward the reason that Afghanistan is headed back toward Taliban control: The government is thoroughly corrupt, and the US has been unwilling to take measures to address the situation. While a handful of civilian and military leaders identified corruption as an existential threat to the country, the problem remains unsolved.”

The New York Times weighs in:

“Over the past few years, faith in the government and the warlords who were allied with the government, never strong, has rapidly diminished. Militias and Afghan Local Police forces installed by the American Special Forces were largely unaccountable. They extorted protection money from farmers, and committed rapes and robberies. But because they had guns and the backing of local strongmen close to the government, people’s complaints were ignored.”

Meanwhile, the Afghan army you write in favour of is led by some commanders who are partial to sleeping with children.Bacha bazi was something the otherwise deplorable Taliban stood against, which is why so many frustrated Afghans are turning back to the militants. I am sure you’ve read the report from The New York Times on American soldiers forced to ignore Afghan commanders involved in child sex abuse.

According to The New York Times, Afghan village elders are frustrated by the freehand given to commanders involved in child sex abuse.

“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”

The Washington Post:

“Like it or not, there was better rule of law under the Taliban,” said Dee Brillenburg Wurth, a child-protection expert at the UN mission in Afghanistan, who has sought to persuade the government to address the problem. “They saw it as a sin, and they stopped a lot of it.”

National Public Radio (NPR) journalist Sarah Chayes has written a book, Thieves of State, on the matter. I suggest you should read it.

Fareed, next you say:

“The answer to this puzzle can be found in a profile of the Taliban’s new leader, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. It turns out that Mansour lives part time in Quetta, The New York Times reports, ‘in an enclave where he and some other Taliban leaders… have built homes’. His predecessor, Mohammad Omar, we now know, died a while ago in Karachi. And of course, we remember that Osama bin Laden lived for many years in a compound in Abbottabad. All three of these cities are in Pakistan.

We cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan without recognising that the insurgency against that government is shaped, aided and armed from across the border by one of the world’s most powerful armies. Periodically, someone inside or outside the US government points this out. Yet no one knows quite what to do, so it is swept under the carpet and policy stays the same. But this is not an incidental fact. It is fundamental, and unless it is confronted, the Taliban will never be defeated. It is an old adage that no counterinsurgency has ever succeeded when the rebels have had a haven. In this case, the rebels have a nuclear-armed sponsor.”

Strong words, with just the right amount of fear mongering thrown in.

Let’s assume this is true, and for some reason Pakistan is sponsoring the Taliban. As has been pointed out earlier, the Taliban have been gaining momentum due to the vacuum in justice felt by the Afghani people. If this is resolved, with or without Pakistan, Taliban would find it difficult to gain a foothold.

Also, in your assessment, Pakistan has been deceiving the American military for decades.

I don’t know if you’ve ever lived in Pakistan, but we aren’t as clever as you think. We are a country where scores, instead of seeking shelter, flock to the beach when there is a tidal wave warning, where the populace trusts and passionately defends a fraud who claims a car can run on water, where a popular politician and his drones only believes a free and fair election occurs when he wins.

Recently, a fraudulent multibillion dollar company called ‘Axact’ was running under Pakistani noses for years until it was busted, thanks to investigative journalism from The New York Times. Axact rose from obscurity to riches by selling fake diplomas, and no one in the government considered it odd that the Pakistani version of Microsoft wasn’t actually creating any notable software to speak of.

And you think this government has been outsmarting the US military?

More importantly, Pakistan has paid an enormous cost since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan post 9/11. The Taliban increased their presence in Pakistan after working their way in from across the border. Finally, after developing a consensus to use force, the army has all but squashed the Pakistani Taliban.

So why would Pakistan nurture them back to health in Afghanistan, where they can develop into a threat again?

“The Pakistani army has been described as the ‘godfather’ of the Taliban. That might understate its influence. Pakistan was the base for the US-supported mujahideen as they battled the Soviet Union in the 1980s. After the Soviets retreated from Afghanistan in 1989, the US withdrew almost as quickly, and Pakistan entered that strategic void.”

Fareed, as you say, Pakistan slept with the Taliban in an intoxicated stupor when the nasty new Soviet neighbours became unbearable, and yes, the US was more than a willing partner in this ménage à trois:

Reagan sitting with people from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region in February 1983. Photo: Wikipedia

Those are just a few mujahideen visiting Ronald Reagan at the White House. According to Business Insider, the photograph is from 1983. Soon after this, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) set up training camps in Afghanistan where the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden later began their careers.

