Tag Archives: United States

FIRST DRONE ATTACK IN SETTLED AREA OF PAKISTAN IS ANOTHER FAILURE OF NAWAZ SHARIF GOVT

By Akhtar Malik 21 Nov 2013

2013-Nawaz-Sharif-5A US drone attack on a madrissa in Hangu area that killed 6 persons has created a shock wave across the whole country. This is because the US has widened their domain of international terrorism to settled areas and people feel that now no city of Pakistan is virtually safe from drones. This has happened because of apathy of the govt who is as mum as usual on this serious issue also. Is the govt now waiting for drones to attack people in Kohat, Peshawar and then Islamabad?

American war on terror was brought in Pakistan during Pervez Musharaf era. It was nurtured and made more lethal during Zardari-led PPP govt and now PML-N govt is not seen in a position to take any stance that could rescue the country from perpetual disaster. The main reason for this apathy is that the present setup has been brought to power with a ‘stolen ‘mandate’ to achieve specific objectives by international players. The US has rightly selected the most coward, the most spineless and the most timid ruler in the history of Pakistan to extend their drone attacks beyond tribal areas. They fully know that the NS govt will never take a slightest step against them because of obvious reasons. Had the elections been conducted in fair and free manner, the genuine leadership would have taken pragmatic steps, and by now the US would have been compelled to revisit their drone policy.

indexThis is not a good omen for NS govt. Coupled with unprecedented price hike, ever-depleting economy, an uncontrollable inflation and deteriorating law and order situation, the danger bells for the govt have started ringing much earlier than expected. If the NS govt is unable to retrieve the situation by taking drastic and revolutionary steps, I am afraid the govt may not survive by the end of next year. In case NS feels that he is genuinely incapable of retrieving the situation on any pretext, then instead of waiting for chaos and anarchy to knock at the door, he should better admit his failure in public and resign. There is no point in clinging to power at the peril of the country. But in all my sincerity, I want to see NS and his govt survive with dignity and success.

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ASFANDYAR, KHATTAK HAD SECRET AGREEMENT WITH THE US: HOTI

1000731_740894035925347_323880700_nPESHAWAR: Senator Azam Hoti alleged Monday 28 Oct 2013 that Awami National Party (ANP) leaders Asfandyar Wali Khan and Afrasiab Khattak had a secret agreement with the US. “Approximately $35 million was taken from the US as part of this agreement.”

During a news conference, Hoti said the ANP leaders had disappeared for ten days in the US; however he added that he had no proof for these allegations but said that costly palaces of Asfandyar in Dubai, five star hotels in Malaysia and his big shopping plazas are sufficient proof that how the blood of Pakhtuns was sold out by ANP leaders. “Information about the ANP leaders was given by US residents.”

According to Hoti the agreement was concerned with the Taliban and also involved an Arab country.

Hoti also called Afrasiab Khattak a thief who along with Asfandyar Wali Khan had destroyed the ANP.

Earlier this month, the ANP expelled Azam Khan Hoti from the party on grounds of violating party discipline by demanding the resignation of Asfandyar Wali and Afrasiab Khattak.

ANP leader Senator Zahid Khan in reaction to the press conference said, “There has been a conspiracy against our leadership in every era.”

[When Zardari-led coalition government was installed in Pakistan in 2008 as a follow up action of NRO, all such events were expected. PPP, ANP, MQM and JUI group had a tacit approval from Washington to rule, hence they did according to the stated policy of the US. Whenever a party or a group of parties is brought in to power in Pakistan there is always a specific agenda behind it to be accomplished. With the passage of time more such secrets are expected to be revealed- Akhtar Malik]

What is the Future of Gen Pervez Musharaf in Pakistan

August 4, 2013

What Can Happen to Musharraf!

By Saeed Qureshi

16706-mush-1364625706-852-640x480“Musharraf was lucky because instead of being removed as Army head, arrested or even blown off in the air, he became, in matter of hours, the chief executive of Pakistan or in simple word a powerful sovereign. This was mind boggling phenomenon on October 9 1999 when Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf’s fortunes were diametrically swapped.

