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Posts Tagged Terrorism

The Afghan War Settlement

 

 

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The Afghan War Settlement

 

 

In 1979, Russian forces invaded Afghanistan. Communism came to the threshold of Pakistan when forces led by Babrak Karmel overthrew the Government of Afghanistan. Some 120,000 Russian troops entered Afghanistan .The Afghan people organized a resistance force against this blatant aggression. The Soviet forces suffered greatly in terms of manpower and material, and the Afghan War proved expensive even for a world power like the Soviet Union.

It has always been said about Afghanistan that it can be invaded and occupied easily but it is very difficult to hold and control it. Afghans have a history of resisting foreign invaders. The British imperial power failed in all three attempts to occupy and control Afghanistan. The Soviets were to learn the same lesson. In the beginning, the Soviet army was successful in occupying and controlling Afghanistan.

The Numbers Given Below are Not Accurate:The Are 10 Times Higher:Afghan Refugee Camps in Pakistan Province of KPK, Balochistan,Punjab

General Zia stood against the spread of communism. He reiterated his solution to the Afghanistan crisis in 1983 in New Delhi. He said that Pakistan has given political asylum to millions of Afghans. He demanded the expulsion of Russian forces from Afghanistan. America responded to the call of Pakistan and flooded Pakistan with monetary help to finance the anti-communist regime in Afghanistan and to equip the freedom fighters. The freedom fighters, the mujahideen, put forward a strong resistance to the Russian invasion. Although the Afghans suffered enormous causalities in the beginning of the war but the turning point in the war came when the U. S. supplied them with surface-to-air Stinger missiles.

danger. As Pakistan was a frontline state, huge amounts of money, military equipment and aid arrived in Pakistan. The huge amounts of aid that poured in propped up Zia’s government. With the Afghan problem, a new phase of modernization of the military began. The arms provided to Afghanistan freedom fighters were also provided to the Pakistan Army. As a result the Pakistan Army became better equipped.

Other than the problems faced due to the Afghan War efforts, the Soviet Empire was breaking apart at the seams. This led the Soviets to seek peace in Afghanistan. Negotiations on Afghanistan were carried out under Zia’s Government, and the Geneva Accord was signed on April 14, 1988, under which the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its forces in two installments .The Soviet Government lived up to its commitment of withdrawal of forces according to the agreed timetable.

The victory in Afghanistan was achieved at a great cost to Pakistan. It had to look after and feed more than three million Afghan refugees that had crossed over to Pakistan. The refugees were a great economic burden on Pakistan. Not only this but, they also caused the problem of drugs and gunrunning in the country.

Long after the Soviet forces had left Afghanistan, fighting continued between the various factions of the mujahideen. With the emergence of the Taliban, Pakistan found itself an ally in Afghanistan that enforced peace and virtually eliminated the drug cultivation. After the September 11 tragedy of 2001, world attention again focused on Afghanistan as they considered it as training grounds of terrorists responsible for the tragedy. The Talibans were removed by power and a U. S. led coalition installed an interim government in Afghanistan, which till today keeps a fragile peace in the country. Meanwhile Pakistan continues to suffer numerous problems from the legacy of the Afghan War such as refugees, drugs, guns, crime, and terrorism.

Courtesy:

A great site for history of Pakistan

http://storyofpakistan.com/the-afghan-war-settlement

This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003.

Additional Readings:

2015 UNHCR country operations profile – Pakistan

 

 

 

 

UNHCR 2015 planning figures for Pakistan
Type of population Origin January 2015 December 2015
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 2,311,750 2,311,750 2,352,080 2,352,080

 

 

| Overview |

 

 

 

Working environment

  • Pakistan hosts almost 18 million registered Afghan refugees – still the largest protracted refugee population globally. Since 2002, UNHCR has facilitated the return of 3.8 million registered Afghans from Pakistan.

  • Efforts to address the needs of Afghan refugees and their host communities, and to advance durable solutions, are undertaken within the framework of the regional Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), the tripartite agreement on voluntary repatriation, and the Government of Pakistan’s national policy on Afghan refugees.

  • To complement UNHCR and partners’ international support, the Government of Pakistan has extended Afghan refugees’ Proof of Registration (PoR) cards until the end of 2015, issued birth certificates for 800,000 Afghan refugee children, provided land for several refugee villages, and given refugees access to public schools and health clinics.

