Former ISI chief Hamid Gul said that as long as politicians were corrupt, the Army would interfere in the state’s affairs.
ISLAMABAD: During an interview on DawnNews, former chief of the Inter Service Intelligence(ISI) General (Retd) Hamid Gul said that politicians in the country were corrupt, and at the same time admitted responsibility for creating the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), a political alliance that was allegedly created to prevent Benazir Bhutto’s PPP from winning.
He said that he is not afraid of any case leveled against him, nor is he afraid of being hanged. “The army cannot be controlled by politicians, the army has put control on itself,” he said.
Speaking on DawnNews’s programme ‘Faisla Awam Ka‘, Hamid Gul not only defended the creation of the IJI, but also credited General (Retd) Aslam Beg for helping create it.
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: Imam Hafiz Muhammad Hamid Jamaat-ul-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s brother along with his wife and five children has been whisked out of the United States.
The family boarded a Gulf airways flight to bypass London because the British authorities had earlier refused them transit permission on the grounds that they did not have valid US visas.
By the time this report has been printed, Hafiz Hamid and his family would be in Pakistan. What treatment they receive there is not known but the Pakistani authorities do consider Hafiz Hamid a “person of interest”.
Hafiz Hamid was imam at the Islamic Centre of Greater Worcester in Worcester, Massachusetts and had been fighting immigration regulation infringements for the last several months.
KABUL: The Afghan parliament Saturday voted to dismiss two powerful ministers for failing to act over cross-border shelling blamed on neighbouring Pakistan and over other security issues.
The move obliges President Hamid Karzai to sack Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, who has strong support among Afghanistan’s Western allies, and Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, a key Karzai ally.
The men are expected to continue serving in an acting capacity until the president introduces replacements.
General Abdul Rahim Wardak will continue serving in the ministry as the acting defence minister until a new minister is introduced by the president,” defence ministry spokesman General Zaher Azimi told AFP. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
by Hakim Hazik
They had come in their serried legions, by air by sea and by land routes. Gathering dust and glory of arduous distances, hazarding innumerable perils including the incomparable risks of flying on the PIA’s Air Buses, recycled from the Lahore Omnibuses.
They gathered on Rue du Marche, led by the soldier statesman Syed Drone ul Ummat. Their hearts were filled with love for the True Faith. The earth shook with their slogans: O the oppressors give us an answer, give an account of the blood that was spilt. The walls of the city were covered with uplifting and pithy statements: Look ye people Qazi is coming.
When the din of the crowd settled somewhat the great leader took the stage and spoke thus:
Dear followers of Islam,
‘I know that your hearts are strengthened by unshakeable faith and you are ready to lay down your lives for the everlasting glory of the Ummah and the Caliphate. This, the greatest army since the valiant General Tariq bin Ziad, that has arrived on this continent.
We will teach the infernal Swiss, a lesson that they will never forget. They will learn not to interfere with the tenets of Islam and try to proscribe what is our fundamental right i.e to build the domes, arches, minarets and cupolas in accordance with our tradition and our culture. To put loudspeakers on the tallest minaret and make announcements at the highest decibel level to raise money for jihad in Palestine at 3 o’clock in the morning. We are not fighting for charity. We are fighting for basic human dignity.
We have a right to kill, on average, 6 labourers from FATA every day in Karachi. We have a right to pull off the buses, on average, 20 pilgrims and behead them by the roadside on a daily basis. We have a right to blow up the graven images in Bamian which the idol worshippers in UNESCO, in their crassness, had entitled a world heritage site.
Difa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC) alliance of Jamatud Dawa (JuD), Ahle Sunnat Waljamat (formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba), Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), & Jamat-e-Islami (JI) are doing long march against the resumption of Nato supplies
Saying ‘no’ to NATO: DPC long march enroute to Gujranwala
By Web Desk / Rana Tanveer / Zahid Gishkori
LAHORE: The long march against the resumption of Nato supplies through Pakistan as announced by Difa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC) started from Lahore on Sunday and is expected to reach Islamabad tomorrow, Express News has reported.
Hundreds of cars were part of the procession.
The participants included activists from Jamatud Dawa (JuD), Ahle Sunnat Waljamat (formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba), Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), and Jamat-e-Islami (JI).
JI’s caravan had already reached Nasir Bagh under the leadership of Amirul Azeem where JuD ‘s caravan, led by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, joined it.
JuD’s caravan had proceeded from Masjid-e-Shuada where JI leader Sayed Munawar Hasan, DPC chairman Molana Samiul Haq, former ISI chief General (r) Hamid Gul, his son Abdullah Gul, Pakistan Ulema Council head Maulana Tahir Ashrafi and other leaders joined them. The leaders were mounted on a truck, which also doubled as a moveable stage.
A number of JD and Hizbul Mujahideen activists were providing security to the truck.
