Foreign Espionage Network in Pakistan

January 31, 2011

By Sajjad Shaukat

On January 27, an American employee of the US Consulate in Lahore, identified as David Raymond, shot dead two Pakistani youths, while a third was crushed by the driver of a Parado jeep, who was called by him for help, at Chowk Qartaba. Persons, sitting in the jeep were also carrying weapons. Police arrested David near Old Anarkali, Food Street after a chase and registered a case against him on two counts, while a case was also registered against unidentified people.

On one side, the United States has called for the immediate release of the American citizen working with US consulate in Lahore, claiming that Pakistani authorities have detained the diplomat unlawfully and in violation of international law. On the other side, investigators and experts are of the opinion that the under-investigation American involved in the murder of civilians in Lahore was in Pakistan on a visit visa and not on a diplomatic assignment-does not qualify for immunity from prosecution.

Sources suggest that David Raymond including his companions were agents of the American CIA and were on an anti-Pakistan mission. In fact, he is part of the illegal activities of the Blackwater whose employees of entered Pakistan in the guise of diplomats.

However, with the help of Indian secret agency RAW and Israeli Mossad, Blackwater has rapidly established its network in Pakistan. It has recruited Pakistani nationals who are vulnerable and can work on payroll giving them high financial incentives to work for them. Further, some reports suggest that this notorious firm has been recruiting smugglers, employees of the security companies, experts of the psychological warfare, scholars and journalists in order to fulfill anti-Pakistan designs of America including that of India and Israel.

It is of particular attention that a few days ago, Pakistani security officials foiled an attempt by the Indian intelligence to enact a fake encounter for implicating Pakistan in incidents of cross border terrorism. The plan was unearthed when a suspect, working for the Indian RAW was apprehended at Sialkot border area, while attempting to cross over to India through the border security fence; an impregnable barbed wire obstacle. Entrance points on the fence are locked and controlled by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF). The suspect has confessed to work as an Indian spy who was tasked to recruit agents from Pakistan to work for Indian intelligence.

Well-informed sources indicate that the suspect whose name has been withheld for security reasons disclosed that his Indian handlers, Mr. Sharma and Mr. Amjad, had asked him to recruit a Pakistani national by offering a large monetary reward, preferably carrying a weapon and send him across the border through the border barbed wire fence after liaison with the BSF troops. Mr. Sharma had assured him that all the details of border crossing would be finalized by him and duly taken care off at his end. The suspect also disclosed that the Indian Intelligence had planned a fake encounter to kill the border crosser and exploit the episode as proof of subversive elements launched by Pakistan’s spy agency, ISI crossing over from Pakistan to commit acts of terrorism in India. He also pointed out that he had held a few meetings with his Indian handlers in Islamabad as well.

Nevertheless, both the above mentioned events prove the involvement of Americans and Indians-under cover intelligence officers stationed in their Islamabad embassies and consulates, and are continuously engaged in espionage activities in grave violation of their diplomatic status.

It is mentionable that in the last three years, Pakistan’s security forces and intelligence agencies have caught a number of foreign spies along with sophisticated weapons, working against the integration of the country. In this respect, a number of times, arms and guns were also captured from Americans traveling in vehicles in various cities of Pakistan, camouflaged with dark mirrors.

Although Pakistan’s security forces have successfully coped with the Taliban militants in the Malakand Division and South Waziristan, yet situation has deteriorated in the country where subversive events like suicide attacks, targeted killings, attacks on buildings, oil pipelines, sectarian violence etc. have intensified due to the presence of external spies.

Notably, Pakistan’s civil and military high officials have openly been revealing that RAW, Mossad and other foreign agencies are involved in supporting separatism in Balochistan and acts of terrorism in other cities of Pakistan.

In this respect, on April 23, 2009 in the in-camera sitting of the Senate, Federal Minister to the Interior, Rehman Malik had displayed documentary evidence of Indian use of Afghanistan to create unrest in Balochistan. It is believed that the main aim of in-camera session was also to show the engagement of American CIA and other external agencies as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan because at that stage, Islamabad did not want to publicly point out America.

In this regard, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit without naming CIA had revealed, “The evidence of foreign powers’ involvement in the destabilisation of Pakistan will be shared with relevant countries.”

While in the recent past, Governor of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Awais Ghani had disclosed that some world powers were trying to divide Pakistan, adding that if he were not a governor, he would have exposed them.

During the Malakand and Waziristan military operations, ISPR spokesman, Maj-Gen. Athar Abbas has repeatedly indicated foreign hands in helping the insurgents in order to destabilize Pakistan.

