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Archive for category Pakistan’s Ruling Elite Feudals Industrialists

Third party experiment in choppy waters – Asif Haroon Raja

Third party experiment in choppy waters

Asif Haroon Raja



In the 73 years political history of Pakistan, the civilians ruled for 40 years and the military for 33 years. While Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Gen Zia-ul Haq and Gen Musharraf ruled for over 10, 11 and 9 years respectively, no civilian ruler completed his/her 5 year tenure. Prolonged military rules made the senior army officers affluent and they made a place in the privileged club. Frequent military interventions bred civil-military tensions and both sides blamed each other for failing to make Pakistan a prosperous country. While the politicians term the military rulers as power hungry dictators and anti-democratic, and hold them responsible for not letting the democracy to grow, the army generals perceive the politicians as corrupt, security risk, and inept having no sense of governance and management. The three military rulers uplifted the GDP to above 7% due to continuity, one window operation, superior management and governance, but were unable to widen the base of education, improve literacy rate, reform the state institutions and establish true democracy. The politicians neither paid any attention to the education, nor reformed the institutions, or improved the tainted political culture. They were satisfied with the British inherited systems and were content in running sham democracy since it  enabled them to break or bend laws and indulge in corrupt practices without any check and balance. The bureaucrats who are the real power wielders and the judiciary played their part in keeping politics in choppy waters.

Three-tiered education system, feudalism, religious divides, secular-Islamic divide, rise of ethnicity and mushroom growth of provincial parties obstructed nationalism and integration of the society. Leadership crisis encouraged India and Afghanistan to exploit these fault lines, fuel regionalism and make use of 5th columnists to disturb law and order or to foment insurgency.  As a consequence, the country kept lurching from one crisis to another and never got politically stabilized, and economically sound. Unstable political and economic conditions, craze for materialism among the elites, ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, insensitivity of the selfish affluent class towards the deprived class, media emerging as the 4th pillar of the state but using its power wrongfully, all these factors deflected the nation away from the golden principles of Islam, and pushed the society towards the satanic path, which degenerated the moral turpitude of the society as a whole. Well-knowing that the hand of law will not touch them because of their influence and power of money, politicized police and bureaucracy and highly defective criminal judicial system, the evildoers commit all sorts of sins and heinous crimes without any fear. 

Irrespective of internal weaknesses and tense external environments, fighting three wars with India and losing the eastern limb, Pakistan’s Rupee value, its GDP, per capita income and overall economy were much stronger than the regional countries till 1990. Starting from 1953, Pakistan extended financial support to Saudi Arabia till mid-1970s. The rot started during the third democratic era of 1990s during which the two competing mainstream parties, PPP and PML-N, indulged in fierce tug of war, nepotism and in corrupt practices. Merit was set aside and loyalty to the ruling party head and not honesty and professional competence became the criteria for selection of senior bureaucrats, police officers, judges and bank managers. Same criteria was applicable for the cabinet ministers and advisers as well as the service chiefs. In a decade, all state institutions were politicized and destroyed. Gen Zia’s hammer in the form of Article 58 2 (b) was liberally used by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to pack up three governments prematurely on charges of corruption. President Leghari used this axe once in 1996.

Since then, Pakistan’s economy has remained in the doldrums and at the mercy of the IMF and the World Bank. After a good start by the military regime of Gen Musharraf, it lost its shine once it chose to co-opt King’s Party, which was an amalgam of turncoats from all parties. Emphasis was on corruption but the axe of accountability fell upon the opponents of the regime. Kashmir cause was given a setback. National Reconciliation Ordnance (NRO), which brought back, Benazir Bhutto (BB), Nawaz Sharif (NS) and Zardari from abroad were the gifts of Musharraf. Whatever little improvements he made in the economy were washed down the drain during the 4th democratic era starting in 2008.






Instead of paying attention to institutions building, focus shifted on making compromises both internally and externally. Governed by the dictates of Charter of Democracy signed by NS and BB in May 2006, both PPP and PML-N during their respective five years tenures kept accountability on lowest priority. Emphasis of the two was on keeping USA and India appeased even at the cost of compromising national interests. Both tried to undermine the Army in order to establish civilian supremacy. Lip service was paid to the Kashmir cause and no heed was paid to the degeneration of morals and human values. Comparing the two, performance of PML-N was much better. NS could have completed his tenure as PM and his party could have won again in 2018 had he abstained from his old habit of locking horns with the army chiefs. Trial of Gen Musharraf and his indictment on charges of high treason, coupled with Dawn leaks scandal cooked his goose.     

It is said that when the two-party system failed to deliver and Pakistan began to sink under the massive weight of foreign debts and faltering economy due to declining morality, ever growing corruption and other malpractices and lack of governance, the Establishment decided to bring forward a new party with better credentials. To this end, PTI under Imran Khan (IK) who had a clean record was earmarked, which had taken advantage of the deplorable rule of PPP under Zardari and emerged as a strong third force in late 2011. Elimination of corruption and justice for all were the slogans chanted by charismatic IK which made him popular. His party however, failed to defeat the PML-N in 2013 elections since go-getter Shahbaz Sharif as CM Punjab had performed well and his party was well entrenched in Punjab which makes or breaks governments. Instead of reconciling with his defeat and concentrating on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where his party had formed a government and preparing for next elections, IK decided to oust PML-N which had gained two-third majority and had formed governments in Punjab and in Baluchistan.

Reason behind his impatience was that the ruling party had begun to deliver and CPEC agreement had become a reality. Letting PML-N to complete its tenure would have made its re-election inevitable. A plan was chalked out by him, Tahirul Qadri (TuQ), Pervez Elahi and Sheikh Rashid at London to stage a sustained sit-in at Islamabad in July 2014 under the premise of massive rigging in elections. Death of 14 supporters of TuQ in Model Town Lahore incident in June that year at the hands of the police energized firebrand TuQ to censure Punjab administration and police, register FIRs and gain sympathies of the people. It fueled the PTI-PAT protestors to undertake road journey from Lahore to Islamabad and stage a dharna at D Chowk. Reluctance of the government to open four constituencies in Lahore district for recounting of votes became the rallying point for the protestors to demand resignation of NS and to hold mid-term elections.

To maximize pressure on the government, various tactics were employed, which included attacks on the Parliament, PM Secretariat and PTV, followed by refusing to pay taxes, resignation by all MNAs of PTI and vicious propaganda war through electronic and social media to degrade the Sharif brothers. NS was demonized as the most corrupt man and IK glamorized as the best man. During the six months sit-in, every night the PTI members and supporters danced and sang on the beat of music arranged by DJ, and the PTI leaders hurled threats and insults on NS and his family. The jollification was abruptly called off after the tragedy in APS Peshawar on December 16, 2014 but the tirade continued relentlessly in the public meetings staged in big cities. Fan-following of IK surged and tussle between followers of PTI named as ‘Youthias’ and of PML-N as ‘Patwaris’ peaked on social media.  

Panama case in April 2017 came as a blessing in disguise for the PTI which was fully exploited to boot out NS. Media hype was created despite the fact that in the list of 450 account holders in the Panama offshore companies, NS name was not there. The seven-member Supreme Court bench under chief justice Saqib Nisar took assistance from the specially formed JIT to probe the accusations of corruption and money laundering. In spite of the 10-volume probe made by the JIT, the court found no trace of corruption, but disqualified NS on charges of holding an Aqama for getting employed in Al-Azizia steel mills at Dubai owned by his son and drawing salary from him during his period of exile. He didn’t mention it in his 2013 tax return since he had not drawn any salary.

PML-N suffered series of reverses which included disqualification of three-time elected NS in July 2017 for not being Sadiq and Ameen, time-bound trial of NS and his children by NAB court supervised by a judge of supreme court, toppling of PML-(N)-NP coalition government in Baluchistan led by Sanaullah Zehri in January 2018, followed by PML-N losing the sure seats of Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Just before the general elections in July 2018, NS was absolved in one case but convicted in the second case and awarded 7 years jail sentence. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt(Retd) Safdar were also jailed. Cases were registered by the law courts against senior PML-N leaders. Under the circumstances, the victory of PTI in July 2018 elections was a foregone conclusion.

PTI senior member Jahangir Tareen (JT) aspiring to become CM Punjab played a key role in inducing sizeable numbers of the electable turncoats from the PPP and PML-N and independents, mostly from South Punjab, to PTI. He was the chief organizer, financier and right hand man of IK. It is said that TLP, GDA and BAP were created to split votes of PML-N. However, despite the gerrymandering, PTI won with a thin margin in the Centre and in Punjab and perforce had to seek alliance with PML-Q, MQM-P and BNP-M whom IK had always censured. Punjab was handed to unknown and unassuming Usman Buzdar due to disqualification of JT by the count on charges of possessing a mansion abroad and holding an account in offshore company which he didn’t declare. The allies and the electables from other parties as well as imported technocrats have created hurdles in the way of reforming the state institutions and carrying out across the board accountability, and in building New Pakistan.

NS in the meanwhile managed to procure bail and get admitted in a hospital at Lahore for medical treatment. Later on he was permitted by the court to go abroad in November 2019 on account of his deteriorating health condition and to return after six weeks once his health improved. On December 17, 2019, Gen Musharraf in exile in Dubai was given death sentence by Islamabad High Court (IHC). Eruption of Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 kept the government in a spin and NS was forgotten. On 01 September 2020, the court hearing the Toshakhana (State to State Gift Repository) case asked NS to return home in next ten days or else he will be declared an absconder(already declared an absconder). He has now been summoned by IHC in Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases on 22 September. Both the Federal and Punjab governments as well as the NAB are making hectic efforts to get him back but NS is not likely to return soon as long as the doctors treating him do not clear him. NS and Maryam’s indulgence in politics is the reason behind the pressure.

It was optimistically assumed by PTI leaders that after the victory, over 70 legislators of PML-N would jump the ship and join the ruling party, as had been the practice before. PTI leadership was confident that not only they would muster enough political strength in Punjab to get rid of black mailing allies, but would also win local bodies elections comfortably. This assumption proved fallacious, as was the case with several other rosy assumptions. In spite of the relentless propaganda against the Sharif’s and their families and the witch-hunt of PML-N leaders by the NAB, the party remains intact and has not lost its vote bank in Punjab; the two brothers are still popular. It is speculated that in order to meet the threat posed by NS and Maryam, not only NAB has been further pumped up, the new CCPO Umar Sheikh has been inducted in the main political battleground of Lahore to do what other police officers couldn’t do. His services are needed so urgently that his blemished service record was ignored. So much so that instead of accepting the request of the IG Punjab Shoaib Dastagir to post out Umar Sheikh, he was removed from his post and new IG Inam Ghani inducted. 

Reason why the fort of PML-N couldn’t be cracked is that so far the PTI haven’t lived up to its promises and has fallen much short of high expectations of the people. None of the rosy promises have been fulfilled. Instead of improvement, their lives have become more depressed due to high inflation, red tapism, feudalism, nepotism and other mal practices that were committed in Old Pakistan. Governance and financial management are low average due to which prices of basic necessities and unemployment have surged. The rulers are committing the same mistakes and wrongs for which the predecessors were censured. Instead of correcting their shortcomings, they are continuing to blame the former two regimes for their weak performance. Or the danger of 5th generation war is brandished.

