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Archive for October, 2009

A Looming Showdown

Is a looming showdown imminent between the 19-month old democratic government and the military?

The US 7.5 billion dollar question is
prompting many to claim only weeks are left before the lid blows up as the
situation continues to take an ugly turn, towards the worst. The country’s
powerful military establishment views with suspicion the present democratic
setup as serious differences have emerged on critical issues of national

The turning point, however is the recent US legislation known publicly as the Kerry
Lugar bill that is doing the exact
opposite of what it was intended to. The assistance of US 1.5 billion dollars
per annum for five years for the socio-economic sectors has turned out to be
the worst public relations disaster for both governments, besides creating a
clear rift between the civil and the military.

Over the months an uneasy truce between the
military and the new democratic government seems to have been holding. After
the resignation of President Musharraf, General Pervez Kayani had clearly
indicated that army will stay out of political and civil affairs. Military
personnel in government departments were pulled out and the COAS towed the
government line on all matters.

However a string of incidents have wedged the
seemingly close relationship and the strains are now visible more than ever.
The recent statement from the 122nd meeting of the Corps Commanders on the
US legislation was a clear indication that not all is well.

Though the entire government machinery has
been at pains to assure the nation that the US legislation does not “impinge” on
sovereignty, the military sees it the other way.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who
along with the President, the Prime Minister and the party hailed the document,
were shocked over the reaction. Qureshi who had to run to and fro between the
two capitals had to squeeze every bit of his ability to perform the ultimate at
the Parliament to prove that the legislation was the best thing that has ever
happened to Pakistan.

Critics, on the contrary see it as nothing
but a nail in the coffin of Pakistan’s
sovereignty and independence. The government justified its acquiescence to
the USlegislation by claiming that all leaders, starting from founder of
the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah sought assistance from America.

Throughout the “par excellence
performance” of the FM at the parliament to justify the need for the US dole,
the treasury benches led by the Prime Minister, continued to thump the
desks sheepishly, without even having a fleeting thought that they were selling
a nation for too little. It was the same parliament that on the very first day
of debate on the bill had to adjourn, owing to lack of quorum, a sad reflection
on the concern our representatives have for the nation.

The military establishment seriously
believes that it is under attack and is the target for possessing nuclear
assets and is bearing the brunt because of its refusal to give in, beyond a
certain limit, to the powers that be.

The recent spate of attacks on civil and
military targets has raised the stakes and clearly shows that war for Pakistan’s
control, after years, has come out in the open. Who is the real enemy? There
are so many that it has become hard to discern. Those who attacked the GHQ wore
military uniform. Same is being repeated everywhere. Who will tell who is who?
or now the most important thing is and will determine country’s future
is who knows who is who?

With a military establishment strongly wary
of the President Zardari’s government and his “affiliation” with the
Americans, the time for parting ways seems galloping closer at a rapid pace.

The gulf began to widen soon after the new
government took over as Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani embarked on his maiden
visit to the Untied States. Gilani planned to carry with him the gift of
putting the “dreaded ISI”, under the control of Rehman Malik, the
Chief Security Officer of Benazir Bhutto at the time of her assassination, to

A Cabinet Division notification on July 26, 2008 said “the administration; financial
and operative control of both the
organizations [IB, ISI] under the Interior ministry and comes into immediate
effect, in accordance with rule 3 (3) of the business, 1973.”

The move flopped in hours and was withdrawn even before Gilani landed at the
Andrews with the government spokesman terming it a

President Zardari once again rattled the
military when in his address to the Hindustan Times Summit conference via video
link from Islamabad on Nov 23, 2008, he said “I can assure you that
Pakistan will not be the first country ever to use (nuclear weapons) . . . I
hope that things never come to a stage where we have to even think about using
nuclear weapons (against India).” He was asked whether Pakistanwould use nuclear
weapons against India.

The comment followed the November 26 Mumbai
attacks and again got the disapproval of the military over the way the civil
side handled the affair. A series of faux pas beginning with the Interior
Minister Rehman Malik boldly admitting that the attackers went by sea, despite
denial by the Naval Chief. India claimed the attackers came in a boat, but Malik
clarified that it was in fact
three boats. What a spirit.

