SAFFRON TEAM CONFESSIONS, LINKS WITH ISRAEL: Why Hyderabad Investigations are doomed to fail

Posted by Admin On Thursday, 28 February 2013 0 comments


Part of the conversations between the retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay and the serving colonel in the Army, Purohit, which revealed not in their ability to procure explosives but also their international linkages and patronage? To quote:

Maj. (Retd.) Ramesh Upadhyay:“...for example what happened in Hyderabad Mosque or at other places was not done by anybody from ISI; it was done by our person. On the basis of my information, I can say that it was done by this particular person.[ …]

Lt. Col. Purohit:“...I have done two operations. They were successful Swamiji (Dayanand Pandey), I have the capacity to carry out operations. I have no dearth of equipment [explosives]. Once I decide I can procure the equipment...”

Lt. Col. Purohit: “...I am in contact with Israel. One of our captains has visited Israel. Very positive response from their side. They have said “You show us something on ground”. [...] Secondly, they say they cannot support us in the international forum under the present circumstances for two years, till our movement does not gather some momentum. Political asylum any time; equipment and training once we show something on ground. I am trying to achieve that...”
By Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
In a grotesque replay of every investigation that follows a bomb blast, prejudice, misinformation and media blitz rules the direction of Dilsukh Nagar bombings investigation too. The same suspects and shadowy organizations are being paraded as executors of the Hyderabad bombings.
But should we be surprised? A day after the Home Minister’s humiliating capitulation to the RSS-BJP, virtually giving them and their affiliates a clean chit, the message to the investigating agencies must have been crystal clear. When the Home Minister himself discards the bulk of allegations and material pointing to the existence of Hindutva groups in planning and executing terror attacks, should we really expect the investigating agencies, whose past record inspires hardly any confidence, to sincerely pursue all possible angles and leads? This, when Messrs Aseemanand and company are being tried for the 2007 bombing of the Mecca Masjid. By asserting that Hyderabad bombing may have been a reaction to the execution of Kasab and Afzal Guru, the Home Minister himself foreclosed any possibility of unbiased investigation.
Hyderabad Police: Can we trust them with the investigations?
The same Hyderabad Police which had, in the aftermath of the Mecca Masjid, raided Muslim mohallas, rounded up scores of young men, tortured them at private farmhouses, alleged to have recovered RDX, arms and ammunition, jihadi literature, incriminating cellphone records and laptops, as well records of journey to foreign countries for terror-training by these young men – all proven to be false now – have been entrusted with the investigation of the Dilsukh Nagar blasts. Have we already forgotten that the additional metropolitan Sessions Judges in throwing out the two related cases of Mecca Masjid blast found the police unable to produce any evidence except for the confessional statements of the accused – statements which had obviously been extracted under harsh and brutal torture, as attested by the Advocate Ravi Chander report.
And sure enough, the various SITs formed by the Hyderabad Police have knocked on the same doors. Mohammed Rayeesuddin, Mohammed Azmath, Arshed Khan, Abdul Raheem, and Abdul Kareem were detained for questioning, while Dr. Ibrahim Ali Junaid was hounded over the phone. Not only were the same people targeted once again, the methods were no improvement over 2007: the same surreptitious whisking away without information to relatives, reviving the horrors of 2007.