He is goofy and imprudent because despite all prior warnings and dire indications he decided to return to Pakistan. Now confined to his palatial mansion in Pakistan, Musharraf faces three mammoth criminal cases. Over his head are dangling the trials under clause 6 of the constitution for treason and the involvement in assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti, the Baloch renegade leader.

He was bewitched and misled by half a million face book entries deluding him to return to Pakistan as the redeemer of a chaotic Pakistan. Thus he out of sheer miscalculation got himself trapped in a stranglehold from which he cannot be liberated.

As if adding to his miseries, the government in power is inveterately hostile to him and for good reasons. It is a situation that reflects quid-pro-quo or a kind of unforeseen nemesis. The plight of beleaguered former Pakistan’s president is blatantly reversed as the tormentor of the past is a condemned and hapless captive and the victim of the past is now in full power regalia as the prime minister of Pakistan.

 Such are the tricky pitfalls and thorny paths in politics more specifically manifest in third world unstable societies. The MQM, a political surrogate for Musharraf has climbed down the political ladder and its influence is considerably dwindled as a result of the general elections. The chief of MQM Altaf Hussain himself is locked in a maze of criminal cases that could finally land him in jail if proven.

So it is a kind of double jeopardy for General and erstwhile president in that he faces a hostile government and there is no group and party to stand beside him. These are indeed bad omens for him. He perhaps thought that the PPP would win the elections and he would be immune from any judicial or political backlash. But as ill luck would have it, a party won whose chief whatsoever, cannot have any soft corner for him.

There was a glorious past of Pervez Musharraf and there is a complete bleak future staring right in his face. The process of prosecution is going to be excruciating and protracted and at the end who knows what comes out. But to hope and predict that he can walk out of judicial rigmarole unscathed would be to watch the sun rising from the west.

Musharraf took some bizarre decisions like declaring the emergency rule on November 3, 2007, suspending the constitution, firing the Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, arresting the judges and confining them to their houses, deployment of troops on state run Television and radio stations. Yet he was still a lot better than other similar military rulers and civilian dictators. He did some good deeds also one of which was to give a modicum of freedom to the media and press. The economy looked better during his tenure.

On one hand he was hard pressed and caught up between the radical Islamic militants and the overbearing dictation of the United States for Pakistan’s support against the former. Practically and logically he had no choice or guts to defy the United States that was hell-bent against the militants especially al-Qaida in the aftermath of 9/11 catastrophe. He cannot be squarely blamed for towing the bandwagon of United States and her allies with regard to the so called war on terror. Not even a most liberal or conservative government in Pakistan could have refused the American stern call for the support.

The role of a submissive ally for the United States was not exclusive to Musharraf alone. It was initiated by a former Military dictator Gen. Ziaul Haq when in December 1979; America started a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan through the Islamic warriors. That proved to be the first lethal step towards an un-mitigating disaster in the region.

It led to the continual involvement of Pakistan in American war in Afghanistan, later spilling over to the territories of Pakistan during the Taliban era. While American forces would leave war-torn Afghanistan next year, Pakistan will continue to suffer as the victim of the resurgent Islamic radicals, particularly Taliban and Al-Qaida.

Musharraf being the proponent and initiator of enlightened moderation wanted Pakistan to not turn into a haven for the radical Islamic forces. But that mission and thrust could have been most repugnant to the radicals who saw in Pakistan as a ripe land for enforcing a rigid and fundamentalist version of Islam.

The enforcement of the Islamic Sharia started in Islamabad when Burqa-clad women started beating and dragging in the streets and markets, the women without veils. The students from the religious school affiliated with Lal Masjid, forced the shopkeepers to throw away music and movies’ filled videos and other electronic appliances.

Now Pakistan is not a Mauritania, Somalia, Mali or Yemen that the state would submit before the reactionary elements, bent upon imposing upon the people, their decadent and mutually controversial creeds and beliefs. The state had to retaliate to stop that dangerous onslaught that in due course, could have engulfed Pakistan.