It is notable that Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World; hence the US, India, Israel and some western powers are determined to weaken it. Notably, despite American cooperation with Islamabad, its main aim along with India and Israel remains to de-nuclearise our country whose geo-strategic location with the Gwadar port entailing close ties with China irks the eyes of these countries, hence, they are in collusion to destabilise Pakistan. For this purpose, a well-established network of Indian army, RAW, Mossad and CIA which was set up in Afghanistan against Pakistan in order to support insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtookhwa and separatism in Balochistan have been extended. Now, it has been expanded in whole of Pakistan as recent suicide attacks, bomb blasts and targeted killings in Karachi and Lahore have so proved it.

CIA, RAW and Mossad are collectively working inside Pakistan. In this context, these secret agencies have been spending huge money to train and equip the militants who have been entering Pakistan on daily basis and have been conducting suicide attacks in our country, and assaults on our security forces including targeted killings-inciting sectarian violence.

Besides, these foreign agencies have purchased the services of some Indian Muslims and Pakistanis. Those who did not come up to their terms have been neutralized or murdered. In this regard, in the past few years, some politicians, intellectuals, journalists and religious leaders have been killed by the agents of these external agencies, while some are on their hit-list. Their purpose is to create perennial unrest in Pakistan, while main aim remains to disintegrate the country.

Nonetheless, the incident in Lahore, arrest of an American, David Raymond, and the suspect from Sialkot border-working for Indian spy agency, without any doubt confirms the presence of a well-organized foreign espionage network, based in Pakistan and the same is run by CIA, RAW and Mossad including their undercover agents. While conducting acts of terrorism to weaken Pakistan remains their top priority.

Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book : US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power : Dangerous Shift in International Relations.


Death of the ‘Imam’

January 25, 2011

By Shemrez Nauman Afzal
ZoneAsia-Pk

Amir Sultan Tarar AKA Colonel Imam

Brigadier Retired Amir Sultan Tarar is suspected to have died in Taliban captivity, presumably because of cardiac arrest, but suspicions and conspiracy theories indicate that his captors, the Taliban, may have murdered him because of non-payment of ransom by his family. However, the official quarters including Military sources as well as the Frontier Corps are finding it hard to verify the reports saying they have no confirmed information in this regard.

“We have been told that his dead body has been seen near Danday Darpa Khel area in North Waziristan Agency, but the news could not be confirmed nor could we get any picture of the dead body of Colonel Imam”, a senior Army official told this scribe when contacted. Similar remarks were offered by the FC sources.

Read Complete Article Here: Death of the ‘Imam’


Counter-terrorism: ‘South Waziristan purged of militants’

December 8, 2010

Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani reiterated on Tuesday that South Waziristan has been completely cleared of militants, while the army spokesperson denied reports of a rocket attack in the region.

In a statement, Major General Athar Abbas said that an operation is being carried out against militants in the area of Shawal in which helicopters are being used to destroy the whereabouts of militants.

On the other hand, media reports say that militants fired four rockets in the area of Ladha while Kayani and Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman were in the region for a visit.
Kayani, while on his visit to South Waziristan, said that rehabilitation and reconstruction is currently under way.

He further said that a double road is being constructed in Tank, Jandola, Makeen, and Wana, and voiced hope that the expansion of the road would usher in Afghan transit trade.
The army chief also added that work is under way on various projects worth approximately Rs14 billion.

The army, he added, is focusing on four sectors, which include construction of infrastructure, education, roads, provision of electricity and clean drinking water projects.

Meanwhile, the air chief marshal inaugurated a school in Ladha and the army chief laid the foundation stone of a model health centre, which is to be financially supported by the government.


Indian cellular network’s penetration into FATA ringing alarm bells

November 1, 2010

By: Farzana Shah

PESHAWAR - The Indian cellular network in Afghanistan has started penetrating into Pakistani tribal areas with the sale of SIM cards of Indian and Afghan cellular companies in FATA is adding to the security fears of the country.

According to sources, the SIM cards of cellular network, owned and operated by India, are being sold in North Waziristan Agency, South Waziristan, Bajaur Agency, Kurram Agency, Mohmand Agency and Orakzai Agency.

These areas of Pakistan mostly bordering Afghanistan are the most militancy infested ones.

The Indian cellular communication network in collaboration with Afghanistan is said to have started functioning in Pakistani tribal areas. The law enforcement agencies in their report have cautioned the Government about risks this new development brings to the security of Pakistan.

