How to End War against Terror?

By Zaheerul Hassan


On May 21, 2010 NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander General Stanley McChrystal visited Pakistan and provided an update on the alliance’s current operations in Afghanistan. He also called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and discussed matters of mutual interest and defence cooperation. ISAF commander also briefed a group of Pakistani parliamentarians on current operations and strategy in Afghanistan.

According to the US Embassy, ISAF Commander frequently used to visit Islamabad to consult with General Kayani and Pakistani leaders to collaborate with Islamabad to achieve their mutual goals of defeating terrorism and establishing regional peace and security. This was the pres release made by US embassy situated in Pakistan. The question arises whether the continue interactions of visits of ISAF chief and other commanders as claimed by the embassy have helped in improving the security situation in Afghanistan or not.

On ground situation is simply quite pathetic and horrible. 70 % area of Afghanistan is under control of Taliban despite presence of more than 113,000 US led NATO’s troops. During last one week, two bases (Kandahar and Bagram) were attacked by the Taliban and resultantly many troops from coalition forces and civilian sustained deaths and injuries. Again on May 18, 2010, a suicide bomber hit an expolosive laden van into a lightly armed convoy of coalition vehicles, killing 18 people including five Americans and a Canadian. ISAF troops probabaly failed to control the afghan situation . The troops are also under terrible amount of stress and losing their faith due to their long stay in Afghanistan. It is also painful to know that since 1979 over one million Afghans have been killed and more than five millions have become refugees. Major bulk of the refugees were shifted to Pakistan and created dilemma to her security. Two million Afghans have been displaced within the country as a result of ceaseless fighting. The capital of Afghanistan is presenting horrible scene of tragedy where over 30,000 people have been killed and even buried in common graves. Thousand of the people suffered death and injuries because of land mines, US bombing, suicidal attackers and poverty. The tragic part of this war against terror is that the country having 652, 000 square kilometers area and with the population of 25,838,797 is at the mercy of western forces, Indian and Israeli intelligence agencies.

However, the fall out of Afghan crises has directly affected Pakistani security .The imposed war put Pakistan under worst kind of insurgency. She was forced to deploy more than 140, 000 troops to tackle the foreign sponsored militancy. Her securities forces are busy in elimination of terrorism from the country. Thousand of millions of people and security forces’ personal have been killed because of suicidal bombers and sabotage activities. Pakistani military had launched 209 major and 510 minor operations in 10 regions. According to reliable sources 2,573 Pakistani army officers and soldiers had been martyred in the fighting so far, which include one 3-star General, two 2-star generals and five brigadiers .whereas western ,Jews and Indian media use to blame Pakistan and her intelligence agencies for playing double game. In this connection while talking to senior journalists in Islamabad, Army chief Gen Kayani rejected the allegations of double game leveled against Pakistan intelligence agencies, saying that 73 intelligence officers had embraced martyrdom in Pakistan, while 11 others were martyred in Afghanistan .

Coming back towards the discussion, it worth mentioning here that US has increased the intensity of drone attacks during the democratic era. She has violated Pakistan territorial boundaries and carried out 131 predicators strikes inside FATA area. As result more than 1100 people got killed and many wounded.

The comparison of causalities and deployment of forces shows that Pakistan has scarified a lot in war against terror. According to ISPR, Pakistan has deployed 140,000 strong force with 821 posts on its side of the border whereas Coalition force have a total of 113,000 force with just 112 posts along their border. The war against terrorism has affected 30,452 people since 9/11, out of which 21,652 are civilians whereas 8,765 are security forces who embraced shahadat. NATO led ISAF forces has just lost 1184 troops so far. Thus asking Pakistan to do more times and again by the US authorities is not understood.

In fact, American should provide all that assistance to Pak as promised in the recently held Pak-US Strategic Dialogues. The second round of strategic talks is being held on July 21, 2010. Unfortunately, Indian lobby present in Obama administration always tries to sabotage the event and keep on planning and staging some activity for maligning Pakistan. The unexploded Bomb incident of Times Square is also one of the episodes of cocktail serial of “Propaganda against Pakistan”. The producers and directors of the crafted serial are RAW, Mossad and anti Obama elements of CIA. Reports are there that the remaining episodes of the said serial would also be arid shortly, preferably around July 15, 2010. Therefore, it’s the need of the time that foreign office should hold some talk with US counter part and express Pakistani future worries.