The incident was followed by air violation
by the Indian Air Force on two sectors on Dec 13, 2008.The President described
it a “technical intrusion”, and the Prime Minister said it was not a
deliberate attempt. The Pakistan Air Force however termed it a violation. Two
days later the Foreign Office formally handed over a demarche to Indian

The decision to send DG ISI to India was
next, in what was being touted in the Indian media as “summoning” of Pakistan’s
top spy chief. A press release by the PM House on Nov 28, 2008 said “Dr. Singh
requested the Prime Minster to send DG ISI
to India for exchange of information in this regard. The Prime
Minister accepted the request and said that after working out modalities by
both the governments, the ISI chief will visit India at
the earliest.”

Gilani was summoned back from Lahore the same
night and had to withdraw the statement, late at night. The President
later told a television channel that there was some confusion as he in fact
agreed to the sending of a Director and not the Director General. However no
one went to India.

As if it was not enough, on January 7, 2009the National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali
Durrani told channels that the lone gunman in the Mumbai attacks -Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national. It led to a whole day debate of denials, rebuttals, contradictory statements,
reflecting the great disconnect between the inept leadership, Prime Minister
Gilani sacked Durrani for his “irresponsible behaviour”.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman and Foreign Office spokesman towed the same line of Kasab as a Pakistani, while the Secretary of Foreign Affairs denied, while Durrani said he got the nod from
President Zardari to make the claim.

Yet again the military establishment was irked with President Asif Ali Zardari’s interview to the Wall Street Journal in May 2009 wherein he said that India was not a threat to Pakistan and was facing danger from the terrorists inside the country.

“Well, I am already on record. I have never considered India a threat … I have always considered India as
a neighbour, which we want to improve our relationship with. We have had some cold times and we have had some hard times with them. We have gone to war thrice, but democracies are always trying to improve relationships,” Zardari said.TURNING ON THE OFFENSIVE: US has described Pak as the global headquarters of the al-Qaeda.

TURNING ON THE OFFENSIVE: US has described Pak as the global headquarters of the al-Qaeda.

No one could be against having a peaceful relationship, but than he added “Why would we begrudge the largest democracy in the world getting friendly with one of the oldest democracy?” he said, again something that made the Foreign Office and Rawalpindi uncomfortable. He also did not seem to be worried about having free-trade agreement with India, a position always shunned by Pakistanas it links with resolution of Kashmir dispute. The joint statement issued in New Yorkafter his first exclusive meeting with Manmohan Singh also spoke of trade with India.

Soon thereafter the media reported a 35 percent cut in funding for country’s nuclear program, including both the classified and the open projects. Despite government denials, media continued to report about major cuts and shelving of several ongoing projects, despite budgetary allocations.

While skipping the role of army in averting the long march on the federal capital for the restoration of judiciary and the dubious and jittery attitude of the “lion-hearted” Nawaz Sharif, the lawyer leaders Aitzaz Ehsan, it was clear that in spite of the rhetoric of a “democratic government”, the khakis still have their say.

Seen in the context of the ongoing debate on the Kerry Lugar bill, the military did convey its “serious concern” and expressed the hope that the parliament may decide. What the government however did is nothing but disappointing.

Despite the rhetoric of foreign minister Qureshi to portray a rosy picture, the fact remains that S.1707 remains intact. The US administration will continue to keep its thumb on the civil setup to keep the military under its toes.

The explanatory statement is merely what it is – “explanatory” and does not add or remove any section of the bill. Reading it as an addition to the new law is wrong. The ‘Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act 2009’ still mentions Pakistanas the “safe haven” of al-Qaeda that is “actively planning” to launch attack against the United States.

It still mentions Quetta and Muridke, home to the terrorists and seeks of the Secretary of State for regular evaluation on “efforts undertaken by Government of Pakistan” to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other extremist and terrorist groups in the FATA and settled areas.

While Pakistan is already acting on its own on several of the areas that the US has pointed in the legislation; it is nothing less than micromanagement and intrusion into affairs of a Pakistan, when it becomes part of the law of the United States of America.

The Section 203 looks more of an indictment as the certification needs a verification that Pakistan “is continuing to cooperate with the United States to dismantle supplier networks relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons-related materials, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks;

It has to tell the progress on matters such as – ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist and terrorist groups … against United States or coalition forces in Afghanistan, or against the territory or people of neighbouring countries.