“The Indian-Afghan mobile phone network has a vast range penetration in Pakistani tribal territory. “This network penetration can be a threat to security as it can be used by militants for terror activities a,” a security official told on the condition of anonymity.

It is worth mentioning here that tracing calls made from these SIM cards will be a difficult task for Pakistan owing to the fact it is being operated and controlled by India in Afghanistan.

Considering the apprehension of the law enforcement agencies, the Government has announced to ban use of Indian, Afghan SIM cards in FATA.

A letter sent by the centre to FATA and Governor secretariats and interior department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa directed the ban on those SIM cards and also asked for action against dealers selling them.

The political agents of aforementioned tribal agencies have been directed to take measures for disbanding foreign mobile network and launching crackdown against sellers of SIM cards.

They have also been asked to send the report in this regard to the centre through FATA secretariat.


The War On Terror. What is it really all about?

October 21, 2010

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts for Sabbah Report

Does anyone remember the “cakewalk war” that would last six weeks, cost $50-$60 billion, and be paid for out of Iraqi oil revenues?

Does anyone remember that White House economist Lawrence Lindsey was fired by Dubya because Lindsey estimated that the Iraq war could cost as much as $200 billion?

Lindsey was fired for over-estimating the cost of a war that, according to Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, has cost 15 times more than Lindsey estimated. And the US still has 50,000 troops in Iraq.

Does anyone remember that just prior to the US invasion of Iraq, the US government declared victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan?

Does anyone remember that the reason Dubya gave for invading Iraq was Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, weapons that the US government knew did not exist?

Are Americans aware that the same neoconservarives who made these fantastic mistakes, or told these fabulous lies, are still in control of the government in Washington?

The “war on terror” is now in its tenth year. What is it really all about?

The bottom line answer is that the “war on terror” is about creating real terrorists. The US government desperately needs real terrorists in order to justify its expansion of its wars against Muslim countries and to keep the American people sufficiently fearful that they continue to accept the police state that provides “security from terrorists,” but not from the government that has discarded civil liberties.

The US government creates terrorists by invading Muslim countries, wrecking infrastructure and killing vast numbers of civilians. The US also creates terrorists by installing puppet governments to rule over Muslims and by using the puppet governments to murder and persecute citizens as is occurring on a vast scale in Pakistan today.

Neoconservatives used 9/11 to launch their plan for US world hegemony. Their plan fit with the interests of America’s ruling oligarchies. Wars are good for the profits of the military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us in vain a half century ago. American hegemony is good for the oil industry’s control over resources and resource flows. The transformation of the Middle East into a vast American puppet state serves well the Israel Lobby’s Zionist aspirations for Israeli territorial expansion.

Most Americans cannot see what is happening because of their conditioning. Most Americans believe that their government is the best on earth, that it is morally motivated to help others and to do good, that it rushes aid to countries where there is famine and natural catastrophes. Most believe that their presidents tell the truth, except about their sexual affairs.

The persistence of these delusions is extraordinary in the face of daily headlines that report US government bullying of, and interference with, virtually every country on earth. The US policy is to buy off, overthrow, or make war on leaders of other countries who represent their peoples’ interests instead of American interests. A recent victim was the president of Honduras who had the wild idea that the Honduran government should serve the Honduran people.

The American government was able to have the Honduran president discarded, because the Honduran military is trained and supplied by the US military. It is the same case in Pakistan, where the US government has the Pakistani government making war on its own people by invading tribal areas that the Americans consider to be friendly to the Taliban, al Qaeda, “militants” and “terrorists.”

Earlier this year a deputy US Treasury secretary ordered Pakistan to raise taxes so that the Pakistani government could more effectively make war on its own citizens for the Americans. On October 14 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered Pakistan to again raise taxes or the US would withhold flood aid. Clinton pressured America’s European puppet states to do the same, expressing in the same breath that the US government was worried by British cuts in the military budget. God forbid that the hard-pressed British, still reeling from American financial fraud, don’t allocate enough money to fight America’s wars.

On Washington’s orders, the Pakistani government launched a military offensive against Pakistani citizens in the Swat Valley that killed large numbers of Pakistanis and drove millions of civilians from their homes. Last July the US instructed Pakistan to send its troops against the Pakistani residents of North Waziristan. On July 6 Jason Ditz reported on antiwar.com that “at America’s behest, Pakistan has launched offensives against [the Pakistani provinces of] Swat Valley, Bajaur, South Waziristan, Orakzai,and Khyber.”

