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Archive for category US Interference in Balochistan

Foe in the garb of a friend

Foe in the garb of a friend

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

Pakistan has offered huge sacrifices to fight the menace of global war on terrorism (GWOT). It suffered exceptionally serious losses in terms of human resource victims, devastation of valuable property, impulsive political instability, bursting social disorder, divisive mindset, and poor law and order situation leading to creation of threatening environment filled with sense of fear and uncertainty in the country. More than 40,000 innocent people lost their lives while many were incapacitated or rendered disabled. Security forces of Pakistan were made the direct target of terrorism and their capacity to prevail upon the militants was frequently challenged by its own citizens.

 

friend-or-foePakistan has lost over $ 100 billion in fighting the war. Damage caused to road network on which NATO containers have been moving since 2001 is above Rs 100 billion. Pakistan charges a paltry sum of $250 per container. Despite all this Pakistan remained committed to the cause of fighting the menace of terrorism and participated actively in GWOT to eliminate the terrorists. Pakistan deserved appreciation for all such sacrifices and sufferings and deserved to be praised for playing a positive role in the ugly mess created by GWOT imposed upon Pakistan by USA. Unfortunately the same has not been adequately done by the concerned quarters. Rather, Pakistan has been made the butt of criticism, ridicule and penalization. 

 

Al-Qaeda as a terrorist organization was hardly known in Pakistan till US declared openly that 9/11 attacks on World Trade Centre were undertaken by Al-Qaeda. The group known as Al-Qaeda was organized by Osama bin Laden (OBL) who was an ordinary Jihadi volunteer from Saudi Arabia, having passion for participating in Islamic Jihad against Russian occupational forces in Afghanistan. He was indoctrinated by CIA experts to choose Islamic Jihad as the main purpose of his life. He cooperated with CIA in their efforts to launch operations against Soviets in Afghanistan and till then was a pious warrior enjoying respect and prestige among US planners.

 

But no sooner Russia was defeated in Afghanistan; the US changed colors and ditched the Jihadists in Afghanistan. They were termed as non-state actors dangerous for the world peace. US officials, especially CIA started treating them with disparagement and derision. US invasion of Iraq in 1992 impelled OBL to readjust his mindset and to reorient the direction of its outfit ‘Al-Qaeda’. The rift between US and OBL led to fateful event of 9/11.

 

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and occupied it with its full wherewithal and military weight but failed to make correct moves to apprehend OBL. Hence, OBL took advantage of faulty US policies through a method of exploitation. He appealed to the Muslim world to oppose USA that had occupied Afghanistan illegally like the Russians and urged the Muslims to wage a Jihad against occupation forces. Anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim policies pursued by Bush led administration heightened anti-Americanism within the Muslim world and propelled Jihadi Muslims towards OBL. His sympathizers gradually grew in numbers in every Muslim country including Pakistan. 

 

One of the major tasks assigned to the US led coalition in Afghanistan was to kill and capture Al-Qaeda leaders operating inside Afghanistan and some parts of Pakistan. Al-Qaeda had virtually turned into a perilous outfit capable of inflicting serious losses to coalition forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan took some difficult strategic decisions and offered full cooperation to capture the world most dangerous and treacherous terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda. Pak Army deployed its sizeable force to be engaged in anti-terrorist operations. Pakistan Army and paramilitary forces prepared plans to conduct operations against Al-Qaeda elements in the most sensitive and volatile region of Pakistan’s tribal areas (FATA), where powerful armies of Great Britain and Soviet Russia were once defeated at the hands of tribal Lashkars.

 

Pakistani government’s decision to provide support and make efforts to capture Al-Qaeda terrorists, resulted in a very severe backlash of terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda. They turned against the State of Pakistan and targeted its security forces, high officials, key communicators, and civil society including innocent women/children, peace loving people busy in their business or prayers in the mosques. Even funerals were not spared. Pakistani support and efforts, however, proved fruitful and many key commanders of Al-Qaeda were apprehended or killed during operations. It was not possible to break the backbone of Al-Qaeda without the significant support offered by Pakistan and efforts made by ISI to apprehend well over 400 Al-Qaeda elements.

 

Since Pakistani authorities had taken a strategic decision to cooperate with US led coalition to fight the menace of terrorism, therefore, their top priority was to locate and apprehend OBL. Unfortunately, OBL found sympathizers inside Pakistani soil and succeeded in having a facility to covertly live inside Pakistan. The killing / apprehension of OBL would have exulted both Pakistan and USA, but US leaders preferred to create an atmosphere of mistrust and betrayal for reasons best known to them. The US and western public opinion builders and international media leveled serious allegations against Pakistan. This also created political and institutional turmoil inside Pakistan spreading misgivings among civil-military leadership and agitating the civil society to raise the questions of violation of sovereignty of Pakistan by US raiders.

