Posts Tagged Pakistan Army
Although, Being a Political Islamist, I deem it my duty to respect the ambassador of the enemy country even as but both Islam, the basis of the constitution of Pakistan, and International Law give hosting country the right to expel the ambassador if he/she is involved in the extra diplomatic activities or illegal activities considered as against the hosting country. Unfortunately, Pakistan is a “sovereign” country where American Ambassadors have been enjoying the power equal to the head of the state of Pakistan, however the lady ambassador Ms Patterson has been found guilty of running a parallel military force Blackwater which is doing terrorism inside Pakistan. We have a long list of her crime but some of her these are discussed by Ahmed Quraishi in the following article which he thinks has led to the sour relationship between the two countries; however in my sincere opinion our nationalism and patriotism demands a strong nation wide campaign to expel Ms Patterson from this country immediately. If the United States wants good diplomatic relationship with Pakistan, it should appoint an ambassador and not goon like A. W. Patterson.
SLAMABAD, Pakistan—US Ambassador to Pakistan Ms. Anne W. Patterson is becoming quite controversial. She has overseen the worst spell in the relationship between Washington and Islamabad in sixty years and many say she is responsible for at least some of it. Ties weren’t this bad even when the United States unfairly sanctioned Pakistan in 1990 over its nuclear program.
Mr. Thomas Houlahan, a Washington DC-based expert on Pakistani military issues, accused her in 2008 of conducting ‘bunker diplomacy’—that is, conducting United States diplomacy with Pakistan from the barricaded and isolated confines of her office inside a heavily fortified embassy building which in turn is located inside the isolated Diplomatic Enclave in an outer tip of Pakistan’s federal capital.
Her reports back to Washington are misleading, explained Mr. Houlahan, because she doesn’t really know what Pakistanis are thinking.
For information, Washington’s diplomats in Pakistan have been relying on two things: a pro-US government whose principals owe their power to a deal brokered and guaranteed by the US, and a list of proverbial ‘good guys’ that Ms. Patterson’s Embassy recruited from the media, including retired diplomats, military officers and academia, who could take America’s case to the Pakistani public opinion.
This strategy backfired. Big time.
Failing to see that Pakistanis were asking for respect and not confrontation, she shot alarming reports back to Washington warning of an organized campaign in Pakistani media to assail US reputation.
Getting their cue from Ms. Patterson’s reporting, US government’s spin masters countered by launching an organized campaign within the US media and worldwide, accusing Pakistan of ‘anti-Americanism’. The accusation was expanded to include harassment of US diplomats and non-issuance of visas to them. Obviously, Ms. Patterson failed to tell people back in Washington that CIA and other intelligence-related personnel where using diplomatic cover under her guidance to spy on Pakistan.
She also might have overlooked another small detail: the US ambassador in Pakistan is a potential suspect in a case of bribing a senior Interior Ministry official in order to get a cache of banned weapons into Pakistan without the knowledge of the country’s intelligence.
The alarm generated by Ms. Patterson and her team led US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to rush to Pakistan in order to counter the Pakistani media, with carefully-orchestrated interviews and public appearances where Ms. Patterson did her best to keep Mrs. Clinton away from the ‘bad guys’. She ensured that her boss never met those commentators and media people who could provide the harsh, but legitimate, viewpoint.
This misrepresentation on the part of Ms. Patterson led someone no less than US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to land in Pakistan making a highly inappropriate statement, where he accused legitimate critics of US policy toward Pakistan of orchestrating an ‘an organized propaganda campaign’. He probably had no idea that legitimate criticism of policy by Pakistanis claiming they want US not to ignore Pakistani interests did not qualify to be described as ‘an organized propaganda campaign’.
[There are indications that some Pakistanis in Mr. Zardari’s government, and not just Ms. Patterson, helped create this misperception in Washington. Topping the list of Pakistani suspects is Mr. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s envoy in Washington, a key aide to Mr. Zardari and recently the wizard behind Mr. Zardari’s media outreach campaign. Mr. Haqqani has been quite active behind the scenes in mounting a counterattack on the critics of Mr. Zardari and the critics of US in Pakistan. Recently, large numbers of Pakistani legislators have publicly accused Mr. Haqqani of misusing his official position to poison American perceptions of Pakistan’s military and intelligence.]