Blast site at Dilsukhnagar. [TCN Photo]
Why have the police officers, who indulged in and who supervised the frame-ups in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts, not been punished? Indeed, Hyderabad investigations demand that the policemen who deliberately tried to fabricate and derail a genuine probe the last time, be first punished. What is the guarantee that they will not influence the course of investigation of the recent twin blasts as well? Is there any reason for us to believe that they will not avenge the humiliation of their 2007 fiasco by harassing their victims, many of whom have filed a civil suit seeking damages for their illegal detention and torture?
The detentions of Rayeesuddin and others have in fact again confirmed our fears of collusion and complicity between the Andhra and Gujarat Police over encounter killings and communal witch-hunts. Rayeesuddin is key witness to the cold-blooded murder of Mujahid Salim Islahi by the Gujarat encounter specialist Narendra Amin - currently in jail for Sohrabuddin fake encounter, another instance of the ‘cooperation’ between the police of the two states - at the Lakdi ka pul police station in Hyderabad in 2004. While the Hyderabad Police has shown no inclination to pursue the case against Amin, not even once seeking his custody, there is reason to believe that the cases against Rayeesuddin are a way to intimidate him into withdrawing his witness in the case. In fact, many of the terror accusations against Muslim youth in Hyderabad relate to this incident in 2004.
In sum, the Hyderabad police has shown itself to be thoroughly communal and corrupt, and should not be entrusted with the investigations of the Dilsukhnagar blasts.
Media Trial: Return of the Stenographers
Lack of journalistic skills and ethics, a perverse sense of ‘national interest’, the mad rush for TRPs has produced a lethal cocktail of ‘breaking news’, each more pernicious than the other. If nothing else, one has to admire the media’s consistency: their refusal to learn from their past gaffes and their unrestrained urge to act as judge, jury and executioner. So what if they flash the photograph of the recently assassinated MQM leader Manzar Imam as one of the key accused? MQM-MIM-IM, all the same, as long as it’s a bearded face and a name that fits.
Confessions and Interrogation reports are being dramatized on prime time. Hawala transactions via Dubai, and dark conspiracies are being breathlessly screamed about, slowly coagulating a narrative of guilt. One could have dismissed these televised kangaroo courts as mere rantings, if only they did not play a role in keeping accused in custody for long periods. While in many cases, this media trial may not affect the eventual outcome of the trial; it is enough to pressure the courts into denying the accused bail repeatedly, and even the accused from moving bail applications. Just six months ago, Muti Ur Rehman, a reporter with Deccan Herald, was touted as “the face of modern violent Islamic extremism”. He was held up as an example of how “the profile of the various groups who come under the rubric of the 'Indian Mujahideen', can be from any segment of society.”
While the NIA has now failed to even file a charge sheet against Rehman and his two roommates, also falling in the educated Jihadi profile, the media’s unrelenting mastermind hype ensured that he spent close to six months in jail.
In other cases, we know, that such biased reporting can manufacture a ‘collective conscience’ that demands retribution even where guilt is not established beyond reasonable doubt. It is this power that the media gloats over, and in its crazed delirium, forgets that it is human lives they destroy by uncritically relaying the deliberate leaks by agencies as scoops and investigations. If appeals for restraint and previous mistakes breed no introspection, then perhaps large-scale defamation suits would be the only deterrence.
So grave is the situation now that that the Chief Justice was forced to admit recently that (media trial) “can prejudice against an accused in a case.”
As proof of IM’s existence, security experts and agencies have cited the emails that the organisation purportedly sent after every blast they executed. Though no emails were forthcoming this time, the BJP Chief of Andhra Pradesh, G. Krishan Reddy, received by post (not known whether it was speed post favoured by the Home Ministry) a letter from LeT, claiming responsibility for the blasts.
While the investigating agencies see an IM module in every Muslim concentrated town and a sleeper cell in every madrasa, they must explain why those organisations currently being tried for exploding bombs in the same city in 2007 are not even being mentioned as potential suspects. While forensic evidence is still being collected and analyzed – much of it destroyed by the media trampling all over the site – agencies through trusted mouthpieces are chanting about the discovery of trademark IM bombs. What is the basis of this claim? Media reports suggest that Dilsukh Nagar bomb was an IED, as indeed was in the Mecca masjid blast. In December last year, not many months ago, the NIA arrested Tej Ram, which it accuses of planting an IED at Mecca Masjid, the one that did not explode. His alleged partner Rajender Choudhary, whose IED did go off, has been in NIA’s custody for a while now. Given that Tej Ram was arrested only months ago, and given also that many of the key aides of Aseemanand and Purohit are still at large, why is there an absolute refusal to pursue that line of investigation?
Are we to forget the conversations between the retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay and the serving colonel in the Army, Purohit, which revealed not in their ability to procure explosives but also their international linkages and patronage? To quote:
Maj. (Retd.) Ramesh Upadhyay:“...for example what happened in Hyderabad Mosque or at other places was not done by anybody from ISI; it was done by our person. On the basis of my information, I can say that it was done by this particular person.[ …]
Lt. Col. Purohit:“...I have done two operations. They were successful Swamiji (Dayanand Pandey), I have the capacity to carry out operations. I have no dearth of equipment [explosives]. Once I decide I can procure the equipment...”
Lt. Col. Purohit: “...I am in contact with Israel. One of our captains has visited Israel. Very positive response from their side. They have said “You show us something on ground”. [...] Secondly, they say they cannot support us in the international forum under the present circumstances for two years, till our movement does not gather some momentum. Political asylum any time; equipment and training once we show something on ground. I am trying to achieve that...”
What has happened to the full contents of the laptops recovered by the late Mr. Hemant Karkare? We fear that they may be destroyed to hide the names and details of Right wing terrorists. It is surprising that while one elite anti-terror agency has leaked the Interrogation Report of a suspect to the media, there has been a silencing and secreting of the contents of the two laptops.
The full contents of these laptops should be transcribed and placed in public domain with immediate effect. These transcripts are neither confessions, disclosures nor statements made in police custody – whose genuineness is vitiated by the fact that custodial confessions carry the threat of real or potential violence – these are recordings of their own conversations made by the men themselves under no duress or pressure.
And it might be in order to remember here too that Aseemanand’s ‘confession’ was not made in police custody either, but to the Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate under section 164 CrPC, after he was given two days to reflect upon his decision, as is required to ascertain the voluntary nature of the confession. Those commentators and TV anchors who push the virtuous line that terror has no religion whenever Hindutva terror is as much as mentioned, would do well to reflect on this civilized adherence to procedure against the horrors of torture endured by the young men of Hyderabad in 2007 whose private parts were electrocuted to extract confessions from them.
While NIA teams raid villages and towns in Bihar, and interrogate ‘IM terrorists’ anew, a man whose name has consistently appeared in Ajmer blast chargesheet, in Purohit’s interrogation and Aseemanand’s confession, remains free. No raids at the home or office of Indresh Kumar, national executive member and the sahprachar pramukh in the RSS, who is said to have been present at a secret meeting to plan the Ajmer Sharif bombing, held in a Gujarati guesthouse in Jaipur on October 31, 2005, in which six other functionaries of the RSS were also present; and who is named by Aseemanand to have financed the now conveniently murdered Sunil Joshi’s terror activities. Has a deal been struck to absolve Indresh of all allegations of involvement in terrorism?
Having just exorcised the ghosts of his Jaipur statement, the Home Minister would probably not want to be reminded of this: but the Nanded and Malegaon investigations pointed to arms trainings and camps at Bhonsale Military School in Nashik. But who dare raid Bhonsale Military School, set up by the ardent fascist B.S. Moonje, and at whose platinum jubilee celebrations almost exactly a year ago, Mohan Bhagwat was the main speaker? A madrasa in Hyderabad is easier to pull down and interrogation of a cleric – even one who has been in jail for a while – likely to fetch you more popularity. “Highly placed intelligence sources” are therefore letting it known through their friends in the media that they intend to question Abdul Nasir Madni, old, ailing and nearly blind.
What we are seeing is not simply a blatant and deep institutional prejudice playing out. It is as if our institutions are hell bent on ensuring that injustice is not only done, but also seen to be done. For all the inane and pious assertions of ‘Let’s not politicize terror’, in fact terrorism has been the subject of the most cynical political competition. Vulnerable targets are being picked on. Hindutva terror is being denied under pressure from the RSS BJP combine and a rabble-rousing media. None – neither the UPA which hoped to add muscle to its anti-terror image by hanging Kasab and Afzal; nor the BJP, the original tough guys, nor the hawks who froth at the mouth demanding blood on TV, are concerned with the fact that the mastermind of the biggest terror attack is safely secreted in the US, having cut a deal with the US agencies, will never be tried for his crimes in India. The continuous cries of Lashkar by various investigative agencies in the aftermath of the Hyderabad blasts should surely fuel the demand for David Headley’s extradition?
Only a genuine and unbiased probe will be a true homage to those who lost their lives in the utterly senseless violence of Dilsukh Nagar bombings. But sadly, that doesn’t appear likely.

