Posts Tagged ‘CIA’

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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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Khalid Khawaja – ‘Confession’ Videos Emerge

April 25, 2010

Syed Saleem Shahzad

– 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.

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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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SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL – India needs to get over its petty obsession with Pakistan

April 19, 2010

K.P. NAYAR

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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U.S. Puppet Cuts His Strings

April 11, 2010

Eric Margolis

Henry Kissinger once observed that it was more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy.

The latest example: the U.S.-installed Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who is in serious hot water with his really angry patrons in Washington.

The Obama administration is blaming the largely powerless Karzai, a former CIA “asset,” for America’s failure to defeat the Taliban. Washington accused Karzai of rigging last year’s elections. True enough, but the U.S. pre-rigged the Afghan elections by excluding all parties opposed to western occupation.

Washington, which supports dictators and phoney elections across the Muslim world, had the chutzpah to blast Karzai for corruption and rigging votes. This while the Pentagon was engineering a full military takeover of Pakistan.

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Afghan Officials Say Pakistan’s Arrest Of Taliban Leader Threatens Peace Talks

April 10, 2010

Joshua Partlow and Karen de Young

KABUL — Senior Afghan officials are now criticizing as counterproductive the arrest in Pakistan this year of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the No. 2 Taliban official. Its main effect, the Afghan officials say, has been to derail Afghan-led efforts to secure peace talks with the Taliban, making that peace ever more remote.

The episode offers a window into the mutual suspicions that still divide Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly because of Pakistan’s long history of support for the Taliban, as well as differences between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States about how best to seek reconciliation between insurgents and the Afghan government.

Senior Afghan officials in the military and presidential palace accuse Pakistan of orchestrating the arrest of Baradar and others to take down Taliban leaders most amenable to negotiations. Some of them say that Afghans had been in secret contact with Baradar before his arrest and that he was prepared to join the 1,400 people descending on Kabul next month for a peace conference. Despite Afghan requests, Pakistan has refused to hand over Baradar and other Taliban leaders.

Pakistani officials flatly deny that they intended to derail Taliban talks. Such an allegation, one Pakistani intelligence official said, is a “slur on us.”

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Setbacks In Marjah As Taliban Regaining Control

April 6, 2010

Richard A. Oppel Jr.

MARJA, Afghanistan — Since their offensive here in February, the Marines have flooded Marja with hundreds of thousands of dollars a week. The tactic aims to win over wary residents by paying them compensation for property damage or putting to work men who would otherwise look to the Taliban for support.

The approach helped turn the tide of insurgency in Iraq. But in Marja, where the Taliban seem to know everything — and most of the time it is impossible to even tell who they are — they have already found ways to thwart the strategy in many places, including killing or beating some who take the Marines’ money, or pocketing it themselves.

Just a few weeks since the start of the operation here, the Taliban have “reseized control and the momentum in a lot of ways” in northern Marja, Maj. James Coffman, civil affairs leader for the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, said in an interview in late March. “We have to change tactics to get the locals back on our side.”

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