Neither the country has been made free of corruption within months as was claimed, nor the wrong practices of public office holders checkmated, or the economic health of the country improved, or a fair and transparent judicial system established. Instead of reducing debt burden it has been increased. Against Rs. 29000 billion debt accumulated in 70 years, Rs. 14500 billion has been added in just two years. Above all, the much trumpeted accountability has become selective and controversial. No accused has been convicted and punished in the last two years. NS is sitting abroad, Zardari is getting bail after bail, and so are other high prized accused. No serial target killer belonging to MQM and PPP has been taken to task. No Mafia has been netted. Terrorists caught inside the battle zones have been released and so is the case with several terrorists awarded death sentence by the military courts. Release of murderer MPA Achakzai in Quetta by the court on account of lack of evidence has disappointed the people. Call for removing the controversial CCPO Lahore on account of his irresponsible statement to the press about the gang rape victim on motorway is getting louder. And so is the call for public hanging or castration of the two rapists as suggested by the PM. Khurram, husband of PTI MPA Abida Raja severely bashed additional session judge Malik Jahangir at a petrol pump in Islamabad. Former is in the lock up and the latter removed from his seat by Islamabad High Court. Street crimes, rapes and robberies have increased and law and order is deteriorating mainly due to defects in investigation, prosecution and criminal justice system.  .   

Secondly, the PML-N voters are convinced that NS was wronged by the judiciary and that IK was empowered by the Establishment. They feel that irrespective of his fault lines, he was making good progress to make Pakistan economically strong and their living condition was much better during his tenure. Naya Pakistan is becoming a nightmare for them. NS has upheld his view that his removal was part of an effort to undermine democracy and civilian supremacy. The dismal performance of the PTI in its two-year tenure, and the growing frustration of the people have encouraged NS, Maryam Nawaz and other senior PML-N leaders to deride the ruling party and seek in-house change or mid-term elections.         

The PTI has not been able to make any headway because the politicized and corrupted institutions, particularly the judiciary, bureaucrats and the police have not been reformed. The flawed electoral system elects the same lot of vultures again and again, but no effort has been made to restructure it and improve the political culture. Without reformation no breakthrough is possible. The large numbers of legislators and senators drawing handsome salaries and plentiful perks and privileges are a huge drain on the national kitty since they remain disconnected from the people who elected them and are more of liabilities than of any use. Imported economic wizards tutored by the IMF/World Bank have failed to draw a sound economic roadmap to steer the country out of the choppy waters. Apart from the socio-economic challenges, failure to provide respite to the marooned Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir locked down since August 5 last year and trampled and molested by 900,000 Indian forces is a cause of embarrassment for the government.

Imran Khan is undoubtedly honest and earnestly want the country to progress. He has the requisite leadership qualities as well as drive and initiative and has the big advantage of unflinching support of the military, president and the judiciary. However, to what good is his honesty and backup support if he has selected a poor team and sticking with it despite knowing that most have skeletons in their cupboards and are letting him down? Usman Buzdar is not changed on the premise that he is simple and honest, but he is a flop and a cause of discomfiture for Imran Khan. Political expediency is coming in his way to pick right men for the right jobs. Art is long and time is running out. While the political parties in opposition pose no threat to him, what should worry him is the growing frustration and resentment of the people. His own party members and fans are getting disillusioned and are expressing dissatisfaction. People are questioning that how Pakistan will be converted into Riyasat-e-Madina when all our systems are western, and so is the way of living of the elite class? Or it is a rhetoric and akin to Bhutto’s concept of Islamic socialism?

Marginal improvements in macro-economic indicators have brought no succor to the people. Unless IK reins in the Mafias, makes the accountability effective, fair and transparent, ends nepotism and restores merit system, implements austerity, brings down the prices of fuel, gas and daily commodities, provide health facilities, cheap and quality education, social services, jobs, homes to the shelter-less, provides security to the people and delivers justice at the doorsteps, his shrinking popularity graph will dwindle further. All this will be possible only when the alien systems are replaced with Islamic laws. 

Additionally, a way out will have to be found to unlock over 8 million Kashmiris, get original status of J&K restored, and put an end to reign of terror launched by Indian forces. Pressure must be maximized upon the UN and the world community to settle the oldest dispute of Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions. However, diplomatic offensive alone will not fetch any results. The Far Right in Pakistan are incensed over punishments awarded to Hafiz Saeed and other Jamaatud Dawa leaders on account of fear of getting blacklisted by FATF. They say that neither the Mujahids are allowed to help the Kashmiris in distress nor the government is taking any physical action to put fear into the hearts of the Indian brutes brutalizing Kashmiris. 

Lingering Kashmir dispute is the root cause of growth of religious extremism. Pacifism in the face of offensive activism will not work. One-side appeasement, moderation in war, diplomatic juggling or peace mantra are self-defeating. It will be imprudent to rely on the UN or the dual-faced USA for a solution. We regret the lost opportunities; but fleeting opportunity is once again knocking at our door which may not be there tomorrow. Bold stances of Taliban, China and Iran are recent examples how to deal with cunning and arrogant enemies like USA and UK.


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“Pakistan: Elections or Revulsion against Hall of Shame” By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

Uncommon Thought

“Pakistan: Elections or Revulsion against Hall of Shame”

By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

15 July 2018
Narwaz Sharif, Pakistan



[Photo: Nawaz Sharif (right end of row) at the kickoff of a USAID rural water project(WAPDA) in Pakistan.]

Editor’s Note

Will Pakistan ever recover from imperialism? Will the entire region do so? Will the world? The wounds of imperialism reverberate down through the generations of nations and peoples. The corruption of spirit that imperialism engenders tears apart both culture and social structure that leaves a system that no longer functions holistically. Under “normal” social development, a culture (a shared system of values, beliefs, and norms), continually reinforces and reproduces social structures (organized social institutions like family, economy, and polity) that in turn reinforces and reproduces the shared culture.With imperialism, the culture and social structure of the imperialists prevail or are insinuated into another society. Only those areas considered as “important” by the empire are truly transformed. Often, the imperialists will select (or leverage) one group within the society to be their proxies or henchmen within the host society. This disrupts normal patterns but also places internal groups into conflict. Often, the group selected is not the dominant group within the society, but one that will need the ongoing support of the empire in order to maintain power, but also survival. For without the backing of the empire, the people might rise up and not just overthrow, but obliterate the “collaborators”.

I believe that imperialism – first the British and the American (as reflected by one arm of that power, USAID above) – are at the root of the corruption that seems all too typical of Pakistani politics. How Pakistan or other nations might reclaim their integrity and build societies that work for the people is a question I cannot answer. Problematically, the societal system has been permanently damaged, and whatever replaces it must be something different than the pre-imperialist form because by now no one remembers that state. However, to even start that process a nation must remove the boot of the imperialists from its neck.

Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

Are the Pakistanis Living In A Fantasy World?

The logic of the July 25th parliamentary elections in Pakistan is questionable for being a ceremonial stunt to undermine the reality of a highly corrupted and disoriented political culture.  For decades, Pakistan has lacked the systematic working capacity to organize fair and honest election campaigns representing the interest of the masses. At the forefront of this charade is the intent to hold elections on a short time span. Why was the interim government was not formed a year or at least six months ahead of the planned elections?  Given the extremely hot climate and the month of Ramadhan in between, it should have been a rational discourse. These facts should have helped to organize the necessary systematic mechanics of an election body to plan and organize all facets of complex elections. Because of the missing political accountability, and fearful of the on-going legal actions against Sharif brothers, the whole scenario of hurriedly arranged interim government tells a lot.  The Sharif regime had no interest and no priority to hold fair elections or to transfer power to another legitimate political party. They were all sadistic maniacs full of greed and deliberate mismanagement to dehumanize the Pakistani masses. Leaders are supposed to enjoin a vision of the future, creative thinking and selflessness, ethical character, a sense of positive thinking and commitment to serve the interests of the people. None of these is reflected in the profiles of any politicians in the recent history of Pakistan.Pakistan needs a major change in its constitutional framework, political system and the role and responsibilities of the political establishments. None of this is available in any rational context. If Pakistan is to spearhead a sustainable democracy, it needs major planned changes – a new constitution, a Presidential system of governance (elected directly by the people), new political institutions enriched with young, educated and people having a clear vision articulating a sustainable socio-economic and political future for the country. This rebuilding of the nation cannot be done by just one group or one party already operating in a highly corrupt and dysfunctional manner, and lacking political legitimacy. Have you ever read “Pakistan- Enigma of Change” (1999);  “Pakistan: Leaders or Political Monsters” (2015), and “Pakistan in Search of Political Change”, (2015) by this author?  Our nation has been robbed by its own so-called political leaders- Bhutto, and a few Military Generals, Zardari, Sharifs and Musharraf.  Truthfully, none were leaders except being military-backed opportunists and thumb lickers who could be used for all purposes in all seasons – legitimate or illegitimate – this is Pakistan’s junk history for the last 50 or more years. How could you imagine regaining that precious time and opportunities for change and development for socio-economic, political, moral and intellectual infrastructures to sustain the present and reconstruct nationhood?  Could this forthcoming July 25 elections take any remedial steps for what is required to be undertaken by hundreds and thousands of thinking people, strategic planners and political experts? Those who imagine miracles out of nothing must be living in a self-engineered fantasy world – a world that does not correspond to the prevalent realities of the 21st century.

Could Pakistanis Learn from Others and the Challenges of Time?

South Korea sentenced President Park to 20 years or more on corruption charges. It was done in a visible systematic legal framework. Why could Pakistanis not hold Zardari, Ms. Bhutto, Sharif and Musharaf to the same legal criterion action?  Is Pakistan a legally dysfunctional State? See how the Brazilian legal system dealt with the past two presidents. Now, see how Malaysia handled Najib Razik’s corruption scandal as he is being held for trial.  If the Pakistani political elite and judiciary were honest and effective, should they have not taken tangible measures to exercise the legal accountability in a public court of law against so many political gangsters?

Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years on corruption charges, but he will not serve the sentence because he has already fled the country. Why did the higher court allow him to leave the country? Were the Supreme Court judges ignorant of the fact that he could leave the country and avoid all measures of legal accountability?  Likely not as this was nothing new in Pakistani political culture.

Rationality and truth have their own language. Everywhere the blame game is used by corrupt politicians to cover up their cruel impulses. Their insane egoism does not recognize its own incompetence, criminality and failure. Across the nation, agonizing situations warrant urgent attention to deal with insecurity, conflict prevention and conflict management, Pakistani Taliban’s terrorism, problems in responsible governance, disdain trade and commerce and to revitalize sustainable national unity. The dismissed PM Sharif and his colleagues amassed wealth, stole the nation’s time and opportunities for political change and killed peaceful civilian demonstrators. They react like paranoid maniacs as if the masses are the problem. If conscientious Pakistanis living abroad are concerned about the decadent political culture and rebuilding of the moral, intellectual and economic-political infrastructures, the ruling elite will ensure to deprive them the opportunity to be heard at a national level. When people are forced to live in political darkness, they lose the sense of rational direction.

These corrupt leaders demonstrated a dehumanized gutted culture of naïve politics, be it inside the Higher Courts, National Assembly or the political powerhouses. It makes no sense in the 21st century knowledge-based age of reason and political accountability.  People’s pain, political agony and continuing sufferings cannot be transformed into a single portrait to show to the global audience. All of the political monsters have stolen time and looted the wealth and positive energies of the people. At a glance, Pakistan appears to be reaching a dead-ended political discourse. The political misfortune needs a high power jolt of intervention to pave a smooth way out of the stagnated political culture of the few. People are the legitimate force for change if there is any hope of democracy still operational in Pakistan.


Leaders or Monsters of History – Pakistanis Should Look in the Mirror

The military dictator – Bhuttos, Zardari and Sharifs – could never have come into power unless the nation had lost its sense of rationality, purpose and meaning of its existence. These sadistic monsters have institutionalized chaos and fear, demoralization of a moral society and dehumanization of an intelligent nation, and have transferred these naïve traits and values to the psychological-social-economic and political spheres of the mainstream thinking hub of the nation.

