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Archive for category ISRAEL’S MASSIVE NUCLEAR-Dangerous to Global Peace

Undiminished Scars of 1971 Tragedy Part-3 by Brig.Gen(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Undiminished Scars of 1971 Tragedy

Part-3

 

“Refusal to learn from history is not unique to a particular ruler: It is a general failing of governments and people”. George Hegel

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

UN Resolutions vetoed by USSR

After 4 Dec, all the resolutions moved in the UNSC were vetoed by the Soviet Union. On 8 Dec, Bhutto as Vice PM had been sent to New York to find a diplomatic solution to the East Pakistan (EP) crisis by arranging a ceasefire. He took a circuitous route and reached there in 3 days. He chose a leisurely course and took things lightly when EP was falling. On 14th December Poland presented a draft resolution that obviously had the backing of the USSR. It called for the transfer of power to the elected representatives, followed by a ceasefire, withdrawal of forces and later evacuation of Pakistani forces.

On 15 Dec, Bhutto made an emotional speech that was hardly relevant and then rejected the Polish resolution in a theatrical fashion, tore his notes and walked out of the meeting in a huff. Lt Gen Jacob stated later on that passage of the Polish resolution would have been disastrous for India and that it was Bhutto who saved the day for India. (Lt Gen Joseph Jacob, Surrender at Dacca, p 146).

Dying Moments

Indian Eastern Command intercepted the flurry of confusing signals transmitted between GHQ and Dacca from Dec 7 onwards and directed Commander Communication Zone, Maj Gen Nagra on 15 Dec to race for Dacca and pull a fast one on Gen Niazi that the game was over. All the major Indian formations were behind the rivers. Not a single Pakistani formations/units fighting the war had capitulated.  

Nature had given Gen Niazi a chance to stand up to the threat and enter his name in the golden Islamic history as a real tiger. He chose to give up under the plea of saving the lives of thousands of soldiers. Maj Gen Tajammul Hussain, my Brigade Commander on the Hilli front, who had given me a smashing war report, wrote is his book, “The Story of My Struggle, 1991, p 159, “Niazi was basically not a coward but he was made a coward by the cowards around him”.

No results could be achieved by the counter offensive launched on the western front where a ceasefire came into place.

“No General can vindicate his loss claiming that he was compelled against his better judgment to execute an order that led to the defeat”. Field Marshal Von Manstein

East Pakistan

 

 

 

     

The Aftermath

 

Biharis Abandoned

 

After the surrender, 35000 Pak Army all ranks and non-combatants serving in units and HQs, 13000 EPCAF and Police personnel and 48000 non-Bengali civilians including their families were taken into safe custody of the Indian Army and later shifted to already established PoW camps in India. The Biharis were left to fend for themselves. Gen AA K Niazi and his negotiating team didn’t insist on including them in the repatriation list. They were left at the mercy of marauding Mukti, Qadri, Mujib and several other Bahinis who massacred them brutally and raped their women. The occupying Indian Army made no effort to stop the bloodshed since they were busy in looting, in carnival pleasures and nocturnal merrymaking. Hundreds of mass graves were dug to dump their bodies. The dried wells were filled with their dead bodies. Brutalities of the MBs were lumped on Pak Army.

 

10% Bengalis wanted independence

 

According to Professor G.W Choudhury, a Bengali member of Yahya’s cabinet and a fellow of Columbia University writes in his book, (The Last Days of United Pakistan, Oxford University Press, p. 167), ‘The vast majority of the Bengali Muslims were not prepared to see Pakistan dismembered and their homeland become again a target of domination by the ‘Bhadralok (elite) from Calcutta. They were interested in having genuine regional autonomy. In fact, their basic demand was for the improvement of their economic lot. Mujib captured their imagination because he promised them a ‘golden Bengal’ if they would only vote for his six points —‘

 

Propaganda War

 

The bizarre figures of 3 million Bengalis killed and 300,000 women raped by Pak Army in 9 months were dispelled by several western and Bengali authors including Sharmila Bose in her book ‘Dead Reckoning. She said that during her ground investigations, despite her best efforts she couldn’t get any evidence that soldiers of Pak Army had targeted Bengali women and children. In her view the highly exaggerated figures were given to arouse the sentiments of the public. She also negated the story of mass killings of students in Dacca University saying her probe revealed that all schools, colleges and university were closed and no one was living in the university hostel except for AL militants who had stacked big dumps of arms and ammunition and used to impart military training to the students.  

