Posts Tagged USA
Ms. Memon declined an invitation by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet her as part of her engagements with politicians and civil society representatives in Islamabad yesterday. Here she explains her reasons.
Dear Secretary Clinton,
Whilst the message from you and your government is that of peace and friendship, the Kerry Lugar Bill passed by your legislative branch has been one of the main stumbling blocks in this mission. The assumption that Pakistanis have misunderstood the bill is equally faulty. Pakistanis have read the bill and understood your intent to micromanage Pakistan, to curtail Pakistan’s nuclear expansion program and to direct the war against extremism in Pakistan from White House.
What follows below is an understanding of the bill, which needs to be amended if relations between US and patriotic Pakistanis have to be established. Your assertion that if we have issues with the bill we don’t need to take the money is ‘spot on’; patriotic Pakistanis have rejected your mere $1.5 billion. We will not negotiate on our country’s sovereignty and defence. And these are not mere slogans. They are based on facts, which we read out of your conditionalities, which do exist. And here are the facts Secretary Clinton:
- The most controversial clause in the bill pertains to giving US ‘direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks’. The explanation given in the note is equally unacceptable because it wants ‘cooperative efforts’ to combat proliferation to continue. This cooperation mentioned is intrusive since it demands ‘direct access’. Secretary Clinton, we have already handled our proliferators and believe in non-priliferation. This we consider a breach of our sovereignty.
- The reference to Pakistan military and intelligence agencies being involved in giving support to terrorists in the past is equally offensive. This is a clause which enables the Indian lobby to target Pakistan and hold it responsible for all future terrorist acts in the region.
- The other issue pertains to the fact that President Obama’s regional security strategy will include working with ‘relevant governments and organizations in the region and elsewhere.’ The strategy, which could include RAW and Mossad would be imposed on Pakistan for US national interest not Pakistan. And as such we cannot give the authority of making Pakistan’s security strategy to a US President.
- There are references to expansion of Container Security Initiative at various Pakistani ports, which we consider a security hazard.
- The term sanctuary for terrorism implies that Pakistan is a failed state as is included in intelligence reforms and Terrorism Prevention Act 2004.
- Bill allows ‘irregular forces to be used for US combat operations in Pakistan’ as stated in the Ronald Reagan Act 2005. This in effect gives legal cover to the Dynocores and Blackwaters, which we Pakistanis have major issues with and consider a threat to our security.
- The bill micromanages Pakistan’s important federal government agencies from education, madrassahs to trade, to judiciary, to natural resources. All aid given will be to NGOs and if more than $100,000 is given those NGO files will become classified. As such Pakistan will not have access to such operations. This we consider an attempt by US to create its own financial political power bases for future.
- Approximately $860 million of the aid will go back to US in the form of administrative expenses etc. This truly reflects badly on the actual impact on an average Pakistani’s life.
Here were some of the issues with the bill. Now let’s examine what aggravates Pakistani sensitivities with regards to current US policies. And why you are not welcome in Pakistan by patriotic Pakistanis. This might help you understand why over 80% of Pakistanis have issues with your policies as per certain reliable surveys.
- Firstly, the US stance in the war against extremism is biased towards protecting Indian and Afghan interests. The TTP and Baloch terrorists have been using these two countries and their resources as bases for their operations inside Pakistan as is proven by Pak military evidence. Whilst you consider Pakistan to be sovereign our aid is linked to these two countries, which we find distasteful.
- Whilst Pakistan’s nuclear program is an issue for US, the Indian nuclear program (civil nuclear technology agreement) is being allowed to expand without any blockades.
- Whilst you have personally complemented Pak military efforts in your recent visit, at the same time there are conditionalities in giving aid to Pakistan to strengthen its military against terrorists. Certainly these terrorists are linked to India and as such conditionalities are one sided. Moreover, if Pakistan military is being complemented why cant it be trusted with drone technology? Additionally US policy wishes to strengthen Pakistan’s parliament and yet it ignores the resolution passed by Pakistani parliament against drone attacks.
- Whilst Pakistan is a frontline state which has paid dearly in terms of men lost in battle with terrorists, US considers India and Pakistan to be equals. Where is the advantage Pakistan should get for cooperating on terrorism? $1.5 billion is a joke compared to the billions spent in Afghanistan and Iraq, even in Turkey and Egypt. As well as the fact that no where with other allies has US imposed intrusive conditionalities.
- Whilst Pakistan is blamed for terrorist sanctuaries how many infiltrators coming from India and Afghanistan specifically have you managed to stop?
- The commitment for ROZs looks like its dithering. Where is the actual support for the tribals who have suffered the most in the war being fought to destabilize Pakistan?
- What effort has the US played in cutting drug money, which is destabilizing Pakistan and funding terrorism considering its source of entry is US backed Afghan territory. UN report confirms that after US entry into Afghanistan opium production has increased manifold. This is impacting Pakistan’s security since it’s ready financing for terrorism inside Pakistan. Secretary Clinton, if you wish to improve Pak-US bilaterals a more productive approach would have been to not justify the bill on arrival but rather to give an open ear to the criticisms with a commitment to amending it. Since there have been no such commitments it seems fruitless to meet with you. This is even more disturbing considering that you have been given plenty of evidence of Pakistani uproar on the bill before your arrival. It’s a pity that the bill was executed minus real Pakistani input. This has no doubt created a diplomatic fiasco for the US. Instead of underestimating the fiasco or considering it a result of Pakistani lack of comprehension, it would have been better to deal with it head on: amending the bill being the only viable option.