Pakistani politics is operated by those who have absolutely no qualifications to be at the helm of political power – yet they are continuously engaged in systematic degradation of the educated and intelligent young generations of Pakistanis who are deprived of opportunities to participate in the national politics. The contemporary history of political degeneration includes generals, neo-colonial feudal lords, members of the assemblies, and a few family-vested houses of political power, ministers or prime ministers; they have the distinction of all acting in unison against the interest of the people of Pakistan.  Political power is an aphrodisiac. Do the people belong to this mad scrum overwhelmingly witnessed across the peoples’ movement against the oligarchy? To an impartial observer, the scene is clear that the wrong people are conducting the political governance where reason and legal justice are outlawed. This contradicts the essence of the Freedom Movement of Pakistan. It appears logical to think that at some point soon, those who are fit to lead must take over from those who are unfit to govern with credibility. It could be a bloodless coup – or it could be a bloody insurrection. One way or another, the process of phasing out the obsolete and phasing-in the fair and much desired and deserving must happen.  Are Pakistan’s freedom and futuristic integrity being sacrificed for the few dumb and dull criminals who wish to extend their power beyond the domains of reason and honesty?  It will be extremely harmful and deeply flawed and dangerous ethos to the interests of the people if Sharif brethren –Bhutto’s family including Zardari reemerge in the outcome of the July 25, 2018 elections and are allowed to continue the crime-riddled political governance while their legitimacy is under sharp questioning. The path to peaceful change and political success requires the wise and informed to establish an organized council of responsible oversight to move-in to the void once the despots are ousted. That is an essential component of any public uprising determined to manifest genuine and sustainable political change and legal justice.

In “Pakistan:  Reflections on the 70th Independence Day:  Imperatives of Optimism and Future-Making,” (Uncommon Thought Journal, USA: 8/15/2017), this author made the following observations:

The political elite and the people live in a conflicting time zone being unable to understand the meaning and essence of the Pakistan Freedom Movement. This purpose needs unwavering public commitment and continuous struggle for political change. It needs not to be invented, it is living in the mind and spirit of the people, it just needs to be revitalized and better organized as the momentum is waiting for the grieving people. Pakistan urgently needs a saviour, not Sharif, Bhuttos or the few Generals. The solution must come from the thinking people of the new educated generation – the intelligent Pakistanis to facilitate hope and optimism for a sustainable future of the beleaguered nation. This should be the framework of the message and active agenda for change and reformation as the core of the celebration of Pakistan’s 70thIndependence Day.


Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012. His forthcoming book is entitled: One Humanity and The Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution

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A journey back into Pakistan’s convoluted history by Brig(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

A journey back into Pakistan’s convoluted history

Asif Haroon Raja



Pakistan’s years of infancy

The establishment of Pakistan, on August 14, 1947, was the result of the democratic struggle of Indian Muslims during the Pakistan movement under the leadership of All India Muslim League. After the creation of Pakistan, various domestic and international factors impeded the growth of democracy in Pakistan. After the untimely demise of Quaid-e-Azam in September 1948, it had to struggle hard for its existence and survival because of the innate animosity of India and that of Afghanistan, espousing greater Pakhtunistan, along with the former Soviet Union’s tilt toward India.

Heightened security concerns and political instability after the murder of Liaqat Ali Khan disallowed earlier leaders to achieve specific goals to make Pakistan politically stable, economically strong and secure. The tense geopolitical environment also impelled Pakistan to place all its eggs in the basket of the USA.  It was due to the leadership crisis, the East-West political wrangling and the frequent change of Prime Ministers which delayed constitution making for nine years and impelled President Iskandar Mirza to impose martial law in 1958.

Gen Ayub and Gen Yahya eras

The 1956 Constitution was abrogated and the National Assembly was dissolved. After deposing Mirza, Gen Ayub Khan assumed power and became the President through a referendum in 1960. He gave the new constitution in 1962 which introduced the presidential system, vesting all powers in the institution of President. The political parties made various types of alliances against Ayub Khan, who resigned in March 1969 and handed over his power to Gen Yahya Khan who imposed martial law and held first general elections in December 1970. Pakistan went through the traumatic experience of severance of its Eastern limb by India, helped by former USSR in 1971.

At his behest, DG FIA Asghar and Additional DG FIA Rahman Malik handed over Arab militants and Pak Jihadists involved in the Afghan war to the USA and also fed information about the Kahuta plant.

ZAB’s rule

After the separation of East Pakistan, the People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP) under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) formed its government. Charismatic and popular, ZAB galvanized the depressed nation. He terrorized the military through the Hamoodur Rahman Commission probe, terrified his political opponents through FSF and the Dalai torture camp. Pakistan then carried the baggage of ruinous nationalization scheme of ZAB. To get rid of him, an alliance of political and religious parties known as the PNA movement, espousing Nizam-e-Mustafa, sprouted in April 1977.

Gen Zia ul Haq’s rule

When the two sides couldn’t arrive at a political solution to break the logjam, the Army, under Gen Ziaul Haq, seized power in July 1977 and imposed martial law in Pakistan. Zia had to face the 10-year Afghan war, the RAW-KGB-KHAD-AlZulfiqar sabotage, series of political disturbances including the MRD movements in 1981 and 1983, but he remained firmly in his saddle and kept Islamizing the society till his death in a mysterious air crash.

In regard to this, In reaction to the hanging of their father on April 4, 1979, after the verdict of the Supreme Court, Al-Zulfiqar –  a militant wing of the PPP, led by the two sons of ZAB – came into being and it was assisted by Syria, Libya, Russia, Afghanistan, and India to undertake sabotage and subversion in Pakistan. The PPP stalwart Mustafa Khar, during his exile in London, was in contact with RAW to smuggle arms into Pakistan and when the Soviet forces occupied Afghanistan in December 1979, he stated that if Soviet tanks roll into Pakistan he will garland them and come riding on them.

Although the ten-year Afghan war helped Gen Zia in legitimizing his regime and prolonging his rule to 11 years, the Afghan war ended on a mix of happy and unhappy notes for Pakistan. It enabled Gen Zia to complete its nuclear program and carry out a cold test; victory in Afghanistan enhanced his and Pakistan’s prestige substantially; it enthused the entire Muslim world; it drew in over $ 3.5 billion US assistance, which helped in upping GDP to 8% and in inducting F-16s.

After the creation of Pakistan, various domestic and international factors impeded the growth of democracy in Pakistan.

On the negative side, Pakistan was callously ditched by the USA and put under harsh sanctions. Pakistan was burdened with 5 million Afghan refugees and the fallout effects brought in Jihadism, Kalashnikov and drug cultures. Abandoned Afghanistan became more explosive because of infighting among Mujahideen groups for power with negative consequences for Pakistan.

Benazir Bhutto (BB), during her period of exile in London, had made friends in the UK and the US higher circles. CIA and MI-6 cultivated her and once she fell in line and agreed to tow their line if brought to power, the pressure was mounted on Gen Zia and PM Junejo to let her return to Pakistan and start her political career. She was welcomed by a mammoth crowd at Lahore in April 1986. Her growing popularity didn’t upset the military as long as Gen Zia held the reins of power. But the situation took a dramatic turn after his death in a plane crash on August 7, 1988, which was masterminded by CIA.

There was a power vacuum since the country was without a president and PM. The military vacuum was quickly filled up by Vice Army Chief Gen Mirza Aslam Beg, and Chairman Senate Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) took over as Acting President, but in order to fill the political vacuum, it was decided to hold elections in October that year.

Benazir Bhutto’s first stint in power

Alarmed by the rising popularity of BB owing to success of her narrative that her father had been judicially murdered by the military dictator, which had generated a huge sympathy wave in Punjab and Sindh, the civil and military establishment decided to form a countervailing force in the form of IJI in 1988 to prevent PPP from gaining two-thirds majority and usher in controlled democracy. The ISI, under late Lt Gen Hamid Gul, played a key role in this regard.

The list helped India in crushing the movement which was well poised to get linked with the liberation movement in Kashmir.

The main reason for taking this unpalatable act was that it had been ascertained that BB had been fed with an agenda to roll back the nuclear program, roll back the victory of Afghan Mujahideen, and keep Kashmir issue on a back burner and to befriend India. Despite the IJI, PPP managed to win a simple majority but found it difficult to form the federal govt. BB was allowed to take the reins of power under the conditions that GIK will be allowed to contest the presidential election, Lt Gen Sahibzada Yaqub will continue as Foreign Minister, there will be no change in Afghan and Kashmir policies, and that the military will control the nuclear program.

After assuming power as the first woman PM of a Muslim country, BB appointed a retired general as DG ISI, closed the Afghan and Kashmir desks in ISI and curtailed funding to the nuclear program. She fraternized with her Oxford friend Rajiv Gandhi and provided a list of Sikh leaders involved in the Khalistan movement to India in 1989. The list helped India in crushing the movement which was well poised to get linked with the liberation movement in Kashmir. To appease the Army, she awarded democracy medals to all ranks of the army and also initiated guided missile program. Zardari dented her popularity after he earned the nickname of Mr. 10% due to his craze for corruption. Mounting complaints of corruption, inefficiency and security concerns impelled GIK to apply the draconian Article 58 (2-B) and sack the govt in August 1990.

Political engineering in 1990

In order to make sure that the PPP doesn’t regain power in next elections, GIK directed COAS Gen Mirza and DG ISI Lt Gen Asad Durrani to arrange money and buy the loyalties of the politicians. The ISI arranged Rs 140 million through Mehran Bank manager Habib Yunis, who obtained a loan from Habib Bank. The amount was distributed among several politicians. Political engineering enabled IJI, under Nawaz Sharif, (NS) to win the elections and form a govt. NS fell from the grace of the President and he was booted out in April 1993. He was restored by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah, but he and the President had to abdicate power once Gen Wahid Kakar umpired the match between the two titans.

PPP second tenure

The PPP once again captured power in the next elections in 1994 but could survive only till 1996. This time her own party loyalist and her handpicked President Laghari dismissed her since Zardari’s corruption rating had upped to 20% along with the surfacing of mega scandals such as the Surrey Palace, the diamond necklace, the Swiss bank accounts, and several other scandals. At his behest, DG FIA Asghar and Additional DG FIA Rahman Malik handed over Arab militants and Pak Jihadists involved in the Afghan war to the USA and also fed information about the Kahuta plant.

There was a total intelligence vacuum in Karachi, Baluchistan, FATA and settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), allowing full liberty of action to proscribed groups to strike targets of choice.

In 1996, Lt Gen Asad Durrani who had been appointed an ambassador in Germany by the PPP govt, handed over a signed affidavit to Rahman Malik acknowledging that he had distributed money to politicians to ensure the defeat of the PPP. The then Interior Minister retired Maj Gen Naseerullah Babar stated on the floor of the parliament that money had been doled out to politicians in 1990.

Based on this revelation, late Air Marshal Asghar Khan heading Tehrik Istiqlal of which Imran Khan was the member, informed Chief Justice Nasim about pre-poll rigging and distribution of money to politicians to manipulate election results in 1990. The apex court, however, didn’t pursue the case and put it in a cold storage until it was reactivated by Chief Justice Iftikhar in October 2012. He ruled that the 1990 elections were rigged and directed FIA to proceed against the two generals involved in the racket. GIK by then was no more in the world.

