Tag Archives: network

Soldiers at Kamra airbase defended themselves well. Now TV anchors, retired generals are out in full force trying to defend & justify Taliban.

Discussion on Kamra Air Base Attack. No body is talking about Taliban. Everybody is talking about America’s involvement in this attack on Kamara Airbase and how the Taliban are being used by U.S., & outside powers!

Courtesy: Geo Tv (Capital Talk with Hamid Mir, guests; Lt. Gen. (R) Abdul Qayoom & Vice AirMartial (R) Shahid Latif – 16th august 2012 part-2) » Via » ZemTv » YouTube

Courtesy: CNBC » Pakistan Aaj Raat, guests; Gen Rtd Abdul Kayuum, Air Marshall Shahid Lateef! 16th August 2012 Part 2) » Via – ZemTV » YouTube

Via – Twitter » MH’s tweet

Some questions?

By: Aziz Narejo

1. Do you think break up of Pakistan is inevitable?

2. If yes, then who do you think will cause its break up?

3. Do you think it will be nationalists in Balochistan, Sindh & Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa?

4. Don’t you think they are not that powerful or well-organized?

5. Or you think the wrong policies of the Pakistan’s Military Establishment that eats up most of the Pakistani budget & conquers own country almost every ten years & the terrorists it has created to wage proxy wars on Eastern & Western borders & in the cities of Pakistan’s Southern most province will eventually break up the country?

Courtesy: Aziz Narejo, facebook wall

‘Pakistan-linked’ attack on Kabul foiled: Officials

By AFP

KABUL: Afghan and Nato forces foiled a series of suicide attacks on Kabul planned for Sunday when they captured five insurgents allegedly linked to militants in Pakistan, officials said.

The group was “finalising plans for an attack in the capital” and a large cache of explosives, suicide vest parts, weapons and ammunition were seized in the overnight operation, Nato’s International Security Assistance Force said.

The “sophisticated suicide attacks” would have targeted the Afghan parliament and the residence of Second Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency said.

One of the five was a Pakistani national and the group was in possession of Afghan army uniforms and Pakistani identity documents, currency and cellphone numbers, the National Directorate for Security said.

“The evidence indicates they had connections with the terrorists beyond the border with Pakistan,” the agency said.

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of harbouring Taliban insurgents fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

Earlier this month, Afghan officials said five insurgents planning a major attack on an area of Kabul home to Western embassies were killed in a pre-dawn gunbattle in the capital.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/421128/pakistan-linked-attack-on-kabul-foiled-officials/

Infiltrating the ranks

FIVE army officers, including a brigadier, have been court-martialled and handed down prison sentences for their links to an extremist organisation, Hizbut Tahrir. Whenever the subject of religious extremism within the army’s officer corps and its rank and file comes up, opinion tends to break down into two extremes. One side argues that it points to some sort of creeping coup, a pernicious radicalisation of the armed forces that threatens Pakistani state and society given the army’s influence over national security and foreign policy. The other side argues that whatever instances of radicalised officers have come to the fore, they are isolated incidents and dealt with professionally and quickly and as such pose no threat to discipline and unity of command in the armed forces. Arguably, neither side is right.

Continue reading Infiltrating the ranks

Pakistan: Now or Never? Perspectives on Pakistan

A Mafia in FATA: Haqqanis and Drones

By Myra MacDonald

It took author Gretchen Peters two years working with a team of researchers to compile a detailed report on the Haqqani network.  Published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, it is a comprehensive study of the Haqqani’s business interests in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gulf, defining them as much as a criminal mafia as an Afghan militant group. It took me an hour to read it through. Yet when I tweeted a link to the report with the suggestion those with strong views on drones should read it – the Haqqanis’ base in North Waziristan in Pakistan’s tribal areas has been the primary target of U.S. drone strikes – the answers came within minutes. “I assume u probably never met a minor or a woman who lost the head of the family in drone attack as ‘colateral dmg,” said the first response.

Continue reading Pakistan: Now or Never? Perspectives on Pakistan

US wants tougher Pakistani action against Haqqanis

By:

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration expressed renewed frustration with Pakistan on Tuesday, urging its reluctant counterterrorism ally to break remaining links between its security services and the Haqqani network and stem the flow of bomb-making material into Afghanistan.