 

Had Pakistani officials / ISI known about the presence of OBL inside Pakistan they would have reacted positively to apprehend / kill him to save such chaos which led to lingering court probes. Pakistan as a responsible country was cooperating in US led war on terrorism and had shown substantial results by killing and apprehending vital Al-Qaeda terrorists. It was not an option for Pakistan to hide OBL, as alleged by USA and others and get embarrassed. Had it been so, ISI would not have given a vital lead to CIA which helped the latter to locate OBL’s whereabouts in Abbottabad.   

 

In the backdrop of intelligence failure and poor performance of NATO military commanders at tactical level, US led coalition forces in Afghanistan had suffered stunning setbacks. In an effort to cover up their failures, CIA opted to marginalize ISI and act unilaterally to get hold of the most wanted man single-handed and claim victory. CIA wanted to take all the credit for hunting OBL without any support from any other agency. Capturing/ killing OBL unilaterally would have assured invincibility of USA’s military might and professional competence of CIA.

 

In their short sightedness and high motivating pulse to claim full credit of OBL killing, they overlooked the actual implications. As the world witnessed later on, the outcome of such insensible approach proved dicey. Pakistan and its spy agency was not only callously blamed openly for supporting the terrorists but also made responsible for hiding OBL inside Pakistan. The US leadership created an environment of mistrust and cynicism having lasting scars, thus destroying the spirit of coalition to collectively fight the menace of terrorism. Blame game played by US leaders / field commanders helped them to cover up their failures in GWOT but overall loss / defeat in the effort against terrorism has not been realized.  

 

The US leadership was so stunned with the information of a high value target like OBL in Pakistan that they forgot all the norms of diplomacy and all the requirements of a sovereign State. They ordered their Navy SEALs to cross the border, violate the sovereignty of Pakistan and go for the attack. This was totally unlawful and illegitimate. Wisdom failed to guide the US arrogance that in the international politics such actions amount to intimidation of other independent States and that the reaction might be very perilous. Fortunately, Pakistani side kept their cool despite internal tumult and nothing happened. On the other hand, the US leadership left no stone unturned in converting the crisis into an extremely dangerous situation.  

 

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

 

After killing Osama in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011 by US Navy Seal Team Six, the US claimed his body was buried at sea of the USS Carl Vinson in accordance with Islamic tradition. Fred Barton challenged this claim by saying that the body was flown in a CIA plane to Dover and onward to Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Maryland. This institution mysteriously closed on September 15, 2011.  (Email sent by Barton to Wiki leaks on March 6, 2012). Other than so many stories published with regards to the death of OBL in December 2001 at Tora Bora, or in 2005, and some stating that it was OBL double that was killed on May 2, many all over the world including Americans believe that US SEALs operation in Abbottabad against OBL was a false flag operation aimed at undermining Pakistan Army and ISI and to give a boost to flagging image of US Army and CIA. The CIA operated drones are now brazenly violating Pakistan’s sovereignty, but the US still claims that it is a friend of Pakistan.    

 

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst and columnist. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 

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Thwarting All Peace Processes

Thwarting All Peace Processes

                                                        

By

 

Sajjad Shaukat

                                             

In the recent months, Pakistan made strenuous efforts to advance peace talks with India in order to resolve all issues, especially Kashmir dispute, while it took several positive steps to improve relations with Afghanistan. Similarly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad Khan decided to begin negotiations with all the Taliban groups, particularly Hakimullah Mehsud, Chief of the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). But, all these efforts received a greater blow due to anti-Pakistan developments, aimed at thwarting all the peace processes which were essential for the stability of Pakistan as well as the whole region.

In this regard, Pakistani prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz who visited New Delhi to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), held a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on November 12, this year to defuse tension at the Line of Control (LoC) and to restore the peace process. Sartaj Aziz also met the Hurriyat leaders of Kashmir. However, statements issued by their related-ministries said that both the diplomats reviewed bilateral relations in a constructive and forward looking manner, and pledged to settle all issues.

420448249_2ffe1c990eQuite contrarily, in a strong message, Salman Khurshid stated that he told the Sartaj Aziz that his decision to meet Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi was “insensitive” and “counterproductive.” While keeping pressure on Pakistan, Khurshid explained that he gave “benefit of doubt” to Islamabad by telling them that “the conditions of the dialogue cannot be met till there is peace and tranquility on the LoC. He also allegedly said that Islamabad has been using delaying tactics in relation to the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks trial.

Recently, tension arose between Pakistan and India when Indian military conducted a series of unprovoked firings across the LoC, and international border in wake of war-like strategy which still continues. While, Indian military high command failed in producing dead bodies of alleged terrorists who had crossed the LoC from Pakistan to Indian-occupied Kashmir. The ground realities proved that it was just propaganda against Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Pak Army, as indicated by the Indian media, Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the Hindu fundamentalist party, BJP.

