Archive | May 28th, 2011

“[the Mossadeq syndrome] would have been quite possible in Saudi Arabia.

NOVANEWS

 

George McGhee, 1950, at the time the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs.

Today, the house organ of the ruling class explains:

Saudi Arabia is flexing its financial and diplomatic might across the Middle East in a wide-ranging bid to contain the tide of change, shield other monarchies from popular discontent and avert the overthrow of any more leaders struggling to calm turbulent nations…

The kingdom is aggressively emphasizing the relative stability of monarchies, part of an effort to avert any drastic shift from the authoritarian model, which would generate uncomfortable questions about the pace of political and social change at home.

Saudi Arabia’s proposal to include Jordan and Morocco in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council — which authorized the Saudis to send in troops to quell a largely Shiite Muslim rebellion in the Sunni Muslim monarchy of Bahrain — is intended to create a kind of “Club of Kings.” The idea is to signal to Shiite Iran that the Sunni Arab monarchs will defend their interests, analysts said.

There are also suspicions that the kingdom is secretly providing money to extremist groups to hold back changes. Saudi officials deny that, although they concede private money may flow.

“We are back to the 1950s and early 1960s, when the Saudis led the opposition to the revolutions at that time, the revolutions of Arabism,” said Mohammad F. al-Qahtani, a political activist in Riyadh.

Timothy Mitchell writes,

If conservative religious reform movements such as the muwahhidun in Saudi Arabia or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have been essential to maintaining the power and author- ity of those states and if, as we are often told, the stability of the govern- ments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, perhaps more than that of any other governments in the global south, are vital to the protection of U.S. strategic and economic interests, in particular the control of oil, it would seem to follow that political Islam plays an unacknowledged role in the making of global capitalism.

In Egypt, meanwhile, the insurrection continues: “protesters again filled Tahrir Square on Friday to press for an assortment of demands in a demonstration billed as “The Revolution Part II, ” but perhaps most notable for the absence of the Muslim Brotherhood,” an absence that probably explains why protesters are still pushing progressive demands. “Absence” must be interpreted loosely: “The youth wing of the Brotherhood, which is close to many of the young liberal activists, defied their elders to join the demonstration.” Of course some of the activists are liberals, but it was the leftists who organized with the young Brothers initially, not liberals.

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‘Jordan Must Cut Ties With Zionist Regime

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Jordanian anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration after Friday prayers in the capital Amman (file photo).

Protesters in Jordan have once again poured into the streets, calling on the Jordanian government to cut ties with the Zionist regime and demanded the fall of the government.

Furious over their country’s peace treaty with Zionism, hundreds of protesters burnt an Zionist flag after Friday prayers in Jordan’s Tafileh province, AFP reported. The demonstrators also slammed “racist and provocative” remarks by Zio-Nazi Knesset member Arye Eldad. Last week, Eldad urged Jordanian King Abdullah II to set up a Palestinian state in his country instead of in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

Jordan’s 120-member Lower House also issued a statement on Thursday, condemning Eldad as a racist, provocative radical. “We call on the government to take a firm position against these harmful statements to Jordan and its people,” the statement read. It added that Jordan will never stop calling for the creation of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil with al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital. Meanwhile, the protest group calling itself “The Youth of Tafileh” demanded the resignation of Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit’s government and the dissolution of the Lower House of the parliament. The group accused Bakhit of having no intention of implementing reforms in Jordan. The protesters chanted slogans such as “We will not be silent and continue to expose corruption,” and “Destiny will help the people who want to survive.” A similar rally was staged in the Jordanian city of Ma’an after Friday prayers.

Since January, Jordan has been facing a protest movement demanding political and economic reforms in the Middle Eastern country, and an end to corruption. In response, King Abdullah was forced to dismiss his cabinet and Prime Minister Samir Zaid al-Rifai in February in an attempt to curb the spate of protests. He then asked Marouf al-Bakhit, a former army general, to form a new cabinet as soon as possible. Amidst intense calls for the limitation of his exclusive powers, the Jordanian monarch also created a commission on April 26, to propose constitutional reforms. The series of concessions managed to quell the raging protests across the country to some extent. However, analysts attribute the drop in the number of protests to a wait-and-see approach by pro-reform groups and a couple of violent incidents during the three-month-long demonstrations, which left at least two people killed and hundreds of others injured.

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YOUR ARE IN ZIONIST HAND: Ofcom decision-makers: a quick look

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In line with the British government’s scenario to pressure Press TV, the Office of Communications has issued an unfair ruling against the news channel that calls for a glimpse at the communications regulator, its key decision-makers and their affiliations.

The government-approved regulatory authority that regulates the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms and mobiles, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate was formed under Communications Act 2003 that brought five different British media regulators together to form Ofcom. A quick look at the senior decision-makers at Ofcom shows that the regulator is mostly formed of former Channel 4 and BBC members with several figures who have Pro-Zionist politicians approval. Colette Bowe, the 63-year old Ofcom chairperson, is paid £200,000 a year to coordinate the body’s different committees. Bowe enjoyed the exclusive support of Peter Mandelson, the main economic planner of the Labour party who is a Jewish politician with a Zionist mindset. Millie Banerjee, who was reappointed to the Board of Ofcom in October 2007 after serving for a five-year term, held a non-executive post in Channel 4 TV between 2000 and 2002.

Another board member, Norman Blackwell, who is known as Lord Blackwell among Conservative politicians, has been the head of Prime Minister John Major’s Policy Unit from 1995 to 1997. Blackwell is also a board member of the Centre for Policy Studies, which has been rallying support for close ties with the Israeli regime. Tim Gardam who was appointed to the Ofcom board on January 1, 2008, is a broadcasting sector veteran with a 25-year career that began at the BBC. He has been the Director of Programmes at Channel Four and has been in close contact with both broadcasters over his career down to the present. Gardam is currently a member of Content Board and chair of Ofcom’s Nations committee, a member of the DTT Allocation Committee and a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee. Ofcom’s Chief Executive Ed Richards has served as Senior Policy Advisor to former Prime Minister Tony Blair for Media, telecoms, the internet and e-govt and Controller of Corporate Strategy at the BBC.

Richards who is effectively Ofcom’s most powerful official has also worked as an advisor to former PM Gordon Brown. Christopher Woolard, Ofcom’s Executive Committee and Content Board member is responsible for content, international and regulatory development. He was formerly Deputy Director of the BBC Trust. Earlier, he was earlier a senior civil servant at the Department for Trade and Industry while leading the bill team for the Communications Act 2003. Woolard contributes to Ofcom’s strategic decision-making and offers the body tactical broadcasting advice. This comes as although Ofcom is officially exempt from examining the content and the accuracy of BBC programs, the latter is entitled to introduce candidates for positions at the regulator body. It should be mentioned that Ofcom oversees the technical aspects of BBC programs but not he content.

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Egypt to open Gaza border crossing

Hamas praise ‘courageous decision’ to allow Palestinians first free passage out of Gaza for four year

 

Smuggling tunnel at Eqyptian border

One of the tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, used by smugglers during Israel’s blockade. Photograph: Antonio Olmos

Hundreds of Palestinians are expected to head to the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt on Saturday to take advantage of the first free passage out of the blockaded territory in almost four years.

The opening of the Rafah crossing was agreed by Egypt as part of the reconciliation deal it brokered between rival Palestinian factions Hamasand Fatah last month.

Men aged between 18 and 40 will be excluded from leaving Gaza without an entry visa to Egypt. All others will be able to pass without restrictions. The Rafah crossing will be open from 9am until 5pm daily, excluding Fridays.