If Pakistan was at fault for ‘filling the void’, then was the US not at fault for creating one?

Instead of abandoning men trained in the art of killing with advanced weaponry, should it not have invested in an alternate future for them?

To appreciate the deep flaws in your cause and effect argument, let’s examine the horrible events of September 11th. There were 19 men who acted as hijackers on this terrible day. Reportedly, the first two arrived in January 2000. The next three arrived in the middle of 2000. Others came later. These men had apparently trained in jihadist camps in Afghanistan.

The first two men to arrive, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, spent nearly two years in the US, training in flight school in America, and boasted previous terrorist activities. According to journalist James Bamford, this duo was known to the National Security Agency, yet action wasn’t taken against them.

Was it a conspiracy?

No, of course, it wasn’t.

It was a security lapse, pure and simple.

The 19 men who conducted this terrible attack on American soil remained unhindered until they carried out their crime, yet Fareed, you don’t claim the US government was involved, do you?

It would be stupid to do so. So how does your mind turn towards conspiracy theories when it comes to Pakistan without presenting an inch of evidence?

In Pakistan, countless terrorists escape unhindered after committing heinous crimes. This is partially because in terms of infrastructure and population density, Pakistan is a very different environment than the US.

For example, we all watched in admiration as the two Boston bombers were captured after an entire town was sealed down by law enforcement. Such an operation would be very difficult to execute on the teeming streets of Pakistan.

It is certainly not an excuse. The most wanted man having been found on Pakistani soil is a source of embarrassment. But it should be considered to be a security lapse as well, unless proven otherwise.

You finally conclude with:

“Pakistan is a time bomb. It ranks 43rd in the world in terms of its economy, according to the World Bank, but has the sixth largest armed forces. It has the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, and the most opaque. It maintains close ties with some of the world’s most brutal terrorists. By some estimates, its military consumes 26 per cent of all tax receipts, while the country has 5.5 million children who don’t attend school. As long as this military and its mind-set are unchecked and unreformed, the US will face a strategic collapse as it withdraws its forces from the region.”

More fear mongering.

You say Pakistan has the sixth largest armed forces, yet you also warn of Pakistan being a time bomb.

Let me ask you, Fareed, considering Pakistan’s fast growing nuclear arsenal, would you not prefer the army be large, powerful, and well-fed? Or would you rather hand this dangerous weaponry to a smaller more disgruntled military?

Your points about Pakistan’s low budget allocated towards education as compared to the exorbitant military spending are well made though. Education can help fight the Taliban, but at the same time, so can a quick, free, and transparent justice system. As Malala Yousafzai wrote in her book, the Taliban were initially welcomed by her people because they brought a swift end to corruption. It is only then they began their own brutality, revealing themselves as wolves rather than sheep.

Haroon Ullah, ‘a senior State Department advisor and a foreign policy professor at Georgetown University’, has an interesting opinion. He believes that rather than literacy and poverty, the real issues driving extremism are lack of law and order, and social injustices.

If the Afghanistan government is to repel the Taliban, it must win the heart of its own people. Similarly, its allies such as the US have to take a deeper interest in local policies. Shoving atrocities and corruption under the rug isn’t nearly as harmless as the Americans think. This vacuum in justice is what the Taliban feed on before they take their final form.

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Rejoinder to Imtiaz Alam by Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

Imtiaz Alam

aka

ghaddar

 

 

 

 

 

Rejoinder to Imtiaz Alam

Asif Haroon Raja

Imtiaz Alam is a senior journalist who writes articles and hosts programs on TV channels. He also heads SAFMA, a dubious organization which reportedly is sponsored by RAW. SAFMA in league with Aman ki Asha, another shady organization co-hosted by Jang-Geo Group and Indian media group is also patronized by RAW. The two have been working in tandem to improve Indo-Pakistan relations and to promote peace and friendship between the two arch rivals. Notwithstanding the apparent noble intentions, in practical terms the duo has always been espousing the cause of India and undermining Pakistan. In a subtle manner a message conveyed that it is futile for Pakistan to stand up against the military might of India, which is five times superior and its economy is shining. Alam says India has more than eight times bigger economy in terms of GDP and will become 3rd largest economy in next three decades. Its defence spending is 1.8% of its GDP and defence budget now stands at $50 billion a year. In contrast, Pakistan in his view is out in the cold.