A week later Israel’s US Senator Carl Levin (D,MI) called for escalating the Obama Administration’s policies of US airstrikes against Pakistan’s tribal areas. On September 30, the Pakistani newspaper, The Frontier Post, wrote that the American air strikes “are, plain and simple, a naked aggression against Pakistan.”

The US claims that its forces in Afghanistan have the right to cross into Pakistan in pursuit of “militants.” Recently US helicopter gunships killed three Pakistani soldiers who they mistook for Taliban. Pakistan closed the main US supply route to Afghanistan until the Americans apologized.

Pakistan warned Washington against future attacks. However, US military officials, under pressure from Obama to show progress in the endless Afghan war, responded to Pakistan’s warning by calling for expanding the Afghan war into Pakistan. On October 5 the Canadian journalist Eric Margolis wrote that “the US edges closer to invading Pakistan.”

In his book, Obama’s Wars, Bob Woodward reports that America’s puppet president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, believes that terrorist bombing attacks inside Pakistan for which the Taliban are blamed are in fact CIA operations designed to destabilize Pakistan and allow Washington to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

To keep Pakistan in line, the US government changed its position that the “Times Square Bombing” was the work of a “lone wolf.” Attorney General Eric Holder switched the blame to the “Pakistani Taliban,” and Secretary of State Clinton threatened Pakistan with “very serious consequences” for the unsuccessful Times Square bombing, which likely was a false flag operation aimed at Pakistan.

To further heighten tensions, on September 1 the eight members of a high-ranking Pakistani military delegation in route to a meeting in Tampa, Florida, with US Central Command, were rudely treated and detained as terrorist suspects at Washington DC’s Dulles Airport.

For decades the US government has enabled repeated Israeli military aggression against Lebanon and now appears to be getting into gear for another Israeli assault on the former American protectorate of Lebanon. On October 14 the US government expressed its “outrage” that the Lebanese government had permitted a visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who is the focus of Washington’s intense demonization efforts. Israel’s representatives in the US Congress threatened to stop US military aid to Lebanon, forgetting that US Rep. Howard Berman (D,CA) has had aid to Lebanon blocked since last August to punish Lebanon for a border clash with Israel.

Perhaps the most telling headline of all is the October 14 report, “Somalia’s New American Primer Minister.” An American has been installed as the Prime Minister of Somalia, an American puppet government in Mogadishu backed up by thousands of Ugandan troops paid by Washington.

This barely scratches the surface of Washington’s benevolence toward other countries and respect for their rights, borders, and lives of their citizens.

Meanwhile, to silence Wikileaks and to prevent any more revelations of American war crimes, the “freedom and democracy” government in DC has closed down Wikileaks’ donations by placing the organization on its “watch list” and by having the Australian puppet government blacklist Wikileaks.

Wikileaks is now akin to a terrorist organization. The American government’s practice of silencing critics will spread across the Internet.

Remember, “they hate” us because we have “freedom and democracy”, First Amendment rights, habeas corpus, respect for human rights, and show justice and mercy to all.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds . He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com


Indo-US-Israel-Afghan collaborative game against Pakistan

September 1, 2010

Brig Asif Haroon Raja

9/11 dramatically converted Pakistan from an international outcast under a military dictator aligned with extremist Taliban regime in Kabul to become a key strategic partner of America’s war on terror. This change in status brought about by USA did not come about out of the blue but under a well conceived design. While Afghanistan was already on the hit list of USA since 1997, 9/11 gave a ready made excuse to forcibly occupy it and bring a regime change of its liking and to then work upon the laid down regional objectives.

In its pursuit to denuclearize and secularize Pakistan, the US in concert with Israel, India and Britain worked out several contingency plans which ranged from coercion combined with inducement to destabilization, balkanization and fragmentation. Gen Musharraf was successfully coerced to ditch friendly Mullah Omar led Taliban regime in Kabul, to help US in militarily occupying Afghanistan, and to become a frontline state to fight US war on terror. Pakistan had to accept anti-Pakistan and pro-India Northern Alliance regime under Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

When Pakistan expressed its reluctance to send regular troops into South Waziristan (SW) to oust foreign terrorists since it had never done so in the past, Washington threatened that US forces would barge into FATA in case Pakistan failed to abide by its orders. Pakistan was induced to do Washington’s bidding by rescheduling Pakistan’s foreign debts and offering five-year package of $10.5 billion. By 2009, only 30% of this amount trickled into Pakistan’s kitty which barely met the expenses incurred on services rendered; the rest shifted back to US treasury. As against this puny amount the US spent $60 billion annually in Afghanistan.

