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Posts tagged with: Islamabad

American boots in Pakistan will push miscreants into Pakistani homes

Guest Blog Post by Moin Ansari
Moin Ansari’s Blog

The push theory pushes drug dealers and insurgents out of an area. This action does not eliminate the the insurgents or destroy the insurgency. It simply moves and “pushes the insurgents to a different area, usually into civilian quarters.

The US and NATO have been successful in pushing the insurgency, though not the insurgents out of Kabul to the Afghan Pashtun countryside. NATO, Khad, RAW and others then pushed the insurgency into the tribal areas of Pakistan. Continued activity pushed the insurgency, (not the insurgents) into Swat and Islamabad.

Already some of this insurgency has spread beyond Srinagar. More boots on the ground will spread this fire deep into the heart of India. From the other side, Burma, Thailand already are fighting a growing insurgency.

A more animated intervention or invasion of Pakistan will further push the insurgency and the insurgents into Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, and other settled areas of Pakistan. Surely the US army will follow the insurgency and the insurgents. Drones flying over Islamabad and firing missiled children hidden in Aabpara or missiles being fired into Gulberg 3 and Husein chowk in Lahore?
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PPP demands foolproof security for Co-Chairperson PPP

The Pakistan Peoples Party has issued a request to the government of Pakistan asking for fool-proof additional security for the new Co-Chairman Mr. Asif Ali Zardari. I am shocked that Mr. Zardari did not enforce these measures with his wife Benazir Bhutto during her tour of Pakistan, it is confirmed that he had explicitly told the government that his own party security team would handle the basci protection around Benazir Bhutto. One does go to speculate, if he was directly not involved with the assassination then such a decison to take security matters into his own hands did definitely provide an ample opportunity for terrorist to attack Benazir Bhutto.

The killing of Murtaza Bhutto is rumored to also be his work of art which lead to a police ambush and his assassination on the fateful day on 20 September 1996 in Karachi

Pakistan Peoples Party has expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements for the Co-Chairperson PPP, Senator Asif Ali Zardari and demanded that the foolproof security arrangements should be provided to him. In this regard, the member Central Executive Committee PPP, Dr. A Rehman Malik in a letter addressed to the Secretary Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan, Syed Kamal Shah, wrote, “Reference to the recent security threats to Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, Co-Chairman, Pakistan Peoples Party. We would like to inform as under:-
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RSF Rates Pakistan as Dangerous Country for Press in 2007

Reporters without Borders has just issued a report titled Press Freedom in 2007 in which they categorically pinpoint Pakistan as one of the most deadly countries in the world for journalists. The report goes on to identify the number of people killed in the world where 47 were in Iraq, 8 in Somalia and six in Pakistan.

Six journalists were killed in Pakistan, where suicide attacks and heavy fighting between the army and Islamist militants partly accounted for 2007s higher toll. Muhammad Arif, of TV station Ary One World, was among 133 people killed in the suicide attack on opposition leader Benazir Bhuttos motorcade in Karachi in October. Another such attack aimed at a government minister in April killed 28 people, including young freelance photographer Mehboob Khan.
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Report: ISI was diverting US aid to Rig the Elections

This news report to many does not come as a surprise, as many independent observers including this scribe have been screaming all along that these elections are no where near the notion of being free and fair – these elections were being carefully heavily rigged and the results planned in the favor of the ruling coalition, Jeremy Page has come out with some interesting discussions but I hope for the sake of transparency that the original document does finally make it into the free world

Published in Times Online written by Jeremy Page in Naudero excerpts of the article quoted here while the rest can be read on TIMES ONLINE

On the day she was assassinated, Benazir Bhutto was due to meet two senior American politicians to show them a confidential report alleging that Pakistans intelligence service was using US money to rig parliamentary elections, officials in her party said yesterday.

The report was compiled by the former Prime Ministers own contacts within the security services and alleged that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency was running the election operation from a safe house in the capital, Islamabad, they said. The operations aim was to undermine Ms Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and to ensure victory for the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) party, which supports President Musharraf, in the elections scheduled for January 8.
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The NAB Diaries – Part Three

Guest Post by Amer Nazir


Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Two of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here


It is with a heavy heart that I write today. My condolence to her immediate family and to all who looked up at her and I fear for the consequences that face my country if things are not sorted out with maturity and dignity even now.