The message given by him and his ilk is to accept the ground reality and succumb to India’s demand of accepting its regional hegemony and to forget about Kashmir by accepting the Line of Control (LoC) as a permanent border between the two Kashmirs. Only then will the two can live as peaceful and friendly neighbors and peace will help the two to prosper economically. The two groups have all along blamed Pakistan for maintaining an aggressive posture on Kashmir and promoting Jihadi culture in Kashmir by supporting non-state actors to bleed India. Alam says that successive governments of Pakistan have been taking a cyclic course of an arms race with India. He has advised Pakistani leaders to say no to arms race to avoid self-immolation. The two suspicious outfits have gone underground ever since extremist BJP under a terrorist Narendra Modi has gained power in India and embarrassed India’s farce of secularism, which had kept the world fascinated and impressed for a very long time.

Imtiaz Alam is a committed Indian fan and being a secular has derided Islamists in Pakistan, dubbing all of them as extremists and terrorists. In the past, he always criticised Pak Army and ISI, saying they have been using Jihadis as their strategic assets. He also criticises government’s policies on Kashmir, defence, nuclear, or its dealings with India. His write-ups in newspapers and stance on electronic media testifies his bent of mind. In his recent article “When will we say no to the arms race” dated May 19, 2016 in ‘The News’, he has twisted facts of Indo-Pak history to berate Pakistan’s military rulers in particular and to project India in good light.

He contends that Pakistan joined western military blocks to counter balance India but doesn’t highlight the distressing circumstances under which Pakistan was created and the plethora of problems loaded upon newly born state by India to ensure its death in the crib. He didn’t mention about India gobbling up 565 princely states including two-thirds Kashmir and the states wanting to join Pakistan, annexation of Sikkim, Diu and Goa after 1947 and its threatening posture against Pakistan which impelled Pakistan to seek security under the umbrella of western pacts.

He callously mentions that Pakistan relied upon non-state actors from the beginning and used them in 1948 war in Kashmir. This is travesty of truth. Going by Partition plan, Kashmir was to become part of Pakistan, but it was annexed by Indian military in October 1947. But for the voluntary dash of tribesmen from FATA, whole of Kashmir would have been seized by India. Pakistan government had no role or control over the tribesmen who had gone there to save the Muslim Kashmiris getting massacred by Dogra Army. Ever since Kashmir has become the bone of contention between the two neighbors and the two have gone to war in 1965 and in 1971.

Alam contends that Indian military’s drubbing at the hands of Chinese in 1962 conflict encouraged Ayub Khan to launch Operation Gibraltar in August 1965, which then triggered 1965 war. Why he hesitates to write that Ayub Khan didn’t exploit the precarious condition of India in 1962 and went to the extent of proposing joint defence to India against communism? Why he overlooked the fact that despite series of UN resolutions and Nehru’s pledge to grant right of self-determination to Kashmiris and holding a plebiscite under the auspices of the UN, India didn’t honor. India’s u turn and its expansion and modernization of armed forces with the help of Soviet, western and American military assistance after 1962, which had begun to tilt the military balance in favor of India had impelled Pakistan to launch Operation Gibraltar. Alam didn’t say anything that while Operation Gibraltar was in a disputed territory which was in India’s illegal occupation, India stealthily crossed the international border on 6th September 1965 without declaring war with the aim of destroying Pakistan’s armed forces but failed.

While describing the 1971 crisis in erstwhile East Pakistan, Alam brazenly twists historical facts by saying that rather than transferring power to Mujibur Rahman led Awami League that had won the elections, Gen Yahya opted for a military action in March 1971 in East Pakistan with the support of non-state actors Al-Shams and Al-Badr which resulted in over one million civilian casualties. By saying this at a time when Hasina Wajid’s regime is busy hanging aged Jamaat-e-Islami leaders on account of so-called 1971 war crimes, he has further sprinkled salt on the wounds of Islamists in Bangladesh but delighted India and Bangladesh rulers. Rather than paying tributes to them, who had fought the rebels along with Pak Army to save the motherland, he declared them as non-state actors (rebels) and ignored brutal Mukti Bahinis.

