ISI chief meets CIA head and leaves Washington

April 13, 2011

Pakistan’s ISI chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha held an important meeting with the CIA chief on Monday but apparently cut short his visit and was leaving the US capital on Monday night.

A Pakistan Embassy official confirmed that Gen Pasha was scheduled to leave Monday night although earlier reports had indicated he may be staying in Washington for three days and leave on April 13.

There was no official word from the Pakistani side but the New York Times quoted a CIA spokesman, George Little, saying that the two spy chiefs had held “productive” meetings and that the relationship between the two services “remains on solid footing.”

Political analysts were, however, a little surprised that Gen Pasha, who had arrived on Sunday evening, was leaving the US capital in just about 24 hours. There was no word of his meetings, if any, with other senior US leaders, including the Defence Secretary.

“The United States and Pakistan share a wide range of mutual interests,” the CIA spokesman said, “and today’s exchange emphasized the need to continue to work closely together, including on our common fight against terrorist networks that threaten both countries.”

The newspaper said the meetings were part of an effort to repair the already tentative and distrustful relations between the spy agencies that plunged to a new low as a result of the Davis episode, which further exposed where Pakistani and American interests diverge as the endgame in Afghanistan draws closer.

The NYT also reported that Pakistan has demanded that the US steeply reduce the number of CIA operatives and Special Operations forces working in Pakistan, and that it put on hold CIA drone strikes aimed at militants in northwest Pakistan, a sign of the near collapse of cooperation between the two testy allies.

The demand that the United States scale back its presence is the immediate fallout of the arrest in Pakistan of Raymond A. Davis, a CIA security officer who killed two men in broad daylight during a mugging in January, Pakistani and American officials said in interviews.

The NYT said the scale of the Pakistani demands emerged as Gen Pasha met the CIA Director. The paper said Pakistan Army firmly believes that Washington’s real aim in Pakistan is to neutralize the nation’s prized nuclear arsenal, which is now on a path to becoming the world’s fifth largest, said the Pakistani official closely involved in the decision on reducing the American presence.

On the American side, frustration has built over the Pakistan Army’s seeming inability to defeat a host of militant groups, including the Taliban and al-Qaeda, which have thrived in Pakistan’s tribal areas despite more than $1 billion in American assistance a year to the Pakistani military.

American officials said last year that the Pakistanis had allowed a maximum of 120 Special Forces soldiers to operate in Pakistan. The Americans had reached that quota, the Pakistani official said.

In an illustration of the severity of the breach between the CIA and the ISI, two intelligence agencies that were supposed to have been cooperating since the Sept. 11 attack in the United States but that have rarely trusted each other, the Pakistani official said: “We’re telling the Americans: ‘You have to trust the ISI or you don’t. There is nothing in between.'”

Intelligence agencies deny holding 11 missing prisoners

November 25, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Intelligence agencies have submitted a report to the Supreme Court denying that they are holding the 11 missing prisoners .

Relatives of the prisoners say the men are being illegally held by intelligence agencies.

The court was hearing the case of the 11 prisoners who went missing from the Adiala jail after being acquitted of the charges of four terrorism cases in June.

After this controversy, the Chief Justice (CJ) called for a Daily Situation Report which is prepared by a special branch of police. The police had reported that these prisoners were wanted in four cases: the General Head Quarters attack, the attack on former president Musharraf, the recovery of an explosive laden jacket and the attack on Hamza camp. The prisoners were acquitted by a trial court. The report also corroborates the Punjab government’s statement that the prisoners were released and handed over to intelligence agencies. A review board of the Lahore High Court had found the extension of that detention to be illegal.

According to Express 24/7 correspondent Faisal Shakeel, relatives of these missing prisoners say that they were taken from inside the premises of the jail and are with intelligence agencies but the intelligence agencies have been denying this.

The intelligence agencies blamed by the relatives to be illegally holding the prisoners are the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the military intelligence. The Attorney General who has been in communication with these agencies said that the prisoners are not with the intelligence agencies but the Punjab government has been insisting that the prisoners were released and handed over to the intelligence agencies, reported Shakeel.