Besides new pretension of the LoC violations, in the past too, New Delhi availed various crises to suspend the process of Pak-India talks. For example, in 2002, under the pretension of terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, India postponed the dialogue process. Again, in 2008, India suspended the ‘composite dialogue’ under the pretext of Mumbai terror attacks which were in fact, arranged by its secret agency RAW.

In the recent past, the Indian former officer of home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai and assault on the Indian Parliament were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism legislation.

In fact, under the cover of LoC accusations, India seeks to create obstacle in the way of the new peace process with Pakistan so that Pak-Indian concerned issues, especially main dispute of Kashmir remain unresolved.

Most alarming aspect is that Indian duress on Islamabad regarding LoC is part of other related moves against Islamabad because India, US and Afghanistan have been playing double game with Pakistan through their secret agencies, as some latest incidents in our country have proved.  

In this context, leader of Haqqani Network, Nasiruddin Haqqani who was on US list of global terrorists was killed by unidentified gunmen on November 10 in Islamabad. Some sources suggest that CIA and RAW are behind the death of Nasiruddin, as the Haqqanis have never struck inside Pakistan because they have been waging a war of liberation in Afghanistan.
Taliban's area of influence

MAP PUBLISHED BY INDIAN PROPAGANDISTS

 

 

The main aim of assassinating him is to sabotage the Pak-Afghan peace process, making both countries acutely vulnerable to disruption by the militant groups—and to castigate Pakistan’s major role in any future Afghan peace deal with the Haqqanis.

In this connection, opposition leader, Syed Khurshid Shah of the PPP said on November 14, “killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani is a conspiracy against Pakistan and no government institution is involved in this murder.”

Similarly, when the TTP Chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by the US drone strikes on November 1, leaders of the ruling and opposition parties including prominent figures and Unlmas (Religious scholars) took the event as a plot to thwart the peace process with the militants.  In this context, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar openly pointed out that that killing of Hakimullah Mehsud in the US drone attack was a conspiracy to sabotage peace talks with the Taliban. He added that his death was, in fact, a fatal blow to the peace process in the region.

On the other side, the TTP new Chief Maulana Fazlullah dismissed the proposed peace negotiations with the government as a “waste of time”, and vowed to target the prime minister, chief minister, chief of army staff and corpse commanders. During Swat and Malakand military operations, Fazlullah fled Swat and took shelter in Afghanistan.

Well-established in Afghanistan, with the tactical support of the US, in connivance with Indian RAW and Afghan spy service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Pakistan-based TTP, Maulana Fazlullah—and these foreign agencies have been conducting target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, beheadings, assaults on civil and military personnel, installations and forced abductions including ethnic and sectarian violence. By sending heavily-equipped militants in Pakistan, these entities are also assisting Baloch separatists.

Particularly, the captured TTP leader Latifullah Mehsud by US Special Forces (USF) in Afghanistan confessed that Afghanistan and India were waging proxy wars in Pakistan, and terrorist attacks on Gen. Sanaullah Khan Niazi in Upper Dir, at Peshawar Church, in Qissa Khawani Bazar and elsewhere had been planned by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies.

Now, Pakistan is facing multi-faceted challenges internally and externally, arranged by the anti-Pakistan enemies, as followed by a deliberate propaganda to destabilize and denuclearize it. So, these external entities also intend to thwart all the peace processes to further weaken Pakistan through their collective sinister designs.    

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

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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The US is after Haqqani network

The US is after Haqqani network

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

It seems that the US has renewed its efforts to disrupt and dismantle Haqqani network (HN). After the suicide attack on Camp Chapman of CIA in Khost on December 30, 2009, CIA carried out aggressive drone campaign against HN under Jalaluddin Haqqani in Khost and his son Sirajuddin in North Waziristan (NW). HN was banned by USA since it was considered a big threat in Eastern Afghanistan and Kabul. Almost every day drone strike was launched to target HN leaders. From January 2010 onwards, the US began mounting pressure on Pakistan to launch a major operation in NW to eliminate safe havens of HN. Gen David Petraeus, Commander US-NATO forces in Afghanistan made his planned operation in Kandahar conditional to an operation in NW. The US ignored Pakistan’s pleas that Pak Army had undertaken three major operations in Swat, Bajaur and SW in 2009 and was over stretched and couldn’t afford to pullout additional forces from eastern border because of Indian threat.

In the wake of increased attacks in and around Kabul in 2011 including high profile targets inside highly fortified Kabul in September, the then CJCSC Admiral Mike Mullen declared HN as the veritable arm of ISI. In order to force Pakistan to launch an operation in NW, western border was heated up in April 2011 with the help of fugitive Fazlullah who had fled from Swat in July 2009. The US military is still obsessed with HN and has lately stepped up its efforts to incapacitate this outfit. Jalaluddin’s youngest son Omar Haqqani was killed in Khost in 2008 in a combat, while other two sons Badruddin and Mohammad were killed by drones in NW in 2009 and August 2013 respectively. Recently, the fourth son Dr. Naseeruddin Haqqani was murdered in Islamabad on November 11, 2013. Possible suspects are CIA, Afghan NDS and Fazlullah.