Gen Mirza and Gen Asad went into appeals against the court’s decision and the case were once again frozen. The 22-year old case was re-energized by the incumbent Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on May 4, 2018, in spite of the fact that the plaintiff Asghar Khan had passed away in January 2018. Notices were sent to the accused to restart the proceedings. On May 7, Saqib and other two judges, after reviewing their petitions against October 2012 judgment, rejected them. The govt has been asked to inform the court how to proceed against the accused.

Events from 1996 – 2018

In the intervening period between 1996 and 2018, major changes took place on the political front. Starting with the victory of PML-N in February 1997 elections with a heavy mandate, Ehtesab Commission was also opened and corruption cases against the royal couple and others were initiated. In May 1988, Pakistan became nuclear. NS rightly took the credit for it along with for the first ever Islamabad-Lahore Highway and for terminating floor crossing by passing 13th Amendment. However, by making Pakistan a nuclear power, he, as well as Pakistan became the eye of the storm. He was demonized by his opponents, captioning him as Ameerul Momineen.

NS fell from the grace of the President and he was booted out in April 1993. He was restored by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah, but he and the President had to abdicate power once Gen Wahid Kakar umpired the match between the two titans.

The Kargil route was taken by his own appointee Gen Musharraf to dethrone his two-thirds majority govt on October 12, 1999. NS was awarded life sentence but was rescued by the Saudi King Saud and he and his family were deported and banished from politics for the next 10 years. It was during his period of exile in which he and his sons purchased Azizya steel mills and Gulf steel mills in Saudi Arabia/Dubai and Avenfield apartments in London.

Democratic era (1988 – 1999)

The chaotic ten-year democratic era nosedived the economy, increased debt burden, made Pakistan dependent upon foreign financial institutions, heightened sectarianism, ethnicity and religious extremism and decomposed moral values of the society. PPP and PML-N ruled two times each but only for shortened tenures ranging from 20 months to 2 ½ years.

Gen Musharraf’s nine-year rule

The Supreme Court legitimized Musharraf’s take over and gave him 3 years to amend the constitution and then hold elections. His 7-point agenda had germs of success and the potential to rid Pakistan of its chronic diseases, but it was never implemented. So was the NAB, which was created for across the board accountability.

9/11 changed the whole dynamics of global politics. New laws were framed by the US and its strategic partners to undermine Islam and neo-colonize the Muslim world through the Muslim specific war on terror. Pakistan was among the listed target countries but it was made an ally and a tactical partner to achieve short-term objectives and subsequently was to be destabilized and denuclearized and Balkanized through the covert war.

NS rightly took the credit for it along with for the first ever Islamabad-Lahore Highway and for terminating floor crossing by passing 13th Amendment.

Gen Musharraf, in his quest for legitimacy and to gain the goodwill of the USA, readily accepted all the seven demands of Washington for which Pakistan had to pay a very heavy price and is still paying. Having roped in Pakistan to act as a frontline state to fight the war on terror, the insurgency was ignited by CIA and FBI in FATA and interior Baluchistan and subsequently the flames of terrorism were gradually spread to all parts of Pakistan.

While Pak security forces got engaged in fighting, the foreign-funded and equipped terrorists – India under a pre-planned program blamed Pakistan for all the acts of terror in India from 2001 to 2008, starting with an engineered attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 to culminating in Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008. Likewise, Afghan President Karzai blamed Pakistan for all the attacks in Afghanistan from 2004 onward. The purpose was to build a narrative that the Pak Army and ISI were rogue outfits and Pakistan an abettor of terrorism while India, Afghanistan, and ISAF were victims of terrorism.

Musharraf committed the same mistake of his military predecessors by inviting the discarded and corrupt politicians to form a King’s Party in 2002 and leaning upon the shady bureaucrats and foreign imported Finance Minister cum PM Shaukat Aziz. Relief given by consumerism oriented economy proved short-lived. None realized that a country ridden with corruption, terrorism, moral decay and devoid of genuine leadership and true democracy can never progress.

2007, a precarious year

2007 proved to be a heavy year for Musharraf. The downslide in law and order, urban terrorism, economy, energy, and extremism began after the lawyer’s movement in March 2007. Lawyers, civil society, politicians and religious forces ganged up against Musharraf. The year saw the May 12, 2007 carnage in Karachi, Lal Masjid episode, birth of Punjabi Taliban, creation of TTP, sudden upsurge in urban terrorism, signing of NRO which dry cleaned PPP-MQM leaders and imposition of emergency. Civil-military relations soured and Musharraf became the most hated man while Army’s image dipped. It became difficult for officers and men to go to the market or travel in uniform, or display star plate/flag on an official vehicle.

The worst was when the judiciary unseated NS in July 2017, deprived him of his seat of party head and disqualified him from politics for life on Iqama and not in thePanama case.

NRO allowed Musharraf to rule for the next five years in uniform. Thanks to the patronage of Musharraf, MQM gained full control over Karachi-Hyderabad and expanded its influence in other urban centers in Sindh. The insurgency in Baluchistan morphed into a separatist movement. There was a total intelligence vacuum in Karachi, Baluchistan, FATA and settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), allowing full liberty of action to proscribed groups to strike targets of choice. The murderous attack took place on BB on October 17 in Karachi and on December 27, she was murdered in Pindi. There was mayhem in Sindh; over Rs 4 billion worth property was destroyed by the hooligans and Pakistan ‘Na Khapey’ slogan was chanted by angry Jayalas in Sindh.

PPP returns to power

Zardari’s slogan of ‘Pakistan Khapey’ dimmed the volatility in Sindh, enabling him to hijack his party with ease and take part in elections after getting himself absolved of all charges. The fragility of the state enabled the USA to install a dream team after March 2008 elections, making Zardari the all-powerful president. The PML-N govt in Punjab was the only eyesore. The coalition govt of PPP-MQM-ANP zealously pursued the US agenda to civilianize ISI, emasculate the Army, disable the nuclear program and make Pakistan wholly dependent.

Rahman Malik and NSA Mahmud Durrani docilely accepted the Indian claim that Pakistan soil was used for launching non-state actors into Mumbai in November 2008. Former admitted that the sole surviving accused Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani and Anchor Hamid Mir traced his village in Faridpur. Although NRO was nullified by the Chief Justice in 2009, Zardari protected himself behind immunity shield and used his authority to bailout Rahman Malik and to let Hussain Haqqani (HH) fly out in 2012.

The Army couldn’t dismantle terrorism even after launching big operations in Swat, Shangla, Malakand, Dir, Buner, and six tribal agencies in FATA from 2009 to 2011. The reason was obvious; the proscribed militant groups had the full support of foreign agencies, but Pakistan danced to the tunes of the USA. Gen Kayani put a break on ‘Do More’ mantra by refusing to enter North Waziristan despite extreme pressure. Pakistan was punished for its defiance by way of the raid on Abbottabad on May 2 and the Salala attack on November 26, 2011.

The purpose was to build a narrative that the Pak Army and ISI were rogue outfits and Pakistan an abettor of terrorism while India, Afghanistan, and ISAF were victims of terrorism.   

The arrest of Raymond Davis in January that year followed by these two incidents, Memogate scandal, and monitoring of HH, Pak ambassador in Washington, opened the eyes of the security establishment. They realized how deeply the CIA and Blackwater had established their network in Pakistan. Over 8000 CIA contractors in different guises had been secretly settled in Pakistan between 2008 and 2011, and 400 houses rented in Islamabad, besides expanding the US Embassy in Islamabad beyond all proportions. The Interior Minister Rahman Malik assisted HH, and several MNAs/MPAs in KP were in touch with CIA.

What could the military do when all its so-called allies were playing a double game in the garb of friends and our own government was in cahoots with the enemies of Pakistan, wanting to enervate the military?

How could terrorism be defeated when the regime was aligned with the USA which had marked Pakistan as a target and was using terrorism as a tool to disable the Pak nuclear program? How could terrorism be reined in when the judges had no heart to hang terrorists and target killers and get hold of that financing terrorism? How could corruption be curbed when the ones indulging in loot and plunder could not be convicted? Chief Justice Iftikhar’s suo motos were aimed at self-projection only.

The dangerous plan to denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan was scuttled by the Army and ISI, but the vultures clawed away the meat and reduced Pakistan into a carcass in their 5-year inglorious rule.

India has so far not furnished any proof to substantiate its allegations, but NS cockeyed statement given in angst which is being hyped by Indian media will bolster Indo-US anti-Pakistan narrative.

PML-N captures power

When PML-N took over power in June 2013, it had inherited an empty national kitty, heavy debt burden, crippled state corporations, a depressed economy teetering at the edge of collapse, the worst energy crisis and a sunk image of the country. Law, order and the security situation was dismal and morality of the society had degenerated. In short, everything was topsy-turvy. It was an uphill task for the new govt to put everything back on the rails. NS wore the crown studded with thorns.

To the utter surprise of his critics, things started to improve dramatically within one year which alarmed his political opponents. Tangible results were achieved in the fields of economy, terrorism, law, and order, energy crisis and development due to better governance, financial management and launching intelligence-based targeted operations in Karachi, Baluchistan and North Waziristan.

Nawaz Sharif’s downhill journey

The PML-N’s development agenda made visible progress despite series of impediments created by PTI from June 2014 onward through politics of agitation and non-cooperation. The worst was when the judiciary unseated NS in July 2017, deprived him of his seat of party head and disqualified him from politics for life on Iqama and not in the Panama case. Law Minister Zahid Hamid was forced to resign, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar implicated in a corruption case sought refuge abroad, while the Foreign Minister was disqualified.

Several leading lights of the ruling regime have been charge sheeted on account of contempt of court, while NAB has become super active in Punjab. The Railway Minister is under the axe, while the Interior Minister was shot and injured but narrowly survived. An orchestrated campaign was launched to defame NS and his family.

Over 8000 CIA contractors in different guises had been secretly settled in Pakistan between 2008 and 2011, and 400 houses rented in Islamabad, besides expanding the US Embassy in Islamabad beyond all proportions.

It looks as if a willful effort is underway to fragment the ruling party and pave the way for others to gain power in next elections. The political coup in Baluchistan and Senate elections have reinforced this impression.

For the judiciary, PTI, PPP and segment of media allegedly backed by the establishment, NS is the target. Sufficient progress has been made in maligning NS and his family in a corruption case and he has been unseated from two seats of power and disqualified to hold any public office for life. Decisions on three references filed against him and his family and his conviction are around the corner. As a consequence, PML-N which till April had stayed intact has begun to crack and over two dozen MNAs and MPAs have deserted the party.

NS was expected to throw in his towel after his unseating on July 28, 2017, but despite the hard blows he and his party leaders have suffered, he is still in a defiant mood. Since August 2 last year, he is on the offensive trying to build a narrative of innocence to garner the sympathy of the people. He is repeatedly asking as to why he was ousted and inciting his voters to help him in restoring the sanctity of vote that was frequently dishonoured.

Encouraged by the response, he is urging the people to wait for his call and then ask his detractors as to why he was wronged. He is exhorting the people to return his party to power with a heavy majority so that the constitution could be suitably amended to clips the wings of the overactive judiciary. After targeting the judiciary he is now openly blaming the establishment and tags it as ‘celestial beings’.

It is this fear of amending the constitution that had in all probability impelled the unseen powers to carry out a political coup in Baluchistan last January and then resort to horse trading in Senate elections to disallow the incumbent govt under Abbasi to perform the surgery. This apprehension together with reported linkage of NS with India, as was exposed in the Dawn leaks scandal, has brought the judiciary and establishment together. A hung Parliament comprising of several parties is probably what is desired. It is to this end that BAP and JSNM have come into being. PTI is treated as a Ladla while sins of PPP are being handled softly. PTI is fully supporting the judiciary and NAB and pressing them to speed up completion of trials against NS.