The leaders delivered speeches at Istanbul Chowk at The Mall in front of Town Hall.
Addressing the protesters, Maulana Samiul Haq said they were holding a long march to save Pakistan and Afghanistan from the clutches of the US, adding that their movement would continue until complete withdrawal of US forces from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He said suspension of Nato Supply is one of their goals, urging the masses to join them towards Islamabad. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
Thousands of hardline Islamists stream to Pakistan’s capital to protest NATO supply line
By: Wichaar Desk
LAHORE, Pakistan — Thousands of hardline Islamists streamed toward Pakistan’s capital in a massive convoy of vehicles Sunday to protest the government’s decision to allow the U.S. and other NATO countries to resume shipping troop supplies through the country to Afghanistan.
The demonstration, which started in the eastern city of Lahore, was organized by the Difah-e-Pakistan Council — Defense of Pakistan Council — a group of politicians and religious leaders who have been the most vocal opponents of the supply line.
Pakistan closed the route in November in retaliation for American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops. Following months of negotiations, Islamabad finally agreed to reopen the route last week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized for the deaths.
Clinton met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar for the first time since the apology Sunday on the sidelines of an Afghan aid conference in Tokyo and expressed hope that resolution of the supply line conflict would lead to better relations between the troubled allies.
One of the reasons Pakistan waited so long to resolve the conflict is that the government was worried about domestic backlash in a country where anti-American sentiment is rampant despite billions of dollars in U.S. aid over the last decade.
The protest started Sunday in the center of Lahore, where several thousand people assembled with scores of buses, cars and motorbikes. They linked up with thousands more supporters waiting on the city’s edge and drove toward Islamabad in a so-called “long march” against the supply line. The convoy included about 200 vehicles carrying some 8,000 people when it left Lahore, said police official Babar Bakht.
After completing the 300 kilometer (185 mile) journey to Islamabad, they plan to hold a protest in front of the parliament building Monday.
“By coming out on the streets, the Pakistani nation has shown its hatred for America,” one of the Difah-e-Pakistan leaders, Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the father of the Taliban, said in a speech on the outskirts of Lahore.
Supporters showered Haq with rose petals as he rode through Lahore in the back of a truck with other Difah-e-Pakistan leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group; Hamid Gul, a retired Pakistani intelligence chief with a long history of militant support; and Syed Munawar Hasan, leader of Pakistan’s most powerful Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami.
Many demonstrators rode on the tops of buses, waving party flags and shouting slogans against the U.S. and NATO. “One solution for America, jihad, jihad!” they shouted.
The crowd was dominated by members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, widely believed to be a front group for Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for the attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 that killed more than 160 people. Jamaat-ud-Dawa is led by the group’s founder, Saeed.
“The movement that has been started to reverse the government’s decision to restore the NATO supply will go on until America leaves this region for good,” Saeed said in a speech on the outskirts of Lahore. “The mission is noble because it is to save the country and the nation from slavery.”
The U.S. announced a $10 million bounty earlier this year for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Saeed, but he operates freely in the country. Pakistan says it doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest Saeed, but many suspect the government is reluctant to move against him and other militant leaders because they have longstanding ties with the country’s military and intelligence service.
Rehman Malik, a government security adviser, said members of banned militant groups would not be allowed to enter Islamabad for the Difah-e-Pakistan protest Monday, but all others would be welcomed.
“They are patriots. They are not anti-state people,” Malik told reporters. “We will welcome them with open arms.”
It’s unclear if they will try to prevent Saeed from attending the protest.
Difah-e-Pakistan is widely believed to be supported by the Pakistani army as a way to put pressure on the U.S. Its leaders have vowed to stop NATO trucks from making the journey from the southern port city of Karachi to the Afghan border. But if the group has army backing, it could moderate its actions.
One regularly hears about the “moderate” sufis who will save islam or Pakistan (and who therefore deserve a quick injection of money…see how much Tahir ul Qadri is making via this route). But Sufi-ism is not a well defined ideology, anyone can be a sufi and almost everyone IS a sufi of some sort in Pakistan. Some innocents see positive implications of such confusion in the wider Islamicate world, thinking that this will weaken the Wahabi-Salafi vision of one folk, one leader, one law that seems so scary these days, though I dont see empirical proof of such assertions. Anyway, that was not the topic I had in mind. I just wanted to post this link to “spiritual Pakistan”..a fairly typical and representative “Sufi Paknationalist” website. They are promoting “Ghazwa e Hind” (the weak hadith that supposedly promises a huge war in India, and victory and eternal reward for those Muslims who fight to conquer India) and they are much more ardent about it than the “evidence-based” Deobandis, who do have some standards and hesitate to make-up stuff on demand like the Sufis (“the sufis” meaning some sufis…keep in mind, there is no such things as “standards” when it comes to Sufis….an indophile like me is a sufi, a jihadi nutcase like Zaid Hamid is a sufi, Orya Maqbool Jan is a sufi. Its a free for all…its not better or worse, its whatever you want).