The reason why Fazlullah is one of the suspects is that in last October it was reported in the media that Fazlullah’s base of operation in Kunar had been uprooted by the Taliban after inflicting heavy casualties. The reason behind the attack in all probability was that Fazlullah controlled by foreign agencies was deliberately impeding peace process in Pakistan. It was reported that Fazlullah died in the attack. However it transpired later on that he survived. Being highly vindictive, he swore to take revenge from HN, which he suspected had attacked his base at the behest of ISI to avenge the death of Maj Gen Sanaullah Niazi, martyred in Upper Dir on September 15th. His patrons too encouraged him to avenge the deadly attack. Since it was not possible for him to harm HN in Khost or in NW, he planned to go for a soft target to convey a strong message to Jalaluddin to keep his hands off him. Fazlullah tasked his men in Swat region to keep Dr Naseeruddin under surveillance and kill him whenever opportunity came their way. Naseeruddin was not involved in militancy and was leading a quiet life with his family in Islamabad since long.

No sooner Sartaj Aziz gave good news to the nation on November 20 that the US has assured Pakistan that there will be no drone strikes while talks are in progress, a seminary in Thal Tehsil of Hangu District where young children were imparted religious training was struck by a drone on November 21. The missiles fired from a Reaper struck the two rooms of a nine-room Madrassa run by Afghan cleric Qari Nurullah. It was yet another blow delivered to HN, since one of its key leaders Maulana Hameedullah was among the six Afghan clerics killed. The US claimed that three members of HN including Sirajuddin were regular visitors of this seminary.  This admission was a clear indication that the US is after HN and may have been involved in Naseerudin’s murder as well. Latest strike was more dangerous than the previous ones since it took place in settled area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Interior Minister Nisar dubbed USA as untrustworthy since assurance had also been given to Nawaz Sharif when he met Obama in Washington on October 23, but was not honored.

CIA must have stepped up its efforts to locate and gun down the surviving son Sirajuddin based in NW to debilitate HN. The reason why the US has got after HN is its linkage with Pakistan. There is no denying the fact that of all the Afghan factions, HN is closest to Pakistan and farthest from Northern Alliance, Karzai, USA and India. Influence over HN enables Pakistan to have a say in Afghan conundrum and figure out prominently in the US calculations.         

Deaths of Hakimullah, Naseeruddin and Hameedullah and arrest of Latif Mehsud by US Special Forces in Afghanistan and appointment of Fazlullah as new chief of TTP are significant events which have impacted Pakistan’s position. Latif who was a close confidante and deputy of Hakeemullah is a valuable asset in the hands of USA. He was arrested at a time when TTP was sharply divided between pro-peace and anti-peace groups and Latif was among the latter group. Not only he must have divulged the program of visit of Hakeemullah to Dandey Darpakhel to hold peace talks which enabled CIA to kill him on November 1, he must have by now disclosed all the details concerning TTP’s command structure, logistic, communication and intelligence systems, hideouts, pro-and anti-US members of TTP Shura and Council, their alliances with local and foreign groups, sources of funding and procurement of weapons and explosives, factories producing IEDs and suicide jackets, aims and objectives and their system of motivation, recruitment and training. In addition, requisite information about HN must also have been extracted from him. That is the reason CIA is achieving rapid successes in targeting HN leading lights.         

Information accessed from Latif about Shura members deciding the selection of next chief must have helped CIA to influence them. Each one must have been warned that their fate would be no different than Hakeemullah if they had their own way. Changed circumstances have made it possible for CIA, NDS and RAW to further tighten their grip over TTP and its new leader residing in Kunar as well as on Faqir Muhammad and Khalid Khurasani, the two TTP leaders of Bajaur and Mehmand Agencies respectively who too are absconders and staying in Afghanistan. The three agencies are now in a better position to manipulate the working of TTP to their advantage and to the disadvantage of Pakistan.

Another possible change that seems to be in the offing is the centre of gravity of TTP shifting from FATA to settled areas of KP with depth resting in Kunar and Nuristan. Other than Bajaur and Mehmand tribal agencies, within Provincial Administered Tribal Area (PATA), areas that may become hotter could be Dir, Buner, Malakand, Swat, Shangla, Chitral and Swabi. Area up to Mardan and Nowshera may get affected. This shift in emphasis will be owing to the new Ameer hailing from Swat and his deputy Khalid belonging to Swabi. Increased militancy in settled areas would facilitate USA to employ drones in turbulent areas. Our nuclear facilities would therefore become more vulnerable.  

