Would you like an atheist American as Chairman of WAPDA? A white City Nazim for Karachi or for that matter a British Director General of FIA in Punjab? Would you encourage wine shops and dance bars across Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad? How would you react to roving half-naked girls at Constitutional Avenue in Islamabad and at Millennium Mall in Karachi? Just as you don’t want significant titles in your country given to westerners and your way of life swayed by secular thoughts, same is the case in United States, Europe and India. They don’t want their culture altered under the shadow of Islamic civilization.
Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’
Suman K. Chakrabarti and Omar Warraich
“At 53, she was bored, alone and attractive. Single, but definitely one step ahead to mingle.” That’s how the man who led the operation to bust Madhuri Gupta, the first Indian diplomat to be found spying for Pakistan, described her. For most of her two years in espionage, Gupta was a lone-wolf, conducting a classic spy operation from her base in Islamabad. Old-school “dead drops,” in which she passed off information without even meeting her Pakistani handlers, were her signature style. Yet it was a silly indiscretion — sending e-mails to her spy bosses from her office computer — that finally led to her arrest.
Gupta has not exactly been near the center of Indian decision-making, posted as a second secretary in the media section of India’s high commission in Pakistan’s capital, where her job had been to provide English and Hindi summaries of Pakistan’s Urdu-language newspapers. On April 22, the 53-year-old was summoned back to New Delhi ostensibly to help colleagues prepare for the ongoing South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) summit in Bhutan. After landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport, she was whisked away by officials of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s internal intelligence agency, straight to an interrogation chamber in an undisclosed location. Twenty-four hours later, she was handed over to Delhi police, charged with treason and accessing confidential documents under India’s Official Secrets Act.
Before President Hamid Karzai arrives in Washington next month, President Obama has to make clear key decisions on the course of war and peacemaking in Afghanistan.
Neighboring countries and most Afghans believe that the endgame has begun for a post-U.S. Afghanistan. There are just 14 months for the U.S. military surge to show results while Washington simultaneously prepares to begin its July 2011 troop withdrawal and handover to the Afghan government. Already, efforts to jockey for future control of Afghanistan have been seen among Pakistan, India, Iran and even Russia. Several NATO countries eager to withdraw forces are frustrated. It is clear in the region that someone will have to mediate with the Taliban, but in the absence of U.S. leadership, a tug of war is taking place over who will do it, when, how and where.
KABUL — Across Afghanistan, behind the obvious battles fought for this country’s soul, a shadow war is being quietly waged. It’s being fought with spies and proxies, with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money and ominous diplomatic threats.
The fight pits nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan against one another in a battle for influence that will almost certainly gain traction as the clock ticks down toward America’s military withdrawal, which President Barack Obama has announced will begin next year.
The clash has already sparked bloody militant attacks, and American officials fear the region could become further destabilized. With Pakistani intelligence maintaining ties to Afghanistan’s Taliban militants, India has threatened to draw Iran, Russia and other nations into the competition if an anti-Indian government comes to power in Kabul.
By allowing foreign militaries a free reign in our tribal belt to kill hundreds of innocent Pakistanis, Pakistan is committing the same mistake as Putin’s, who initially did well a decade ago by crushing the rebellion in Chechnya but now is creating more rebels because of highhandedness. Also, Pakistan has no business eliminating the Afghan Taliban, who survived the 2001 war thanks to US mismanagement. The problem should be solved inside Afghanistan, not Waziristan.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—It was brave on the part of Pakistan army chief to publicly apologize for mistakenly bombing and killing tens of innocent Pakistanis in a Khyber Agency village. In a similar incident in 2006 during the reign of his predecessor, where a US missile killed up to 80 children in a school, the action was not only defended but the Pakistani military was forced to own it, giving the first signal to everyone that innocent Pakistanis can be killed with impunity as part of the war on terror. Since then, more than a thousand innocent Pakistanis have lost their lives as collateral damage in these ‘successful’ drone attacks. This would remain one of the darkest spots in our history where our rulers shirked their responsibility for the protection of every Pakistani citizen on our soil.
‘India’s evidence against Saeed not admissible under our law’
Times of India
NEW DELHI: Pakistan has contended that the Indian evidence against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed of his involvement in Mumbai terror attack is not admissible under their laws for prosecution.
