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Racial profiling of Pashtuns by Brig. (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Racial profiling of Pashtuns

Asif Haroon Raja

Ali Wazir has posted a video clip on social media showing Punjab Police manhandling some persons. He has craftily given a twist to the story by projecting the Pashtuns living in Punjab as the victims. I am sure, he must have been handsomely rewarded by RAW or NDS for this villainous act which has raised the tempers of the Pashtun community. Imran Khan added fuel to fire by giving a color to anti-terrorism drive in Punjab as racial profiling of the Pashtuns. Opposition leader Khurshid Shah sprinkled more oil on the hurt feelings of Pashtuns. The Pashtun nationalists took to twitter to vent their anger. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly has passed a resolution demanding an immediate halt to anti-Pashtun campaign in Punjab and has warned of dire consequences if it is not stopped. Asfand Wali threatened to oust Punjabis from KP. Pamphlets are in circulation. Within no time, Afghan social media posted series of fake videos to paint Pashtuns as victims of Punjab vandalism. Altaf Hussain sitting in London also sung the same song. Liberal and progays Marvi Sarmad tweeted in favor of Pashtuns. The speed with which all of them have ganged up for a fake cause is quite intriguing. None bothered to see that the clip going viral on social media relates to a 15 years old incident in Baluchistan province and not Punjab, in which suspected Afghans were rounded up by the police. The clip seems to be cleverly doctored. Notorious Jibran Nasir is the main instigator behind racial profiling memo.

 

 

 

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Coming weeks are likely to witness the shrill exchange of hot words and accusations between the KP and Punjab governments, duly aggravated by social media, which is already working on someone else’s agenda. The purpose behind exacerbating ethnic feelings is to drive a wedge between the Punjabis and Pashtuns. The two communities have been at peace and enjoying most cordial relations in all the provinces and never picked up arms against each other. Pashtuns settled in Punjab do not wish to return to KP.  

The juvenile reaction of nationalist Pashtuns is a consequence of the nationwide operation Raddul Fasaad that was launched in the wake of a new wave of terrorism unleashed from the soil of Afghanistan in which targets were struck in all the four provinces and almost 200 people were killed. It was gathered that the handlers and facilitators in each incident were from inside Pakistan. The whole trail has been unearthed after arresting the accomplices. The security forces have no political axe to grind and go after terrorists only who have no religion or ethnic identity.    

The main objective of the operation is to destroy leftover hideouts/camps of terrorists both sides of the Durand Line, get hold of handlers, facilitators, carriers and financiers of terrorists, demolish sleeping cells and terrorists network in urban centres, choke funds and supplies by  further improving border management, and expedite implementation of 20 points of National Action Plan (NAP). This operation in which all the three services are taking part under a coordinated plan had been necessitated in the wake of dangerous agenda of enemies of Pakistan to destabilize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan. For the achievement of their sinister goals, they have been making all out efforts through paid proxies and propaganda war to make Pakistan insecure and to make CPEC less attractive for outsiders.

India has all along been resorting to subversive activities in Pakistan to breed misgivings, disenchantment and hatred between smaller provinces and Punjab on the basis of socio-politico-economic grievances, stir up provincialism by encouraging fissiparous tendencies, stoke ethnicity and sectarianism, widen religious divides and sharpen political polarization and befriend 5th columnists and disgruntled elements. India helped by its moles in Pakistan has been playing its role in making power centres fight with each other and in spoiling civil-military relations.

The purpose behind subversion is to keep Pakistan perpetually politically unstable, economically weak and internationally isolated and discredited. A segment of Pakistani media, NGOs, and pseudo-intellectuals on the payroll of foreign powers have been instrumental in sensationalizing weak points and undermining strengths.

Former NWFP was already in the grip of Pakhtun nationalism at the time of partition and Pakhtunistan stunt championed by Khan Brothers (associated with Indian Congress) and had the support of Kabul. The movement has still not died down since the likes of Asfandyar Wali and Mahmood Achakzai, helped by India and Afghanistan, carry forward this agenda. Billboards of ‘Greater Pakhtunistan’ were on display in KP during the last PPP rule. 

After successfully stoking Bengali nationalism and building hatred against West Pakistan in general and Punjab and Army in particular, India accomplished its mission of separating East Pakistan from the body of Pakistan in 1971.

RAW was next mandated to achieve similar results in Sindh and Baluchistan. Sindhi and Baloch nationalism were fueled in the two provinces to intensify hatred against Punjab and the Federation. RAW’s efforts gave birth to Sindhu Desh movement of Sindhi nationalists led by late GM Sayed in Sindh. Baloch insurgency led by Marris and Mengals in Baluchistan in the 1970s was a follow up of earlier rebellious tendencies of some Baloch Sardars and of Samad Achakzai in Baluchistan. Under the name of Baloch nationalism, settlers were targeted and forced to migrate. The Baloch insurgency was fully supported by KGB, RAW, and KHAD.

Having succeeded in subverting the Sindhis, RAW stimulated anti-Sindhi sentiments among the Urdu-speaking settlers in urban Sindh and pitted new Sindhis against old Sindhis, again on the basis of socio-economic grievances. Altaf Hussain established APSMO in 1978 and created MQM in 1984. RAW handed him the blueprint plan of Mujibur Rahman led Awami League, how to go about separating urban Sindh from rest of Pakistan and creating a new state for the Mohajirs. Altaf was glamorized and popularized among the Urdu speaking community as their hero. Besides blaming the Sindhis, Altaf and his disciples blamed the establishment and agencies for the woes of Mohajirs. This line was adopted to project the Mohajirs as victims and to hide fascist and terrorist activities of the MQM aimed at controlling Karachi and Hyderabad through terrorism. A stage came when the MQM militants indulged in bloody duels against the Sindhis and settlers from other ethnic communities in Karachi in the late 1980s. Three operations were launched in the 1990s to control MQM militancy.