And if anything, “the sufis” promote blasphemy prosecutions more than salafists. Of course, many famous sufis also died for supposedly blaspheming something. Which is my point. Sufi can mean anything. Not just the hippie Islam that twinkles in so many Western eyes. ….
Read more » Brown Pundits
AFP – The United States is running out of patience with Pakistan over safe havens for insurgents who attack US troops across the border in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Thursday.
Panetta was speaking during a brief visit to Kabul overshadowed by Afghan fury over a NATO air strike that allegedly killed 18 civilians — an issue that the Pentagon chief did not mention at a news conference.
Panetta left for the airport just hours after his arrival, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged to cut short a trip to Beijing and head home over the deaths of around 40 civilians Wednesday in the air strike and a suicide bombing.
Pakistani Canadians criticize Supreme court on the controversial Decision to convict Prime Minister Gillani for following the Constitution and Judicial dictatorship
Pakistani Canadians on the Decision to convict Prime Minister Gillani for following the Constitution
We are pleased to published an interesting and informative debate that took place between Pakistani Canadians on the recent controversial decisions and activity of Pakistan’s politisized Supreme Court. This took place on a the TV show, Bilatakullah, hosted by Pakistani-Canadian Tahir Gora. The panel consisted of lawyer Hamid Bashani and journalist Rana Suhail. Here is the clip for the entire show which we highly recommend:
There were some superb observations made during this show which include:
1. A categorical mention of the 3-Jeem alliance of Judges, Generals and Journalists and how this powerful establishment Troika has evaded accountability.
2. Another excellent point that was made was with regard to Article 63 of the Constitution – whose current text has been inserted by former military dictator, General Zia ul Haq. The panel commented on how this article prosecutes for contempt against NON-ELECTED institutions like the Army and the Judiciary. The panel pointed out how Article 63 said nothing about contempt for the Parliament – the only institute that is elected by and represents the people of Pakistan.
Our Pakistani-Canadian friends should note that Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” are usually silent on this topic as they have mostly supported the same Judiciary that has faciliated dictators and allowed them to mangle the Constitution. After all, the unquestion devotion to this compromised judiciary by Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” is a matter of public record. This slavish sycophancy towards the Judiciary by Pakistan’s Fake Civil Society has placed it on the wrong side of the verdict of history.
3.The panel pointed out the Judicial bias in the decision and was honest in admitting how the Supreme Court dodged and evaded the question of Presidential immunity which is explicit in Article 248 of the Constitution. They pointed out that the Supreme Court should have responded legally to this point that was raised by the legal advice given to Prime Minister Gillani and which was used as a basis for not writing the letter. This as per the observations of the guest panel was refusal and not ridicule – the charge on which Prime Minister Gillani was convicted.
To Tahir Sahib and his guests: Dear sirs, we wish that our media was as honest as yourselves. Barring the exception, powerful retired bureacrats, generals, right-wing idealogues and psuedo left-liberals dominate the discussion that takes place on the Corporate-owned private channels and newspapers. The views, both on this issue and others, is largely one-sided. Our Jejune “liberals” have compromised themselves with their uncritical support for this judiciary and barring the exception, cannot bring themselves to present an honest and clear opinion on this topic. Their token criticism of the judiciary is balanced with harsh, abusive and unjustified attacks on elected politicians – especially if those politicians are PPP/ANP and do NOT happen to be Urban, Pro-Taliban Central Punjabis (PML N, Imran Khan)
The panel also pointed out the neglect and tokenism of this Supreme Court on the Missing Persons case. We agree with the panel when they pointed out how the Courts have simply given token attention to this most pressing case and that too because of the presence of a few cases which pertained to Islamist suspects.
The fate thousands of Baloch Nationalist youth who form the bulk of the “Missing Persons” case remains unknown.
Instead of the selective judicial lynching of PPP, we wish the Court would take this case seriously.
(Refer to Tarek Fatah blasts the military-judicial establishment for our previous coverage of Bilatakalluf)
Courtesy: Bilatakalluf with Tahir Gora Ep38 – Rana Suhail & Hamid Bashani Criticize the Verdict Against PM Gilani
Read more » LUBP » Twitter
Former DG ISI and Chief of Difa-e-Pakistan Council Gen. (R) Hameed Gul fall from chair in leadership row
The language of the news is in urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy: Express News Tv » YouTube
The latest of ‘crusaders’ (read idiots with a cause) who has taken his ‘case’ to the courts is one Zaid Hamid, self-described as the “Founding President of an Internationally Recognised Threat Analysis Consultancy and Defence Think Tank.” On March 27, 2012, he announced triumphantly that he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the death penalty for a number of journalists as well as the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).
