Indian anti-Pakistan role in Afghanistan

By Sajjad Shaukat

A recently released video by Washington Free Beacon pointed out that the US new Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel disclosed during a speech at Oklahomas Cameron University in 2011, India has always used Afghanistan as a second front and has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.

Earlier, the then NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. McChrystal had revealed: Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistanis likely to exacerbate regional tensions.

These remarks are quite sharp to some of American top officials who had been accusing Pakistan of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. During his trip to India and Kabul, last year, US ex-Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta revived similar old blame game against Pakistan. He also encouraged New Delhi on October 26, 2012, saying that India has vital role to play in Afghanistan and it will be helpful for peace and stability in the region, adding, Our new defence policy hinges upon this strategy.

The US which signed an agreement of strategic partnership with Afghanistan, has finally decided to keep around 10,000 troops and six military bases in that country permanently after the complete withdrawal of NATO forces. In fact, America seeks to obtain multiple strategic designs by controlling the energy resources of Central Asia, and weakening Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia.

In this respect, by availing the golden opportunity of the 9/11, India has left no stone unturned in getting its hold in Afghanistan by manipulating US strategy. In this regard, stiff resistance of the Taliban militants against the occupying forces created unending lawlessness in the country which has become a most suitable place for Indian secret agency RAW to implement a conspiracy to fulfill its countrys strategic designs against Iran, China and particularly Pakistan, while achieving collective goals of the US against these countries including Russia.

However, India which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011 also includes to help train Afghan security forces, while assisting Kabul in diversified projects. Apparently, it is open strategic agreement, but secretly, India seeks to further strengthen its grip in Afghanistan to get strategic depth against Islamabad.

Besides, with the cooperation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghan intelligence-National Directorate of Security (NDS), and with the tactical assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, RAW has well-established anti-Pakistan espionage network in Afghanistan. For this sinister move, a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan is functioning under the patronage of Indian officials. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are Afghans and so-called Indian Muslims. Posing themselves as Pakistani Taliban, they have joined the ranks and files of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and other banned extremist outfits. In this context, Indias several secret training camps are also present in Afghanistan from where highly trained militants, equipped with sophisticated weapons are being sent to Pakistans various places to conduct target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations including religious leaders to foment sectarian violence.

Particularly, RAW has perennially been arranging similar subversive acts in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (Gods soldiers) and other Baloch separatist elements. India is also in collusion with the Balochi separatist leaders who took shelter in Afghanistan. For example, on July 23, 2008, in an interview with the BBC from Afghanistan, Brahmdagh Bugti had stated that they have the right to accept foreign arms and ammunition from anywhere including India.

Notably, in the recent years, a series of international conferences were held in order to bring stability and peace in Afghanistan before the foreign troops commence withdrawal from that country in 2013, which would be completed in 2014. For this purpose, US-led developed nations also pledged billions of dollars for the development of Afghanistan. A recent meeting of NATO defence minsters, held in Brussels, decided a sum of $6.5bn for that war-torn country.

Besides, American top officials have repeatedly agreed that without the help of Islamabad, stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan. Pakistan is also facilitating US-backed dialogue with the Afghan Taliban. Besides, NATO has started moving its equipments via Pakistani route.

Nevertheless, taking note of Indian negative approach, in the recent past, US Senator John McCain reminded the Obama administration that encouraging India to take a more active role in Afghanistan, while simultaneously criticising Pakistan could be a recipe for disaster.

In fact, India wants instability in Afghanistan, which favours its secret goals against Pakistan. But Pakistan seeks stability in Afghanistan, which is not possible owing to Indian presence in that country. Therefore, Pakistan has legitimate concerns in Afghanistan.

It is notable that that Pakistans civil and military leadership has repeatedly pointed out Indian interference, cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan including TTP location there, but US-led NATO and Afghan top officials have taken no action. And Federal Minister Rehnam Malik has openly remarked that based in Afghanistan, RAW has been supporting subversive activities in Pakistan.

Nonetheless, in the post-2014 scenario, despite the presence of American troops on small scale, New Delhi which has been assisting the Northern Alliance against the Afghan militants will not be in a position to maintain its network due to successful guerrilla warfare of the Taliban. Afghanistan will be thrown in an era of uncertainty and civil war. In that drastic situation, foreign donors will not be able to sustain their economic aid in that lawless country.