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General Kayani spills the beans, blames others, raises doubts

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General Kayani has finally spoken his heart out and the information trickling out from the not so off-the-record four-hour briefing is revealing as well as a cause for serious concern and a warning for the civilians and the country.

The bottom line General Kayani gave was that he wants free and fair elections and a peaceful transfer of power and everyone must respect the mandate of the people and for this the army will provide the maximum help, but only that much which is asked for by the civilians.

So in other words what the general said repeatedly was that no one should try to play games with the transparency and fairness of the elections and the results must be accepted but the army will not impose itself in any way and this job has to be done by the civilians themselves.

Yet while confirming that the army has pulled out of these, and almost all other, matters in the civilian domain, General Kayani gave a long list of civilian failures, almost a charge sheet against the politicians and the government and placed the blame of gigantic failures in many critical domains at the civilian doorstep.

Not to intervene is constitutionally and practically a very positive and constructive approach but in reality it has brought the country to the verge of a collapse and General Kayani realises that but does not want to share the blame.

Examples of the civilians’ failure that he quoted, in his own soft style and in a non-intrusive way, were many but a cool analysis of his thoughts and ideas reveals he has told the government and politicians they had messed up in a big way and no more of this mess-up can be afforded.

For instance, he says on the key issue of war against terrorism, the army is not to be blamed but the civilians have not formulated a comprehensive anti-terrorism policy and they could not decide what to do. They threw the ball in the court of the army without giving them policy guidelines, the targets to be achieved and the way that was to be done.

Repeatedly, he said that the army had not been consulted or taken on board about the political all parties conferences being held on counter terrorism.

General Kayani, in this context, quoted many examples and reminded the media men of the Swat situation where he said the President was persuaded by him to take a decision. He also took ANP leader Asfandyar Wali to the President and when the decision was taken to talk to Maulana Sufi Mohammed, the talks were held but when he violated the accord, an operation was launched. Then the civilians had to take over the responsibility which, he implied, they did not.

General Kayani specifically mentioned the arrests made in Swat and complained that if the arrested persons are not convicted because of lack of evidence, the army cannot hold them forever. For three-and-a-half years it is holding these people and is either violating laws by doing so or risks more terrorism if they are released.

Likewise, in Balochistan, General Kayani said, an army operation could be launched only if the civilians take that decision and order the army to do so. But once the operation is done and people are arrested, they will again have to be tried and convicted by the police and courts for which the civilians are not prepared and ready.

Similarly, he said the civilians depend too much and remain forever scared of the ISI and army intelligence agencies whereas the tasks should have been done by their own agencies.

All internal matters have to be handled by the civilians as the ISI has to look after external intelligence threats and the army has to secure borders. Where are the civilian agencies? he asked, in so many words, though politely.

General Kayani’s talk was almost a report card of failure of the interior ministry but he said in so many words that for five years the army took all these failures in its stride, and sometimes guided the civilians to reform and take ownership and responsibility yet did not intervene to stop the rot.

In my view, this was a very considered and deliberate policy as General Kayani and his colleagues knew the capacity of the civilians. They knew that these politicians will not be able to handle such colossal issues like the war on terror, the Balochistan mess, the fight against domestic extremism and fanaticism but they left everything to these immature and inexperienced or incompetent politicians so that the army may not be blamed and the onus of the disaster falls on the civilians.

Now he has explained his five years of non-interference by the army, failure of the civilians to cope and the resultant disasters in a four-hour session which can be summed up in one line: “Don’t blame us. Do something if you can.”

The tragedy is that General Kayani knows well that the 10 years of General Musharraf and the total dominance of the army, the persecution of politicians, the disarray in the political system, the physical threats to political leaders, their assassinations and mass murders, all meant that the politicians were not ready, although they had been voted into power because an election was held and that too under the threat of mass rebellion after Benazir Bhutto’s murder.

So there was no way the army could avoid an election but there was no way the civilians could correct everything messy that the generals were leaving behind.

Similar is the issue with the present elections. General Kayani is now saying that elections must be free, fair and transparent but the set-up that has been put in place is controversial, weak and fragile, weakest at the top.

In his four-hour talk he referred to this weakness of the ECP in his own way by recalling the famous meeting between him and Fakhru Bhai in which a briefing was given by the army to the CEC for over two hours but at the end Fakhru Bhai did not recognise General Kayani.

“Yes I am General Kayani” he told the ageing CEC but then also recalled the story of Alif Laila and the joke associated with it when after the whole night someone asked: “Was Zulekha a man or a woman”.

By referring to Fakhru Bhai and speaking about his age and his capacity, General Kayani indirectly expressed doubts that he can handle such a gigantic task of holding the election. He also knows that politicians have nominated the other four members of the ECP and they are political nominees who can, and may, play games for their sponsors.

So when he says that elections must be fair and free, he is again shifting the blame to the civilians while knowing that they do not mean a fair business and they will do the mischief in their own ways. He is not ready to interfere but is only asking them not to try. Yet he has walked out of providing army cover to the polls saying he cannot spare 200,000 troops. Fakhru Bhai has been left high and dry, on his own.