Mr Hamid’s basis for seeking the death penalty against eleven different people is his firm belief that they are involved in “nefarious activities”, hence guilty of treason and hence liable to be put to death.
by Nadeem F. Paracha
In March 2010 animated conspiracy theorist, TV personality and poster-boy for stylised sofa-warming-jihad, Zaid Hamid finally met his nemesis at the Peshawar University.
Hamid, who till then, had been enjoying a virtual free run on certain TV channels and on privately-owned campuses, was chased away by large sections of the audience that turned up to listen to him speak at the state-owned Peshawar University.
As Hamid’s speech began being booed at, Hamid made a quick exit from the premises only to face another crowd of students outside who shouted slogans against him, and pelted his car with stones.
Suddenly a man who was lovingly being courted by TV channels and student bodies and administration of private educational institutions, was angrily courted out by the students of a state-owned university.
By Durdana Najam
Why should the Pakistan Army borrow the mullah alliance to restore its image? Perhaps the language of Islam is the easiest to use as an exploitive tool for an emotionally charged Muslim community
The religious-politico parties have become active owing to the US’s increasing intrusion into Pakistan’s territorial precincts, the latest being the Salala checkpost attack that killed 24 soldiers in November 2011. The investigative report prepared by NATO, which revealed the determinants of the attack, termed the incident to be a joint sin committed by NATO and the Pakistan Army, suggesting that on a border as volatile as the one between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal region, the rage of wrath can unleash itself at any time in any mode. Pakistan rejected the findings of the report, alleging it to be biased and obsessive. The attack irked even the government and, for a change, the NATO supply route was completely shut down — to this day. A parliamentary committee on national security is working to define new contours for Pak-America relations. In the meantime, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is sending strong massages to the American government about the so-called sovereignty that we guard so close to our bosoms (depending largely on our whims and wishes).
The recent collaboration of 40 religious parties going by the name of Difa-i-Pakistan Council, comprising the likes of General (retd) Hamid Gul, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, President Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq and the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Munawar Hasan, geared towards defending Pakistan against foreign aggression, has raised national and international concerns, especially since the definition of foreign aggression from the point of view of Difa-i-Pakistan relates to none other than the US and India. ….
Read more » Daily Times
Pakistan : Gathering of Jihadis linked to al-Qaeda in Islamabad demands holy war against US – chanting “death to America”
Gathering demands holy war against US
Islamabad – Pakistanis poured onto Islamabad’s streets on Monday, chanting “death to America” and demanding holy war at a rally whipped up by right-wing, religious and banned organisations linked to al-Qaeda.
It was the latest show of support for Defence of Pakistan, a coalition of around 40 parties chaired by a cleric dubbed the father of the Taliban that include organisations blacklisted at home and abroad as terror groups. ….
…. “Today, we have gathered here to raise a voice of protest against US intervention in Pakistan,” chairperson Maulana Sami ul-Haq, who runs an extremist madrassa that educated several Taliban leaders, said.
Also present was member Hamid Gul, who headed Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency during the 1980s US and Pakistani-sponsored war against Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
His membership has helped fuel suspicions that Pakistan’s security establishment is backing the coalition as a means of exerting pressure on the weak government and whipping up rhetoric against the unpopular US alliance. ….
….. “Death to America” and “America deserves one treatment: Jihad, jihad” shouted the crowd in a bustling commercial area, an AFP reporter said. ….
To read complete report » news 24
By Saeed Shah
Afghanistan’s president expresses frustration with the country he accuses of harbouring the Taliban during a visit to Islamabad
Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, confronted the Pakistani leadership on Thursday on a visit to Islamabad as his frustration with the country he accuses of harbouring the Taliban boiled over.
Karzai’s language and tone flared to such an extent that the Pakistani prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, intervened and called a halt to a meeting of the full delegations of the two countries, according to officials on both sides. After a break, a smaller meeting of just the top officials was held, on the first day of a two-day visit to Islamabad.
The Afghan president has long demanded that Pakistan bring the leadership of the Taliban to the negotiating table, including its chief, Mullah Mohammad Omar. ….
Read more » guardian.co.uk
THE Difaa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC) has announced its aim of defending us against the dangers we face today.
But given the fact that the biggest threat to Pakistan comes from the extremist ideology of many of those who constitute the DPC, the question arises whether these holy warriors will confront the militants.
Don’t hold your breath: during a recent DPC rally in Karachi, speaker after speaker made it clear that their real enemies are India and America. This assembled galaxy clearly failed to notice the uncomfortable fact that over the last decade, well over 30,000 innocent civilians and 5,000 security personnel have been killed in terrorist attacks launched by jihadi militants. Such mundane truths often escape our religious brigade. While focusing on American drone attacks, which while controversial, have been the most effective weapon against the militants in the tribal areas, they have conveniently overlooked the real cause of militancy. The moment these realities are pointed out to them, they go on about how these casualties are the result of the American war in Afghanistan.