In a dossier given to India in which it asked for handing over of Ajmal Amir Kasab, Islamabad has also asked New Delhi to give all additional evidence related to 26/11 to it by the middle of next month, sources said.
Washington: Arguing that some tactical successes will not defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, a top US thing tank has sought opening of talks with the militant group but said India should not be included in any such parleys as it would antagonise Pakistan, in particular its Army.
“The negotiating framework should be determined during a secret contact phase mediated by the Pakistani Army prior to the strictly diplomatic phase conducted under UN auspices,” the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a report yesterday.
- Disappeared on March 25th alongwith Colonel Imam.
- Never-heard-before outfit called ‘Asian Tigers’ demand US$ 10m and Mullah Baradar in exchange for release.
- Afghan Taliban distance themselves from kidnapping; Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says they are working for release of Colonel Imam and Khalid Khwaja
The following are five video clips sent to Asia Times Online featuring Khalid Khawaja, who is speaking in Urdu. Video files are approximately 2.5Mb each in MOV format. Please click here to download the clips: 1 2 3 4 5 [Right Click > Save As]
ISLAMABAD – Retired squadron leader Khalid Khawaja, a former Inter-Services Intelligence official and a close friend of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden during the resistance in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980s, has explained in videos sent to Asia Times Online how he was on a mission to broker a deal between militants and the army when he was captured by militants, and how he played a double game by deceiving a radical cleric into being arrested.
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad asked Delhi on Saturday to facilitate the transfer of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Mumbai attacker, to Pakistan for recording his statement in the trial of the suspects here.
The request was conveyed by Interior Minister Rehman Malik in a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal.
SHANGHAI: It is easy to keep Pakistan out of the IPL. But when it comes to attracting eyeballs of Chinese visitors and international businesses, Pakistan has beaten Indian hands down at the World Expo in Shanghai.
The Pakistani pavilion is attracting thousands of people by the hour for the past week while the Indian pavilion is far from complete.
What Was Rehman Malik Doing At Regent Plaza Hotel Karachi Late Night On 27th December After Benazir’s Murder?April 24, 2010
Benazir non-investigation: the cover-up continues even after the UN report:
One fact that the UN investigators did not know or could not get to is what was Rehman Malik doing around the mid night of the evening Benazir was assassinated. The mystery has deepened after an eyewitness has revealed that Rehman Malik was seen in the Regent’s Hotel Karachi (at Shahra-e-Faisal) around mid-night. While there is no doubt about that, it is speculated that he had brought Khalid Shahenshah with him. Would Rehman Malik explain his conduct and whereabouts on the 27th and 28th of December?
This report by the News is an indication that the present government’s top leadership including Zardari, Gilani, and Rehman Malik are part of the cover-up of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Rehman Malik still has to answer the questions raised in the report about leaving Benazir without a back-up car. Until and unless, the government moves against the big wigs, the people will be justified in believing that they all were involved, one way or the other.
Syed Fawad Ali Shah
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan–Private US defense contractors held Pakistani and Afghan citizens kidnapped from Pakistani tribal territory inside the building of the US Consulate in Peshawar when it was attacked by armed men on April 5.
Immediately after the attack, US diplomats and employees in the consulate were shifted to the American-run Khyber Club in the University Town suburb of Peshawar. US military and intelligence personnel moved the detained Pakistanis and Afghans to Islamabad, either to the US Embassy building or to one of its several safe houses in the Pakistani capital.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The group has been attacking Chinese, Sri Lankan and Pakistani citizens during the past five years. This was a rare attack against US interests by the group.
Sources in several Pakistani security agencies in Peshawar knew of US activities and considered them part of US help to Pakistan to fight terrorists. But it is not clear if US personnel had the authority to nab Pakistani citizens or any other nationals on Pakistani soil.
ISLAMABAD – The controversial LNG contract awarded to a Dutch company, a suo moto application against which was moved in Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday, was tendered despite opposition from the relevant quarters, its is credibly learnt.
According to the details, the lucrative contract for re-gasification and terminal installation at Port Qasim Authority (PQA) Karachi awarded to 4Gas in January this year. It was handed over to the company by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet despite opposition from some members during the meeting. TheNation on April 17 had published a news story quoting media reports carried by some sections of foreign media exposing direct links between CIA and Carlyle Group that owns 4Gas.
