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Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hard Talk: An interview with Sufi Muhammad, Leader of the TNSM in Swat, Pakistan

HARDtalk: “If Fazlullah does not appear in court when summoned, he will be acting against shariat” —Sufi Muhammad, Leader of the TNSM * Keeping weapons is allowed in Islam
* The military violated the ceasefire
* No objection to a cantonment in Swat
* Democracy is not allowed in Islam

The influential pro-Taliban cleric of Swat, Sufi Muhammad has said that the sharia law does not allow debate on the past, and therefore he will not term what his son-in-law Mullah Fazlullah did against the state of Pakistan during the last year and a half as haram or halal. In an exclusive interview with Daily Times’ Peshawar Bureau Chief Iqbal Khattak in Mingora city, the 74-year-old cleric said keeping weapons is Islamic, and that he did not demand that the Taliban surrender their weapons after a peace deal with the NWFP government. Excerpts follow:

Daily Times: You said in a 2005 interview with us that what Al Qaeda and the Taliban are doing in Pakistan is haram. Are Maulana Fazlullah’s activities over the last sixteen months also haram?

Sufi Muhammad: Yes, I said that about Al Qaeda, but not about the Taliban. Let me say...that debate on past happenings is disallowed in Islam. A hadith sharif says, what has happened in the past should not be discussed.

But how can we proceed without debating the past?

The hadith sharif says a Muslim should not discuss past happenings because he may not remember all the [details] and, therefore, he may...sin by not speaking the truth.

A majority of Swat residents do not think the peace deal recently signed between the TNSM and the NWFP government will last long.

God Almighty does everything; he builds and destroys countries.

Residents also doubt whether peace is possible in the presence of armed Taliban.

Everyone keeps weapons. People in Peshawar have weapons with them.

You support keeping weapons?

Yes, you can keep weapons with you.

Did you ask Fazlullah to surrender weapons after the sharia law deal?

Keeping weapons is halal in Islam.

President Zardari said recently that force would be used if the Taliban do not surrender weapons in Swat.

His statement is childish...immature.

With sharia law in Swat, there will be a complete ban on music and girls’ education, and people will be forced to grow beards?

There are five subjects — judiciary, politics, economics, education and the executive. The judicial subject will be with us, the rest is beyond our control.

The Taliban are kidnapping government officials and killing soldiers, yet you still hold the army responsible for ceasefire violations.

Kidnapping cases are taking place all over the world. The military violated the ceasefire.

The military says some of its soldiers were shot dead while bringing water.

No. This is not the case. The soldiers were not killed near any stream.

Are soldiers moving freely in Swat after the peace deal?

No. The military cannot move freely unless peace is restored.

After peace is restored, will the army leave Swat?

This is Pakistan’s army and Swat is within Pakistan’s borders. I will have no objection if a military cantonment is established here.

Locals say innocent people have been killed. Will the aggrieved families be able to get justice?

I have told you already: we will not discuss what has happened in the past. Sharia law does not allow this.

If a court summons a key Taliban commander, will he appear before the court?

If Caliph Umar (RA) can appear before a court, then why can’t others?

So Fazlullah will also appear in court if summoned?

If he does not...he will be acting against the sharia law.

What you did in Malakand in the 1990s and then in Afghanistan in 2001 you called ‘jihad’. Are Fazlullah’s activities over the last 16 months in Swat also jihad?

I do not want to speak on this.

What are Fazlullah’s plans after the peace deal?

He will support imposition of sharia law.

You have termed democracy ‘infidelity’. But Maulana Sami-ul Haq, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Qazi Hussain Ahmad are taking part in the democratic process.

Democracy is not permissible in sharia law. I will not name [these leaders] but they are taking part in infidelity. I will not offer prayers if one of [these leaders] is leading those prayers.

Do you intend to export sharia law to other parts of Pakistan?

If people help me, I will. Otherwise, no.

Daily Times, 19 March 2009.


Rabia said...

It's really horrifying to think what the future of PATA is going to be with this guy in charge of the judicial system.

Aamir Mughal said...