 

R.J. Rummel in his book ‘Death by Government’, writes about the atrocities committed by militant Bengalis against on-Bengalis: “In the whole of EP, non-Bengalis were attacked and were subjected to torture and ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Muslim families were wholly eliminated; women were raped and their breasts were cut with specially carved knives. The children of the victim women were also not spared. Thousands of surviving children had to live a torturous life. In Chittagong, Khulna, and Jessore, dead bodies of 20,000 Biharis were discovered. A cautions guess gives a figure of 2.50 lacs non-Bengalis killed at the hands of MB”.  

 

Between 1972 and 1974, Indian military and civil writers with the assistance provided by the Indian government published 270 books on the 1971 War and this trend continued over the years. The purpose was to justify Indian military’s intervention into EP, hide their crimes against humanity and build a narrative to prove that the myths of slaughter of 3 million Bengalis and rapes of 300,000 Bengali women by the Pak Army were true, and that the numbers pitched against Indian Army were 93000. 

 

Sustained Indo, Russian, Western propaganda together with publication of large numbers of books by Indian, western and Bengali authors helped India in portraying the Pak Army soldiers as bloodthirsty monsters and rapists and in convincing the world that Gen Yahya Khan’s regime and Pak Army were responsible for the dismemberment of united Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh (BD).

 

Their false narrative gained authenticity since Pakistan first remained mum over the slaughter of Biharis and non-Bengalis in March 1971, fearing that disclosure of the news would result in a backlash in West Pakistan (WP). After the surrender, Pakistan again chose to remain tightlipped till the leakage of Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report in 2001. Our silence helped India to convert their lies into truth. Our muteness and absence of authentic information gave rise to speculation, fabrication and distortion of facts by vested interests.

 

Looting by Indian Army

 

Soon after the creation of BD, the Indian Army went on a looting spree like hungry parasites. They took away war munitions, heavy guns, army vehicles, private cars of West Pakistanis, household items including bathroom fittings, fridges, ceiling fans, TVs, radios, electronic items, factories machinery, food grains, jute, yarn, canned food etc. Trains and thousands of trucks were looted and it was estimated that the loot was valued $ 2.2 billion. (Martin Woolla cott. The Guardian, Jan 22, 1972). Others who wrote in detail about the plunder were Sunil Gangapadhyay in his novel Purbha Pashchin, Maj MA Jalil MB 9 Sector Comd in his book (Araksmita Swadhinata-e-Paradhinata), Maj Shawkat Ali, MB 5 Sector Comd, Zainal Abedin in his book Rape of Bangladesh, J.N. Dixit in his book Liberation of Bengal: Indo-Bangladesh Relations.   

 

In the truncated Pakistan, Lt Gen Gul Hassan and Air Marshal Rahim Khan forced Gen Yahya to resign and Bhutto sitting in New York was given a call to come and take over the reins of power. After taking over, Bhutto wore three hats of President, CMLA and Chief of Armed Forces. Yahya was interned and a probe under chief justice Hamoodur Rahman ordered the mandate of which was confined to the military debacle in EP, making the postmortem controversial. Mujib was released from jail on 8 Jan 1972 and sent to Dacca. Lt Gen Gul Hassan was appointed COAS but he and Air Marshal Rahim were sacked four months later on charges that they had Bonaparte tendencies. Superseded Lt Gen Tikka Khan replaced Gul. After fascist rule of Bhutto, he was ousted by Gen Ziaul Haq in a military coup in July 1977 and Bhutto was hanged to death on 4 April 1979. After General Zia’s death in a C-130 crash in Aug 1988, Benazir Bhutto was elected, but the ten-year democratic era saw power changing between the PPP and the PML-N under Nawaz Sharif four times. Gen Musharraf’s 9-year rule couldn’t upturn the economic fortunes of the country. Thereon, the 5-year each rule of PPP under Zardari and of PML-N under Nawaz dipped all the economic indicators of the country and exacerbated moral and social issues. So far the incumbent PTI regime has been unable to cure the diseases of Pakistan and the economy is declining and provincialism has gained ground.         