Further probe into the matter reveals that in the January’s meeting of ECC, two government officials had expressed their reservations regarding the award of particular contract to 4Gas on the grounds that the company was owned by Carlyle Group and its notorious reputation and affiliation with CIA might drew resentment and opposition in Pakistani public and media.
Read how a veteran of a military government in Pakistan [1977-1988] explains the democratic credentials of Pakistan’s democratic warriors.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Military-led governments in Pakistan have failed in creating long term stability and fostering national identity, like the ruling party did in China. This failure is well known. But Pakistan’s destructive politics can’t end without understanding another major failure: How Pakistan’s democratic elite is really not democratic at all.
Forget about building a great country and a healthy and prosperous people, Pakistan’s political elite divides Pakistanis by language, sect and violent politics because it has nothing else to offer in exchange for getting elected. And with the new amendments to the Pakistani constitution, which strengthen family-run dictatorships within parties, there is hardly any chance that the able and the willing among 170 million Pakistanis will ever get a chance to lead their homeland.
In 2008, these politicians got themselves elected in the name of democracy. But even that credential is questionable.
Retired Lieutenant General Faiz Ali Chishti, who played a major role during the military-led government of former President Gen. Zia-ul-Haq between 1977 and 1988, gave an interesting insight earlier this week in Lahore into the relationship between failed politicians and military coups.
The Global Nuclear Security Summit, which concluded in Washington yesterday, was remarkable for its revelation that India cannot hope to be a global power of any significance unless it gets over its petty obsession, as a nation, with Pakistan. At the press conference that the foreign secretary gave immediately after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, on Monday, there were as many as 30 direct or indirect references to Pakistan.
Nirupama Rao is free of any blame for this predicament. Of the 13 questions that she took at the press conference, 11 were on Pakistan. If she had refused to answer any questions on Pakistan because the subject of her press conference was the highest level Indo-US meeting, there would have been only her opening statement and two questions: one about Obama’s forthcoming visit to India and another about the sanctions Obama wants to impose on Iran soon.
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ISLAMABAD: Videos of two former ISI officers, who went missing last month, were released by unknown militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan on Monday.
Col (retd) Amir Sultan, widely known as Col. Imam and Squadron Leader (retd) Khalid Khawaja went missing in the tribal areas last month while they were accompanying a journalist to assist him with a documentary on militants.
In the video, both hostages introduced themselves as former ISI officers.
Watch video here
Hamid Mir & Muhammad Anis
BAHAWALPUR: In an unprecedented move, the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) exhibited their professional capabilities by targeting a drone in front of not only the prime minister, many federal ministers and parliamentarians belonging to different parties but also more than 30 military attaches of different countries, who witnessed the heavy firepower of the Pakistani armed forces on Sunday afternoon in the desert of Khairpur Tamewali near Bahawalpur.
The presence of the country’s top political leadership in a very hot desert boosted the morale of Army troops, who have been engaged in a six-week-long Azm-e-Nau-III military exercise for the last few days.
WASHINGTON: Costing Pakistan almost 1.5 million dollars a page, the UN report on Benazir’s murder has not moved the case even an inch in any direction but it has well served the purpose of PPP rulers, and killers of BB alike, for the moment.
The UN probe gave Zardari two years, some months and a half to keep the sensitive issue in a limbo so that he might focus on consolidating power. It also indirectly gave him a clean chit and some face saving excuse to act against his top cronies, Rehman Malik, Babar Awan, Brig Cheema, Saud Aziz and company being on top of that list. The UN has also served another purpose. It has given official currency to all the wild and not-so-wild rumours, which were afloat in the country. Yet all the conspiracy theories and all the unexplained mysteries, which, even after the report, still remain in the market. But these have now been endorsed by the world body.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, made a rare public apology Saturday over the deaths of civilians during military action and issued orders to avoid further incidents.
Military and political officials initially said at least 42 militants were killed in a gunfight and air strike in the Tirah valley of northwest Khyber district, where Pakistani jets targeted local Islamist militants last Saturday.
But tribesmen said dozens of civilians were killed and the military on Saturday released a rare public apology over the deaths, in what is part of Pakistan’s lawless and semi-autonomous tribal belt neighbouring Afghanistan.
