CONTRADICTION

Posted by Admin On Tuesday, 31 May 2011 0 comments

Press Release


Rawalpindi - May 31, 2011:


A spokesman of ISPR has contradicted a news item published in section of press on 31 May 2011 captioned “NATO Forces violated the air space and has carried out an operation in side Pakistan‘s territory”. There was no violation by any NATO helicopters in North Waziristan Agency, Spokesman concluded.

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Army is not going to launch operation in N Waziristan: analyst

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Renowned defense analyst, Brigadier (Retd) Shaukat Qadir, says that Pakistan Army is not going to launch military offensive in North Waziristan against Haqqani network and other Taliban elements said to be operating from the agency in Afghanistan against the foreign forces.

It is to be mentioned here that there are reports that Pakistan Army is going to launch military offensives in North Waziristan under tremendous pressure of US. During the recent visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, they were assured by Pakistan military that operation would be launched in the tribal belt.

US military chief, Admiral Mike Mullen, on Monday told a television network that Pakistan Army would launch a major offensive on militants in North Waziristan. “It’s a very important fight and a very important operation,” the outgoing chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

However, defence analyst Shaukat Qadir told The News Tribe during an interview that the American had been conveyed during the recent visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the decision to launch operation in North Waziristan would be taken by Pakistan on its own and the time for the operation would also be selected by it. He asserted that Pakistani leadership made it clear that Pakistan would not launch military operation on anyone’s dictation.

He claimed the American were told that operation in N Waziristan would be launched if US topped drone attacks. However, he said, the US officials did not show their willingness to accept the condition.

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Pak-nukes: boon or bane?

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By S. M. Hali

The 13th anniversary of “Yaum-e-Takbir”, commemorating Pakistan’s crossing the nuclear threshold, passed uneventfully, apart from an attack in Bajaur Agency in which eight persons were killed and dozen other injured. Numerous national and international events have taken place since 1998 but the detractors of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons’ program have not forgiven Pakistan for committing the cardinal sin of going nuclear. As early as 1979, the United States cut off aid to Pakistan under section 669 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) on the plea that Pakistan had broken the taboo of going nuclear and had secretly begun construction of a uranium enrichment facility. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan changed the circumstances and aid to Pakistan was restored since the US needed Pakistan as an ally to contain and defeat the USSR in Afghanistan.

Throughout the eighties, there were various reports in the international media, blackballing Pakistan’s nuclear program. Israel, India and elements in the US joined forces to criticize and target Pakistan. During the same period, the book “Islamic Bomb” and a BBC documentary by the same title were released, citing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons endeavour.

The US government continued to turn a blind eye due to its strategic need of Pakistan. In 1985 the Pressler Amendment [section 620E(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act] was approved by US government, necessitating a total cut-off of U.S. aid to Islamabad unless the US president can certify that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear weapon, and that continued US aid will significantly decrease the probability of its developing one in the future. President Reagan and his successor, Bush (senior) continued providing the waiver, but the moment the USSR was routed from Afghanistan, the US government invoked the Pressler Amendment, imposing embargos on Pakistan.

More trouble and further sanctions were fated for Pakistan, when it indulged in Kargil adventurism. Pakistan became a pariah state, when the military removed the democratically elected Mian Nawaz Sharif from the seat of power and installed General Musharraf. Pakistan’s status changed overnight with 9/11 and General Musharraf’s complete submission to the US. From the “most sanctioned”, Pakistan became the “most allied” non-NATO ally and bent backwards to accommodate US demands of providing its bases for the US war on terror, housing US servicemen, CIA operatives and even committing Pakistan’s Armed Forces in the effort. When the going got tough in Afghanistan, pressure started mounting on Pakistan to “Do More”; one of the leverages being used was Pakistan’s nukes. First it was the disclosure of nuclear proliferation through “Khan Network”, followed by a media tirade on the security of Pakistan’s nukes and the threat they posed if they fell in the grasp of terrorists, followed by organized and well choreographed attacks on Pakistan’s defence installations like the GHQ, Naval War College, Air Force facilities and most recently, PNS Mehran.

There is a method in the madness because Pakistan has traversed this route earlier as mentioned above. The “Khan Network” was used as a millstone around Pakistan’s neck and pressure has been applied whenever the need arose to blackmail Pakistan into submission and action. It has become crystal clear through recent events that not only is Pakistan’s nuclear program used to pressurize Pakistan, but the very nukes are in danger of being confiscated through international and US legislation on the subject. According to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the five officially declared nuclear weapon states US, Russia, UK, France and China are signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Four more states, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, have developed nuclear weapons outside the treaty. Iran has a nuclear power program, which is alleged to hide a nuclear weapons program.

South Africa destroyed its nuclear weapons in 1991, while Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, inherited nukes from USSR but have now either destroyed or sent them back to Russia under US/UN pressure. To build a case against Pakistan, besides its military installations, an attack on a nuclear facility is imminent, so that it can be demonstrated that Pakistan is incapable of guarding its nukes. It is imperative for Pakistan to take steps to thwart and frustrate such a conspiracy. Some Pakistani pacifists believe Pakistan should hand over its nukes for international safekeeping, without realizing that if Pakistan had not possessed nukes, it would have been devoured by India and a number of other detractors, decades ago. Only the people of Pakistan can decide the future of the nukes, for which they have sacrificed and are ready to guard with their lives.