Pakistani main worries is Indian deeply involvement in the name of development of Afghanistan. Presently, her four consulates and 30 Intelligence detachments are deployed all along our western border and are busy in spreading terrorism in Pakistan. Thus, the key players of GWOT have realized that Afghan issue cannot be resolved without taking into confidence Islamabad. US should be mindful that intelligence failure of her agencies and using pressure tactics against Pakistan by launching nonsense’s might not be acceptable to Islamabad in future. Thus foreign offices of both should try to remove the ambiguities in bilateral relations.

American administration and so called civilized western should respect the emotions of Pakistani, Afghan and Iraqi masses before demanding and repating the music of do more. This do more music becomes very painful once we come across the stories of our comrades who laid their lives, the civilian who have been victimized through suicidal missions, internally displaced refugees who bore the material and live losses during this war on terror. One of the leading newspaper “Daily Times” on May 22, 2010 covered and reported an occasion, when a retired army captain Zafar Tajammal dismisses US demands for Pakistan to do more to fight terrorists as he choked back his tears. His son, Captain Bilal Zafar, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade while leading a charge against entrenched Taliban fighters. He said, “I loved him so much that once I told him, I will not get you married because I love you so much, I am afraid I will not be able to share my love with your wife,” (unquote). The sahadit of Captain Bilal also reminded me Major Muhammmad Ehsan a brave son of “Frontier Force Regiment’s unit ‘The Volunteers’. I trained Major Ehsan once he joined my team as Second Lieutenant during escalation 2000. later on , I put him as adjutant but could never imagine that just after eight years a day will come once I will identify his completely burnt dead body as witness and dispatch him to his home town.

The father of Captain Bilal very rightly said that if there was an American dignitary sitting in front of him then he would certainly try to ask him, what else a human being can do more than sacrificing their life. American and western think tanks must ask from their authorities, has any other army in the world suffered so many casualties while fighting terrorists. But unfortunately the Indian and Israeli funded think tanks ignore Pakistani scarification and starts yelling against Pakistan to hide their own intelligence failures in the case of incidents like bombing in New York’s Times Square and Twin Tower incident of 9/11. Therefore, such type of propaganda does add in straining US-Pak relations and keep on widening the gap between Islamabad and Washington. In this connection US leadership if serious in improving the relations then has to take steps to chain her domestic and external watchdogs.

The solution to war against terror is lies in unconditional withdrawal of NATO led forces after holding elections under UN. The true elected government should be provided assistance through united nation security council for elimination of militancy and developing Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghan border should be sealed with concertina wire .Afghanistan should acknowledged Durand line as international border. Immediately schedule of withdrawal of forces be announced. India should be asked to roll back his intelligence set up from Afghanistan. The restructuring of Afghanistan should be the primary objective of UN and Afghan government. Pakistan be handed over predicator technology to guard her area. The economic aid as promised to Pakistan be provided immediately to carry out development in the affected areas of FATA and Swat. The war on terror would be end subject to win the heart of the inhabitants of that area. For that Pakistani political leadership should go to their respective areas and carryout development work. The local political leadership and general masses should be provided protection against militants at all cost. The operation in any Pakistani area if require be the planned with the consent of national assembly. No foreign dictation should be accepted against our sovereignty.

Author can be reached at: zameer36@gmail.com

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The Strategic Vision of Indian Navy

By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan

Indian Maritime Doctrine was formally announced in April-2004. However, the year-2006 ‘Navy Day’ is considered to be as the day, once Indian Navy actually started, “transforming itself from a ‘brown water’ coastal defense force to a formidable ‘blue water’ fleet.” Blue water navy has indeed two connotations: the technical and the political. Technically, a naval force having the capability to operate 200 nautical miles (320 km) from its sea shore into the deep sea on the longer ranges can be graded as the blue water navy. However, politically, it is the long range extension of the state’s presence, as the former Indian Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Jayant Nadkarni once said that, “legitimate use…of a Blue Water navy is power projection which is necessary” for a “power like India.”