By showing realistic approach, US and other western countries should realise that unlike India, Pakistan shares common geographical, historical, religious and cultural bonds with Afghanistan, while there is a co-relationship of stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is essential for their global and regional interests. And by abandoning its faulty strategy in this region and double game with Islamabad, especially America must check Indian anti-Pakistan role in Afghanistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

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Extrajudicial Killings through Drones

By Sajjad Shaukat

Under the pretext of American so-called counterinsurgency programme, the US President Barack Obama has broken all the record of human rights by extrajudicial killings of the innocent people through CIA-operated drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen in general and Pakistan in particular, while, the United States claims to be protector of human rights not only inside the country, but also all over the world.

Recently, the UN has opened probe regarding the predator strikes. In this regard, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism said, A UN investigation into targeted killings will examine legality of drone strikeswill investigate 25 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories. It will also focus on civilian killings by the strikes.

First time, a US Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of the predator attacks, openly admitted that 4,700 people have been killed by the raids of Americas secretive drone war. The number exceeds some independent estimates of the death toll. According to the research of London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between June 2004 and September 2012, these unmanned aerial vehicles killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians including 176 children. In this respect, in a report, The Guardian pointed out on August 11, 2011, The CIA claims that there has been not one non-combatant killed in the past yearit is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.

Nevertheless, details collected by the Pakistani journalists show that civilian casualties through unmanned aircraft are higher as indicated by the US officials. In the last four years, more than 900 innocent civilians and only 22 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by these aerial attacks.

While justifying these air strikes by the spy planes, counterterrorism advisor to Obama, John Brennan who faces a Senate confirmation hearing for his nominee as CIA director is the main player, advising Obama on which strike, he should approve.

Especially, during his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama had pledged to reverse excesses of the Bush era in relation to terrorism. He also promised to reformulate a counterterrorism policy in accordance with the legal and moral values of the US. Contrarily to his assertions, Obama followed the Bushs approach of counterterrorism in its worst form by expanding and accelerating the predator strikes.

In this context, The New York Time on May 26, 2011, in an article which was written with assistance of several counterterrorism advisers of the administration revealed, President Obama has become personally involved in the process and has normalised extrajudicial killings from the Oval Office, taking advantage of Americas temporary advantage in drone technology. Without the scrutiny of the legislature and the courts, and outside the public eye, Obama is authorising murder on a weekly basis.

Notably, American constitution explicitly grants the right to declare war to the Congress so as to restrain the president from chasing enemies around the world, based solely on his authority as commander-in-chief by waging a secret war. But instead of capturing militants alive and to avoid giving the right of due process of law to them in a court, President Obama has openly been acting upon a ruthless policy of targeting killings by supervising the CIA-controlled drone warfare.

Besides, a report of the New America Foundation disclosed that President Obama has authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms. The report explained, When the US drones attack Pakistans tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, these killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistanwhile killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?

Based on research, a report, Living Under Drones, prepared by experts from Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law disclosed that the US campaign of drone strikes in Pakistans northwestern tribal belt is terrorising civilians 24 hours a day and breeding bitter anti-American sentimenthave killed thousands of peopleeven stopping their children going to school for fear of being targeted. The report urged Washington to rethink its drone strategy, arguing it was counterproductive and undermined international law.

Citing unnamed US officials, The Washington Post reported on January 21, this year, The Obama administration is completing a counterterrorism manual that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operationsthe guidebook would contain a major exemption for the CIAs campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan to continue striking Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan.

Defense Minister Leon Panetta has defended these attacks on Pakistans tribal areas under the pretext of North Waziristan-based Haqqani militants whom they blamed for several assaults on American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. On the other hand, US-led coalition forces have failed in stopping incursions of heavily-armed insurgents in Pakistan from Afghanistans side, who have killed more than 100 personnel of the Pakistans security forces in the last two year, while targeting the infrastructure of the areas. In fact, US seeks to make North Waziristan, a scapegoat of NATOs defeat in Afghanistan by continuing illegal mass murder of the innocent people through drones.

It is notable that Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam who visited America in August, 2012, emphatically told the then CIA Director David Petraeus that predator strikes which are violation of Pakistans sovereignty must be stopped. He pointed out that these strikes are proving counterproductive, giving a greater incentive to the fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan, and are increasing anti-US sentiment among the people.

However, setting aside the parliament resolution, rallies and processions of Pakistans political and religious parties, and ignoring the new Pak-US rapprochement, without bothering for any internal backlash, these aerial attacks keep on going on FATA.

In fact, American such a duplicity contans a number of covert designs. The fresh wave of strikes by the pilotless aircraft has thwarted the offer of militants and Pakistani government for peace talks. And, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accelerated subversive activities in the country. Now, US wants to incite the Haqqani network as in the past 15 months, most of these strikes have targeted the North Waziristan. So, these aerial attacks are provoking the tribal people against Pakistans security forces, and increasing recruitment of insurgents. Another aim is to create a rift between Pakistans armed forces on one side and the political and religious parties on the other. Besides, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, US India and Israel are determined to destabilise it. Drone campaign is also part of this game.