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US Security Hinged with Pakistan’s Security

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By Sajjad Shaukat

Despite tough statements of the US high officials, showing a paradoxical approach of Washington against Islamabad in connection with Osama Bin Laden who was killed in a US military raid at Abbottabad in Pakistan, America wants to continue its relationship with Pakistan which is a frontline state of war on terror.

On May 18, this year, some US Senators and law-makers urged the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates to review the security assistance of Pakistan, while some suggested cutting off the aid of the former, saying that some of its intelligence agencies were aware of the hideout of Bin Laden. But on May 19, Defence Secretary Gates and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen stated that there was no evidence that leaders in Islamabad knew the whereabouts of the Al Qaeda chief before a US raid. They also advised against cutting off aid to Pakistan for its failure to go after terrorist leaders, while indicating that Washington had important interests at stake and that Islamabad had already been “humiliated” by the raid.

Meanwhile in wake of trust deficit and strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, the visit of the US Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry to Islamabad was of great significance. While showing previous contradictory approach of America towards Pakistan, on May I6, John Kerry pointed out that future relations of the United States with Islamabad would be determined by “its actions, not words,” emphasizing to ‘do more’ against the militants by ignoring the sacrifices of Pak Army and intelligence agencies—especially ISI regarding war against terrorism. However, having resolved some of the puzzles, lingering since Bin Laden’s death in Abbottabad, Pakistan and the US agreed to work together in any future actions against high-value targets in Pakistan.

Senator Kerry also remarked that the US respects Pakistan’s national interest and sovereignty. But his words coincided with the CIA-operated two drone attacks which killed more than ten people in Miranshah. At the same time, Pakistani ground troops opened fire on two NATOhelicopters that crossed into Pakistan’s airspace from Afghanistan and targeted a security check post of our country. Afterwards, attacks by the US predators continued intermittently, killing a number of innocent persons on Pakistan’s soil.

While on May 15, during his trip to Afghanistan, John Kerry had clearly revealed that the US will consider “all options” including high-value targets in Pakistan, if it has intelligence that the elusive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar is hiding in Pakistan. The statement of Kerry was verified by the US President Obama who made it clear in a BBC interview on May 22 that he would “approve a new incursion into Pakistan, if the United States found another leading militant there.”

Nevertheless, America’s such an ambivalent policy is not without some hidden agenda. In this context, under the pretext of high-value targets in Pakistan, cross-border-terrorism in relation to Afghanistan, blame game against Pakistan’s spy agency ISI and allegation about other Al Qaeda leaders’ presence in Pakistan—the US which is in collusion with India and Israel, wants to ‘denuclearize’ Pakistan as the latter is the only Islamic country, possessing nuclear weapons. In this regard, secret agencies such as American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are collectively destabilizing Pakistan by supporting various subversive acts like bomb blasts, suicide attacks and targeted killings.

It is mentionable that on September 3, 2008, American Special Operations forces attacked a Pakistani village, Angoor Ada, conducting a ground raid on Pakistani soil, which killed more than 60 innocent people. Notably, since the announcement of the US new strategy to “include targeting Pakistan’s tribal areas” as disclosed by the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen on September 10, 2008, US drone strikes on Pakistan’s tribal areas have intensified, while May 2 raid at Abbottabad including American intentions to conduct more high-value targets in Pakistan are clear indications that the US wants to make Pakistan insecure.

In fact, due to its failed adventure in coping with the Afghan Taliban, America has already made itself insecure as ambush assaults and suicide attacks continue on the Afghans and coalition forces in Afghanistan. Now by ignoring the dangers of its new strategy to directly strike Pakistan’s tribal regions—violation of the sovereignty of an independent state, without caring for the reaction of the elected government as well as the people of the country, Washington is challenging the security of our country, thus making itself more insecure in turn.

This is of particular attention that renowned power-theorists, Morgenthau, Waltz and Kissinger see international relations as constituting a search for security in the world where there is no super agency to impose law, and where maximization of power is the only route to state security. This is because of this reason that America and its allies of war on terror want security only for themselves, and seek to guarantee it through lethal force. Intermittently, heavy aerial bombardment and ground shelling by their forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and inside Pakistani border, killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians might be cited as an example. A similar pattern of state terrorism could be noted in case of Palestine, Kashmir, Somalia etc.

On the other side, Muslim militants, fighting against the imperialist powers through ambush rocket attacks and suicide bombers have broken the myth of old model of power-based security which only safeguards the interest of the US-led western countries at the cost of the small states. In this regard, particularly Pakistan has already been facing multifaceted crises owing to its support to Washington. In this respect, a perennial wave of suicide attacks in the country, targeting law-enforcement agencies coupled with a continuous battle with the militants in the Frontier Province could be noted as an instance. As violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty show that America does not care for any internal backlash in Pakistan, so it is determined to create insecurity in the country.

Nonetheless, US war-mongering hidden strategy against Pakistan will further expedite extremism among the young men, turning them into suicide bombers, radicalizing a vast region from Pakistan to Syria, ultimately making America insecure—besides endangering the world peace. In Pakistan, it will certainly result into more unity among the elected government, security forces, the general masses and even the Pakistani religious organisations, consequently massive hostility and resistance against Americans. In such a scenario, Islamabad could be compelled to stop NATO supply to Afghanistan as public in the country is already protesting against the NATO containers which pass through Pakistan.

In the present era of globalization, there is a direct relationship between internal and external security. If America intends to convert Pakistan into a “failed state” by causing instability, it is, in fact, creating external insecurity which is likely to further harm America’s larger geo-political and economic interests on regional and global level.