… carrying out cross-border attacks into neighbouring countries, closing terrorist camps in the FATA, dismantling terrorist bases of operations in other parts of the country, including Quetta and Muridke, and taking action when provided with intelligence about high-level terrorist targets; and

… the security forces of Pakistanare not materially and substantially subverting the political or judicial processes of Pakistan.

Though the Pakistangovernment does not have to report directly, the unseen pressure would always be there whenever an assessment is made about country’s nuclear weapon program and “effective civilian control of the military”.

Insiders say the USclearly told Pakistan either to take the bill as it is, or forego all assistance, economic, material and military. That also includes the dubious support from the “Friends of Democratic Pakistan”, the IMF and the World Bank. Kerry Lugar after his visit to Pakistandescribed his meetings as positive while the federal cabinet later accepted the bill saying there were no differences.

There was hope from the bill that it would bridgethe Pak-US confidence gap and assistance would be provided for thesocio-economic uplift of its tribal and underdeveloped areas. But the legislation in this form has only strengthened misunderstandings among the people about the USintentions. The current legislation will not achieve the objective, if it was meant to win the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan.

This is not how relationships are built. This way they break. Trust deficit has to end for meaningful ties. Like the United States, Pakistantoo must watch its national interests and must base their relationship on basis of sovereign equality.

The Pakistani nation may either opt or deny US assistance in social sectors; health, education, capacity building, fiscal reform etc. But the ideal situation for any proud nation is to stand on its own, exhibit the will and courage to rely on its own resources and show with determination that it can still fight the evils of extremism and terrorism that haunt it and the world.

The political leadership including the main quasi coalition partner/opposition the PML-N again proved it can sell its soul or anything to get back into power. For the “deal-ridden” Nawaz Sharif nothing in the world can be better than a third-term as prime minister. Though at a press conference he blamed the bill as “against national interests, dignity and sovereignty”, yet he again gave his traditional slip when asked about party’s stance by saying “We will see when the time comes.”

Another test for the worthy parliament will be the notorious NRO. The future of democracy or some other form of government depends on it. Keeping in view the glorious past of the political leadership, future is not hard to predict. Political analysts believe the PML-N and other purchasable parties will stay out of the voting.

Terrorist threats all over Pakistan, the South Waziristan operation, attack in Sistan, Iran by Jundallah, reports in Indian media about Pakistani Taliban heading to India and remarks by Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor to give a befitting reply. Indian Prime Minister has repeatedly told international media that “Islamabad must stop use of terror as an instrument of state policy.”

Seen in the context of the bill there are clear indications where the things are heading to. Any GHQ style attack on any nuclear installation in the country will prove West’s point that Pakistan can no longer protect its assets and need to be taken care of. (The explosive situation in Balochistan has been deliberately left out).

Only a determined nation can achieve anything, given a strong, visionary and
patriotic leadership.

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Commentary on News: Pakistan Being Infilterated by Foreign Agents and Forces

News Source

Undercover armed Americans are swarming the Pakistani capital in the latest sign that the pro-US government has allowed Washington to dispatch a large number of American special operations agents and contractual security guards. Including the infamous Blackwater private militia.This comes at a time when whistleblowers within the government and the military are reporting the arrival of a large number of US Marines in Pakistan. Some reports put the figure at 1,000 US soldiers, much of whom are thought to be arriving as part of the massive expansion of the US Embassy and four consulates across the country. The expanded US embassy is supposed to become the largest US embassy in the world.

The latest evidence of the growing American military presence in the Pakistani capital is the arrest of four Americans carrying automatic weapons in a part of the Pakistani capital that foreigners seldom visit.
The four were arrested in Sector G-9 of Islamabad in the evening of Saturday, Aug. 29.
A police picket stopped two cars carrying the four Americans who refused to explain why they were carrying sophisticated automatic weapons in the capital city. They were taken to a police station for interrogation but were released when two retired Pakistani army officers reached the station and threatened police officers of dire consequences.http://www.ultrabrown.com/wp-content/uploads/mercenary-missilers-1.jpg
The police established that the four Americans carried diplomatic status and were part of the US embassy staff. According to Geneva Convention that covers diplomatic missions, the security of diplomats is the responsibility of the host country.
When I asked Richard Snelsire, US embassy spokesman in Islamabad, about the incident, he refused to comment and referred me to the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistani police.
“Do you US diplomats normally carry weapons?” I asked.
Mr. Snelsire’s reply was, “Only if they are licensed to do so by the [Pakistani] government.”
The spokesman’s reaction confirms suspicions that US private security guards are active in Pakistan. For obvious reasons these guards do not come under the cover of US Department of State employees in Pakistan. This could be one reason why US embassy spokesperson declined comment on the story.
There is strong evidence that the private US mercenary army, Blackwater, has also established office in the Pakistani capital. Authorities have received several complaints of ill mannered military-type westerners misbehaving or recklessly driving by.
The Pakistani capital was the scene of at least two incidents recently where armed American diplomats verbally and physically assaulted Pakistani police officers. In one case, newspapers called for expelling an armed US diplomat who cursed and swore at the host country. The Pakistani government, which is known to be pro-American, refused to take action.

