Tag Archives: garrison

Our Man in Pakistan – Why didn’t the U.S. help get Shakil Afridi out of trouble?

Since Osama bin Laden met his demise in the garrison town of Abbottabad last May, Pakistani officials say they haven’t found anyone who helped him hide out for most of a decade in their backyard. But our supposed allies have spared no effort to hunt down the people who helped the U.S. find the al Qaeda mastermind.

Soon after the successful American raid, the Pakistani army picked up locals suspected of supplying fuel to SEAL Team Six’s helicopters and firing flares to …

Read more » WALL STREET JOURNAL

Coup Coup hota hae wether it is military coup, technocratic coup, judicial coup or behind-the-scenes-coup

Why a Coup Is Unlikely in Pakistan

By Tom Wright

Is there a coup in the offing in Pakistan? Not likely, say former Pakistan military and intelligence officials.

There’s a lot of speculation of a military takeover amid rising tensions between army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The tensions have their roots in the U.S. raid on a Pakistani garrison town in May, which lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan’s army was not forewarned about the raid and was deeply embarrassed.

The emergence in October of a memo allegedly sent by Mr. Gilani’s Pakistan People’s Party-led administration to Washington in the wake of the raid, asking for U.S. help in forestalling a coup by an angered military, was the start of the current troubles.

Mr. Gilani, under army pressure, fired Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, for his alleged involvement in the affair. Mr. Haqqani denies the allegations. His removal was supposed to be the end of the affair, Pakistani military and civilian officials say.

But Nawaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan’s main opposition party, demanded a Supreme Court investigation of the memo.

The court’s probe, which is underway, has escalated tensions between the civilian government and army. Mr. Gilani says the investigation is politically motivated, and has blamed the military for bypassing the government in answering the court’s questions.

Continue reading Coup Coup hota hae wether it is military coup, technocratic coup, judicial coup or behind-the-scenes-coup

Pakistan’s Border Outrage – A break with America isn’t in Islamabad’s best interests.

Pakistan’s porous border with Afghanistan was an accident waiting to happen, and the crash finally occurred with Saturday’s clashes involving U.S. forces that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The Pakistanis are furious with America, yet more worrying is that they continue to be in denial about what’s causing this relationship to unravel.

The pattern is familiar. When Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in a Pakistani military garrison town in May, Islamabad condemned the action as an assault on its sovereignty and scaled back military ties. Now Pakistan has shut its western border to NATO supply trucks headed into Afghanistan …

Read more » THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Masked Jihadis enter Pakistani Girls School and beat students not wearing Hijab

– Dress modestly: Masked men enter girls’ school, thrash students

By Azam Khan

RAWALPINDI: In a first for the garrison city, sixty masked men carrying iron rods barged into a girls’ school in Rawalpindi and thrashed students and female teachers on Friday.

The gang of miscreants also warned the inmates at the MC Model Girls High School in Satellite Town to “dress modestly and wear hijabs” or face the music, eyewitnesses said.

Fear gripped the area following the attack and only 25 of the 400 students studying in the college were present on Saturday. The school employs 30 female teachers.

Attendance in other educational institutions also remained low. After hearing about the attack, all schools in the city shut down, an official of the Rawalpindi District Administration (RDA) told The Express Tribune.

A student of the girls’ school managed to inform the administration of the nearby boys’ high school of the attack. “[However,] the armed gang was so powerful that we could not rescue our teachers and colleagues over there,” Noail Javed, a grade 10 student, said.

In-charge of MC High Schools in Rawalpindi issued a notification to the heads of all girls’ schools to take pre-emptive measures to avoid such incidents in future. According to the notification, a gang comprising 60 to 70 miscreants entered into the school from a gate that was “strangely open”.

All the MC school heads were assigned the responsibility of protecting the students by the notification. A school headmistress wishing not to be named said, “How is it possible for us to protect the students from such elements. The city administration should review its security plan.”

The notification also suggested that the heads should not inform the students about the situation, so that they are not alarmed into skipping school. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Islamists break Pakistan’s military ranks – By Amir Mir

ISLAMABAD – The arrest of Brigadier Ali Khan, a senior officer of the Pakistan army, for his alleged ties to Hizbul Tehrir (HuT), a banned Islamic militant group believed to be working in tandem with al-Qaeda under the garb of pan-Islamism, has brought into the open conflicting Islamists and reformists ideologies that have split the military’s rank and file for a decade.