Dear Ms Rabia,

Background of all this:

Go through the youtube audio and transcript below to learn as to how These Zbigniew Brzezinski [Former National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, who is now a backbone on Foreign Poilcy for Obama - The President of the USA] helped Afghan Mullahs and Ayatullah Khomeini for "Cause of Islam". Khomeini [a brother of Mawdudi - The Founder of Jamat-e-Islami] was helped by the US CIA during IRAN-IRAQ WAR [READ THE US CONGRESS PROCEEDINGS ON IRAN CONTRA AFFAIRS] AND ALSO VISIT US NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/[ The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations




Barack Obama, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Al Qaeda


The Taliban Phenomenon - 23


Regarding Turkmenistan's Oil and Gas Deal and UNOCAL:

In 1995, the Unocal oil company signed a tentative agreement with the Turkmenistan government to research the possibilities of constructing an oil pipeline to Pakistan by way of Afghanistan.

As the project developed, Unocal began to seek the agreement of the Taliban, who had seized power in Kabul in September 1996. On two separate occasions, in February and December 1997, Taliban officials were flown to the US to meet with, and be wined and dined by, Unocal executives.

Up until 1998, when it became clear that the Taliban were in alliance with the al Qaeda terrorist network, Clinton administration officials actively lobbied Taliban officials on behalf of Unocal.

In 1997, Zalmay Khalilzad, at that time a consultant with Cambridge Energy Research Associates, conducted risk assessments for Unocal on their proposed 1440 kilometre pipeline project to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan.

A member of the Project for a New American Century lobby group set up by current US Vice-President Dick Cheney and US war secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 1997, Khalilzad was appointed by President George Bush in December 2001 to be the US Special Envoy to Afghanistan, supervising the creation of Karzai's regime.

The Taliban Phenomenon - 22



The two claim that the US government's main objective in Afghanistan was to consolidate the position of the Taliban regime to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia. They affirm that until August [2001], the US government saw the Taliban regime "as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia" from the rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. Until now, says the book, "the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all that."

13 Questions for Bush about America's Anti-terrorism Crusade By Martin A. Lee, AlterNet. Posted September 28, 2001.


As per Alternet Media

Four months ago, U.S. officials announced that Washington was giving $43 million to the Taliban for its role in reducing the cultivation of opium poppies, despite the Taliban's heinous human rights record and its sheltering of Islamic terrorists of many nationalities. Doesn't this make the U.S. government guilty of supporting a country that harbors terrorists? Do you think your obsession with the "war on drugs" has distorted U.S. foreign policy in Southwest Asia and other regions?

When the CIA was busy doling out an estimated $2 billion to support the Afghan mujahadeen in the 1980s, Osama bin Laden and his colleagues were hailed as anti-communist freedom fighters. During the cold war, U.S. national security strategists, many of whom are riding top saddle once again in your administration, didn't view bin Laden's fanatical religious beliefs as diametrically opposed to western civilization. But now bin Laden and his ilk are unabashed terrorists. Definitions of what constitutes terror and terrorism seem to change with the times. Before he became vice president, Dick Cheney and the U.S. State Department denounced Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, as a terrorist. Today Mandela, South Africa's president emeritus, is considered a great and dignified statesman. And what about Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who bears significant responsibility for the 1982 massacre of 1,800 innocents at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. What role will Sharon play in your crusade against international terrorism?

It has become Taliban Land because 'God' was and is on Taliban Side:

Zbigniew Brzezinski to Jihadists: Your cause is right!


God is on your side! Zbigniew Brzezinski


Are We to Blame for Afghanistan? By Chalmers Johnson

"Asked whether he in any way regretted these actions,

Brzezinski replied:

Regret what? The secret operation was an excellent idea. It drew the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? On the day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, saying, in essence: 'We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.'

Nouvel Observateur: "And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?"

Brzezinski: "What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?"


Are We to Blame for Afghanistan? By Chalmers Johnson

Mr. Johnson's latest books are Blowback (Metropolitan, 2000) and The Sorrows of Empire (Metropolitan, 2004), the first two volumes in a trilogy on American imperial policies. The final volume is now being written. From 1967 to 1973, Johnson served as a consultant to the CIA's Office of National Estimates.