  • In August 2014, there were 714,548 registered internally displaced people (IDPs) in need of humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing security operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The North Waziristan emergency has further displaced approximately 500,000 people.

  • The operating environment for humanitarian actors in Pakistan remains volatile, with fragile security, as well as access, social and economic challenges likely to affect humanitarian operations. In order to improve outreach to populations of concern and to build local capacity, UNHCR works closely with local partners and government counterparts.

People of concern

The main groups of people of concern planned for in 2015 under the Pakistan operation include: Afghan refugees, of whom approximately one-third live in refugee villages, and two-thirds in urban and rural host communities; some 7,000 asylum-seekers and individually-recognized refugees from various countries (mostly Afghans), living mainly in urban areas; IDPs, including those relocated by military operations and ethnic/religious conflicts in FATA, and, since the beginning of military operations in June 2014, IDPs from North Waziristan; and three groups presumed to be stateless or at risk of statelessness in Pakistan, namely Bengalis and Biharis, as well as Rohingyas from Myanmar.

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Economic Disaster then Terrorism -Expose Corrupt Minister Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi & his lieutenants

 

 

 

 

Economic Disaster then Terrorism -Expose Corrupt Minister Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi & his lieutenants

 

 

 

Please Expose Corrupt Minister Petroleum GOP & his lieutenants

The LNG Mega Scam has tested our wisdom and vigilance, and fortunately we, the people of Pakistan, have not failed!!  The dragon of this scam has harmed or swallowed many corporate bodies and professionals, but it is now succumbing under the pressure of media and corporate activism!

 After our initial effort to expose this scam, we have extended our hands to recently activated law enforcement agencies and hope they will play their role too!

 The following is an attempt to provide a concise summary of the LNG Mega Scam although it is very difficult to decipher a high-tech, white-collar crime sponsored by the Shahid Khaqan Abbasi                               


 

It all started by the petroleum ministry through Inter-State Gas Systems (ISGS) who’s MD Mubeen Saulat is now under active investigation by NAB for illegal award of LNG terminal contract to Engro, which is owned by Seith Dawood who is an underhand partner of the so-called rulers of Pakistan.

 

The background of the scam unfolded when officials of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) reported to the investigators that they were bypassed as the procuring agency by the ministry when the ministry empowered ISGS to award the LNG terminal contract. SSGC officials further stated that they were forced by the petroleum minister to sign an agreement for payment of the capacity payment of US Dollars 272,000 per day (about 3 crore Rupees per day) to the private terminal company of Engro, which amounts to US Dollars 100 million per year from the taxpayers’ money, irrespective of whether the terminal operates or does not operate to regasify LNG.

 

SSGC stated that they signed that illicit contract on the promise of the petroleum minister that subsequently PSO would provide them the comfort through an undertaking of bearing the cost of the capacity payments to Engro terminal company. However, PSO management declined to provide the said undertaking to safeguard the interest of their company by quoting legal and technical reasons, to which the minister took an exception and the management had to face his ire. The MD of SSGC who signed the illicit contract is under arrest and will hopefully reveal the related facts to the investigators.

 

Consequently, PSO was incapacitated by cutting its lifeline payments by the government so that the imminent petrol crises, foreseen and pre-warned by PSO management, could not be prevented. This paved the way for getting rid of the PSO management to carry out the illicit LNG project. Accordingly, the entire top management of PSO was sidelined/ suspended and the Board of PSO was dissolved on the pretense of enquiry into the petrol crisis.

 

Subsequently, Shahid Islam (a pawn) was placed as MD-PSO and was very unusually given the powers of the PSO Board by the government for a short time (on hit and run basis) to illegally import the LNG ships worth multi-million dollars in defiance of all rules and regulations of Pakistan and in absence of the company’s Board and top management.

 

Shahid Islam is the same person who was CFO of PIA when the present petroleum minister was Chairman of PIA. Shahid Islam is a co-founder of Air Blue and remained jail mate of Shahid Abbasi (petroleum minister) when they were arrested on the same charges of irregularities and fraud in PIA. Later on he fled Pakistan to escape from various fraud investigations and returned in 2013 after Shahid Abbasi had taken charge of the petroleum ministry.