So if the politicians don’t listen to the army chief, the bottom line is that nothing will happen. Kayani has already, and in the same meeting, announced that he will retire later this year, or just after a few months after the elections. The politicians can even cut that period short by announcing his replacement three months ahead of the date. So the politicians will play around and the general will go home, leaving the mess for the people to face.

His clearest warning was on the economy and again he blamed the civilians entirely for the failure. He recounted so many instances and asked do you blame the army for this, for that and for everything. He, however, allowed the corrupt civilians to do the damage before his own eyes.

The media lot sitting in front of him, it looks, did not disagree with him on this count. But a pile of dirt, mixed with filth and stink left behind by the army after years of misrule cannot be cleared so easily, when the army pulls itself into a corner and does not stop even the most glaring and blatant violations of the laws and Constitution.

What General Kayani could have done, and has not done, was to strengthen and reassure the institutions which can check the incompetent civilians to place strong checks and corrections at every stage, so that things would not have come so near to collapse. When General Kayani retires, as he would in a few months later this year, he would be judged as another leader of the Gorbachev kind. Will he like to be called General Gorbachev?

The News

Pakistan’s long war with itself

Posted by Admin On Wednesday, 27 February 2013 0 comments

Pakistani police arrested Malik Ishaq, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, at his home in Rahim Yar Khan, just one week after his terror group claimed credit for a...
Pakistani police arrested Malik Ishaq, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, at his home in Rahim Yar Khan, just one week after his terror group claimed credit for a bombing in Quetta that killed at least 90 people. Ishaq has been accused of direct involvement in numerous terrorist attacks but has never been convicted in a Pakistani court.
Pakistani police have not disclosed the reason for Ishaq’s arrest, nor how long he will be in detention. “It was not immediately clear on what charges he was arrested,” Dawnreported.
Last week, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed credit for the murder of more than 90 Pakistanis, mostly minority Shia, after detonating nearly one ton of “high-grade” explosives in the capital of Baluchistan province. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed credit for numerous terror attacks in Pakistan, and has released videos of executions of captured Shia prisoners.
Ishaq has been in the custody of the Pakistani government in the past. He was detained in 1997 after admitting to murdering more than 100 Pakistanis, but was subsequently released by Pakistan’s Supreme Court in July 2011. Ishaq has dodged numerous convictions by murdering and intimidating witnesses, and even once told a judge that “dead men can’t talk.” [See Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the "lack of evidence," from Dawn, for more information on Pakistan's inability to convict Ishaq and his intimidation of witnesses.]
Ishaq doesn’t hide his disdain for the political system in Pakistan, and made it clear at the time of his release in 2011 that he intended to continue to wage jihad.
“We are ready to lay down lives for the honor of the companions of the Holy Prophet” Ishaq said after he was released from custody in 2011. He was met by “Kalashnikov-wielding supporters on a Land Cruiser motorcade,” Dawn reported.
Ishaq has also been accused of plotting numerous terrorist attacks while in custody, including the March 3, 2009 assault on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s links to al Qaeda, Taliban
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is an anti-Shia terror group that has integrated with al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has an extensive network in Pakistan and often serves as al Qaeda’s muscle for terror attacks. The group has conducted numerous suicide and other terror attacks inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. In particular, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is well known for carrying out sectarian terror attacks against minority Shia, Ahmadis, Sufis, and Christians in Pakistan.
The US designated the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2003. In 2010, the US added two of the terror group’s top leaders, Amanullah Afridi and Matiur Rehman, LeJ’s operations chief, to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
The Treasury Department described Afridi as “a key figure in directing terrorist-related activities of LeJ for several years.” Afridi previously “prepared and provided suicide jackets for al Qaeda operations, trained suicide bombers and trained the assassin of Pakistani cleric Allama Hassan Turabi,” a prominent Shia cleric. Turabi, a prominent Shia cleric, was killed in June 2006 in Karachi by a 16-year-old Bangladeshi suicide bomber.
Rehman is a top operational leader said to manage al Qaeda’s ‘Rolodex’ of fighters who have passed through training camps and safe houses. Treasury described Rehman as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s “chief operational commander” and a “planning director” who has “worked on behalf of al Qaeda.”
Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi commanders have also been killed in US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. In February 2010, the US killed Qari Mohammad Zafar, a senior Lashkar-e-Jhangvi leader as well as a leader of the al Qaeda and Taliban-linked Fedayeen-i-Islam, in a drone strike in North Waziristan. Zafar was behind multiple terror attacks in Pakistan and was wanted by the US for murdering a consular official in Karachi.
Pakistan added the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to its list of terror organizations in August 2001, yet has done little to crack down on the group.
Long War Journal

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Justifying extra judicial killings through drones