In the aftermath of 9/11, western thinktanks have recognized inter-relationship between economics, politics and terrorism. Now, they agree in light of the US failed strategy, prolonged war against terrorism and defeatism in Afghanistan that religious fanaticism and stiff resistance of the Islamic militants are linked to political and economic injustices. Taking cognizance of this fact, the US must abandon its revised military strategy which entails Pakistan as the former still depends upon old power factor which has already failed. Instead, America should increase its economic and security aid to Pakistan and must make practical efforts for the development of infrastructure in FATA. In this context, Washington should also favour peace deals with the militants not only in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan where more lawlessness is causing more terrorism.

As regards the question of Pak-US security, perhaps Washington has failed to recognize that security is a two-way traffic. If America needs security, Pakistan also wants the same. Security cannot be obtained by endangering the security of our country. In these, terms, Pakistan’s insecurity means US insecurity.

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Obama is the wrong target

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By Alan Hart

When I was reflecting on Netanyahu’s domination and control of the Congress of the United States of America, the first headline that came into my mind for this article wasGoodbye to peace. I’ll now explain why I think the headline above is more appropriate.

Because of its flirtation with the proposition that peace between an Israeli and Palestinian state must be based on pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps,President Obama’s speech on Middle East policy principles did one useful thing. And it was Ha-aretz’s Gideon Levy, the conscience of Israeli journalism, who put his finger most firmly on it. We should be grateful to Obama, he wrote, because his speech “exposed the naked truth – that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want peace.”

The Gentile me almost always agrees with Gideon but on this occasion, and leaving aside the fact that it was Netanyahu’s rejection of what Obama said initially that exposed the naked truth, I think Gideon’s version of it needs two clarifications.

One is that the truth was exposed like never before only to those who have not been brainwashed by Zionist propaganda – only a minority of Americans, for example.

The other boils down to this. What Netanyahu does want, and only because of his concern about Israel’s growing isolation in the world, is peace on Zionism’s terms, which means the Palestinians giving up their struggle for an acceptable minimum of justice and accepting crumbs from Zionism’s table in the shape of three or four Bantustatans on about 40% of the West Bank, and which they could call a state if they wished. That’s what Netanyahu meant but did not say when, at his arrogant, insufferably self-righteous and devious best, he assured both houses of the U.S. Congress that “We’ll be generous about the size of the Palestinian state.” Put another way, what Netanyahu doesn’t want is peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims could accept – a complete end to Israel’s 1967 occupation and a contiguous and viable Palestinian mini state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with Jerusalem an open city and the capital of two states.

The only question of interest about Netanyahu is this. Does he really believe the nonsense he speaks about the alleged threats to Israel’s security or is he a smooth-talking but diabolical salesman, selling what he knows to be Zionist propaganda lies as truth?

Obama’s speech also exposed (again) the weakness of his own position on policy matters for Israel/Palestine when he said:“Ultimately it is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them – not by the United States, not by anybody else.”

As things are that means Israel remains free to continue its criminal ways:

- defying UN Security Council resolutions and international law;

- pushing ahead with more and more illegal settlements to consolidate its hold on those parts of occupied West Bank it intends to keep for ever;

- oppressing the occupied Palestinians in the hope that, out of complete despair, they will either give up their struggle for an acceptable minimum amount of justice and be prepared to accept crumbs from Zionism’s table or, better still from Zionism’s perspective, will abandon their homeland and seek a new life elsewhere in the Arab world and beyond; and

- resorting to state terrorism (attacks on neighbouring Arab countries and possibly Iran) whenever its leaders feel the need to impose their will on the region.

Because of Israel’s dependence on the U.S. in a number of ways, not the least of them being the American veto of Security Council resolutions not to Israel’s liking, Obama does have the leverage to impose a Middle East peace on terms that would provide the Palestinians with an acceptable amount of justice without any risk to Israel’s security. And there’s a very compelling case for saying he ought to do so if only to best protect America’s own interests. I believe Obama knows this, so the question of real interest about him is this. Why won’t he act?

The answer of almost all of his critics who call and campaign in various ways for justice for the Palestinians is that he’s a willing tool of the Zionist lobby. I don’t believe this to be the case. I think the reality of Obama’s position was best summed up by Professor John J. Mearsheimer. To Al Jazeera recently he said this:

“ The sad fact is that Obama has remarkably little manoeuvre room on the foreign policy front. The most important item on his agenda is settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and there he knows what has to be done: Push both sides toward a two-state solution, which is the best outcome for all the parties, including the United States. Indeed, he has been trying to do just that since he took office in January 2009. But the remarkably powerful Israel lobby makes it virtually impossible for him to put meaningful pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is committed to creating a Greater Israel in which the Palestinians are restricted to a handful of disconnected and impoverished enclaves. And Obama is certainly not going to buck the lobby – with the 2012 presidential election looming larger every day… The bottom line is that the US is in deep trouble in the Middle East and needs new policies for that region. But regrettably there is little prospect of that happening anytime soon. All of this is to say that there was no way that Obama could do anything but disappoint with Thursday’s speech, because he is trapped in an iron cage.”

This cage is, of course, the Zionist lobby’s control through its many stooges in Congress of policy for Israel-Palestine. It’s the cage in which post Eisenhower every American president has been trapped. As former ambassador Chas Freeman put it in a recent interview with Russia Today, Israeli leaders don’t have to listen to the president because they know their lobby can block him in Congress.