 

In Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujib carried out witch-hunting of Bihars and patriotic Bengalis favoring One-Pakistan, and sought trial of 195 WP officers in alleged war crimes. He could survive for a few years only and on Aug 15, 1975, he along with 22 other family members were killed in a military coup led by Maj Farooq and Maj Rashid. Khondkar Mushtaq after remaining in the president’s chair for two months was deposed in another coup on Nov 3, 1975 which brought Brig Khalid Musharraf to power. After 4 days, he was toppled in a military coup and Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman was chosen to lead the country. After ruling for six years, he was assassinated and Gen Hussain Ershad ruled the roost till he was defeated by Mrs. Khalida Zia in elections in 1991. In the 1997 elections, Sheikh Hasina Wajid won and ruled for the next five years. She sentenced 15 army officers to death in Nov 1998. After another stint of Khalida, Hasina again came to power in 2008. She is still in the chair and has made impressive socio-economic improvements.         

 

To be continued

 

The writer is Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, international columnist, author of five books, sixth book under publication, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

  

 

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Should One Stand up for Western Values? By Kim Petersen

Should One Stand up for Western Values?

By Kim Petersen

November 04, 2021
What are western values? One often hears a representative of a western country praising its western values. In a 2017 statement Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau adumbrated Canadian values as “openness, compassion, equality, and inclusion.”

Given the psychological torture that Julian Assange has been subjected to over the years at the hands of western nations like the Britain, the United States, Sweden, and the silent host of western states and their media, one wonders where the compassion is. At the heart of the case against Assange is an antipathy to openness, as evidenced by the vituperation directed at Assange for publishing the truth; WikiLeaks has a perfect record of publication. And by promoting the right to know, Assange sought to include the public.

Given the historical trajectory of the West, how might purportedly virtuous western values have arisen? Enlightened Europeans set sail for distant shores, claimed the inhabited lands as their own, derided the locals as savages, enslaved them, raped the women, chopped off body parts, spread disease, murdered multitudes, robbed the resources, destroyed the cultures, among a host of atrocities. Despotic monarchism, Nazism, fascism, and capitalism would be spawned by Europeans.

 

 

 

 

 

Are Westerners more enlightened today?

The United Nations General Assembly 72nd session in December 2017, seems an apt barometer of current western values. The UNGA’s resolution 72/157, called for concrete action for the total elimination of racism globally.

The resolution was resumed as 75/237, still entitled as “A global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.” It was adopted by the General Assembly on 31 December 2020.

Of the total votes cast, 106 were in favor, 14 were against, and there were 44 abstentions.

The votes on Resolution 75/237 are very revealing of western values. Consider that among the 14 nay votes were a bevy of western countries:

Australia
Canada
Czech Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
France
Germany
Guyana
Israel
Nauru
Marshall Islands
Netherlands
Slovenia
United Kingdom
United States

The US explained its nay vote as being based on the “unfair and unacceptable singling out of Israel.”

In his book, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, the Jewish anarchist professor Noam Chomsky made crystal clear the Israeli racism toward Arabs: “Contempt for the Arab population is deeply rooted in Zionist thought.” Chomsky also alluded to western permissiveness toward Israeli racism: “Anti-Arab racism is … so widespread as to be unnoticeable; it is perhaps the only remaining form of racism to be regarded as legitimate.” [1]

The US is a country established through genocide and dispossession of the Indigenous peoples, and it set up an apartheid reservation system for those Indigenous peoples that survived. From this vantage point, it seems no wonder that Israel escaped criticism by the US since the US lacks a moral basis from which to castigate Israel. The same holds true for Canada, a country that still practices apartheid with its Indian Act and reserve system. Canada also steadfastly supports Israeli apartheid.

Several other western or western-aligned countries abstained, among them: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South), Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine. These countries refused to take a stand on the anti-racism resolution.

What about the other countries that supported the resolution? In particular, how did the countries subjected to disinformation, persistent criticism, sanctions, and provocative military maneuvers from countries crowing and preening about their western values vote? China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North), Iran, Iraq, Russia, and Syria all voted in favor of the anti-racism resolution.

Which countries’ values best represent those embraced by people of conscience?

Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be emailed at: kimohp@gmail. Twitter: @kimpetersen.

ENDNOTE

  1. Colleague B.J. Sabri and I explored in a 12-part series what Israeli racism is: “Defining Israeli Zionist Racism,” Dissident Voice, read parts 1234567891011, and 12.

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Afghanistan yesterday, today, tomorrow Pakistan-US role by Brig.Gen(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja.

Afghanistan yesterday, today, tomorrow

Pakistan-US role

By

Brig.Gen(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja.