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Under the pretext of American so-called counterinsurgency programme, the US President Barack Obama has broken all the record of human rights by extrajudicial killings of the innocent people through CIA-operated...
Under the pretext of American so-called counterinsurgency programme, the US President Barack Obama has broken all the record of human rights by extrajudicial killings of the innocent people through CIA-operated drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen in general and Pakistan in particular, while, the United States claims to be protector of human rights not only inside the country, but also all over the world.
Recently, the UN has opened probe regarding the predator strikes. In this regard, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism said, A UN investigation into targeted killings will examine legality of drone strikeswill investigate 25 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories. It will also focus on civilian killings by the strikes.
First time, a US Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of the predator attacks, openly admitted that 4,700 people have been killed by the raids of Americas secretive drone war. The number exceeds some independent estimates of the death toll. According to the research of London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between June 2004 and September 2012, these unmanned aerial vehicles killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians including 176 children. In this respect, in a report, The Guardian pointed out on August 11, 2011, The CIA claims that there has been not one non-combatant killed in the past yearit is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.
Nevertheless, details collected by the Pakistani journalists show that civilian casualties through unmanned aircraft are higher as indicated by the US officials. In the last four years, more than 900 innocent civilians and only 22 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by these aerial attacks.
While justifying these air strikes by the spy planes, counterterrorism advisor to Obama, John Brennan who faces a Senate confirmation hearing for his nominee as CIA director is the main player, advising Obama on which strike, he should approve.
Especially, during his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama had pledged to reverse excesses of the Bush era in relation to terrorism. He also promised to reformulate a counterterrorism policy in accordance with the legal and moral values of the US. Contrarily to his assertions, Obama followed the Bushs approach of counterterrorism in its worst form by expanding and accelerating the predator strikes.
In this context, The New York Time on May 26, 2011, in an article which was written with assistance of several counterterrorism advisers of the administration revealed, President Obama has become personally involved in the process and has normalised extrajudicial killings from the Oval Office, taking advantage of Americas temporary advantage in drone technology. Without the scrutiny of the legislature and the courts, and outside the public eye, Obama is authorising murder on a weekly basis.
Notably, American constitution explicitly grants the right to declare war to the Congress so as to restrain the president from chasing enemies around the world, based solely on his authority as commander-in-chief by waging a secret war. But instead of capturing militants alive and to avoid giving the right of due process of law to them in a court, President Obama has openly been acting upon a ruthless policy of targeting killings by supervising the CIA-controlled drone warfare.
Besides, a report of the New America Foundation disclosed that President Obama has authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms. The report explained, When the US drones attack Pakistans tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, these killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistanwhile killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?
Based on research, a report, Living Under Drones, prepared by experts from Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law disclosed that the US campaign of drone strikes in Pakistans northwestern tribal belt is terrorising civilians 24 hours a day and breeding bitter anti-American sentimenthave killed thousands of peopleeven stopping their children going to school for fear of being targeted. The report urged Washington to rethink its drone strategy, arguing it was counterproductive and undermined international law.
Citing unnamed US officials, The Washington Post reported on January 21, this year, The Obama administration is completing a counterterrorism manual that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operationsthe guidebook would contain a major exemption for the CIAs campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan to continue striking Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan.
Defense Minister Leon Panetta has defended these attacks on Pakistans tribal areas under the pretext of North Waziristan-based Haqqani militants whom they blamed for several assaults on American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. On the other hand, US-led coalition forces have failed in stopping incursions of heavily-armed insurgents in Pakistan from Afghanistans side, who have killed more than 100 personnel of the Pakistans security forces in the last two year, while targeting the infrastructure of the areas. In fact, US seeks to make North Waziristan, a scapegoat of NATOs defeat in Afghanistan by continuing illegal mass murder of the innocent people through drones.
It is notable that Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam who visited America in August, 2012, emphatically told the then CIA Director David Petraeus that predator strikes which are violation of Pakistans sovereignty must be stopped. He pointed out that these strikes are proving counterproductive, giving a greater incentive to the fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan, and are increasing anti-US sentiment among the people.
However, setting aside the parliament resolution, rallies and processions of Pakistans political and religious parties, and ignoring the new Pak-US rapprochement, without bothering for any internal backlash, these aerial attacks keep on going on FATA.
In fact, American such a duplicity contans a number of covert designs. The fresh wave of strikes by the pilotless aircraft has thwarted the offer of militants and Pakistani government for peace talks. And, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accelerated subversive activities in the country. Now, US wants to incite the Haqqani network as in the past 15 months, most of these strikes have targeted the North Waziristan. So, these aerial attacks are provoking the tribal people against Pakistans security forces, and increasing recruitment of insurgents. Another aim is to create a rift between Pakistans armed forces on one side and the political and religious parties on the other. Besides, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, US India and Israel are determined to destabilise it. Drone campaign is also part of this game.
The CIA-operated these strikes which continued on Pakistans tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama era. In one of the major drone attacks, more than 40 civilians and policemen were killed on March 18, 2011 in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. In the past few months, these unmanned aircraft killed more than 150 people, especially in North Waziristan including South Waziristan.
On the one side, US top officials have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistans help not only for peace process with the militants, but also for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario, while NATO troops have started transporting their equipments via Pakistani route as part of the exit strategy, but on the other, US spy planes on Pak tribal regions are undermining international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan including peace dialogue with the Afghan militants.
Recently, US ex-presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton have opposed Obamas faulty drone strategy. Even, new Secretary of State John Kerry has also criticised unabated use of unilateral drones in Pakistan, saying, US engagement with the world is not just about drones.
Besides, widespread criticism from some US allies and human rights groups which have remarked that these aerial attacks are illegal and unethical, and violation of the targeted countries sovereignty, the United Nations Charter, universal declaration of human rights and international law, but US warrior President Obama remains obstinate to continue extrajudicial killings through drones.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

Green book just a journal, not a change in military doctrine

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Much was made of the ‘Green Book’, touted as the strategic manual of the Pakistani military. According to a recent article in the journal published by the GHQ, changing priorities...

