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Posts tagged with: Afghanistan

The Taliban’s Atomic Threat: John Bolton’s Fear Mongering

John Bolton, the former interim US Representative at the UN is now at the American Enterprise Institute. He was “interim” because he was not confirmed by the Senate despite Bush Administration’s advocacy. Among other things he faced allegations of mistreating women employees working under him. Seeing the writing on the wall he resigned in 2006. He was also associated with the Project for the New American Century. Scroll down from here to Associations with Bush administration to get an idea of the people involved.

Bush Sr. kept them at bay but the Junior did not have the spine and succumbed to the AEI lobbying. The results of that meddling are before us – Iraq, Afghanistan and the Economy.

In a recent piece John Bolton wrote for the WSJ he espoused his fringe neoconzix views.

Quoting from Obama’s press conference, he wrote:

At his press conference Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama endorsed Pakistan’s official position that it has secure control over its nuclear-weapons arsenal. Mr. Obama said he was “gravely concerned” about the situation there, but “confident that the nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands.”

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Two Washingtonians On Pakistan

Pakistan. ‘s neo-conzix point man Husain Haqqani in Washington wrote in WSJ:

Now that the Taliban have been driven out of Buner, and Pakistani forces have militarily engaged them just outside their Swat Valley stronghold, it should be clear to all that Pakistan can and will defeat the Taliban.

Leap of logic by a person who could be the best Foggy Bottom Ambassador to Islamabad. Is this the same Army that is so fond of surrendering to the rifle armed Taliban militia by the hundreds? Is this the same Army that dithers and avoids fighting the insurgents? Is this the same Army that is trained and equipped to fight conventional wars?

Under the Musharraf dictatorship, Pakistan probably was not as quick as it needed to be to comprehend the enormity of the Taliban threat. And after last year. ‘s election of democratic leaders, our new government had an array of domestic issues to address. Mobilizing all elements of national power, particularly public opinion, against the Taliban threat took time because many Pakistanis thought the Taliban were amenable to negotiations and would keep their word.
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More drones and more suicide attacks – Where are we going?

Guest Post by Insouciant

orakzaiagencyAs the new Afghan-Pakistan policy of Obama is unfolding it is now evident that the drones attack will be an essential part of it. Another drone attack in Orakzai agency was carried out yesterday that left nearly 14 dead and several injured. The victims included foreign militants, locals, women and children. Yes, it was collateral. The thing that strikes me immediately is that Orakzai agency is the only agency among the seven of FATA that does not border Afghanistan.

Wait a minute – Had our bosses in the Washington not said that there will be drones only in the borderly areas? Or, if it should not be a concern as long as our Prime Minister is confident that the drones will not enter in Swat and Balochistan, after all this is from where the Pakistani governance starts these days on the map. Gillani looked really ugly when he announced with a sense of accomplishment that “they had taken up the issue of drone attacks with America and that there would be no drone attacks in Swat and Balochistan”.
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The new Afghan-Pakistan policy

Guest Blog

obama afghanistanPresident Obama unveiled today the much awaited new AF-PAK policy. Addressing from Executive Office building, he strived for a “stronger, smarter and more comprehensive strategy” to confront the menace of Al Qaeda. While the cynics will just throw away the new policy as another hackneyed rhetoric from the U.S. President, it is imperative that one must go deep to bring out the ramifications of this outlined policy on Pakistan and on the region in the time to come. Let me first mention here the highlights of his new AF-PAK policy:

  • He stressed to recognize the connection between the future prospects of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He unequivocally put this in these words, ”So let me be clear: Al-Qaeda and its allies the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks — are in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
  • He will be sending another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan along with hundreds of civilian specialists. The troops which are in addition to the 17,000 the president announced earlier, would be sent to Afghanistan will be charged with training and building the Afghan army and police force.
  • He called upon Congress to pass a bill authorising a tripling of US spending in Pakistan to $1.5bn (£1.05bn) each year over the next five years, to help rebuild “schools, roads and hospitals”, which is also know as Kerry-Lugar bill.
  • The United States will be seeking to work with the United Nations to develop “greater progress for its mandate to coordinate international action and assistance, and to strengthen Afghan institutions.”

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Pakistan is the ‘Most Dangerous Country’ – Rethink Afghanistan

The Brave New Foundation has launched an effort Rethink Afghanistan to better help the American people understand the ongoing problem in Afghanistan and has produced the second video in its initiative. In the second video Bruce Riedel the leading foreign policy expert for President Obama’s Afghanistan review, has called it “the most dangerous country in the world today“. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and a government disconnected from the poverty, malnutrition, and lack of healthcare afflicting its people.

Though Pakistan remains a U.S. ally, tensions continue to rise as the U.S. considers broadening military strikes within Pakistan’s borders. Part two of Rethink Afghanistan focuses on how the Afghanistan crisis affects Pakistan and all of us.