So, in essence, Ms. Patterson squandered two great opportunities – the visits of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Gates – to address the concerns of the harshest critics in the Pakistani media. Due to Ms. Patterson’s failure, it fell to the Pakistani military to discuss those concerns with counterparts in the US military and use that channel to convey Pakistan’s legitimate concerns about how the US was ignoring Pakistani strategic interests in the region.
What Ms. Patterson should have helped resolve in the civilian arena was actually tackled, and somewhat resolved, in the military arena. But the damage is done. United States’ combative ambassador in Islamabad has left a permanent scar in the media record of the two countries, with silly accusations of anti-Americanism and harassment of diplomats.
Last year she fired a secret letter to a newspaper to silence Dr. Shireen Mazari, a defense expert and Columbia graduate, leading to a public spat that gave the impression the US ambassador was out to force newspapers to fire critics of US.
AND NOW: YVONNE RIDLEY
In 2008, Ms. Patterson accused ‘irresponsible elements’ in the Pakistani media of spreading lies about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui being in US custody in Afghanistan.
Yesterday, the British journalist who uncovered Dr. Siddiqui’s presence inside US-controlled Bagram basewrote a damning piece showing that Ambassador Patterson basically lied to the Pakistani public in her 2008 letter, which she sent to Pakistani newspapers.
This is what Ms. Ridley has to say about Ms. Patterson:
“Everyone had something to say, everyone that is except the usually verbose US Ambassador Anne Patterson who has spent the last two years briefing against Dr Aafia and her supporters.
This is the same woman who claimed I was a fantasist when I gave a press conference with Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan back in July 2008 revealing the plight of a female prisoner in Bagram called the Grey Lady.
She said I was talking nonsense and stated categorically that the prisoner I referred to as “650” did not exist.
By the end of the month she changed her story and said there had been a female prisoner but that she was most definitely not Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
By that time Aafia had been gunned down at virtually point blank range in an Afghan prison cell jammed full of more than a dozen US soldiers, FBI agents and Afghan police.
Her Excellency briefed the media that the prisoner had wrested an M4 gun from one soldier and fired off two rounds and had to be subdued. The fact these bullets failed to hit a single person in the cell and simply disappeared did not resonate with the diplomat.
In a letter dripping in untruths on August 16 2008 she decried the “erroneous and irresponsible media reports regarding the arrest of MsAafia Siddiqui”. She went on to say: “Unfortunately, there are some who have an interest in simply distorting the facts in an effort to manipulate and inflame public opinion. The truth is never served by sensationalism…”
When Jamaat Islami invited me on a national tour of Pakistan to address people about the continued abuse of Dr Aafia and the truth about her incarceration in Bagram, the US Ambassador continued to issue rebuttals.
She assured us all that Dr Aafia was being treated humanely had been given consular access as set out in international law … hmm. Well I have a challenge for Ms Patterson today. I challenge her to repeat every single word she said back then and swear it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
As Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s trial got underway, the US Ambassador and some of her stooges from the intelligence world laid on a lavish party at the US Embassy in Islamabad for some hand-picked journalists where I’ve no doubt in between the dancing, drinks and music they were carefully briefed about the so-called facts of the case.
Interesting that some of the potentially incriminating pictures taken at the private party managed to find the Ambassador was probably hoping to minimize the impact the trial would have on the streets of Pakistan proving that, for the years she has been holed up and barricaded behind concrete bunkers and barbed wire, she has learned nothing about this great country of Pakistan or its people.
One astute Pakistani columnist wrote about her: “The respected lady seems to have forgotten the words of her own country’s 16th president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.
Well I, and many others across the world like me, can’t handle any more lies. America’s reputation is lying in the lowest gutters in Pakistan at the moment and it can’t sink any lower.
The trust has gone, there is only a burning hatred and resentment towards a superpower which sends unmanned drones into villages to slaughter innocents.