It took just a few months for the Pakistani military to clear the Swat Valley’s lush, mountainous tribal terrain of its Taliban usurpers last summer, using some 30,000 troops to dislodge the guerrillas from the once-bustling tourist haven, 80 miles northwest of the capital Islamabad. Now, however, almost a year after winning the war, the same number of troops are still in place in order to hold Swat, rebuild it and prevent a Taliban resurgence — and that may keep Islamabad from going after the extremists in other parts of Pakistan’s unruly frontier with Afghanistan.
The U.S. has often appealed to Pakistan to do just that, specifically against elements in North Waziristan. More than 200 miles south of Swat, the tribal territory is a base for militants targeting U.S. troops just across the border in Afghanistan; it is also believed to be a refuge for senior al-Qaeda leaders. Yet the Pakistani military has refused to go into North Waziristan because it says its forces are already stretched thin (the bulk of the country’s troops are stationed along the eastern border with India, the nation Islamabad still considers its primary foe).
National Cadet Corps / “Janbaz” / “Mujahid” are the types of military training which were used to be given to the students of Colleges and universities till 2002 when Pervaiz Musharaf stopped this training. Under these, the patriot and educated youth of Pakistan were given the training of the first aid activities, to use basic weapons and to tackle the emergency situation which also includes the conditions relating to war or battles. The leaders of that time knew better, the threats, conspiracies and uncertainties which our beloved country is facing due to the enemies in form of friends (internal enemies) and International enemies as well.
Today we are facing even worse conditions than that of late 1990s. Daily news channels and papers are full of crime stories, suicide bombings and many small issues which might be threatening in future and are not even reported by the biased media. Due to which our whole nation is going into the depths of hopelessness and ultimately desensitization specially Youth which is the backbone of our country. Now a days for us, the youth of Pakistan, some words are used “frustrated”, “hopeless” and “helpless” but apart from all these, the youth is still looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, looking forward to a better future, even stood up and launched themselves in the practical skies. But the problem arises when they don’t have the power to do what they want to. It is quite clear from the present scenario that NOW is the most suitable time for NCC training to youth to mobilize civilians for protection; when suicide attacks have become a part of our daily lives, India is fighting an unofficial war against us in Baluchistan, in FATA and in the northern areas. As well as along with America and Jews, India is playing a big game against us by sitting in our neighbor, Afghanistan, When India has stopped our water in of Indus, Chenab and Ravi, and defense and strategic analysts are of the point of view that the next war expected very soon and the cause of that war would be the water problem and a list of other problems.
There is a window of opportunity for peace in Afghanistan. It has to be grabbed. For the first time in a decade the U.S. and the U.K. are acting in concert with Pakistan to proffer real solutions for Kabul. The former allies, turned protagonists, turned friends are once again on the same side–this time working for peace.
Mr. Karzai is once again calling his favorite friends for a big powwow which he calls a “Jirga” or tribal council. It is to be held in Kabul in two weeks. Pakistan is working with the UK and the US to ensure that this Loya Jirga represents all the Pakhtuns so that it becomes a vehicle for peace in West Asia. Islamabad has offered to hold a joint Loya jirga between the Afghan and Pakistani Pakhtuns. The last time Mr. Karzai hijacked the societal consensus for ending the war through the traditional means of a consultative assembly. Mr. Karzai used the grass-roots method to rubber stamp his own brand of government. Obviously the corruption, lack of peace, and loss on the ground has proven that a repeat of the previous methodology will not work.
The young, immaculately turned out Pakistani soldiers responsible for guarding the world’s most inhospitable terrain were finding it hard to conceal their frustration. For the past 18 months, they had been fighting to drive thousands of Taliban militants from their strongholds in the remote tribal regions that straddle Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
The campaign reached its climax last month, when Pakistani forces finally dislodged the Taliban from heavily fortified positions in Bajaur, just a few miles from the forbidding mountain passes that lead to Afghanistan.
This week, when I became one of the first Western journalists to reach Bajaur following the Taliban’s defeat, the detritus of battle lay everywhere. Along the roads to the border villages stood semi-demolished houses riddled with bullet holes, where Taliban fighters had made their last, desperate stands. Occasionally, frightened children would peer from dilapidated alleyways and wave nervously at our passing convoy of military lorries.
Last week while traveling to Islamabad for a personal visit I noticed this jet parked on the tarmac near the PAF sheds, little did I think again about the airplane until I read a blog post by Omar R Quraishi who also happened to notice this plane while he was jet-setting to Lahore for a day, upon his return he put his journalistic talents to use and Googled out some concerning facts.