Good ties with Pakistan ‘but not at any price’: US Senator

WASHINGTON: Pakistan must heed US “concerns” about its efforts to combat extremists, a senior US senator said Tuesday, warning he wanted to maintain good ties with Islamabad “but not at any price.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin became the second senior US lawmaker in two days to express deep misgivings about relations with Pakistan amid ties strained after the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

“I think it’s important that we have a good relationship with Pakistan, but not at any price,” Levin, a Democrat, said.

Levin said Islamabad should give US interrogators access to three of the al Qaeda leader’s widows who lived with him at the fortified compound in Abbottabad.

“That would show that they’re trying to be responsive to our concerns. They ought to respond to our concerns,” said the senator, who cautioned that cooperation against extremists “should not be dependent upon certain moods of either party.”

Levin said Washington should formally object to Pakistan leaking the name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad “if they leaked it,” but acknowledged that this would be unlikely to have much force amid anti-US anger there.

“They’re trying to show that they’re not responding affirmatively to too many things we’re asking for these days,” he told reporters. (AFP)

Courtesy: The News

Pakistan’s leader of the opposition Ch. Nisar is spot on

PPP, PML-N lash out at each other

Tempers flared in the National Assembly session on Monday as leaders from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) traded incendiary allegations against each other.

Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan gave a fiery speech, accusing both the military and civilian leaders of incompetence and deceiving the Pakistani people, demanding an independent national commission to investigate the events of May 2, when a US special forces unit killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a ‘black’ operation in Abbottabad.

“The nation wants to know how Bin Laden and his family lived in a highly fortified city,” said Nisar in his speech. “What sort of help did Pakistan extend to the US to reach him? We also want to know why the government remained oblivious of the 40-minute operation when all of Abbottabad city was awakened by it. What is the response time of our forces in case of such infringement of our borders?”

Nisar continued his streak of being unusually critical of the military and intelligence services, accusing them of being “asleep” during the US raid. He went as far as questioning the sincerity of the military in protecting the country’s ….

Read more : The Express Tribune

No more dwell policy and double game

No more dwell policy and double game. Lets start a new policy by having friendly relations with neighbors specially India, Afghanistan, Iran, China, USA and other nations sit on the table and resolve all the problems with diplomacy not by war or other means. The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: Geo TV (Lekin with Sana Bacha – 10th may 2011)

via ZemTV, Sisat.pk, You Tube

The Great Game’s New Clothes

by Dispatches From The Edge

Excerpt:

…. Gen. Hameed Gul, former head of the ISI, told the Financial Times on May 3 that the ISI knew where he was, but regarded him as “inactive.” Writing in the May 5 Guardian (UK), author Tariq Ali says that a “senior” ISI official told him back in 2006 that the spy organization knew where bin Ladin was, but had no intention of arresting him because he was “The goose that laid the golden egg.” In short, the hunt for the al-Qaeda leader helped keep the U.S. aid spigot open.

Indeed, bin Ladin may have been under house arrest, which would explain the absence of trained bodyguards. By not allowing the al-Qaeda leader a private militia, the ISI forced him to rely on it for protection. And if they then dropped a dime on him, they knew he would be an easy target. As to why he was killed, not captured, neither the U.S. nor Pakistan wanted him alive, the former because of the judicial nightmare his incarceration would involve, the latter because dead men tell no tales. …

Read more : Dispatches From The Edge

Baluchs present their Case To US Policy Advisors

By: Khalid Hashmani

The Balochistan Society of North America (BSO-NA) organized a conference titled Balochistan Conference 2011 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Saturday, August 30, 2011. The conference focused on key issues faced Baluch including “Balochistan’s Case and Prospects”, “Human Rights Violations in Balochistan”, “Baloch Target Killings and Genocide”, and “Geo-strategic Importance of Balochistan for Peace and Security in South Asia”.

Continue reading Baluchs present their Case To US Policy Advisors

The Haqqani Network in Kurram

By Reza Jan, Jeffrey Dressler

This paper details the expansion of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan’s tribal areas through peace accords signed between rival Sunni and Shia factions in Kurram Agency, Pakistan. The peace accords brought nearly four years of continuous fighting to an end. Despite the appearance of legitimacy, the peace accords were manipulated by the Afghanistan-focused Haqqani Network to serve its own ends. In exchange for brokering the peace between Sunnis and Shias, the Haqqanis allegedly received the authority to operate through Shia-controlled terrain in central and upper Kurram which will aid their ongoing insurgency against Afghan and coalition forces throughout eastern Afghanistan. The Haqqanis have also demonstrated their growing power and influence in the Pakistani tribal region in areas beyond their historical stronghold of neighboring North Waziristan Agency.