Access into and out of Gaza has been highly restricted since Hamas took control of the territory in June 2007. Exit to Egypt has been sporadic and largely limited to people needing medical treatment and students. Many Gazans have family and business connections in Egypt, and a rush of people attempting to cross the border is expected.

Hamas welcomed the move by the Egyptian government. It was “a courageous and responsible decision which falls in line with Palestinian and Egyptian public opinion”, said spokesman Fawzi Barhum in a statement. “We hope that it is a step towards the complete lifting of the siege on Gaza.”

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said the opening of Rafah, while appreciated, “is not an alternative to the core issue, which is lifting the Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, opening crossings for commercial transactions and allowing the freedom of movement of persons … through the outlets that are controlled by the Israeli occupation forces”.

The Rafah crossing will only be open to the movement of people, not commercial traffic.

During Israel‘s stringent blockade of Gaza following Hamas’s election victory in 2006, a black economy flourished based on the smuggling of goods through tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. Since Israel eased the economic siege almost a year ago under pressure from the international community, the tunnel-based economy has largely collapsed. However, the tunnels are still used to smuggle construction materials – banned by Israel – and weapons.

Israel warned that the opening of Rafah could lead to an influx of arms and militants into Gaza. “It is a dangerous development that could lead to weapons and al-Qaida smuggling in Gaza,” said the vice prime minister, Silvan Shalom.

Israel is also concerned about Egypt’s shift to a more sympathetic attitude towards Gaza since the former president, Hosni Mubarak, was forced out in February. Mubarak was an ally of Israel and many Palestinians and their supporters accused him of being complicit in the blockade of Gaza.

The opening of the border was intended “to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip”, an Egyptian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Menha Bakhoum, told the Jerusalem Post. “This is a sovereign Egyptian decision,” not taken in consultation with any other country, she added.

Apart from Rafah, all other crossings from Gaza are into Israel, and are tightly controlled. The blockade had created a “prison camp” in Gaza, David Cameron said last July.

Meanwhile, 21 prominent Israeli leftwingers have issued an open letter supporting the Palestinian campaign for recognition of an independent state in September. “As Israelis, we avow that if and when the Palestinian people declares independence in a sovereign state to exist side by side with Israel in peace and security we shall support such declaration,” the letter said. It also appealed for the international community to back recognition.

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert called on his successor to have the courage to make progress on a peace deal with the Palestinians, with a state based on the pre-1967 borders. President Barack Obama, in his speech last week, had “expressed a simple truth, which we simply cannot do without. The entire world … unequivocally supports resolving our conflict with the Palestinians on the basis of the 1967 borders coupled with land swaps,” Olmert wrote in a front-page piece for Israel’s biggest selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.

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Zionist regime in Egypt permanently opens Rafah crossing with Gaza

NOVANEWS

 

Zio-Nazi regime fears opening of crossing will make it easier for militants to enter and exit the strip, highlighting those fears, Zio-Nazi army officials say Gaza militants fired a mortar shell into southern Occupied Palestine overnight.By The Associated Press

After four years, Egypt on Saturday permanently opened the Gaza Strip’s main gateway to the outside world Saturday, bringing long-awaited relief to the territory’s Palestinian population and a significant achievement for the area’s ruling Hamas militant group.

The reopening of the Rafah border crossing eases an Egyptian blockade of Gaza that has prevented the vast majority of the densely populated area’s 1.5 million people from being able to travel abroad. The closure, along with an Israeli blockade of its borders with Gaza, has fueled an economic crisis in the territory.

Rafah border opening - Reuters - May 28, 2011 A Palestinian boy waits to cross the Rafah border into Egypt, May 28, 2011.

 

 

But Saturday’s move also raises Israeli fears that militants will be able to move freely in and out of Gaza.

Highlighting those fears, Israel Defense Forces officials said militants from inside Gaza fired a mortar shell into southern Israel overnight.

There were no injuries, and Israel did not respond.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007. The closure, which also included tight Israeli restrictions at its cargo crossings with Gaza and a naval blockade, was meant to weaken Hamas, an Islamic militant group that opposes peace with Israel.

But since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February, Egypt’s new leadership has vowed to ease the blockade and improve relations with the Palestinians.

The Rafah border terminal has functioned at limited capacity for months. Travel has been restricted to certain classes of people, such as students, businessmen or medical patients. And the crossing was often subject to closures.

Travel through Israel’s passenger crossing with Gaza is extremely rare.

Under the new system, most restrictions are being lifted, and a much larger number of Palestinians are expected to be able to cross each day, easing a backlog that can force people to wait for months.

Some 400 people had gathered at Rafah early Saturday as the first busload of passengers crossed the border. Two Egyptian officers stood guard next to a large Egyptian flag atop the border gate as the vehicle passed through.

Among the first passengers to cross was Ward Labaa, a 27-year-old woman who was leaving Gaza for the first time in her life to seek medical care for a stomach ailment at a Cairo hospital.

More buses crossed Rafah later, dragging blue carts attached to the rear, with luggage piled high.

Salama Baraka, the chief Palestinian officer at the Gaza side of the Rafah terminal, said travel has been limited to about 300 passengers á day.

He said it was unclear how many people would pass through on Saturday, but that officials hoped to get about three days’ worth of people, or roughly 900, across.

Egypt announced its intention to open the border earlier this week, with Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency saying the border crossing would be opened permanently starting Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Fridays and holidays.

MENA said the decision to open the Rafah crossing was part of efforts to end the status of the Palestinian division and achieve national reconciliation.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby told the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera late last month that the closure of Rafah crossing was about to end, calling the decision to close it a disgusting matter.

Gazans have circumvented the blockade by operating hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the 9-mile Gaza-Egypt border. The tunnels have been used to bring in all manner of products, as well as people. Israel charges Hamas has used the tunnels to import weapons, including rockets that can reach main population centers in Israel’s center.

The opening of Rafah will allow the flow of people and goods in and out of Gaza without Israeli permission or supervision, which has not been the case up until now.

Rafah’s opening is a violation of an agreement reached in 2005 between the United States, Israel, Egypt, and the European Union, which gives EU monitors access to the crossing. The monitors were to reassure Israel that weapons and militants wouldn’t get into Gaza after its pullout from the territory in the fall of 2005.

 

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Arab Spring of Bloody Freedom

Palestine and Wicked Leaders

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.

 

 

With the failing of international institutions responsible for saving the humanity from the scourge of wars and maintenance of peace and security, global politics is fast becoming a puppet show for fantasy and amusement. Politicians with borrowed public funds, time and interests ruling the societies act like sadistic maniacs deduced to preservation of self –interest, falsification of the facts of human life, cynicism and ruthless behavior toward the people. Undoubtedly, since ancient times, politics is game of pretension, favorite perversion, stage acting and tyranny of good intentions and deeds. The Arab world is no different and its oil-riched rulers think and behave like draconian creature, some Israeli leaders are a master piece of the epic script of deception and the American President and Congress are the moving force of this incredibly influential powerhouse of global hegemonic imagery of conceit and dichotomy. The liberal democracy exposes many illusion of human dignity, preservation of human rights, freedom and liberty but it fails to tell the real cost – how disjointed and derailed the world finds the gimmick of so called democracy working nowhere on this planet as it should have been a force for change, peace, human equality and human emancipation.