The CIA-operated these strikes which continued on Pakistans tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama era. In one of the major drone attacks, more than 40 civilians and policemen were killed on March 18, 2011 in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. In the past few months, these unmanned aircraft killed more than 150 people, especially in North Waziristan including South Waziristan.

On the one side, US top officials have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistans help not only for peace process with the militants, but also for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario, while NATO troops have started transporting their equipments via Pakistani route as part of the exit strategy, but on the other, US spy planes on Pak tribal regions are undermining international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan including peace dialogue with the Afghan militants.

Recently, US ex-presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton have opposed Obamas faulty drone strategy. Even, new Secretary of State John Kerry has also criticised unabated use of unilateral drones in Pakistan, saying, US engagement with the world is not just about drones.

Besides, widespread criticism from some US allies and human rights groups which have remarked that these aerial attacks are illegal and unethical, and violation of the targeted countries sovereignty, the United Nations Charter, universal declaration of human rights and international law, but US warrior President Obama remains obstinate to continue extrajudicial killings through drones.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

Save Pakistan from ‘Talibanisation’

By Sajjad Shaukat

Although Pakistans provinces of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan including city of Karachi have been facing various forms of subversive attacks, yet wave of terrorism has intensified in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which has perennially been targeted by the Taliban militants on regular basis. Besides other terror acts, militants attack on Peshawar Air Port on December 15, this year, and a car bomb which killed 17 people in the Jamrud bazaar in Khyber Agency on December 18, the assassination of Senior Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister and the courageous leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Bashir Ahmad Bilour including eight people on December 22 came like a fresh challenge from the Taliban. Bashir Bilour who escaped attempts on his life many times was a symbol of anti-Taliban resistance.

Like other terror assaults of the past and recent months conducted at various places of Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility, justifying the attack on Bashir Bilour in the name of war against secular elements in the country. In this context, a spokesman of TTP Muhammad Afridi also stated that it has set up a new revenge wing to carry out such attacks, particularly on ANP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Earlier TTP has threatened to target more than twenty Journalists and anchors of TV channels.

Whenever any high-profile terror incident is conducted by these miscreants, foreign countries condemned the same, but directly or indirectly, it distorts the image of Pakistan, displaying it as a fundamentalist country. In this regard, besides other western leaders, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Ambassador Richard Olson have condemned the suicide bombing on Bashir Ahmad Bilour. Meanwhile, recently, nine people including women working on UN-backed polio immunisation programme were shot dead in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Pakistani Taliban have denied responsibility, but they have threatened polio workers in the past and in June, they banned vaccinations in Waziristan.

Notably, under the cover of assassination attempt by the TTP on Malala Yousafzai, a female child educator in Swat on October 9, US-led foreign countries, India and their media have continuously been manipulating the incident in one or the other way to distort the image of Pakistan as well as Islam. Recently, Time magazine has published her picture on its title page. Earlier, November 10 was celebrated as international day for Malala to show that we all are Malalathe day can boost female education worldwide, as former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education had stated. While some American lawmakers suggested awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Malala Yousufzai, and some of them including the UNHCRs special envoy proposed to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Besides, US President Barack Obama, UN secretary general and almost all the western countries including their human rights groups and media have appreciated the courage of Malala who stood against the Talibans oppressive policies, and have taken her as a symbol of hope for moderate elements, and inspiration of education in the world.

President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, leaders of the PML (N), ANP, Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F, PTI and MQM including all those of other parties had denounced the shocking assault on Malala Yousafzai. Once again, political and religious leaders have condemned the suicide attack which martyred Bilour.

It is mentionable that the Sunni Ittehad Council issued a joint fatwa on October 11, terming attack on Malala as un-Islamic; pointing out that the assailants self-adopted interpretation of Islam was nothing but ignorance and digression from the actual teachings of the religion. They clarified that Islam not only made it obligatory on every man and woman to seek education but also strictly forbade taking life of any innocent person. Besides, scholars of other Islamic sects and those of Shias also condemned Talibans deadly attack on Malala.

In the past few years, the Taliban killed thousands of people across Pakistan through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, beheadings, assaults on military troops, police stations, sectarian violence etc., and destroyed hundreds of girls schools including those of boys. In the Khyber agency, they are also indulged in murdering and torturing Shias in their majority areas, forcing them to flee. They are destabilising Pakistan.