 

PSO as a public sector company is strictly required under PPRA rules to undertake an open and transparent bidding (giving a fair and equal chance to all prospective bidders) for import of any product and they had strictly been following that principle for all imports of petroleum products. However Shahid Islam imported several LNG ships worth millions of dollars on very expensive rates without bidding from Qatar Gas (specifically a private company called Q3). The procuring agency (in this case PSO) is required under the law to place procuring documents for such high value import transactions on the websites of the Company (PSO) and NAB. PSO has also defaulted on this legal obligation.

In reward, Shahid Islam was granted a hefty salary package as MD of GHPL by the minister, which was not approved by the Board of GHPL. Shahid Islam also took the proposal of the ministry to the Board of GHPL for construction of second LNG terminal through GHPL, but the Board rejected it and two Directors of the Board resigned when they were pressurized by the government through Shahid Islam to approve that illicit project.

 

Similarly in order to avoid regulatory checks and oversight over illegal import of LNG, the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was incapacitated by not appointing its members and by sending its Chairman on forced leave by the government. However, Chairman OGRA got himself restored through the court but he was kept incapacitated by the government by not appointing the members of OGRA required to complete the quorum for the regulatory decision-making.

 

 

 

 

Seeing what happened to others, the Board and MD of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Company Limited (SNGPL) refused to sign a similar agreement and their MD was consequently fired by the government. All members of the top management of SNGPL refused the offers made to them by the government one after the other to become MD of the Company (in line with the government’s stick and carrot policy to implement the illicit projects). Although the MD of SNGPL got himself restored through the court, he had to ultimately resign under tremendous pressure of the government.

 

The regulator (OGRA) has expressed its inability to determine the price of LNG because it has been illegally procured and sold by PSO. Therefore, OGRA has directed PSO to furnish a certificate duly verified by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources that it complied with all laws and regulations in importing and selling the LNG, and also furnish the invoices of the LNG ships illegally imported by PSO duly approved/ vetted by the petroleum ministry as PSO has stated that it imported LNG on unlawful instructions of the ministry although it did not have the mandate for LNG import without bidding. OGRA has also asked for the government-verified invoices of illegal sale of LNG by PSO (without LNG sales license and without sale price fixed by the regulator) and by gas companies (without getting the sale price approved by OGRA).

 

PSO and the gas companies have stated that they made the illegal sales on the instructions of the petroleum ministry based on a so-called “provisional price” advised to them by the petroleum ministry although the ministry had no regulatory powers to fix the price of LNG which was the OGRA’s role.

 

The ministry is refusing to approve the invoices of illegal import and illegal sale of LNG, as required by OGRA, in view of the ongoing NAB investigations into the LNG Mega scam.

 

Consequently, LNG cannot be billed and its cost cannot be recovered; and the customers to whom the LNG has been provided on the government’s orders are enjoying unlimited credit (including the fertilizer business owned by Seith Hussain Dawood who also owns Engro LNG terminal receiving US Dollars 272,000 per day without operating).

 

As a most shameful act, the government has appointed the manager of the small notorious one-year old Engro terminal (Sheikh Imran) as MD of PSO. PSO has an extensive network of terminals across the country in addition to 3600 retail outlets and leadership in oil marketing business, earning more than a trillion Rupees sales revenue!! The salary package granted to Sheikh Imran by the government is unprecedented in the public sector of Pakistan. Media has disclosed his Rupees 6 million (Rs. 60 Lakh) per month package, but the petroleum minister is quoting his salary on TV as 24 Lakh per month which is just one element of his salary. This is in accordance with the minister’s track record of information manipulation. He has been stating on TV that the tolling fee being paid to the Engro terminal is 66 cents per mmbtu. When the record of payment was shown to him, he confessed that Engro is being paid a tolling fee @ 147 cents per mmbtu and promised to bring it down to 66 cents in future. In comparison, a bid received by the government for the tolling fee for the second LNG terminal is 49 cents per mmbtu!