Much was made of the ‘Green Book’, touted as the strategic manual of the Pakistani military. According to a recent article in the journal published by the GHQ, changing priorities after 11 years, the Army has termed internal threats as the greatest danger to the country’s security. This shifts concentration of troops from the eastern to the western borders.
Now we are told on good authority that the Green Book does not represent the official view of the Army but is a magazine representing personal views of the officers who contribute articles in it. As such there is no change in the strategic doctrine of the Pakistani military.
India remains an existential threat, though terrorism is no less. The military is not against better trade relations with India, however, normal relations could only be restored once there is some positive movement on resolving thorny issues including Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek etc.
The much-discussed ‘strategic depth’ doctrine of the military also remains fully intact. It is clarified that a peaceful, secure and friendly Afghanistan meant that our western borders are safe. Hence the Pakistani military can fully concentrate on the eastern borders.
So far as elections are concerned, the military spokesman has already clarified that the Army supports timely elections and contrary to speculations rife in a substantial swath of public opinion it had neither intentions nor the desire to scuttle the process. Furthermore the military has no favourites. Whoever wins the elections fair and square and forms a government is acceptable to it. Hence Nawaz Sharif has nothing to fear that powers that be have any desire to block him.
In this context, the military leadership considers it an affront to its intelligence to be accused of backing Tahirul Qadri. Hence if non-state political actors looking at the GHQ for support (or perhaps getting it from sections of the establishment) to scuttle the election process in the name of accountability not only stand discredited but abandoned as well.
There has been much talk about the COAS General Ashfaq Kayani getting another extension before his second three-year term expires in November. It is highly unlikely, according to those in the know of things. A newly-elected government will be in place much before Kayani retires. Zardari’s term as president ends in August.
Hence there is a lot of slip between the cup and the lip. Nonetheless in the backdrop of a complicated geostrategic situation owing to imminent American withdrawal from Afghanistan by end of next year a one-year extension for the sake of continuity cannot be entirely ruled out.
The General however has confided to friends that he has no desire to seek or accept another extension. His friends will see him sans uniform come 2014, it is claimed.
So far as the Balochistan situation is concerned the military is willing to play its role strictly according to the constitution; i.e. in aid of civil powers, if asked to intervene under Article 245 of the Constitution. Any other role of the Army in Balochistan or Karachi will be tantamount to imposing martial law, which neither the military nor the civilian government desire.
Figures like Brahamdag Bugti are the bane of the military. With scores of killings in Balochistan on his watch, the Afghan government is giving him safe haven as well as a passport. Karzai denies any truck with Bugti but when Gen Kayani personally handed him the dossier on Brahamdag, he did not know where to look.
The APC called by Maulana Fazlur Rehman has the tacit backing of the military. It is keen that the civilian leadership should be on one page on talks with the TTP (Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan). Talks should take place with a position of strength rather than weakness. Similarly any agreement should be strictly within the ambit of the constitution, law and writ of the Pakistan government.
The military is extremely worried about internal instability, terrorism and a weakening economy. Even the example of former Soviet Union is invoked which disintegrated owing to internal chaos and an emasculated economic base despite having a strong military. Hence measures to salvage the economy, including going back to the IMF by a civilian government will have army’s support.
The military’s desire to combat terrorism has been thwarted by weak laws and flawed prosecution process. Belatedly a strong anti-terrorism law has been introduced in the National Assembly. Hopefully it will become a law and not left on the plate of the next parliament.
The army is bitter about the Swat experience where it successfully flushed out the terrorists. But it is still holding Swat without the civilian administration developing the capability to take over. Not a single person that the military nabbed in the once peaceful valley has been convicted.
The military supports intra-Afghan dialogue with the belief that political process should be in the lead. Within the parameters of its strategic doctrine the military desires a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. It is no longer keen to foist a government of its choice in Kabul.
However, it firmly believes that once the US troops leave, Pakistan should not be left in the wrong corner.
The previous elections were widely perceived to be deeply flawed and fraudulent. The military hopes that the coming elections to be held in 2014 before the Americans leave are transparent and free that give fair representation to the afghan Talban who as a result look towards Kabul rather than Islamabad.

Politics of dirt and blood

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Friday, 22 February 2013, chief of LeJ Malik Ishaq was arrested for the third time. Ishaq prior to this arrest had spent 14 years behind bars till July 2011 when...

Friday, 22 February 2013, chief of LeJ Malik Ishaq was arrested for the third time. Ishaq prior to this arrest had spent 14 years behind bars till July 2011 when he was released due to lack of evidence. He was also briefly detained last year for the Shia killings that have heightened since 2010. Interestingly on both occasions the legal system has been unable to charge this man who heads a militant group bent upon the Sunnification of Pakistan: taking Shia lives in the process, if they must. Over 1000 Shias have been slaughtered, bombed, gunned down in 3 years, while LeJ claims responsibility without fail: all count for lack of evidence.
This time Malik’s arrest was triggered by the recent Quetta market bombing that claimed more than 80 Hazara lives. With the Hazara Shia community protesting outside the Governor’s House (Lahore), blocking traffic, refusing to bury their dead till justice was delivered, Canada and Australia offering asylum (false alarm perhaps), and the demand for an army operation; Pakistan’s establishment’s passivity is mostly to blame. As the Hazara community of Pakistan continues to face persecution, let’s not forget that this second grade treatment of these people is not a recent phenomenon, and not one peculiar to Pakistan. But the dysfunctionality of the system at large, politics premised on hate, sect and lawlessness is beginning to take a toll on us.
It is no secret that external ‘Sunnification’, and ‘Wahabification’ in Pakistan were an attempt to neutralize the Shia influence pouring in from the West. The Khomeini Revolution in Iran (1979) after toppling US puppet government, accompanied by Zia’s Islamization left room for Saudi Arabia: on a perpetual quest to tone down Iran’s power in economic and political terms. In an attempt to combat with their Iranian adversaries, Saudis were able to build organizations like Sipah-e-Sahaba on fertile Pakistan. LeJ specifically was created in 1996, when Riaz Basra, along with Akram Lahori and Malik Ishaq left SSP due to differences with seniors. Even though only a year after the organization’s formation the operational head (Ishaq) was arrested for 14 year, their outreach, influence and level of violence has only escalated.
The LeJ has specifically targeted Iran and Shias. Strong in Punjab and having enjoyed support from Punjab’s strongest and most popular political party PML-N, this connection between the terrorists and N League has become the root of much debate in Pakistan after Malik Ishaq’s arrest. Firstly, it is no secret that the funding that nurtures such groups has a major political impact. While feudalism has dominated our politics since before partition, for the PML-N to use these religion-oriented, popular among the masses, militias to step up the ladder was not entirely baseless. Realistically speaking, the concept of having a militant group to serve your interests is not a new one. In 1980 the CIA and Pakistan Army together created the Taliban to fight Communist influence from the North. The creation of militant groups by Saudis to safeguard their interests in foreign, relevant soil is principally no different.
Arguing the ethics of propping up such armies is futile. Realistically speaking, it happens. For these groups to openly conduct genocide of the Shias in Pakistan is wrong. For political parties to be party to such groups and their crimes must be condemned. But in the larger picture, the PML-N has denied any such alliance. These statements are immaterial: Until the PML-N openly condemns this massacre they little chance to divorce themselves from the association. However, even our Holy Supreme Court has been unable to convict these terrorists? While LeJ continued to take responsibility for the attacks, Malik Ishaq comfortably sat in his house in Rahimyar Khan, probably smoking a Hookah, watching the larger agenda being executed by faceless minions spread in tens of thousands all over Pakistan. Ishaq was released after 14 years because the courts were unable to find evidence on him. Even this arrest is a pre-emptive, for a month, after which the trial will begin. Behind bars or not, Malik Ishaq is a dangerous man. Who will have the courage to stand on the witness stand against him?
For 14 years while behind bars he was certain he will get out unscathed. Because Ishaq seems to know the trick to win the game: “Dead men don’t talk”. It is so telling that while Shias continued to massacred, we knew the mastermind lay at ease, fearless. It is a sad indicator of how weak our state has become, or how hypocritical. A terrorist organization continues to function in full momentum, continues to execute KSA’s agenda in the region. And fingers only pointed at the weakest link, because the men with guns can take our lives, and those with oil own us. Not to forget, the Saudi alliance with the United States keeps us silent, and turns us into a doormat.
This arrest is more of a political move than a genuine attempt to safeguard the Shia community of Pakistan. These gestures of lip service to a ‘free and fair’ Pakistan tend to worsen the ground reality. They ignore the real problems we are confronted with because even the establishment is weak in front of these militias that have grown invincible under the protection of a blind eye: Another drama, another defeat.
Tacstrat Analysis