A State Department report credited Pakistan’s government with taking action against al-Qaida last year, even though the United States acted unilaterally in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. It called Islamabad’s attempts weaker when it came to snuffing out groups such as the Haqqani network and Laskhar e-Taiba. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

Elected officials can be disqualified in Pakistan, but unelected DG ISI, MI are above the law?

Debate begins on whether DG ISI, MI can be booked

By: Ahmad Noorani

ISLAMABAD: For the first time in country’s history, the Punjab Police have registered an FIR against the chiefs of the Inter Services Intelligence (IsI) and Military intelligence in a missing person’s case in compliance with the Islamabad High Court orders.

The Punjab police action has sparked a new debate as to whether police can book chiefs of major intelligence agencies of the country.According to details, one Naveed Butt, spokesman of banned Hizbul Tehrir was allegedly picked up by the agencies on May 11, 2012, outside his home in Lahore in area of Liaqatabad Police Station. Saadia Rahat, a lawyer and wife of Naveed Butt, moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against abduction of her husband and also moved an application in the Police Station concerned.

On May 14, 2012, the IHC ordered the Punjab Police to recover the missing person and act under the law. However, Naveed was not recovered and on June 26, 2012, the Punjab Police registered an FIR based on the application of Naveed’s wife.

The FIR is captioned: ‘FIR against DG ISI, Deputy Director ISI, Lahore, DG MI, Rawalpindi, Deputy Director MI, Lahore,” and numbered 566/12 PS Liaqtabad, Lahore. Some experts say that an FIR could not be registered against the intelligence chiefs of the country while others disagree with this view.

After registration of the FIR, the Punjab Police immediately took action against the SHO Rana Khursheed of the police station concerned and made the concerned SP, Athar Waheed, an OSD, considered to be a punishment in bureaucratic parlance.

Raja Irshad, senior lawyer, who represented the ISI in many cases, when approached by The News, said that registering of FIR against the DG ISI and DG MI is a ‘wrongful and ‘illegal act’.

Continue reading Elected officials can be disqualified in Pakistan, but unelected DG ISI, MI are above the law?

Our doomed democracy

By: Khaled Ahmed

Pakistan’s gradual alienation from democracy and its irreducible secular conditionality is owed to the growth of the idea of Islamic governance, today showcased by the Taliban

Pakistan follows the rest of the Muslim world in thinking about the state. There was a time when it was normal for a Pakistani to say that he was a Pakistani first; now he says he is a Muslim first, little realising that he was negating the modern state. Most of the states in the Muslim world began as modern states but are now on the brink of choosing a pre-modern order that is stranger to democracy. Egypt that leads the Muslims of the world intellectually now manifests the following symptoms:

Democracy as ‘tyranny of the majority’:

1) On the role of religion in government, 61 percent of Egyptians chose Saudi Arabia as the preferred model.

2) Asked whether Egypt’s laws should strictly adhere to the Quran, 60 percent said yes while 32 percent said it should follow the values and principles of Islam and only six percent said laws should not be influenced by the teachings of the Quran.

3) The survey found that 61 percent of Egyptians want to diplomatically de-recognise Israel, while only 32 percent think it should be recognised. The feeling against Israel has surged among the youth.

Another poll found that 52 percent of Pakistanis too wanted sharia and desired an increased role of religion in their lives. Pakistan’s wealth is in the hands of a conservative elite which controls the media. Once upon a time the state TV was extreme in its Islamic tilt; now PTV is moderate compared to the ‘free’ TV channels numbering nearly 80. A new book Radicalisation in Pakistan by Muhammad Amir Rana & Safdar Sial (Narratives 2012) tells us on the basis polls that 87 percent of the journalists think that radical elements ‘have an effect’ on the media. You don’t have to read John Stuart Mill to conclude that Muslims demand democracy to impose ‘the tyranny of the majority’ on their societies.

Urdu and conservatism:

Conservatism in traditionally tolerant Muslim societies has morphed into fundamentalism threatening enough to cause three categories of Muslims to shut up: secularists, liberals and the moderate. The nation in Pakistan is weaning itself from the bilingual ambience of the past despite an increasing trend in the private sector to employ persons proficient in the use of English language.