Part-One

 

                                      “While we all hope for peace it shouldn’t be peace at any cost but peace based on principle, on justice” Corazon C. Aquino

 

Background

Pakistan and Afghanistan never enjoyed friendly relations since the latter didn’t accept the Durand Line as an international border and laid claims over Pashtun inhabited areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. Afghanistan has traditionally remained close to India and hostile towards Pakistan. Relations dipped during the rule of President Daud after he seized power in 1973 from King Zahir Shah. Insurgents in Baluchistan were provided safe havens and Pakhtunistan movement was fueled.

 

When Afghanistan was occupied by Soviet forces in December 1979, and 4 million Afghans became refugees in Pakistan, Pakistan under Gen Ziaul Haq condemned the invasion and decided to support the Afghan resistance forces. The US and Saudi Arabia came in support of Pakistan led covert war in June 1981. The two provided funds and weapons only. The Soviet forces accepted defeat and pulled out by February 1989 but in the ten-year gruesome war, the country was devastated and two million Afghan civilians lost their lives. Pakistan had to face KGB-KHAD-RAW-Al-Zulfiqar sabotage and subversion.

 

No sooner the US achieved all its objectives, the US not only ditched Pakistan in 1990 and put it under harsh sanctions, but to rub salt on wounds of Pakistan, it made India its strategic partner which was the camp follower of USSR. The Mujahideen eulogized as holy warriors were abandoned as a result of which civil war broke out between the warring groups.

 

 

  

 

The Taliban under Mulla Omar started their Islamic movement from Kandahar in 1994 and after capturing Kabul in 1996, they established Islamic Emirate. Taliban were in control of 93% territory till 07 Oct 2001, and only 7% in the north was controlled by the Northern Alliance (NA) comprising Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras. The military wing of NA was trained by the Indian and Iranian military trainers in Iran.

 

 

 

From 1997 onwards, the Taliban regime came in bad books of Washington because of cancellation of oil & gas pipelines project of UNICOL and was put under sanctions. Al-Qaeda under Osama bin Laden that had been created by CIA to fight the Soviets turned hostile and started hitting American targets in Gulf of Aden and African countries.

During the 5-year rule of Taliban, Afghanistan was made free of warlords, crimes and social vices including rapes and drug business. People could leave their houses and shops unlocked since none dared to commit theft. Justice was cheap and quick. For the first time since 1947, Pakistan enjoyed very cordial relations with Afghanistan and its western border became safe and Indian presence in Afghanistan faded. The closeness promoted the concept of strategic depth. After the forcible removal of Taliban regime by the US-NATO forces in November 2001, Pak-Afghanistan relations have strained and Indian influence has bounced back in a big way. It was owing to their social and judicial achievements that Talibanization crept into FATA and Malakand Division in Pakistan and later give birth to TTP and TNSM.   

 

Pakistan-US relations 1954-2000

 

Pakistan-USA relations have all along been transactional in nature and never developed into deep-rooted strategic relationship based on mutual trust and friendship. The 74 years history has seen many ups and downs; the US behaving like an overbearing mother-in-law and Pakistan put on a roller coaster ride behaving like a submissive daughter-in-law, taking her barbs without a whimper. Such an unfair treatment was meted out in spite of Pakistan having put its national security at stake three times and each time suffering a great deal.

 

The US embraced Pakistan for the accomplishment of its objectives in this region and no sooner the objectives were achieved, it was unceremoniously dumped. Each time the US ventured into this part of the world, it found Pakistan to be most suitable and most pliable to serve its ends. Pak-US relations were at their best during Eisenhower-Dulles era after which the US started wooing India and forced Pakistan to lean on China.

 

During the Cold War, Pakistan was reluctantly taken on board by the US in 1953/4 to help in containing communism in South Asia after India which was the camp follower of the Soviet Union refused to become part of the US defensive arc. Pakistan joined the western pacts due to its extreme security concerns from India and Afghanistan, both backed by former Soviet Union.

 

Although Pakistan earned the title of ‘most allied ally of the US’ and became totally dependent upon the US arms and technology, but the US disappointed Pakistan when its support was needed the most in the 1965 and 1971 wars with India. Pakistan was denied the crucially needed war munitions from the US as well as diplomatic support during the two wars, while India continued to receive arms from the USSR and kept the resolution of Kashmir dispute at bay due to Soviet vetoes. 