Taking advantage of the hullabaloo, the US managed to whisk away its blacklisted Defence Attaché Col Joseph involved in killing a Pakistani under the pretext of diplomatic immunity. 

What was not taken into account was NS’s counter-offensive and his narrative of ‘Mujhey Kyun Nikala’, which initially made him a laughing stock but gradually generated a sympathy wave in Punjab. In spite of the hurdles, injuries incurred and smear campaign, PML-N remains a popular entity. In case, Shahbaz Sharif remains in his chair, in a fair contest PML-N stands a good chance to again win in next elections even if NS is jailed.

Nawaz Sharif’s desperation

Pushed against the wall and realizing that time for his landing in jail has drawn near, it has made NS fidgety and desperate. After consistently naming the establishment as ‘celestial beings’, in desperation he has fallen to cheap tactics to degrade the military. On May 3, he said he had many secrets tucked away in his heart, and that when it becomes too unbearable for him to hold them, he will begin revealing them one by one.

According to Dawn newspaper dated May 12, in his interview with Cyril Almeida at Multan, NS stated: ‘Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors; should we allow them to cross the border and kill over 150 people in Mumbai. He questioned, “Should we allow them?” He asked as to why no action has been taken against them. These were calculated salvos against the military and the judiciary.

Mumbai attacks were a false flag operation jointly enacted by RAW-Mossad-CIA to get the Pak Army and ISI declared as rogue entities. This was admitted by Indian Home Ministry officials in 2012 and recently by a Jewish German journalist Elias Davidsson. He has given out full details of the gory drama in his book ‘The Betrayal of India’, concluding that the whole drama was cooked up and enacted with specific objectives to undermine Pakistan. India has so far not furnished any proof to substantiate its allegations, but NS cockeyed statement given in angst which is being hyped by Indian media will bolster Indo-US anti-Pakistan narrative. What is most worrying is the possibility of NS receiving a pat from enemies of Pakistan to issue this statement.

There is an uproar in Pakistan and NS who was already under a heavy fire of his opponents and haters is being fiercely censured. They eye him as a traitor promoting the sinister Indo-US agenda to gain the sympathy of the international establishment. Many are demanding his trial under Article 6.

He is exhorting the people to return his party to power with a heavy majority so that the constitution could be suitably amended to clips the wings of the overactive judiciary.

NSC meeting – May 14

The Dawn story was so damaging for Pakistan that an NSC meeting presided over by PM Abbasi was held on May 14 at the request of the Army. Before the meeting, Abbasi held a meeting with NS and the latter informed him that his interview had been distorted and he had never said that Pakistan had sent non-state actors to India. As regards his mention of non-state actors and need for their control, NS told Abbasi that this had frequently been cited by Musharraf, Rahman Malik, Mahmud Durrani and lot many journalists and academicians and there was nothing new he had said.










The press release issued after the NSC meeting termed the interview published in Dawn malicious, misleading and incorrect. The participants unanimously rejected the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions. It was recalled that it was not Pakistan but India that had delayed the finalization of the case.

Abbasi held his own press briefing a little after the NSC meeting in which he tried to further tone down the negative effects of NS’s blooper in the light of his clarifications and stated that NS assertions were distorted and hyped by Indian media. NS in his public meeting in Buner in the afternoon didn’t express any regrets and stated that a national commission should be formed which should ascertain as to who all acted against national security, carry out trial and those found guilty should be publicly hanged.

Taking advantage of the hullabaloo, the US managed to whisk away its blacklisted Defence Attaché Col Joseph involved in killing a Pakistani under the pretext of diplomatic immunity.

 It seems NS has fatally shot himself in the foot at the wrong time when he was gaining an upper edge over chairman NAB on account of latter’s issuance of unverified press release insinuating NS for transferring $4.9 billion to India.

Blunder will prove costly for Nawaz

Whatever be the case, no amount of explanations will absolve NS of this blunder since his interview can have grave repercussions for Pakistan. He cannot justify his interview to Almeida, ill-reputed for distortions. It seems NS has fatally shot himself in the foot at the wrong time when he was gaining an upper edge over chairman NAB on account of latter’s issuance of unverified press release insinuating NS for transferring $4.9 billion to India. This ill-timed stupidity will prove costly for him. His future plans of energizing his voters to create law and order situation in Punjab may be jeopardized. It may also make a negative impact on PML-N’s performance in elections. This insanity has brightened the chances of PTI, which has already gathered the support of 70 electives in Punjab.

Future prospects

In case the PML-N loses the race in a peacefully conducted elections without political engineering in July, it will still retain Punjab. The next federal govt will possibly be a mix of several parties which will find it exceedingly difficult to pass bills for carrying out critical reforms. It will inherit a relatively healthy Pakistan and not a sick Pakistan as it was in 2013. Our GDP stands at 5.8 % and is likely to increase to 6%. Economic indicators are still in positive. CPEC by itself is an economic booster which has already sucked in $ 62 billion investment and much more is to come. Once CPEC becomes operational in next one year or so, with over 7000 cargo vehicles plying every month, and new investors flocking in, bags of money will pour in. Hence the prospects for the next set of legislators are much brighter.

This factor is watering the mouths of power seekers, particularly PPP, and hence their desperation to seize power. They want to be in control of the inflowing investments, taxpayer money and remittances from abroad so that they can undertake future development and social projects as well as personal enrichment. In the next five years, the ones sitting in corridors of power will multiply their fortunes. In their mad lust to amass maximum wealth, they will again lose sight of the welfare of masses for which they were elected. Service to people to better their lives will, as usual, be relegated to lowest priority and funds wasted on maintaining regal lifestyle, pomp and show and foreign visits. Tall promises will once again remain unaccomplished and gullible people would again wait for the arrival of a messiah.

The writer is a defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, vice chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. [email protected]


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Pakistan’s Politicians & Their Foreign Masters Wikileaks Disclosures

Presented Unedited



Xinhua ‘Analysis’: Pakistan Nods Affirmative for North Waziristan
Xinhua “Analysis”: “Pakistan Nods Affirmative for North Wa Waziristan
Operation” – Xinhua
Thursday, June 10, 2010, 13:33:03 GMT
by Syed Moazzam Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, June 10 (Xinhua) — In the fast developing scenario where the
certain subsequent events have boiled the mercury in Obama administration
once again to insist on Pakistan hitting terrorist strongholds in the
tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan’s top officials have given an
affirmative nod to the start of operation in North Waziristan.”Our next
priority is going to be North Waziristan, but we have to time our
operations in line with our resources,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday.”At the moment we are consolidating our
position in South Waziristan,” he stated during a visit to Turkey while
emphasizing that Pakistan’s next priority in the fight against the
insurgent Taliban is North Waziristan.”The cat is out of t he bag,” Arshi
Saleem, senior research analyst at the Institute of Regional Studies in
Islamabad, told Xinhua on Thursday while commenting on the long rumored
the myth of the possibility of a military operation in North
Waziristan.Pakistani military chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani in his a recent visit to the tribal areas had declared victory in some parts of the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan against insurgent militants in
continuing operations in South Waziristan tribal areas.Analysts believe
that the victory declaration mean an affirmative nod to the imminent
operation in the North Waziristan’ s tribal areas as much desired by the
United States for long while winding up the chapter in South
Waziristan.”Certainly, it will give another reason to think fast about
cleaning up of the mess in North Waziristan,” Arshi Saleem, an Afghan
Affairs and Counter-Terrorism expert with IRS, commented while referring
to Tuesday midnight terror attack on a NATO supply convoy  near Pakistani
capital Islamabad that killed eight and destroyed 60 trucks.Punjabi
Taliban, a splinter group of disbanded Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
which is associated with Al-Qaeda, had claimed the responsibility for the
attack. On May 28, nearly 100 people including worshippers, policemen and
others were killed in twin suicide attacks in the eastern city of Lahore.
Punjabi Taliban and another Al-Qaeda-affiliated group had accepted the
responsibility for these terror attacks.”We might see some explosions here
and there that would be justification enough to start the operation and
convince the tribals as well as the media,” said Arshi Saleem, who is also
on the faculty of the National Defense University (NDU) in
Islamabad.The Pakistani military has already been badly stretched conducting
an operation in South Waziristan in the restive Pakistani tribal belt
bordering Afghanistan while keeping a massive presence on the eastern
border with India.According to reports, among the total 19 divisions of
some 500, 000-plus armed forces of Pakistan, seven to eight divisions are
currently engaged in counter-terrorism. Its two divisions are in South
Waziristan, one in North Waziristan, two in Swat and Dir and other areas
of the Islamic state that has long been experiencing extremist
militancy.Putting aside the possibility of an imminent full-scale
operation in North Waziristan while supporting his former colleagues, the
defense and security analyst Major General (retired) Jamshed Ayaz told
Xinhua, “No, I doubt it. The army chief does not want it.”Pakistani
military General Kayani told Obama administration in end-March that
Pakistani will not launch a “stream roller” operation in North
Waziristan.Analysts believe that it would not be possible for Pakistan to
absolutely prevent incidents of terrorism, which could be individuals in
nature or involving the unbridled non-state actors, from terrorizing the
170 million Pakistan is with off-and-on suicide bombings across the South
Asian nuclear state, thus, providing all reasons to the U.S. side, the
most important ally of Pakistan in the war against terror, to switch on a
massive offensive in North Waziristan.North Waziristan is known to be
unconquered due to its difficult terrain and resultant poor economy which
make its warlords vulnerable to moneyed foreign and local militants that
have been seeking refuge there after escaping from South
Waziristan.Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, and Mir Ali
are reported to be the strongholds of Al- Qaeda that include TTP, Punjabi
Taliban from south Punjab province, who mainly work under the flag of
“Lashkar-e-Jhangvi” (a disbanded Sunni extremist outfit), and foreign
militants including Chechens, Uzbeks, and Arabs.North Waziristan is
inhabited by Wazir and Dawar tribes. Both Siraj Haqqani and Hafiz Gul
Bahadur are Waziris while another militant Maulana Sadiq Noor who is
allied to TTP is from Dawar tribe.Analysts believe that it would be quite
interesting to watch this mercurial situation with the following
questions: What would be the operation aimed at in North Waziristan? What
would happen if the possible operation would be directed against Al-Qaeda
and the Punjabi Taliban? And how their comrades would react within
Pakistani cities if the fugitive Punjabi and sectarian militants were
targeted in the tribal areas? Why the strongholds of Punjabi Taliban so
far have not been raided? It might lead to some debate and conclusions as
the events unfold in the days to come.(Description of Source: Beijing
Xinhua in English — China’s official news service for English-language
audiences (New China News Agency))

The material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the
source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

33) Back to Top
Journalist Says Taliban Take Money To Give Safe Passage to NATO Supply
Words in double slant lines are in English. – Geo News TV
Thursday, June 10, 2010, 13:12:44 GMT
military supplies for the Western forces in Afghanistan, transported via
Pakistan. The attack took place at a //terminal// near Islamabad where
these trucks were parked. Around 12 persons attacked the terminal around
midnight and burned 60 trucks. Eighty cars and a lot of
military supplies were destroyed in this attack. These military supplies
were being transported to Afghanistan. Every month, around 1500 trucks
transport military supplies to Afghanistan via Karachi. The supplies reach
the Karachi port from where they are loaded on trucks and transported to
different areas in Afghanistan, particularly Kabul and Bagram, via Chaman
and Khyber. Yesterday’s attack was the biggest one in Pakistan since 2001,
in which eight persons were killed, most of them drivers or cleaners of
the trucks. This is the biggest loss to the Western forces in the
transportation of their military supplies via Pakistan. During the last 10
years, military supplies worth billions of dollars have been transported
to Afghanistan via Pakistan, but this supply line has never faced any
major threat. Observers have often expressed their astonishment and the
Western media has been writing as to what is the reason that the Taliban
and other extremists do not interrupt this supply line or try to
disconnect it. To understand this, let us talk to Rahimullah Yousafzai in
Peshawar, resident editor of The News

. Yousafzai, what is the significance of yesterday’s incident?