Initially the petroleum minister out rightly denied that the LNG cargo had arrived in Pakistan and stated that it would arrive after signing of the treaty between the governments of Pakistan and Qatar.  When the media showed evidence in this regard, the minister stated that the cargo was imported by the private sector. When PSO’s import documents were shown on TV, he confessed that it was imported by PSO but paid by the private sector (now an outstanding payment of more than rupees 20 billion against the imported LNG is in the news!).  When the LC opened by PSO was shown, the minister stated that the cargo was imported by PSO based on proper treaty between Pakistan and Qatar. When the illegal spot purchase deal was disclosed, the minister had to confess that a proper long-term agreement between the governments is not in place, for which he keeps on giving dates! It is unclear how a government-to-government treaty can be signed for import of LNG from a private company in Qatar! The cargoes in question have been imported from Q3, which has private shareholdings of Conoco Philips (USA), Mitsui (Japan) and Qatar Petroleum. Now the minister must be counting on the customary long delays in investigations, particularly against the rulers and their cronies!

 This can only happen in Pakistan in the 21st Century!!!

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The rising threat of terrorism and Afghan refugees in Pakistan

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Pakistan suffered a great shock with three major bomb attacks carried out in the country in the past month. In a recent attack, six people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Lahore police headquarters. Less than two weeks ago, a Shia mosque in Peshawar was attacked during the Friday prayer (the most crowded time in a mosque), which killed 20 civilians and injured more than 50 people.

The Pakistani Taliban undertook both attacks. Mohammad Horasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, made a statement regarding the attacks and said the reason for the attack was the execution by the Pakistani government last December of Dr. Usman, who was said to be the mastermind behind the attack on the Pakistani Army general headquarters in October 2009. Horasani also said they would continue to take revenge and that these attacks were just the start.

The gradual increase in attacks that target civilians in Pakistan points to the possible chaos in the country, which is going through a very critical period in terms of security and stability. Less than a month ago, another Shia mosque in Shikarpur was attacked, and more than 60 civilians died. In another attack on a military high school in Peshawar on Dec. 16, more than 150 people were killed, including 134 children.

Following the attacks, the death penalty, which had been abolished several years ago, was reinstated and the militants who were held responsible for the military high school attack were executed. The main purpose of the attacks carried out by different groups in the Pakistani Taliban in the past month was to call the Pakistani government to account and take revenge.

It was declared earlier that a wing of the Pakistani Taliban paid homage to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL aims to increase its activities in Central Asia as well as in South Asia, another unstable, volatile region after the Middle East. The Pakistani administration has taken new measures in order to follow an active and effective policy against terrorist groups especially after the military high school attack. After reinstating the death penalty, the Pakistani government also established military courts to make an imprisonment sentence quicker and increased the number and expanded the area of attacks in particular in areas close to the border of Afghanistan.

However, these measures are problematic as they either focus on the expansion of current military operations or on the militants who have carried out the attacks. There is no policy aiming to prevent possible attacks and take pre-emptive action. Yet, there has to be efficient and effective policies that aim to deal with the daily problems of the Shiites and other religious minority groups such as discrimination and violence.

The Afghan refugees in Pakistan are one of the most affected groups from such attacks, which have increased gradually. These refugees, who had to flee Afghanistan due to the climate of war in the past 35 years and took refuge in Pakistan, have been experiencing hardship here but at the same time they live shoulder-to-shoulder with their Pakistani neighbors. In the wake of the recent attacks, Afghan refugees began to be exposed to violence and marginalization from Pakistani officials and their Pakistani neighbors. Even though the Pakistani Taliban carried out the military high school attack, two of the attackers were Afghan, and this is one of the main reasons there has been use of violence and anger towards Afghan refugees.

The recent attacks in the country brought the Pakistani government and the opposition together on the same page after a very long time. It is clearly very important to get wide public support on the measures taken and develop policies to fight against terrorism. However, it is also a serious issue that these decisions and their implementations should be “right” and inclusive and should not exclude and factionalize the Afghan refuges and religious minority groups. After all, Afghanistan is currently not capable of providing a peaceful and prosperous life for these people due to its unstable and unsecure environment.


*Salih Doğan is a research fellow at the Turkey Institute, a Ph.D. candidate at Keele University and a research assistant at Turgut Özal University.

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National Action Plan against Terrorism Revisited By Sajjad Shaukat

National Action Plan against Terrorism Revisited

By Sajjad Shaukat

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Still, some political entities are creating controversy about the National Action Plan (NAP) which is essential part of Pakistan’s war against terrorism, as it has co-relationship with the military operation Zarb-i-Azb which has broken the backbone of the militants.