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UCLA Scientist predicts Osama Bin Laden in Kurram Agency [90% probability]

Jaosn Kottke carries a link of a report where a UCLA geography Professor Thomas Gillespie has used a technique typically used for tracking endangered species in order to pinpoint the most likely location Osama Bin Ladin, the worlds most wanted terrorist. In a paper (pdf) published in the MIT International Review

Gillespie describes how he used bio-geographic data including bin Laden’s last known location, cultural background, security needs, declining health, limited mobility and height to create a mathematical model that he claims will show where the terror mastermind is hiding.
UCLA Osama Map
He found a 90 percent chance that bin Laden is in Kurram province in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, most likely in the town of Parachinar which gave shelter to a larger number of Mujahedin during the 1980s. Here’s a closer look at the region with Osama probabilities shown:
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Operation LionHeart

I received this text message from a friend who fortunately is one of those who has not only read history but also never forget it.

“Richard the Lionheart fought the crusades against Muslims who were valiantly defended by Salahuddin Ayubi. In operation LionHeart, who is lion heart in present context? Can somebody ask Gen Ather Abbas?”

Since, I was running fever and hadn’t watched TV or read newspaper for a couple of days; I ask him that what operation Lionheart is? He informed me that joint operation of Pakistani and ISAF forces in FATA is named operation Lionheart. I then forwarded that text message to my favorite hosts and was lucky to get reply from two of them. In their reply they told me that they would ask the question as the next day they were meeting Gen Abbas in Seminar in the Capital. To my knowledge, till these lines are typed, no has asked this questions on-air, may be due to the censor policies of their channels.
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Karachi University Seminar about the Military Operation in Bajaur, Waziristan, Kurram Agency & Swat

On 25th October, Saturday an event was organized in Karachi University organized by Karachi University Teachers Society, (KUTs) in collaboration of Peoples Resistance (PR).

The main speakers were, Mr. Kak Kahil a Peshawar based AJ TV Journalist and Mr. Wali Haider who has just recently returned from the Bajaur region. Both speakers spoke at length about the situation in the region and following their speeches were later peppered with some very interesting questions by the students about Imperialistic war in tribal & the settled areas of Pakistan, both speakers extensively criticized Taliban’s activities while also took the Pakistan Army to task for playing second fiddle to the NATO and US agenda which are leading towards a collapse of the sovereignty of Pakistan. The News reported on the event as follows
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My internal conflicts

Guest Blog by Amer Nazir

I hurried towards the train station to catch the 7:51. I was dressed well – in my Canali suit and my Hugo Boss overcoat. At the entrance to the station, I saw two people handing out leaflets. The one on the right was Susan Krammer, the local Liberal Democrat MP.

She paused when she saw me… and I saw her struggle for a moment though she did hide it well… ‘And how are you?’ she asked as if she had placed me at once without any effort at all on her part… ‘I am well,’ I replied, with my eye towards the approaching train that I did not want to miss… ‘Mrs Krammer,’ I continued hastily, ‘I will never forget your kindness…!’ ‘That’s what we are here for,’ she replied, ‘you know where to reach us if there is anything we can do for you in future as well…’

I bowed, said my goodbye and ran towards the train – but she called after me…’By the way, you look terrific,’ she said. I turned around and saw that she was beaming – there was pride in her eyes…

Once on the train, I thought of her. I could imagine her being a bit indulgent this morning. An indulgence well deserved. I imagined her telling her assistant right at this moment in a hushed tone that I was an ex-asylum seeker – perhaps just to motivate the young man about the moral significance of their job…

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Don’t Blame the Victim – Detailed analysis of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s case

I share with you a detailed report published on the People’s Resistance mailing list analyzing the abduction of Dr. Aafia Siddqui and her ongoing trial in the US Courts. Please take time to read the report and if you agree with the contents then it would be a great help if you can join in the effort to spread the word far and wide to get more support for her.

Download the PDF Version
[download#6]

Case study

On March 30, 2003, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui disappeared from Karachi along with her three minor children. Media reported that she had been taken by the US authorities with compliance of Pakistani authorities since the FBI had wanted to seek some information from her. In the face of general outcry, the US and Pakistani authorities quickly backtracked but then a year later Pakistani Foreign Office admitted publicly that Aafia had been handed over to the US.1

She became a concern for human rights organizations including Amnesty International who kept the case alive for five years. On July 6, 2008, political party Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf presented a British journalist in Islamabad who said there was reason to believe that Aafia was the “Prisoner 650” at Bagram (Afghanistan) and had undergone brutal rape and torture for five years. Outcry reaches a high water mark and urgent appeals were sent by Asian Human Rights Commission on July 22, to President George Bush and other persons of authority.

On August 4, the US authorities officially admitted of having Aafia in their custody but the US Department of Justice brought forth a charge sheet against her, claiming that she was arrested on July 17 (and not before) while loitering around near the residence of Ghazni’s Governor. They alleged that papers found in her handbag included instructions on making bombs and notes about installations in US.