And that’s why, despite the fact that like Ilan Pappe I am sick and tired of Obama’s rhetoric, I’ve come to the conclusion that no useful purpose is served by supporters of justice for the Palestinians attacking him. He’s the wrong target. The right target is America’s pork-barrel system of politics which puts what passes for democracy up for sale to the highest bidders. In this context I say, have always said, that I don’t blame the Zionist lobby for playing the game the way it does. It is only playing by the rules. It’s the rules that need to be changed if Obama in a second term, or any future American president, is going to be able to escape from the cage and use the leverage he has to oblige Israel to be serious about peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept.

Some members of Congress who applauded Netanyahu in a scene that reminded me of the enthusiasm for Hitler at Nazi rallies accused Obama of betraying Israel. There has indeed been a betrayal, but what has been betrayed is democracy in America. The many members of Congress who read from Zionism’s script and dance to its tune in order to secure election campaign funds and organized Jewish votes in tight races are not merely stooges. Because they are putting the interests of a foreign power above those of their own country, it’s time to call them what they really are – traitors.

In my view exposing them as such should be given the highest priority by all who campaign in various ways for justice for the Palestinians and peace for all.

Footnote:

Memo to all concerned in Congress and the White House.

Israel is not a “Jewish state”. How could it be when about a quarter of its citizens are Arabs and mainly Muslim? Israel is a Zionist state. It will only be a Jewish state when it has completed its ethnic cleansing program.

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MYTH AND REALITY OF AMERICAN AID

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By Air Commodore (Retd) Khalid Iqbal

Since 1950s, Pakistani governments, both military and civilian have been fatally addicted to US financial assistance. Pakistani rulers have always been ready to bend backwards to receive another dose of US aid. Hillary Clinton and Admiral Mullen were certainly not short of affirmatively nodding audience during their recent visit to Pakistan.

However, at a common man’s level, sponsorsof anti-Pakistan strictures on American aid like congress-men Glenn, Symington, Pressler, Brown, Kerry-Lugar etc are house-hold names in Pakistan, reminding the nation of chequered history of American sanctions and strings.

American perception has it that Pakistan is almost at the brink of bankruptcy and it is the US assistance that is providing the lifeline for sustenance. Direct and indirect beneficiaries of American aid in Pakistan faithfully work overtime to strengthen this feeling amongst the Pakistani public as well, however statistics speak otherwise. Ishrat Husain, a former governor of State Bank has recently opined that US aid does not help the government’s precarious fiscal situation in any meaningful way as only ‘12-15 per cent of the total amount is channelled for budgetary support…Assuming that whole $3 billion (per annum) in economic and military is disbursed fully, this accounts for less than seven per cent of the total foreign exchange earnings of the country…The increase in export revenues and remittances in the current year was almost twice that amount.’

It seems that every American Congressman and Think Tank has an opinion on what the US should do with its aid to Pakistan. There have been calls to freeze all assistance to Pakistan as well as calls to stay the course. Nearly three out of four Americans back cuts. Many of the loudest voices in Congress have been for attaching additional strings to the aid.

As regards significance of the aid, World Bank data shows that during the previous five years, net Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources to Pakistan has averaged less than 1.5 per cent of its Gross National Income. Per capita aid from all sources in 2009 was US$14 only! These facts do not point towards any meltdown if the American aid is withheld.

Shahid Javed Burki, a former World Bank Vice President is of the view that ‘cutting of civilian aid would have only a 0.14 percent impact on Pakistan’s GDP growth’. “As long as the multilateral aid continues, it won’t impact Pakistan’s economy,” says Sartaj Aziz, a former finance minister. Out of $ 1.5 billion per annum authorisation by Kerry-Lugar-Burman Act, actual disbursements have been $275 million and $676 million during 2009 & 2010 respectively. This includes flood relief donation of $500 million.

Therefore, it would be na├»ve to presume that withholding of US assistance is so significant that it would result into strategic collapse. But the real concern for Pakistan’s solvency would be loss of support from international lenders like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF); both look towards the US before deciding. IMF may deny the bailout request until a last-minute nod by the White House.

On numerous occasions, American aid has been used as carrot and stick to entice Pakistan to do the American bidding. The carrot has been the promise of additional financial aid while the stick has been the threat of withholding of already sanctioned aid. Financial experts in Pakistan have pointed out that out of the lump sum assistance sanctioned by the US, only a fraction reaches the national exchequer; bulk is siphoned off as consultancy charges to the US appointed agents and overseers.

A candid estimate puts losses to Pakistan’s economy due to its participation in war on terror around US$ 70 billion. The US has provided $20.7 billion to Pakistan since 2002, which makes about 0.1 percent of the American treasure spent on war on terror over the same period. A little more than two-third of $ 20.7 billion went to military use, the remainder to civilian. The biggest head, consuming $8.9 billion, is “Coalition Support Funds.” Washington sanctioned this amount for Pakistan’s military as compensation for services rendered on behalf of the US military. However, a sizeable portion of it remains un-remitted. The US is getting obnoxiously stingy on reimbursements of this fund, rejecting 44 percent claims in 2009, as compared to 1.6 percent in 2005.

The uncertain environment that arose as a sequel to ‘Operation Geronimo’ has compelled Pakistan to launch an aggressive outreach plan for mobilizing alternative contingency sources.