The Supreme Court said that if there are cases against the missing prisoners, it should be informed about them and the matter should be settled by due process of law.

The prisoners went missing when they were released from the Adiala jail. The CJ had directed the AG to sit with all officials and make a concrete statement as to the whereabouts of the 11 missing prisoners. The CJ had earlier refused to transfer this case to a bench and said that he would himself handle the case.

The AG had been directed to present 11 prisoners held on terrorism charges after the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.

Even The InterPol Ignores Indian Evidence On Mumbai

September 28, 2009

Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and the Jamaat al Daawa have nothing to do with Mumbai attacks, regardless of what the Indians keep saying. If you don’t believe me, ask the InterPol. They also don’t believe what India says.

By Abdullah Muntazir

Hafiz Mohammed Saeed (left) and Pakistani Hindus who benefited from the social work of Jamaat al Daawa demonstrating in Hyderabad after the government decision to seal schools run by the charity after accusations from India and the United States it supported terror.

LAHORE, Pakistan-Pakistani interior minister Abdul Rehman Malik has invited his Indian counterpart for a public debate on the issue of Mumbai attacks.

He claims that Pakistan has done more than India as far as investigations into the Mumbai attack are concerned. He also said that his country cannot take action against Ameer Jamat-ud-Dawah Prof. Hafiz Saeed because of “hearsay” and needs more time to assess the genuineness of information provided by India on him.

On the other hand Indian foreign minister SM Krishna has said that Pakistan has a vested interest in blocking the inquiry into the Mumbai attacks and is safeguarding Hafiz Saeed. Indian interior minister has visited United States to intervene in the issue and press Pakistan to act against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has become bone of contention between the two countries. Instead of appreciating and recognizing Pakistan’s efforts against Mumbai suspects, India has hinged everything on the prosecution of Hafiz Saeed.

Pakistan has arrested top commanders of Lashkar-e-Taiba including its chief operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and despite the risk of public anger and backlash all the arrested suspects were booked under the antiterrorism law.

It was not easy for Pakistan to arrest and charge the top commanders of a militant group under anti-terrorism law especially when the said commanders are seen as ‘pro-Pakistan’ and have enjoyed enormous public support in the past.

Notwithstanding Indian allegations against Lashar-e-Taiba, the group is generally considered ‘freedom fighters’ in Pakistan and Kashmir. The group had also opposed armed attacks against Pakistani security forces and thus enjoyed a good reputation in Pakistani security circles.

But despite this ‘good’ reputation Pakistan arrested almost all of its important commanders who were believed to be looking after the group’s armed activities in occupied Kashmir.

Unfortunately, India could not understand and recognize the enormity of the steps Pakistan has taken against the group. Instead, New Delhi tried to press Pakistan to ‘do more’.

India also ignored Pakistan’s compulsions and complications while its security forces were busy in N.W.F.P in military operation against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The understanding in Islamabad is that instead of cooperating with Pakistan in its war against extremism, India wants to use Mumbai attacks as a tool to press Pakistan to accept Indian hegemony in the region.

This understanding forced Pakistan to give a message of ‘No more’ to India in case of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. Pakistan has rightly asked India to provide concrete evidence against him that can stand in a court of law.

What India has provided so far in the case of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is not sufficient for any legal action. Even Interpol is not satisfied with Indian dossier against Hafiz Saeed. Under immense Indian pressure, Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against Hafiz Saeed but the notice itself shows that the international body has ignored the entire Indian dossier against Hafiz Saeed and used only confessional statements of Ajmal Qasab, the lone survivor of Mumbai attacks. In his confession statement, Ajmal Qasab mentioned meeting a “Hafiz Saab”, and at another point, “Sayed bhai. Interpol mixed ‘Hafiz Saab’ and ‘Sayed Bhai’ as one name and the ‘Red Corner Notice’ reads the name ‘Hafiz Saab, Sayed’.

Prominent Indian newspaper The Hindu criticized the Interpol for issuing such an ambiguous and vague notice. In its report on Thursday, Aug 27, 2009 the Hindu writes:

There is much excitement in India about the Interpol red corner notice for Hafiz Saeed, but the person for whom the international police organisation has put out the notice is virtually impossible to connect with the Jamat-ud-Dawa chief, so vague is the information about him.