After successfully scuttling the peace process with the help of drones and terrorist attacks, the US can now bargain with Pakistan from a position of strength and can say that if Pakistan wants peace with TTP, it will have to play its role in ensuring peace in Afghanistan by bringing HN leaders on the negotiating table and convincing them to agree to US terms and conditions. The US will keep the cards of TTP and drones and continue playing them to keep Pakistan in line.

The situation has taken a slightly different turn after blockade of NATO supply routes in Peshawar by KP government led by Imran Khan on November 23 in protest against drone strike in Hangu. Imran has been the leading opponent of drones and has singled out drone as the major reason of terrorism in Pakistan and the main impediment in the way of peace. Last time supply routes were blocked in late November after Salala tragedy. The blockade remained enforced for about seven months but Pakistan couldn’t extract anything better from USA when new MoU was inked in July 2012. No apology was rendered, or an assurance given that repeat of 26 November like vandalism would not take place in future. Our demands of raising the transit fee to $5000 per container and stopping drone attacks were not met. It is to be seen how Pakistan government plays its cards now when the US posing as friend refuses to sheath the drone and is bent upon thwarting reconciliation process.  

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst and columnist. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

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The Real Reasons Why the US and India Demonize Pakistan’s ISI

The Real Reasons Why the US and India Demonize Pakistan’s ISI 
By
 
Shahid R. Siddiqi. Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
 

 

Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency, or ISI as it is popularly known, is seen as their nemesis by those who have tried to undermine the security interests of the country one way or the other. It is no wonder then that in past few years the Americans unleashed a strong ISI-bashing campaign, with India following suit. 
 
The Americans made no bones about their dislike for this agency, blaming it for working against their interests in Afghanistan. The Indians also see an ISI agent behind every rock in Kashmir and in Afghanistan where they are trying to dig their heels. They do not hesitate to pin on ISI the blame for the freedom struggle in Kashmir or for acts of terrorism by Indian extremists. Until recently the Karzai government dominated by the anti-Pakistan Northern Alliance also remained hostile to ISI.   
 
Not too long ago, under intense American pressure the weak Zardari government made an unsuccessful attempt at neutralizing and subduing this agency in disregard to the existing sensitive regional security environment, by moving it out of the army control and placing it under the controversial and embattled Zardari loyalist interior minister – Rehman Malik. This did not succeed for a simple reason. The role of ISI as the eyes and ears of the Pakistan’s military – the bedrock of country’s security, is critical particularly at a time when the country faces multiple threats to its security.  
 
Washington’s darling in the Afghan-Soviet war

Ironically, this is the same ISI that was Washington’s darling during the 1980s when it was master minding the jihad against invading Soviet forces in Afghanistan. The role that ISI then played was congruent with American interests. The defeat of the Soviet Union would have meant realization of an American dream – avenging the humiliation of Vietnam. They held ISI in high esteem for its competence and professionalism and gladly funneled arms and funds to the Afghan mujahedeen through it. The ISI strategized the resistance and organized and trained the mujahedeen fighters, working in close collaboration with the CIA and the mujahedeen leaders, forcing the Soviets to retreat. 
 
But as soon as the Americans had negotiated a quid pro quo – Russian withdrawal from South America in exchange for safe Soviet exit from Afghanistan, they disappeared in the middle of the night leaving Afghanistan in a quandary. The political turmoil that followed created chaos and instability owing to the failure of mujahedeen leadership, presenting as a result a security nightmare for Pakistan. 
 
Taliban-US-Pakistan relations and the Indian Threat

In this chaos a group of young Afghan religious students, many of them former fighters from the resistance, calling themselves Taliban (in Pushto language Taliban means students), swept through the country with popular support to establish their rule. Interested to keep their presence alive, the Americans maintained contacts and supported them, ignoring their orthodox beliefs, their harsh rule and even the presence of Al Qaeda in their midst. This continued until it was time for the Americans to overthrow their government in order to serve the changing American interests.     
 
While the Taliban government was in control, Pakistan too maintained friendly relations with them in the interest of keeping its western border secure, extending whatever support it could. The ISI played a role through the contacts it had developed during war against the Soviets.  
  
In the wake of 9/11 things began to change. Having invaded Afghanistan in the name of war on terror, branding Taliban as brutes and their resistance as terrorism, the Americans wanted the Pakistan army and the ISI to join the war. 
 
This posed a serious security concern for Pakistan. It could destabilize the Pak-Afghan border and strain relations with the Pashtun tribes on both sides of the Durand Line, the British drawn boundary that cut through the Pashtun region to divide British India and Afghanistan and which Pakistan had inherited. The fact that Pakistan’s border region, called Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is autonomous where the writ of the Pakistan Government does not prevail made matters more complex.