After 9/11, FATA was created as a new conflict zone by RAW and its allied agencies to fan terrorism in Pakistan. TTP was created with an ostensible aim of demolishing the existing governing structure and replacing it with Sharia-based system and establishment of Islamic Emirate. The real aim was however to stoke chaos, pin down a sizeable portion of Army in the northwest, and destabilize the country. Despite launching several large size military operations such as Rah-e-Raast, Rah-e-Nijat and Zarb-e-Azb, and recapturing the entire space captured by the TTP and its affiliates, terrorism couldn’t be rooted out.

The reason is that Afghanistan that had been converted into a strategic launching pad for cross-border terrorism in Pakistan in 2002 is still fully operative. All the planners, executors and coordinators of covert war sit under one roof at Sehra Neward Intelligence Centre north of Kabul and their objectives against Pakistan remain unchanged. The other reason is the Pakistani power wielders providing protection and funds to the terrorists and the natural alignment of the religious right with the TTP and other so-called religiously motivated militant groups.

Former Army chief Gen Raheel was right in stating that terrorism cannot be rooted out unless financiers, handlers, and facilitators are taken to task and the nexus of financial terrorism, corruption and terrorism is broken. The military prong which achieved over 80% progress couldn’t achieve conclusive results because of the bases in Afghanistan and backing of terrorists by foreign patrons and local supporters.     

Baluchistan that was peaceful from 1979 to 2003, was made restive in 2004 and this time Bugtis were made to join the Marris and Mengals as well other Baloch nationalists to wage province-wide insurgency backed by RAW, NDS, CIA, MI-6, Mossad. Socio-economic deprivations were once again drummed up and Nawab Akbar Bugti was made into a hero to promote Baloch nationalism. Punjab was held responsible for the backwardness of the province. Mega development projects were objected to and the Army, FC and intelligence agencies demonized on the made-up allegations that they were responsible for the Baloch missing persons and mutilated bodies. Sectarianism was fanned by targeting Hazara community in Baluchistan.

In September 2001, Altaf residing in London since 1992, gave an undertaking to Tony Blair of MQM’s full support in the war on terror. From 2008 onward, the re-strengthened MQM undertook planned destabilization of Karachi, the economic hub of Pakistan, so as to further bleed Pakistan’s economy. A spate of target killings, kidnappings for ransom and extortion was unleashed and the daily score of target killers was 10-12. Altaf kept raising alarm bells about the threat of Taliban and Pashtun settlers to the peace of Karachi, which in actuality had been ruined by the Sindh ruling coalition of PPP, MQM, and ANP. Sindh had begun to die an economic death.

Karachi was stabilized after a targeted and intelligence based operation was launched by the Rangers equipped with police powers under Article 147 of the Constitution in September 2013. However, MQM which was mainly responsible for lawlessness made a hue and cry that the operation was not even-handed and was Mohajir focused. When the Rangers started nabbing the ones involved in financial terrorism and went after some in interior Sindh, the ruling PPP started creating impediments in the way of Rangers.

The RAW sponsored MQM in Karachi has got divided into four factions – MQM London, MQM Pakistan under Farooq Sattar, Pakistan Sar Zamin Party under Mustafa Kamal and MQM Haqiqi under Afaq. Its militant structure has been broken and Altaf is debarred from making speeches on phone to instigate violence. Altaf is now the most hated man in Pakistan and a red warrant for his arrest by Interpol has been issued. Ironically, he is now trying to portray himself as a friend of Pashtuns and is openly espousing the agenda of enemies to break Pakistan into pieces. He is equating Indian atrocities against Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir with Rangers operation in Karachi against Mohajirs. Like Mujib, he is threatening the government to stop operation Raddul Fasaad or else face annihilation of Army.  He is exhorting his followers to get ready for the final battle against the Army and is seeking another Gen Arora like General in India.   

PPP, MQM, and PTI demanded an operation in Punjab arguing that it was also prone to crime and terrorism. They quoted the presence of Punjabi Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah Sahaba and Chotu gang in South Punjab. This demand was put in with an eye on elections in 2018, hoping that action against Punjabi militants will dilute the vote bank of PML-N in Punjab.

Punjab government expressed reluctance on the plea that law and order situation in Punjab was under control and developments works were proceeding smoothly.  It was owing to persistent demand of other provinces and the terror attack in Lahore on February 13th that it was decided to include Punjab in the ambit of operation Raddul Fasaad as well.

Some Inferences

As a result of RAW’s subversion, Pakistan had to face Sindhu Desh movement and MRD movement in interior Sindh, Mohajir movement in urban Sindh, Baloch separatist movement in Baluchistan, low-keyed Saraiki movement in southern Punjab, TTP insurgency in the northwest, and Balwaristan movement in Gilgit-Baltistan, each aspiring for a separate state outside the concept of Pakistan. Effective measures taken by the incumbent government, security forces and law enforcement agencies has taken the wind out of the sails of all the movements/insurgencies. 

Till 9/11, India was the support base for all the rebel groups/political parties in Pakistan. After the occupation of Afghanistan by the US in November 2001, Afghanistan has become the operational base. RAW has also been making use of Iranian territory for carrying out sabotage and subversion in Baluchistan and Karachi. Rajgarh and Ramgarh in Rajasthan continue to be used for dispatching supplies to the terrorists in Sindh, interior Baluchistan, and southern Punjab.

The proxies undertaking terrorism in Pakistan are the TTP, its breakaway faction Jamaat-al- Ahrar (JA), Lashkar-e-Islam, LeJ, Al-Alami, IMU and TTA based at Kunar, Nuristan and Nangarhar since 2009. RAW and NDS have outsourced terrorism and have circulated a menu-like price list to all these groups. Rupees 4 million is spent on a single suicide mission.

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

In Baluchistan, major proxies are BLA, BRA, BLF that used to operate from interior Baluchistan but now mostly operate from Spin Boldak and Lashkargah in Afghanistan. Their leaders espousing separatist agenda are housed by Britain, America, and Switzerland. A red warrant has been issued against Brahamdagh Bugti. Large numbers of Baloch fighters have voluntarily forsaken militancy and joined the mainstream thereby taking the steam out of the separatist movement. 