Pakistani armed forces spokesman Major General Athar Abbas confirmed Khan has been arrested due to his links to the HuT and was being interrogated by the Special Investigation Branch of the Military Intelligence. The brigadier, who had been posted at the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the army in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, was taken into custody on May 6, hardly three days after the May 2 killing of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in a US military raid in Abbottabad. …

Read more:→ ASIA TIMES ONLINE

Former Military dictator Musharraf declared Absconder (Ishtihari) in Pakistan

– Benazir Bhutto murder case: Musharraf declared absconder

by Omer Farooq Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been declared an absconder after a court in Pakistan’s garrison city of Rawalpindi accepted the interim chargesheet submitted by the investigation agency, which named the ex-president as an accused in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

Investigators of Pakistan’s leading Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a chargesheet in Rawalpindi’s anti-terrorism court on Monday, listing Musharraf as one of the accused in the assassination of the former two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The court accepted the challan (chargesheet) after the testimony of police officials detained for alleged dereliction of duty over the assassination of the former PM. Former Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz and superintendent of police Khuramm Shazad were arrested last December after allegations were levelled against them for providing inadequate security to the former premier, hosing down the crime scene and destroying the evidence.

Courtesy: TOI

Death of ObL, Nightmare for Pakistan: Army Chief Suggests to Nawaz Not to Demand Resignations; ISI Chief Surrenders to Parliament But His Tone Remains Unchanged?

Death of ObL, Nightmare for Pakistan: AQ Khan Under Threats; Army Chief Suggests to Nawaz Not to Demand Resignations; ISI Chief Surrenders to Parliament But His Tone Remains Unchanged?

By Aijaz Ahmed

Excerpt:

Islamabad: Developments are taking place at a fast pace ever since Osama bin Laden was killed in a limited operation by US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, 60 miles north of the federal capital, Islamabad.

The life of the most wanted man on earth was dangerous for peace and stability in Pakistan, but his death has become a nightmare for Pakistan, that puts the very fiber of the society at stake and integrity of the country in danger. The “Ghairat” (honor) brigade of media is very active as it is trying to bring the democratic dispensation under pressure on one hand and point its guns towards the security institutions on the other hand.

The debate sparked by the May 2 operation focused on Pakistan’s national sovereignty, but nobody amongst the hawks were ready to accept the fact that although the US action was undoubtedly a clear breach of the national sovereignty, the presence of ObL on Pakistani soil, especially in a garrison city like Abbottabad had equally subverted the national sovereignty and undermined our security framework. …

…. Indeed the military leadership admitted its failure, but the briefing given to the sitting was not very significant, says Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a PML-N hawk. Although general Pasha surrendered before the parliament, it was for the sake of their institution, and not for the supremacy of the civilian rule, he added. The attitude of the uniformed top brass was rather contemptuous towards the elected representatives of the country, sources said adding that it was evident from the tone of the soldiers and the response they given to the elected representatives who asked tough questions or pointed out political hobnobbing by the agencies.

The tone was harsh and not like that of a person wanting to admit his mistakes, said Zafar Ali Shah. He however, was silent on the question that why PML-N did not ask for certain resignations over the Abbottabad incident. Sources closed to Mian Nawaz Sharif on the other hand answered this question. The close circles of Mian Nawaz Sharif have confided that the Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had a one on one meeting with Mian Nawaz Sharif on May 9th at his residence in Murree. The said meting took place on the first day of PML-N central leadership’s meeting in Islamabad when Mian Sb asked his party men to demand for the resignation of military top brass.

PML-N sources are of the view that Mian Saheb was to demand resignations during his next day press briefing, and some how this was conveyed to the Army leadership that created bit of worry in Rawalpindi, thus the COAS rushed himself to his Murree residence and requested him not to do so. Mian Sb, according to the sources while accepting the suggestion, changed his words, but kept very harsh tone. This was also indicated in 15th May media briefing when he demanded agencies budget and expenditure to be presented in the parliament. …

To read complete article: Indus Herald

Pakistan’s Faustian Parliament – by Wajid Ali Syed

It was embarrassing enough for the people of Pakistan to find out that Osama bin Laden was living in their midst for years. Even more shameful was the realization that their politicians are incapable of questioning the security apparatus of the country. The masses rallied and protested and faced hardships for months to kick General Pervez Musharraf out of power. They voted the Pakistan People’s Party, the most widely-based and allegedly liberal party to power, believing that democracy has been restored.

Though the leader of the government, President Asif Ali Zardari has been blamed for everything going wrong in the country and is regarded as a corrupt individual, until now there has been a perceived upside that Pakistan is being led by an elected government and not a military dictatorship.

This illusion of so-called civilian supremacy silently burst like a bubble when the head of the ISI, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, and the Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani were called before the parliament to answer for their incompetence related to the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The agenda was to inquire about the U.S. attack and why the state security apparatus was unaware of Osama bin Laden’s presence.