Urdu is the vehicle of Islamist view. Pakistan is moving towards the status of a single-language country because of the ouster of English-language TV channels. Most graduates from universities are less able to use English and tend to be conservative if not Islamist in their aggressive rejection of secularists and moderates. This trend is shockingly clear in the social media. Some analysts are frank enough to say that the youth that dominates the social media – facebook, youtube, twitter, etc – will threaten the modern state in the Muslim world.

Radical assault on social media:

Continue reading Our doomed democracy

Why I’m not celebrating US exit – by Pervez Hoodbhoy

Today there is only the cruel choice between continued American presence and Taliban rule

After a trillion dollars and 2000 dead Americans, there is precious little to show as the U.S. heads towards its 2014 exit. America’s primary goal had been to create a stable, non-hostile Afghan government and army which could stop extremist groups from once again using Afghan territory as a base. But Hamid Karzai is already on the way out, rapid desertions could collapse the Afghan National Army, and only die-hards like Marine Gen. John Allen say that the U.S. can win. The Taliban are smelling victory.

America’s failure drives many bearded folks – and Imran Khan’s thoughtless supporters – into fits of ecstasy. It also delights some Pakistani leftists at home and abroad; imperialism has been humbled. Some comrades imagine that a mythicalAfghan “working class” – whatever that might mean – will pop up from nowhere and somehow stop the Taliban from moving in as fast as the Americans move out. Do they also hope for snowflakes in summer?

Continue reading Why I’m not celebrating US exit – by Pervez Hoodbhoy

India must go for covert action in Pakistan, says book – Zee News

Delhi: If Pakistan doesn`t stop backing terrorists acting against India, New Delhi must pay back Islamabad in the same coin, says a scholarly book on Indian counterterrorism strategy.

“Indian policymakers need to critically evaluate whether in fact a `strong and stable Pakistan` is in India`s interest,” says Prem Mahadevan in “The Politics of Counterterrorism in India” (I.B. Tauris).

Suggesting that the entire basis of Indian counterterrorist policy might need to be re-examined, the 297-page book says that New Delhi should take a unilateral two-pronged approach against pan-Islamist jehad.

While implementing domestic security reforms, the book says, the “more productive approach could be to take the counterterrorist offensive inside Pakistan itself“.

“This would be a daring move, requiring considerable political courage to initially be implemented.

“Once started, however, it has the potential to exert a strong deterrent effect upon the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence agency) and Pakistani jehadists.”

According to the author, a senior researcher at the Centre for Security Studies in Zurich, India`s failure to declare Pakistan a long-term adversary, “whose covert operations need to be reciprocated, has left Indian citizens vulnerable to further terrorist attacks”.

Mahadevan quoted former RAW chief K. Sankaran Nair as saying: “If what Pakistan does within our borders exceeds our capacity to control it, then we must take the fight to their doorstep. There is no question.”

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is India`s external intelligence agency.

The book says: “Strikes against terrorist masterminds, including `rogue` or `freelance` ISI officials, would thus be an integral component of an ideal Indian counterterrorist policy.”

Continue reading India must go for covert action in Pakistan, says book – Zee News

Pakistan: Millions bear mental scars from attacks

By: Wichaar Desk

The 47-year-old government clerk and part-time lab assistant was walking home through the grounds of a hospital in the northwest city of Peshawar in the fall of 2009 when he stumbled upon the carnage left by the blast. Scores of bodies were packed into vehicles. Bleeding survivors with missing limbs and severe burns were scattered everywhere.

He has suffered from severe depression and anxiety ever since and is dependent on antidepressants to make it through the day so he can provide for his wife and four children.

Continue reading Pakistan: Millions bear mental scars from attacks

America’s way out of dependence on Pakistan: Iran

By Neil Padukone

America’s dependence on Pakistan is a key source of regional instability. The only way out is to find an efficient alternative supply route for NATO supplies into Afghanistan. The Chabahar Road through Iran provides that alternative – if Washington will consider its benefits. ….

Read more » CSMONITOR

http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/0724/America-s-way-out-of-dependence-on-Pakistan-Iran

A rain of 1,300 rockets from Pakistan threatens to spawn a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

Deadly rocket attacks straining Afghanistan-Pakistan relations

By Heath Druzin

KABUL — A rain of rockets from Pakistan threatens to spawn a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister summoned Pakistan’s ambassador Sunday after shelling killed four civilians and injured several others in Kunar province Friday night.

A provincial official is warning of an “uprising” if the attacks continue. The Foreign Ministry warned that continued shelling “could have significant negative impact” on relations between the two countries.