It is fair to say that America’s goodwill and credibility is all but washed up with most honest, decent citizens of Pakistan.
And I think even Her Excellency Anne Patterson recognizes that fact which is why she is now keeping her mouth shut.
If she has any integrity and any self respect left she should stand before the Pakistan people and ask for their forgiveness for the drone murders, the extra judicial killings, the black operations, the kidnapping, torture and rendition of its citizens, the water-boarding, the bribery, the corruption and, not least of all, the injustice handed out to Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her family.
She should then pick up the phone to the US President and tell him to release Aafia and return Pakistan’s most loved, respected and famous daughter and reunite her with the two children who are still missing.”
Far from the way Ms. Patterson portrayal of Pakistanis as a bunch of ‘anti-Americanists’, most Pakistanis believe in the goodness of the American people and that this American here [click to see the video and report] represents America much better than Ms. Patterson has unsuccessfully been trying so far in Pakistan, with all due respect.
Dr Shireen M Mazari enlightens the readers about the present wave of terrorist activities in Pakistan by comparing it with those happened in 80s in Pakistan. She questions as why don’t Taliban attack the NATO and why the Pakistanis only? The timing of bomb blasts is also crucial. Would our policy makers like to know these facts and revise Pakistan’s relationship with American? The Army has the responsibility to do this as this was its Chief, who should have been a Tablachi instead of being Army chief, who made Pakistan a living hell for Pakistanis. We urge our political and military leadership to think at least once that would it be better to kill the Agents or those who will recruit more and more if the present vanish. The Americans and Indians are the real problem. To only kill the agents will bring no change.
The bomb blast in Peshawar with its terrible loss of life has further destroyed any remaining semblance of normality in the provincial capital. Of course all fingers are pointing to the TTP. But what should also be seen now is the link the TTP has with India and the US. After all, the TTP has so far not targeted anyone other than Pakistanis despite their claims that they are fighting the US. It is the Afghan Taliban who are targeting the US/NATO forces occupying Afghanistan. And with the US/NATO having vacated their check posts on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan, to allow for a freer flow of arms to the TTP in South Waziristan where the Pakistan Army is battling these militants, it requires little imagination to understand the underlying linkages – or what some would term, wheels within wheels.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the recent spate of terrorism, which has shifted from being primarily suicide blasts to the targeting of security personnel and installations by armed men, as well as car bombs in busy civilian centres is the terrible sense of dTja vu one has.
If we can recall the Pakistan of the eighties, when we were the frontline state in another US war – against the Soviets in Afghanistan and the socialist regime they had installed in Kabul – we will remember the pattern of terrorism that hit out country as the CIA funded, Pakistan supported Mujahideen made gains in Afghanistan. For example in July 1987 two car bombs went off in Karachi killing 72 people and wounding 250; just nine days earlier, three blasts had occurred in Lahore within a few minutes, killing seven people. Authorities at the time had blamed these on “agents of the Communist government in neighbouring Afghanistan”. The Karachi bombings happened in Saddar – a civilian commercial centre.
There were also acts of terror in Balochistan, where the secessionists suddenly emerged fully armed, and Quetta was also targeted. Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad also saw bomb blasts, all in civilian centres. All these acts of terror were attributed to the KGB, Khad (the Afghan secret service of the time) and RAW. India was one of the few countries across the globe that had not condemned the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and had thereby made great inroads into that country. So RAW with Khad became active inside Pakistan from the western border. The strategy of the Soviet Union was clear: destabilise Pakistan to counter the growing success of the Mujahideen. This was attempted through two tracks: aggravating ethnic divides in the rural areas of Pakistan, such as rural Sindh; and terrorising the densely populated urban areas through blasts in civilian centres.
Now, once again, what are we seeing in the recent acts of terrorism? A similar pattern repeated, with a major act of terror happening in Pakistan whenever there is a major attack against US/NATO forces in Kabul. The most recent one was the downing of the US helicopter in Afghanistan just before the latest Peshawar blast. This is not to deny the local menace of militants in the form of the TTP but who is linked to this local group? Where are the money and weapons coming from? Why did the US and NATO deliberately vacate their check posts just when the Pakistan Army began its operations in South Waziristan – after continuous prodding from the US to begin with? Why are so many US citizens being caught at odd hours of the day and night in and around the capital carrying weapons to and from their embassy? Who are they supplying with these weapons?