Either he has no clue of history or he has published the dictated script given by his patrons. Why does he forget that for almost 15 days Gen Yahya and his team sat with Mujib and his team in Dacca and gave in to all his six points and much more and announced him as PM of Pakistan. This he did at a time when Mujib had rebelled against the state on 01 March 1971 and his goons had massacred over 1, 50, 000 non-Bengalis and pro-Pakistan Bengalis (Biharis) and raped women with utmost ferocity and barbarity. A state within state had been created and people of East Pakistan (mostly terrorised by Mukti Bahinis) had defied central authority. The Indian and western media had remained tightlipped over their atrocities, (and so is Alam even after learning the whole truth about 1971 conspiracy). When Yahya learnt that Mujib and his henchmen had made up their mind to break away from Pakistan and any solution within the concept of united Pakistan was unacceptable to them, he ordered the military action on the night of 25 March 1971 to save Pakistan from disintegrating. At that time Al-Shams and Al-Badar were not in existence.

The rebellion was suppressed by the lone 14 Infantry Division and by May 1971 order was restored in the entire province and a civilian Bengali governor Malik was installed. Casualties were in few thousands and not a million as claimed by Alam. Mujib and his stalwarts after creation of Bangladesh had bloated the figure of casualties to 3 million and rape of 300,000 women. Alam must be agreeing to these bizarre figures. Al-Badr and Al-Shams were created as Razaqars essentially for village defences during the counter insurgency operations and for rear areas security during war because of paucity of troops. Once order was restored, general amnesty was announced for all the Awami League leaders based in India and the refugees but India blocked them. All attempts made by Pakistan to find a political settlement were turned down by haughty Indira Gandhi. Indian leaders were smelling blood and they didn’t want to miss a chance of century (as stated by Subramanian). Pakistan internal matter was made into Indian issue. Mukti Bahinis were eulogized and Pak military demonized as human eating monsters and rapists by Indian media as well as western media.  

While Alam mentions about Pakistan’s use of non-state actors, he unjustly looks the other way to India’s opening of 59 training camps in India along the border to train, equip and launch 2, 50, 000 Mukti Bahinis to overpower the eastern province. This practice continued for nine months and when the rebels failed to make any headway, the Indian military ten times superior in men and material and with all the strategic, operational and tactical advantages, and supported by USSR and others invaded East Pakistan and overwhelmed it. India thus became the architect of cross border terrorism in South Asia. It has been resorting to this hideous practice against Bangladesh which it had created, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Strangely, Alam has the cheek to say that Mukti Bahini rebellion was a popular Bengali nationalist insurgency which provided an opportunity to India to drown two-nation theory in the Bay of Bengal. I guess he has no knowledge that Nehru had plans to detach East Pakistan from Pakistan as early as 1948 and Indian intelligence agencies and Hindu teachers/professors in East Pakistan and seculars consistently worked on a well-tailored plan to subvert the minds of Bengalis and inculcate deep seated hatred in their minds against West Pakistanis and Army. Awami League under Sheikh Mujib was used as a tool and journey of separation started at Agartala in 1963. All this is no more fancy tales but recorded in large numbers of books authored by Bengali, Indian and western authors. What could be a bigger proof of India’s role in dismembering Pakistan than the admission of Indian PM Narendra Modi in 2014? Therefore, to say that India repaid Gibraltar is utterly ridiculous.

Alam in his article has put the entire blame on Field Marshal Ayub Khan and Gen Yahya Khan and skipped role of ZA Bhutto and that of Mujib in the 1971 tragedy. Thereafter, in a way he holds a grudge against Bhutto for rebuilding a defeated Army and putting up a confrontationist national security paradigm despite signing Simla agreement. He forgets that soon after creating Bangladesh, India embarked upon an ambitious force modernization program with the help of USSR and also carried out nuclear explosion in August 1974. At the same time, Sindh and Baluchistan were given as new targets for subversion to RAW in 1973. We all know that RAW in league with KGB and KHAD had fully supported Baloch insurgency from 1973 to 1978 and had also supported Sindhu Desh movement in Sindh. So what should have Bhutto done and why should he not have laid the foundation of nuclear program when India had expansionist designs and had not reconciled to existence of Pakistan? Kashmir issue was virtually frozen after Simla agreement and flawed policy of bilateralism introduced to bar third party intervention.