China and Russia are particularly alarmed by the renewed American unilateralism. Both are increasingly sympathetic towards Pakistan’s predicament and are deeply concerned about fresh US inclinations towards unilateralism. Russian and Chinese reactions to the Abbott Abad raid spared the Pakistani establishment from rampant criticism.

Pakistani President’s recent visit to Russia was interesting. Though the visit was already planned, the timing appeared promising for Pakistan. Russia has been increasingly uncomfortable with India’s rapprochement with the United States and realizes the potentially damaging implications of India’s diversification of foreign relations for Russo-Indian partnership. Pakistan has now taken centre stage in Russia’s efforts to play a more active role in Central and South Asia as Moscow braces for the drawdown of American led coalition forces in Afghanistan. Moscow now sees Islamabad as part of solution to region’s problems. Recent visit of Colonel General Alexander Postnikov, Russian Ground Forces Commander-in Chief, to Pakistan indicates that Pak-Russian relations are moving ahead on sound footing.

On the heels of Presidential visit to Russia, Pakistani Prime Minister visited China. Most glaring outcome of this visit was handing over of the management of Gwadar port to China. The Statesman, reported while quoting the Press Trust of India that the Chinese government has warned Washington “in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China,” and advised the US government “to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty.”

Iran is ready to provide oil on deferred payments and electricity on competitive prices. We can always count on Saudi Arabia, UAE and other friendly countries for economic support.

Economic assistance from developed to developing countries always accompanies strings of various kinds. American aid to Pakistan is no exception; however it has become a highly touchy matter due to differing perceptions about its hidden agenda. Perpetual dependency has resulted in relegating Pakistan to a client state or a ‘rental commodity’. America has been able to accrue an unbalanced influence over Pakistan’s policy resulting into a subservient association.

Pakistan’s military leadership needs to re-evaluate the necessity of American military hardware viz. a. viz the incremental erosion of our national sovereignty. Though American systems are far ahead in technological superiority, we need to look towards recent Indian decision of declining American offer of F-16 and F-18 aircraft and going for alternative sources of supply. If India can do without American hardware, we can also live without it.

Now, it is time for the Pakistani nation to carry out a reality check, take a fresh stock of the cost benefit asymmetry and make a distinction between reality and myth of American aid.

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US-Pakistan F-16 deal, a tale of many wheels

Posted by Admin On Monday, 30 May 2011 0 comments

The sale by the United States of F-16 military aircraft to Pakistan, announced in 2005, was celebrated as a sign of deepening strategic ties between Islamabad and the Bush administration in Washington. Described by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as an attempt to “break out of the notion that [India and Pakistan are in] a hyphenated relationship,” the decision was met with anguish in New Delhi. But leaked U.S. diplomatic cables suggest that the sale was used only to further America’s broad strategic interests, with Pakistan standing to gain little from the deal.

The despatches, from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, indicated that the deal was, among other things, meant to assuage Pakistan’s fears of an “existential threat it perceived from India.” The diplomatic cables, accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, suggested that the purpose of the sale was to divert Pakistan’s attention from “the nuclear option,” and give it “time and space to employ a conventional reaction” in the event of a conflict with India (151227: confidential). Privately, however, the U.S. acknowledged the “reality” that the F-16 programme would not change India’s “overwhelming air superiority over Pakistan.” In fact, the cables bluntly assert that the F-16s would be “no match for India’s proposed purchase of F-18 or equivalent aircraft.”

Given India’s “substantial military advantage,” one cable (197576: confidential) even surmised that the F-16s would at the most offer “a few days” for the U.S. to “mediate and prevent nuclear conflict.”

Fully aware of such limitations, the U.S. continued to press ahead with the deal, and cables document hectic parleys to bring it to fruition. Before the agreement was signed in September 2006, the U.S. played hardball to make Pakistan sign the Letter of Acceptance (LoA). Islamabad had threatened to delay it further, raising additional demands. The U.S. Ambassador to Islamabad, Ryan Crocker, suggested that Washington “convene” the Pakistani Ambassador, Ali Durrani, to remind him that “missing the deadline [to sign the LoA] would have serious ramifications.”

“Do not think there is a better deal out there if this one expires,” was one of Ambassador Crocker’s suggested bargain lines for Washington to use (77877: confidential/noforn). The agreement was inked two weeks after the cable was sent.

At the time of signing the LoA, Major General Tariq Malik, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Production, had expressed reservations about the payment schedule as an “immense strain on Pakistan’s fiscal and foreign exchange reserves…, jeopardising growth.” But Mr. Malik’s memo was dismissed by Mr. Crocker as “separate from the valid, legal contract” (80337: confidential/noforn).

But when “a cash-strapped” Pakistan government approached the U.S. two years later for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to perform mid-life updates for the existing F-16 fleet, the succeeding Ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, was concerned that Washington would be “rewarding economic mismanagement.” The annual disbursement of FMF had “produced a culture of entitlement within the Pakistani military,” according to the diplomat (151227: confidential).

Why, then, did the U.S. push hard to realise the agreement, apart from the stated objective of “additional business for U.S. defense companies”?

If, according to American diplomats, the threat from India was the primary consideration for the Pakistan military, the F-16 sales would not tilt the strategic balance by their own admission. However, the cables suggested that the U.S. was confident that Pakistan would “still fully invest in its territorial defense, despite current economic challenges.” On the other hand, “our [U.S.] cancelling the sale would emphasize that we favor maintaining Indian superiority at Pakistan’s expense and feed anti-Americanism throughout the military” (197576: confidential).