Baluchistan has weak border management and 95% of its territory is in control of ill-trained and corruption-prone Levies that are controlled by Sardars. Owing to over a dozen crossing points, it is more vulnerable to infiltration and requires concrete steps to prevent cross-border movement.  

Foreign agencies have been fishing in the camps of 3 million Afghan refugees residing in KP and Baluchistan since 1979 to find handlers and facilitators as well as saboteurs. They take full advantage of the porous western border with negligible border control mechanism. Apart from the socio-economic burden, unregistered among them have become a security hazard and has forced the government to expedite their return and also to verify them. Vested groups are however making hue and cry and making it into a political issue. Arrest and interrogation of suspected Afghan refugees are being mixed up with Pakhtun racialism.     

Daesh joined up with JA and TTP and has made Nangarhar as its base camp for fighting Afghan Taliban as well as striking targets and making inroads in Pakistan. Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, supervising the whole covert war against Pakistan had facilitated Daesh marriage with JA-TTP in 2015.

All bases of TTP and its affiliates have been busted in the northwest and so have the Farari camps in interior Baluchistan. Since the start of 2015, all acts of terror emanate from Afghanistan right under the nose of NATO and CIA.

Afghan unity government which is a puppet in the hands of Washington and Delhi has adopted a hostile posture against Pakistan. It is averse to border management since it will prevent cross-border terrorism and also expose its oft-repeated claim that instability in Afghanistan is owing to terrorism springing from Pakistan. It has taken no step to dismantle safe havens of TTP and JA, and to close down Pakistan specific India consulates filled with RAW officers, or to rein in NDS.

For the first time, Pakistan has changed its defensive posture to offensive defence and has struck JA and TTP terror camps across the western border with precision. Western border has been closed. Pakistan has handed over a list of 76 most wanted terrorists belonging to these banned groups to Kabul for their extradition.

 An equally aggressive posture has been adopted along the LoC in Kashmir, which India has intentionally kept on the boil to distract the attention of the world from its atrocities in occupied Kashmir, which is slipping out of its hands. Gen Qamar Bajwa has given a loud message that he means business.    

Safety of the CPEC and Gwadar seaport has been ensured by deploying a division size force, while the Marine Force of Navy has been mandated to guard the coastline, exclusive economic zone and the sea lanes in the Arabian Sea.   

Frustrated by the failure of multiple covert efforts including pitting Deobandis against Barelivis, the enemies of Pakistan have devised a new plan to trigger Pashtun-Punjabi ethnic war to fail Operation Raddul Fasaad.

Punjab government will have to ensure evenhandedness in the ongoing operation in Punjab to allay the fears that Pashtuns are being racially profiled. At the same time, leaders of smaller provinces should also behave responsibly and avoid pouring scorn on Punjab for petty political gains.

Ongoing efforts to denigrate and topple the elected federal and Punjab governments will serve the interests of enemies only and will do no service to the country. What is needed is unity of federating units and a joint strategy to eliminate the scourge of extremism and terrorism.

There is a direct linkage between the terrorists and terror financing. This financing has a direct linkage with Mega Corruption lorded over by the politicians, particularly in Sindh who are raping the economic hub of the country like parasites. The police, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary in Sindh are playing the role of facilitators. Their thorough politicization has blunted the system of accountability.

No effort is in hand to reform the police, bureaucracy and criminal justice system. Till these flaws are doctored, NAP implemented in real earnest, the operational base of Afghanistan neutralized, and the border is effectively guarded, the military prong at its own will not be able to root out terrorism.

Lastly, law enforcement agencies will have to further polish the systems of investigation, intelligence gathering and sharing mechanism and rapid response system to achieve tangible results.     

The writer is a retired Brigadier, a war veteran, a defence analyst, a columnist, an author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, and is the Director of Measac Research Centre. Email: asifharoonraja@gmail.com  

 

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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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CIA: For Whose Protection? By Sajjad Shaukat

 

                                                       CIA: For Whose Protection?

                                                               By Sajjad Shaukat

No doubt, every country has a superior intelligence agency to protect the national interest of the state. It keeps a vigilant eye on the internal and external threats. Even by playing a double game, it thwarts the anti-state subversion through various means.

 

Quite contrarily, from the very beginning, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been protecting the interests of the Zionist Jews and Israel at the cost of the Islamic World and even patriot Americans.

 

The doctrine of the CIA is based on roguish tactics which are employed in the target countries through its invisible warriors and paid agents—NGOs. The agency is also in collaboration with the Israeli secret agency Mossad and Indian RAW. Besides the western countries, CIA agents are present in all the Islamic countries and have been implementing various tactics of psychological warfare which includes vile propaganda, disinformation, political dissent, arrangement of military rebellions, overthrow of regimes, incitement of uprising, creation of ethnic divisions, sectarian violence (And division), assassination of political leaders and renowned persons—criminal elements to foment subversion to weaken the Muslim states in consonance with the Israel-led American policies. However, application of these designs varies from country to country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In this regard, military coup against Indonesian President Sukarno and afterwards his assassination might be cited as instance. When the US former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had threatened to occupy the oil installations of Saudi Arabia, in response, Saudi King Shah Faisal also warned to stop oil supply to America. As a result, King Faisal was killed by his own nephew who was clandestinely supported by the CIA.

 

From the very beginning, the CIA kept eye on the nuclear programme of Pakistan, which was taken as a threat to both Israel and India. In this context, in an interview to a private TV channel on April 4, 2010, the former deputy chief of the US mission in Islamabad Gerald Feuerstein revealed, “He was a witness to the meeting between former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in Lahore in August 1976…Kissinger came with a carrot and stick…since US elections were near and the Democrats were set to win them and wanted a tougher non-proliferation approach and might make Pakistan an example…Bhutto rejected the warning to disband Pakistan’s nuclear programme.”