Alam then picks up his stick against Gen Ziaul Haq accusing him of creating non-state jihadi actors and making Pakistan an undeclared nuclear weapon power. He skips the role of US which in actuality brought in Jihadis from 70 Muslim countries, funded and militarized madrassas and funded the proxy war in Afghanistan. He fails to mention that Zia’s strategy was a 100% success story. He also fails to mention that the US abandonment of Afghanistan in haste had led to civil war and Pakistan had to suffer the consequences. Another point which he missed was the Pressler Amendment which became a cause for rise in debts and political instability. Consequently the democratic era failed to pay any heed to ill effects of Afghan imbroglio. So to say that the erstwhile western patrons subjected Pakistan to sanctions in the aftermath of nuclear explosions in 1998 will not be correct. Those were additional sanctions.

Rather than condemning India’s nuclear explosions, he sees Pakistan’s response negatively. In his view Pakistan under Nawaz should have pursued Gen Zia’s strategy of nuclear ambiguity rather than putting the bomb in the open shelf. In his view Pakistan’s nuclear response led to nuclear arms race. He intentionally overlooked Zia’s series of proposals to make South Asia Nuclear Free Zone which were out rightly rejected by India. Pakistan didn’t want to sign NPT and CTBT unilaterally when India refused to sign. Yet, India was awarded civil nuclear deal by USA in 2008 and then made member of Nuclear Suppliers Group to enable India to give fillip to its weaponized nuclear program. Conversely, Pakistan’s nuclear program became an eyesore for India, Israel and USA and all sorts of objections were raised.    

Alam then dwells on India’s future grandiose plans of becoming a big power and a bulwark against China. He rightly highlights that in partnership with USA, India under Maritime security and joint strategic vision for Asia-Pacific, and naval cooperation in Indian Ocean is leaving Pakistan far behind and creating unbridgeable asymmetry on conventional plane. At the same time he adds that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and war heads are more than India’s stocks and is geared towards becoming the fifth largest nuclear power by 2025. (Stolen from biased western analysts). He then subtly makes a mention of Pakistan’s tactical nukes and their use on its own soil to thwart Indian intrusion, and Pakistan’s preference for first-strike option.

After describing the horrors of nuclear war and relating it to Mutually Assured Destruction, Alam belittles concept of deterrence saying it’s a flawed doctrine. He then dwells upon Pakistan’s minimum nuclear deterrence now jumping to full spectrum nuclear deterrence and lists out the types of missiles Pakistan has to counter India’s Cold Start doctrine and continental triad nuclear doctrine. He then delivers the best punch by asserting that in response to Pakistan’s use of non-state actors (strategic assets), Ajit Doval’s passive-aggressive and aggressive doctrine is in full play by co-opting proxies from within and from Afghanistan.

One wonders why Alam is shy of making a mention that the main reasons of arms race and nuclearisation of South Asia are unresolved Kashmir issue, India’s intransigence and belligerent attitude. Why doesn’t he say that India has always aspired for Akhand Bharat and wants to become a regional hegemon in South Asia, Indian Ocean including Arabian Sea? He looks the other way to Pakistan’s military strategy which is defensive in nature and its nuclear program which is meant to safeguard its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Pakistan has no territorial claims with any neighbor and has desired peaceful relations with all. India’s military strategy on the other hand is offensive in nature and imperialist in design and has disputes with all its neighbors. India uses proxy war, Chankyan tactics and propaganda as tools to achieve its sinister objectives. Since 1989, India is constantly raising its defence budget which now totals $50 billion annually and is feverishly buying sophisticated war machines for the three services of Indian military and testing new range of nuclear tipped missiles to disable Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence.

It will be too simplistic and naïve to think that India’s conventional and nuclear build up is meant to confront China. After the 1962 humiliating defeat, India will never ever try to flex its military muscles against China. More so, Great Himalayas stand as a barrier between the two neighbors which prevent classical invasion by any side. Over 70% of India’s strike formations and air bases are deployed against Pakistan. The latter cannot match Indian military superiority which is 5:1, but Pakistan strives to maintain strategic balance of 3:1 and reinforces it with nuclear deterrence. Big powers have always played a role in tilting the military balance in favor of India and currently the US is going out of the way to help its strategic partner India in expanding and upgrading its conventional and nuclear capabilities. This process has been going on since 1993. At the same time the US has been objecting to Pakistan’s acquisitions from China and denying its bare minimum defence needs. Blockage of F-16s and close support fund are the recent examples.