Across the Arab landscape, the authoritarian rulers and challenging public voices of REASON are meeting in shouting matches echoing “Allah -O –Akbar – God is Great” gun fires, crushing tanks, dead bodies and funeral processions being fired upon at random. What is the problem?  The wicked leaders accuse Islamic extremism that is nowhere to be seen but people shout for freedom from tyranny and injustice.  For ages, the former colonial master have ruled the Arab people and dominated their ancient culture by force and coercion through the agents of influence – the neo-colonial rulers groomed and supported by the European and American Masters. People want to change the absurdity of governance but there is no viable political mechanism to perceive change – the phenomenon overriding the global conscience for recognition and respect of human freedom, dignity and progress as part of the political system of governance – the essence of Islamic laws and principles for human development. The Arab rulers are paranoid, vengeful and view it suspiciously as it will challenge and dismantle the authoritarianism imposed upon the Arab people. Despite the new millennium of knowledge-based HOPE and CHANGE, the Arab people are coerced to live voicelessly under the shadow of foreign mercenaries maintained elite palaces offering security from public scrutiny, unthinkable comforts and pleasures to the egomaniac kings, legitimate and illegitimate prince and princesses and self-made presidents of the oil exporting Arab world. The people and the rulers live in different time zone facing unimaginative war frontiers and being unable to see each other on rational footing or find a logical meeting ground as necessary interchangeable component for mutual survival.

The compelling realities reflecting human perspectives and values demand NEW THINKING, NEW PROACTIVE VISIONARY LEADERSHIP, NEW  STRATEGIES and PLANS to deal with sensitive issues of  the 21st century politics, individual absolutism, human freedom and justice. But there is nothing new if you were to listen to President Obama, the sole remaining spokesman of the leftover superpower, Israeli PM Netanyahu speaking at the US Congress or the dummy and ever dormant Arab rulers speaking at fattish luncheon gatherings during the month of Ramadan – Fasting. There is no new message, no new spirit for co-existence or reconciliation or to talk of peace between the divergent people and conflicting cultures. One day, President Obama called for the emergence of an independent State of Palestine based on the June 1967 borders. The next day addressing the AIPAC, he insulted the human intelligence by reframing his thoughts on the Israeli encroachment of Palestinian lands and to allow the illegal Israeli settlements and to redefine the new borders. The leaders work for the protection of the self, not the much acclaimed public interest and good. It is inconceivable that good and evil both could be vested in one human character. President Obama preached the message of “change” –  “YES WE CAN” but acted with obsessed insanity and cruelty by continuing the bogus “War on Terrorism” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan killing and displacing millions more. Negation and violations of the American political values at Guantomobay and “Abu Ghraib” meant nothing to his “Audacity of Hope.” It was a political stunt to appease the public and win the elections. His re-election campaign for 2012 Presidential election has already started. Most likely, he will be re-elected given the money and support he enjoins form the all the establishments including AIPAC and Jewish lobbyists.

Netanyahu got impressive standing ovations from the US Congress and continuous applause. But these men are paid to do the job and they do applause the Israeli PM as he returned second time in his political career to address the gathering. Fair is foul, foul is fair, what else is new. The global community looks for new ideas and strategies to resolve the disputes between Israelis and Palestinians but Netanyahu lacks the political imagination and utters highly controversial opinions. He is an opinionator with confrontational attitude, not the wise man to cooperate for peacemaking. There are numerous Jewish intellectuals, peace activists and religious groups in the US and Israel seeking end to the settlements, equal rights and peace and co-existence with Palestinians. Their voices live in denial when Netanyahu spoke to the American Congress. The Israeli PM appeared obsessed with individual absolutism not spirited to facilitate peace-making.

Mr. Netanyahu minced his own agenda for survival – always talking of the Holocaust that happened in Europe and affixing the religious element to the Zionist statehood.What Holocaust has to do with the Palestinians or the Arabs? The global humanity knows the European crimes against the Jews. Theses crimes against Jews were planned and unleashed by the nationalist Europeans in Europe, not by the Arabs in Palestine. Logic and facts of political life failed to support Netanyahu even some of the Jewish groups were standing out at the Congress edifice and protesting against the Israeli PM contentions in Washington. Phil Rockstroh (“A Zionist State of Mind, A Dreamscape of Ghosts: One Jew’s Hard Awakening.” MediaMonitors Network, USA, June 17, 2010)explains the facts of real life:

“The Jewish state demands its neighbors make amends for crimes they did not commit — to cower before the steel-toe might of its military and make perpetual penitence for the sins of Europe. Even if they did so: Such an act would not restore my mother’s childhood … would not return to flesh the ashen remains of the millions who made their graves in the winds of twentieth century Europe. For the Jewish people, as is the case with all humanity, survival in the present age is not dependent on military prowess nor the blessing of an imaginary father in the sky…. Accordingly, the most putrefied and pernicious of these fallacies — the delusion that there exists a “Chosen People” — must be the first to be toppled. God’s Chosen People?  Chosen for what reason: First, divinely bestowed entitlement to a parcel of parched landscape, then exile, persecution, extermination? And now for what purpose: Simply to join the brutal ranks of history’s bullies?”

Freedom of Palestine and establishment of an independent State of Palestine is at the heart of the political issue in relations between the dominant Arab world and Israel. Mr. Netanyahu spoke of peace and two state solutions but focused on animosity-geared utterances making sure that Palestinian are not allowed to exercise their right of self-determination for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine.  Alan Hart (“Zionism and Peace are incompatible” ICH, Oct 21, 2010) refers to General Peled, one of the Israeli voices of reason on the working of two states:

“Now the West Bank is riddled with towns and malls and highways built on Palestinian land for Jews only and Israeli cabinet members openly discuss population transfers, or rather transfer of its non-Jewish population. The level of oppression and the intensity of the violence against Palestinians has reached new heights… Discussing the two-state solution now under these conditions shows an acute inability to accept reality… There is an illusion that a liberal, forward thinking government can rise in Israel and then everything will be just as liberal Zionists wish it to be. They will pick up where Rabin and Arafat left off and we will have the pie in sky Jewish democracy liberal Jews want so much to see in Israel. This illusion is shared by American Jews, liberal Zionists in Israel and around the world and in the West where guilt of two millennia of persecuting Jews still haunts the conscience of many. If only there were better leaders and if only this and if only that.”

The PLO as is, needs to organize itself with unity and purpose and a new visionary and educated leadership to deal with Israel. Dead Arafat or living Abbas do not move the scale. Both have wasted time and opportunities to serve the interests of the people of Palestine. Palestinian masses cannot hope to get guidance and leadership support from other Arab rulers, mostly corrupt and devoid of moral and political imagination. The freedom of Palestine and establishment of normal relations with Israel had never assumed serious attention from the Arab ruling elite living in palaces not with people. The dubious character Arab rulers are never open to listening or learning from the voices of REASON. There are no academic institutions in the oil producing Arab states offering educational programs or policy issues dealing with peace and conflict management discipline. Israelis scan the world and track interactions and influence with scholars and intellectuals across the globe to know and understanding varied perspectives.  Israeli universities are well equipped to offer programs on Arabian life, conflict management and peace.