But what happened during the closed door meeting revealed once again that the real power in Pakistan still lies with the army and the ISI, not the politicians.

It had been suggested that heads would roll, the foreign aid and the big chunk of national budget that the army receives would be scrutinized. The parliamentarians dropped the ball again and lost another opportunity to exert their authority over other institutions of the state. Once again it became clear who really runs Pakistan.

The last time a civilian government had an opportunity to put the army in its place was in 1971, following the Pakistan army’s defeat in the war that led to the loss of East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s then-president and founder of the Pakistan People’s Party, got off to a promising start by placing former dictator General Yahya Khan under house arrest. He re-organized the Pakistan Armed Forces and boosted the military’s morale. But Bhutto also restored their hubris. Years later, his own appointed Army Chief, General Zia ul-Haq, would overthrow Bhutto’s government and send him to the gallows.

During Zia’s 11 year rule, the Russians invaded Afghanistan and withdrew. The army grew so strong that even after Zia’s death in a plane crash, the new chief of the military did not allow the democratically elected Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, to tour the country’s nuclear facility. She was labelled anti-Pakistan and an American agent.

It is ironic to witness that the opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), which was created with the support of the army to counter the PPP’s popularity, is now asking the tough questions about covert operations and the finances of the military.

By snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Pakistan’s ruling party, Bhutto’s PPP, is losing its chance to demonstrate leadership and moral authority. They failed to hold the army accountable for the thousands of civilians and security officers killed in the war on terror in Pakistan. They did not press the chief of the generously-funded army to explain how OBL could have lived in a military garrison town for six years.

These are the same parliamentarians who extended General Kiyani’s tenure. The same parliamentarians who extended ISI Chief General Pasha’s tenure. The boastful parliamentarians who had promised to leave no stone unturned roared like lions for the cameras but behaved like lambs behind closed doors.

It was reported that opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar tried to deliver a speech during the question and answer session, only to be snubbed by General Pasha in front of a full house. Pasha claimed that he ‘knew’ why he was being targeted by the opposition leader, alleging that Nisar had asked him for a personal favor, which he, as DG ISI, refused to extend. An embarrassed Chaudhry Nisar was said to have been taken aback as Pasha continued with his ‘counter-attack’.

Then the tail furiously wagged the dog. General Pasha reportedly offered to resign. Rather than demanding that the ISI chief step down immediately, apparently the parliamentarians did not accept his resignation.

The state run television channel could have returned to its heyday of running prime time programming that kept the country glued to their sets by recording that “closed door” meeting to broadcast later as a drama — or farce.

Some idealistic Pakistanis hoped that the U.S. would finally question the secretly played “double game.” After all, the U.S. supported extensions of Kiyani’s and Pasha’s tenures, claiming that keeping the chiefs in their positions would help to continue the war on terror in an orderly fashion. The U.S. abandoned the people of Pakistan by siding with the army once again, pledging support and failing to attach any strings or conditions to the military aid it provides.

Cowed by Kiyani’s and Pasha’s brazen displays, Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution that drone attacks should be stopped and that the operations like the one carried out on May 2nd won’t be tolerated in future.

The parliament has an obligation to explain to the public not only how and why Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, but why the Taliban continues to carry out its bloody operations, and why al Qaeda leaders have been given safe haven. The risk of allowing these questions to remain unanswered is that the military will gain more strength over the civilian government.

The parliamentarians who are supposed to represent the people of Pakistan abrogated their responsibility for the sake of staying in office for few more months, while at the same time making it clear who the country’s rulers truly are.

Courtesy: Wichaar

Punjab cancels six US aid agreements

LAHORE: Pakistan’s most populous province has cancelled six aid agreements with the United States in protest over the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, its law minister said on Friday.

Pakistan hailed bin Laden’s death as a big step against militancy but was incensed by the raid in a garrison town not far from the capital, saying it was a violation of sovereignty.

The operation severely strained already uneasy ties between the United States and Pakistan, whose cooperation is needed to stabilise Afghanistan.

“We have cancelled six MOUs (memorandums of understanding) with the United States in the fields of health, education and solid waste management,” said Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister of Punjab, the country’s political nerve centre. …

Read more : DAWN

Nawaz Sharif, the most popular leader in Pakistan, called for the government to establish an independent inquiry commission within three days

PML-N demands independent probe on bin Laden

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s opposition leader Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday demanded a full independent investigation over Osama bin Laden’s presence in the country, rejecting the government’s internal military probe.