TTP militants led by Maulvi Fazlullah who had left Swat after military operation have fully established their stronghold in Afghan provinces of Nooristan and Kunar. With the tactical assistance of US, their subversive activities against Pakistan are funded by Indian secret agency RAW and Afghan intelligence-National Directorate of Security (NDS). These secret entities have hired the services of many Muslims who have joined the ranks and files of TTP and other extremist outfits. Pakistans civil and military leadership has repeatedly protested against cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan including TTP location there, but US-led NATO and Afghan top officials have taken no action.

Particularly in some tribal areas and Swat these insurgents have been involved in a number of crimes such as drug-smuggling, forced marriages, hostage-takings for ransom and even car-snatching. They justify that they collect money through these unfair means to wage their holly war and in killing the moderate dissidents. They have discouraged womens education, keeping them ignorant and exploitable.

Nevertheless, Islam considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity, while jihad is a sacred obligation but its real spirit needs to be understood clearly, as targeting innocent women and children is not jihad. These Taliban and their banned affiliated groups are defaming Islam which is the religion of peace, democracy, moderation and human rights.

After the Malala episode, despite the determination of the Pakistan government to take strict action against the militants, terrorist activities have continued unabated as shown by the assassination of Bashir Bilour.

In this connection, the President of ANP Asfandyar Wali has rightly remarked that these terrorists are not only carrying out ferocious attacks, but are also taking pride in claiming the responsibility for the same, and yet they are free to move around inside the country.

All this indicates that the Taliban could go to any extent to follow their self-perceived ideology. And these extremist elements do not want to see Pakistan a moderate, peaceful and developed country by isolating it from international community.

No doubt, Pakistans law-enforcing agencies and intelligence outfits remain vigilant and well prepared to deal with any eventuality created by heinous acts of terrorists. Despite the fact that these security agencies have thwarted many terror attempts of the militants through pre-arrests, discovery of weapons and huge explosive material, suicide jackets etc., but terrorists kept on targeting the sensitive places. In this regard, intelligence agencies and security forces were also discouraged as their actions were being challenged through courts of law regarding the validity and legality of their decisions. The insurgents lawyers availed the opportunity by indicating procedural penal flaws. Thus many terrorists were freed by the courts due to lack of solid evidence in legal terms, though reality of their subversive activities existed.

It is a good move that the National Assembly on December 20, passed the Investigation for Fair Trial Bill-2012 which is a milestone in the history of legislation, providing legal cover to the concerned law-enforcing agencies and intelligence outfits to tape the phone calls and watch the e-mails as part of collection of evidence through electronic means. The bill envisages that electronic material and this relevant data would now be permissible in the court of law.

The bill sends a message to the terrorists that the entire nation was united in their efforts to bring them to books. It also asserts for the international community to evaluate as to how serious Pakistan is in fighting the menace of terrorism. Similarly media analysts must also think positively and support the bill which is essential to cope with these insurgents.

Now, the right hour has come to save Pakistan from Talibanistaion. So, instead of verbal slogans and condemnation of the Taliban, leaders of political and religious parties including general masses must show practical unity against all these fundamentalist elements. For better intelligence-gathering, people must also provide information to the law-enforcing and secret agencies about the presence and cover activities of the Taliban.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

Indian Designs to Disrupt Pak-Saudi Relations

By Sajjad Shaukat

While paying much attention on various internal crises including subversive activities of terrorist outfits in the country, Pakistans defence analysts and media anchors have ignored the designs of India which has been trying to disrupt Pak-Saudi relations.

By taking cognisance of rapidly changing geo-political developments in the region like US decision to maintain six military bases in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014against Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia, Islamabads decision to redefine its relationship with US, its tilt towards Russia, its rejection of American pressure to abandon Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, growing Pak-Iranian ties, new wave of drone attacks on Pakistan, unrest in the Middle East, impending threat of Israeli attack on Iran and US war-mongering strategy against Tehran in the Persian Gulf, Indian clandestine aims are to entrap Saudi Arabia by binding the latter with Indo-US secret strategic partnership.

In this regard, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony along with Indian Army vice Chief Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh and Indian Navy deputy chief Vice Admiral Satish Soni paid his first visit to Riyadh in February 13, this year. Antony held crucial discussions with Saudi Defence Minister Prince Salman-bin-Abdul Aziz. After delegations return, Indian defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said on February 15, To give a boost to their defence, India and Saudi Arabia have decided to set up a Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation. KAR elaborated that the Committee would also evolve plans for cooperation in numerous areas. New Delhi suggested that the navies of the two countries could explore practical cooperation in the Indian Ocean.

Notably, being a major and more developed country in all the-related fields, India will get more benefits as compared to Saudi Arabia, and intends to use Riyadh as an instrument of manipulation so as to fulfill multiple designs in the region, especially against Pakistan.