Despite resources and opportunities, the Arab rulers neglected the vitality of public institutions more so related to peace and conflict resolution and failed to develop the capacity and environment for human communication and societal linkages as Jews have been part of the Islamic faith. Muslims have no animosity for Jews and are enriched with respect and love for Moses, the Prophet of God. Knowledge of Israeli culture and social relations will create better working environment for peace and conflict management. Muslims and Jews have lived together for centuries, When the European persecuted the Jews, and Arabs were the leading societies offering protection and asylum from the European tyranny. Today, Palestinians are the victims of the Israeli tyranny. They are refugees in their ancestral homes and displaced people who cannot return to their homes, as contends Mr. Netanyahu. There is no sense of peace-talking or peace-making except one-sided sadistic view and denial of the historical facts of human lives.  Over two thousands years, Jews were displaced by the Romans and other Europeans, according to Netanyahu, Jews can come to Palestine and live but not the people of Palestine who were forced to leave their homes just over sixty years ago, cannot be entitled to their own homes and habitats. What criteria of rationality is this? Does it reflect democratic values that Israeli politicians claim to enshrine in their system of governance?  This is a contemptuous rejection of human values and an insult to common sense approach to peace and conflict management. Alan Hart (“Zionism and Peace are incompatible” ICH, Oct 21, 2010), a notable American Jewish scholar puts it in clear perspective:

“At last somebody has said it in the most explicit way possible…. “The problem is Zionism and the solution is dismantling the Zionist framework and instituting a secular democracy that does not discriminate between Israelis and Palestinians.”

At times, politicians gain insane satisfaction when they talk foolishly but pretend to be intelligent opinion maker. To his credit, at least Mr. Netanyahu is talking of the self-ingrained dichotomy but the Arab rulers are not. They lack intellectual know-how and capacity to speak intelligently or address the global forums affecting politics and policy making. Once upon a time, the Arab rulers had moral superiority when they were linked to Islam and its THINKING power and influence dominating the Western intellectual and scientific world. The known devotees of violence and cruelty across the Arab world, the authoritarian rulers, the typical ignorant and dummy syndrome in its most naked form, preoccupied with silencing forcibly the voices for change and democratic governance are looking for escape routes and to blame others including President Obama for the failing of Palestine resolution. The Arab News editorial calls for the US to force Israel for a settlement.  Since when the Arab authoritarian rulers gained any weight in global politics? What happened to the minds of the Arab rulers? Don’t they know to speak in a global forum? They are cruel at home and dummy abroad. Look at President Abdulla Saleh of Yemen, 30 years in rule, not willing to go unless he gets immunity from prosecution. Everyday he is killing innocent protesters wanting freedom and justice. See Bashar al Asad and Ghaddifi, both could be referred to the International Criminal Tribunal,  sticking to their  forty years monstrous rule, not willing to recognize the people as human beings and firing even on the funerals. Zain Ali escaped with tons of gold stolen from the treasury of Tunisia and lives in Saudi Arabia. Hosni Mubarak left the presidency in disgrace only after the people pressed for freedom and justice. He will be tried in an Egyptian court of Law for the perpetuated corruption. During the sixty years or so of their freedom from the colonial subjugation, have the Arab rulers built any institutions as Islam proclaims to ensure peace, human dignity and  justice for all. They institutionalized “modernity” to replace and deny Islam a much deserving place in the society. They fell in disgrace when they preferred alternatives to Islam. The contemporary Arab rulers act like the Ivan the Terrible, the well known Dracula of the 16th century Russian history – the killer who is known to have roasted 64,000 men, women and children.

The Arab rulers have wasted time and opportunities to do good to the people except to build mud-riddled palaces to be occupied by foreigners as it happened to Saddam Husseins’s fifteen oil-revenues built palaces in Iraq. Across the Arab world, there are no public institutions and think-tanks to THINK of the well being of the ordinary people, workable solution to critical social and economic problems or to have a moment of reflection on the present and to worry about building a sustainable future. Oil is not for ever, it is already peaked oil age and the oil wells are drying fast. The emerging conflicts and daily bloodbaths across the Arab streets speak their own language. In Shakespeare’s time writes Erich Kahler (Colin Wilson, The Criminal History of Mankind) “the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.”  To the neo-colonialist rulers, the people are not equal, they are simply subject without human entity nor they were to their master, so they are targeted to be fired at indiscriminately, and killing of innocent people makes no difference to the rulers as their individual conscience operates on the dead-ended philosophy. What if there were responsible organizations in the Arab world or conscientious intellectuals and religious scholars to speak out against the insane and ruthless rulers?

Some 23 years earlier, this author proposed series of action plans and strategies (“Towards Muslims Unity” and “Why Muslims are a Divided People” – widely translated into Arabic and published in other languages) but there were no one to listen to or understand the futuristic visionary ideas and ideals for the best interests of the Muslim Ummah. What if there were people –oriented and legitimate public organizations instead of the Arab League, the OIC , would the Muslim Ummah have not felt sense of moral, political an d intellectual security today rather than bloodsheds, continued tyranny and dehumanizing treatment in Palestine, Iraq Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen and so on across the Arab world. Muslim world NEEDS new organizations and educated, intelligent and accountable new leaders to carve a better future out of the chaotic and hopeless present. There are opportunities and challenges for the concerned Muslim scholars and intellectuals to make positive things happen out of the plan ideas and priorities. The Western oil-user nations have incapacitated the natural skills and abilities of the Arab world and their culture and transformed them into fattish and unproductive creatures. The discovery of oil turned out to be a conspiracy (“Fitna”) for human change and development.

The rulers and the people should learn from the history. There is a CURE to replace ignorance and its originating cruelty and insanity – the Arab masses are pursuing that course of action with courage and conviction to change the frightening evil and its killing power into peaceful movement and workable institutionalized political governance. The emerging model is Egypt and Tunisia and there are more soon to come in the Arab landscape. The principal for promising CHANGE must come out of the people’s NEW THINKING and organized peaceful movement and commitment to Islam and its values as a system of life. Why should the Arab blame President Obama or Mr. Netanyahu or others?  Once the people organize themselves and enjoin unity and determination to the purpose of life, they will be more powerful than any worldly power or the laughing opinions of the so called leaders.

If the Arabs and Palestinian could organize themselves with new age enlightened and intelligent leadership and a clear UNITY of PURPOSE, their focused mind will be a logical argument for strength  and a position of challenge to others to take notice of the originality of Islam as a force for change and peace. There will be equality for peace and conflict resolution once Palestinians and Israelis realize that animosity should not be allowed to transform into insanity as insanity breeds cancerous cruelty and inhuman behavior. Jews and Muslims are the creation of God, they cannot pretend to be living indifferently or acting like animals. They are human beings with diverse backgrounds, national and cultural identities and do want to live in peace and co-existence as civilized human entities respecting the values of the Abrahamic faith – the progeny of  Prophet Abraham equal in human rights, freedom and dignity.

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Pakistan’s Security

NOVANEWS

02 May incident aggravated Pakistan’s security environments when Osama was rekilled

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja


 

Till 02 May incident, people agonizing under the oppressive policies of democratic government drew satisfaction from the thought that in the presence of highly professional armed forces, robust intelligence agencies and independent judiciary, no harm could come to the existence of Pakistan. The Army’s image that had sunk low during Gen Musharraf’s tenure got restored when Gen Kayani played a positive role in getting the chief justice restored in March 2009 and the Army produced excellent results against the terrorists the same year. Army’s image shot up so high that the people never questioned its efficiency despite 122 terror attacks taking place against defence installations.

Gen Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Pasha withstood intense Indo-US pressure and upheld their principled stance whenever national interests got threatened. On several occasions they refused to play the US dictated game but could go only up to certain limits in view of government’s policy of appeasement and its subservience to USA. Although their defiance became a source of encouragement for the people, however it didn’t assuage their disturbed feelings. The people had always regarded the PAF in highest esteem and were confident that it would stand up to any external threat with fortitude. The Navy had also expressed its resolve to resiliently defend the port city, coastal belt and the exclusive economic zone.