I read two newspapers while travelling the London underground on that fateful day, the Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror… and I could not believe my eyes. Both gave out the same message. Apart from the usual sympathy shown to a victim of violence, all of a sudden, almost overnight to be exact, a new verdict had emerged that she never was a solution for Pakistan…

Coming from the west it was a surprise, there seemed an indecent haste to dismiss her as a political leader of any significance whatsoever even before she was buried. More was written about the corruption in her time. It is not to say that there werent occasional mentions before but never were they so outright and blatant…
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Salman Ahmed shares his views on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination

Salman Ahmed a very prominent musician in Pakistan shares a short commentary on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, I reproduce his email verbatim

Despite my critical view of her as a politician, I’m saddened by the loss of Benazir. For the sake of our collective conscience and the nation’s self respect we need to know immediately who was behind her assassination. The govt’s version of events are pure fantasy, a full independent and credible inquiry is required to get to the bottom of this. Having said that, when there is no system of justice and no credible electoral process desperate people will remove Political candidates through desperate measures… The corrupt system helped create these suicide bombers and assassins… they will continue to create havoc until social justice is finally addressed.

Feudal politicians like Benazir, who presented herself as a “modern leader”, still continued the essence of the subcontinent’s colonial rule during her two times as prime minister. The nexus between the Pakistani feudals and our military are the reason why India has left Pakistan so far behind while we continue our confused, corrupt and clumsy spiral to disaster. Whats shocking is that PPP veteran politicians are brushed aside while power stays within the Bhutto clan. Bilawal and Zardari, are a slap in the face of democracy in Pakistan. This is not democracy, its a monarchy and the poor people of Pakistan pay for it with their lives.
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They don’t blame Al-Qa’ida. They blame Musharraf: Robert Fisk

By Robert Fisk Published in The Independent UK.

This is an article worth reading where Robert Fisk places the right questions, we genuinely believe its not the work of Al-Qa’ida but instead an outcome of Musharraf’s eight year rule, few recent links here and here while this blog is full of statements condemning Musharraf practically since its inception in 2004. So as they say the writing was on the wall, only if someone dared to read the wall is the question, as they say better late then never but please save my country from the brink of disaster

Weird, isn’t it, how swiftly the narrative is laid down for us. Benazir Bhutto, the courageous leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, is assassinated in Rawalpindi attached to the very capital of Islamabad wherein ex-General Pervez Musharraf lives and we are told by George Bush that her murderers were “extremists” and “terrorists”. Well, you can’t dispute that.
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UPDATED: Mobile pictures – Benazir was defintely shot dead before the Blast

New Images updated below: Considering all the commotion and fuss created by the government of Pakistan saying the called that Benazir Bhutto was not hit by the three bullets but instead she hit her head on some ‘lever’ of the sunroof. Last night I was contacted by a person via Orkut who had uploaded these images on his profile (now he has taken them off) he was offering to share his video to the extent that he gave his cell number in Islamabad, since his dial up did not permit transferring this heavy file.

On contacting him today he claimed that he was a PPP supporter and his party had instructed him not to share this with anyone. Later when a news reporter tried contacting him, his cell phone was switched off. I have two images to share with you which were initially taken off his Orkut Profile

The first image clearly shows Benazir Bhutto standing upright in the car through the sunroof waving to the crowd

benazir-before-shot-was-fired-thumb.jpg

The next image is just after the gun shots which were fired from the left but moments before the bomb blast. Here we see Benazir Bhutto not on the sunroof of the car most likely already shot and injured slumped inside

benazir-after-shot-was-fired-thumb.jpg

I sadly do not have the original video, though I tried very hard to get it. A source was in direct contact with the cameraman who actually shot the video and later uploaded the screen captures to show that he means serious business. He claimed to be in the security detail with Benazir Bhutto was riding on her car barely five minutes earlier but had to jump off as she exited the Liaquat Bagh venue. He was finding it difficult to upload the 56MB video file online so was ready to allow someone to help him get it readily available. Today morning he said that his cell phone was ringing off the hook with people clambering in the hunt for the video, hence forth he turned his cell phone off and had even removed the images from his Orkut profile.

NEW IMAGES UPLOADED BELOW
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8-Page Advertorial in USA Today by Govt of Pakistan

An 8-page advertorial appeared in US Today on the 18th of December on PAKISTAN it was published by the United World Project Team in Pakistan and is sponsored by the a number of pro-Musharraf companies. Overtly it may seem to be an attempt to evoke positive energy for Pakistan but realistically its all geared up to boost the failing image of Musharraf and his attempt to woo in – not the Pakistani people, but instead an American vote of approval. The advertorial was also closely linked to the salvage team (Nasim Ashraf and Kashmala Tariq) [link], [link], [link] that was sent to the US for bolstering the sinking image of Musharraf.