(Begin live relay) (Yousafzai over video link) It has great significance
because it has taken place near Islamabad. All reports are saying that the attack has taken place near the capital city of Pakistan despite tight
security. An attack of this magnitude has taken place after a long time
and has caused a lot of damage; that is why it is being talked about in
the media a lot. These attacks used to take place on Peshawar Ring Road,
where there were quite a few terminals, which were later moved to Punjab
in the areas of Attock and Tarnol, where yesterday’s attack has taken
place. The number of attacks is not much according to the number of trucks
carrying the supplies.

(Khan) What is the reason? To destroy the enemy’s supply line is an
important part of the war strategy. The trucks, carrying supplies for the
Western forces, pass through areas in Afghanistan, which are considered to
be strongholds of the Taliban; what is the reason that they do not face a
major threat?

(Yousafzai) Attacks have taken place, but the supply line has never been
disconnected for a long time. It remained disconnected for a few days in
Khyber after it was attacked in Peshawar. A major reason for this is that
these supplies are not transported by the US or NATO forces, but by
contractors, who are responsible for the safe transportation of the
supplies. The contractor may give money to the Taliban or do anything to
ensure the safety of the supplies. There are reports that these
contractors have links with the Taliban and other extremist groups and pay
them //protection money// for the safe passage of the supplies. This is a
major source of income for the Taliban, but it is not talked about much.
Apart from the Taliban, there are also criminal gangs who take money from
the contractors. The contractors set aside a certain amount from the
contract money to use it for safe passage.

Khan asks: “The attack on the military supplies near Islamabad coincides
with the Taliban attacks on the Western forces in Afghanistan, in which 15
soldiers of Western forces have been killed during the last 48-hour. Do
you think their timing has any significance?”

(Yousafzai) Whenever the Western forces plan a major military action as in
Helmand and the impending action in Kandahar, they have to come out and
travel by road. It is not difficult for the Taliban to lay mines on the
roads. Most of the killings are caused by mines, and so far, the NATO
forces have been unable to counter this . They have tr ied using new
equipment and devices, but the attacks are still taking place. It seems
that the Taliban have got new weapons and their accuracy to hit the target
has been improved, because a lot of NATO helicopters are being knocked
down. Even the Drones have been knocked down in Afghanistan and every time
NATO commanders attribute it to technical fault, but it is not possible
that all the Drones fell down because of technical reasons. In my view,
the Taliban are targeting the aircrafts and knocking them down.

(Khan) Thank you very much Yousafzai. (end of live relay)

(Description of Source: Karachi Geo News TV in Urdu — 24-hour satellite
news TV channel owned by Pakistan’s Jang publishing group. Known for
providing quick and detailed reports of events. Geo’s focus on reports
from India is seen as part of its policy of promoting people-to-people
contact and friendly relations with India.)

Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the
source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

34) Back to Top
Pakistan Press Nawa-e Waqt 10 Jun 10
To request additional processing, call OSC at (800) 205-8615, (202)
338-6735; or fax (703) 613-5735. – Nawa-e Waqt
Thursday June 10, 2010 12:45:14 GMT
pictures on page one sho w Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the
Chinese deputy prime minister witnessing signing of an agreement, the
Chinese deputy prime minister exchanging views with President Asif Ali
Zardari, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi meeting Turkish President
Abdullah Gul. The lower half of the page has a quarter-page advertisement.
Lead Story: Nawa-e Waqt report: Parliament’s right to legislate cannot be
restricted: Chief justice; restriction cannot be imposed on right of
judiciary to review

Detail account of hearing of petitions filed against some articles of the
18th Amendment. (pp 1, 9; 400 words) Nawa-e Waqt report: Court cannot
order holding of referendum: Aitzaz Ahsan (top lawyers); remarks of judges
not final, judgment can be made on contrary (pp 1, 9; 300 words) Report by
special correspondent: Strategic partnership with China to be promoted
further: Zardari (pp 1, 9; 800 words) Report by special correspondent:
National Assembly; budget prepared by IMF: Pervaiz Illahi (Pakistan Muslim
League-Qaid — PML-Q — leader); Farooq Sattar (minister) says tax should
be imposed on landlords (pp 1, 9; 800 words) Report by special
correspondent: Seven people were killed in Sangjani attack (on NATO
containers), five injured; superintendent police Saddar Zone suspended;
Interior Ministry orders judicial inquiry (pp 1, 9; 600 words) NNI report:
Security of containers responsibility of NATO: Interior Minister Rehman
Malik; temporary stand was made at Sangjani without intimating us (pp 1,
10; 200 words) Report by special correspondent: Military vehicles were
part of NATO consignment: Islamabad police chief (pp 1, 9; 300 words) SANA
news report: Lahore attacks wake up Punjab Government; operation in North
Waziristan next priority: Foreign Minister Qureshi (pp 1, 9; 300 words)
Report by special correspondent: Lahore high court seeks dates from
federation, provincial governments about holding local bodies’ elections;
it should be clarified why delay being made in elections (pp 1, 9; 300
words) Report by special correspondent: Lavish expenditures of President
House, Prime Minister House should be cut: Senators demand (pp 1, 9; 300
words) Report by special correspondent: Thinking of Pakistan wrong that US
will present ready-made resolution of Kashmir issue: National security
advisor (pp 1, 9; 300 words) KPI report: Kashmiri leadership rejects offer
of Indian prime minister for talks (pp 1, 9; 500 words) Report by special
correspondent: Mohmand Agency, Orakzai; attack on checkpoint, clashes; two
security force personnel, 23 militants killed (pp 1, 10; 600 words) Report
by Suhail Abdul Nasir: Security Council tried to tie hands, feet of Iran;
it will be shocking for Iran that China, Russia voted for sanctions; gas
pipeline agreement; Pakistani experts will have to go through resolution
with concentration (pp 1, 9; 400 words) Report by special correspondent:
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeks bribes of 250 million ru pees
(PRe) for plea bargain: Haris Afzal (pp 1, 9; 300 words) Report by special
correspondent: We are not blocking water of Pakistan’s share: Indian high
commissioner (pp 1, 9; 400 words) Page 2: News From Islamabad, Rawalpindi

Page two has a column besides local news and advertisements. Column by
Taiba Zia Cheema: Ghazi Ilmuddin, the martyred, and biased US

The column discusses removal of a Pakistani-origin police official in the
United States on his refusal to get his beard shaved. (800 words) Page 3:
National, International Reports

The page three has national and international news. Column by Saeed Aasi:
Taste of new connection

The column discusses situation in Balochistan. (800 words) SANA news
report: Afghanistan; NATO helicopter crashes; four US soldiers killed;
Taliban accept responsibility (p3; 100 words) Report from news desk:
People afraid of growing popularity of Taliban: Pakistan Institute for
Peace releases investigative report (pp 3, 10; 200 words) Page 4: News
From Suburbs Page 5: Business, Commerce Page 6: Continuation of Reports
From Other Pages; Advertisements Page 7: Classified Ads Page 8:
Continuation of Reports From Other Pages Page 9: Continuation of Reports
From Other Pages Page 10: Continuation of Reports From Other Pages Page
11: Sports World Page 12: National, International Reports

Prominent pictures on page 12 show President Asif Ali Zardari awarding the
Chinese deputy prime minister with Pakistan’s civil award, and Altaf Ahmed
Chaudhry, chairman of National Highway Authority, talking to Nawa-e Waqt.
The lower half of the page has a quarter-page advertisement. SANA news
report: Parting ways with government; Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam parliamentary
party authorizes Maulana Fazlur Rehman to hold decisive talks

Speaking after the meeting, Maulana Fazlur Rahman said; “We’ll not make
delay for a moment to quit government if agreements made with us are not
fulfilled.” (pp 8, 12; 300 words) Report by Qazi Bilal: Punjabis being
shot openly in Balochistan; we are posting Sindhi, Baluchi officers: Altaf
Ahmed; security of eight Japanese engineers costing PRe 200 million (pp 8,
12; 600 words) Report by special correspondent: We’ve apprised government
of our reservations; to conditionally support budget: Farooq Sattar
(Muttahida Qaumi Movement — MQM — leader) (pp 8, 12; 200 words) Report
by special correspondent: We’ve given 38 proposals for budget; to oppose
adoption if not approved: PML-Q (pp 8, 12; 400 words) Report by special
correspondent: We’ve closed doors for dictatorship through 18th Amendment:
Law minister (pp 8, 12; 200 words)

Report by special correspondent: Important meeting of Pakistani, US
authorities on assistance in science and technology (pp 8, 12; 500 words)
Nawa-e Waqt report: US to cooperate with Pakistan in science and
technology sector: Dr Kerry Jones (pp 8, 12; 400 words) Report from news
desk: Warm welcome of Dalits (unt ouchable Hindu caste) in Pakistan;
‘Brahmins’ (high caste Hindus) propaganda to get Pakistan declared as
terrorist proved ‘false’ (pp 8, 12; 300 words) Nawa-e Waqt report: Strict
implementation on rule of law, supremacy of constitution will have to be
ensured: Chief justice (pp 8, 12; 200 words) Report by special
correspondent: Budget anticountry, antipeople; IMF, World Bank, US
friendly: Jamaat-e-Islami chief (pp 12, 8; 400 words) Report by Ittrat
Jaffery: Taking new program from IMF after standby arrangement being
mulled (pp 8, 12; 200 words) Report by special correspondent: Budget
deficit; Punjab takes overdraft of PRe 6.97 billion from State Bank (pp 8,
12; 300 words) Report from monitoring desk: Blast in Kandahar wedding
ceremony; 39 killed (p12; 50 words) Page 13: Politics

Page 13 has articles and reports with pictures on domestic political
scene. Article by Nawaz Raza: Change in economic team for third time in
three years; is national budget IMF-friendly? (1,00 0 words) Article by
Salman Ghani: Why PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) not quitting Punjab
Government; system faces threats again? (1,000 words) Article by Amjad
Aziz Bhatti: Prime Minister’s visit to Balochistan (1,000 words) Page 14:
Editorial, Lead Articles

Page 14 has editorials and articles besides the regular gossip column “By
the way” and regular series of Islamic teachings from the Koran. It also
has couplets from Allama Iqbal and M uzaffar Warsi, and a saying of
Qaid-e-Azam. Editorial: Attack of armed people on NATO containers near
Islamabad; abandon role of US frontline ally now

The editorial discusses attack on containers carrying supplies for NATO
forces in which nine people were killed and 35 containers were set on
fire. The attack is alarming because it is the deadliest attack launched
near Islamabad. The daredevil action by the terrorists proves that they
could have launched this action within Islamabad as well. The government
should stop supplies for NATO as the measure is self-destructive. (1,200
words) Editorial: Good governance in Punjab

The editorial opines that the Punjab Government is ensuring good
governance in financial matters, but it should extend it to law-and-order
situation, hoarding, profiteering, and adulteration. (300 words)
Editorial: Budget; government should consider proposals of opposition

The editorial discusses criticism of increasing budget for President House
and Prime Minister House by the leader of opposition. (200 words) Article
by Justice (retd) Nazir Ahmed Ghazi: Jugular vein of Islamic community
(1,200 words) Article by Dr Ali Akbar Al-Azhari: Blood of hundreds of
thousands of stars (brings dawn)