Indeed, India started expanding its naval fleet in early 1990s after conceiving the concept of blue water navy. Since 1998, India is regularly improving its naval doctrine. In 1998, Indian Navy issued; “The Maritime Dimension-A Naval Vision.” This document set the mission for Indian Navy as, a force capable to operate in the open seas. In April 2004, a formal Indian Maritime Doctrine of 148 pages was proclaimed. The doctrine clearly lay dawn the future strategic vision of the Indian Navy with the subtitle as; The Maritime Dimension-A Naval Vision. Through the Vision Statement, Indian Navy gave a Roadmap to Transformation in October 2006. In 2007, with the mission to ‘Freedom to Use the Seas’: India’s Maritime Military Strategy (IMMS) was issued. Since 1998, an Indian maritime vision has the dedicated support including the enhanced budget allocation from the successive governments; initially the NDA Government under BJP and later the Congress lead UPA Government.

Indeed, the Indian Maritime Doctrine-2004 has been formulated on the basis of strategic concept given by US Navy Admiral Mahan, to the United States President Roosevelt for the domination of oceans especially the Pacific Ocean to gain the status of a major power. Admiral Mahan had a vision that domination of Pacific would give US an edge over the other states geopolitically as well as geo-economically. According to Mahan, “the convergence there of so many ships…will constitute a centre of commerce, inter-oceanic encounters between states. It was one whose approaches will be watched jealously, and whose relations to the other centres of the Pacific by the (maritime) lines joining it to them must be examined carefully.”

In the historical perspective, what Admiral Mahan had visualized for US Navy in the Pacific towards the end of 19th century, Indian Navy desires to achieve through the domination of Indian Ocean and surrounding waters by the end of first quarter of 21st century. India in fact desires the Indian Ocean to become ‘India Ocean’ and the way US entered the club of global powers in the beginning of the 20th century; India does the same in 21st century. Otherwise India considered the Indian Ocean as the part of its extended neighbourhood, where Indian Navy will safeguard its “diplomatic, security and economic interests”.

Salient features of the Indian Maritime Doctrine-2004 include, controlling the choke points, significant islands and trade routes in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and in the Bay of Bengal. The doctrine further lays down limits of the vision for the Indian Navy for the first quarter of 21st century as to; “look at the arc from the Persian Gulf to the Straits of Malacca as a legitimate area of interest.” The doctrine also highlighted the Indian Navy as the “three-dimensional blue water force”, having the potential to undertake significant assignments and roles “on the surface, underwater, and in the air.” During the peace time, Indian navy will have to undertake the naval diplomatic assignments for the promotion of its cause. However, the proactive role of the Indian Navy would be the projection of its power beyond the limits of Indian shores. It has to counter the “distant emerging threats and protect extended ‘Sea Lines of Communication’ through and from the Indian Ocean.”

In the regional perspective, as perceived Indian Navy has to operate against the navies of Pakistan and China. The doctrine however, “calls for a stronger deterrent capability against foreign intervention by non-littoral navies, not limited to China and Pakistan only. This strategic reach indeed call for procurement of more sophisticated diesel and nuclear capable submarines, establishing aircraft carrier and developing new cruise missiles. Indian Navy, currently operating in area of over 3.5 million square kilometres (extending from the Arabian Sea through Indian Ocean to the Bay of Bengal) is being modernized through the procurement of modern submarines, frigates and other naval vessels in collaboration with its Western allies, US, Israel and Russia.

With respect to the strategic designs of the Indian Navy, as ‘Oceanic Navy’, it has assumed for itself, “the primary responsibility lying on the Indian Navy to guard the steel ring created by Singapore, Ceylon, Mauritius and Socotra…the Indian Ocean must therefore remain truly Indian.” With this strategic thought, the Indian Navy Vision Statement (2006), clearly laid down the role for Indian Navy as, “of safeguarding our maritime interests on the high seas and projecting combat power across (and around) the (Indian Ocean) littoral.” Covering these wide ranging naval interests of India, Indian Premier Dr. Manmohan Singh said that, “our strategic footprint covers…to the far reaches of the Indian Ocean. Awareness of this reality should inform and animate our strategic thinking and defence planning.”

In order to meet its energy needs and for its burgeoning economic drive as a great power status, securing the extended sea lines of communication from the Gulf to Southeast Asia is essential for the Indian Navy. In the wording of former Indian Naval Chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta; “we are not only looking at countering threats but to protect the country’s economic and energy interests. This task has extended our area of operations. This might necessitate our operating in distant waters. As the Indian economy grows, the country is making increasing investments in distant places to ensure the availability of energy flow to maintain this growth. This is gradually defining what may be called our secondary area of maritime interest.”