Faith of the people in Army, Air force and ISI received a shattering blow on the morning of 02 May when to their utter dismay they learnt that a small helicopter borne US force had intruded deep inside our territory undetected, killed Osama bin Laden and took away his body to Afghanistan uncontested. Our entire security apparatus remained immobilized for two hours. By the time Robert Gates informed our Army Chief dead in the middle of the night, the raiders had safely reached Baghram Base. The people were aghast to hear the air chief that no threat was perceived from western border and hence no worthwhile measures were taken to deal with any aerial incursion. It has now been learnt that there is a written agreement that any aircraft or helicopters flying into Pakistan across western border would be treated as friendly.

The people had not got out of their shock when another debilitating incident took place in Karachi on 22 May when five unknown terrorists scaled the wall of Mehran Naval Base and destroyed two PC3 Orion surveillance aircraft parked in the open near the runway and killed 10 soldiers including one Navy officer. After a 16-hour gun battle, four terrorists were killed and one managed to flee.

This incident has outraged the people and has further wrecked their confidence in the ability of the armed forces. It was disturbing to hear the naval chief saying that it was not a security lapse. Had some pro-active measures been taken in the wake of 02 May incident and Parliament’s resolution on 13 May, 22 May tragedy could be averted. No independent commission other than the departmental probe ordered by GHQ has so far been established to determine the true facts about the Abbottabad fiasco. Likewise no commission has been formed to investigate the Mehran Base debacle, which implies that many more suchlike attacks would keep occurring.

Had the Navy been more vigilant after the three acts of terror on 26 and 28 April against its buses in Karachi, the terrorists couldn’t have reached the aircraft unnoticed and uncontested. Use of such a large force against five terrorists was injudicious and showed panic of the ones in authority. The act of sabotage, entirely beneficial for India was not possible without in-house and external support. If they were ordinary terrorists, why did they go past dozens of C-130s used for transporting soldiers to restive areas and target Orion aircraft only which do not concern them? Hand of American technicians working in the base cannot be ruled out particularly after unearthing of M-16 weapons from the scene of occurrence.

Current stage of despondency and lack of confidence in armed forces has come about as a consequence to years of sustained Indo-US-Israeli combined efforts in collusion with terrorist outfits and their pawns inside Pakistan holding key appointments. It is indeed a miracle that Pakistan is still surviving.

Till 02 May, the scenario was different and favored Pakistan. The US and Kabul regime were wooing Pakistan and seeking its cooperation to help resolve Afghan tangle. Even India had become keen to normalize its relations. Image of armed forces and ISI was sky high. After 02 May, circumstances have dramatically reversed and Pakistan put in most awkward position.Our electronic media is helping the cause of Pakistan’s detractors to discredit armed forces and ISI. The situation will be worsened by Pakistan’s adversaries in coming weeks.

In case Pakistan agrees to play the US game in accordance with the parameters set by Washington as explained by visiting John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Admiral Mike Mullen, the US will delay playing the trump card and will resume aid and also hold Pak-US strategic dialogue. The US would focus more on striking a deal with Afghan Taliban. Terrorist attacks on defence installations would continue and pressure to launch a full-fledged operation in North Waziristan against Gul Bahadur and Haqqani network would be increased while the US moles would subtly keep creeping towards nuclear sites.

In case Pakistan insists that drone attacks must cease, and CIA agents as well as military trainers should leave; it takes added security measures to protect its sensitive installations and also keeps US diplomats and other officials under scrutiny; the miffed US will hasten to deliver the hammer. One to two well-coordinated group attacks on the pattern of GHQ and Mehran Base will be launched on our nuclear sites, particularly on Kahuta Plant which has earned world fame.

In case the well-rehearsed and armed attackers succeed in gaining a stand-off for 15 hours and cause some damage to the infrastructure and kill few security guards, it will give cogent reasons to the US and the west to build a strong case to get a resolution from the UN against Pakistan declaring that Pak nukes are no more safe and require immediate preventive measures. Spin doctors can also come out with a fabricated story that the attackers managed to steal some uranium. Pakistan will be given three choices; either to agree to UN mandated joint control of nuclear arsenal by US-Pak troops with overall control resting in US hands, or the control given to UN troops, or else Pakistan to hand over the nukes to the US for transfer to safer location outside Pakistan.

In case Pakistan drags its feet and puts up arguments in defence that its nuclear arsenal has multi-layered security system; the warheads, fuses and launchers are stored separately, over 70% assets are underground, and that no accident or incidence of theft has taken place, their reasoning will be rudely brushed aside and on the strength of UN resolution following steps will be undertaken:

  • Harsh economic and military sanctions will be imposed so as to further cripple the economy and give further blow to our state of war preparedness.

  • Pakistan will be declared a terrorist state.

  • The ISI will be declared a rogue outfit aligned with terrorists.

  • Pakistan will be diplomatically isolated.

  • Economic blockade will be enforced in Indian Ocean on the pattern of Gaza to disallow any ship going towards Karachi Port or moving out of it.

  • US-NATO-Afghan troops would get deployed along our western border, while Indian troops would occupy their western border.

  • Border incursions in the form of limited attacks along western and eastern borders together with intensification of drone attacks and airspace violations would be initiated to provoke Pakistan to react.

  • BRA-BLA-BLF in Balochistan, TTP and other affiliated groups operating in northwest would be pushed to accelerate terrorist attacks, blow up bridges and railway lines to prevent shifting of troops and render rear area security vulnerable.

  • Thereafter, no fly zone will be enforced as was the case in Iraq and now in Libya.

  • Next, our air defence assets as well as runways will be systematically targeted.

  • Our communication system will be jammed using satellite facilities to render our GPS system and radars ineffective.

  • Command & control HQs, strategic reserves, artillery guns, missile sites and nuclear facilities will be among listed targets for destruction.

  • Surveillance capability along our coastal belt has already been rendered non-operational to allow Indian submarines to get deployed close to Karachi harbor.

  • CIA operatives will get close to nuclear sites to disallow assembly of nuclear warheads and move them to deployment areas.

  • Pakistan will be reminded of Lugar-Obama legislation 2009, which authorizes US Special Forces to conduct sting operation to confiscate Pak nukes.

  • It will be under such adverse operational environments that our armed forces will be asked to fight the war on three fronts while our well-heeled leaders will quietly fly away to their second homes in the west and Dubai.

It is most unfortunate that today the reins of Pakistan are in the hands of most pathetic ruling cabal which is devoid of energy, will, moral fiber and charisma to steer the ship of Pakistan caught up in a storm and take it to the shores of safety. This lot suits Washington. The above narrated grim scenario confronting Pakistan can be reversed if our rulers decide to put own house in order through self correction. They should change their money-oriented lifestyle, shun pomp and show and dishonest practices, enforce simplicity and austerity as prescribed in Islam, develop faith in Allah and seek Allah’s blessing, sincerely work towards bridging the divides within the society by removing differences and removing inequities of the aggrieved segments, integrate the nation and motivate the people to make the country self reliant, free Pakistan from the US enslavement by redefining our current slave-master relationship and making it respectable and mutually beneficial, and lastly restore the pride and honor of Pakistan. Once the rulers and the people come on one frequency and stand up as a united force, no power on earth can harm Pakistan.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Pakistan’s Security

US: Friend or Foe

By Huma Hashmi-Hanley

As the Chinese proverb goes…” May you live in interesting times…” Well, it couldn’t get more interesting here in Pakistan.