 

The US ignored India’s nuclear explosion in 1974 but promptly imposed sanctions on Pakistan in 1979 on mere suspicion that it was working on a nuclear program. However, soon after, when Pakistan’s services were needed to fight the occupying Soviet forces in Afghanistan, it once again hugged it in 1981 and doled out monetary and military assistance.

 

Throughout the 1990s, Pakistan was kept under the leash under the charges of developing an Islamic bomb, nuclear proliferation and cross border terrorism in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Holy warriors were dubbed as terrorists and hounded. Indo-US relations blossomed into strategic relationship during Bill Clinton rule and thereon it kept flourishing leaps and bounds.

 

Post 9/11 events

 

Pakistan was once again taken on board by the US after 9/11 for the achievement of its short-term regional objectives in Afghanistan. From the very outset, the US intoxicated with power ignored the geography, history, culture, sociology and ideology of Afghanistan. It didn’t bother that it had been a graveyard of empires where it was easy to enter but near impossible to exit safely. Not only Alexander the great fell, but the British also failed and the USSR disintegrated.

 

Blinded by rage to avenge the 9/11 attacks and immersed in the pool of arrogance and egotism, the US and its western allies jumped into the inferno of Afghanistan with full zeal and enthusiasm, and vaulted from one plan to another in pursuit of a hollow strategy, which was never changed to correct its course.

 

Gen Musharraf accepted all 7 demands of the US since he was denied the option of staying neutral. To save Pakistan from destruction, he ditched the Taliban and provided airbases, seaport, land routes and intelligence cooperation to the invaders. The US could not have so easily toppled the Taliban regime and occupied Afghanistan in a month if Pakistan had not provided full support.

 

Completely isolated and encircled from all directions, and the traditional fallback position of FATA denied, the Taliban could fight the ground forces of NA, but couldn’t have resisted the massive air bombing for long. Hence they wisely undertook a tactical withdrawal to regain strength and start bleeding the occupiers through prolonged insurrectional war. The euphoric George W. Bush sounded the victory bugles too prematurely and took it for granted that the Taliban were down and out.

 

Mistakes made by Bush administration

 

Much against Pakistan’s advice, the US installed NA heavy regime in Kabul which was pro-India and anti-Pakistan. The puppet regime ignored the Afghan Pashtuns and started giving more space to India to make it the preeminent player in Afghanistan as was desired by the US.

 

Ignoring the heavy majority Pashtuns and relying solely on the minority NA regime was the first mistake made by Bush administration. This blunder was followed by another when it imposed the US tailored constitution upon the tribal based society. 

 

Opening of the second front by USA in Iraq in 2003 without consolidating the gains in Afghanistan was another slip-up, since engagement on two fronts diluted the war effort of the US-NATO and allowed breathing space to the Taliban to regroup in FATA.

 

Yet another error was raising non-Pashtun heavy Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) which turned into a liability.

 

CIA and NATO as well as Afghan warlords indulged in drug business which had almost been eliminated by the Taliban. These distractions loosened the grip of ISAF led by weak military commanders over Afghanistan and enabled the Taliban to recover lost space in southern and eastern Afghanistan and also earn money from drug business for their war effort.

 

Since the two land routes from Pakistan used by NATO containers passed through the Taliban dominated rural belt, the US security contractors and Afghan officials had to pay toll tax to the Taliban for passage of every container which also became a source of income for them.

 

The US dual standards

 

Misled by misconceived victory, over confident Bush instead of fulfilling the promises made to the Afghans by promoting democracy, education and development works, he gave preference to covert operations against Pakistan and forced Pakistan to fight the Al-Qaeda in South Waziristan (SW). That way, Pakistan earned the hostility of Al-Qaeda and own tribesmen.

 

Ironically, while Washington waged war in Iraq and Afghanistan to bring democracy, it stoutly upheld Pakistan’s military dictatorship.

 

While Pak security forces fought the Pakistani Taliban and Baloch rebel groups in FATA and in Baluchistan that were funded, trained, equipped and guided by RAW-NDS combine to destabilize Pakistan, they didn’t confront the Afghan Taliban whose struggle was entirely confined to Afghanistan and they never fired a bullet against Pak forces.

 

Pakistan started taking measures to protect its national security in 2008 once it learnt that CIA-FBI had gained complete sway over FATA with the help of TTP formed in Dec 2006. Blackwater was inducted in 2008 to bolster CIA-FBI in urban areas of Pakistan. Nexus of CIA-RAW-NDS-MI-6-Mossad-BND in Kabul supported anti-Pakistan proxies in FATA and Baluchistan.