US hiring Ex-Army Officers as Consultants (Under the Pakistan Army Act (1952), these officers are in violation of

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Over the last three months that I’ve spent in the United States, I’ve heard with concern and trepidation the growing calls for a possible pull out from Afghanistan. No sane citizen of our world, let alone a Pakistani infantry officer who may soon end up being another name on an ever-growing list of the fallen soldiers in the war against terror, enjoys thinking about the painful possibility of our world’s greatest military power and history’s most inspiring nation retreating in the face of an onslaught by Kalashnikov- wielding bearded barbarians riding on the back of motorcycles, hungry horses and perspiring mules.

Over the last three months that I’ve spent in the United States, I’ve heard with concern and trepidation the growing calls for a possible pull out from Afghanistan. No sane citizen of our world, let alone a Pakistani infantry officer who may soon end up being another name on an ever-growing list of the fallen soldiers in the war against terror, enjoys thinking about the painful possibility of our world’s greatest military power and history’s most inspiring nation retreating in the face of an onslaught by Kalashnikov- wielding bearded

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UK army ‘providing’ Taliban with air transport

UK army ‘providing’ Taliban with air transport
The British army has been relocating Taliban insurgents from southern Afghanistan to the north by providing transportation means, diplomats say.
17 Oct 2009


A British Air Force Chinook helicopter

The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said insurgents are being airlifted from the southern province of Helmand to the north amid increasing violence in the northern parts of the country. The aircraft used for the transfer have been identified as British Chinook helicopters. The officials said Sultan Munadi, an Afghan interpreter who was kidnapped along with his employer, New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell, was killed by a “British sniper” as commandos executed a rescue operation to free Farrell.

They said Munadi was targeted for possessing documents and pictures pointing at the British military’s involvement in the transfer operation. The Afghan journalist also had evidence of the involvement of the foreign forces in Afghanistan in the tensions that rocked China’s Xinjiang autonomous region in July, the diplomats said.

American forces have also invigorated the insurgency in the war-ravaged country by outfitting the Taliban with Russian-made weaponry used during the 1979-89 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which was fought against by the Afghan Mujahedeen, the diplomats said. The US forces are assumed to have gathered the armaments during a campaign to “collect weapons from irresponsible people,” after the 2001 invasion. Diplomats said Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, a Pashtun who has received his higher education in the UK, was still operating under the British guidance.

The Interior Ministry is accused of enabling the provision of arms and ammunition for the north-based militants by the Pashtun police force. Earlier in the week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai was quoted by the BBC Persian as having ordered an investigation into reports of ‘unknown’ army helicopters carrying gunmen to the north. The Afghan president said based on unconfirmed reports, the helicopters have been taking gunmen to Baghlan, Kunduz and Samangan provinces overnight for about five months now.afghan-800

In early 2008, Karzai expelled two British diplomats for allegedly planning to “turn” senior Taliban commanders. According to the Times Online, the British officials had sought to persuade militant chief Mullah Mansoor Dadullah to cooperate with the UK. Afghanistan is currently witnessing the highest level of violence since the invasion, despite the presence of more than 100,000 foreign troops.


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Ekatha Hisaab: Orya Maqbool Jan Ka Tabsarah: Pakistaniyon Key Kumzoor Angrazi Aur Kerry-Lugar Bill-Hussain Haqqani

Orya Maqbool Jan’s reaction in this Urdu Column on Hussain Haqqani’s Statement regarding Kerry Lugar bill reaction in Pakistan that people who criticize just because their English is poor!alt



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