Pakistan might have a government, which is beholden to you for its future longevity, but there are patriotic Pakistanis who will defend the soil before accepting your policies of creating a US fiefdom in Pakistan. As a young parliamentarian I would only welcome you to Pakistan once we have evidence of your shift in policy so that Pakistan is dealt with as a sovereign country.
Courtesy: The Nation
US vacates checkposts ahead of SWA operation
The US-led Nato forces vacated more than half a dozen key security checkposts on the Afghan side of the Pak-Afghan border just ahead of the major Pakistan Army ground offensive (code named: Rahe Nijaat) against Taliban-led militants in the volatile tribal area of South Waziristan, it is learnt.
It is feared that the American decision will facilitate Afghan Taliban in crossing over to Pakistan and support militants in striking back at the Pakistani security forces in the troubled tribal area.
Sources close to the NWFP government and military strategists involved in the planning of S Waziristan operation told The News over the weekend that the Americans vacated eight security checkposts on the Afghan side of the border just five days before the Army operation. Four of these close to South Waziristan including one each at Zambali and at Nurkha, and four in the north in the area of Nuristan where American forces recently came under violent attacks by the militants.
Latest reports indicate that the Americans have also removed some posts close to North Waziristan, which could encourage even more Afghan Taliban fighters to cross over to the Pakistan side. This has raised many eyebrows in government and military circles with points being made about “conflicting interests” and dubious American designs.
The NWFP government, civilian and military officials in the provincial capital have been astonished by this move and more so intrigued by its timing. Alarmed and concerned about its likely adverse affect on the military operation in S Waziristan where the Pakistani troops reportedly comprising 28,000 soldiers are expected to face fierce resistance from the heavily armed Taliban-led militants, the NWFP government recently alerted the relevant authorities in Islamabad about it.
Pakistan has now taken up this matter with the Americans and conveyed its serious concern about vacating the checkposts at this crucial juncture. Notably the security checkposts on the Afghan side of the border are already almost a third of what Pakistan has on its side.
Recent communication intercepts by Pakistani intelligence outfits have revealed that Taliban commander in Nuristan Qari Ziaur Rehman has invited TTP leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, former deputy of late Baitullah Mehsud, to come to Nuristan and operate from there if he finds space in Wazristan shrinking.
Experts believe the American move of vacating security checkposts on the Afghan side close to Pakistan’s border could undermine the military action by Pakistan Army. While on one hand it could offer an easy escape route to some militants, it is believed that this would facilitate movement of Afghan Taliban into Pakistan side to join hands with the al-Qaeda-backed local Taliban and other locals as well as foreign militant groups against the military action there.
Some observers see it as a tactical move by the US to ward off pressure from its own forces in Afghanistan that have been under severe attacks by the Afghan Taliban. Hence they want to provide them unhindered passage to Pakistan side, as it would help shift the main theatre of war from Afghanistan to inside Pakistan. Americans themselves have been saying that 70 per cent of area in Afghanistan is out of their control.
The Pakistani Tabiban in S Waziristan backed by al-Qaeda are joined by a large number of foreign militants including a battalion of Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens and Arab fighters. According to military sources the toughest resistance is expected from an estimated 1,500 battle-hardened Uzbek fighters, equipped with highly sophisticated weapons. “The Uzbek fighters face a do or die situation with the all-out army action in the hostile mountainous area,” a senior government representative maintained.
The uninterrupted flow of sophisticated arms and funding to the foreign militants in S Waziristan has also lured many criminals to join hands with them in challenging the writ of the state, defence experts say. The presence of various foreign and local militants in the rugged terrain of South Waziristan is estimated at between 15,000 and 20,000.
Officials in the military and civil bureaucracy are cautiously optimistic about the outcome of the operation. “Either these militants will run to Afghanistan, settled areas or stand and fight to the end,” is how one key NWFP government representative summed it up.
A seemingly more realistic view from a key office holder in Peshawar is: “We are half way in containing insurgency and hopefully by end of the year major military operations will be over and 2010 will be the year of consolidating the gains made in recovering the lost ground.”
Whatever the outcome, observers believe that operation in the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan became inevitable. “It became imperative to go for a military operation in South Waziristan to regain the lost space that has been used as training ground for planning and executing attacks targeting key security installations of Pakistan including the GHQ,” the Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said earlier shortly after the launch of the operation.
Despite several attempts on Sunday The News was unable to get an official version from the Pakistan Army Spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas on this alarming development. However, when the US Embassy Spokesman Richard Snelsire was contacted by this correspondent and his attention was drawn to the question of vacated checkposts he remained non-committal. When a confirmation was sought and he was asked what had prompted this move, Snelsire said he had no clue about it. “I do not have information on that, and that is outside our purview,” he noted, adding that he had not seen any reporting on that.
Courtesy: The News International
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.