Once the Army moved into SW, it was trapped and it was ensured that it got involved deeper and deeper in fighting futile war on terror. Nek Muhammad belonging to Ahmadzai Wazirs was killed by a US drone soon after he met Commander 11 Corps Lt Gen Safdar and inked Shakai peace accord in July 2005. Maulvi Nazir took over from Nek. Since Nazir reused to play American game, Abdullah Mehsud was released from Gitmo Prison and launched to accelerate militancy. His cousin Baitullah Mehsud too picked up the path of militancy but both operated separately so as to enlarge their areas of influence in FATA and beyond.

Army was pressed to shift from Wazir belt to Mehsud belt within SW. Abdullah was responsible for abducting and killing Chinese engineers working in Gomal Zam Dam project. It was RAW-CIA guided move to spoil Pak-China relations. Abdullah was killed in Zhob in July 2007 by Pak security forces. After his death Baitullah took up the mantle. The Army which had inked peace accord with Baitullah in early 2006 was pushed into North Waziristan (NW) to confront Hafiz Gul Bahadur led Othmanzai Wazir militants. Another peace deal was signed in NW in September 2006.

It was in this timeframe that Pakistani Taliban (PT) mysteriously surfaced in NW in late 2006 where Mir Ali and Miran Shah became their strong points. PT were later on duly trained, equipped, funded and protected by CIA, FBI, RAW, RAAM and Mossad foreign agencies based in Afghanistan and pitched against Pak Army to lock the two in deadly combat for a prolonged period. To prevent the Army from defeating militants, the army units operating in FATA were kept dependent upon doctored intelligence provided by CIA, FBI and satellite communication till as late as 2007. Bleeding and weakening of Army was considered essential for the success of the gory plan since without its destruction none of the envisaged objectives could be achieved. PT also helped USA in defaming Islam and Afghan Taliban.

Ranks of PT swelled after botched Lal Masjid operation in July 2007 triggering recruitment of fighters and suicide bombers in large numbers. Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Baitullah broke peace accords with security forces in July and August 2007 respectively. Mohmand Agency also came in the grip of militancy. Secular forces in Pakistan egged on by the west were responsible for instigating Gen Musharraf to launch a needless bloody operation. Revenge of killings of women and children receiving education in Jamia Hafsa became the rallying point. The Army was dubbed as a rental army on the payroll of US. Based on this analogy, killing of a soldier became a just cause. Reverses of Army at certain places in FATA further galvanized their spirits.

Taking advantage of hurt sentiments of the people of the area, RAW with the assistance of RAAM took upon itself to recruit fresh crop of fighters and to provide training, funds, equipment and reinforcement to PT from Afghan soil. Notwithstanding factor of revenge, chief causes of motivation of militants were regular handsome monthly salaries, perks and authority. Taste of adventure and heroism and easy availability of women to marry were other reasons to get lured. These were too intoxicating pleasures for the uneducated, unemployed youth belonging to poor families to go to any lengths.

Foreign agencies kept fueling their grievances and eulogizing their dare devilry. They pumped them that their cause to get rid of corrupt rulers and to introduce Sharia was genuine. Pak Army was projected as a mercenary army of the US. In the same breath it was ridiculed by USA for not doing enough and pressed to do more. It was also accused of being in cahoots with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Drone attacks which started hitting targets in FATA from January 2006 onwards remained confined to anti-US elements only or those refusing to tow US agenda. Purpose of drones was to fuel terrorism and not to curb terrorism.

Unheard of Baitullah who took over the reigns of Taliban in July 2007 surprisingly managed to establish Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) in December that year with its tentacles in all the seven agencies of FATA and in Darra Adamkhel (DAK). The TTP took a leaf out of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, whom they considered as their mentors and tried to emulate them by fighting evildoers to purge the society of immorality and dispensing speedy justice to victims. Bandits of the area who had made the life of peaceful residents miserable were nailed and many hanged to death. In order to become the dominant force in FATA, Taliban started to gun down pro-government Maliks and Mullahs in two Waziristans, the two pillars of Pakhtunwali. Police, Frontier Constabulary, Khasadars were targeted. Government officials were kidnapped and harassed to force them to abandon their offices. Other than CIA and FBI outposts, Blackwater was also moved into FATA to lend a helping hand in the killing spree. All this was done to weaken Jirga system and administrative machinery run by political agent.