Another reason to sell F-16s, according to the same cable, was to “exorcise the bitter legacy of the Pressler Amendment” in the 1990s, when the U.S. refused to deliver F-16s that Pakistan had paid with “national money.” Pakistan was even made to undertake costs for storing the fighters in Arizona. For the Pakistan military, the new deal would be tangible proof of the “post-9/11 bilateral relationship.

Avoiding a blow-up

“The bottom line is that Pakistan cannot afford the $2 billion required to complete this F-16 program,” wrote Ambassador Patterson in 2009 (189129: secret). “At the same time, nothing is more important to good military-military (and overall U.S.-Pakistani) relations than avoiding a blow-up over the F-16 case.”

Even if the sale was considered only “symbolically important” by the U.S., the deal came with many strings attached.

The U.S. was more interested in the use of F-16s by Pakistan for counter-terrorism purposes along the Af-Pak border.

Although the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) had been disinclined to use F-16s “due to the risk of collateral damage in civilian areas,” Ms. Patterson suggested linking the FMF for mid-life updates to “explicit commitments by the PAF that accept Close Air-Support training” (151227: confidential).

A year after the agreement was concluded, Pakistan learnt that mid-life updates for the F-16s could only be performed in a third country. Since the LoA did not bear any references to “cryptokeys” for the aircraft, officials were also worried that the U.S. would withhold the capability of the F-16s. When these concerns were raised by President Pervez Musharraf and Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mehmood, the U.S. response was hardly comforting.

“We know many in Washington are dismayed by what they consider a juvenile reaction on Pakistan’s part. The Pakistanis do not fully understand our requirements for sharing encrypted devices and need to be reassured that the aircraft will still fly without the cryptokeys.” (122429: secret)

Eventually, it was agreed that Pakistan would pay $80 million to perform the updates in Turkey. The U.S. also expressed concerns about basing the F-16s in Pakistan due to “concerns about potential technology transfer to China.” The outcome? Pakistan was made to fork out another $125 million to “build and secure a separate F-16 base” (197576: confidential).

The purported aim of selling the F-16s to Pakistan was to “yield foreign policy benefits for the U.S.,” but the cables reveal that these benefits were gift-wrapped almost always at Pakistan’s expense.

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Imperative: Ideology or Economics?

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Or Intellectual Accountability of the Nation

"When I think Pakistan has come into being, it's a great satisfaction for my soul, it was a very difficult task, I could not have achieved it by myself. In doing so, the blessings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were with me. Now its imperative upon this nation to follow the path of Khulfai Rashideen so that Allah fulfills His promise and grants us the rule over earth." M. A. Jinnah, Ziarat, Sept 1948

By Jawad Raza Khan

Most of the time in our drawing room discussions, we discuss both the elements and when, the participants reach to a conclusion which tantamount to lowering or negating the importance of ideology even against individual economy, I stand dumb founded ………………….

More than 2/3rd of the century has gone – when an ideology, on which existence of a nation rests, was revealed to the world. It was an official birthday of the famous Two Nation Theory, which had the power of truth to change the world map, and as in the case of every truth this ideology has also been attacked, brutalized, high jacked and also cut to half but still Pakistan survives. One must remember that young Pakistani minds have been pounded and bombarded by a school of thought totally in confrontation with this indispensable foundation of the country. Every now and then the concept of Mr. Jinnah in relation to minorities was distorted by the pseudo intellectuals of our country and at the same time it has also been horrifyingly abused by the Rightist. Resultantly, young generation is in a bona fide frightening dilemma, where they are more than suspicious about the struggle of one of the greatest leadership ever produced by Muslim World on this globe.

If we as a nation are mindful of the said confusion, some sort of an intellectual accountability has to be done, more than ever today and for that a very small but vital part of the Pakistan Movement is needed to be read again……………………………………

Election results of British – India (1937) sent a strong statement by All India Congress after defeating Muslim League in nearly all its strong holds – Muslim League was not even able to gather majority to form government in any province of India – The Indian National Congress was in majority in Madras, U. P., C. P., Bihar and Orrisa and were able to form a coalition government in Bombay and N. W. F. P (Now KPK) - To some extent they also proficiently secure political importance in Sindh and Assam, and formed the ruling coalition there as well.

In those elections Congress was successful to muster power in nine out of eleven provinces. On the other hand, Muslim League failed to form government in any province. Quaid-i-Azam offered Congress to form a coalition government with the League but the Congress rejected his offer. The canvas was dejected, hopeless and frightening for the Muslim community.

All the apprehensions came true, as after taking charge in July 1937; Congress declared Hindi as the national language and Deva Nagri as the official script; The Congress flag was given the status of national flag, slaughtering of cows was prohibited; it was made compulsory for the children to worship the picture of Gandhi at school; Band-i-Mataram, an anti-Muslim song taken from Bankim Chandra Chatterji's novel Ananda Math, was made the national anthem of the country; Religious intolerance was the order of the day; Muslims were not allowed to construct new mosques; Hindus would play drums in front of mosques when Muslims were praying.

The situation was so worse that even the biased Westerner political thinkers had an in-different opinion about the Congress era (1937-1940).

Sir William Barton writing in the "National Review" in June 1939 also termed the Congress rule as "The rising tide of political Hinduism".

Differences between British and Congress lead to the resignation of the Government, which came as a sigh of relief for the Muslims of sub continent. Quaid-i-Azam asked the Muslims to celebrate December 22, 1939 as a day of deliverance and thanksgiving in token of relief from the tyranny and oppression of the Congress rule.