Terror strikes into the heart of Pakistan again, as the Naval Base in Karachi is attacked , followed by a suicide bomber ramming his double cabin van into the building of The Works and Communication Department, killing at least 35 in Hangu.

If the world (vested interests) keeps screaming that Pakistan harbors terrorists, then why are the militants targeting all our Military and Security Establishments? To avenge Osama’s death? He died at least five years ago. The Tehreek-Taliban has claimed responsibility. Sources say, that this particular outfit is funded by the CIA with whom Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor had connections.

With these attacks on sensitive installations, who stands to gain?   Pakistan’s arch rival, India? That would be pretty stupid on their part, though they are in the forefront in demonizing Pakistan after the Abbottabad DRAMA, but if the Mehran Base attack traced back to them, the threat of war cannot be ruled out. RAW tried to have its fingers in all the unholy pies in the form of non-state actors who are terrorizing the population of Pakistan.

Which other ‘brand’ of militants then? When Pakistan is being accused of ‘complicity’ with the Taliban, why would they fight them?

The mystery deepens. Not really. It’s as simple as rocket science! The Third Entity! Martians!! The little green men have had their eye on our much-hyped about nukes. Not because their kids want to play volley-ball with them. They simply want the bombs to be neutralized as they are a deterrence to their plans for the invasion of Central Russia where exploitation of natural resources will be easy-peasy! You see, Mars NEEDS those resources. And it will not let anything get in its way! Which country on this planet calls tourists and outsiders Aliens?  Pakistanis view the Americans as Martians! Cute, aren’t they?

Thus the Drama of Osama’s death …and lately the attacks on military installations.  The point being, to demonstrate that Pakistan is incapable of protecting anything of value, especially its nuclear arsenal.  Which is not true! Pakistan has the utmost capability in guarding its nuclear assets.

In 1999, General Musharaf created the National Command Authority (NCA) to assert control of Pakistan’s nuclear program. The NCA then authorized a branch of the Army called the Strategic Plans Division.

A report last year recommended that the US send in Special Forces to help “secure the Pakistani nuclear arsenal”. Pakistan’s foreign office dismissed the report as “outlandish musings”, insisting there was no danger of the country’s strategic assets falling into the wrong hands. Reporting in the Frontier Post, Mohammad Jamil again stresses this argument:

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was confident that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe; but in the same breath he remarked it was a matter of concern in the wake of the worst assault on Pakistan Navy’s airbase. There is inherent contradiction in NATO chief’s statement, because when he admits Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are safe and well-protected there is no reason or ground for expressing concern about them. What the NATO chief has said is in fact reflective of a clearly-defined US policy, which is articulated by US Generals, think tanks, former members of US administration to prove that Pakistan government and the army cannot control the militants and terrorists who could lay their hands on the nukes, which will be dangerous for the region and the world at large.

The question is who is funding and providing the militants sophisticated weapons and even night goggles, which our military did not have until recently. There are reports that whatever is happening in FATA and Balochistan,  attacks on the GHQ,  Mehran Naval air base and other security assets is a part of the scripted plan by the enemies of Pakistan . In 2006, small group of US military experts and intelligence officials, convened in Washington for a classified war game, explored strategies for securing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal if the country’s political institutions and military safeguards began to fall apart.

Later, there was a leak in the press that the secret exercise initiated one of several such games the US government had conducted to examine various options and scenarios for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons vis-à-vis “How many troops might be required for a military intervention in Pakistan? Could Pakistani nuclear bunkers be isolated by saturating the surrounding areas with tens of thousands of high-powered mines, dropped from the air and packed with anti-tank and anti-personnel munitions? Or might such a move only worsen the security of Pakistan’s arsenal”? America and NATO and for that matter India should not remain under the illusion that they could use militants to cause harm to Pakistan’s nuclear installations. To attack GHQ and Mehran Naval Base located in congested cities like Rawalpindi and Karachi is different than attacking Pakistani nukes that are scattered and under multi-layered command and control.

Getting back to Strategic Plans Division, the aim is to oversee a security structure intended to protect Pakistan’s Nuclear arsenal from Islamic militants, Al Qaeda scientists, Indian saboteurs,  and those commando teams whom Pakistanis fear and with good reason ,who may be ready to seize their nuclear assets.

Now, returning to the theatre of war games, in this War OF Terror,  the Economic Survey for the Fiscal Year 2010-11, to be released soon by Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh, will show that since Pakistan allied itself with the US after the events of 9/11 2001, it has suffered a colossal loss of $68 billion due to the war. According to statistics recorded till April 2010, the country suffered 8,141 incidents of terrorism – many more have occurred since then. In return, the country has received only $15 billion to $17 billion in assistance, at an average of some $374 million a year. It doesn’t take an expert to establish the strain this places on the economy.

Russ Wellon of Asia Times says of Veteran British reporter Brian Coughley, a South Asian Defense Analyst for Jane’s Intelligence Review : that Coughley’s extensive experience with the Pakistan military has left him with respect for its professionalism and much less concern for the security of its nuclear weapons than Washington.
So if they are any plans to strike, those plans should be thought out twice and revised. We do not want war, but if war is thrust upon us…. We are not Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, etc.  I rest my case.

Another fact, China has been the only country to support Pakistan in world forums. So why should not Pakistan trust China to build an oil pipeline from Gwadar to North West China, as well as lay two railway lines connecting Gwadar to China.  It plans to accelerate supply of 50 new JF-17 Thunder multi-role combat jets to Pakistan.

Pakistan also opened a nuclear power plant in central Punjab province with Chinese help and said Beijing had been contracted to construct two more reactors.
U.S will commence the withdrawal of its troops in July.  Hillary Clinton and Admiral Mike Mullen visited Pakistan and held a joint press briefing. As was expected, they want Pakistan to remain  engaged with them on the War Of Terror..to DO MORE …reminded Pakistan of the AID doled out …and expand the war to North Waziristan. Of course, the issue of Drone attacks every fifth day which kills innocent people was brushed aside.  It was emphasized how the Americans were aware of the sacrificed rendered by the Pakistanis …strangely the press briefings to the media and the media’s portrayal somehow always reflects the reverse.

All the smooth talking while visiting Pakistan, and stressing on common objectives to wipe away all evil will not allow Pakistan to lower its guard. Which are the shared interests, one may ask?  In my humble opinion, I think that the U.S is waiting for most of its troops to leave before it launches a crusade against Pakistan, if it harbors such designs. The argument would be, that would it not be easier for them sitting in Afghanistan and within reach? No. The casualties on their side would be much more. Safer to attack from the skies, cut aid and apply sanctions may do the trick; but maybe not. On how many fronts is the US willing to fight ? Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, the Middle East etc.  Is it worth the cost in monetary terms…maye it is , with the Military Complexes hitting the jackpot every day. Who cares about human lives ?

As an aside…when I was in Dawn TV , sometimes a day would pass,  there was no news of a bomb blast in the northern region, and I would wonder why.  Was it the ‘murderers’ day off?   If FOREIGN POLICY is the new name for GREED and AVARICE  we are indeed doomed.  One does not have to be a Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jew, or anything to believe that Apocalypse is around the corner. It’s a sad state of events, my friends. Stay well.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on US: Friend or Foe

WAS PAKISTAN READY ON 11 MAY 1998?