RAW with easy money procured from illicit drug smuggling then started to equip TTP on a crash program. Bajaur, Swat and SW were converted into major strongholds where massive weapons, ammunition, explosives, suicide jackets, medical stores and other war munitions were stored in hundreds of caves, man-made tunnels, roofs and walls of houses and other secretive places throughout 2008.

CIA and RAW also helped TTP in getting aligned with several banned extremist groups so as to develop its capacity to engage Pak Army in a prolonged guerilla war, launch suicide attacks and group attacks against a specific defended or undefended target within cities. Idea was to enable TTP to strike targets within cities and also to show to the world that non-state actors had become strong all over the country. Its ability was however not built to hit targets outside Pakistan. Pak Army on the other and was denied requisite funds and counter terrorism equipment on the plea of Indian imaginary fears that equipment will be used against India.

CIA helped Baitullah getting aligned with Fazlullah led militants in Swat and making it part of TTP in February 2008. TTP also made inroads in southern Punjab wherefrom Punjabi youths were recruited. Unknown Fazlullah became popular in Swat and Malakand Division because of his preaching on FM radio which could not be jammed because of Israeli made transmitters. His motivational thrusts revolved around anti-Islamic lifestyle of the elite class, their insensitivity towards the poor, growing immorality and lack of justice.

The Taliban spread their influence to Bajaur which became restive after a drone attack on Damadola village in January 2006 and another strike on a madrassa in October 2006 killing 80 young students. Within a year’s time, Bajaur, attached with Kunar province of Afghanistan in north, turned into a formidable stronghold of Taliban under Maulvi Faqir where the Frontier Corps (FC) had to launch several operations. 100,000 locals got displaced as a result of Frontier Corps (FC) operation launched on 10 January 2008. FC operation under Maj Gen Tariq conducted in July 2008 ended on a victorious note in February 2009. It transpired that Bajaur militants were heavily funded and provided with all sorts of armaments and reinforcement by foreign agencies from Kunar. Uzbeks, Tajiks, Afghans and RAW agents used to assist Taliban in fighting security forces. Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh personally coordinated Bajaur insurgency.

Simultaneous to heating up of Bajaur, Swat under Tehrik-e-Nifaz-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) of Maulana Sufi, led by his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah became turbulent. After a military operation in November 2007, another operation was launched in August 2008 which ended in Swat Treaty in February 2009 according to which Nizam-e-Adal was to be enforced in Malakand Division and in return the militants would cease militancy.

Mohmand Agency heated up and turned into another formidable front for security forces in 2007. Divided into two as upper and lower Mohmand, it shares border with Nangahar province of Afghanistan to the west, Khyber Agency to the south, Bajaur to the north and Malakand, Charsada, Peshawar to the east. Until 2007, Mohmand was the most peaceful Agency in tribal belt and known for its moderation. Banned militant groups played a role in activating militancy in this region. Consequent to Lal Masjid operation in July 2007, over 200 militants took over a huge mosque in Ghazi Abad village near Ghilanai and renamed it as Lal Masjid. An unknown figure Umar Khalid gained prominence. He had received military training from Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and had participated in Kashmir Jihad and had also taken part in Taliban last ditch battle against US invasion in 2001. All those who were pro-government were gradually put to death on the plea that they were infidels, hypocrites and American spies. This way, authority of tribal elders was gradually enfeebled.

Three militant groups including Lashkar-e-Islam cropped up from nowhere in Khyber Agency to create law and order problem in Landikotal, Tirah, Jamrud and to threaten Peshawar. Capital city was attacked by terrorists and kidnappers under a planned program. Kurram Agency was rocked by foreign instigated Shia-Sunni conflict resulting in tens of hundreds of deaths. An operation had to be launched to quell the sectarian unrest. RAAM was heavily involved in fuelling turbulence.

Besides FATA, Balochistan was also made turbulent in 2005 by cultivating rebellious Baloch Sardars of Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and nationalist Baloch political leaders. Baloch rebels were trained, funded, and equipped on a massive scale to fix security forces in interior Balochistan. Gradually the flames of terrorism were brought to the capital city Quetta. After the death of Akbar Bugti, RAW planted the seeds of separatism among Baloch nationalists and rebellious elements. Balochistan became a priority target for USA-UK-India because of commercial and strategic interests. Exiled Baloch leaders were sheltered in Kandahar and in London and mandated to work for independence of Balochistan.