On a request from the CBI, Interpol is reported to have issued red corner notices on Tuesday for Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who is also the founder of the Laskhar-e-Taiba, the group blamed for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, and for Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT operations commander.

While the red corner for Lakhvi is straightforward enough, not so the other one. It names only a “Sayed, Hafiz saab” with no other determining details about him except his Pakistani nationality and a date of birth. Sayed is a title used by those who trace their ancestry to the Prophet Mohammed, while Saeed is a common name.

The report further says:

Not only is the name wrong, as there is no accompanying photograph – “Not Available” is stamped across the rectangular space for a mug shot – it is impossible to figure out that the red corner notice is, in fact, for Hafiz Saeed.

It also makes no mention of his affiliation with the Jamat-ud-Dawa, or with the Laskhar-e-Taiba, or of his designation by the United Nations 1267 Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee.

The paper says that Interpol ignored all the material provided by India against Hafiz Saeed. It says:

The Hindu has learnt that in forwarding the request to Interpol for the red corner notice for both Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi, the CBI attached all the information from the Mumbai investigations, including the confessional statements of the surviving gunman Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab,’ and the two Indian suspects in the case, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin. They also forwarded the U.N. Security Council designation of both Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed by the 1267 sanctions committee, CBI sources told The Hindu in New Delhi. Photographs of both individuals – there is no dearth of them – were also included in the material sent by the CBI to Interpol. In his confessional statement, ‘Kasab’ mentioned meeting a “Hafiz Saab”, and at another point, “Sayed bhai.” Interpol’s red corner notice for “Hafiz Saab Sayed” appears to be drawn from the ‘Kasab’ statement.It is not clear why Interpol chose to overlook all the other material sent to them.

If Indian dossier against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed could not convince Interpol, how it can stand in a court of law. Government of Pakistan has already lost its case against Hafiz Saeed in Lahore High Court and in Supreme Court too, it was unable to provide anything substantial to back its appeal against Lahore High Court’s decision of setting him free. Interior minister Abdur Reman Malik is rightly confident to challenge India for a public debate because he knows that India can not convince any court of law in the world against Hafiz Saeed on the basis of its dossiers provided to Pakistan. India should appreciate and accept what Pakistan has done so far in the case if it really wants Pakistan to cooperate otherwise unnecessary pressure will bring only ‘unwanted’ situations for India.

Mr. Muntazir is an expert on militancy and regional security issues. He can be reached at

How ODA 574 Installed Karzai, And Afghan Democracy

September 2, 2009

Afghan democracy is the work of US army’s special forces unit, led by Major Jason Amerine. This is a fake, imposed democracy. It will not last.


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan-The Afghan election is not about George Washington, Cromwell or the French Revolution. It is more about Major Jason Amerine and his battle-hardened covert operations boys who introduced Hamid Karzai to the world, along with fake, warlord-backed, drug-money-financed Afghan democracy that will never work.

For the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan, whose historical emperors ruled a large swath of Central and South Asia, they would never accept a ruler installed by an occupation force. The setup in Kabul is there as long as the Americans are in Kabul with the coalition of the unwilling, NATO. The only other country that is keen to sustain the Afghan mess is India, for reasons that have to do with Pakistan than anything else.

Hamid Karzai was brought to power seven years ago by US special forces unit ODA 574.

His rival, Abdullah Abdullah, is worse. He was a smalltime PR person working for the northern alliance force, a proxy militia created by the Indians and Iranians, with Russian backing.

Maj. Amerine with Karzai and Bush. He can tell you Karzai was installed by the US, underlining the fact that Afghanistan is a US colony and not a nation exercising its free will.

Remember the breaking news on CNN and BBC on Nov. 2, 2001 when the two Am-Brit channels aired a planted news story about a heroic Hamid Karzai entering Afghanistan with fighters from his tribe to liberate Kabul from Taliban government?

It was a drama orchestrated to legitimize the US- and UK-installed pawn in Kabul.

You can see here a private picture taken by someone from ODA 574. It shows what Karzai was actually doing on the ground about the same time that the American and British media was glorifying Karzai’s solo attempt at ‘liberating’ Afghanistan.