That is what Musharraf did and I believe he was doing it for the national cohesion and saving Pakistan from falling into the hands of hardcore fanatics, who could trigger a sectarian mayhem in Pakistan. He should rather be applauded rather than condemned or maligned.

Before opting to come back to Pakistan, Musharraf might have believed that people would pour out all over the country to greet and support him. He should have pondered that if it could not be done for a highly populist leader Bhutto, how it could happen for a non-political minion, who by sheer accident, rose to power.

 Perhaps he became delusional in assessing his popularity and the hell he was going to fall in. He might have concluded that the army would not allow his trial. But he failed to comprehend that Army itself was under enormous pressure in the changing pro-democratic times to come to his rescue.

Moreover he belonged to a middle or lower middle class family and was not blue eyed member of an elite or aristocratic family who could garner support for his rescue behind the doors.

As for perceived support and backing from MQM, PMLQ and his own faction APML, these were non-entities on national political spectrum.

The PMLQ and MQM received a severe thrashing and colossal setback in the recent elections turning them into political dwarfs. Even otherwise the strident judicial activism would not have allowed or entertained any attempt at influencing the judicial decisions that would be forthcoming sooner or later.

So these were the probable murky scenarios that must have crossed the mind of Pervez Musharraf before embarking upon a return odyssey to Pakistan for retaking the power and grafting his watershed vision of making Pakistan an enlightened, modern secular and democratic state. Per say and supposedly, if by a miracle, he would have come into power and formed the government, would his religious adversaries allow him to proceed unchallenged and uninhibited?

The liberal lobby in Pakistan that could lend him support is also aloof in his affliction because of his permitting drone attacks as well as assuming the role of a bounty hunter. He cannot be absolved of the stigma of taking bounty money in return for catching the suspicious Pakistanis branded as terrorists and handing them over to the United States.

So Musharraf, as the metaphor goes is “in thick soup”. And one may shudder to speculate that in order to prevent future military chauvinism, the present government as prosecutor and the judiciary as upholder of justice may make him a dreadful example by sending him to gallows or long prison term.”

The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat

For Comments qureshisaeed50@hotmail.com

India financed problems for Pakistan from Afghanistan: Chuck Hagel

The unconditional participation of Pakistan in America’s war on terror in Afghanistan has rendered the country vulnerable to various kinds of security threats. Pakistan has suffered from this war to an extent that is unprecedented in world. India has been exploiting this situation to her advantage, knowing fully well that Pakistan will not be able to stop her interference. The statement of Chuck Hagel has removed all doubts about this bitter fact and is an eye opener for the policy-makers in Pakistan.

(Akhtar Malik)

 
‘India financed problems for Pakistan’ from Afghanistan: Chuck Hagel
February 26, 2013
 

2-26-2013_89847_lWhile some in Pakistan have for long been crying hoarse over growing Indian subversive activities in Pakistan through Afghanistan, the latest confirmation of this came from US defense secretary nominee Senator Chuck Hagel who in a previously unreleased video suggested that India has over the years “financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.”

Hagel in a talk on Afghanistan at the Cameron University in Oklahoma in 2011 said that India has been using Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. “India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border, and you can carry that into many dimensions.” The 2011 video had not been released previously, and only came to light after it was uploaded on to video sharing website by Washington Free Beacon. Hagel was nominated by President Barack Obama in January to replace US defence secretary Leon Panetta. He is due to hear a verdict on on his confirmation by the US Senate on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Washington has decried Hagel’s statement. An Indian embassy spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon that Hagel’s statement was not grounded in “reality”. “Such comments attributed to Senator Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-US relations, are contrary to the reality of India’s unbounded dedication to the welfare of the Afghan people,” the spokesperson said.