Another peace accord was signed with Hafiz Gul Bahadur in NW in September 2008 which is still intact. Peace agreement with Maulvi Nazir in SW is also holding on. Peace accords signed between militants and security forces or any sort of parleys taking place out of security and humanitarian compulsions are deeply resented by USA since it go against their plans. They wanted Pak Army and the militants to continue fighting till death. It was this hidden urge which prompted every US official to keep pressing Pakistan to do more and more. Peace deals gave an excuse to USA, India and Afghanistan to shout aloud that Pak Army was either soft towards the militants or didn’t have heart to fight them or was in cahoots with them. This charge-sheet has not been withdrawn till to-date.

Once India felt confident that the bastion of Swat fortified with huge efforts would be able to pin down a corps size force irreversibly, it advised the US to press Pakistan to start an operation in Swat in April 2009. It was also sure that Pakistan will not be able to cope up with the burden of 2.5 million displaced persons since by then its economy had slumped and was at the mercy of IMF and the new democratic rulers duly washed by NRO were also in the grip of Washington. When reverse happened, all hopes were pinned on SW becoming the final killing ground for systematic destruction of Pak Army.

When Pak Army turned the tables on TTP, it disconcerted the plot makers beyond measure. They could not imagine in their wildest dreams that Pak Army would break the back of TTP and that too in very short time. Their wish to steal nukes shattered. Instead of defaming the Army and lowering its morale, its image up surged and morale went sky high. The Frontier Corps and other paramilitary forces including police performed brilliantly. The PAF lent full support by way of targeting sanctuaries of militants.

Orakzai Agency tucked in depth and well away from Afghan border but linked with Kohat and Peshawar had remained peaceful till as late as mid 2008. A deadly suicide attack on a Jirga that had assembled to form a lashkar to confront Taliban made this region turbulent as well. Waliur Rahman holds sway over militant group which coordinates its activities with Taliban in DAK. After loss of main base of TTP in SW in November-December 2009, Orakzai was prepared as an alternative base. This region has also been sufficiently neutralized.

Extremists bottled up in specific areas first slipped into settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and then to major cities of Punjab and Karachi thus spreading terrorism all over. Militant groups banned by Musharraf in 2001/2, had become sleeping cells in major cities. These groups had come under the wings of TTP and got activated once runaway Taliban sought shelter in cities. Latter having got weakened do not command effective control over the militant groups from Punjab but remain in collusion. RAW exploiting the fluid situation created new groups like Asian Tigers under Osman Punjabi. Main groups are Lashkar-Zil headed by Ilyas Kashmiri, Jaish Muhammad under Maulana Masood Azhar, Harkatul Jihadul Islami under Qari Saifullah and Lashkar Jhangvi under Akram Lahori.

Baitullah and his Shura and Mehsud belt as a whole were spared till such time he started behaving independently and giving anti-US statements in March-April 2009. When he claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in New York in April 2009 and failed to unleash his horde of suicide bombers during operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat, he was declared a liability and a security risk and marked as a target. A warning shot was fired on him by a drone in June, but he had a narrow escape. He was eventually gunned down on 5 August and his death sparked leadership crisis in TTP. Hakimullah took over the reigns of TTP and accelerated suicide bombings and group attacks on military and civilian targets in major urban centres in Punjab so as to break the momentum of operations launched in forward areas and thus release pressure. He too apparently fell from America’s grace when he was found to be associated with Jordanian suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents at Khost base. Although his death was widely reported in western media, however, after few months he was re-incarnated. His rebirth was timed with Faisal Shehzad’s Time Square botched attempt.

TTP and other militant groups in Pakistan are of no concern to USA and India. What concern the duo are remnants of Al-Qaeda, Haqqani network and Gul Bahadur led militants in NW, Maulvi Nazir in SW and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Punjab. Let is being projected as a global threat and blamed for current nonviolent unrest in India-Held Kashmir. The US instead of extending support to Pak Army to fight its battle with TTP and Fazlullah led militants in Swat-Shangla; it has been lending support to TTP. Hundreds of US, Indian and Israeli origin weapons recovered from Swat and SW during recent operations is a clinching proof of their involvement. It implies that the US didn’t want Pak Army to defeat terrorism in Pakistan but to preferably get defeated or as a minimum get pinned down irretrievably. India instead of tackling existential threat posed by Naxalites to Indian Union, it is myopically wasting all its energies in supporting terrorists in Pakistan, foolishly hoping that downfall of Pakistan would end all its worries.