It must be noted that practically a day before on the 17th of December hundreds of policemen brutally lathi-charged a group of citizens wanting to greet the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohd Chaudhry, the next day after the withdrawal of the so-called Emergency. It is after all, since 1999 and more specifically since 9/11 that Musharraf has continued to appease the American government to offer him one life-extension after another (despite all of their ‘half-hearted’ warnings) it seems that this time again he has yet again successfully wooed in the American vote of approval

For any Pakistani it should not be too difficult to see through this propaganda advertorial, but what worries me is maybe this in-your-face eight page advertorial might have helped temporarily patched up any misgivings between America and Musharraf. He continues to reign supreme while the rest of the country can go to hell

Download the 8-page US Today advertorial in PDF format HERE


Final Testimony to the US House Committee on Pakistani elections

Testimony by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on “Pakistani elections: Will they be fair and free or fundamentally flawed?

20 December 2007
Washington, DC

International Crisis Group LogoI want to express once again the appreciation of the International Crisis Group for the continuing attention of the Committee and particularly Chairman John Tierney and the other members of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs to U.S. relations with Pakistan and the performance of that government concerning democracy, Islamic extremism and terrorism.

This hearing asks whether the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8th will be fair and free or fundamentally flawed. That question has to be asked now. Election Day will be too late.

The sad answer today is that Pakistans parliamentary elections will be fatally flawed unless political, electoral and legal conditions are rapidly improved. Today, conditions
to permit a fair and free election do not exist. It is December 20th- martial law was lifted five days ago and the election will be held in only eighteen days.

Election Day is the final act of a democratic drama. Act one requires objective and non-partisan rules and standards adopted and monitored by neutral authorities. Act two demands that parties are permitted to select their own candidates, candidates allowed to campaign without hindrance or intimidation, and a free press given unfettered opportunity to challenge, question, and report on candidates, parties and public issues including the illegality of emergency rule and the actions of President Musharraf and Pakistan security forces.
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ISI agents orchestrate a staged escape of Rashid Rauf

Rashid Rauf in PakistanAn article has been posted on Times Online UK which raises concerns that Pakistan’s secret service may have staged the escape of Rashid Rauf a few days back. The excuse / investigation presented by the Pakistani Police seems to be an utter farce when the explanation shows that a high profile prisoner was allowed to munch down at McDonald’s and then allowed unchained and unattended to offer prayers in a mosque, only to let him escape through the ‘other door’.

In December 2006 the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities, and his charges were downgraded to forgery and possession of explosives. It can very well be speculated that the government is now afraid that, if he were allowed to go back to the UK he would then be an utter embarrassment for the present regime since they had trumpeted and hyped his involvement in global terrorism

A brief Introduction of Rashid Rauf as posted on Wikipedia

Rashid Rauf, a dual citizen of Britiain and Pakistan, was arrested in Bhawalpur, Pakistan in connection with the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot in August 2006, a day before some arrests were made in Britain. The Pakistani Interior Minister, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, claimed that “he is an al Qaeda operative with linkages in Afghanistan”. He is said to be one of the ringleaders of the alleged plot. In December 2006 the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities, and his charges were downgraded to forgery and possession of explosives

TIMES ONLINE, UK: Friends of Rashid Rauf, the man wanted in Britain for last years Al-Qaeda plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, believe that he did not escape from custody last weekend but was kidnapped by Pakistans military intelligence agency (ISI). They fear he may be shot. Rauf was arrested in Pakistan in August last year at the same time as 25 men were held in Britain after police uncovered an alleged plot to blow up 12 airliners flying to the United States from Heathrow and Gatwick. The arrests led to widespread changes in airport security and a ban on liquids being taken onto planes in hand luggage.
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Pakistans Tyranny Continues – NY Times Op-Ed by Aitzaz Ahsan

free-aitezaz-ahsan_smaller.jpgAn Op-Ed article written by Aitzaz Ahsan which appeared on the Sunday morning New York Times website can be read here

The chief justice of Pakistans Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and his family have been detained in their house, barricaded in with barbed wire and surrounded by police officers in riot gear since Nov. 3. Phone lines have been cut and jammers have been installed all around the house to disable cellphones. And the United States doesnt seem to care about any of that.