For those of us who lived through what were then the darkest days of our history in the eighties, only the faces have changed, the style of terrorism remains the same. The CIA has replaced the KGB and Khad, but India’s RAW remains a constant. And the local agents for these new forces are the TTP. Why are we destined to suffer the same cycles of terror in our history every time we become a frontline state for the US?
Who has attacked Pakistan’s Defence Headquarter, GHQ? Who is the beneficiary? Is it just the work of Punjabi Taliban or they have committed it for someone else as mercenary? Has Blackwater done it with assistance from Punjabi Taliban? Is it a reaction against opposition by Pakistan Army to Kerry Lugar bill? Has the US gave message to army, don’t stop us meddling in affairs of Pakistani state, don’t become hurdle in Kerry Lugar bill, Let Zardari sell this country to Americans? Do the Waziristan operation fast and don’t hesitate to kill your own Pukhtoon Pakistani?
All these questions compose a hypothesis for a research on the topic of HGQ attack in the much relevant context of US meddling in Pakistan. A younger commenter Moin without digging the already present circumstantial evidences has suggested five good suggestions. I will past that at the end but before that let me share some news stories with you which should not be taken as evidences to give final verdict rather questions to do more fruitful research on the topic.
- Army chief given mandate for Waziristan operation
- ‘Good number’ of militants in Waziristan
SINGAPORE: A long-planned operation to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda from South Waziristan is imminent, said the government on Sunday, and blamed Al Qaeda-backed militants for the attack on the military’s General Headquarters (GHQ).
“It has been decided, the civilian leadership has decided … the operation is imminent,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Reuters in an interview in Singapore.
Hours earlier, Pakistani commandos rescued 39 people taken hostage in an attack on GHQ.
Malik said members of the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda were suspected to be behind Saturday’s attack, which ended a week when suicide bombers struck in Islamabad and Peshawar, killing more than 55 people.
“The man who has been arrested, his name is Osman. He is a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan guy, but we have some indications he’s also from Al Qaeda,” said Malik, who was in Singapore for an Interpol conference.
A security official in Punjab earlier said he believed Osman was from the Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi, and another security official said some of the men involved in the attack spoke Punjabi.
But Malik said it was too early to conclude that Punjab-based groups were involved in the attack.
The men who planned the Rawalpindi attack had hired a house for the last two months, where they had been living.
Malik said the planned offensive in South Waziristan was no longer a matter of choice. “It is not an issue of commitment, it is becoming a compulsion because there was an appeal from the local tribes that we should conduct an operation,” he said.
“The army chief has already been given the mandate to conduct an operation at an appropriate time … it is not going to be late, it will be as early as possible,” said Malik.
“We have information there are a good number of terrorists there,” he said.
Malik said he could not determine the timeframe for the operation.
PESHAWAR: The NWFP Information Minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, has said that Friday’s suicide blast at the Soekarno Square, Khyber Bazaar, could have been the work of anti-state forces.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, the information minister said the Peshawar blast could have been carried out in the wake of the Kabul blast outside the Indian Embassy.
He said that the attack on the GHQ was a symbolic warning on behalf of the militants to the government and the people that they had the ability and resources to hit any part of the country.
“It is time to take this threat seriously before it is too late. The much- awaited military operation should be launched in Waziristan Agency at the earliest so as to frustrate the nefarious designs of extremist elements,” the minister said. He said that the network of terrorists was inter-connected globally
Monday, October 12, 2009
By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
ISLAMABAD: The security of the GHQ situated in the thickly-populated area of Rawalpindi stood exposed yet another time in the wake of the Saturday’s terrorist attack on it.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani halted the construction of the new GHQ in the federal capital last year when the federal government declined to provide assistance for the building of the complex in Islamabad under the pretext of economic meltdown. The armed forces and the federal government would review the decision to shelve the GHQ construction next month so that its construction might be restarted without any further delay.