On September 11, 2001, US Army’s lead special forces unit, ODA 574, was in Kazakhstan reportedly training the Kazakh army. Three days later, its members were secretly entering Afghanistan, one month before the formal launch of the American-British invasion of Afghanistan. ODA 574 entered Afghan territory even before the United Nations granted Washington the right to wage war in response to 9/11.

ODA 574 does not operate as part of the US military on the ground. Its job is to infiltrate other countries, carry out sabotage and generally help break the target from the inside. This includes assassinating political or religious leaders, destroying power plants, or sparking ethnic or sectarian clashes.

In a way, what the unit was doing in this picture above was a dry run for all the mess introduced to the region in the following years, in Pakistan, in Iran, and in China’s Xinjiang. Pakistanis are almost convinced that the miraculous and sudden rise of the so-called Pakistani Taliban to spread terror inside Pakistan had everything to do with support from covert elements inside Afghanistan, possibly a setup similar to ODA 574.

There is little doubt also that US-controlled Afghanistan is being used by both Americans and Indians to stir trouble in China’s Xinjiang.

Russia and Iran are paying the price for helping the Americans use their assets, the Northern Alliance, to occupy Afghanistan. In Russia, the fronts in Ingushetia and Chechnya have suddenly warmed up recently with mysterious attacks on vital installations. Payback time, Putin.

According to information available in the public domain, members of ODA 574 are equipped with training for unconventional warfare, special communications systems and backed by combat controllers.

The unit helped glorify Hamid Karzai, who until then was nothing more than a fixer hired by American oil interests to court the Taliban government in Kabul. Karzai worked for Zalmay Khalilzad, who worked for people close to Dick Cheney and the Bush family, who were in bed with oil giants.

Washington used the Indian-Iranian-Russian backed Northern Alliance against Kabul. But after the occupation, Washington wanted to see its own puppet in power. Karzai was ‘lionized’ so that he could stand up to the Northern Alliance in the negotiations to form a post-Taliban government. Needless to say, the Am-Brit media pumped so much hot air into Karzai’s image that everyone else had to concede the presidency to America’s nominee.

This is, of course, my version of the story. The version of the US army is slightly different. The US military does not deny that ODA 574 was there on the ground in Afghanistan helping Karzai. The US military simply constructs a myth around the help extended by ODA 574 to Afghan ‘freedom fighters’ led by Hamid Karzai to topple an oppressive regime in Kabul. The American version also defines ODA 574’s mission as that to bolster democracy in pursuance of the ideals of America’s founding fathers. In short, the usual American foreign policy doublespeak.

The worst part of this story is that the American people, who are a fine people, are spoon-fed government planted lies 24/7 through CNN and Fox News. A majority of the Americans don’t know what their government and their military have done to Afghanistan, empowering thugs and drug pushers and using the occupied nation to destabilize neighboring countries.

If Afghanistan were America’s war of independence, the government in Kabul today would be the equivalent of General George Howe of Britain defeating George Washington and appointing a British puppet as chief executive in White House.

Conclusion: The elections in Afghanistan were a success. A triumph for freedom. Ahem.

Why Pakistan Will Never Catch Terror Leader Alive

June 29, 2009

The mess in Pakistan’s western areas is not just a battle with religious extremism. A larger part is a battle of proxies. There are credible reports that Indian and Israeli intelligence involvement in U.S.-controlled Afghanistan has deepened in the past seven years. American military and intelligence officials are impressed with the record of both countries in fighting Islamic groups in Kashmir and the Mideast. Israel invested heavily in establishing schools that study the art of Islamic indoctrination. These schools were used to learn how clerics can brainwash recruits and then exploit them politically. Israeli spymasters have used this knowledge to penetrate Islamic groups and plant agents. They have passed this technique on to the Indians to help them counter pro-Pakistan religious groups in Kashmir. In the Kargil war in 1999, Pakistanis and Kashmiris faced a direct Israeli special operations intervention on the side of the Indian military.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan-Pakistan will probably never catch terrorist leader Baitullah Mehsud alive. Why? For the same reason that we will never really know why uncircumcised dead fighters have been turning up from the bunkers of what is supposed to be Pakistani Taliban. Or why alcoholic beverages were found from some of their hideouts. Or why citizens of China and Sri Lanka – two close military allies of Pakistan – were brutally attacked on Pakistani soil by people claiming to be fighting America. Or why this new Taliban is so eager to kill ordinary Pakistanis and harass anti-India Kashmiri activists and demand they fight Pakistan.