Pakistan’s military doctrine is based primarily on meeting the main threat from India on its eastern border while maintaining a peaceful border with Afghanistan in the west. A direct conflict with the Taliban would have forced Pakistan to divert its military assets from eastern to the western front, thus thinning out its defenses against India. This was the last thing Pakistan wanted to do because of its unfavorable ratio of 1:4 against India in terms of conventional forces. Understandably, President Musharraf was unwilling to do the American bidding. 
 
U.S. projection of its military failures onto Pakistan

There always is a problem with powers that begin to act in imperialistic fashion. Their vision of the world becomes colored. They tend to believe that pursuit of their imperialist designs takes precedence over the national interests of those who cannot stand up to them, even if that means compromising their own national and security interests. America had also been behaving as one such imperial power and treated its smaller allies more like colonies. President Musharraf was threatened that in case of noncompliance with America’s wishes, “Pakistan would be bombed into the stone-age”. Musharraf was coerced into conceding to American demands. 
 
Despite the state-of-the-art surveillance equipment and military hardware, the US and NATO forces failed to stop the Taliban fighters from moving back and forth into the unmarked Pak-Afghan border that passes through a treacherous mountainous region to regroup and strike on the invading foreign troops. The American commanders reacted by demanding that the Pakistan army engage these fighters and seal the border. Those with even the slightest knowledge of the area would know that the Americans were asking for the moon. This was physically impossible.  
 
Pakistan army’s operations failed. In the process it earned a severe backlash from the local tribes who resented army’s action against their kinsmen from across the border who sought refuge in their area, as it violated the old tribal custom of providing sanctuary to any one who asked for it, even it was an enemy. The Pakistan army paid a heavy price. More soldiers died in this action than the combined number of casualties that the US and NATO troops have suffered in Afghanistan so far. 
 
President Musharraf under advice of his army commanders and the intelligence community called off the action and resorted to persuasion instead. Through jirgas (assembly of tribal elders) effort was made for the tribesmen to voluntarily stop the influx of Taliban fighters. It didn’t succeed either. This was not to the liking of the American commanders. They blamed the ISI for working against their interests.

Washington accuses the ISI of complicity with insurgents
 
Washington and the American media frequently alleged that elements within ISI were maintaining contacts with the Taliban and attributed the failure of American troops in combating the Taliban to these contacts. Such allegations were also found to be part of the raw, unverified and even fabricated field reports ‘leaked’ in Afghanistan recently and splashed in the western media. The Americans have in the past also described the ISI to be out of control and demanded of the Pakistan government to purge the agency of Taliban sympathizers.
 
This is ridiculous. Firstly, ISI is a military organization operating under strict organizational control and discipline where officers are rotated in the normal course. It functions according to a defined mandate, unlike armed forces in some other countries and unlike the CIA which is known to be an invisible government on its own. Above all, Pakistan and its military are committed to weeding out religious extremism as a matter of state policy.  
Secondly, if the American troops are so incapable of overcoming a rag tag army of Taliban and if the complicity of ISI with the Taliban can be instrumental in changing the course of the American war, then it is a sad day for America as a super power and the strength of NATO forces becomes questionable. 
 
Thirdly, in the world of intelligence, contacts are kept even with the enemy and at all times. CIA keeps contacts within Russia and other hostile countries. Israel, the great American ally, spies on America itself. It is common for all intelligence agencies to do this in the security interests of their countries. Why then should America expect an exception to be made in case of ISI? Why should contacts that ISI developed with the mujahedeen and the Taliban earlier, and which if it does still maintain, become a source of such great concern for the American administration? 
 
Demanding that the ISI subordinate Pakistan security to U.S. interests.

It is strange that America expects ISI to serve the American agenda instead of Pakistan’s interests first. One cannot forget that the Americans have a long history of abandonment of friends and allies and when they repeat this in Afghanistan citing their own national interest, despite their promises to the contrary, why should Pakistan be expected to be caught with pants down? Why Pakistan’s military and the intelligence agency should be expected to abdicate their duty and not do what is necessary to ensure Pakistan’s security in the long term?   
 
It has often been argued that America expects Pakistan to be actively engaged in the Afghan war in return for the military assistance it provides. The answer is quite simple. The American establishment is doing all that needs to be done in support of its own war and not for the love of Pakistan. The war is theirs, not Pakistan’s. Pakistan should do and is doing what is necessary and feasible, without jeopardizing its own security. 
 
As for the assistance, bulk of the $10 billion that America gave in the past and was branded as “aid” was in fact the reimbursement of expenses that Pakistan had already incurred in supporting the war effort. The rest was to meet Pakistan’s needs for operations in the border areas and for fighting terrorism that arose out of the war. The Americans still owe $35 billion to reimburse the losses Pakistan has incurred due to this war. As for the F16s that Pakistan is getting from the US, it pays for them, despite strict restrictions over their usage. 
 