NOVANEWS

By Brig Samson S Sharaf

 

When Narasimha Rao, the Indian National Congress Prime Minister called for snap elections in 1996, it was time for Pakistan to brace itself for the events particularly if BJP came to power. BJP had posed serious challenges to the INC coalition on charges of corruption and was poised to electioneer on issues that were most endearing to the philosophy of BHARAT VERSHA.   Pre election opinion polls indicated that BJP was most likely to emerge as the single largest party. The most challenging question for Pakistan’s security planners was; would BJP follow its rhetoric of nuclear testing if it came to power?

As destiny would have it, I was the only officer in the General Staff with sound academic credentials in Nuclear Proliferation and Strategy. Though the study was simultaneously being carried out by many concerned branches, the ultimate responsibility of carrying out the final analysis for the General Staff in GHQ fell on my shoulders. Destiny placed me in the footsteps of a great Pakistani diplomat, Mr. S M Burke, who had been most instrumental in procuring Pakistan’s first nuclear reactor from Canada.

To carry out an accurate study, it was time for an in depth appraisal of known Indian nuclear capabilities and development. The first step in the study was to pin point the deficiencies in India’s technical nuclear capabilities and what were they most likely to do to address them. Within a week, my team had read through and sifted extremely important findings about the Indian Nuclear and Space Development Program.

  1. We knew that the explosion in 1974 was a conventional 1950 design and needed to be fine tuned for confirmation and miniaturisation.

  2. We knew that based on decay rates, India needed further data not only to confirm its previous testing but also calculate the life of the war heads.

  3. We knew that though India was already refining plutonium, the fissile material had never been tested in an explosion and the subsequent data crucial to war head designs.

  4. We knew that the war head designs had to be compact so as to be placed in the tips of the delivery systems. Boosted weapons and miniaturisation were therefore a necessity.

  5. We understood that the quest for Bharat Versha would be incomplete without India boasting thermo nuclear devices.

Simultaneously, through the recently introduced internet, we got a special connection and hooked on to a satellite that transmitted pictures of Pokhran with a 48 hours delay. Initially there was no activity but by February 1998, we began noticing track marks and considerable activity. We estimated three months before India could resume nuclear testing.

At the same time we continued receiving inputs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic chatter and the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. These bits and pieces were accurately fitting into our knowledge base and the photography. By mid February, the analysis was ready and subjected to an in house discussion in the General Staff Branch after which it was put before the COAS, General Jehanghir Karamat. The preparations in Pakistan began.

Due to India’s limited capability in enriching uranium and processing plutonium, we had reached the conclusion that India will conduct the following explosions.

  1. A repeat of 1974 design for confirmation.

  2. A boosted weapon system based on a plutonium design.

  3. A two stage thermo nuclear testing with the first stage based on a conventional design or a boosted weapon to produce the heat necessary for a nuclear fusion.

  4. We were of the opinion that cognisant of depleting fissile material stockpiles, India would not carry out more than three tests but at the same time test warhead designs without the fissile material.

I was on a physical workout on 12Th May 1998 when Director General Military Operations Major General Tauqir Zia called me to inform that India had carried out some nuclear explosions. Glued to the ZEE News, we saw the breaking news. There was no surprise and we worked for the next 48 hours. These 48 hours in the planning room were the best I had amongst senior officers. There was indeed urgency but no air of typical military seniority. We were all one, taking turs and handing out refreshments to each other irrespective of our ranks.

In days to come, the accuracy of our study was vindicated. The graphs of our monitoring stations indicated three major bangs, the last one flattening out. The first was a fission reaction of considerable yield. The second indicated a smaller yield confirming it was plutonium based boosted weapon. But the flattening out of the third explosion indicated that the second phase of the thermo nuclear device had fizzled out.

For my team, it was a moment of extreme satisfaction, pride and humility.  Based on research, conclusions drawn through empiricism and important intelligence gathering, we had ensured that Pakistan was not caught napping. We had given enough lead time to our scientists to prepare and conduct a series of nuclear testing as a credible and befitting response. All this would never have been possible without the confidence that senior officers reposed in us and the guidance of Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema, the Chairman of the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Qaid e Azam University Islamabad.

With technical issues left to our scientists, engineers and logisticians, it was now time to carry out an in depth appraisal of the international reaction and budgetary consequences for Pakistan. It was also time to lay the foundations of a Nuclear Policy and Doctrine that would ensure a durable peace in the region and foresee a negotiated settlement of all disputes with India.

One of the most important conclusions of our study was that the post nuclear Pakistan had to be more responsible. The message went unnoticed by the political establishment.  General Jehanghir Karamat had proposed a Committee of Defence and National Security (CDNS) as the single competent forum to pull Pakistan out of its political and economic crises. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saw it as an affront to the political establishment and a precursor to praetorianism. Being a gentleman that he was, General Karamat resigned and with him the vision of a peaceful, self reliant and strong Pakistan.

With the new COAS, Pakistan soon changed course and the coterie plunged Pakistan into its deepest crises one after the other. I wonder if it would ever be possible to put back the clock.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on WAS PAKISTAN READY ON 11 MAY 1998?

Pakistan Rulers Sold to the US Magic Spell

NOVANEWS

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja

 

I have been writing columns in local and foreign newspapers and websites since 2004. I got spurred into writings after getting perturbed over sudden turn in Pakistan’s geopolitical environments in the aftermath of 9/11 which many in Pakistan viewed as blessings in disguise for Pakistan since Pakistan’s debts had been rescheduled, investments were pouring in, overall economy had begun to come out of the woods and Pakistan came out of isolation.

While I agreed to a degree that Gen Musharraf had little choice but to cede to unreasonable demands of USA, I had strong reservations over the way he promptly accepted the US demands at his own and that too without matching returns.  I didn’t like his throwing in his towel on a phone call from Collin Powel without taking the nation into confidence. In April 2004 I asked him pointed questions in Quetta Staff College on his US centric policy and how he was sure that the US would not betray Pakistan once again; his inclination to bring back Benazir and making his accountability selective out of political expediency; and whether there was a change in strategy or change of policy on Kashmir. He had no cogent reasons to answer my queries. Others who were praising him profusely were surprised how I could ask such questions and got away with it.

In my write ups and discussions I started sounding alarm bells about hidden American objectives from 2005 onwards. In my article titled ‘Indo-US-Afghan nexus in Afghanistan’, I dilated upon the emerging security threats to Pakistan. Thereon, I wrote series of security related articles and my thrust was towards the ill-designs of India and USA and had forewarned that their apparent friendship was a deception to trap Pakistan. I had repeatedly cautioned that Pakistan had been time and again betrayed by USA and India had never missed any opportunity to harm Pakistan and that the duo would do so again whenever they found the situation ripe to deliver the hammer. I had clearly said that Pakistan must not live under mistaken belief that it is a strategic partner of USA since Pakistan didn’t fit into the security paradigm of USA. I had said that it is India which is the actual strategic partner since the two had common objectives against Pakistan. In almost each article I had highlighted the objectives of India and USA which were to destabilize, denuclearize, de-Islamicize and balkanize Pakistan.

I had written number of articles on nuclear related concerns and how the strategic partners were going about tightening the noose under the garb of friendship to make Pakistan helpless and then extract its nuclear teeth. I have written copiously on terrorism, its causation and remedies asserting that Indo-US-Israeli axis was primarily responsible for fanning terrorism. I had highlighted negative implications of the US imposed war on terror on Pakistan and made proposals how to stem the downslide which was impacting the operational efficiency of the Army. I mentioned that India and USA had cleverly converted our assets in FATA into liabilities.