 

Afterwards, Bhutto’s government was toppled in 1977 by a CIA-backed coup of Chief of Army Staff Gen. Zia-ul-Haq who hanged him through the court, which is considered a judicial murder in Pakistan. Besides Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, her daughter and the ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto was also martyred by CIA operatives through Al Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

 

After the September 11 tragedy in the US, almost all the Muslim countries joined the Bush’s fake global war on terror, and they became the target of the CIA covert wars. In this respect, in words, President Bush repeatedly said that his ‘different war’, is not against the Muslim countries. But, in practice, only Islamic countries were targeted in the pretext of terrorism or Al Qaeda which, itself, was created by the CIA, and became a scapegoat of American secret activities to obtain the goals of Zionists and Israel.

 

Being the only nuclear power in the Muslim World, Pakistan has been coping with the CIA roguish tricks. In 2009, Pakistan’s media had pointed out the US notorious private security firm—Blackwater in the country with a new name as Xe Services. As part of the US espionage network, hundreds of the CIA agents and those of the Blackwater entered Pakistan under the guise of diplomats. They started conducting anti-Pakistan activities by their affiliated militants including their Pakistani agents. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) castigated the anti-Pakistan activities of the Blackwater and CIA. It compelled America to roll back the network of Blackwater and reduce the number of diplomats.

 

It is notable that in connivance with the Zionist-controlled media, CIA launched a propaganda campaign that Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda were behind the 9/11 catastrophe. Despite Bin Laden’s denial, Afghanistan was occupied by the US and NATO, as propaganda was so strong that even, America’s western allies were impressed.

 

Similarly, before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a deliberate disinformation campaign was launched by the CIA all over the world that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMDs). In that respect, a self-fabricated report was prepared. Afterwards, Iraq was attacked and occupied by the Anglo-American forces, but no WMDs were found.

 

John Stockwell, ex-CIA Station Chief in Angola in 1976, who also worked for the director of the CIA under George Bush (Senior) and spent 13 years in the agency, confirmed the US Central Intelligence Agency’s expanding operations in a report. Stockwell’s report indicated that since the 2006 US-led Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, “the CIA maintains a growing security complex in the country, located right behind Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport. The complex contains over a dozen buildings as well as several metal hangars, which house CIA aircraft.” Another report by United Press International claims, “The CIA complex contains a prison for the suspected militants who are routinely interrogated and tortured by the members of a Mogadishu-based CIA team.”

 

As regards the CIA role to exploit the Iranian election protests in 2009, its programme involved playing the media as well as having secret agents on the ground in Iran. In this connection, in May 2007, ABC News reported that the CIA had received secret presidential (Bush) approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize Iranian government.

 

Starting from Iran, protests and armed clashes inspired by the CIA resulted into revolt in Tunisia, expanding uprising and demonstrations to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria and Libya.

 

On March 31, 2011, the Guardian revealed that the President Obama had signed a secret order authorizing covert help to arm Libyan rebels. On May 20, 2011, The Guardian indicated, “US President Obama placed Washington on the side of popular uprisings not only in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya but also in Syria and Bahrain—a longtime American ally.” It wrote, “President unveils shift in US policy towards Arab countries—tells Syria’s Assad to get out of way.”

On March 2, 2011, Yemen’s President Saleh, describing the role of CIA and Israeli Mossad, disclosed, “I am going to reveal a secret…there is an operations room in Tel Aviv run by the White House with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world.” Saleh also said, “Opposition figures meet regularly with the US ambassador in Sanaa.”

 

Nevertheless, in line with the Obama’s strategy, CIA agents succeeded in ousting Tunisian President Ben Ali, Egyptian Mubarak (a close ally of the US) and Libyan President Col. Gaddafi, toppling the elected government in Egypt as part of the policy of the regime change in accordance with the Israeli agenda.

 

It is mentionable that Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme for energy purposes was taken as a threat to Tel Aviv. Hence, Tehran’s atomic move was exaggerated by the CIA and Zionist agents. Although Iranian nuclear issue has been settled in the recent past through a deal with the US, yet Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu calls it American historical blunder. In fact, Tehran’s support to Hezbollah which also defeated Israel in 2006 and Iranian-Syrian joint stand for Palestinian cause irritate Israel.

 

While, America claims itself champion of human rights. Both Bush and Obama are responsible for the illegitimate killing of innocent persons in Pakistan and some African countries by allowing the CIA-operated drone attacks. Since 9/11, the US-led troops, supported by CIA have carried out indiscriminate mass round-ups in catching up suspected Muslim men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq including some Arab countries without evidence. Israeli Mossad has helped the CIA officials in arresting the Muslim men, having beard and ladies, wearing scarves.

 

Notably, in March, 2013, an investigative report by the British Guardian/BBC pointed out that acting under the direction of the top US officials; the CIA utilized a global network of secret prisons, foreign intelligence agents and torture centers in various Islamic countries including Belgium etc. where torture was conducted directly by American intelligence operatives. The report which also mentioned Bagram and Guantanamo, links US high officials to atrocities carried out in Iraq—unleashed a deadly sectarian militia which terrorized the Sunni community and germinated a civil war, and claimed tens of thousands of lives. And Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison was another example of CIA terrorism.

 

In this regard, besides encouragement of Israeli brutal tactics on the Palestinians, CIA conducted Shia-Sunni violence in Iraq and Pakistan. Now, terror-attacks on sectarian lines could also be noted in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. While, CIA which also formed ISIS (Daesh) is also utilizing its militants in creating and manipulating Shia-Sunni divide among the Islamic countries as noted in case of Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

 

President Obama’s dual policy franchised both Al-Qaeda and ISIS to advance the agenda of the Zionists, Israeli lobbies and the neoconservatives. Covertly, Obama authorized CIA to create ISIS. Some recent developments such as CIA-assistance to Al-Qaeda (Al-Nusra Front) and ISIS terrorists in fighting against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and against the Iraqi regime, and smuggling of oil by the ISIS (Kurd-controlled regions) to the European countries, America’s frustration over Russian successful airstrikes on the ISIS strongholds in the northern Syria, its coalition with Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah in support of President Assad has clearly exposed the covert aims of the US phony global war on terror. Therefore, CIA and Mossad used ISIS terrorists to conduct the November 13 terror attacks in Paris. These agencies were also behind the shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2, which left 14 people dead.