 

In order to keep the supply routes to the TTP open so that it could indulge in terrorism in FATA and KP, the US rejected Pakistan’s proposal to fence the western border, or to increase number of border posts on Afghan side to prevent infiltration.

 

A coordinated Indo-Afghan propaganda campaign backed by the west was launched to defame Pakistan and its premier institutions.

 

Obama’s Nightmare era

 

Based on Obama’s Af-Pak strategy of anvil and hammer, managed by Richard Holbrook, ISAF failed to provide the anvil when Pak forces delivered the hammer in SW in 2009, thus letting the TTP militants under Hakimullah Mehsud to flee to Afghanistan. Pak forces managed to retrieve 17 out of 19 administrative units under the influence of TTP and confined its presence to the last bastions of North Waziristan (NW) and Khyber Agency.

 

But for Pakistan which nabbed over 600 Al-Qaeda senior leaders and operators and handed them over to CIA, the ISAF couldn’t have dismantled and defeated them in Afghanistan as claimed by Obama. Bulk of Al-Qaeda fighters had otherwise shifted to Iraq in 2004 and formed Al-Qaeda Arabian Peninsula after the US-NATO forces occupied Iraq in May 2003.

 

Two troop surges in 2009 raised the strength of ISAF (an amalgam of 48 military contingents) to near 1,50,000, but it proved futile since it resulted in heavy casualties of the occupiers. Adoption of rearward posture and abandonment of boots on ground strategy by ISAF after suffering setbacks in battles of Helmand and Nuristan and putting ANSF in the forefront, and thereafter putting heavy reliance on airpower, was a wrong decision made by Gen McChrystal. It enabled the Taliban to snatch the initiative and build momentum of offensive, which couldn’t be reversed by the occupying force.   

 

Tensions between the US and Pakistan kept increasing when the US adopted a highly discriminatory policy of blaming Pakistan for the failures of ISAF-ANSF, and instability in Afghanistan; subjecting it to drone war; insulting and penalizing it and constantly pressing it to do more against Haqqani Network (HN) and Quetta Shura, and at the same time covering up the sins of India and Kabul regime and going out of the way to reward them. Extreme pressure was mounted to flush out HN from NW. Discriminatory policy brought in element of distrust.  

 

2011 was the worst year for Pakistan in which Raymond Davis, Abbottabad attack, Memogate and Salala attack took place which forced Pakistan to cut off military cooperation with the US and stop the two NATO supply routes for six months.  

 

The reason behind the discriminatory behavior was that while Indo-US-Afghan-West-Israel are strategic partners and work in collusion to achieve their common objectives, Pakistan doesn’t fit into the US security paradigm or the Indo-Pacific strategy, and as such was accepted as a tactical partner to fight terrorism both inside Pakistan and in Afghanistan.

The points of friction which kept the Pak-US relations dysfunctional are Pakistan’s nuclear program, the CPEC, its closeness with China, hostility against India mainly due to unresolved Kashmir dispute, its refusal to recognize Israel, and its refusal to fight Afghan Taliban.

Initiation of peace talks by Obama in 2011 which led to opening of Taliban’s political office at Doha in mid-June 2013 lacked sincerity since whichever Taliban leader came forward for a peace deal, whether from TTP or the Taliban, was droned. Wali, Baituallah Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud, Akhtar Mansour, were all killed by drones. Fight and talk strategy was aimed at dividing Taliban movement.  

After withdrawal of bulk of ISAF forces by Dec 2014, the Taliban rapidly captured more territory and gained a military ascendency over occupying forces and the ANSF. Demoralization set in among the occupiers and collaborators; green-over-blue attacks as well as suicide cases increased; rate of desertions in ANSF accelerated.

Installation of a unity regime in Kabul in 2016 by Obama regime was a bad decision. Due to poor governance, corruption and power tussle between Ghani and Abdullah, writ of the government got confined to Kabul.

The Taliban gained dominance over 56% rural territory through which major supply routes pass; its influence stretched to well over 80% area where they installed shadow governments; could strike any part of the country; developed war economy; had sound command, control & communication infrastructure; fair judicial system and dedicated fighters.

The Taliban succeeded in breaking their isolation and were wooed by China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, UAE, KSA, and Germany. China signed a $ 3 billion development project with the Taliban. It reduced the clout of Pakistan over them.