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Posted by Admin On Tuesday, 26 February 2013 0 comments

A new speech by former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has emerged--a 2011 address at Cameron University in which the Secretary of Defense nominee accused India of using Afghanistan to fight a proxy war against Pakistan by sponsoring terror attacks against it. Video of the speech was obtained by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon by using the state's Open Records Act. Hagel had refused to grant authorization to release the video.

The Free Beacon quotes Sadanand Dhume, former India bureau chief at the Far Eastern Economic Review, concluding that Hagel's remarks as "over-the-top and a sharp departure from a U.S. position that has seen democratic India as a stabilizing influence in Afghanistan and Asia more broadly." Dhume added that Hagel's position is "exactly the sort of statement that would have frayed ties with New Delhi."
In the speech, Hagel also cast doubt upon the future of the NATO alliance, noting that several members had not participated in the 2011 campaign against Muammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya.
Breitbart News revealed last week that Hagel had opposed the Libya war and the removal of Gadhafi, calling the campaign a "mistake."
The Cameron University speech marks the fourth speech that Hagel failed to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee within a five-year window dating form January 2008. Breitbart News revealed the existence of the first two on Feb. 11, and the third today.

Here’s the list of terrorists that Pakistan has asked India to hand over:
(1) Ajay Verma, a Karnatika resident and directly involved in bomb blast at Sialkot in which 7 people were killed
(2) Manoj Shastri alias Javed Khan, resident of Mumbai, wanted for killing of 14 Namazees at a Karachi Mosque
(3) Raju Mukherjee, resident of Calcutta, wanted for bomb blast in Lahore in which 9 people were killed
(4) Mr. Bal Thackeray (late), resident of Bombay, Chief of Shiv Sena, was wanted
for organizing at least three major massacres in Pakistan in which some
33 people were killed and a highly active in organizing ethnic and
sectarian clashes in different parts of Pakistan.
(5) Vivek Khattri alias Kaala Pathaan, resident of Maharashtra,
wanted for at least four bomb blasts in which over seventeen people were
(6) Ashok Vidyarthi alias Aslam resident of Ajmair Sharif, wanted for
sniper shooting at an Imam baargah in Karachi, killing some 14 Shias
(7) Rajan Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, wanted for a number of
terrorist attacks in different cities of Pakistan including a bomb blast
in Sabzi Mandi Islamabad and a bomb blast in Quetta. Chhota Rajan is
now launching terrorist operations in Pakistan from Indian Missions in
Kandahar and Jalalabad (Afghanistan) and is head of RAW’s organized
Crimes Wing or Special Operations Division (SOD), he is also wanted for
killing of Chinese Engineers in Baluchistan and organizing the murder of
some Chinese workers near Peshawar
(8) Asotosh Srivastava alias Maulvi Nazir alias Mulla, resident of
Alahabad, wanted for firing on an imambargah in which 9 people were
(9) Ashok Dube alias Shah Jee, resident of Gandhi Nagar (New Delhi), wanted for killing some 11 Namazees in a Lahore Mosque
(10) Sanjive Joshi, resident of Bombay, wanted for comprehensive
assistance in terror attack on a Christian Mission School near Murree
(11) Ramparkash alias Ranu alias Ali, resident of Hyderabad Daccan,
wanted for terror attack on a Christian Hospital in Taxila (he is also
identified as a graduate of Hindutva Brotherhood’s terror training camp,
located near Sarojini Nagar)
(12) Ramesh Verma, resident of Pune, wanted for terror attack in Sheikhupura, killing 7 innocent citizens
(13) Bihari Mishra, wanted for organizing a number of terror attacks
in Pakistan through his terrorists of Hindutva Brotherhood’s terrorist
(14) Manoj Kulkarni, resident of Colkata, wanted for terror attack in Attok , killing 17
(15) Venkatash Raghwan, resident of Mahablaishwar, wanted for terror attacks in Rawalpindi, killing some 9 people
(16) Ajit Sahay, a former RAW Deputy Director, now attached with Chotta Rajan, wanted for organizing attack in Hyderabad (Sindh)
(17) Ashok Vohra alias Nepali, wanted for printing fake Pakistani
currency and spreading it worldwide, particularly in Nepal, UAE and UK
and also organizing a terror attack in Gujranwala in which 8 people were
(18) Vijay Kapali alias Guru, resident of Maharashtra, wanted for
terror attack on an AJK village, killing 13 of a family. He is also
working for RAW’s cross border operations wing
(19) Vivek Santoshi, resident of Calcutta, wanted for organizing terror attack on some US citizens and killing them in Karachi
(20) Mohandas Sharma, resident of Patna, wanted for planning and
executing terror attacks on foreign nationals in Pakistan at least on
three occasions
(21) Ramgopal Soorati, resident of Soorat, wanted for terror attack in Jhelum, killing 9 through a bus blast on the highway
(22) Rakesh alias Kalia, resident of Bombay, wanted for terror attack in Kasur
(23) Parkash Santoshi, resident of Lucknow, wanted for terror attack on a religious gathering in Lahore
(24) Aman Verma alias Pappoo alias Gulloo, resident of Aagra, wanted
for terror attack in Peshawar in which 11 people were killed
(25 Mohinder Parkash alias Yasin Khan alias Riaz Chitta, resident of
Lucknow, wanted for organizing terror attacks in different parts of
