Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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Behind India’s Bust Of A Pakistan Spy

April 29, 2010

Suman K. Chakrabarti and Omar Warraich

In this undated handout photo, Madhuri Gupta, 53, an Indian diplomat who worked as second secretary in the Indian high commission in Islamabad is seen

“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.

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Afghan Crunch Time: Obama Must Decide Whether To Talk To The Taliban

April 27, 2010

Ahmed Rashid

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.

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Indo-Pakistan Proxy War Heats Up In Afghanistan

April 27, 2010

Tim Sullivan

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.

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What Kayani Can Learn From Putin

April 27, 2010

Ahmed Quraishi

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.

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What Was Rehman Malik Doing At Regent Plaza Hotel Karachi Late Night On 27th December After Benazir’s Murder?

April 24, 2010

Farrukh Siddiqui

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.

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US Agents Detained Pakistanis In Peshawar Consulate

April 23, 2010

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.

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Former CIA Spymaster’s Role Raises Eyebrows

April 23, 2010

Sikander Shaheen

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.

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