Continue reading A rain of 1,300 rockets from Pakistan threatens to spawn a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

Dangerous duffers: ISI’s interface with terror – by Khaled Ahmed

ISI’s interface with terror

By Khaled Ahmed

On July 12, 2012, ex-ISI chief General (retd) Asad Durrani appeared on PTV and expressed his views in his characteristic reductive manner. Durrani cultivates gruffness as his trademark. In this, he is like a predecessor of his, General Mahmood Ahmad: the US is here in the region to stay to get to the oil and gas bonanza of Central Asia; and Pakistan has to deal with this as a threat to its security.

While Durrani delivered his rough wisdom, another retired spy boss, Hamid Gul, was in the Long March of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, riding in an ego-boosting Land Cruiser, seeing cash worth lakhs of rupees being handed around on the way.

Hamid Gul has told the international press that he had sent his sons to be trained with the Haqqanis in the tribal areas. Barnett R Rubin in his book The Search for Peace in Afghanistan: From Buffer State to Failed State (Yale University Press, 1995) wrote that, in 1988-89, the 519-strong Afghan shura in Peshawar received 25,000 dollars per member as bribe from the Saudi intelligence agency, which spent 26 million dollars per week during the Peshawar session. The ‘deal’ was facilitated, according to Rubin, by Hamid Gul.

That year, Afghanistan’s ruler, President Najibullah, defeated the ISI-nurtured mujahideen in Jalalabad. Hamid Gul says he did not plan the Jalalabad operation, but an ISI officer, Brigadier S A Tirmizi, in his book Profiles of Intelligence (1997) stated that he had.

Like Durrani, Hamid Gul has been frequently clueless but speaks like a prophet on Pakistan’s security. He thought Aimal Kasi, who was executed for killing CIA agents in the US, was called a CIA agent by him. He had to admit that his plan to put together the IJI in 1990 to prevent the PPP from coming to power was wrong.

Our ISI geniuses were not only clueless; what is worse, they were usually ‘reverse-indoctrinated’. Hamid Gul never believed that Osama bin Laden had done 9/11; he was convinced that the Jews had done it.

Another ISI chief, General Mahmood Ahmad, was simply cowed by the charisma of Mullah Umar. Cathy Gannon in her book ‘I’ is for Infidel: from Holy War to Holy Terror, 18 Years inside Afghanistan (Public Affairs, 2005) tells the story. ISI boss Mahmood Ahmad was in Washington when Osama struck on 9/11. General Musharraf sent him to Mullah Umar to tell him to avoid being invaded by the US and surrender Osama.

Continue reading Dangerous duffers: ISI’s interface with terror – by Khaled Ahmed

Outcome of Multan by-elections and establishment’s next move – by Shaheryar Ali

According to news reports, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Abdul Qadir Gilani has won the NA-151 Multan by-elections with 64,628 votes (19 July 2012). Independent candidate Shaukat Hayat Bosan, who was supported by all right wing parties including PML-N, PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami, Sipah-e-Sahaba etc lost the elections with 60,532 votes, according to unofficial results.

This is a big set back, not only to Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N and Imran Khan-led PTI but to the almighty military establishment in the grand scheme of things.

Despite every effort of Shahbaz Sharif and Punjab Police, Abdul Qadir Gilani defeated the candidate supported by every political party of right wing, media, army and judiciary. That’s the power of PPP. It can take on all thugs together and defeat them!

The judges should “pity the nation” and resign if there is any thing called “morality” left in them.

Wounded by the loss of bye-election in Multan (NA-151), it won’t be wrong to assumed that Pakistan’s military establishment is now looking forward to reincarnate the anti-PPP alliance PNA of 1977 or IJI of 1990s!

I am sure we will soon see the revolutionary PTI joining hands with PML-N. There is no other way they (Pakistan army) will let the election take place. Five years of constant, uninterrupted, unilateral media trial of PPP plus its governance failures fail to shake its mass support to the extent that candidate enjoying support of Punjab government, all right wing, militant sectarian organizations, and also Election Commission of Pakistan, which by banning cadidate sponsered transport tried to inflict the fatal blow to PPP whose base lies in rural areas and in poor people, failed to win.