The composition of the DPC is interesting as it brings together a number of reactionary elements under one umbrella. Some of these, like Sheikh Rasheed and Ijaz ul Haq, have a semblance of respectability. However, this is based on the dubious proposition that cabinet positions, past or present, in Pakistan confer some degree of social acceptability.
On the other side of the DPC spectrum, we have characters like Malik Ishaq, released by the Lahore High Court and accused of committing several murders for the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba, an extreme Sunni outfit.
Hafiz Saeed is one of the stars of the DPC and head of Jamaatud Dawa, a supposedly charitable organisation banned for fronting for the Lashkar-i-Taiba. This terrorist group has been accused of being behind the deadly Mumbai attack of 2008, as well as other atrocities in India.
Qari Yaqub, the darling of admirers of his sermons on YouTube, also spoke at the DPC rally in Karachi where he warned journalists that he would turn the ground where he spoke into “a graveyard for the media” if they did not give the DPC ample coverage. So here I am, writing about the DPC to avoid an early grave.
Sheikh Rasheed, leader of his Awami Muslim League spoke at the rally, as did army dictator Zia’s son, Ijaz ul Haq. Hamid Gul, the retired general who was sacked as head of the ISI by Benazir Bhutto in 1989, also enlivened proceedings with his rant about the bright future ahead without a western presence.
So Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf, felt right at home in this august company as the PTI’s senior vice president Ejaz Chaudhry’s presence showed.
Clearly then, the 40-odd (some would say very odd) members of the DPC at least appear to be on the same page where extremist thought is concerned. The question is what and who brought them together. Pakistan’s history is littered with the bleached bones of right-wing alliances formed and then ditched by their creators. The IJI, the PNA, the IDA, and the MMA spring instantly to mind.
Add to them the various incarnations and iterations of the Muslim League, and you have a veritable alphabet soup of political aspirations: Q, N, Z and Awami are only the current manifestations.
The common thread running through all these parties and coalitions is the past or current connection with our intelligence agencies. Retired general Asad Durrani, another erstwhile ISI chief, has admitted before the Supreme Court that he funneled millions to anti-PPP candidates during the 1988 elections. This confession emerged years ago as a result of a writ filed by Asghar Khan, but the case has been on the back burner until the Supreme Court resumes hearing it later this month. Watch this space for further developments.
Given the stellar credentials of these stalwart defenders of our country, we can all sleep easy. They have vowed to save us from those nasty Americans and Indians, but before I cancel my life insurance policy, I’m still waiting to hear that they will protect us from the Pakistani Taliban as well.
Seriously, though, what is this circus all about? Why have so many extremist-minded elements and their fellow-travellers suddenly emerged from the woodwork to muddy the political waters? Who’s paying for all these expensive rallies? Actually, scratch that last question: we’re paying for them via whatever shadowy agency that has cobbled this latest alliance together.
And why is Imran Khan’s PTI part of this reactionary group? I know he’s in lockstep with people like Hamid Gul and Maulana Samiul Haq, but why does he need to identify himself with the most violent and unsavoury characters in this coalition? Does he not see that after his recent reinvention as a popular, mainstream politician, he no longer needs to cosy up to the likes of Qari Yaqub and Hafiz Saeed?
Pakistan’s finest are at it again, but why?
The “defence of Pakistan” council has held several public meetings (each probably costing millions of rupees) in different parts of the country and is now headed for a “mother of all jalsas” at Karachi on Feb 12th. All the usual suspects are there. Jamat ud Dawa (reincarnation of the blessed Lashkar e Tyaba of Mumbai atrocity fame) is leading the way, but everyone who is anyone is there. Sheeda Tully is there (He was Musharraf’s railway minister and helped to run it into the ground, after having held several other ministries, his farmhouse was famously listed as a gathering spot for Kashmiri Jihadis in the 1990s). Zia ul Haq’s son, Ejaz ul Haq is there. Hamid Gul is there.
Why has military intelligence, in its infinite wisdom, activated every zombie from the good old days of the Kashmir Jihad?
Is it to get more money out of Uncle Sam? That particular ATM may be out of cash right now, so its probably not that.
Is it because the bloody civilians may actually be able to do shocking things like start normal trade with India? so what? what is the threat here?
Is it something to do with the ongoing bumbling “get Zardari operation”.
Is it because the army has split into factions and the jihadi faction is trying to embarrass the mercenary faction?
Come on hive mind, answers please.
Courtesy: Brown Pundits
By Pervez Hoodbhoy
….. In the military’s mind, the Americans are now a threat, equal to or larger than India. They are also considered more of an adversary than even the TTP jihadists who have killed thousands of Pakistani troops and civilians. While the Salala incident was allowed to inflame public opinion, the gory video-taped executions of Pakistani soldiers by the TTP were played down. A further indication is that the LeT/JuD is back in favor (with a mammoth anti-US and anti-India rally scheduled in Karachi next month). Pakistani animosity rises as it sees America tightly embracing India, and standing in the way of a Pakistan-friendly government in Kabul. Once again “strategic defiance” is gaining ground, albeit not through the regional compact suggested by General Mirza Aslam Beg in the early 1990s.