Writ of the ANSF backed by the US led Resolute Support Group got restricted to capital cities which are often attacked by the Taliban.    

   

Landmark peace agreement

After maximizing force against the Taliban and pressure against Pakistan, Donald Trump reopened the stalled peace talks in July 2018 and finally inked the historic peace agreement with the Taliban on February 29, 2020, in which the Kabul regime was excluded. The UN, Russia, China and Pakistan endorsed the agreement.

The Taliban agreed not to allow Afghan soil for terrorism against the US/allies, reduce violence, desist from attacking western targets in Afghanistan, sever ties with al-Qaeda, and to open inter-Afghan dialogue for a comprehensive political settlement. The US agreed to pull out all troops by May 1, 2021 and to refrain from attacking the Taliban. 5000 Taliban prisoners and 1000 ANSF prisoners were to be released within 3 months after start of intra-Afghan talks on March 10, 2020, and Taliban leaders removed from the UN blacklist. 

Intra-Afghan dialogue got delayed due to Ashraf Ghani’s reservations and foot dragging over prisoner exchange. Firefight between the Taliban and ANSF supported by the US continued in which former had an upper hand.

Trump was keen to end the longest war and make a clean break from Afghanistan and he reduced the US troop level to 2500 only.  

To be continued

The writer is a retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, 6th book under publication, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, takes part in TV talk shows. Email: asifharoonraja@gmail.com     

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Good Riddance. Sheldon Adelson Dead at 87 By Moon Of Alabama

Good Riddance. Sheldon Adelson Dead at 87

By Moon Of Alabama

January 14, 2021

Sheldon Adelson, the casino oligarch who has financed far right causes as well as the political careers of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahoo, has died. In 2013 Adelson had called for nuking Tehran (vid).

Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson dies

The casino magnate donated massive sums to Republican candidates and various causes.

Good Riddance.

Unfortunately his money will continue to flow to the far right as his Israeli wife is the one who is now running the show.

In other news B’Tselem, the topmost Israeli human rights organization, finally describes both Israel and its control of the Palestinian territories as a single apartheid regime:

B’Tselem rejects the perception of Israel as a democracy (inside the Green Line) that simultaneously upholds a temporary military occupation (beyond it). B’Tselem reached the conclusion that the bar for defining the Israeli regime as an apartheid regime has been met after considering the accumulation of policies and laws that Israel devised to entrench its control over Palestinians.

Nothing really new there but it makes it official. 
With B’Tselem finally speaking out it is much easier to refute those who falsely denounce the much justified condemnation of Zionism and Israel as anti-semitic.
This comes at a time when Israel is scheming to derail the incoming Biden administration’s plan to return to the nuclear deal with Iran:

Israel Wants to Derail Biden’s Plan to Rejoin Iran Nuclear Deal

David Wainer,Ivan Levingston

Israel is already plotting how to derail one of Joe Biden’s signature foreign-policy promises.

Israel will start by sending a stream of envoys on visits to Washington, the official said, requesting anonymity to discuss private deliberations. It’s stated publicly that it doesn’t want the U.S. to abandon sanctions on the Islamic Republic without a new deal, and that a tougher stance should be taken toward its nuclear project, ballistic missile program and regional proxy forces.That strategy runs against the Biden team’s willingness to re-enter the deal, then negotiate an expansion of its terms. It’s conditioned on Iran’s returning to compliance with the accord, whose limits it breached after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018.

Israel also has a higher-risk card up its sleeve: the potential to upend diplomatic efforts through covert operations against Iran.

Netanyahu has been open about his intention to thwart renewed U.S. participation. In a rare public split, he rebuked his envoy to Germany for supporting Berlin’s push to expand the deal.

“There should be no return to the Iran nuclear agreement of 2015 — a deal which is flawed to its foundations,” Netanyahu said.

With Biden being an arch-Zionist and with a team of Zionist Jews leading the State Department the chances of a fast return to the deal can be regarded as slim.

Reference

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Joe Biden should end the US pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons by Dr.Desmond Tutu

Joe Biden should end the US pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons

Dr.

The cover-up has to stop – and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians

  • Desmond Tutu is a Nobel peace laureate and a former archbishop of Cape Town

Benjamin Netanyahu has ‘a sense of power and impunity’. Photograph: Reuters

Thu 31 Dec 2020 11.00 EST

Every recent US administration has performed a perverse ritual as it has come into office. All have agreed to undermine US law by signing secret letters stipulating they will not acknowledge something everyone knows: that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Part of the reason for this is to stop people focusing on Israel’s capacity to turn dozens of cities to dust. This failure to face up to the threat posed by Israel’s horrific arsenal gives its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a sense of power and impunity, allowing Israel to dictate terms to others.