This makes the establishment very uncomfortable. They will now try to repeat the 1977 scenerio. Pan right alliance and then a movement against alleged election rigging (under evil Zardari), today Rana Sanaullah of PMLN-ASWJ already started laying the ground work by saying “huge responsibility lies on Justice Fakhruddin G. Ibhahim, only “words” are not enough for “fair” elections”, no one should think that “we will accept “any results” given to us”. It is interesting to note that Justice Ibrahim is PML-N’s nomination not PPP’s.

Courtesy: Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP)

U.S. House urges adding Haqqani group to terrorist list

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON : (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the State Department to designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist group, pressing the Obama administration to get tougher on an issue that already has strained ties with Islamabad.

Continue reading U.S. House urges adding Haqqani group to terrorist list

Pakistan needs to come clean on terrorism, says Germany

By: Wichaar Desk

New Delhi, July 14 — Germany Saturday made it clear to Pakistan that it needs to “come clean” over terror allegations, whether those are true or not, as this will be in its best interests.

German ambassador to India Michael Steiner, who took over this week, told reporters here that it did not matter whether the terror charges are proved in a court of law or not, but it was necessary that Pakistan clarify the “clear distinction” between its state institutions and terror outfits.

He was responding to queries about the recent revelations by terror suspect Abu Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia last month, of Pakistani state players’ involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 dead and over 230 injured in 2008.

Continue reading Pakistan needs to come clean on terrorism, says Germany

Restructuring of the Judicial System – Taj Haider

Article 209 (Supreme Judicial Council) lays down the composition as well the procedure to be followed to probe into capacity or conduct of a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court.

While the said article in Sub-article (3) sections (a) and (b) looks at the possibility of looking at the capacity or the conduct of a member of the Supreme Judicial Council who is a judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court, it clearly omits the possibility of looking into the capacity and conduct of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

There is a clear procedure laid down for the impeachment of the President of Pakistan by the Parliament in article 47. However, the Chief Justice of Pakistan is not answerable to any authority if he is accused of misconduct or is perceived to be unable to perform his duties for any reason.

The composition of the Supreme Judicial Council is also faulty in the sense that it establishes a complete monopoly of the Supreme Court and makes the provincial High Courts subservient. Only two most senior Chief Justices of High Courts are council members as against three (Supreme Court Chief Justice and two next most senior Judges from the Supreme Court). This composition clearly violates the autonomy principle and concentrate authority in the Centre and de-facto in one person, who is the Chief Justice and also above probe if accused of incapacity or misconduct.

It is thus proposed that:

1) Besides the Chief Justice of Pakistan only the one senior most judge of the Supreme Court should be member of the Supreme Judicial Council.

2) The Chief Justices of all the four provincial High Courts should be members of the Supreme Judicial Council.

3) The Senate of Pakistan shall have the power to impeach the Chief Justice of Pakistan by two third majority.

Continue reading Restructuring of the Judicial System – Taj Haider

If Pakistan does not release Dr Shakil Afridi, Senator Rand Paul will hold up the US Senate to deny Islamabad all aid.

Paul may hold up Senate over Pakistan

By MANU RAJU and TOMER OVADIA

Freshman Sen. Rand Paul is threatening to bottle up the Senate if he doesn’t get a vote on his plan to dramatically cut foreign aid to Pakistan.

In an extraordinary step, the Republican freshman is warning that he may file a motion to shut down debate and push a vote on his proposal, a right typically granted strictly to the Senate majority leader. But Paul is angry that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to give him an up-or-down vote on the proposal, and now appears poised to use arcane Senate procedures to force a vote even if it ties up the Senate for days.

Paul’s bill would halt billions of dollars in foreign aid that the United States provides Pakistan until the country frees a doctor jailed for providing Americans information that helped lead to the death of Osama Bin Laden. And it could put some of his colleagues in a tricky diplomatic spot, as they rail against government spending but also fear provoking tensions with a country whose relations with the United States have frayed.

“I have worked consistently to bring awareness to Dr. [Shakil] Afridi’s plight, and I have offered legislation to deny any current or future foreign assistance to the Pakistani government until they reverse course and free Dr. Afridi,” Paul wrote in the letter. “In pursuing a resolution to this situation, I have gained the necessary number of signatures on a cloture petition to force a vote on my legislation on the Senate floor. If Dr. Afridi is not released upon appeal, I will seek such a floor vote at the earliest opportunity.”