Similarly we will never know why listed companies like Google and Facebook are speeding up Persian translations of their sites when no profit is involved. [Will their stockholders accept democracy instead of profits?] Or why the government of President Zardari exerted pressure for the removal of the Saudi ambassador in Islamabad. And why the government did not object when the U.S. and other allied donors tried to create a special fund for Balochistan and NWFP with the condition that it operate outside Pakistan’s control. And why the Saudi ambassador strongly opposed the plan when Mr. Zardari’s team almost endorsed it. Could this be one of several reasons why the Saudi ambassador became unwelcome here, received threats to his life and then was unable to meet the President before leaving despite several attempts?

The popular Pakistani understanding of the battle against Baitullah Mehsud is more American than Pakistani. This prevents us from accepting that this insurgency is wrapped in multiple layers of deceit. The entire prevailing narrative of the situation is exclusively American, tailored to suit Washington’s worldview. It talks about a uniform threat of Taliban and al Qaeda with no distinction made between the Afghan Taliban and the new Pakistani version; the American narrative does not explain how or why the ranks of the Pakistani Taliban have been swelling steadily when the Afghan Taliban is not experiencing a similar surge; and why the American narrative suppresses any discussion of Pakistani grievances about an organized anti-Pakistan terror wave emanating from Afghanistan.

The Pakistani counter narrative is missing on the government level and is probably limited to some circles within the Pakistani strategic and intelligence communities. The impression is that the Pakistani government is essentially bartering silence for U.S. aid.

This is a dangerous bargain.

It means that Pakistani officials won’t take a stand on the use of Afghan soil to export terror to Pakistan. In fact, there are strong grounds to conclude that while other parts of the U.S. government engage Pakistan, freewheeling elements within the Central Intelligence Agency are probably conducting their own foreign policy on the ground in the region. The simultaneous trouble in both the Pakistani and Iranian parts of Balochistan is but one case in point.

Another downside to our enthusiasm for U.S. aid money at any cost is our waning ability to resist the upcoming American plan to install India as the resident guardian over Pakistan and Afghanistan. A senior US national security official is expected to bring this plan to Pakistan in the next few days. Islamabad’s obsession with US aid while staying mum on vital Pakistani interest is absurd. Why is Prime Minister Gilani complaining now about the US ‘surge’ in Afghanistan when Mr. Zardari and his foreign minister wasted no time in warmly welcoming it when Mr. Obama unveiled the plan in March?

This explains why Mr. Zardari signed an American-proposed agreement to give India overland trade routes to Afghanistan. No wonder U.S. diplomats in Islamabad are so emboldened that recently some of them spent half the day camped at the federal petroleum ministry to force a rollback of the Iran gas deal.

There are also fresh questions on the extent of support the United States is getting from two of its closest allies India and Israel in Afghanistan. There are credible reports that Indian and Israeli intelligence involvement in U.S.-controlled Afghanistan has deepened in the past seven years. Some American military and intelligence officials are impressed with the record of both countries in fighting Islamic groups, especially the Indian experience in occupied Kashmir. The Israelis have invested heavily in establishing schools that study the art of Islamic indoctrination. These schools were used to learn how clerics can brainwash recruits and then exploit them politically. Israeli spymasters have used this knowledge to penetrate Mideastern Islamic groups. They have passed this technique to the Indians to help them counter pro-Pakistan religious groups in Kashmir. In the Kargil war in 1999, Pakistanis and Kashmiris faced a direct Israeli special operations intervention on the side of the Indian military.

The mess in Pakistan’s western areas is not just a battle with religious extremism. A larger part is a battle of proxies. None of this means that we should treat Washington as an enemy. But it does have an agenda that is increasingly diverging from Pakistan’s strategic interests.


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