“India’s commitment to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is unwavering, and this is reflected in our significant assistance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure and institutional capacities.” The spokesperson, seeking to dispel the notion that India may have sponsored terrorism, added that “India’s development assistance has been deeply appreciated by the people and the Government of Afghanistan, and by our friends around the world, including the United States,” and that “We [India] do not view our engagement with Afghanistan as a zero sum game.”

“India and the United States have a shared perspective and a deep convergence of interests for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson added. “We will continue to work to help the Afghan people build a peaceful, prosperous, democratic and inclusive future for themselves in an environment free from terror and intimidation.” ”Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighborhood is firm and unshakeable,” the statement added.

 
India financed problems for Pak in Afghanistan: Chuck Hagel
 
PTI | 3 hours 39 min ago
 
Washington: In a sharp contrast to US view on India’s role in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama’s Defence Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel has alleged that India has over the years ‘financed problems’ for Pakistan in the war-torn country.
 
A video containing these remarks from an unreleased speech of Hagel at Oklahoma’s Cameron University in 2011 was uploaded by Washington Free Beacon, sparking a strong reaction from India which said such comments are ‘contrary to the reality’ of its unbounded dedication to the welfare of Afghans. Hagel, during the speech said, ‘India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border’.
 
“And you can carry that into many dimensions, the point being [that] the tense, fragmented relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been there for many, many years,” Hagel said. Reacting to this, the Indian Embassy here said, ‘Such comments attributed to Senator Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-US relations are contrary to the reality of India’s unbounded dedication to the welfare of Afghan people’.
 
It added that India’s commitment to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is unwavering, ‘and this is reflected in our significant assistance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure and institutional capacities’. ‘Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighborhood is firm and unshakable’. “India’s development assistance has been deeply appreciated by the people and the Government of Afghanistan, and by our friends around the world including the US. We do not view our engagement with Afghanistan as a zero sum game,” the Embassy said.
 
Contradicts Obama govt’s view
 
Hagel’s remarks are in sharp contrast to viewpoint of Obama Administration that has always been in praise of India’s developmental role in Afghanistan and in fact has been pressing New Delhi to do more in Afghanistan. Significantly, a deeply divided Senate is in the process of voting on US President’s contentious nominee to head the Defense Department. The Embassy said India and the US have a shared perspective and a deep convergence of interests for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
 
“We will continue to work to help the Afghan people build a peaceful, prosperous, democratic and inclusive future for themselves in an environment free from terror and intimidation,” the statement said. The unearthing of anti-India comment by Hagel provided another ammunition to the Republican Senators to oppose his confirmation which is slated to come up today. Once published, the news item was sent by the office of powerful Republican Senator John Cornyn, who is among the leading opponent of twice wounded Vietnam veteran’s confirmation.
 
“In light of our shared interest in the US-India relationship, thought you would want to see this,” said the email sent by Cornyn’s office to top Indian American community leaders. Cornyn is Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus. “I am surprised and shocked. We did not know the story and background of Senator Hagel on India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. I think Indian Community needs to work on to see how we can help to stop his nomination for the post of Secretary of Defense.
 
“We will definitely follow up with our Senators and impress on them on the folly of such a nomination,” Republican Sampat Shivangi (an unmistajably Indian sounding name), national president of Indian American Forum for Political Education, said.
 
Split in Senate
 
As Nebraska Senator for two terms from 1997 to 2009, Hagel was member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, frequently travelled to South Asia and voted in favour of the historic India-US civilian nuclear dealDuring his trip to Pakistan he told the then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that a similar agreement was not on cards with Islamabad, because of the proliferation issues with his country. Hagel’s nomination has bitterly split the Senate, with Republicans turning on their former colleague and Democrats standing by Obama’s nominee.
 
Republican lawmakers excoriated Hagel over his past statements and votes. They argued that he was too critical of Israel and too compromising with Iran. They cast the Nebraskan as a radical far out of the mainstream. Meanwhile, official sources in New Delhi said India has close and frequent discussions with the US “on all issues of mutual interest including on Afghanistan, and we have consistently received support and encouragement from our US partners for our constructive role in Afghanistan”.