Continue reading If Pakistan does not release Dr Shakil Afridi, Senator Rand Paul will hold up the US Senate to deny Islamabad all aid.

Militants coming from Afghanistan take scores of villagers hostage in Pakistan – Is PaK military learning any lessons?

By: Wichaar Desk

KHAR, Pakistan — Dozens of militants coming from Afghanistan took scores of villagers hostage in Pakistan’s northwest on Thursday, sparking fighting with the army that killed at least 14 people, Pakistani officials said.

The incident is the latest chapter in a broader infiltration trend that has seen Islamabad railing against Afghan and NATO forces for not doing enough to stop the cross-border attacks, which it says have killed dozens of members of its security forces.

There has been little sympathy from the U.S. and Afghan governments however, which have long complained Pakistan allows sanctuary to militants fighting in Afghanistan, warning Islamabad that instability in the war-torn country poses a threat to it as well.

On Thursday, Taliban gunmen opened fire on a compound in eastern Pakistan housing police trainees, killing nine of them, officials said.

The militants who staged the cross-border attack appeared to be targeting members of an anti-Taliban militia in Kitkot village near Pakistan’s Bajur tribal area, said Tariq Khan, a local government official. They came from Afghanistan’s Kunar province and took hundreds of villagers hostage, including anti-Taliban militiamen, he said.

Hundreds of Pakistani soldiers surrounded the village and killed 12 militants, Khan added. Two militiamen were also killed in the fighting.

Soldiers have retrieved scores of villagers, but dozens more are still held by the militants or trapped in their homes by the fighting, said Khan and two security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The army called in gunship helicopters for support but have not used them yet for fear of civilian casualties, said Khan.

The information could not be independently verified because the area is largely off-limits to reporters.

The police targeted in the eastern city of Lahore were training to become prison guards, said Habibur Rehman, the chief of police in Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for police torture of their fighters in prison. He spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.

In addition to the police who were killed, eight were also wounded, said Salman Saddiq, a government official.

One of the wounded, Shafqat Imran, said that eight to 10 attackers, who had their faces hidden behind hoods, stormed into the compound and started shooting randomly. They shouted “God is great,” then shot the policemen one by one, said Imran, speaking from a hospital bed.

Continue reading Militants coming from Afghanistan take scores of villagers hostage in Pakistan – Is PaK military learning any lessons?

Pakistan’s strategic assets at work

Strategic Assets hard at work …

By: Omar

“Taliban militants”, riding a car and three motorbikes, drove up to a hostel where 30 under training policemen were living (this is in Lahore, capital of Punjab), walked in, said the usual Allah O Akbar and started shooting whoever they could. Killed 10 or so, injured a few more. Got on their car and motorbikes and drove away. The chief of police said “its retaliation for NATO supplies”, thus conceding that in his capital city, there are armed men who can get into their cars and come shoot up random poor soldiers and leave anytime they want if they are upset over NATO supplies. Where did they come from? where did they go? Can they be stopped? Apparently we have no idea… other than Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif appealing to the Taliban to please not attack Punjab province because HIS govt doesn’t agree with the “pro-NATO” policies of the federal govt (he actually said this, look it up).’

Meanwhile, in Bajaur, which has been “cleared” of militants several times, the taliban came in their hundreds and took practically a whole village hostage. Pakistan will blame Afghanistan (and by extension, NATO) but who missed the chance to work WITH Nato to fix this problem?

If any ruling elite deserves to be screwed with sharp edged instruments it has to be the Pakistani ruling elite, but its mostly its poor soldiers and poor people who get killed. Which is par for the course in this world, but still painful. I have known a couple of these Pakhtoon soldiers and my father and my uncle have served with many many more and they are just outstanding human beings. They are dirt poor but they are proud and honorable and they are incredibly tough. And they are being sacrificed with abandon while the ruling elite plays its double games with America and dreams of strategic depth and other bullcrap. Its too sad for words.

Continue reading Pakistan’s strategic assets at work

Terror Is Their Family Business – Why won’t the State Department designate the Haqqanis?

By JEFFREY DRESSLER

The Haqqani network is the most aggressive terrorist organization targeting U.S. and host nation forces in Afghanistan. Founded by aging patriarch Jalaluddin Haqqani, the network is now managed by his sons Sirajuddin, Badruddin, and Nasiruddin, and their uncles Ibrahim and Khalil. They have carved out a terrorist mini-state in North Waziristan, just across Afghanistan’s eastern border, where they host a who’s who of high-value terrorist targets, including senior members of al Qaeda.