Through yet another revised Maritime Doctrine of 2009, Indian Navy has made major changes in its 2004 doctrine. Indian Navy has revamped its existing policies to factor in maritime terrorism, piracy and coastal security as the matter of great strategic significance. The strategic designs of India as the blue water navy, capable to operate in the open seas, to pursue and safeguard Indian oceanic interests raise the question of “how far India has got the naval capability, the capacity, to match such strategic intentions”.

Author is a South Asian analyst. Email: drmk_edu@yahoomail.com

The purpose of the Afghan war" is to stop the "return of the Caliphate" – UK General

A British general telling us which version of Islam is acceptable? This is an interview with UK General “Sir” Richard Dannatt.

Isnt it incredible how he tells us what the perversion of Islam is and isnt?! And how the caliphate is only (supposedly!) the asperation of “Al Qaeda”? This is the strategy of the kuffar – paint the caliphate as an al Qaeda project, paint Al Qaeda as the great terrorists, and so the caliphate becomes a form of extremism in itself.

The former head of the British army states that the objective for Britain and US in Afghanistan is preventing the establishment of a Caliphate that would expand from South Asia until it could threaten Europe at the Mediterreanean. It is perhaps the clearest explanation so far from a member of the military establishment in the UK about their fear of the establishment of the Khilafah since Tony Blair’s famous speech.

Facebook: Appearing offline after the ban

Hasnain Bokhari

In November 2007, when the then president General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, he probably had not expected the scale of protests with a considerable involvement of the youth groups. The emergency law disallowed all sorts of public gathering. But the tech-savvy youth in Pakistan came up with innovative ideas of initiating the flash mobs and the famous balloon carrying Wrangler and Hang Ten youth on the busy streets of Islamabad. They outsmarted law enforcing and riot police by propagating messages via social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter and communicated even more instantly by announcing flash mobs via SMS. By the time law would come after them, the protesters would have successfully protested and dispersed.

Facebook was then hailed as the most powerful internet tool for mobilising community. Later we witnessed how the then US presidential candidate Barrack Obama used social networking websites to raise a record amount of funds through such websites and how the internet-savvy public in Iran heavily relied on Twitter post regarding the Iran elections last year. Facebook is in news again, but this time for all bad reasons. This time people are protesting against Facebook. In response to a petition filed by Ch Zulfiqar advocate, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court announced a ban on Facebook for its blasphemous cartoon competition.

Facebook which started in 2004 is a brainchild of then 22-year-old Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg. Despite the presence of other websites such as Orkut or MySpace, Facebook rose to popularity because of its personal status, picture and video-sharing and group features. Any Facebook user can create a virtual group and invite members as long as it does not fall into racist, hate, discriminatory or pornographic category. What happened in a recent event is that the Facebook is holding a competition on blasphemous cartoons and this is how the petitioner based his argument to convince the court.

What this petitioner may not have known or brought into the respected court’s attention is that Facebook itself is not organising any sort of competition as such or inviting all its users to participate for that matter. The competition was announced by a virtual group created on Facebook by a bunch of people when Seattle-based artist Molly Hill’s cartoon for the television series South Park got trimmed by the television network Comedy Central. Molly has though announced on her website (www.mollynorris.com) that the creation of the Facebook group about cartoon competition is not her idea but of some stranger. But her declaration cannot help the ban to be active till May 31.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has now safely banned Facebook but Facebook’s page for mobile phone users was still active on the following days of its ban where there is a sheer race for updating personal status messages and the responses to it. The question here is not how swiftly the Facebook can be banned. The matter has more to do with the Internet regulation or internet governance.

In such scenarios, any virtual group inciting and hurting people’s sentiments should have been considered for a ban rather than blocking access to the whole website. However, since currently there is no such technology to block particular sections of such websites, so the temporary solution is to block access to the whole website. A number of users have already reported the Facebook about this group. Facebook’s current stance is that the group does not seem to violate its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” charter but said it was considering an action against it. Should Facebook not block this virtual group and would this ban help block this particular Facebook group?