 

In this respect, while heading a meeting of high level apex committee, (Of civil-military high officials) on September 10, this year regarding overall progress on implementation of NAP against terrorism, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that provincial governments were following its several provisions accordingly, however, attention should be paid to other points as well.

 

Just like the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and chief minister of the Sindh province, Syed Qaim complained that the federal investigation agencies and the Rangers were interfering in the matters of provincial government.

 

The leaders of these entities forgot that on January 2, 2015, besides the chiefs of other political parties and military top officials agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for establishment of special military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points (National Action Plan) enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014 is being acted upon—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment was enforced soon after its approval from the parliament. Now, special military courts have been established and the ruthless terrorists facing death penalty are being hanged.

 

These political elements are again reminded that the National Action Plan includes important points—execution of convicted terrorists, establishment of special trial courts, ensuring no armed militias are allowed to function in the country, strengthening and activation of National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA), countering hate speech and extremist material, choking financing for terrorists and terrorist organizations, ensuring against re-emergence of proscribed organizations, establishing and deploying a dedicated counter-terrorism force, taking effective steps against religious persecution, registration and regulation of Madrissas (Religious seminaries), ban on glorification of terrorism and terrorists organization through print and electronic media, FATA reforms, dismantling communication networks of terrorist organizations, measures against abuse of internet and social media for terrorism, Zero tolerance for militancy in Punjab, taking the ongoing operation in Karachi to its logical conclusion, Balochistan reconciliation, dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists, policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, revamping and reforming the criminal justice system.

 

These hostile entities should know that corruption is the essence of terrorism. Hence, people want that this menace must be eliminated from the country as part of overall war against terrorism. In this context, on June 10, 2015, while showing the progress of the Zarb-e-Azb, Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif said, “Terrorists have been cleared from their strongholds in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency and fight now is moving into last few pockets close to Afghan border.” He laid emphasis on “continuation of the operations till elimination of the last expected and probable terrorists groups and sanctuaries.” While addressing a ceremony of the golden jubilee celebrations the 1965 war regarding Pakistan’s victory and defeat of India, Gen. Raheel again stated on September 6, this year that the operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched at a time when terrorist networks had solidified in the country, and the Armed Forces had been fighting an untraditional war for the past many years, elaborating, “our success is the result of our martyrs and ghazis—in Karachi and Balochistan, peace has returned, where militants have been surrendering their arms.” He reiterated his resolve to eliminate “abettors, financiers, sympathizers, and facilitators” of terrorists at all costs.

 

Notably, since June 15, 2014, the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed militants’ hideouts in North Waziristan, and killed thousands of insurgents including foreign militants, while Pak Army has also killed several terrorists through ground offensive and many of them surrendered before the Army. While, the primary intelligence agency ISI and other law-enforcing agencies captured several terrorists in various regions of Pakistan, including suicide-jackets and weapons—thus thwarted their subversive acts. They have successfully broken the network of the terrorists.

 

However, in order to dismantle the terror-financing networks, elimination of corruption is an important part of Pakistan’s National Action Plan, devised to counter extremism in the country following the Peshawar school massacre of children. Similarly, reforming the religious seminaries is also its key part.

 

In this connection, without any discrimination, several persons involved in corruption have been arrested in Karachi and other parts of the country, while similar action is likely to be taken in Punjab and other provinces of the country, which has almost stared.

 

A regards religious seminaries, recent meeting of military, political and religious seminaries have vital importance. All the participants reached a mutual consensus. While assuring unconditional support to National Action Plan, representatives of Madrassas, Ulema (Religious scholars) said that culprits and black sheep in religious institutes should be dealt with iron hands. They agreed that “Pakistan is our motherland. We on our own have to protect its integrity.” They also agreed for reforms in the religious schools through introduction of new curriculum, registration, and funding process. Earlier, the chief ministers agreed to all the proposals put forth by the interior minister regarding important issues including regularization of affairs of NGOs.