The chief justice is not the only person who has been detained. All of his colleagues who, having sworn to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, refused to take a new oath prescribed by President Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army remain confined to their homes with their family members. The chief justices lawyers are also in detention, initially in such medieval conditions that two of them were hospitalized, one with renal failure.

As the chief justices lead counsel, I, too, was held without charge first in solitary confinement for three weeks and subsequently under house arrest. Last Thursday morning, I was released to celebrate the Id holidays. But that evening, driving to Islamabad to say prayers at Faisal Mosque, my family and I were surrounded at a rest stop by policemen with guns cocked and I was dragged off and thrown into the back of a police van. After a long and harrowing drive along back roads, I was returned home and to house arrest.
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The NAB Diaries – Part Two

Guest Post by Amer Nazir


Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here


Part One has already been published by Teeth Maestro last week and which was subsequent to a letter written by me to the Chairman NAB requesting for either his resignation or else for him to justify NABs actions by making the details of this case public. A continued silence from him can only confirm that integrity is not a requirement in Pakistan for the role of Chairman NAB. And that NAB does not have any right to hold accountability since it is corrupt itself…

The other objectives of these diaries are also straight forward. One only needs to read the local and International press to realize that the army is yet being made to seem as a better option. Corruption by the politicians is cited as the reason. The third and the most important consideration, the common man, is never brought into the equation. The debate remains between the army and the politicians almost as if the thought of such a comparison was appropriate… The issues most under discussion are nuclear weapons and terrorism, the common man still does not figure as much…

In a civilized society a single miscarriage of justice that concerns a common man is highlighted as much as the news of a celebrity. Prime Ministers are made accountable, systems are changed, it does not matter whether it is Labour which is in power or the conservatives, the fundamental principles of governance reign supreme.
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Report of KPC Vigil on Eid Day for Aitzaz Ahsan

Report of the Eid Day vigil outside Karachi Press Club to protest against the way authorities manhandled Aitizaz Ahsan after he was suddenly ‘temporarily’ released then then abruptly arrested again. Report by Urooj posted on the People’s Resistance network

The CMKP Karachi DC organised a candlelight vigil at 06:00 p.m. yesterday (December 21) outside the Karachi Press Club, to protest against the bullshit meted out to Aitzaz saheb while he was on his way to Islamabad yester-morning.

Even though the entire thingum was put together at a very short notice, quite a few people showed up — around 20 loge thhey, I think. CMKP ki achhi khaasi representation thhee, with comrades Zafar Aslam, Khurram, Adil (who’s still suffering from the aftereffects of December 17), Zoha, Jaffer, some of our KU cadre, and myself. Humarey ilawa
there was Comrade Sherbaz from the Labour Party, while the rest of the people were from Peoples Resistance (PR).
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A Demented Musharraf talks to Newsweek

Newsweek Online has published excerpts of an interview with General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf taken a few days before the Martial Law was lifted. I share it with you since reading the entire interview one does get an eerie bone chilling sensation that Musharraf has completely lost his sanity and seems to be raging maniac out to seek revenge against those who dared question is authority. He actually makes no effort to hide his anger and instead tries to offer a some lame logical [demented] justification for all his wrong-doings. Most important point to note is that there seems to be little or no concern about the future of Pakistan, only toeing the ‘Anti-terrorism’ concept to suit his own personal vested goal and in effect keep America off his back. Don’t take my words for it, read the entire interview and be a judge for yourself, do share your comments but in my opinion there is definitely a loose screw in the mind of this psychomaniac

Pervaiz MusharrafNEWSWEEK: Is there a difference now that you have shed your uniform and relinquished your post of army chief of staff?
MUSHARRAF: On a personal note, I loved my uniform. From the national point of view, I don’t think there is a difference. I think the overall situation will be better and stronger. The army is being managed by a chief of staff dedicated to the job, and I will be president of Pakistan, and if the two are totally in harmony, the situation is better.

You will appoint the heads of the Army?
I will appoint the chief. The security services report to the president and the prime minister … The ISI [military intelligence service] reports to the political leaders.

Once there is a prime minister, how do you see power being shared?
The prime minister runs the government. Then there is a National Security Council chaired by the president that meets to review situations. But this is only a consultative body. There is no sharing of responsibility really.

You announced [that the state of emergency] will lifted on Dec. 15. Does that mean that the regulations recently imposed on the press will be lifted?
There are no restrictions on the press.
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