While there has never been any doubt of Indian involvement in Pakistan’s domestic affairs, WikiLeaks has confirmed clandestine role of CIA in destabilizing Pakistan. It is now established that CIA has all along based its assessment on Afghanistan and Pakistan on the inputs provided by Afghan intelligence which gets fed by RAW. WikiLeaks has given an insight to Indo-US-Israeli-Afghan collaborative game of maligning Pakistan through an orchestrated vilification campaign with evil intentions.

Ironically, the US has different sets of laws and standards for itself. While it gets outraged on finding any sort of linkage of Pakistan with Afghan Taliban, it is striving hard to negotiate with them. It has been ignoring peace accords inked by British soldiers with Taliban in Southern Afghanistan. It is also ignoring India’s cross border terrorism against Pakistan and massive human rights abuses of Israel and India against Gazans and Kashmiris. Washington also refuses to admit its blunders and failures on the political and military fronts and has never found faults in its Generals operating in Afghanistan nor has it ever pressed them to do more. It continues to remain under the spell of Israel and India, bent upon rolling the honor and prestige of US military in dust in Afghanistan.

Much hyped strategic dialogue with America is already proving to be a big hoax when seen in context with the renewal of pressure tactics and use of aggressive language by US leaders. Extreme pressure was applied on Pakistan to launch another operation in North Waziristan well knowing that Pak Army was outstretched and didn’t have the means to stretch any further and that too without fully consolidating gains in Swat and South Waziristan. In the wake of devastating floods and engagement of 60,000 additional troops in relief operations, opening of a new front for the time being has become impossible.

As long as perceptions and threat perceptions of the US and Pakistan are at variance, mistrust and misunderstanding will not fade away and US officials would keep blowing hot and cold. Hawkish attitude towards Pakistan and visible tilt towards India will not help in bridging the trust deficit and in toning down anti-US sentiments. India and Israel will continue to sprinkle fuel on the differences and clashing interests to keep the US fearful and antagonistic towards Pakistan. Notwithstanding wicked designs of the duo, the US should strive to win hearts and minds of Pakistanis by doubling its flood relief efforts altruistically to mitigate the sufferings of flood affectees without extracting its pound of flesh. In the wake of colossal losses suffered by Pakistan in war on terror and now in floods, the US instead of extending loans or rescheduling debts, it should demonstrate its sincerity of purpose and help Pakistan in getting rid of its external debt. This step will go a long way in reversing perceptions from negative to positive and in forging mutually sustaining lasting friendship.


Drone strikes kill 24 in North, South Waziristan

July 26, 2010

By Irfan Burki, Malik Mumtaz & Mushtaq Yusufzai

WANA/MIRAMSHAH/PESHAWAR: Twenty-four people, majority of them local tribal militants, were killed and some others were injured in three different missile attacks by the US spy planes in South Waziristan and North Waziristan on Sunday.

The first attack took place in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan where the drone fired two missiles and hit a double-cabin pickup carrying militants. Taliban sources said 14 militants were killed and two others were injured in the attack.

They belonged to the Hakimullah Mehsud-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). According to Taliban sources, these militants along with several other Mehsud insurgents had returned recently to their native South Waziristan and were planning to fight the Pakistani security forces there.

Many Mehsud Taliban fled their strongholds in South Waziristan and mostly shifted to the adjoining North Waziristan and Orakzai tribal regions when the government launched a military operation against Hakimullah Mehsud and his militants on October 17, 2009.

The sources among the militants said 14 insurgents died on the spot and two others sustained serious injuries. The two injured were shifted to a hospital in Mir Ali, the second biggest town of neighbouring North Waziristan. They were reported to have suffered multiple injuries.

It was the first attack by US spy planes in the Mehsud-inhabited areas of South Waziristan, particularly in Shaktoi after the January 15 missile strikes on a house after the US and Pakistani officials started making claims that Hakimullah Mehsud had been killed.

The second drone attack on Sunday occurred in Landikhel village of Srarogha Tehsil in South Waziristan. Tribal sources said four people, suspected to be militants belonging to the TTP, were killed and five others sustained injuries.

They said the drone fired two missiles on a house where some militants were having dinner. Moreover, six people were killed and four others injured in the third drone attack in the adjoining North Waziristan tribal region.

Official and tribal sources said the drone fired two missiles and struck a house in Tolkhel village, seven kilometres north of Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan. Villagers in Tolkhel said four spy planes were seen flying over the village for quite sometime on Sunday.

They said rescue work was started after two hours as the spy planes were still flying over the area. There was no word on the identity of those slain in the drone strikes.


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