It is mentionable that India whose Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed wide-ranging agreements with Saudi Arabia on February 28, 2010, known as Riyadh Declaration, emphasising strategic partnership between the two states, had already decided to entrap Saudi Arabia. New Delhi also wants to meet Indias growing requirement of crude oil supplies. According to the Riyadh Declaration, The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in exchange of information relating to terrorist activities, and develop joint strategies to combat these threats. Under the pretext of terrorism, Indian prime minister availed the opportunity to malign Pakistan. In this respect, Manmohan Singh stated, I explained to him (King Abdullah) the role of terrorismaided, abetted and inspired by Pakistanis playing in our country. He added that he asked the Saudi monarch to use his good offices to persuade Islamabad to desist from this path.

Meanwhile, Indian high officials propagated that Saudi Arabia is being targeted by the Al Qaeda, while India too is in a deep state of concern due to Pakistan in this regard.

In this respect, Wall Street Journal reported in October 23, 2012, Saudi Arabia has been moving closer to India. The latest sign came as Indian authorities confirmed Saudi Arabia had extradited Fasih Mehmood, an alleged member of Indian Mujahideena Rayees, another alleged Indian militant, while it also extradited Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, an alleged Indian member of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in June in connection with 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

At the same time, WSJ quoted a retired Indian Gen. Ashok Mehta, saying, These extraditions would not have taken place without some pressure from the Americans. The WSJ maintained that the arrests and extraditions do not mean that Saudi has ended its support for Pakistan which is its traditional ally.

In fact, as part of self-fabricated story by the Indian secret agency RAW, Jundal had been given Pakistani nationality and a Pakistani passport to convince Saudi Arabia to hand him over to India. It was also due to torture of RAW agents that when Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only survival of the 26/11 Mumbai catastrophe was brought face-to-face with Abu Jundal, both of them identified each other. Like Kasab, Jundal gave forced statement, confessing that he was among the handlers of the Pakistani terrorists who came to India, and was imparted training by LeT in Pakistan.

Even then, we suppose that both Ajmal Kasab and Abu Jundal are Pakistani nationals, it does not matter as they are non-state actors. Islamabad cannot be held responsible for the terror activities of these individuals. Notably, fifteen of the nineteen terrorists involved in the 9/11 tragedy were from Saudi Arabia, but US did not hold Riyadh responsible in this respect.

However, under the cover of terrorism, India is acting upon shrewd diplomacy in convincing the Saudi Kingdom that Islamabad has lost will and the ability to fight terrorism. It is frightening Riyadh that in such a scenario, after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan, the fear of Al Qaeda or Taliban taking advantage of the possible return to power is seen as major threat to the region as well as to Saudi Arabia. So Saudi needs Indian help in cracking down against terrorists. But, while following the US blame game, apparently, India shows to the Saudis that another aim of its closer relationship with the Kingdom is to force Pakistan to stop its assistance to the terrorist groups.

Besides, Indian rulers also offered covert help to Saudi Arabia to balance the influence of Iran in the Middle East. India is playing a double game with Riyadh as it openly seeks new strategic partnership with the latter, while covertly, with help of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, it has been backing RAW-paid writers to propagate against the cordial relationship of Saudi Arabia with Pakistan, and to manipulate Saudi-Iranian differences on the basis of Shias and Wahibis. The major purpose also remains to bring Riyadh to the Indo-US clandestine game against China.

On the other hand, these Indian writers have been accusing Saudi Arabia in supporting Al Qaeda-related Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan by setting aside the fact that Saudis have abrogated all ties with these insurgents. They still accuse Riyadh of assisting and giving sanctuary to the Al Qaeda terrorists. They propagate that Saudi money has fuelled the construction of hard-line religious schools in Pakistan that have helped foster militancy in the region, especially Afghanistan.

In this context, one of the RAW-paid Journalists, B. Raman wrote in his article, Jihadi Terrorism: The Saudi Connection, The Islamic militants like Basheer and commander Abu Abdel Aziz including their followers have links with each other from Bosnia to Afghanistan and from Jummu and Kashmir to Sudan. Raman alleges, In Saudi Arabia, the militant Basheer has floated a new organisation called the Muslim Development Force, apparently inspired and controlled by Jihadi elements in Saudi Arabia. He elaborates, Pakistani Jihadis and Abu Abdel Aziz of Saudi Arabia were linked to the LET which is assisting the Jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir.

In one of his articles B. Raman openly accuses, While the Saudis have taken ruthless action against al-Qaida elements within Saudi Arabia, it has avoided taking action against Wahhabi organisations which have been funding and supporting terrorism in other countries in India, Bangladesh and the United States.