So why hasn’t the State Department designated what U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker called “a group of killers, pure and simple” as a Foreign Terrorist Organization?

Continue reading Terror Is Their Family Business – Why won’t the State Department designate the Haqqanis?

Taliban commander: we cannot win war and al-Qaida is a ‘plague’

Interview: senior Taliban commander admits insurgents must seek settlement with other political forces in Afghanistan

By: Julian Borger

One of the Taliban‘s most senior commanders has admitted the insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and that capturing Kabul is “a very distant prospect”, obliging them to seek a settlement with other political forces in the country.

In a startlingly frank interview in Thursday’s New Statesman, the commander – described as a Taliban veteran, a confidant of the leadership, and a former Guantánamo inmate – also uses the strongest language yet from a senior figure to distance the Afghan rebels from al-Qaida.

“At least 70% of the Taliban are angry at al-Qaida. Our people consider al-Qaida to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens,” the commander says. “To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama [bin Laden]. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country.”

The New Statesman does not identify the Taliban commander, referring to him only as Mawlvi but the interview was conducted by Michael Semple, a former UN envoy to Kabul during the Taliban era who has maintained contacts with members of its leadership, and served on occasion as a diplomatic back-channel to the insurgents. …

Read more » gardian.co.uk

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/11/taliban-commander-interview-afghanistan-al-qaida?CMP=twt_gu

Via – Twitter

The U.S. and Pakistan Have Found Detente, but It Won’t Last

The transactional U.S.-Pakistan alliance means that, once the Afghan War ends, so will their incentive to get along.

By: Joshua Foust

Excerpt;

This transactional nature is reflected in the last ten years of U.S.-Pakistan relations. Washington was never eager to partner with Islamabad — documents recently declassified by George Washington University’s National Security Archive show the anger and mistrust that drove initial U.S. demands for Pakistani compliance with the war in Afghanistan. As the Center for Global Development shows, the vast majority of U.S. aid to Pakistan after 2001 has been for its military, for the specific purpose of developing their capacity to go after militants. Yet the White House, through two administrations, has become less and less enthusiastic about the partnership as Pakistan’s contradictory, self-destructive relationship with the militants in its territory became harder and harder to ignore.

U.S.-Pakistan relations seem on course for conflict the moment the U.S. no longer needs Pakistani GLOCs for Afghanistan. What shape that conflict takes remains to be seen. The U.S. can construct a strong case for describing Pakistan as a rogue state: it harbors and supports international terrorism; it is one of the world’s most brazen proliferators of nuclear and ballistic missile technology; and it seems so stubbornly unwilling to admit fault that U.S. officials say they can barely raise either subject with their Pakistani counterparts.

Without the war in Afghanistan to draw the two countries together, it’s difficult to see how they can maintain anything more than a distant, perfunctory relationship. Pakistani officials insist privately that they love America. Yet that professed love has not translated into very many pro-American policies. If that doesn’t change, the U.S. and Pakistan seem destined to part ways 18 months from now. What happens after that, no one can say.

Read more » The Atlantic

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/the-us-and-pakistan-have-found-detente-but-it-wont-last/259600/#.T_xE0xlMlpE.twitter

Via – Twitter

CJ’s remarks

CJ’s remarks

CHIEF Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on Saturday fired the latest salvo in the perceived escalating fight between the superior judiciary and the PPP-led federal government. The Supreme Court, according to Justice Chaudhry, can strike down any legislation that is incompatible with the fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution. While this is a well-established principle, the timing of Justice Chaudhry’s comments is impossible to ignore: the chief justice’s dilation on the ins and outs of the constitution came in a week that the government proposed legislation to protect its constitutional office-holders from suffering the same fate as former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani suffered recently. Unfortunate as it is that the past judicial practice of justices speaking only from the bench and through their judgments has been discarded in recent years, the comments by the chief justice come very close to pre-empting the legislative process. Astonishingly, however, the chief justice did not just stop there: he indicated that the supremacy of parliament was ‘out of place in the modern era’, the constitution itself enjoying pre-eminence over the will of parliament. This is explosive, particularly given the backdrop of the judiciary-government battles. Start with the claim that the constitution, not parliament, is supreme, add the corollary that the SC is the final and unquestioned interpreter of what the constitution does or does not permit — and suddenly Pakistan is in the realm of a supreme judiciary, an unelected institution dictating the contract by which state and society interact. This would be a fundamental shift in the way Pakistan’s constitutional arrangement is imagined and it is quite extraordinary that a serving chief justice would see fit to make such a pronouncement outside a judicial forum. In the SC, the chief justice is the administrative head but his vote is equal to that wielded by any other justice in any given case. Surely, then, at the very least, this is a matter to be decided before a full court, if and when the matter comes before the court.