This attitudinal shift has created two strong non-India reasons that favour ramping up bomb production.
First, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are seen to be threatened by America. This perception has been reinforced by the large amount of attention given to the issue in the US mainstream press, and by war-gaming exercises in US military institutes. Thus, redundancy is considered desirable — an American attempt to seize or destroy all warheads would have smaller chances of success if Pakistan had more.
But such an attack is improbable. It is difficult to imagine any circumstances — except possibly the most extreme — in which the US would risk going to war against another nuclear state. Even if Pakistan had just a handful of weapons, no outside power could accurately know the coordinates of the mobile units on which they are located. It is said that an extensive network of underground tunnels exists within which they can be freely moved. Additionally, overground ones are moved from place to place periodically in unmarked trucks. Mobile dummies and decoys can hugely compound difficulties. Moreover, even if a nuclear location was exactly known, it would surely be heavily guarded. This implies many casualties when intruding troops are engaged, thus making a secret bin-Laden type operation impossible.
The second – and perhaps more important — reason for the accelerated nuclear development is left unstated: nukes act as insurance against things going too far wrong. Like North Korea, Pakistan knows that, no matter what, international financial donors will feel compelled to keep pumping in funds. Else a collapsing system may be unable to prevent some of its hundred-plus Hiroshima-sized nukes from disappearing into the darkness.
This insurance could become increasingly important as Pakistan moves deeper into political isolation and economic difficulties mount. Even today, load-shedding and fuel shortages routinely shut down industries and transport for long stretches, imports far exceed exports, inflation is at the double-digit level, foreign direct investment is negligible because of concerns over physical security, tax collection remains minimal, and corruption remains unchecked. An African country like Somalia or Congo would have sunk under this weight long ago.
To conclude: throwing a spanner in the works at the CD (Geneva) may well be popular as an act of defiance. Indeed, many in Pakistan — like Hamid Gul and Imran Khan — derive delicious satisfaction from spiting the world in such ways. But this is not wise for a state that perpetually hovers at the edge of bankruptcy, and which derives most of its worker remittances and export earnings from the very countries it delights in mocking.
To read complete article » The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2012.
Video (Urdu): Pakistani “security consultant” Zaid Hamid implicitly warns memogate judges not to acquit Husain Haqqani.
Karzai blames Lashkar-e-Jhangvi for Kabul blast
KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday blamed the the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) for a bomb at a Kabul shrine which killed 55 people, demanding justice from Pakistan, his spokesman said.
The comments are likely to antagonise further already tense relations with Islamabad, which boycotted Monday’s Bonn conference on the future of Afghanistan following NATO air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
“The president said he blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” said Aimal Faizi following reports of a purported claim from the faction, blamed for scores of similar attacks on Shia Muslims in Pakistan.
“The president said that he will demand Pakistan take executive measures in this regard since this group is based in Pakistan so that justice can be done,” Faizi added.
Karzai’s comments came as he visited victims of the Kabul blast in hospital. He returned to Kabul earlier Wednesday after cutting short a trip to Europe to deal with the fallout of the unprecedented attack on Afghan Shias.
Afghan victims buried as fingers point to Pakistan
An Afghan official had earlier claimed that the bomber who attacked the shrine in Kabul was a Pakistani, affiliated with the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
KABUL: Afghanistan’s president says that the unprecedented suicide bombing at a Shia shrine in Kabul originated in Pakistan and is pledging to confront the Pakistani government about the attack.
President Hamid Karzai spoke Wednesday as he visited a hospital where scores of people wounded in the attack are being treated. At least 56 people, including an American citizen, were killed in the explosion, which occurred as Shias were commemorating the major Islamic holy day of Ashoura.
Karzai says the Afghan government has launched an investigation, but the group behind the attack is based in Pakistan and he will take the issue to the Pakistani government.
“Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which is based in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for this attack … We will investigate the issue very carefully and will discuss it with the Pakistani government,” Karzai said in Kabul.
Courtesy » DAWN.COM
A Pakistan-based insurgent group has claimed responsibility for twin attacks which caused carnage at two shrines belonging to Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims yesterday.
The suicide attacks in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif killed at least 59 people and forced president Hamid Karzai to cut short his visit to Europe and the UK. …
Read more » ABC News
US General Fired From Afghan Training Job
by The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has fired a senior officer from his job as the No. 2 general in charge of training for making inappropriate public remarks about Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his government.
Gen. John Allen issued a statement Friday saying that Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller has been relieved of his duties as deputy commander for the Afghan training mission.