The Haqqani Network is Afghanistan’s most capable and sophisticated insurgent network. The Haqqanis enjoy sanctuary in the tribal areas in Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan. With the backing of elements within the Pakistan security establishment, the Haqqanis have used their sanctuary in the North Waziristan Agency of Pakistan to operate across the border in southeastern Afghanistan.

In response to increased coalition activity against the Haqqani Network in both Pakistan (via drones) and Afghanistan (via Special Operations Forces), the Haqqanis have increasingly sought new Pakistani sanctuary and additional infiltration routes in order to continue to battle coalition forces for control of southeastern Afghanistan. The Haqqani Network has increasingly turned their attention to Kurram Agency over the past several years as a potential sanctuary for the Haqqanis and affiliated terrorist organizations.

Kurram is a region of special strategic importance to Afghanistan-focused insurgents. It served as a base to the Afghan Mujahideen during the war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Kurram remains coveted terrain today as it facilitates convenient access to several Afghan provinces and is also the shortest route to Kabul from anywhere in Pakistan. …

Read more :  criticalthreats.org
http://www.criticalthreats.org/pakistan/reza-jan-jeffrey-dressler-haqqani-network-in-kurram-may-9-2011

Pakistan-U.S. Rift Widens

By SIOBHAN GORMAN And MATTHEW ROSENBERG

Pakistani media aired the name of a man they said is the Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief, prompting questions about whether the Pakistani government tried to out a CIA operative in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. is looking into the matter. There are no plans at this time to withdraw the station chief. If the government had attempted to publicize the name, that would be the second such outing in the past six months, a sign of how deeply U.S.-Pakistan relations have soured.

The CIA declined to comment. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Tensions, which have been building between the two countries for months, exploded after the bin Laden strike, which sharply embarrassed the Pakistani government. In another source of strain, the U.S. is pressing the Pakistanis for access to bin Laden’s three wives, who are being held in Pakistani custody. The Pakistani government isn’t complying with the request, a U.S. official said.

The Islamabad station chief is one of the CIA’s most critical and sensitive assignments. The position oversees the agency’s covert programs, including the drone campaign that targets al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, as well as fighters who cross the border into Afghanistan.

The purported name of the CIA’s station chief was first reported Friday by ARY, a private Pakistani television channel. The station was reporting on a meeting between the director of Pakistan’s spy service—the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence—and the station chief.

“If we did not mention the man’s name, the credibility of the story would have been reduced,” said ARY’s Islamabad bureau chief, Sabir Shakir.

Mr. Shakir wouldn’t discuss who had provided the name, but said he had “one-plus” sources.

The story was picked up by the Nation, a right-wing newspaper that has often accused American diplomats and private citizens in Pakistan of working for the CIA. The Nation’s editor, Salim Bokhari, said he didn’t know how the name became public.

It has to have been released by some government agency,” said Mr. Bokhari. “Who else would know such information?” …

Read more : The Wall Street Journal

SINDH: Schools, colleges to remain open in June

By: Syed Jafar Askari

KARACHI – The Sindh Education Department has decided that summer vacations will be observed in two months from July to August instead of June to July.

It is also decided that the female students will be awarded scholarships to enhance literacy rate among women segment of the society. These decisions were taken in a meeting of Steering Committee of Sindh Education Department, held on Saturday. Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar ul Haq presided over the meeting ….

Read more : The Nation

Behind the walls, a very frank Question/ Answer session with few chosen participants!?!

Insufficient formal response dismayed public: COAS

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani addressed the officers at Rawalpindi, Kharian and Sialkot garrisons on Monday.

He discussed one point agenda of Abbottabad incident, says a press release issued by ISPR.

He said that Abbottabad incident has been in sharp public focus. Incomplete information and lack of technical details have resulted in speculations and misreporting.

Public dismay and despondency has also been aggravated due to insufficient formal response.

It is believed that people of Pakistan need to be taken into confidence through their honourable elected representatives.

The Chief of Army Staff said that he has requested the Honourable Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to kindly consider convening of a joint session of the Parliament for briefing on security issues as related to Abbottabad incident. …

Read more : The News