Point here to contemplate is this: what made a disunited community of Muslims in sub continent to pass Pakistan resolution, just after three years of big election defeat and merely three months after the end of cruel Congress rule?

The speech made by Quaid-i-Azam at Minto Park, Lahore on March 22, 1940. In this speech, he stated that“Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, with different social customs and literature. They neither intermarry, nor eat together, and indeed belong to two different civilizations whose very foundations are based on conflicting ideas and concepts. Their outlook on life and of life is different”. He emphasized that “in spite of the passage of about 1,000 years the relations between the Hindus and Muslims could not attain the level of cordiality”.

The only difference between the writings of Al-Biruni and the speech of Quaid-i-Azam was that Al-Biruni made calculated predictions, while Quaid-i-Azam had history behind him to support his argument. Prediction which was made by this renowned philosopher of his time around 900 years before creation of Pakistan and narrated by Mr. Jinnah cannot be taken as an incident and especially when it made history of his time.

Vertical observation of the world map of that era can pick up great similarities with regards to what all similar was happening at that time in other parts of the planet. Colonialism was being replaced by neo-colonialism.

  • 1947Great Britain decided to leave Palestine as in the case of India-called on the United Nations (UN) to make recommendations. UN convened its first special session and on November 29, 1947, it adopted a plan calling for partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international zone under UN jurisdiction.
  • 1947Arab protests against partition erupted in violence, with attacks on Jewish settlements in retaliation to the attacks of Jews terrorist groups to Arab Towns and villages and massacres in hundred against unarmed Palestinian in their homes.
  • 15 May 1948British decided to leave on this day, the same day, the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas in a full-scale war (first Arab-Israeli War). The Arabs failed to prevent establishment of a Jewish state, and the war ended with four UN-arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.
  • The small Gaza Strip was left under Egyptian control, and the West Bank was controlled by Jordan with the recognized Jewish state in between the two small chunks of Palestinian lands.
  • Of the more than 800,000 Arabs who lived in Israeli-held territory before 1948, only about 170,000 remained. The rest became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, ending the Arab majority in the Jewish state.

Else creation of Pakistan rests resembles what happened in the ME. Just to crystallize.

  • 2200 miles of Indian Territory in between East and West Pakistan.
  • Unresolved agenda of Kashmir.

It was certainly through resolute leadership of Pakistan Movement which could snatch Pakistan out of the jaws of British and Indian Congress leadership, but then why we left behind rather so behind of another ideological state.

Now let’s evaluate after 63 years that where the Jewish state is standing and where the Muslim state is………………….

Israel’s 1953 Law of State Education specified aims for the education system.

  • To base education on the values of Jewish culture.
  • On love of the Homeland and loyalty to the State and the Jewish People. (Mar’I, 1978, P 50)

Over 50 years have passed since the enactment of this law, but the aims it specified remain central to current Israeli public educational policy. Though the law was amended in 2000, it maintains educational objectives for public schools that emphasize Jewish values, history and culture, while ignoring Palestinian values, history and culture (Adalah, 2003) (The legal center for Arab minorities in Israel).

In June 2001, Minister of Education, Limor Livnat, stated that she would like to see that “there is not a single child in Israel who doesn’t learn basics of Jewish and Zionist knowledge and values” (Fisher-Ilan, 2001, p.4B). The Ministry of Education operationalized these goals though programs such as the “100 Basic Concepts” curriculum unit that was introduced to the middle schools in the 2004/05 school year.

On the other hand in the same era we were busy in making up a new face of Pakistan more acceptable to US in particular and westerners in general, in the aftermath of eleven psychopaths hitting US on their own soil (needed citation). Interestingly none of them belonged to Pakistan but we were the first one to start re-establishing ourselves away from our own ideology. Just to quote an example, knowingly, that the correct concept of Jihad in Islam is contradictory to what westerners are propagating and the terrorists are executing, we started amending our text books-new syllabi was introduced fiddling with the basic structure of our ideology. Very strangely this all was done on the name of creating interfaith harmony to curb terrorism, which is fortunately one of the basic tenets of Islam. So much so a sizeable portion of Pakistan Movement was also found unsuitable for the consumption of young generation on the directions of USAID educational programs (heavily funded by US). What a pity!

Today, as we stand as a nation, on the cross road of destruction and humiliation, we need to go back to square one, where one Jinnah clogged the British Empire and opportunist Hindu mentality to create another Palestine in the lap another Israel ( India) and made us Pakistanis.

Long time back, when I was a student of 9th standard, one of our teachers Mr Nadvi (former enthusiastic worker of Muslim League) use to give us lessons on Pakistan Studies. Whenever he used to come to the class, we as good students use to immediately open our text books but we were told to close it down. Mr Nadvi in his typical authoritarian tone use to say “Don’t open your books, till I am alive you don’t need them, I am Pakistan, listen me, you will come to know what a great nation we are”.

We require hundreds of Nadvis now, to keep those books closed, as now, they have been disgustingly tampered as well.

He gave us a classic example of a compass for defining the importance of ideology for the prosperity and glory. With some changes I am feeling honoured to present the ideological philosophy of our great teacher.

  • The pivot of the compass is the ideology, required to be firm, unshakable as it is the gift of nature.
  • As long as we believe and execute Unity, Faith and Discipline the radius will increase and so as our sphere of influence as a nation.
  • The most important factor leadership when trained and tamed through the radius will draw a successful path for the Nation.