Another RAW-paid Indian writer Hari Sud also implicates Saudi Arabia in his article, End Muslim Terrorism by Ending Wahabism Influence in Saudi Arabia. He wrote, All Saudi princes including the King are Wahabis, while alleging Suadi Arabia as supporter of terrorism in Pakistan, Indonesia and Afghanistan, He explains, All teachers of the Madarassas, Mullahs of the Mosques under pretext of Hajj pilgrimage underwent Wahabi training in religious schools in Saudi Arabiain India, Chechnya and PhilippinesMuslim terror threat is ever present for worthless causesmajority of the 9/11 terrorists hailed from Saudi Arabia.

Although India is trying to disrupt Pak-Saudi relations by entangling Saudi Arabia in its secret strategic game, yet by knowing the real intentions of New Delhi, Riyadh cannot deteriorate its ties with Pakistan which is its old traditional and Muslim ally.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power.

Obama’s Secret War through Drones

By Sajjad Shaukat:

In his second tenure, it was expected that the US President Barack Obama would reassess American controversial foreign policy, especially by ceasing CIA-operated drone attacks on Pakistan. But these aerial strikes continue on Pak tribal areas.

It is mentionable that Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam who visited America in August, 2012, emphatically told the then CIA Director David Petraeus that predator strikes which are violation of Pakistans sovereignty must be stopped. He pointed out that these strikes are proving counterproductive, giving a greater incentive to the fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan, and are increasing anti-US sentiment among the people.

While, addressing the UN General Assembly on September 25, President Asif Ali Zardari said, Drone strikes and civilian casualties on our territory add to the complexity of our battle for hearts and minds through this epic struggle against terrorism.

Besides, after her meeting with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 21 in Washington, Pakistans Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar stated that they had discussions on drones, saying, These are illegal and counterproductive. She explained when a US drone carries out a strike; Pakistani officials have to hear remarks that this is the US war. Khar elaborated that in 352 terrorist attacks in Pakistan, many of those killed were Pakistanis as opposed to foreigners.

While justifying these air strikes by the spy planes, counterterrorism advisor to Obama, John Brennan and Defense Minister Leon Panetta have defended these attacks on Pakistans tribal areas under the pretext of North Waziristan-based Haqqani militants whom they blamed for several assaults on American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. On the other hand, US-led coalition forces have failed in stopping incursions of heavily-armed insurgents in Pakistan from Afghanistans side, who have killed more than 100 personnel of the Pakistans security forces in the last two year, while targeting the infrastructure of the areas. In fact, US seeks to make North Waziristan, a scapegoat of NATOs defeat in Afghanistan by continuing illegal mass murder of the innocent people through predator strikes.

However, setting aside the parliament resolution, rallies and processions of Pakistans political and religious parties against drone attacks, and ignoring the new rapprochement between Islamabad and Washington, without bothering for any internal backlash, these strikes keep on going on FATA.

In fact, American such a duplicity contans a number of covert designs. The fresh wave of strikes by the pilotless aircraft has thwarted the offer of militants and Pakistani government for peace talks. And, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has in accelerated subversive activities in the country. Now, US seeks to incite the Haqqani network as in the past 14 months, most of these strikes have targeted the North Waziristan. So, these aerial attacks are provoking the tribal people against Pakistans security forces, and increasing recruitment of insurgents. Another aim of these strikes is to create a rift between Pakistans armed forces on one side and the political and religious parties including general masses on the other. Besides, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, US India and Israel are determined to weaken it. Drone campaign is also part of this game.

The strikes by the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which continued on Pakistans tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama era. In one of the major drone attacks, more than 40 civilians and policemen were killed on March 18, 2011 in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. In the past few months, these unmanned aircraft killed more than 100 people in North Waziristan.

As regards civilian casualties, on August 11, 2011, a report of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said, The Guardian published some of the pictures, we have obtained…as many as 168 children have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan during the past seven years. While rejecting CIAs false claim, the report disclosed, It is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.

Besides, a report of the New America Foundation revealed, President Obama has authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms. The report explained, When the US drones attack Pakistans tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, these killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistanwhile killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?

A latest report, Living Under Drones, prepared by experts from Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law disclosed that the US campaign of drone strikes in Pakistans northwestern tribal belt is terrorising civilians 24 hours a day and breeding bitter anti-American sentimenthave killed thousands of peopleeven stopping their children going to school for fear of being targeted. Based on research, the report urged Washington to rethink its drone strategy, arguing it was counterproductive and undermined international law.

Nevertheless, details collected by the Pakistani journalists show that civilian casualties through drone strikes are higher as indicated by the US officials. In the last four years, more than 800 innocent civilians and only 22 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by these aerial attacks.