 

Thus, by re-producing anti-Muslim phenomena of the 9/11 tragedy like the propaganda of the so-called threat of Islamophobia, persecution of the Muslims in the US and other western countries etc., CIA has succeeded in its designs. The US has got the assistance of its western allies (NATO) against Russia. It has also deviated from its previous stand that Assad will remain in power and future of Syria will be decided by its people. Some unexpected developments like Turkey-Russian tension, increase of Russian military in Syria, dispatch of American Special Forces in Syria, participation of the UK, movements of France’s troops and naval units near the Syrian border, similar move by German troops in the Syria-Iraq battlefield, Turkey’s deployment of larger military units close to the Syrian border (And inside Iraq), acceleration of their airstrikes on ISIS etc. show that instead of a broader coalition (Including Russia), the west has chosen the US-led anti-ISIS alliance either to oust Assad or to kill him like the Libyan President Col. Gaddafi, after throwing the country into endless anarchy. Another scenario is that proxy war may prolong in Syria. But, US-led alliance will try to occupy the Syrian oil installations.

 

It is of particular attention that in June 12, 2015 The Washington Post wrote, “Key lawmakers have moved to slash funding of a secret CIA operation to train and arm rebels in Syria…as 20 percent of the classified funds flowing into a CIA program that U.S. officials said has become one the agency’s largest covert operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year…the measure has provoked concern among CIA and White House officials, who warned that pulling money out of the CIA effort could weaken U.S.-backed insurgents. The White House declined to comment…U.S. officials said the CIA has trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria over the past several years.”

 

At present, in the US where the presidential election-campaign has started, ordinary Americans are focusing on internal problems such as financial crisis, cost of war etc. which are the result of prolonged war on terror. Patriot Americans are openly criticizing the Zionist-protected policies of the US, putting questions that they are paying taxes to the CIA and military establishment (Their huge budgets) which are fighting useless proxy wars in the world for the sake of Israel.

 

However, in wake of the present drastic scenario, some analysts warn of global war between the US-led alliance and the Russia-led coalition, while some are predicting about world war 111 or nuclear war, and some are talking about “Clash of Civilizations” in the sense of Huntington.

 

Nonetheless, such a dangerous situation will destroy the entire world or is likely to throw it in an era of civil war, enveloping Israel itself. Question remains that for whose protection CIA has been waging secret battles.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic_pak@hotmail.com

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Courtesy Veterans Today

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Subversive activities in Balochistan Asif Haroon Raja

Subversive activities in Balochistan

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan”. Chuck Hagel

 

ScreenHunter_57-May.-18-07.51It is an irrefutable reality that India’s prime intelligence agency RAW is leading terrorist activities in Baluchistan by using the soil of Afghanistan, harbouring and financing terrorists and projecting them as freedom fighters. This covert support is going on since 2002 and several other foreign agencies have also been supplementing RAW’s efforts. RAW had created Mukti Bahini, a militant wing of Awami League in former East Pakistan in late 1960s and in 1971 established 59 training camps all along the border to train, equip and launch them to sever eastern wing from West Pakistan. After accomplishing its mission, in 1973 RAW was assigned the task of subverting Sindh with the help of Sindhi nationalist parties. In conjunction with KGB and KHAD, RAW fully supported Baloch insurgency from 1973 to 1978; and again destabilised Pakistan in 1980s by supporting Al-Zulfiqar, a terrorist wing of PPP.

 

 

 

After the creation of MQM in 1984, RAW established links with the new party leadership and is still guiding and assisting it. Over one million weapons have been inducted in port city by RAW and other agencies as well as NATO to make the economic hub centre restive. Startling disclosures have been made by two recently arrested MQM terrorists Junaid and Tahir Lamba who revealed that RAW has been imparting training to MQM workers since 1996 at Dheradun to destabilize Karachi.

 

RAW is arming, training and funding banned terrorist groups Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Republican Army (BRA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and Baluchistan Lashkar headed by runaway Baloch rebel leaders. Pattern is similar to its support to Mukti Bahini in 1971. RAW established 9 training camps along Afghan-Pakistan border in 2003 to train Baloch dissidents. Later, in league with CIA, MI-6 and Afghan NDS, it set up 60 training camps in interior Baluchistan. Shamsi airbase in Baluchistan (100 miles away from Iran’s eastern border and same distance from Afghanistan’s southern border) was also used by CIA to foment insurgency and to assist Jundollah group.

 

Besides sabotage and subversion, Indo-US-Western propaganda machinery has been eulogising the heroics of the Baloch insurgents by projecting them as seekers of their socio-politico-economic rights. Atrocities of insurgents against non-Baloch settlers in Baluchistan, forcing over 100,000 to migrate, blatant target killings of pro-Pakistan Baloch and government officials, teachers/professors, Hazaras, kidnapping for ransom, blowing up gas pipelines, electric pylons/grids, railway lines, attacking trains, security forces, challenging the writ of the state, seeking foreign support to break up Pakistan, all these undesirable acts were looked the other way. No objections were raised by local and foreign media when exiled Baloch leaders sought intervention by India, or the US or NATO or the UN to help them liberate Baluchistan.  

 

Conversely, counter actions of the law enforcement agencies (LEA) to safeguard territorial integrity of the state are projected as violation of human rights. The government is also described in poor light having robbed the resources of the province.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Propaganda themes are:

a. Successive governments have kept Baluchistan deprived and backward and are stealing Baloch mineral resources.

b. Punjab Army is anti-Baloch and has turned Baluchistan into a colony.

c. Army is carrying out genocide of Baloch.

    d. Over 18000 Baloch men and women have gone missing.

e. Agencies and FC are behind forced disappearances of Baloch and kill and dump policy to suppress Baloch people.    