 

Meanwhile, according to online sources, the Police have checked documents of 2,994 students of 11 Madarasas in Karachi and their administration has been ordered to ban entry of any student who is without documents, and arrested several proclaimed offenders and court absconders from different areas of the city, during a search operation of various hotels, inns, guest houses, bus terminals and railway station. During a crackdown against drug peddlers, Police also arrested drug pushers, recovering charas and hashish including illegal weapons, and rounds of ammunition. Similar action was also taken in Islamabad and some other parts of the country.

 

It is notable that unfortunately, it is because of lack of unity among our politicians, leaders and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by destabilizing the country which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. In the past few years, nefarious designs of some foreign secret agencies like Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad can be gauged from a number of anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, separatism in Balochistan and targeted killings especially in Karachi coupled with subversive acts all over the country. Pakistan which has become special arena of this different war faced terror-activities such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, ruthless beheadings of the innocent people, assaults on security personnel and prominent religious figures. Besides blowing children schools and attacking the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, the terrorists, particularly of the Indian-backed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also targeted mosques, Imambargahs, mausoleums, temples, churches and disgraced dead bodies.

 

At this critical moment, the implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism demands true national unity, which must be shown practically. Our political leaders must pledge that they will not manipulate their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. For this aim, in order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, our political leaders, media, religious scholars and human rights groups must also stop manipulating any crisis against Pak Army and ISI. Instead, they must show solidarity with Pakistan’s Armed forces including law-enforcing agencies which are coping with the menace of terrorism.

 

Although, Pak Army has ever conducted a large-scale reconstruction and rehabilitation programme in FATA, yet it is not easy to resettle 2 million people. War against terrorism will remain incomplete, unless all segments of society and politicians try to win the hearts and minds of the tribal people by providing financial resources for their rehabilitation. The vision of a peaceful, prosperous and developed FATA is necessary to foil future plans of the terrorists.

 

Moreover, selfless national unity against terrorists and the foreign enemies requires that our rulers and leaders of other political parties including Ulema must create national cohesion among various institutes of the country.

 

Particularly, the religious scholars and seminaries should play their role in discouraging sectarianism and terrorism and a campaign to eliminate such tendencies should be launched by developing a counter narrative.

 

Pakistan is in the state of new warfare, being waged by the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies against terrorists. Hence, all segments of nation must be on one page, which is necessary to implement the National Action Plan which itself is essential to win this war against terrorism.

 

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@yahoo.com

 

 

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Afghanistan: India’s Drug Smuggling Verified By Sajjad Shaukat

                                     Afghanistan: India’s Drug Smuggling Verified

                                                          By Sajjad Shaukat

 

While echoing Hobbes and Machiavelli, Morgenthau opines that in international politics, countries act upon various immoral activities like deceit, fraud, falsehood and so on. In one way or the other, they also follow these tactics to fulfill their selfish aims. But, in the modern era of electronic and social media including open diplomacy, it is difficult for the sovereign states to continue mal-practices of the past, as sinister politics has been replaced by world’s new trends such as fair-dealings, reconciliation and economic development.

 

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In this respect, the news item, “India accused of using Afghan soil for Heroin smuggling”, published in the leading daily Dawn on March 18, 2015 verified previous reports of India’s involvement in drug smuggling from Afghanistan.

 

In the recent past, a released video by Washington Free Beacon pointed out that the US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel disclosed during a speech at Oklahoma’s Cameron University in 2011, “India has always used Afghanistan as a second front” and “has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.” Earlier, the then NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. McChrystal had revealed: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”

 

In fact, by availing the golden opportunity of the 9/11, India has signed a number of bilateral agreements with Kabul, during the regime of Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai in getting its hold in Afghanistan by manipulating US strategy. New Delhi which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011 also includes to help train Afghan security forces, while assisting Kabul in diversified projects. Apparently, it is open strategic agreement, but secretly, India seeks to further strengthen its grip in Afghanistan to get strategic depth against Islamabad.

 

In this regard, stiff resistance of the Taliban militants against the occupying forces created unending lawlessness in the country which has become a most suitable place for Indian secret agency RAW to implement a conspiracy to fulfill its country’s strategic designs against Iran, China and particularly Pakistan, while achieving collective goals of the US against these countries including Russia.

 

Especially, based in Afghanistan, Indian consulates including agents of RAW, who are also supporting Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are behind various acts of terrorism in Pakistan such as target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations including churches, religious leaders etc. to destabilize Pakistan. They have also perennially been arranging similar subversive acts in Balochistan.