Particularly, during his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama had pledged to reverse excesses of the Bush era in relation to terrorism. He also promised to reformulate a counterterrorism policy in accordance with the legal and moral values of the US. Contrarily to his assertions, Obama followed the Bushs approach of counterterrorism in its worst form by expanding and accelerating the predator strikes.

In this respect, The New York Time on May 26, 2011, in an article which was written with assistance of several counterterrorism advisers of the administration revealed, President Obama has become personally involved in the process and has normalised extrajudicial killings from the Oval Office, taking advantage of Americas temporary advantage in drone technology. Without the scrutiny of the legislature and the courts, and outside the public eye, Obama is authorising murder on a weekly basis.

Notably, American constitution explicitly grants the right to declare war to the Congress so as to restrain the president from chasing enemies around the world, based solely on his authority as commander-in-chief by waging a secret war.

Instead of capturing militants alive and to avoid giving the right of due process of law to them in a court, President Obama has openly been acting upon a ruthless policy of targeting killings by supervising the CIA-controlled drone warfare.

Notably, President Obama has broken all the record of human rights by extrajudicial killings of the innocent people through CIA-operated unmanned aircraft which are part of his so-called counterterrorism operations in Somalia, Yemen etc. in general and Pakistan in Particular, while, the US claims to be protector of human rights not only inside the country, but all over the world.

On the one hand, US top officials, particularly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistans help not only for peace process with the militants, but also for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario, but on the other, US spy planes on Pak tribal regions are undermining international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan including peace dialogue with the Afghan militants.

Meanwhile, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism said on August 16, this year that it was time for the US to open itself up to scrutiny as to the legality of such attackseach strike is visually recorded and videos could be passed to independent assessors. Recently, US ex-presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have also opposed Obamas faulty strategy of drone strikes.

Nonetheless, these strikes are illegal, unethical and violation of Pakistans sovereignty as well as the UN Charter. But US warrior President Obama remains intransigent to continue his secret war through drone attacks.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

Mis-judgement by the Supreme Court

London, MTT News Desk: Today is sad day in the history of Pakistan. The Supreme Court indicted the former Chief of Army Staff, General Aslam Beg, and former DG of ISI, Lieut General Asad Durrani for manipulating the elections of 1990.

Both of these old soldiers had acted honourably throughput the sixteen years over which the trial was held. They told the truth; they accepted that money obtained by dubious means from a bank had indeed been distributed among those who were taken into confidence about the rationale and their role in helping to defeat the then newly dismissed Prime Minister Late Ms Benazir Bhutto.

General Durrani gave to the court the details of the money distributed. He was forthright as were all the retired military officers in accepting responsibility for an act which was obviously suspect in the eyes of law. But they were discreet in explaining the reason for the act.

General Asad Durrani as well as Brigadier Hamid Saeed handed over to the court in writing the reason for their action, which was not read in the open court or made a part of the recorded evidence. Both these officers who were not represented by a lawyer in the Supreme Court must have believed that the SC would take into account their written evidence.

But what came out in the judgement was that they the plea for having acted in national interest was not accepted.

Since I know both the officers personally and well and have spoken to them in recent months, I am aware of what their plea. Their case is as follows:

  • Counter- intelligence i.e. keeping an eye on the Intelligence operatives of foreign countries and their links inside Pakistan, is statutory responsibility of MI, ISI and IB. Their area of responsibility is different but the areas do overlap.
  • If they discover in the course of their work that an official however high or low is in contact with an enemy operative or agent they put him under surveillance. They send a report to the head of the department when they find an official engaged in suspicious activities.
  • When the person they observe to be engaged in suspicious activity is as high as the Prime Minster herself, what do they do? That was dilemma faced by General Asad Durrani. He reported the matter to the COAS who informed the President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The three met and decided that since Ms. Benazir Bhutto had already been dismissed for corruption, the only course was to make it certain that she did not come back to power.
  • Ms Benazir Bhutto was not likely to win the 19990 elections but to make that certain it was decided to discreetly share the intelligence with certain quarters. That is how the charge of her being a security risk became public. Clearly, a clandestine operation was carried out to thwart Benazir Bhutto who had contacts with Indian intelligence operatives. They intelligence agencies could not afford another fiasco like that over Agartalla Conspiracy. But one serious mistake was made. It was made by General Asad Durrani who was sympathetic to the PPP. He was clearly wrong to have given the details of a clandestine operation that he was sworn to keep confidential. What was worse was that he gave the affidavit to one MR REHMAN MALIK.
  • All the others who were given details of the intelligence against Benazir Bhutto in 1990 have acted correctly and honourably by not disclosing it. To lie in order to keep secret information secret is not a lie, it is a duty under the official secrets act.
  • Today t is a sad day in the history of Pakistan as sad as the day the Supreme Court invoked the Doctrine of Necessity to keep two usurpers General Zia ul Haq and General Pervaiz Musharraf in power. The laughable irony is that the Army Chiefs who carried out coup détat in 1971 and 1999 were never indicted but the ONE Army Chief and DG ISI who revealed the intelligence about the suspect activities of a Prime Minster stand convicted.