 

CIA, MI-6, RAW, Mossad, Afghan NDS in unison have unremittingly utilized all sorts of covert and overt methods to foment unrest in Baluchistan. Grievances of the Baloch and the issue of missing persons/enforced disappearances and ‘kill and dump policy’ have been relentlessly played up for many years and in this several Pak TV channels, journalists, HRW and human rights activists have been promoting the foreign agenda to discredit intelligence agencies and Frontier Corps Baluchistan. Mama Qadeer who also supports the separatist agenda was lionised by certain TV channels particularly Geo. His long march from Quetta to Karachi and Islamabad from October 2013 till February 2014 in protest of non-recovery of missing persons was given wide publicity. There are hundreds of foreign funded NGOs promoting the cause of Baloch separatists and pursuing foreign agendas.

 

 

 

Grievances of the Baloch and the issue of missing persons/enforced disappearances and ‘kill and dump policy’ have been relentlessly played up for many years and in this several Pak TV channels, journalists, HRW and human rights activists have been promoting the foreign agenda to discredit intelligence agencies and Frontier Corps Balochistan. Mama Qadeer who also supports the separatist agenda was lionised by certain TV channels particularly Geo. His long march from Quetta to Karachi and Islamabad from October 2013 till February 2014 in protest of non-recovery of missing persons was given wide publicity. There are hundreds of foreign funded NGOs promoting the cause of Baloch separatists and pursuing foreign agendas.

 

RAW keeps changing tactics in rapid succession. A year back it hyphenated Pakistan with ISIS/Jehadis through ‘guided’ and misleading interviews. Uploading of a notorious terrorist Allah Nazar’s interview on a RAW-managed Indian propaganda website on ‘Online’ further confirmed the information at hand that India has been training, financing, arming and projecting terrorists to destabilize Pakistan and Afghanistan”. The thrust of the interview revolved around unproven allegations against Pakistan’s LEAs, intelligence agencies and Pak-China relations. Purpose behind it was to subtly gather the sympathies of civil society besides confusing things as the website introduced Allah Nazar as a so-called freedom movement leader fighting against Jehadi elements and ISIS.

 

Allah Nazar is a terrorist hailing from Awaran, Baluchistan as established after thorough perusal and verification of record of his activities spread over a period of many years. Pak agencies have gathered sufficient evidence which suggests that this person has been enjoying direct support of RAW for committing heinous crimes against humanity viz. killing of men, women and children, attacks on women university students and members of LEAs and blowing up of electric pylons as well as gas pipelines. These insane and murderous acts are being projected as deeds of a liberation movement.

 

It may be recalled that Allah Nazar and his group BLF continued to harass local population in Awaran, Punjgur and Kech districts for a number of years. However, he fled from the area on arrival of forces during earthquake relief activities in September 2013. People of the area felt immensely relieved after the arrival of forces and on their large scale relief efforts. Since then, Allah Nazar and his likeminded accomplices have fled to other areas known only to Indian RAW from where they are carrying out terrorist activities. Chinese working in Gwadar and other parts of Baluchistan have also been targeted by Baloch terrorists. Besides Allah Nazar, other Baloch rebel leaders living a luxurious life in exile since 2006 are Brahamdagh Bugti and Mehran Marri in Geneva, Hyrbyar Marri and Mir Suleman Khan Daud in London, Dr Khaliq Baloch in Washington.

 

Most sordid aspect of these anti-Pakistani activities is that they are not only Pakistan-specific but they also target Chinese interests. India is using terrorist elements in Baluchistan to threaten Chinese interests in the development of China-Pak Economic Corridor. The ink on the historic agreement had barely dried up when western media and foreign paid NGOs in Pakistan sprang into action and started drumming up Baluchistan insurgency. Sabeen Mahmud heading 2F NGO in Karachi hosted a seminar focussing on disappearance of Baloch nationalists and to demonise ISI/FC. This topic was initially scheduled in LUMS Lahore, but was cancelled on the intervention of Punjab government. Unfortunate Sabeen was purposely murdered by the schemers on the same day when she was driving home to earn sympathies of the public and to make ISI a suspect.

 

The next event which coincided with China President’s visit was the interview of Brahamdagh Bugti from Geneva which was given wide publicity by western media. His focal point was his fears about China-Pakistan corridor, which in his jaundiced view was aimed at colonizing Baluchistan. He urged his followers to resist. Late Nawab Akbar Bugti had also started the insurgency in 2004 on the plea that development of Gwadar would be against the interests of the Baloch. Rights activists also stepped up their propaganda accusing security forces of carrying out extra judicial killings of separatists in Baluchistan. Hussain Haqqani wrote an insidious article in Wall Street Journal in this timeframe, while Tariq Fateh sent anti-Pakistan tweets from Delhi. Activation of Baluchistan card indicates the nervousness of detractors of Pakistan who know that the envisaged corridor would drown all the sinister plans hatched by them to denuclearise and balkanise Pakistan.       

 

It must not be forgotten that only a third of population of Baluchistan is Balochi speaking which include Brahvis as well. More numbers of Baloch live in southern Punjab and Sindh who are educated, patriotic and well integrated with rest of people of Pakistan. Great numbers of Baloch youth are joining armed forces and paramilitary forces and trend to get educated is on the rise – thanks to dedicated efforts of the Army. Dr Malick’s regime helped by the federal government is working hard to alleviate the grievances of the Baloch and to bring back the misled Baloch leaders.

 

Passage of 18th Amendment allowing greater autonomy to provinces, allocation of extraordinary heavy development budget and establishment of nationalist government in Baluchistan has left the insurgents with no ground to grieve and seek independence. Baloch insurgency is made up of handful of insurgent groups, mostly belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and except for Allah Nazar, all other rebel leaders are residing abroad enjoying the hospitality of their patrons. Insurgents represent only a few districts and they have no political party and are highly unpopular. They are disgruntled, exhausted, disenchanted and involved in infighting. Their patrons are vexed and vainly keep counseling them to unite for their lost cause.