(26) Ashish Jaithlee alias Shaikh alias Osama, resident of Bombay
downtown, wanted for providing explosives to the terrorists who killed
French engineers in Karachi and also to those who carried out Marriot
bombing, these explosives were provided through Pak-Afghan border
(27) Manohar Laal alias Peer Jee alias Ubu Khalid, resident of
Gohaati, wanted for providing explosive devices for attack on Foreign
Mission building in Karachi
(28) Ramnarayan alias Mufti, resident of New Delhi, wanted for
providing huge consignments of automatic weapons to activists of banned
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba
(29) Arun Shetty, resident of Bombay and wanted for bulk infiltration of explosives, arms and ammunition into Pakistan
(30) Nikhanj Laal, resident of Hurryana, wanted for terror attack in border city of Narowaal, killing seven people
(31) Sunil Verma alias Httyara, resident of Maharashtra, wanted for
organizing terror attack on Daily the Nation’s office n Karachi
(32) Ashish Chowan, resident of New Delhi, wanted for supply of arms
and assisting latest terror attacks in Quetta. Ashish is presently
reported to be present in Indian Consulate of Kandahaar (Afghanistan)
(33) Babloo Srivastva of Chhota Rajan gang for providing highly
sophisticated weapons to a sectarian outfit in Pakistan and assisting in
missile attacks on UN offices in Islamabad in year 2000
(34) Suresh, alias Aamir alias Akbar Khan wanted for providing
weapons and explosives to militants in Wana and North Waziristan through
(35) Abu Bakkar, wanted for a number of terror attack in different
parts of the country and now living in India with a new identification
under the blessings of Indian spy agency RAW.


What is China’s foreign policy?

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Everyone is afraid of China. One reason is an instinctive reflex to avoid anything enormous moving at great speed. But even more important is that China’s true intent can’t be gauged. Is China a threat...

Everyone is afraid of China. One reason is an instinctive reflex to avoid anything enormous moving at great speed. But even more important is that China’s true intent can’t be gauged. Is China a threat to the world order, or at least to its region? Is it a rival to the U.S. or an enemy? Should it be balanced or contained? Or should China be envied and admired for its achievements in accruing wealth and power?
China is difficult to decipher because China itself has not yet made up its mind about its true direction and aspirations. China, however, most likely will have to make those decisions during the next decade under its new leader, Xi Jinping. External conditions — threats to China’s energy sources, territorial disputes, the North Korean nuclear gnat — combined with internal tensions — restive populations in Tibet and Xinjiang, anti-corruption protests and social media, the budgetary issues caused by an aging population — will cause the country, or at least the regime, to show its true colors.
In some respects, China is a natural candidate for a vengeful nationalism because of its deep-seated feeling of humiliation, which New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman calls “the single most underrated factor in international relations.” Just as European textbooks routinely refer to the Hundred Years’ War, Chinese texts and maps routinely refer to the “Hundred Years of Humiliation,” the foreign domination during the opium wars of the mid 19th century to the Japanese occupation in the mid-20th century.
One answer to the Chinese enigma lies in how the Chinese overcome that humiliation. Will China settle accounts with the West by building a society that is more productive and stronger than the deadlocked democracies of Europe and the U.S.? Or will China need to humiliate the West by turning it into a servile debtor while pilfering its economic secrets from its computers?
In that sense, the Russians are lucky. Except for some fighter jets and weapons systems that the Chinese haven’t yet reverse-engineered, Russia has few R&D secrets worth stealing. Moscow’s worries concern the population imbalances in the Far East: sparse on the Russian side of the border, burgeoning on the Chinese.
The recent revelations about the Chinese government-backed hacking of U.S. business and institutions are about more than saving money on research and development. They are part of a three-pronged foreign policy strategy in which China will combine cyberespionage with economic pressure to bring the West under its sway while projecting traditional military might in its own region. The third prong is nuclear. Currently, China is in the same league as England and France but is pushing ahead with intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-based missiles. You can’t be a superpower without them.
China is also investing heavily in its navy, which is the only way to protect the flow of energy and raw materials into China, and the export of finished goods. Besides protecting its economic lifeline, naval power allows China to deny or delay U.S. access to the South China Sea and East China Sea in the event of a crisis over Taiwan. Beefed up naval power will also help in negotiations over the various disputed islands.
For all the money Beijing is pouring into modernizing its armed forces, it still spends more on domestic security than on defense. According to official figures, since 2010 the budget for the police, the state security forces, the courts and prisons has exceeded the money spent on the military. Even China is afraid of China.