In the 1980s, Russia helped India to build its navy. Nuclear powered Chakra submarine and Talwar Frigates fitted with nuclear tipped Brahmo missiles were provided by Russia. Now the US in its bid to dominate Indian Ocean is helping Indian Navy to become a blue water navy. India has developed intermediate range K-4 nuclear ballistic missiles which will be fitted on Arihant submarines. K-5 missiles are also being built. This will nuclearise Indian Ocean and jeopardise the security of 32 littoral states situated around it. Pakistan will be faced with land based and sea based nuclear and missile threats which will further exacerbate its security. On May 15, India conducted an interceptor missile test of its advanced air defence Ashwin and Israel has provided the technology. These developments have altered the strategic balance and forced Pakistan to counter the newly emerged threat.

Alam is reinforcing Indo-US unjust stance by advising Pakistan not to upgrade its defence capabilities. It is utterly unfair on part of Alam to equate Pakistan with India by saying both are indulging in arms race and in nuclearisation of the region. His claim that Pakistan is solely responsible for making use of non-state actors is untrue. I am sure he must be knowing who created and supported Mukti Bahini and LTTE, and now who is supporting TTP, BLA, BRA, BLF, and MQM.

I will advise my friend to go through articles written by Indians, or see Pakistan specific programs aired by Indian TV channels. None has ever advised Indian rulers to cut down defence budget, or to show restraint, or to solve Kashmir issue. Jingoism in India against Pakistan is at its peak and so are covert operations in Balochistan, FATA and Karachi by RAW. Arrested Indian naval officer Kal Bhushan Yadav, working for RAW has spilled the beans and reconfirmed Pakistan’s stated position that RAW is deeply involved in destabilizing Pakistan. RAW agents in dozens are being rounded up and the figure has crossed 400. Combing operation is going on in urban centres to demolish all sorts of foreign networks.

The writer is defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Governors Thinkers Forum Pakistan. asifharoonraja@gmail.com        

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Sharif Family’s Gulf Steel in UAE – Defaulted on Loan from BCCI

 Sharif Family’s Gulf Steel in UAE – Defaulted on Loan from BCCI

 

  Gulf Steel – The actual state

  
Sharif brothers ; Bank loans and Gulf Steel 

 

Gulf Steel Dubai was in debt in early eighties. BCCI people working at that time know that Sharif family sold the factory to partially settle their debts with BCCI and may be other banks. BCCI filed a case against the company, Mian Mohammad Sharif & Shahbaz Sharif to recover the balance of loan. Because of default in payment of amount decreed by court (about AED 6.5M) in favor of BCCI , arrest warrants were issued against older Sharif & Shahbaz. With the help of  Ejaz ul Haq , who at that time worked for BOA Bahrain the loan was written off by BCCI and at the request of Mian Sharif to Zia ul Haq, Nawaz Sharif was made finance minister of Punjab. 

 

Nawaz Sharif’s claim that he sold Gulf Steel to buy flats in London is wrong. It is a pack of lies. 

 

 

Out of 200 Million Pakistanis;how many Pakistanis have such luxurious surrounding.

 

 In early 1990, Shahbaz Sharif and Mian Tariq Shafi ((first cousin & brother-in-law) visited Regional Office of BCCI in Dubai and received two payments of AED 4 M each (total AED 8M) in cash. The amount was booked as loan with interest suspended from day one. Shahbaz used a fake name (Rashid Rahim). The AOF showed address as c/o Middle East Regional Office and no telephone no. According to story circulating in BCCI at that time it was donation for IJI which was established by agencies to bring Nawaz Sharif to power. 

When BCCI was closed in July 1991, the liquidator started follow up of the loans at Lahore. The Central Bank auditors had serious objection on these loans because it was given to non-residents with no collateral. Tariq Shafi paid some amount but the liquidator could not recover any amount from Shahbaz Sharif because the loan was in a fake name. The way the loans were given clearly showed that an understanding was given to Sharif family that it would be written off in future.

 
The Pakistani nation should know that the family is nothing but a bunch of crooks.

The above is based on events as related by an ex employee of BCCI Dubai.

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