 

Pakistan of today is alive to all these threats and challenges and the sitting government, headed by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, the entire political leadership and the army under the command of COAS Gen Raheel Sharif and other services’ chiefs are unanimous and in complete agreement with one another on the policy of ‘no surrender to such nefarious activities’. Establishment of Special Security Division to ensure security of foreign and local workers employed along the corridor is a wise step and will help in frustrating the baleful designs of anti-state elements.

The writer is a retired Brig/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books, Member Executive Council PESS, Director Measac Research Centre, Director Board of Governors TFP. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 

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Enemy in the apparel of partner

Enemy in the apparel of partner

Brig.Gen(R)Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan Army

 

Al-Qaeda as a terrorist organization was hardly known in Pakistan till the US declared openly that 9/11 attacks on World Trade Centre were undertaken by Al-Qaeda. The group known as Al-Qaeda was organized by Osama bin Laden (OBL) who was simply an ordinary Jihadi volunteer from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with traces of Yemeni background having passion for participating in Islamic Jihad against Russian occupational forces in Afghanistan.

 

OBL was indoctrinated by CIA experts to choose Islamic Jihad as the main purpose of his life. He cooperated with CIA in their efforts to launch operations against Soviets in Afghanistan and till then was a pious warrior enjoying respect and prestige among US planners. But no sooner Russia was defeated in Afghanistan, US strategic priorities shifted having divergent goals and so was the respect for the Jihadi elements in Afghanistan. They termed them as the non-state actors dangerous for the world peace. US officials especially CIA started treating them with contempt and derision.

 

US invasion of Iraq in August 1990 led OBL to readjust his mindset and realign the direction of its outfit ‘Al-Qaeda’. The rift between US and OBL led to fateful event of 9/11. The US images-8invaded Afghanistan and occupied it with its full wherewithal and military weight but failed to make correct moves to apprehend OBL. Hence, OBL took advantage of faulty US policies through a method of exploitation. He used emotional appeal and urged the Muslim world to oppose US who is an occupational force in Afghanistan like the Russians and hence must be fought against. He also found his sympathizers in Pakistan who bought his message. Presence of OBL and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan was due to flawed US policies.

 

One of the major tasks assigned to the US led coalition in Afghanistan was to kill and capture Al-Qaeda leaders operating inside Afghanistan and some parts of Pakistan. Al-Qaeda had virtually turned into a perilous outfit capable of inflicting serious losses to coalition forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan took some difficult strategic decisions and offered full cooperation to capture the world most dangerous and treacherous terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda.

 

Pak Army deployed its sizeable force to be engaged in anti-terrorist operations. Pakistan Army and paramilitary forces prepared plans to conduct operations against Al-Qaeda elements in the most sensitive and volatile region of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where powerful armies of Great Britain and Soviet Russia were once defeated at the hands of tribal lashkars.

 

Pakistani government’s decision to provide support and make efforts to capture Al-Qaeda terrorists, earned Pakistan a very harsh backlash of terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda. They turned against the State of Pakistan and targeted its security forces, high officials, key communicators, and civil society including innocent women/children, peace loving people busy in their business or prayers in the mosques. Pakistani support and efforts, however, proved fruitful and many key commanders of Al-Qaeda were apprehended or killed during operation.

 

None can deny that it could not have been possible to break the backbone of Al-Qaeda without the significant support offered by Pakistan and efforts made by ISI to apprehend the Al-Qaeda elements. Since Pakistani authorities had taken a strategic and historical decision to cooperate with US led coalition to fight the menace of terrorism, therefore, their top priority was to locate and apprehend OBL. Unfortunately OBL found sympathizers inside Pakistani soil and succeeded in having a facility to covertly live inside Pakistan. The killing / apprehension of OBL would have been a rejoicing event for both Pakistan and USA, but the US preferred to create an atmosphere of mistrust and betrayal for reasons best known to it.

 

The US and western public opinion builders and international media leveled serious allegations against Pakistan. This also created political and institutional turmoil inside Pakistan spreading divisive themes among civil military leadership and agitating the civil society to raise the questions of violation of sovereignty of Pakistan by US raiders. Had Pakistani officials / ISI known about the presence of OBL inside Pakistan they would have reacted positively to apprehend / kill him to save such a chaos which led to lingering court probes.

 

Pakistan as a responsible country was cooperating in US led war on terrorism and had shown substantial results by killing and apprehending vital Al-Qaeda terrorists. It was not an option for Pakistan to hide OBL (as alleged by USA and others) and get embarrassed. At no stage any hint about possibility of OBL hiding in urban centre was given by the US despite the fact that most high profile al-Qaeda leaders were arrested by Pak agencies in urban areas. Pak agencies had nabbed Khalid Sheikh, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, Abu Zubedah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Umar Patek and scores of others involved in plotting 9/11 from cities. It was only when a piece of information about one named Sheikh Ahmed El-Kuwaiti was given by the ISI in 2010 that the CIA shifted its gaze from western border towards Haripur, Abbottabad, Peshawar region.          

 

CIA wanted to take all the credit for hunting OBL without any support from any other agency. The arrangement enabled them to claim the assured invincibility of USA’s military might and professional competence of CIA. Hence, CIA deliberately sidelined ISI in their scheme to hound OBL alone. No doubt at tactical level US led coalition forces in Afghanistan had suffered stunning setbacks due to intelligence failure and poor performance of tactical commanders, hence, they preferred marginalizing ISI and acted selfishly. In their short sightedness and high motivating pulse to claim full credit of OBL killing, they forgot the actual consequences.

 

As the world witnessed later on, the outcome of such uncaring attitude proved risky, edgy and nervous, as Pakistan and its spy agency was not only blamed openly for supporting the terrorists but also made responsible for hiding OBL inside Pakistan. The US leadership created an environment of mistrust and cynicism having lasting scars, thus destroying the spirit of coalition to collectively fight the menace of terrorism.