In a recent interview with the website Politico, Fuller characterized Afghan leaders as erratic, ungrateful and isolated from reality. The interview quotes him as saying Afghan leaders don’t fully recognize America’s sacrifices on their country’s behalf. …
Read more » NPR
10 years on: Karzai admits security failure, Obama touts progress
KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai was in a candid mood ten years after the US launched ground and air strikes to oust the Taliban from his country. In his first interview with the foreign media for several months, Karzai admitted that his government and the US-led Nato mission have failed in Afghanistan to deliver the most basic duty of government: security for its citizens. …
Read more » The Express Tribune
via » mazdaki @ Twitter.
- Analysis » By Khaled Ahmed
The planned committee that will ensure that the APC statement is acted upon will have a tough time bringing the Haqqanis under control because in this instance the tail is wagging the dog
During the APC against America on 29 September 2011 in Islamabad, Maulana Samiul Haq said that the Haqqani network was ‘indigenous to Pakistan’. How could he say that except on the basis of the fact that both the founder of the Network, Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son the current commander Siraj, are graduates of his Madrassa Haqqania in Akora Khattak, Nowshehra, near Peshawar?
- Ruling out negotiations: ‘Taliban talks futile’
With no headway being made, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his top aides have hinted that they may abandon efforts at peace talks with the Taliban after concluding that negotiating with the militant leadership was futile.
Instead, Karzai has said, negotiations should actually be held with Pakistan – an apparent dig at Islamabad, which is regularly accused of harbouring the Taliban’s senior leadership.
The comments come on the heels of fresh allegations that the assassination of Afghanistan’s top peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul was planned in Pakistan. Rabbani was killed in a bombing by a purported Taliban emissary who had come to visit the former Afghanistan president last month.
The frustration with stalled talks and the escalating violence come months before a key conference is to be held in Bonn, Germany – where it is expected that the Afghan end game will be charted. There had been reports that the Taliban leadership would be involved, in some manner, about the future of the war-torn nation.
“The peace process which we began is dead,” Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Karzai’s national security adviser, said in an interview on Saturday. “It’s a joke,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Karzai and his aides have decided to shift their efforts on putting pressure on Pakistan, which has allegedly provided aid and sanctuary to Afghan insurgents.
“Their messengers are coming and killing … So with whom should we make peace?” Karzai said in the recorded address to the country’s senior religious leaders.
“I cannot find Mullah Muhammad Omar,” Karzai said, referring to the Taliban supreme leader. “Where is he? I cannot find the Taliban council. Where is it? “I don’t have any other answer except to say that the other side for this negotiation is Pakistan.”
Afghan officials have also unilaterally cancelled plans to host a trilateral meeting on Oct 8 with Pakistan and the United States. Instead, a special Afghan delegation will present Pakistani leaders with evidence about the killing of Rabbani, WSJ reported.
Courtesy: → The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2011.
- By: AFP
KABUL: Afghanistan said on Sunday that the suicide bomber who assassinated Afghan peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani was a Pakistani national.
Tensions between the neighbours have been rising amid allegations from Afghan officials that Pakistan and its powerful ISI intelligence agency masterminded Rabbani’s assassination and are seeking to destabilise Afghanistan.
An investigative delegation established by President Hamid Karzai said evidence and a confession provided by a man involved in Rabbani’s killing on Sept. 20 had revealed that the bomber was from Chaman and the assassination had been plotted in Quetta, both on the Pakistani side of the border.
“It proves that the assassination of Professor Rabbani was hatched in Quetta and the man who carried out the suicide bombing is a Pakistani national,” the delegation, led by Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, said in a statement issued by the presidential palace.
“The documents and evidence in hand, details of other accomplices and their phone numbers have been handed over to Pakistan to make arrests,” it said.
Rabbani’s killing derailed efforts to forge dialogue with the Taliban to end the 10-year war, and raised fears of a dangerous widening of Afghanistan’s ethnic rifts.
The High Peace Council, which Rabbani headed, reiterated earlier comments by Karzai that negotiations should continue, but with Pakistan, rather than the Taliban.
“For the groups that are tired of conflict and want to end the killings and destruction inside the country, peace efforts must continue,” the council said in a separate statement issued late on Sunday.
“But because of those who hide in Pakistan with no known address, who send killers (to Afghanistan), we must negotiate with Pakistan instead.”
Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of Kabul on Sunday to condemn recent shelling of border towns by Pakistan’s army and accuse the ISI of involvement in Rabbani’s killing.
Courtesy: → DAWN.COM
More details → BBC urdu
“Your Excellency doesn’t understand. A man is a Punjabi or Bengali before he is a Hindu or a Muslim. They share a common history, language, culture and economy. You must not divide them. You will cause endless bloodshed and trouble” — Quaid-e-Azam to Lord Mountbatten.