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Pakistan is there to live

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

As long as India keeps dreaming the disintegration of Pakistan, it will survive as a viable state as the very negativity serves the purpose of knitting this crowd of 170 million people into a nation, whenever it is confronted by its arch rival. Editor of Indian Defence Review, Mr. Bharat Verma writes that ‘new Delhi is its own enemy, when it permitted the creation of a pure Islamic state on its borders,” I for one disagree as this state emerged as a result of a successful struggle for independence by millions of Muslims of India who felt that two nation theory is the only viable option to preserve and protect each other’s identity and core values. Indian Hindus too got liberated after remaining under Moghuls for over 6 centuries and then British Raj through the same process due to Gandhi’s vision. Independence was neither granted through diplomacy, nor as a charity. It was snatched on the basis of fundamentals of the modern day democracy, one man one vote’ principle and majority of muslim populated areas vowed to join the newly established idea of ‘Pakistan’ where they saw security, identity and a peaceful enjoyment of civil and political rights, and a freedom of religion, culture and values.
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Hot pursuit or breach of territorial integrity in Pakistan

Amjad Malik writes specially on the issue of US incursions in Pakistan

As Pakistan is paying the price for flirting with United States yet again and did not learn anything from Russian invasion results and being in the rock and hard place, the country is viewed by many that its giving too much to the Americans but according to the USA not enough, hence unilateral incursions. These attacks whether through missiles or land operations are fatal for state sovereignty principle as it not only establishes might is right principle but exposes a trust deficit amongst operators of war on terror at international front. King Abdullah rightly pointed out some intelligence failures and lack of cooperation at that front and insisted the need of joint Intel set up internationally to combat this menace which is affecting us all. When we look at UN charter, the forum which was set up to avoid war and to reaffirm faith in human rights and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligation of treaties can be maintained, and the tolerance was the key and there was agreed prohibition of armed forces save in the common interest. Article 2(4) of the UN charter says that ‘All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations.”
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Tariq Ali speaks about Pakistan Current Situation

Guest Blog by Yaseen Khawar of Pakistanic.com

Tariq Ali s a renowned Pakistani intellectual of world reputation resides in U.K but visits Pakistan from time to time. Recently he gave an interview to Amy Goodman, It is presented here:

Amy Goodman: Recently Pakistani border security forces have stopped American army to cross the Pak Afghan border and do an operation in Pakistani territory but Pakistan’s army open fire on their helicopter. How would you comment on this?

Tariq Ali: I think circumstances have become quite dangerous. It is the point of discussion in American administration since last year whether to do operation inside Pakistan’s territory but there is a strong lobby inside U.S administration which says that if U.S operated inside Pakistan it will benefit those elements against which U.S is doing operation.

Amy Goodman: How?

Tariq Ali: When pushtoon population of North West Frontier Province will see that America has started operation against them, they will join Taliban inside Afghanistan to strengthen resistance.
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The News reports on PR Seminar with Hamid Mir

Most militants fighting to avenge military actions’
Published in The News: Monday, September 29, 2008

When Corps Commander Ali Jan Orakzai had deployed troops for the first time in Mohmand Agency in 2003, he gave an impression that the military intended to build schools, hospitals and roads there but he rather launched an operation against the militants that ultimately created further problems for civilians, as a result separatist tendency increased there. And this was the beginning of the conflict there.

Senior journalist Hamid Mir said this while speaking at a seminar “Military action in Fata, reality, myths and implications”, held at Justice Cornelius Library of the newly built National Law University, Clifton, on Sunday.

“The concept of Pakistan has almost ended there as the insurgency is taking shape of separatism,” he added.

According to him, there exist around 10-15 militant groups, which are not Taliban and they are not well organized. “They lack command structure and sometimes they also fight with each other. They are insurgents and separatists,” he claimed.
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Interview with Mangal Bagh

Guest Blog by Faisal K. from Deadpanthoughts

Just who is Mangal Bagh Afridi a khurram agency bus driver turned religious zealot? Or a savvy implant by the ISI into this troubled sector to bring about a liberation of the locals from the foreign Taliban. According to noted history Mangal bagh came into being when Mufti Munir Shakir who had established a radio station in the Khurram agency for broadcasting his views over the airwaves handed over the torch to a young Mangal who then used this pirate radio station to become an overnight success and gathered thousands of followers around him hence forming the militant group Lashkar E Islam. He is a known media savvy militant and quite a character in giving statements. Below is a fictitious interview of Mr Bagh.

F.K: So why the name Mangal?

Mangal: Assallam O alikum wa rehma tullahe wa ba ra ka tu hu, I chose the name Mangal because of the way it sounds. It rolls off the tongue, you know brother I used to be a bus driver and heard many Indian songs while driving around bara, try it “Mangale Mangale Mangale Mangale ho”

F.K: what is the purpose of the “Lashkar E Islam?

Mangal: What is your purpose of coming here? Brother look at your face in the mirror you have forgotten how to smile, you know why? Because you let your women ride you like he goats and nod in silly discussions about the fate of the world when you can decide your destiny yourself, you are just a child.
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