But one other effect of the US administration’s ostrich approach is that it avoids invoking the US’s own laws, which call for an end to taxpayer largesse for nuclear weapons proliferators.

Israel in fact is a multiple nuclear weapons proliferator. There is overwhelming evidence that it offered to sell the apartheid regime in South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s and even conducted a joint nuclear test. The US government tried to cover up these facts. Additionally, it has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Yet the US and Israeli governments pushed for the invasion of Iraq based on lies about coming mushroom clouds. As Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu said: the nuclear weapons were not in Iraq – they are in Israel.

Amendments by former Senators Stuart Symington and John Glenn to the Foreign Assistance Act ban US economic and military assistance to nuclear proliferators and countries that acquire nuclear weapons. While president, Jimmy Carter invoked such provisions against India and Pakistan.

But no president has done so with regard to Israel. Quite the contrary. There has been an oral agreement since President Richard Nixon to accept Israel’s “nuclear ambiguity” – effectively to allow Israel the power that comes with nuclear weapons without the responsibility. And since President Bill Clinton, according to the New Yorker magazine, there have been these secret letters.

 

US presidents and politicians have refused to acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons even though the law offers an exemption that would allow the funding to continue if the president certified to Congress that aid to a proliferator would be a vital US interest.

Israel’s per capita gross domestic product is comparable with that of Britain. Nevertheless, US taxpayer funds to Israel exceed that to any other country. Adjusted for inflation, the publicly known amount over the years is now approaching $300bn.

This farce should end. The US government should uphold its laws and cut off funding to Israel because of its acquisition and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The incoming Biden administration should forthrightly acknowledge Israel as a leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and properly implement US law. Other governments – in particular South Africa’s – should insist on the rule of law and for meaningful disarmament, and immediately urge the US government in the strongest possible terms to act.

Apartheid was horrible in South Africa and it’s horrible when Israel practises its own form of apartheid against the Palestinians, with checkpoints and a system of oppressive policies. Indeed another US statute, the Leahy law, prohibits US military aid to governments that systematically violate human rights.

It’s quite possible that one of the reasons that Israel’s version of apartheid has outlived South Africa’s is that Israel has managed to maintain its oppressive system using not just the guns of soldiers, but also by keeping this nuclear gun pointed at the heads of millions. The solution for this is not for Palestinians and other Arabs to try to attain such weapons. The solution is peace, justice and disarmament.

South Africa learned that it could only have real peace and justice by having truth that would lead to reconciliation. But none of those will come unless truth is faced squarely – and there are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.

Photographs –Courtesy

VANUNU’S PHOTOS OF DIMONA – 1985

Mordechai Vanunu brought his camera to work in late 1985, shortly before leaving his eight-year stint as a technician at Israel’s nuclear weapons factory at Dimona.

Acting on his conscience, he carefully took about 60 photos of the top-secret labs and unique production processes involved. When some of these photos were originally published in the London Sunday Times’ exposé, they confirmed his eyewitness testimony about the extent of Israel’s nuclear weapons program and revealed Israel to be one of the world’s top nuclear powers. To this day, the Israeli government refuses international inspection of Dimona and continues to deny the existence of its nuclear arsenal. [click here for more of Vanunu’s story: archive/story.html]

While their publication resulted in Vanunu being locked away for an 18-year prison sentence, his photographs of Israel’s nuclear weapons factory – a bold statement against nuclear secrecy and for the abolition of nuclear weapons – are here for all to see.

Click on the thumbnail views below to see the full-size photos in this selection.

1) Looking inside a glove box for tooling nuclear materials
2) Looking from outside into a glove box
3) Control panel
4) Control panel
5) Control panel for lithium 6 production
6) Control panel
7) Workshop
8) Looking inside a glove box at lathe for turning precision shaped pieces of plutonium or other components.
9) Laboratory model of nuclear weapons core
10) Looking inside a glove box at models of bomb components or containers for nuclear materials
11) Outside of glove box
12) Plutonium separation plant control room
13) Shielded viewing portal for observing nuclear reactions
14) Production model of nuclear weapons core
15) Production model of nuclear weapons core

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