The Indian-Israeli attempt to destabilize Pakistan

While Americans had their issues with ISI, the Indians and Israelis began having their own. The agency exposed the growing Indian and Israeli confluence in Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan. This happened right under the nose of the Americans and obviously not without their knowledge and consent. India having deployed its troops in the name of infra-structure development in league with Karzai government and with American funding and having established seven consulates along the sparsely populated Pak-Afghan border was engaged in heavily bribing the influential but ignorant and susceptible tribal leaders to spread disaffection among the local tribesmen against Pakistan. 
 
Evidence was also unearthed by ISI about how the Indians bought the loyalties of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a grouping of Pakistani tribesmen from FATA and Uzbek fighters from previous wars who settled in the region. The TTP were influenced by the same orthodox religious beliefs as the Taliban in Afghanistan and were active in propagating them in their own areas. They were recruited to launch terror activities in the urban centers of Pakistan, including the capital Islamabad, and were funded, trained and equipped in Afghanistan jointly by the Indian, Israeli and Afghan intelligence agencies. A group from amongst them managed to gain control of Swat area adjoining FATA through coercion of the local population, which was later cleared by the Pakistan army after a major surgical intervention. 
 
The ISI also laid bare strong physical evidence of Indian involvement in supporting insurgency in Balochistan by way of funding, training and equipping misguided and disgruntled Baloch elements grouped under various names including the Balochistan Liberation Army that was led by the fugitive grandson of the notable Bugti tribal chief – Akbar Bugti. His comings and goings in the Indian consulate at Kandahar and the Indian intelligence HQ in Delhi were photographed and his communications intercepted. Numerous training camps in the wilderness of Balochistan were detected where Indian trainers imparted training in guerilla warfare and the use of sophisticated weapons, which otherwise could not be available to the Baloch tribesmen. Flow of huge funds from Afghan border areas to the insurgents was detected that was traced back to the Indian consulates. 

Summary and conclusion

The objective of the TTP, and behind the scene that of the Indians and the Israelis, was to make the world believe that Pakistan was under threat of capitulating to terrorist and insurgent elements who were about to take control of Pakistan’s nuclear assets. Their goal: to denuclearize Pakistan through foreign intervention.

These efforts have not succeeded. Undoubtedly, the army and the ISI played a crucial role in foiling the plots of subversion in Balochistan and the Pashtun region and exposing the foreign hands involved, including those of CIA, RAW, Mossad, RAMA and MI6. Terrorism may not yet be eliminated but Pakistan faces no existential threat.  
 
It should be no surprise to the Americans, Indians and the Israelis if they find in ISI an adversary to reckon with. It is also not surprising that the ISI is in their perception, a rogue organization, for it has stood between them and Pakistan’s national security interests. Their frustration and ire, therefore, is understandable.

 


 

Shahid R. Siddiqi obtained his Masters degree in Chemistry and English Literature. He served in the Pakistan Air Force and subsequently joined the corporate sector with which he has remained associated until recently in senior management positions in Pakistan, United States, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Alongside, he worked as a broadcaster and remained the Islamabad bureau chief of an English weekly magazine ‘Pakistan & Gulf Economist published from Karachi (Pakistan). In the U.S. he co-founded the Asian American Republican Club in Maryland in 1994 to encourage the participation of Asian Americans in the mainstream political process.

He was a freelance writer on political and geopolitical issues and his articles are carried by the daily newspapers Dawn and The Nation in Pakistan, German magazine Globalia and online publications such as Axis of Logic, Foreign Policy Journal and Middle East Times.

 

IN MEMORIAM

 

A Great Son Of Pakistan, Late Shahid R. Siddiqi (May Allah (swt) Grant Him Jannah) Essay in Axis of Logic : 

 

Read his bio and more analyses and essays by 
Axis of Logic Columnist, Shahid R. Siddiqi

 

© Copyright 2013 by AxisofLogic.com

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US Military Sales to Pakistan : Less Bang for More Bucks Spent by Pakistan

Major U.S. Arms Sales and Grants to Pakistan Since 2001

Prepared by the Congressional Research Service for distribution to multiple congressional offices, March 7, 2013

 Major U.S. arms sales and grants to Pakistan since 2001 have included items useful for counterterrorism and

counterinsurgency operations.

In dollar value terms, the bulk of purchases have been made with Pakistani national funds, although U.S. grants

have eclipsed these in recent years. The Pentagon reports total Foreign Military Sales agreements with Pakistan

worth about $5.2 billion for FY2002-FY2011 (in-process sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment

account for about half of this). The U.S. Congress has appropriated more than $3 billion in Foreign Military

Financing (FMF) for Pakistan since 2001, more than two-thirds of which has been disbursed. These funds are used

to purchase U.S. military equipment for longer-term modernization efforts. Pakistan has also been granted U.S.

defense supplies as Excess Defense Articles (EDA). Discord in the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relationship beginning

mid-FY2011 has slowed the pace of transfers considerably.