The Army has decided not to burden the national exchequer for the construction since it intends to dispose of its precious lands and some other assets. The income that would be generated through a transparent system would be spent on the construction of the GHQ in Islamabad. In addition, the Army will contribute 25 per cent of the expenditures to the federal government for development purposes.
Well-placed defence sources revealed to The News that the GHQ’s compound is part of the capital’s master plan and about two thousand acres of land was earmarked for the purpose in Sectors E-10 and E-11. Former President General Pervez Musharraf laid the foundation stone of the GHQ in 2004 but no work could be started till 2006 but later it was shelved.
The existing GHQ does not fulfill the requirements of base needed for war planning and its execution. The planned GHQ in Islamabad would fulfill the criteria’s of the new and secure GHQ, the sources said
“The devastating terrorist assault on Pakistan’s military headquarters that ended Sunday after nearly 24 hours exposed the threat of extremist groups operating in the heart of the country and the vulnerability of its most sensitive sites, raising concerns over the security of its nuclear arsenal.”
[The international media is bent upon proving that if Pakistan can’t secure its Army’s Headquarter how can be its nuclear arsenals called safe? Read the news above and also the one uploaded as picture below which states that the US media has started propaganda against Pakistan Army]
Read the News story here
What should be done?
Now the question arises is that what should be done. I am pasting here Aquib Moin’s write-up with thanks to Ahmed Quraishi. The words in brackets are mine.
Aquib Moin writes [GHQ Attack: Time to End Foreign Meddling in Pakistan] On October 10, 2009, we witnessed a deadly attack on the Pakistan Army GHQ in Rawalpindi. We take this as a direct assault on the national security, sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the State of Pakistan. We suggest and recommend that the following measures should at least be taken to respond to this serious attempt to sabotage Pakistan’s national security:
- President Zardari and at least his erstwhile Interior Minister Rehman Malik should be thrown out of the avenues of power immediately and must be interrogated regarding granting mass-scale permissions for suspicious US personnel to enter Pakistan in recent months, allowing foreign ‘diplomats’ to carry illegal weapons in the Federal capital and permitting the suspicious activities of foreign security agencies like Inter-Risk, DynCorp, etc. and their possible link with today’s attack. [Gen Pervez Musharraf, who had better been a Meerasi instead of Army Chief, should also be trialed as this was he who had opened the door of US meddling and American terrorism]
- All US and NATO supplies through Pakistan must be totally suspended until such time the US authorities cooperate with the investigations into the weapons and support to terrorists in the tribal belt coming from the Afghan soil. Washington should also ensure that there will not be any American intervention in any internal affair and that there will not be any American attempt/involvement/design that threatens Pakistan’s integrity, sovereignty and security.
- Unnecessary expansion of the US embassy and the arrival of US personnel should be immediately suspended. We don’t need them to run our affairs. Suspicious security firms contracted by the US embassy and US military should be shut down with immediate effect. There should be tight check on the hire and purchase of property by foreign elements in Pakistan.
- Strict scrutiny of the equipment coming into Pakistan, foreigners residing in Pakistan under the guise of NATO or US operations in Afghanistan.
- A loud, clear and unanimous message should come from the entire media, politicians, Pak Army and all the four corners of Pakistan that those among us cooperating with foreign powers against Pakistani interest will not be tolerated. [In order to make this last step effective we would have say goodbye to our master America first, once we have kicked US the whole nation will fight the Pakistani Taliban militants]
I personally think it’s the work of Blackwater who might be assisted by Punjabi Taliban both paid by the US. The aim of attack is to give a message to Pakistan Army to not to come in its way, don’t become a hurdle in American expansionism in Pakistan. Don’t take action against crusader mercenary, Blackwater and not to oppose Kerry Lugar Bill.
The End Note; Pak Army has proved by successfully completing the operation that its the word’s professional army having the capability to fight any force whether they are Blackwater or their assistants Punjabi Taliban. Congratulate Pak Army, despite your controversial role in the war of terror and operation against own people, the citizens of Pakistan stand by you. Once you say goodbye to US war the whole nation will be part of the Pakistan Army.