Digital communications today don’t occur with the land line phones or even old-fashioned mobile phones. People now prefer to communicate via voice over IP phones such as Skype or its other variants, they seek news update via web feeds or Real System Syndication (RSS) and via audio/video podcasts, they socialise via social networking websites of which Facebook is just one example. Internet is a whole different world where all the netizens have their virtual presence. Just as any society and its citizens are bound by a code of conduct, cyber space and its netizens also require proper governance, advocacy, regulation, right to privacy and data protection, as is the case of the ‘real’ world. Just like we need social, political and economic institution for good governance and public policy we equally require institutions for the Internet governance.

Back in 2000 when the Internet was going through its initial phases of popularity a number of countries in Arabian peninsula blocked pornographic websites. The authorities in the telecommunication division basically blocked all those websites which carried certain keywords such as sex or porn. Among many others the doctor’s community suffered the most since they could not search any material, for instance, on breast cancer since the word breast was also blocked by the authorities.

Resultantly many people started to spoof the IP addresses and used Anonymiser softwares to seek access. Internet is now becoming a commodity and websites such as Facebook, Twitter or Google serve as institutions. Facebook apart from giving its users a space to share their personal and professional life stories also works as a platform to many social groups just as the search engine Google hosts a number of blogs, groups and web pages. What is ironic here that the images section of Google (images.google.com) still hosts the blasphemous caricatures, should one run a query.

Similarly, there are a number of blogs that conduct rather controversial debates on religious issues. Should it mean that we shall block Google as well? Would we have to block Google’s email service as well since it is owned by Google? Websites such as Facebook, Yahoo and Google have their reach extending to more than 100 countries with numerous translations of their website in order to make it accessible to everyone in the world.

Although the ban is temporary yet these websites would have to consider their regional policies for every country. Their regional chapters must work in close collaboration with the governments and the civil society in order to report what is considered inappropriate and what not. Internet governance can and must not be left to the governments. It is a shared responsibility among several stakeholders from the governments, civil society groups, academia, NGOs and the private sector.

The Information and Communication Technologies divisions of the above institutions are required to build a capacity and educate citizens and netizens about the pros and cons of having business with the virtual world. On Internet Government Forum, the United Nations conducts debates on such issues every year in its forum but there is hardly any presence of the civil society groups from Pakistan. Our government is supposed to have a parliamentary committee on the internet governance issues just as any other government now has. As long as there is no training and coherent policy, we will continue to hurt the sentiments of the innocent public and websites such as Facebook will continue to appear offline.

The author is a visiting research fellow at the Innovation, Management and Policy Division at the Manchester University’s Business School, UK.


Pak security agencies’ secret report blames RAW for meddling in Balochistan

Pakistani security agencies have blamed ‘hostile’ foreign intelligence agencies, particularly India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for creating trouble in Balochistan.

A confidential report, which has been sent to the Interior Ministry, has blamed these foreign agencies of targeting teachers and renowned educationists in Balochistan, which has long been affected by insurgency.

“After suicide bombing and terrorist attacks, they are targeting teachers and renowned educationists. Almost 80 per cent of the teaching staff in Balochistan belongs to Punjab, Sindh and Khyber PK provinces and hostile elements are threatening their lives to force them to relocate to other places,” The Nation quoted the report, as saying.

Sources, while quoting the secret report, said that the Indian spy agency is supplying hate literature in Balochi language to all schools and colleges across the troubled province.

The report also claimed that RAW has been recruiting young Baloch students and training them in guerrilla warfare to create trouble there.

“The Baloch students were cultivated through BSO hardliners by Indian RAW, taken to Kabul for indoctrination, given Afghan passports and trained in art of guerrilla warfare. India opened up Balochistan specific three consulates in Zahidan, Bandar Abbas and Ashkabad in Iran and established refugee camps for Balochistan dissidents in Kandahar, Spin Boldak, Helmand and Nimroz,” the report stated.

The report also said that India has opened many training centres across Afghanistan to prepare and send trained Baloch nationals to carry out activities against the country.

“India is running training centres in Kabul, Jalalabad, Khwaja Ghar (Takher Province), Khost, Paktia, Urgun, Khandar, Spin Boldak, Dranj (Badakhshan Province) where it’s military personnel in collaboration with RAW have been imparting training to the innocent Balochs against Pakistan,” it said. (ANI)

Air India plane crashes, killing at least 160 people

Air India plane crashes

An Indian policeman watches firefighters at the scene of the Air India plane crash in Mangalore.(European Pressphoto Agency / May 22, 2010)

An Air India flight from Dubai crashed Saturday morning in the city of Mangalore after apparently overshooting the runway, killing at least 160 people.