Major post-2001 defense supplies provided, or soon to be provided, under FMF  include:

 eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment (valued at $474 million, four

delivered, three of which were destroyed in a 2011 attack by Islamist militants);

2,007 TOW anti-armor missiles ($186 million; all delivered);

more than 5,600 military radio sets ($163 million);

six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars ($100 million);

six C-130E transport aircraft and their refurbishment ($76 million);

the Perry-class missile frigate USS McInerney , via EDA ($65 million for refurbishment;

delivered);

20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters via EDA ($48 million, 12 refurbished and delivered); and

Supplies paid for with a mix of Pakistani national funds and FMF  include:

up to 60 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft (valued at $891 million, with $477

million of this in FMF, Pakistan currently plans to purchase 45 such kits and 8 have been

delivered to date); and

115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers ($87 million, with $53 million in FMF).

Notable items paid or to be paid for entirely with Pakistani national funds  include:

!  18 new F-16C/D Block 52 combat aircraft (valued at $1.43 billion; all delivered);

!  F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500

JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits, also for

gravity bombs ($629 million);

100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($298 million);

500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles ($95 million); and

six Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns ($80 million).

Major articles transferred via EDA  include:

14 F-16A/B combat aircraft; and

59 T-37 military trainer jets.

 Under Coalition Support Funds (part of the Pentagon budget), Pakistan received 26 Bell 412 utility helicopters,

Skirmishes between US and Pakistani troops during operation enduring freedom in Afghanistan started in june 2008, and have since then sow discord between the two countries. In 2011, after the Salala incident had killed 24 Pakistanese soldiers on the poorly defined border, Pakistan closed the ISAF supply lines for 9 months.
The ISAF supply lines that runs from Karachi to Afghanistan are much shorter than those from the NDN ( Northern Distribution Network ) and logically much cheaper.

The increasing number of UAV strikes in the FATA ( Federaly Administered Tribal Areas ) have also been sources of critics from Pakistani officials.

Foreign Military Sales

click for larger resolution:

*1: 8 P-3 Orion MPA. *2: 6 C-130E. *3:1 Oliver Hazard Perry FFG. *4: 20 AH-1F helicopters. 
*5: 5600 military radios. *6: 6 AN/TPS-77 radars. *7: 2007 BGM-71 missiles.*8: 60 update kits for F-16A/Bfighters. *9: 115 M-109 SPH. *10: 1600 Paveway kits. *11: 18 F-16C/D fighters. 
*12: 6 Phalanx CIWS. *13: 100 RGM-84 missiles. *14: 500 JDAM bombs.*15: 500 AIM-120 missiles. *16: 500 AIM-9 missiles *17: 14 F-16A/Bfighters. *18: 59 T-37 aircrafts.

FMS ( Foreign Military Sales ) and FMF ( Foreign Military Financing ) programs facilitates arms deal to foreign governments. The FMS program  act as a go-between for the US arms companies and foreign governments, while the FMF program provides grants for the acquisition of U.S. defense equipment. 
According to the US DoS ( Department of State ) website, the objectives pursued by FMF are:   
  

  • Improve the military capabilities of key friendly countries to contribute to international crisis response operations, including peacekeeping and humanitarian crisis.
  • Promote bilateral, regional and multilateral coalition efforts, notably in the global war on terrorism.
  • Maintain support for democratically-elected governments that share values similar to the United States for democracy, human rights, and regional stability.
  • Enhance rationalization, standardization, and interoperability of military forces of friendly countries and allies.
  • Assist the militaries of friendly countries and allies to procure U.S. defense articles and services that strengthen legitimate self-defense capabilities and security needs.
  • Enhance rationalization, standardization, and interoperability of military forces of friendly countries and allies.
  • Support the U.S. industrial base by promoting the export of U.S. defense-related goods and services.

    EDA stand for Excess Defense Articles

along with related parts and maintenance, valued at $235 million. Under Section 1206, Frontier Corps, and Pakistan

Counterinsurgency Fund authorities, the United States has provided 4 Mi-17 multirole helicopters (another 6 were

provided temporarily at no cost), 4 King Air 350 surveillance aircraft, 450 vehicles for the Frontier Corps, 20

Buffalo explosives detection and disposal vehicles, helicopter spare parts, sophisticated explosives detectors, night

vision devices, radios, body armor, helmets, first aid kits, litters, and other individual soldier equipment. Through

International Military Education and Training and other programs, the United States has also funded and provided

training for more than 2,000 Pakistani military officers.

Sources: U.S. Departments of Defense and State Contact: K. Alan Kronstadt, Specialist in South Asian Affairs, 7-5415

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