I extensively dwelled on Kashmir issue and held Musharraf responsible for compromising our principled stance on Kashmir based on UN resolutions and suggesting an out of box solution at his own and subsequently giving a deathblow to Kashmiri freedom struggle so as to appease India. Throughout his nine-year rule, Musharraf and his King’s Party kept looking at the rising level of foreign exchange and GDP and ignored what Pakistan was losing in terms of its sovereignty and integrity. Rise in economic graph also proved elusive.

I have been highly critical of the present democratic dispensation which has further messed up the messy security situation and also made the political and economic situation unstable because of incompetence, poor governance, record breaking corruption, cronyism, nepotism, defiance of rule of law and lackadaisical approach. The soiled rulers were installed in power by Washington after cleansing them in the infamous NRO washing machine. Issuance of NRO and letting Zardari replace him were among the biggest sins committed by Musharraf because of which the whole nation is suffering. With their hands and tongues tied by Washington, the chosen leaders were instructed to blindly obey the dictates of USA, remove all impediments in its way and protect its interests. Hussein Haqqani, Rehman Malik and retired Maj Gen Durrani and some others were their chosen confidantes given key appointments to obsequiously serve US interests.

The American duality began to surface in 2005 when it extended India lucrative civilian nuclear deal and denied the same to Pakistan saying that it was an irresponsible nuclear nation. It also signed high-tech defence deals with India worth billions of dollars while it maintained a tight fisted policy towards Pakistan in terms of release of close support funds and counter terrorism equipment. Virulent propaganda campaign against our nuclear program and our premier institutions by US think tanks and government controlled media together with leveling of unsubstantiated serious charges by US officials raised many eyebrows in Pakistan particularly when human rights abuses by Indian forces in Kashmir and other minorities in India were ignored.

Questions were asked as to why the US had adopted such a discriminatory policy when both were its allies and Pakistan was facing the main brunt of war on terror as a frontline state. Such a biased and unfriendly approach was a strong indication that all was not well on the American front and should have awakened our rulers from their complacency but nothing of the sort happened and policy of appeasement continued unabated.

Facilitating India to consolidate its position in Afghanistan on permanent basis by USA and allowing its intelligence agencies to carryout covert war against Pakistan and calculatingly shifting terrorism from Afghanistan into Pakistan resulting in rise of human and economic losses were hostile acts and should have alarmed our rulers, impelling them to take preventive measures. But lured by the shine of dollars, they refused to come out of the magic spell of USA. They kept saying that it was ‘our war and terrorist are an existential threat and will be fought with full force’. Zardari went to the extent of saying that India posed no threat to Pakistan.

I wrote several articles about the shady activities of Blackwater in Pakistan and its risky consequences but the Interior Minister flatly denied their presence and challenged that he would resign if one such operative was found. However, he always came to the rescue of Americans caught at wrong places and at odd times with weapons.

I commented over the dangerous intent behind Af-Pak policy announced in March 2009 which converted Pak-Afghan border into a single battle zone and making Durand Line redundant so as to allow US-NATO troops to undertake hot pursuit operations inside FATA. It was GHQ which put its foot down and disallowed joint or unilateral operations. I reckon intensification of drone attacks together with incidents of airspace and western border violations were retaliatory in nature and corollary to Af-Pak policy.

I pointed out involvement of foreign agencies in Swat when the US, Indian and Israeli origin weapons and equipment were seized in large quantities from the caves in control of the militants in Swat during Operation Rah-e-Rast. Even Hindu RAW agents pretending as Muslim fighters were caught. Defects in legal system were brought to fore since the law courts could not convict even a single terrorist nabbed by security forces. Even when foolproof evidence of RAW’s involvement in trouble spots were collected, policy of appeasement continued unabatedly.

Dismantlement of main base of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in South Waziristan (SW) in November 2009 after the disruption of TTP base in Bajaur and that of TNSM in Swat were not ordinary feats when viewed in context with the fact that fully motivated militants didn’t lack  guts, had received higher training in Afghanistan by Indo-American trainers and equipped with all kinds of sophisticated weaponry and communication system to be able to fix the Army and continue fighting for next ten years.

Security forces suffered heavy casualties in these high-intensity operations. Despite collecting so much of foolproof evidence, the government as well as our media remained tight-lipped and didn’t consider it right to expose the double game of so-called allies. Its timidity emboldened the master planners to re-equip the disarrayed militants and re-launch them in other tribal agencies within six months. Otherwise the way they were battered and uprooted, it was not possible for them to strike again.

I am firmly of the view that war on terror was designed to pitch tribesmen against Pak Army, defame, weaken and exhaust the latter and make it operationally unfit to confront Indian military threat. I wrote several analytical articles on operations against militants in Swat, Bajaur and Waziristan and recommended that military gains should be consolidated and made lasting by rehabilitating the displaced persons, carrying out comprehensive development works, putting balm on their wounds to win their hearts and minds and reconverting them into our assets so that they turned their guns outwards rather than inwards. Very little has done to remove inequities of FATA.

One has to admire the impudence of Indian leaders who after fabricating 2001 and 2008 terror attacks in New Delhi and Mumbai, within hours started pointing fingers at Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISI and soon after Indian media swung into action. Emotions of Indian public were raised to a pitch of frenzy and war hysteria was created. On both occasions, the whole might of military was mobilized and moved to the borders where it stayed on for months. They cried and beat their chests as if all hell had broken lose. Two years and six months have lapsed but India has neither forgotten Mumbai incident nor stopped blaming Pakistan. Even when Kargil issue heated up in May 1999, Indian leaders and media went crazy. Almost all Indian infantry formations were pushed into the conflict zone and pitched battles raged for over six weeks and ended only when India helped by USA and the west converted its intelligence failure and military defeat into victory through media war.

As opposed to Indian response to its huge intelligence failure and poor response of security forces against nine terrorists in Mumbai, if one makes a comparison of Pakistan’s response, it is simply pathetic. Well knowing that India with the blessing of USA is deeply involved in destabilizing Pakistan since 2002, our leaders and media are morally so bankrupt and passive that after each terrorist act of much greater magnitude than 2001 and 26/11, what to talk of militarily confronting it, they do not utter a word against it. They are so fearful of USA and India that they quickly name TTP and al-Qaeda even before any preliminary investigation is carried out. That way they absolve the patrons of TTP and earn kudos from them.

Our adversaries after pushing the flames of terrorism in FATA and interior Balochistan, spread the flames towards settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and then towards major cities of Pakistan. After the harassment phase, they have now started the final destructive phase in which major sensitive installations will be targeted one after the other. After PN Mehran Base incident on 22 May in which two highly expensive surveillance aircraft were destroyed by the unknown terrorists, next targets in all probability will be Rangers HQs, PAF installations, dockyards, defence factories, main grid stations, oil refineries etc. After few successful strikes, the paid hirelings will then be launched to strike one to two nuclear installations. High-pitched alarm bells will then be rung all over the world saying that their apprehensions have come true and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has become unsafe and hence either it should be destroyed or taken over by UN force.

Although we are terribly behind in point of time and space since the whole country has got stuck in the deathtrap dug by our adversaries and it has become extremely difficult to retrieve the country out of it, but our rulers seem to be oblivious of the magnitude of the threat and are still taking things lightly. They still consider our adversaries as Pakistan’s well-wishers as was evident from the recent visit of John Kerry to Islamabad. Mike Mullen is being entertained and forthcoming visit of Hillary Clinton is keenly awaited so that the intoxication of US magic spell is re-energized, enabling them to remain intoxicated. Ironically the military helplessly looks on at the speedy enslavement of Pakistan as silent spectators hoping that some divine help will shoo away the demons bent upon destroying Pakistan.

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