 

The US found it difficult to accept its greediness for having sidelined its vital ally in Global War on Terror (GWOT), but failed to realize that it will not work for the cause. Blame game played by US leaders / field commanders helped them to cover up their failures in GWOT, but overall loss / defeat in the effort against terrorism has not been realized. The US leadership was so staggered with the information of a high value target like OBL in Pakistan that they forgot all the norms of diplomacy and the hard fact that Pakistan was not a foe and had rendered immense sacrifices in fighting the US imposed GWOT. Pentagon ordered the Navy SEALs to violate the sovereignty of Pakistan by crossing the border and go for the stealth attack. This was totally unlawful and illegitimate.

 

Former CJSC Admiral Mike Mullen informed Gen Ashfaq Kayani after the helicopters had reached Bagram air base. Gen Kayani in turn informed President Zardari and Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar. By the time F-16s were made airborne, or the Quick Reaction Force in Abbottabad and ISI detachment commander reached the spot, raiders had flown back to safety.

The egoist US leaders bereft of good judgment failed to realize that in the international politics such actions amount to intimidation of other independent States and that the reaction might be very perilous. Fortunately Pakistani side kept their cool despite internal tumult and nothing happened. On the other hand, the US leadership left no stone unturned in converting the crisis into a world war scenario.

 

Although OBL’s burial in the Arabian Sea fulfilled the desire of OBL wanting not to be buried in the ground, al-Qaeda members felt angered over the way his body was secretly disposed off. To avenge his death, their wrath fell upon people of Pakistan.

The US posing to be a strategic ally stabbed Pakistan in the back. People of Pakistan, government officials, Pak Army and ISI were at grave pains when they found that they have been misled, misinformed and betrayed by their own allies especially USA and its spy agency CIA who not only violated the sovereignty of Pakistan by intruding into its territory without permission but also for creating a situation in which Pakistan stood blameworthy and culpable for hiding OBL inside Pakistan. Public opinion went against Pakistan and there was an internal turmoil leading to serious political instability the impact of which still goes unabated. No doubt US action proved that a foe in the garb of a friend bashed its ally badly.

 

Failing to discredit the Army and ISI and in pressurizing Pakistan to launch an operation in North Waziristan, CIA-NATO punished Pak military by launching a murderous helicopters attack on a check post at Salala on November 26, 2011 and also heating up western border with the help of runaway Fazlullah. Pakistan that had been quietly taking the barbs and insults for years could take no more and reacted by closing Shamsi airbase from where drones were launched, suspended military and intelligence cooperation, refused to attend Bonn conference and above all, closed NATO supply lines.

 

Pakistan reopened the supply routes and restored relations when Washington apologized and promised to treat Pakistan as an ally. The US swallowed the bitter pill since northern network was too expensive to carry heavy military stores from Afghanistan. More so, Pakistan was seen as the only country that could help in easing the pains of risky drawdown in the face of impasse on talks between the US and Afghans Taliban.

 

Finding that no breakthrough has been achieved on peace talks with Taliban after Doha fiasco in June 2013, Karzai’s somersault on signing Bilateral Security Agreement, allowing the US military to leave behind a residual force after 2014, and most disturbingly Pakistan making visible progress in talks with TTP, another attempt was made by USA to shame ISI by reincarnating the ghost of OBL through a fictitious story appearing in NY Times dated 19 March that ex ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha had known about presence of OBL in Abbottabad.

 

The invention was based on the book ‘The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2014’ authored by British journalist Carlotta Gall. She further claimed that Gen Musharraf and his top commanders were aware of al-Qaeda’s plan to assassinate Ms Benazir Bhutto. She quoted Gen Ziauddin Butt having confided in her that Gen Musharraf had arranged the hideout of OBL in Abbottabad. Ziauddin, who holds Musharraf in low esteem since he had put him in solitary confinement for two years in October 1999 and dismissed from service, said he was misunderstood and Carlotta misquoted him. He added that he had been misquoted by western media several times to advance their agenda. Pak media, ever-ready to promote western themes to embarrass military establishment, added fuel to fire by playing up New York Times story.

 

Recently, Paul Craig Roberts has debunked claims made by Obama that members of US Navy SEALs team had killed OBL and SEALs team claiming that they had killed him. He claimed that OBL had died due to renal failure in Tora Bora caves in December 2001. He argues that no one can survive renal failure for over a decade and that no dialyses machine was found in the Abbottabad compound. He adds; “No one among the crew of the ship or any eye-witness corroborated the news of OBL body’s burial at sea”. He further adds that 25 members of the SEALs team that supposedly took part in the raid died mysteriously in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. In his view, they were bumped off to keep the cooked up story credible. It may be recalled that Paul Craig had earlier on challenged the veracity of 9/11 terror attacks asserting it was a false flag operation to kill, maim and dispossess millions of Muslims in seven countries, none having any connection with 9/11.          

 

One wonders, how long the west would keep playing with the ghost of OBL about whom there have been dozens of articles published in western print media that OBL for all practical purposes was a half-dead man after he escaped from Tora Bora caves in December 2001. With three wives (Khairee, Shareeja and Amal) and eleven children, the seriously ailing OBL wanted to lead a quiet life and die peacefully. He had died much earlier owing to his kidney disease. It is widely believed that purpose behind May 2 attack was to bolster Obama’s chances of re-election. Carlotta gimmicks were meant to publicize her book. She however, gave an opportunity to CIA to denigrate its rival ISI, which has foiled its dangerous agenda against Pakistan.

 

December 16, 2014 episode was planned in Afghanistan and was surely the handiwork of RAW and Afghan Intelligence to disparage Operation Zarb-e-Azb and cause pain to Pakistan. If the US doesn’t feel any qualm in tracking and killing OBL and Al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, why can’t it nab or kill Fazlullah and Omar Khurasani, or restrain RAW/Afghan CDS from undertaking cross border missions inside Pakistan?     

 

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

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