Televised images showed rescuers carrying limp bodies up a wooded slope and wreckage still burning hours after the crash, with bodies and the nearby ground covered with white foam emergency workers used to fight the blaze.

There were reportedly 166 passengers and crew on the Boeing 737-800 jet, which was believed to be 2 or 3 years old, a relatively new addition to the company’s fleet.

The rescue operation was complicated by rain and the topography: Flight IX-892 went down in a wooded valley about six miles from the runway.


Video: 160 Feared Dead in India Plane Crash


The cause of the accident was not immediately known. An investigation was underway, and authorities were searching the debris field for the “black box” flight recorder.

Air traffic control reportedly received no distress message or other communication from the pilot suggesting the aircraft was having mechanical or operational problems. The pilot was reportedly a Russian expatriate, and the copilot was Indian.

The runway at the Mangalore airport is relatively short and has what’s known as a “tabletop” layout, with a flattened area carved out of mountainous terrain overlooking a valley, giving pilots a relatively small margin of error.

The airport, which opened to international flights four years ago, was shut down after the disaster, which occurred about 6:15 a.m. local time.

“This is a major calamity,” V.S. Acharya, home minister for the state of Karnataka, said to the CNN-IBN television network.

Six people who were pulled out alive were rushed to a government hospital with a burn unit, about 10 miles away. TV pictures showed a fireman carrying a body up a slope with difficulty, a colleague pushing him to help him ascend.

One survivor, Umer Farooq, said after being admitted to the hospital that “there was a loud noise, followed by fire.”

“I managed to jump out of a broken window,” he said.

TV images showed more than 15 firetrucks, 20 ambulances and 100 rescue workers standing at the periphery of the wreckage, with dense smoke billowing from the small valley and part of a mangled wing resting almost vertically on a slope.

The crash could be the deadliest in India since a November 1996 midair collision between a Saudi airliner and a Kazakh cargo plane near New Delhi that killed 349 people.

Air India, a former monopoly with an aging fleet and a poor on-time record, has struggled in recent years to compete with lower-cost private airlines as the industry has been deregulated. Air India Express, its low-cost arm, is part of its effort to respond to a changing competitive landscape as it struggles under a $3.3-billion debt load.

In October, the airline hit the headlines after pilots and a flight crew got into a fistfight in front of startled passengers.

The state-owned airline has had several mishaps over the years. Safety expert Mohan Ranganathan, a former Air India pilot, said recently that India badly needs an independent regulator and safety board.

In June 2008, Air India Flight IC-162 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, overshot the Mumbai airport by 45 miles after its pilots fell asleep. They were jolted awake when air traffic controllers caused a loud buzzer to go off in the cockpit.

Flights from Dubai to other parts of India tend to be crowded with Indians returning from manual labor and service jobs in the Middle East, as well as with high-tech professionals and traders.

Air travel has rebounded in India and the region after last year’s slump as economies have rebounded. India saw about 4.1 million air travelers in January, a 23% increase, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry.

India is expected to be among the fastest-growing air travel markets in the world over the next 10 years, Airbus, the world’s biggest plane maker, said in a recent statement.

Over the next 20 years, Indian carriers will need 1,030 new aircraft worth $138 billion, it said.


US History of Betrayal or A Simple Case of Strategic Blindness

Dr M Anwar


Pak US relations present a history of ambivalent happenings with a blend of distinct episodes of planned betrayal, treacherous infidelity and foul exploitation to entrap Pakistan into the rhetorical lure of conceding a Non NATO alley, or granting the status of strategic partnership, partially meeting Pakistan’s economic requirements and security compulsions. When US needed Pakistan her policy makers rushed to Islamabad with all the psychological warmth, political affection and diplomatic tenderness. No time was wasted by US in declaring Pakistan as the most favored nation fully espousing and supporting Pakistan’s principled stance on human rights, freedom of expression and rights of self determination. This was openly repeated in US official commitments and private interactions. Simply speaking Pakistan remained a US sweet heart so long as it appeared relevant to serve US interests. On the other hand Pakistani political leaders and key communicators have been complaining that USA has a history of frequently abandoning Pakistan especially when the stakes for Pakistan were very high. Some analysts still forewarn that as Pakistan’s key coalition partner US will ruthlessly guard her interests in Afghanistan South Asian region but will ultimately desert Pakistan once her goals have been achieved.