The self-appointed guardians of Pakistan’s physical and ‘ideological’ frontiers are frothing at the mouth — again. The man-eaters want more and, as always, they want it in the name of Islam and the ‘ideology’ of Pakistan. From political liberals and dissidents to the religious minorities, this pack of wolves has hounded them all. But this time the target is not the secular Salmaan Taseer.
The thirst of the vicious cabals in the media and religio-political parties were not quenched by Taseer’s blood. Now they are out to get a centre-right politician, a rather devout Muslim: the former prime minister of Pakistan and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Mian Nawaz Sharif is the object of their latest venomous barrage. His fault is to have candidly given a roadmap for peace between Pakistan and India at the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) seminar in Lahore last week. — TV anchor MB, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Siraj-ul-Haq and the charlatan Zaid Hamid then ganged up to verbally lynch Nawaz Sharif.
This vitriol by the media, mullahs and the military stooges was a sordid game of snakes-and-ladders: just when a politician is about get past the security state paradigm, the snakes bite him down all the way to square one. Allegations ranging from being a sellout to India and betraying Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal’s vision to violating the oath to uphold this vision were hurled at Nawaz Sharif. Since the bigots have invoked Jinnah and Iqbal’s words in their odious invective against Nawaz Sharif and SAFMA, I shall keep the discourse within that realm. …
Read more → Daily Times
SDF statement – A leading Sindh based think tank fully supports the SAFMA and stands against a so-called scholar. People of Sindh will not allow conservatives, extremists and religious fundoos to take over progressive and secular society. Let peace, tolerance and plurality may prevail
- Pak media professionals slam security analyst Zaid Hamid
From Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Aug 18 (PTI) Leading Pakistani media professionals and civil society leaders today condemned security analyst Zaid Hamid allegation that the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) was acting at the behest of Indian intelligence agencies.
In a statement, the media and civil society personalities said they had “taken serious exception to the unfounded and shameful accusations hurled by an irresponsible person against a media body of most credible journalists of the South Asian region”.
Hamid, who is known for his anti-Indian stance and for backing jehadi and extremist groups, had made the allegations on a sensational talk show hosted by anchor Mehr Bukhari on Dunya news channel.
The media and civil society personalities said Hamid”s remarks violated “all ethics of professional journalism”.
They said SAFMA was a “mainstream media body associated with SAARC”.
“If Mr Hamid has committed an extreme defamation which incites public sentiments against SAFMA and its thousands of members, MB (and the) D– TV management have intentionally tried to malign a media body and its leaders by allowing such a provocative and damaging statement,” the statement said.
The media and civil society leaders expressed serious concern over the “slanderous programme” anchored by B— and took exception to the “dangerous trend in the electronic media of maligning various personalities and credible organizations”.
They pointed out that the talk show had made no effort to invite a SAFMA representative to rebut the “atrocious allegations”.
Senior journalists and civil society leaders have endorsed a move by SAFMA to sue Bukhari, her team and the management of — TV.
SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam and other office-bearers of various SAFMA branches in Pakistan have decided to issue notices to the persons for their “highly irresponsible and provocative conduct”.
— had earlier come under a cloud after media watchers said her interview with slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer could have incited violence against the politician for opposing the controversial blasphemy law.
Taseer was gunned down earlier this year by a police guard who was angered by his calls to amend the blasphemy law.
Courtesy: → MSN News
via – Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, August 19, 2011
Censoring Dawn TV – by A. H. Nayyar
A very interesting thing happened this evening (28th July).
DawnTV was airing Arshad Sharif’s talk show Reporter. The topic today was growth of Islamic militancy, especially Jundullah within Pakistan’s military and its connection with Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.
He started by showing a documentary on how Jundullah started in Quetta cantonment, how it spread across different formations of the military, showing some footage that looked original.
The discussants with Arshad were Air Marshall Shahzad Choudhry, Zahid Hussain and ret Gen Hamid Nawaz. As the documentary started, we saw, Hamid nawaz getting up and leaving.
Arshad then showed another short documentary which gave public sentiments on such trends in the military. Then came a commercial break.
After the break, the viewers saw that the program has been taken off the air. Instead Dawn started airing a completely different and old episode of Reporter. Clearly, the live program was censored. And clearly, from the top military brass.
What does the military have to hide that needed this censoring? Any comments from anyone knowledgeable?
I truly fear for the life of the brave journalist who had prepared the documentary.
Courtesy: → LUBP
via → LIC blog
Militants hang 8-year-old boy in southern Afghanistan
By David Ariosto, CNN
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — An 8 year-old boy was hanged by militants in Afghanistan’s Helmand province after the boy’s father — a police officer in the southern city of Gereshk — refused to comply with militants’ demands to provide them with a police vehicle, officials said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the hanging, saying “this action is not permitted in any culture or any religion,” according to a statement Sunday, which provided details of the incident.
Karzai said he has ordered local authorities to root out the militants and arrest them “as soon as possible.” …
Read more → CNN