One hopes that in the detailed judgement the Supreme Court would find a way to reveal the information they have but was not read out in the court. Otherwise, the SC would be complicit in undermining the state just as General Durrani has been both ostensibly to uphold the truth.

India and USA hand-in-glove

India-US-UK-Israel nexus is hand-in-glove and conspiring to harm Pakistan. Pakistan has been profusely bled by the nexus based in Kabul for the last eight years but they call themselves as friends of Pakistan. Our leaders reciprocate their sentiments and go out of the way to please them. There has been no change in this policy of appeasement despite having collected irrefutable proof of involvement of RAW in all our troubled spots. Once the Army unearthed huge caches of Indian origin weaponry and literature from Swat and South Waziristan Agency (SWA) during Rah-e-Rast and Rah-e-Nijat Operations, our rulers after naming RAW reluctantly became tight lipped. Despite causing immeasurable harm to Pakistan, the Indo-western media continue to churn out vicious stories blaming Pakistan for the sins committed by the said nexus. The US media in particular spread gloom and doom and apart from overplaying the existential threat posed by religious extremists, it comes out with never ending sensational tales ranging from Taliban stealing our nukes to their taking over power. The two premier institutions of Pakistan, the army and ISI, responsible for safeguarding security interests of the country are demonized and maligned. After the US weird allegation that Mullah Omar led Shura was based in Quetta and then shifting it to Karachi, Gordon Brown, the poodle of USA has reconfirmed Hillary Clinton’s bizarre claim that Osama bin Laden is in FATA. Such harebrained chronicles are dished out off and on to keep Pakistan on the leash.

Article Source: http://www.markthetruth.com/letter-to-editor/222-india-and-usa-hand-in-glove.html

Removal of Afghan Border Check Posts

Since October 17, this year when Pakistans armed forces started the military operation, Rah-i-Nijat (Path to Deliverance), they have been rapidly achieving successes by destroying the strongholds of the Waziristan-based militants. In this regard, the Chief of the Inter-Services Public Relations, Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas indicated that within a few days, at least 137 militants have been killed and 18 soldiers have been martyred during the operation, while army troops also occupied the house of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). But it is more alarming development against our country that scores ofsecurity check posts in Afghanistan side of Pak-Afghan border have been removed by the US commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal who leads NATOforces in Afghanistan.

Article Source: http://www.markthetruth.com/afghanistan/170-removal-of-afghan-border-check-posts.html

Nuclear Iran: A Headache or a Heal? – IV

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

by Sohail Parwaz

In my first column on this subject I wrote, “Interestingly, the issues on which the US, France, and the UK are making a hue and cry were once hatched and sponsored by them. How could one forget that it was the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who had signed the National Security Decision Memorandum that very generously laid out the niceties of the sale of nuclear energy equipment to Iran?” I still maintain my words that the baseless and bogus logic given now by the US and the Western world are not acceptable to the world. I would insist upon my earlier saying why the logic given now did not strike the astute Americans at that time when, out of sheer sincerity and love, they were…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/current-affairs/73-nuclear-iran-a-headache-or-a-heal.html

Emergence of Communal Taliban

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

The culmination of WW–II gave birth to cold war which led to USSR Invasion and her ultimate disintegration. The dissolution of Soviet Union produced Taliban and Al- Qaeda. It is worth mentioning here that former President Bush invited their top brass at White House and addressed them as war lords. But after the couple of years these conquerors converted themselves into worst enemies of Washington. Now the Question arises that why US has stopped supporting her comrades just after disintegration of USSR? Would it be taken as a move of her planned strategy of getting strong control over Asian region in the absence of Taliban and promoting India as regional power against China? Or Americans never wanted to have another pure Islamic Afghan state under the supervision of Taliban and indirectly safeguarding Iranian Interests in the region and keeping Saudi Arabia in limbo. Any how restricting myself on the topic, let’s evaluate that in a very short span of the time, how Talbinization was promoted and encircled around the complete world. Taliban appeared on the scene as a result of Al-Qaeda.

USA via CIA originally backed the Islamic guerrilla against the Marxist regime and Soviet occupation…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/terrorism/70-emergence-of-communal-taliban.html

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