In 1947 the then leadership of a newly founded sovereign state of Pakistan found the US allure attractive enough to pin hopes in USA to meet Pakistan’s immediate security needs and economic necessities. America skillfully used Pakistan as a military bastion against Soviets which led to shooting down of U-2 spy aircraft with a stern warning to Pakistan that its major cities especially Peshawar have been registered as targets of Soviet nuclear missiles. Later on Pakistan not only openly averted Russia but became a front line state to help US efforts to eject Soviet army from Afghanistan in 1980s. In her sincere efforts to cooperate with US efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan quickly forgot and forgave US for its elusive game plan of 1971 when Indian Army invaded Pakistan’s eastern wing and disintegrated Pakistan by creating Bangladesh. American account of betrayal was proven beyond any doubt. The seeds of mistrust and suspicion were sowed in Pakistan.

When Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1985, the secret myth of Muslim Jihad in Afghanistan was also uncovered and Muslims saw through the US scheme in which Pakistan and the Muslim world was used as a fodder of US war against Russia, under the cover name of Islamic Jihad. Today, it would not be incorrect to construe that Islamic Jihad against Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a naked fraud against Muslim Ummah. The American goal was to defeat Russia and eliminate its super power status. No sooner this aim was achieved, America once again abandoned Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Muslim world who had actually sustained the brunt of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan.

After 9/11 US hyper sensitivity and arrogance of power blurred American policy makers’ strategic vision as they decided to invade and occupy Afghanistan with full military force. Quick and almost effortless elimination of Taliban regime in Afghanistan created vague sense of victory in American political and military leadership. They once again lost sight of their real aim in Afghanistan and shifted main chunk of their forces to Iraq thereby dissipating their resources to unmanageable altitude. US depended upon Northern Alliance and empowered the old warlords of Afghan Jihad era, investing with huge amounts of money and weapons. Pushtoon majority was neglected as against the suggestions made by Pakistan. Similarly India was encouraged to intervene in Afghanistan through their links with Northern Alliance including the warlords. India established diplomatic missions in Afghanistan especially in Pushtoon majority region with the latent design to settle scores with Pushtoons who supported and participated in Kashmir freedom movement. Hence Indian influence in Afghanistan grew as a strategic distraction for US efforts to maintain order and eliminate the threat of insurgency. Once the chips were down and US tactical commanders could not mark their signatures in Afghan imbroglio, US media and intelligence operative in connivance with Indian spin masters decided to shift responsibility over to Pakistan for playing the double game against USA and allegedly supporting the militants in Afghanistan. US and Pakistan were therefore on divergent cognitive planes. Indian plotting and jealous competition against Pakistan led them to plan schemes to implicate Pakistan in different violent acts of terrorism to prove to the US that Indians were more loyal to them. Objective analysis of ground realities if analyzed objective would prove that India is not sincere to both USA and Pakistan. They are using Afghan territory to destabilize Pakistan and harm its interests in the region. Presently their aim is to encourage an anti Pakistan government in Afghanistan once the USA withdraws from that country. They are plotting schemes to implicate Pakistan in terrorist activities in Afghanistan prior to holding of Loya Jirga. The aim is to create anti Pakistan public opinion in Afghanistan. USA must develop strategic vision to see through the Indian design and guard against their activities in Afghanistan otherwise their efforts to create conditions for re-integration and re-conciliation may fall short of their objectives.

I will return to Pakistan: Musharraf

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf plans to return to Pakistan and to re-enter politics.

Musharraf declined to commit to seeking a particular office, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “the question… of whether I am running for president or prime minister will be seen later.”

But he strongly implied he wants to be prime minister.

“We run a parliamentary system there” Musharraf told Blitzer. “So you have to — your party has to win in the election. Then only do you decide to run.”

“Basically, you are heading the party, you are running for the prime ministership,” he said. “Because in Pakistan, the chief executive is the prime minister, not the president.”

Musharraf, who resigned as president under pressure in 2008 and left the country about a year ago, said he’s unsure about the exact timing of his return.

“It is related to the elections in Pakistan,” he said. “I am very sure of one thing, that whether it’s end-term elections or midterm elections, I will be there before those elections.”