The article discusses Israeli aggression against Freedom Flotilla. (800
words) Article by Raja Afrasiab Khan: Who these terrorists are? (last
episode) (600 words) Article by Rashid Malik: Fate of Muslims might change

The article discusses signing of gas pipel ine agreement between Pakistan
and Iran. (800 words) Page 15: Articles

Page 15 has articles on national and international issues. Article by
Sultan Mahmud Hali: Israeli intransigence, under whose backing? (800
words) Article by Fazal Hussein Awan: US policy…India….and Pakistan’s
future (800 words) Article by Syed Nasir Raza Kazmi: Increase in Indian
defense budget (1,200 words) Page 16: Politics

Page 16 has articles and reports with pictures on domestic political
scene. Article by Jabbar Mufti: Miracle of charter of democracy; (prime
minister’s) brother wins by-election, preparation on for son from Lodhraan
(1,000 words) Article by Sultan Sikandar: Acknowledgement of political
mistakes in Gilgit; Azad Kashmir (Pakistan-administered Kashmir) model
setup demanded (800 words) Article by Sajid Hussein Malik: Pakistan’s
nuclear program; what is truth? (1,500 words)

(Description of Source: Rawalpindi Nawa-e Waqt in Urdu — Privately owned,
widely read, con servative Islamic daily, with circulation around 125,000.
Harshly critical of the US and India)

Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the
source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

35) Back to Top
TV Show Discusses Phenomenon of Talibanization in Punjab
From the “Jirga” program hosted by well-known journalist Salim Safi who
hails from the tribal area. For a video of this program, contact
[email protected] or, if you do not have e-mail, the OSC
Customer Center at (800) 205-8615. Words within double slant lines are in
English. – Geo News TV
Thursday June 10, 2010 12:12:44 GMT
Reception: Good

Duration: 1 hour
Karachi Geo News at 1805 GMT on 7 June relays a program “Jirga”

hosted by Saleem Safi, a senior journalist. The program discusses and
analyses major issues.


Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, former chief minister of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa

Choudary Muhammad Yaqoob, former Inspector General Police (IGP),

Rana Sanaullah, law minister of Punjab on video link from Multan

Asif Ali Bhatti, Geo News reporter on video link from Islamabad

Safi says: “Punjab Province is increasingly getting embroiled in
terrorism. In today’s program, we are going to discuss the phenomenon of
Talibanization in Punjab.”

Safi asks Sanaullah who attacked the place of worship of the Ahmadiyyah
community in Lahore on 28 May? Sanaullah replies: “According to our
investigation, some of the terrorists involved in the attack belong to
Punjab, while others are from Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).”

Saf i asks Sanaullah why the Punjab Government denies the existence of the
Taliban on its soil. Sanaullah replies: “We do not //deny// the existence
of the Taliban in Punjab, but they may exist in Punjab the way they exist
anywhere else; I mean, there is no no-go area in Punjab, and the writ of
the government is in force in the entire province, unlike FATA which used
to be a no-go area in the past and which has become a safe haven for
militants as a result. So, Punjab cannot be compared to FATA in that
sense. Every corner of Punjab is open for Punjab Police and they can
monitor the activities of madrasahs as well.”

Safi asks Yaqoob: “Do you believe that the present terrorism in Pakistan
is the outcome of the Afghan jihad in the 1980s?” Yaqoob replies: “Yes, I
agree with Sanaullah when he says that this is the outcome of the Afghan
jihad in the 1980s. These madrasah students used to be sent to Afghanistan
for jihad against the then Soviet Union. Wh en the jihad was over, the
guns of the jihadist organizations turned toward us; so, the terrorism
that the country is now facing is very much home grown. The organizations
that were involved in the Afghan jihad were none other than the ones that
are banned in Pakistan today; for example, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and
Sipah-e-Sahaba. The same organizations have been involved in sectarian
violence in Pakistan as well. The madrasahs used to be the recruitment
centers because poor students were readily available as jihadist forces.
After 9/11, when Pakistan came under pressure, it brought about a change
in the Kashmir policy and stopped funding jihadists in India-administered
Kashmir. That made Pakistan vulnerable to the jihadist organizations
returning from either Afghanistan or Kashmir.”

Safi asks Yaqoob: “The leadership of extremist (or jihadist)
organizations, like JuD chief Hafiz Saeed disowns this trend of terrorism
in Pakistan. Similarly, mainstream religious par ties like the
Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JIP), too, denounce and disown militancy and
terrorist activities in Pakistan, despite being overt proponents of jihad.
Is it not a bit confusing that they have taken the responsibility for
jihad but are not claiming the responsibility for terrorism?” Yaqoob
replies: “Just assume that the lower tier of any extremist organization is
no more in control of the leadership, even if it is the state itself, like
Hafiz Saeed or Qazi Hussain Ahmed (former JIP chief). Did Qazi Hussain
Ahmed send his son to Afghanistan for jihad? No, he only sent poor
students of madrasahs. Now, pay them back.”

Safi asks Sherpao: “Do you believe that Talibanization exists in Punjab?”
Sherpao replies: “Divisions like Punjabi Taliban or Pashtun Taliban do not
apply to the phenomenon of Talibanization as they are one and the same.
After 9/11 there emerged a nexus of Al-Qa’ida, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan,
and the rest of the jihad ist organizations. Al-Qa’ida plans terro rist
activities, while the Taliban or Punjabi militants execute these plans.”

Safi asks Sherpao: “Do you believe that to be called an extremist one may
not necessarily be from a madrasah? One can be an extremist even if he or
she has received modern education.” Sherpao replies: “It was in the era of
General Ziaul Haq when students in madrasahs began to be used as forces in
the Afghan jihad. The state should have //demobilized// those jihadist
elements as soon as they returned from the jihad after the fall of the
former Soviet Union. The state did not demobilize them and that was a big
mistake. We need //reforms// to be introduced for the network of

Safi asks Bhatti: “What is your analysis of the situation?” Bhatti
replies: “It is true that madrasahs provide the jihadist organizations
with students who become militants with proper training. They are sent to
Waziristan wh ere they receive training for militancy and terrorism. The
Punjabi militants have returned after the military operation in
Waziristan. Their basic aim is to even the score with the government.”

Safi asks Sanaullah: “Why are our police unable to control the wave of
terrorism?” Sanaullah replies: “Our police are dedicated enough,
sacrificing and working hard to curb terrorism. We are not in a state of
denial, and we are investing huge amount of money to ameliorate the police
infrastructure in Punjab.”

Safi concludes the program.

(Description of Source: Karachi Geo News TV in Urdu — 24-hour satellite
news TV channel owned by Pakistan’s Jang publishing group. Known for
providing quick and detailed reports of events. Geo’s focus on reports
from India is seen as part of its policy of promoting people-to-people
contact and friendly relations with India.)

Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the
sourc e cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

36) Back to Top
Tajikistan Insists On More Active Measures Against Drugs – ITAR-TASS
Thursday June 10, 2010 12:17:48 GMT

MOSCOW , June 10 (Itar-Tass) – The Collective Security Treaty Organisation
(CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) are to intensify cooperation in the struggle
against drugs proliferation, the director of the Tajik Drugs Control
Agency, Rustam Nazarov, said at the conference titled Drug Production in
Afghanistan is a Challenge to World Community on Thursday.”Tajikistan has
a common border with Afghanistan and for this reason drugs are the most p
ressing problem for our country,” Nazarov said. According to Nazarov, “it
is very difficult to fight with the underground drug cartels nowadays,
because their network is very large and diversified.”He called for
fighting with drug-related crimes not only in Afghanistan but also beyond
its borders. “One should use the potentials of the CSTO, SCO and CIS to
neutralize drugs production in Afghanistan,” he said.(Description of
Source: Moscow ITAR-TASS in English — Main government information agency)

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source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

37) Back to Top
Afghan elders protest against detention of tribal leader in eastern town –
Afghan Islamic Press
Thursday June 10, 2010 11:12:51 GMT
eastern town

Text of report by private Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news
agencyKhost, 10 June: Tribal leaders and elders have protested against the
detention of a tribal leader by US forces. About 35 tribal leaders and
elders arrived in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province, to stage a
protest rally against the detention of a tribal leader, Mohammad Naim
Salehkhel by the US forces today. Haji Gholam Mohammad, brother of the
detained Mohammad Naim Salehkhel, who came with tribal leaders to Gardez
told Afghan Islamic Press that his brother, Haji Mohammad Naim Salehkhel,
who had spend two and a half years in the Bagram and Guantanamo prisons,
was called by the governor of Paktia to Gardez city for a meeting.
Salehkhel was detained by Afghan police when he was returning (home) on 18
Sowr, 18 May, and later he was handed over to the US forces. He added: “
;I regretfully say that at first police and all other officials were
expressing their unawareness about the detention of Mohammad Naim
Salehkhel and when the Gardez police confirmed his detention the deputy
governor (of Paktia Province) started repeatedly promises of (freeing him)
today and tomorrow and asked us not to inform the media and avoid staging
protests. But now we are compelled to inform the media about it and stage
a protest rally.”Haji Gholam Mohammad added: “A three-day general strike
started in Zormat District starting from today, markets are closed and we
will decide about our future (plan) on the coming Sunday (13 June).” He
said about his brother Mohammad Naim that he is a tribal leader and was
appointed as security chief of Zormat District by the locals after the
fall of the Taleban regime. But Americans detained him and he spend two
and a half years in the Bagram and Guantanamo prisons. He was released
about six years ago and he has been liv ing his life as a tribal leader.
He repeatedly say that his brother had no links with the Taleban.On the
other hand, the spokesman for the governor of Paktia Province, Rohullah
Samon, strongly condemned the detention of Haji Mohammad Naim Salehkhel
and told AIP that the governor’s office of Paktia Province had started its
efforts to release the tribal leader. Responding to an AIP question Samon
said that Haji Mohammad Naim was not detained by the Paktia police but he
was detained by a special police force named special purpose police unit
sent from Kabul.(Description of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in
Pashto — Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto — Peshawar-based
agency, staffed by Afghans, that describes itself as an independent “news
agency” but whose history and reporting pattern reveal a perceptible
pro-Taliban bias; the AIP’s founder-director, Mohammad Yaqub Sharafat, has
long been associated with a mujahidin faction that merged with the
Taliban’ s “Islamic Emirate” led by Mullah Omar; subscription required to
access content; http://www.afghanislamicpress.com)

Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the
source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

38) Back to Top
Iran Boasts Positive Trade Balance With 29 Countries in First Month of New
Unattributed report – Gilan-e Emruz
Thursday June 10, 2010 10:57:21 GMT
The report said the highest negative trade balance indicators were: the
United Arab Emirates, $558 million; Republic of Korea, $149 million;
Turkey, $97 million; Netherlands, $37 million; Russian Federation, $30
million; Germany, $267 million; Spain, $33 million; Italy, $79.9 million;
and France, $89 million. Also, Iran’s trade balance with the United States
of America is $5 million.

The highest positive trade balance indicators are: China, $57 million;
Iraq, $284 million; India, $55 million; Belgium, $38 million; and
Afghanistan, $54 million.

(Description of Source: Rasht Gilan-e Emruz in Persian — Pro-reform
provincial daily published in Rasht, the capital city of Gilan Province;
Licensed to and managed by Mohammad Kazem Shokuhi-Rad.)

Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the
source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

39) Back to Top
Taleban blame foreign forces for wedding party attack in Afghan south –
Afghan Islamic Press
Thursday June 1 0, 2010 10:39:00 GMT

Excerpt from report by private Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news
agencyKandahar, 10 June: Each side is blaming the other side for the blast
in Kandahar (Province, in southern Afghanistan).(Passage omitted:
Contradictory claims are made about the explosion in a wedding ceremony in
Arghandab District last night)At a press briefing in Kandahar city (the
capital of Kandahar Province) at noon today, the governor of Kandahar
Province, Torialay Wisa, held the Taleban responsible for the blast and
said that the explosion was carried out by the Taleban with the help of a
Town Ace van and by doing this they turned people’s happy event into a
tragedy.(Passage omitted: Forty people were killed and 87 injured in the
blast).In a statement, the ISAF forces has blamed the Taleban for the
explosion and said that the Taleban carried out the attack to upset a
happy occasion of the people and they (Taleban ) showed that they wanted
to terrify people by such attacks. The ISAF forces added that they are
ready to cooperate with the government to investigate the incident.The
Taleban have strongly denied their involvement in the incident and said
that foreign forces aircraft attacked the wedding party and dozens of
people were killed or injured as a result.A Taleban spokesman, Qari
Mohammad Yusof Ahmadi, told AIP: “The Taleban strongly condemn this
incident and consider themselves partner in pain and sufferings of the
suffered families.”(Passage omitted: Ahmadi said that foreign forces
several times bombarded wedding ceremonies in the past)The Taleban
spokesman said: “The foreigners bombard wedding ceremonies to create a gap
between the people and the Taleban so they (foreign forces) could exploit
the situation, but the foreigners will never succeed in creating gaps
between the Taleban and the nation.”(Passage omitted: Afghan president
condemned the incident).(D escription of Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic
Press in Pashto — Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto —
Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans, that describes itself as an
independent “news agency” but whose history and reporting pattern reveal a
perceptible pro-Taliban bias; the AIP’s founder-director, Mohammad Yaqub
Sharafat, has long been associated with a mujahidin faction that merged
with the Taliban’s “Islamic Emirate” led by Mullah Omar; subscription
required to access content; http://www.afghanislamicpress.com)

Material in the World News Connection is generally copyrighted by the
source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

40) Back to Top
Press Roundup on Defense, Science, Technology 31 May-6 June 10
The following a selecti on of relevant reports, editorials, and articles
on defense, science, and technology published in one English
newspaper–The News–from 31 May to 6 June: – Pakistan — OSC Summary
Thursday June 10, 2010 09:33:40 GMT
The 31 May issue of The News on page 1 carries a report headlined: “US
copters intrude into Khyber Agency.” The report says: “Two US gunship
helicopters violated Pakistan’s airspace and entered Landikotal tehsil of
Khyber Agency, official sources said. The sources said the two US choppers
intruded into Pakistani territory and hovered over areas along the
Pak-Afghan border for five minutes before returning to Afghanistan. The
intrusion by the helicopters created concern in the border area as there
were reports that the US had decided to target suspected hideouts of
militants inside Pakistan.” US Drone Attack on Pakistani Tribal Area
Reportedly Kills Sen ior Al-Qa’ida Leader

The 2 June issue of The News on page 1 carries a report headlined:
“Al-Qaeda number three killed in NWA (North Waziristan Agency) drone
attack.” The report says: “Pakistani security officials and the Taliban
believe that al-Qaeda’s No three and a close aide to Osama bin Laden,
Mustafa Ahmad Mohammad Uthman Abu al-Yazeed, also known as Sheikh Saeed
al-Misri, was among the 10 people killed in the US drone attack on May 21
at Saidabad village of Dattakhel subdivision in North Waziristan tribal
region. He was said to be al-Qaeda’s financial director as well as the
chief operational commander for Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was believed
to have transferred several thousand dollars to Mohammad Atta, the leader
of the 9/11 hijackers, before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade
Centre in New York. A statement on an Islamic website confirmed his death.
It said his wife, three daughters and his granddaughter, and other men,
women and some children were also killed in the attack on his house. An
Egyptian by origin, Sheikh Saeed had replaced al-Qaeda’s senior commander
Abu Laith al-Libbi, who was killed along with 14 other Arab and tribal
militants in the US drone attack on January 29, 2008 on a house in
Khushali Torikhel village of Mir Ali town in North Waziristan. The
56-year-old Sheikh Saeed was accused by the US of involvement in extremist
movements for nearly 30 years after joining the radical student group, led
by his fellow Egyptian Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri.” PM Gilani Expresses Concern
Over Pakistan-Specific Indian Military Doctrine

The 5 June issue of The News on page 1 carries a report headlined: “India
can thrust war on Pakistan, PM tells Nato.” The report says: “Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, while pointing towards the Pakistan-specific
Indian military doctrines such as the Cold Start, has urged the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) to take active inte rest in South
Asian security perspective.” The report quoted PM Gilani as saying at an
address to the North Atlantic Council in Brussels: “We remain concerned
over Pakistan-specific Indian military doctrines such as the Cold Start
envisaging a limited conventional war under the nuclear overhang, huge
increase in Indian military budget and massive weapon acquisitions. These
together with discriminatory policies especially in the nuclear and
technological arena have accentuated the regional imbalance in South Asia.
It is a nuclearised region and issues of peace, strategic stability and
security pose formidable challenges to Pakistan and impinge on global
peace and security. Pakistan-India relations had a significant bearing on
South Asian security, and unfortunately, outstanding disputes such as
Kashmir, Siachen, and Sir Creek continue to fester and require a just and
peaceful resolution.” Pakistan Raises Defense Budget by 17 Percent

The 6 June issue of The News on page 1 carries a report headlined:
“Defense budget up by 17 percent.” The report says: “Pakistan increased
its defense budget by 16.935 per cent by allocating Rs 442.173 billion for
2010-11. This reflects a marginal increase of around five per cent in real
terms in defense spending if the inflation rate of 12 per cent is taken
into account.” The report quoted Finance Minister, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh as
saying at the budget speech: “Security is our topmost concern. We are
facing a situation in which our armed forces, paramilitary forces and
security forces are laying down their lives. They should know from this
House that we all stand by them. This increase in the defense budget of
around Rs 64 billion was considered a must given the intensified battle
against the Taliban insurgents.” The report says: “In the outgoing fiscal,
Pakistan allocated Rs 342.913 billion for defense but it was revised to Rs
378.135 billion by the e nd of the fiscal 2009-10. India last February
announced Rs 1.47 trillion ($32 billion) defense budget, which speaks of
its ambitions in the region. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has already
pointed towards the Pakistan-specific Indian military doctrines such as
the cold start.”

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holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

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US Seeks To Curb Illicit Drug Flows From Afghanistan – Beyrle – ITAR-TASS
Thursday June 10, 2010 09:55:08 GMT

MOSCOW, June 10 (Itar-Tass) – The United States as Russia seeks to curb
illicit drug flows from Afghanistan, U.S. Ambassador in Mo scow John
Beyrle said on Thursday.Speaking at the international forum, “Drug
Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge for the International Community”,
Beyrle said the U.S. realised Russia’s concern over the drug threat from
Afghanistan.The United States opposes a drug war against Russia and wants
to develop partnership in this region, the ambassador said. He compared
drug business with terrorism. Americans and Russians pay a high price for
the fight against this evil, the ambassador added.In his words, the U.S.
and Russia have a lot of fields for cooperation where our interests
coincide. Beyrle called for forgetting old wars and developing
cooperation. The U.S. wants to see Russia strong and prosperous and
considers it an ally, the American diplomat stressed.The task of the
international community is to create an expanded international coalition
to ensure peace and security in Afghanistan, he said. Russia’s support for
NATO and the U.S. in Afghanistan is of the utmo st importance. Only joint
efforts taken by the whole world community can help counter terrorism and
drug trafficking, the U.S. ambassador added.For his part, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would insist Afghanistan’s drug
trafficking to be classified as a threat to global security. “Moscow is
convinced that the world should exert efforts to fight Afghan drug
trafficking. We put forth an initiative to this effect,” he said.”Moscow
will insist Afghan drug trafficking to be classified as a threat to global
security,” the Russian foreign minister said.”We hope that the Moscow
international forum will give an additional impetus to the joint struggle
against Afghan drug trafficking. We hope that our efforts will be
successful and heard by the international community,” Lavrov added.In his
words, NATO and the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) make serious
contribution to resolving this problem. “But the efforts taken by the
world community should be more effective,” the minister said.He recalled
that a conference on drug trafficking would take place in Kabul in July
2010. “Serious issues to be raised at the forum should be recorded in
final documents,” Lavrov pointed out.(Description of Source: Moscow
ITAR-TASS in English — Main government information agency)

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holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

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Angry crowd throw stones at foreign forces office in Afghan north – Afghan
Islamic Press
Thursday June 10, 2010 09:12:20 GMT

Text of report by private Pakistan-based Afghan Islami c Press news
agencyKonduz, 10 June: People have thrown stones at a PRT (Provincial
Reconstruction Team) office and the PRT fired at the people. Eyewitnesses
from Taloqan, the capital of Takhar Province (in northern Afghanistan),
told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that an angry crowd threw stones at the
PRT office in Taloqan city at noon today, 10 June, and the PRT (soldiers)
opened fire at the people.An eyewitness told AIP that the protesters had
suffered casualties as a result of the firing but no details were
available. Officials are avoiding commenting on this incident and the
reason for the protest was not known yet.(Description of Source: Peshawar
Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto — Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto
— Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans, that describes itself as an
independent “news agency” but whose history and reporting pattern reveal a
perceptible pro-Taliban bias; the AIP’s founder-director, Mohammad Yaqub
Sharafat, has long been a ssociated with a mujahidin faction that merged
with the Taliban’s “Islamic Emirate” led by Mullah Omar; subscription
required to access content; http://www.afghanislamicpress.com)

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holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

43) Back to Top
Afghan official denies Taleban claim capturing district in east – Afghan
Islamic Press
Thursday June 10, 2010 09:06:14 GMT
Text of report by private Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news
agencyGhazni, 10 June: The Taleban claim they have captured a district.
The Taleban announced that following three hours of fighting they captured
Jelga District of Maydan Wardag Province (in eastern Afghanistan) this
morning, 10 June.A Taleban spokesman, Zabihollah Mojahed, in this regard
told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that the Taleban carried out an attack on
Jelga District of Maydan Wardag Province early this morning and following
three hours of fighting the Taleban managed to take control of the
district building (the office of the head of the district). He added that
two police had been killed and three others wounded in the clash and three
Taleban also suffered injuries in the fighting.The Taleban spokesman also
reported seizure of arms and ammunition and he said that the Taleban
seized a quantity of several kind of weapons and a large quantity of
ammunition. Regarding the government personnel and police, he said that
they had ran away from the area and no one was detained by the Taleban
alive.When AIP contacted the Maydan Wardag security commander, Haq Nawaz
Haqyar, in this regard he confirmed the Taleban attack on the district but
sa id that the attack was repelled. Haqyar admitted that one police was
killed and two others injured in the attack and added that the Taleban had
also suffered casualties but details were not available.(Description of
Source: Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press in Pashto — Peshawar Afghan Islamic
Press in Pashto — Peshawar-based agency, staffed by Afghans, that
describes itself as an independent “news agency” but whose history and
reporting pattern reveal a perceptible pro-Taliban bias; the AIP’s
founder-director, Mohammad Yaqub Sharafat, has long been associated with a
mujahidin faction that merged with the Taliban’s “Islamic Emirate” led by
Mullah Omar; subscription required to access content;

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source cited. Permission for use must be obtained from the copyright
holder. Inquiries regarding use may be directed to NTIS, US Dept. of

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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.




Image result for Stop Racial Profiling





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: [email protected]  


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