One must remember the divine power of nature which selects you for this phenomenal task.

Louis Pierre Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy. He, even as a western philosopher, grades ideology as indispensable.

“Ideology… is indispensable in any society if men are to be formed, transformed and equipped to respond to the demands of their conditions of existence”. Althusser

And definitelyeconomies are built for the people who exist on ground.

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Pakistan Under Psychological Attack

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"Psy warfare is not just media blasting but the extensive media hype after an action that demoralises the nation." Raja Mujtaba

By Hamid Waheed

The reality considered an absolute value has becomes dynamic with the uni-polar world moving towards information operations (IO) and information warfare. The psychological (Psy) operations as part of information operations (IO) launched against Pakistan now focus on creating confusion and demoralisation amongst Pakistanis and increase the wedge between the leadership, security apparatus and general population. In aftermath of Raymond, Osama and Naval base incidents of April-May the covert ground operations are being conducted through help of terrorist organisations who move hand in hand and terrorise the hearts and mind of target population through building and harnessing perceptions. The ideal covert operation are always carried out by a state through non-state actors. The amount of involvement of other state is measured through intended objectives of such operations. Covert ground actions supported by media and intelligence mostly compliment IO under such environment .

The naval base attack of Karachi is seen as part of psy war launched against Pak. The concept of psy warfare has been discussed in my article “Challenges for Pakistan” published in a News paper and “Pakistan: Fighting Perceptions” on a website. In this form of warfare IO are the main operations and covert guerrilla and intelligence operation supplement the achievement of IO objectives to break the will of target population. The Pak Army trained in conventional warfare takes this incident as a terrorist attack launched by Talibans. The Naval Chief calls it an attack on Navy by extremists. I find many experts and analysts comment that such attacks where the attacker is on suicide mission are almost impossible to be averted but no one is questioning the intended and achieved objectives. The clear objectives were to reduce defence capabilities of Pakistan, hit economically and most important psychologically demoralize the target population. Under such environment we must look for the enemy who would benefit the most. If we follow the post incident reports, the initial figure of 10-15 terrorists reported in media were reduced to 6, four dead and two found successful in escape. Dead space in between two installed security cameras was decleared the entrance and exit points of the attackers . The interior minister indicated Taliban terming them as Zaliman involved in the attack. The FIR registered in the police station shows twelve attackers, four killed and eight managed to escape. Naval Chief’s statement ‘No security Lapse’ which he never said was given widest projection. All this speaks of unprepared confused minds creating more confusion in target population and intentionally or unintentionally supporting enemy psy warfare.

Understanding a problem is the first major step to its solution. Did Osama die of a conventional raid or part of Information Operation? Mohammad Bashir lives a stone’s throw away from the purported Bin Laden compound that was raided on May 1. In an astounding interview with Pakistani news channel Samaa TV, Bashir describes how he watched men land in the helicopter and enter the compound. However, in contrast to the official story, Bashir then claims the helicopter exploded and killed the men as they were re-entering the chopper to leave. Bashir said that the men who landed in the helicopter spoke Pashto, an Iranian language spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

According to a translation of the comments that was posted on the Veterans Today website, Bashir told the interviewer, “There was a blast in the first helicopter and it was on fire, we immediately came out, when we reached there, the helicopter was burning, then after about 20 minutes the army and police arrived, they pushed us back, now we are asking that if Osama was here then who took him to America because all those men that came in the helicopter died in the blast, now if Osama was in that helicopter he must have died and got burnt in that helicopter too, then how they took him?”

“We saw the helicopter burning, we saw the dead bodies, then everything was removed and now there is nothing,” said Bashir.

Top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, told The Alex Jones Show in first week of May 2011 that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001 and that he was prepared to testify in front of a grand jury .Pieczenik cannot be dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations, Nixon, Ford and Carter, while also working under Reagan and Bush senior, and still works as a consultant for the Department of Defense. A former US Navy Captain, Pieczenik achieved two prestigious Harry C. Solomon Awards at the Harvard Medical School as he simultaneously completed a PhD at MIT.

There are many such happenings which exemplifies the importance of understanding the new game. The most noticeable impact of this warfare is seen on the target segment of population. In this case the target is generally Pakistanis and specifically the security elements. In the present environment effects of morale boosting statements by the leadership has been compromised. The mid and lower level decision makers in target population want to know the steps which will be taken on occurrence of such incidents in future. Raymond Davis, Osama and Navy base incidents need to be seen from psychological point of view. What additional measure has been placed, what additional instructions have been passed to avoid reoccurrence and enhance confidence of the Nation and the security apparatus. The strategy of secrets steps in conventional warfare may be a strong battle loosing factor in IO. It is equally important to handle a incident psychologically to defeat the enemy’s psy objectives. Perceptions play an important role and can only be fought with pre planning and forecasting events.

A sincere, confident and trustworthy leader ship having close connect with the Nation will prove much powerful than the atomic deterrence .We need to rely more on own public support for which leadership has to decrease the existing class differences and encourage simplicity. The trust deficit with public can only be reduced by sharing truth. The actions only will bridge as words have lost their credibility. These trying times demand that leaders must come out and take steps in the interest of Pakistan and have trust in the nation. Our institutions are time tested , they have always proved their worth in natural as well as other calamities. The nation must identify the enemy and their moles within to defeat the enemy Psy attack.

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