 

As a matter of fact, with the cooperation of ex-president Karzai and Afghan intelligence-National Directorate of Security (NDS), and with the tactical assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, RAW has well-established espionage network in Afghanistan, which has also been used for smuggling of drugs so as to obtain Indian sinister designs in the region, particularly against Pakistan.

While, poppy cultivation has risen to all time high, and Afghanistan has become one of the biggest contributors of drug proliferation in the region and beyond. And, Afghan government has failed in controlling corruption and implementing rule of law, while international community especially major donors are averse to such malpractices.

 

According to some sources, modern weapons of Indian, American and Israeli origin are available in the markets of Afghanistan. Smuggling of latest arms from west to Afghanistan is also being supported by the drug mafia of Afghanistan. In this connection, Afghan President Karzai’s real brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, and high officials have been found involved in drug smuggling for raising funds to support insurgency in Pakistan with the support of RAW.

 

It would not be out of context to mention here that primarily these are the Afghan drug Barons and Warlords like Hamid Karzai and his brother in whose interest it is to keep the region in state of war. It is also a known fact that Qasim Fahim, Vice President of Afghanistan is also a warlord and a drug baron. In the recent past, American troops destroyed poppy fields, but, they failed in stopping poppy cultivation, because India was involved in supporting Afghan warlords and drug mafia.

 

In this connection, on November 2, 2009 John Burns, the chief foreign correspondent for The New York Times, while answering questions about a New York Times article about Ahmed Wali Karzai, exposed his ties to the nation’s opium trade. And on October 27, 2009, the same newspaper pointed out, The brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade…in a large area of southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, undermines the American push to develop an effective central government that can maintain law and order and eventually allow the United States to withdraw…on at least one occasion, the strike force has been accused of mounting an unauthorized operation against an official of the Afghan government.”

 

Quoting a senior American military officer in Kabul, The New York Times elaborated, “Hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money are flowing through the southern region, and nothing happens in Afghanistan without the regional leadership knowing about it.”

 

However, besides the involvement of other Afghan entities, Indian engagement in drugs in Afghanistan was proved in the news item of Dawn, which quoted world’s renowned news agency, Reuters as a source and also included AFP file. It is given below.

 

UN officials recorded a sharp spike this year in the amount of heroin being seized from passengers trying to fly from Afghanistan to India, a worrying trend since the Taliban insurgency lines its pockets on the illegal drug trade.

 

A lack of coordination is hampering efforts to clamp down on the route, officials said, with India blaming Afghanistan for poor cooperation in helping to track smugglers.

 

In January alone, officials intercepted 44 kilograms of heroin from Afghan airports in eight separate cases, compared to 50 kilograms of heroin and hashish seized during the whole of last year, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime data.

Most of the cases have involved passengers trying to board flights bound for the Indian capital New Delhi after swallowing as much 2 kg of the illegal opiate in capsules, like condoms.

 

The spike is an “alarming trend”, said Mark Colhoun, deputy representative to the UNODC in Afghanistan.

 

“These mule are small fry,” he said. “You need to track down the networks.” The UNODC started working with Afghan police and customs in 2013 at Kabul’s airport, and later expanded to airports in Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-i-Sharif. It is unclear whether the rise in heroin being seized represents an increase in trafficking or better tracking of smugglers. But opium cultivation in Afghanistan, which produces some 90 per cent of the world’s illegal opiates, is on the rise.

 

Afghan smugglers often travel to India under the guise of seeking medical care, said a senior official in India’s Narcotics Control Bureau speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

Nevertheless, news of Dawn has verified Indian negative role of drug smuggling from Afghanistan. Therefore, it is the right hour that the US-led international community must take action against New Delhi, and by rolling back Indian network in Afghanistan, which includes smuggling of drugs, especially Heroin for the purpose of its secret strategic goals. While the western countries and Russia are worried about instability in Afghanistan, spilling over into the former Soviet Central Asia and about drug smuggling pushing up the numbers of heroin addicts.

 

Nonetheless, western donors’ aid to Kabul for bringing stability in that country will prove fruitless, if India continues drug smuggling in Afghanistan which has become one of the biggest contributors of drug proliferation in the world.

 

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@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

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