But returning to the issue of fundamental rights guaranteed in the constitution, why is it that the court keeps invoking fundamental rights when it comes to engaging with the government instead of concentrating on securing the fundamental rights of the people? Why not focus on the broken judicial system in which the average complainant has virtually no hope of ever getting justice, and none of getting it on time? Why not focus on the abysmally low rate of successful prosecution that allows criminals to walk free? Must the court be so obviously selective?

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

http://dawn.com/2012/07/09/cjs-remarks-3/

LeJ-ASWJ’s attack on army camp in Gujrat is a message to Pakistan army generals

By: Sarah Khan

The Gujrat attack on Pakistan army, in which at least seven poor soldiers and a policeman lost their lives, is a reminder to Pakistan army generals to refrain from breaking their “understanding” and “undeclared truce” with the Jihadi-sectarian militants of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ, currently operating as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ).

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Takfiri Militancy Even Children not Spared

Even children not spared- General among 40 dead: Carnage in Pindi army mosque as Taliban breach security

By Mohammad Asghar

RAWALPINDI, Dec 4 Armed militants stormed a mosque during Friday prayers in Rawalpindi`s supposedly secure military residential area and killed at least 40 people, almost half of them children and five senior military officers, and wounded over eighty others before being gunned down by security forces.

In what appeared to be one of the worst incidents of terrorism in recent years, militants opposed to Pakistan army`s operation against Al Qaeda and the Taliban touched a new low in their activities when they violated the sanctity of a mosque to kill and maim worshippers in cold blood.

Besides 16 children, an army major general, a brigadier, two lieutenant colonels, a major and a number of soldiers were among those killed in a multi-pronged attack at the Parade Land Askari mosque that involved grenade throwing, firing from automatic guns and deadly explosions. The siege ended after two suicide bombers blew themselves up.

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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

Takfiri Militancy A Threat to Pakistan

Takfir: the ideology of hate —Dr Mohammad Taqi

An ordinary Salafi may believe in the non-violent call to convert to their version of Islam but the Salafi jihadists are proponents of violent jihad. The doctrinal differences that set the jihadist group apart include practising takfir, i.e. labelling other Muslims as infidels or apostates

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that is pretty important” — Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Collapsing State of Pakistan!

By Saeed Qureshi

Living in Pakistan for most of the Pakistanis is nothing short of a persistent nightmare and an unrelenting trauma. The Pakistani society is rapidly decaying and could be pictured as rotten. The rulers and the coterie of leaders do not shy away from heaping miseries, humiliations and deprivations on a nation that was born some six decades ago. The people have been subjected to horrendous civic and social deformities that could equate Pakistan with some of the obscure African countries where life is at a subhuman level and human civilization is yet to make its presence felt.

The dignity, the self esteem, the honor and the moral principles look like unpalatable anathema to the politicians of Pakistan. The, shameless leaders, the brazen-faced politicians and the parliamentarians are like leeches sucking the blood of the people and turning that hapless segment of humanity into living corpses.

Water, let alone potable, is becoming a luxury to be bought with money. The electric power for a society is like blood in human veins. This indispensible amenity is not only horrifically scarce but callously expensive. Because of the load-shedding patently a cover- up for acute power shortage, a whole nation is developing mental disorders and sinister psychological disabilities.

The social sector is in an indescribable mess. The Health, education, transport, environment, institutions, departments, railways, roads, dams, manufacturing units, mills, factories, moral moorings, individual ethics, are in state of rapid decay. If we try to look around for good governance among various societies in the modern times, Pakistan cannot be among them. If you picture Pakistan in your mind, you may visualize the deterioration of such essentials features as order, discipline, peace, decency, honesty, fairness, mutual respect, and self-esteem.

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