Midterm elections could come next year, Musharraf said.

Musharraf also said that security concerns were shaping his decision on when to announce his return.

“Maybe my wife and my family (are) more worried than I am,” he said Thursday. “But there are security issues which one needs to take into consideration. And that is why I’m not laying down any dates for my return.”

“But,” he added, “I do intend launching and declaring my intentions formally sooner rather than later.”

The former Pakistani president took issue with a United Nations report released last month that said Musharraf’s government failed to protect former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her 2007 assassination.

“It was me who warned her about the threat to her,” Musharraf said. “It was I who stopped her from going to that venue once before, to which a lot of political aspersions were cast on me that her movements are being restricted. But she decided to go again.”

“All the security, wherever possible… by the police was provided to her,” he said.

Asked if he would do anything differently if he could relive the experience, Musharraf said, “I think the same would have been done.”

Musharraf also criticized the reported use of unmanned aircraft by the U.S. against militants in Pakistan, saying the “indiscriminate use of the drones… is having a negative impact in the public because of the collateral damage.”

He said the attacks could be radicalizing Pakistanis and referred to Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American charged with the failed Times Square bombing. “I wonder whether this Faisal Shahzad incident… has he been affected by indiscriminate bombing by the drones,” he said.

Musharraf also expressed support for the Pakistani government’s decision to block access to Facebook this week in response to an online group calling on people to draw the Prophet Mohammed.

“You cannot have photographs of the Prophet Mohammed — leave aside going for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed,” Musharraf said. “It’s most unfortunate. We must understand, these are sensitive issues. And for the sake of independence of media, liberty of speech, we cannot hurt sensitivities of millions of people.”

Investigations on into Hamid Mir’s links with Taliban

Pakistan’s Jang media group has formed a committee to ascertain whether well-known TV anchor Hamid Mir had been taped speaking with a Taliban operative even as media reports said intelligence agencies had confirmed the authenticity of the recording.

Mir has been at the centre of a controversy over the past week after several websites uploaded a 13-minute conversation he purportedly had with a Taliban operative.

In the tape, Mir and the militant discuss the activities of former Inter-Services Intelligence officer Khalid Khwaja, who was recently abducted and killed by the Asian Tigers, a group of Punjabi Taliban.

The Jang media group said in a statement published today in its The News daily that it had set up a committee “to get detailed information” on the issue.

“For credible investigation, the committee has called upon professional journalist organisations to come forward to uncover the truth,” the statement said.

Members of the committee held talks with Mir, who “disowned the voice (said to be his) and termed the audiotape fabricated,” the statement added.

Mir said he would cooperate in the investigation so that the truth is unearthed. Mir claimed “some people want to ostracise him from the profession and they are defaming him as part of a conspiracy.”

However, several TV news channels quoted sources as saying that three intelligence agencies had confirmed the authenticity of the recording after a detailed investigation.

The sources said the intelligence agencies, including the ISI, had submitted a report on the matter to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

“The conversation between Hamid Mir and the Taliban militant is original and has been proved by the audiotape,” the TV channels quoted the report as saying.

Senator Faisal Raza Abidi of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party too said the government had verified the authenticity of the voices on the tape through intelligence agencies.

He said the recording “proved Hamid Mir’s links with the Taliban.”

The Daily Times newspaper, which first reported on the tape, has said that information passed on by Mir to the Taliban “could have led to the execution” of former ISI official Khalid Khwaja.

Osama Khalid, the son of Khwaja, has said that he will take legal action and register an FIR against Mir for “playing an instigative role in his father’s murder.”

Talking to BBC Urdu, Khalid said the unidentified Taliban operative in the recording was Usman Punjabi who used the alias of Muhammad Omar while talking to journalists.

Khalid rejected Mir’s claims that the recording was doctored, saying the tape was original and he would prove it in court.

He demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter and asked journalists to kick “black sheep” out of the profession.

Meanwhile, Daily Times editor Rashed Rahman said legal action must be initiated against Mir after the ISI and government confirmed the authenticity of the taped conversation between the talk show host and a Taliban militant.

“The Daily Times initiated self-accountability in the media by publishing a transcript of the taped conversation between Mir and an unidentified Taliban militant,” he said, adding several people had contacted his media group with evidence against Mir