“We completely reject the prime minister’s committee. It is powerless and cannot investigate the matter in depth,” he told a news conference shortly after returning to Pakistan from medical treatment in Britain.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday announced that a lieutenant general would head an inquiry “to get to the bottom of how, when and why” bin Laden had been hiding in the garrison town where he was killed by US forces. …

Read more : DAWN

Major General Isfandiyar Ali Pataudi may take charge as next ISI chief

Pataudi’s first cousin tipped as next ISI chief

by Josy Joseph

NEW DELHI: With Pakistan’s military-intelligence complex reeling from the embarrassment Americans inflicted when they took out Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad, speculation is rife that ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha may have to step down.

Pasha, who is in the direct line of criticism for the failure to detect the presence of bin Laden and the American operation, is already on an extension and the estimate here is that Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Kayani may have to sacrifice him to appease the popular anger.

Front runners among those tipped to take over from Pasha is Major General Isfandiyar Ali Pataudi, first cousin of cricketing legend, former India skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, and an uncle to film stars, Saif and Soha.

Isfandiyar’s father, Major General Nawabzada Mohammad Ali Pataudi, was the younger brother of Mansur Ali Khan’s father Iftikhar Ali Khan. Major General Nawabzada Mohammad preferred to opt for the Pakistan army at the time of partition, while his elder brother stayed back to pursue a diplomatic career.

Sources here said Maj Gen Isfandiyar Ali Pataudi, who was appointed a deputy director-general of ISI a few weeks ago, stands a good chance if a major churning happens at the higher echelons of the Pakistan army. His liberal moorings and aristocratic background may work to his advantage at a time when Rawalpindi is required to allay US’s fears of a fundamentalist takeover of the intelligence agency. An armoured corps officer, General Isfandiyar has another India connection: he was a classmate of the chief of the Indian Army, General V K Singh, at the Army War College in the US a few years ago. …

Read more : Times of India

via Wichaar

Pakistan Islamists to protest against US bin Laden raid

ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI: Pakistan’s most influential Islamist party urged its followers to hold mass protests on Friday to demand their government withdraw its support of the US war on militancy after US commandos killed Osama bin Laden near Islamabad.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), one of the country’s biggest religious political parties, said the United States had violated the sovereignty of key ally Pakistan by sending its own forces into the garrison town of Abbottabad to kill the al Qaeda leader.

Pakistan’s support is key to US efforts to combat Islamist militants, and also to fighting against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“Even if there was any sympathy for the Americans that would dissipate after the way they crushed and violated our sovereignty and our independence,” JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan told Reuters on Thursday. …

Read more : DAWN

Benazir Bhutto: Brilliant, Bold and Beautiful

by Faiz Al-Najdi

On 27 December 2007 Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was martyred in the garrison city of Rawalpindi where her father – another great and popular leader of Pakistan – was hanged some thirty years ago by a mean, vindictive and a heartless military dictator. It is needless to underscore that like many other Pakistanis, I was totally devastated at this tragic end of a great leader.

Who killed her? It is a million dollar question though. However it is very clear that her killer or killers hated her brilliance, beauty and boldness. These savages could not silence her messages so silenced the messenger, who remained a hope and aspiration of the poor of our country. They snatched away our Shehzadi from us – the symbol of democracy and a unifying force of the federation. It is hard to believe that she is no more and now all we are left with is her memories on this second shahadat anniversary of hers. We are only left to mourn her death and sing the requiem – our Pakistani requiem in her memoriam.

Robert Novak in his Op-Ed, “Who Wants to Kill Benazir Bhutto” (30 October 07), was all praise for her boldness. He said, “When I interviewed Bhutto in New York in Aug-07, I asked whether she thought she might be killed if she returned to Pakistan. She answered by saying she must return. She gives the impression that being in danger is her fate”. …

Read more : BoloJi

16th December 1971 the day of the demise of two nation theory

Fall of Dhaka: Independence of Bengalis

by Zulfiqar Halepoto, Hyderabad, Sindh

16th December 1971 was the day of the demise of two nation theory, a fake theory to control a land under the so-called ideology of one Muslim nation.

Bengalis fought against the illegal, unconstitutional and immoral domination of civil and military establishment of West Pakistan. A very progressive federating unit brawled against the political and economic disparities. Bengalis refused to live a slaves’ life.

We still have time to save rest of the Pakistan by accepting the fact that Pakistan is made of five historical nations and centuries old civilizations. Rest of the country should declare Sindh, Punjab, Pukhtoonkhwa and Balochistan as sovereign federating units as promised in 23 March, 1940 Lahore resolution.

December 16th is a day of inspiration to fight against the civil and military establishments/ dictatorships, who want to make us a garrison state, and we have to continue our struggle to make Pakistan a true federation.

To read more about Bangladesh – Wikipedia

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists.

—–

– More about Fall of Dhaka – BBC urdu