This article first appeared on www.tomdispatch.com, a weblog of the Nation Institute, which offers a steady flow of alternate sources, news and opinion from Tom Engelhardt, a long time editor in publishing, the author of The End of Victory Culture, and a fellow of the Nation Institute.


Indepth details [Blast from the Past]

Mullah Military Alliance [1999-2007] - 1


Mullah Military Alliance [1999-2007] - 2


Mullah Military Alliance [1999-2007] - 3


And if you would like to put it more brazenly:

During Zia-ul Haq’s rule, General Pervez Musharraf, then a Brigadier, was assigned the task of suppressing the Shia revolt against the Sunni-dominated administration in the Gilgit region. Musharraf used Pathan tribesmen from NWFP and Afghanistan along with his troops to silence the Shias. In the wake of this operation, hundreds of Shias were butchered and displaced from Gilgit. The operations were widely reported in the Herald, a monthly magazine of the daily Dawn in its April and May 1990 issues. It is also said that the Wahabi Pakhtuns who raided Gilgit under Musharraf’s command were led by none other than Osama bin Laden.According to a Herald report of May 1990, “In May 1988, low-intensity political rivalry and sectarian tension ignited into full-scale carnage as thousands of armed tribesmen from outside Gilgit district invaded Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway. Nobody stopped them. They destroyed crops and houses, lynched and burnt people to death in the villages around Gilgit town. The number of dead and injured was put in the hundreds. But numbers alone tell nothing of the savagery of the invading hordes and the chilling impact it has left on these peaceful valleys. Read the details [1]

Another point against General Musharraf being a liberal is that most of his political support over the last eight years has come from pro-Islamist conservatives. For those that might have forgotten, the one vote that allowed the pro-Musharraf coalition to win a majority in the National Assembly came from the late Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of the sectarian Sipah-e-Sahaba. Read the details [2]

Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent—despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. Read the details [3]

And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail - albeit as an independent candidate - won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. The fine line between an outright violation of the law and its insidious subversion by those who appoint themselves its custodians has been blurred so often in Pakistan's chequered political history, that is has now become par for the course. The irony is when the architects of that subversion or violation are those who frame the laws themselves. Read the details [4]


Confident Musharraf On Bin Laden!


Even more naked and harsh truth:

Reality for Pakistanis is quite harsh and if somebody try to divulge something then the whole edifice of Two Nation Theory, Islamic Ideology, Ideological State, and even Islam come in Danger [Remember Pakistan National Alliance of 9 Stars of 1977 - Islam Khatray Mein Hai]. And if we print [as you have suggested above] these minor detials on our currency then you will surely be saying that people who dissent are negative and hate Military Establishment. A minor glimpse which you can never digest is as under:

US President George W. Bush and his rampant Neo-Cons were hell bent for spreading democracy in the Muslim world but when in 2005 his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Pakistan [her first visit], suggested that she would not pressure General Pervez Musharraf to give up his army post.

Asked twice in a Reuters interview if she would urge President Gen Pervez Musharraf to abandon the top army post, which he has held on to despite a pledge to give it up, Ms Rice said only that she would press for democratic progress.

Now that’s a very strange way of spreading democracy by supporting a Military Dictator whose name could not be pronounced by George W. Bush before 9/11.

Some 3/4 years ago Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan {Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Sharif} in an interview with Dr. Shahid Masood for his program Views on News on ARY ONE said that after illegally toppling the elected government of Mian Nawaz Sharif on 12 Oct 1999’s Military Mutiny, General Mehmood Ahmed {The Former ISI Chief} took Nawaz Sharif {the elected Prime Minister of 150 Million Pakistanis} to Army Barracks where he was forced to sign some papers which Nawaz didn’t and naturally Nawaz and his family sealed their fate. That happened with Nawaz Sharif once before when during 1993’s political crisis when Nawaz Sharif in his live speech had said without taking the name of the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan {actually Army} that he {Nawaz} will not take dictation and later on the Invisible Hands succeeded in getting resignation from Nawaz Sharif. In a meeting where both Nawaz and Ghulam Ishaq Khan were present with several Army Generals, Nawaz tried to leave the room when a General stopped him using a very Fancy Army Stick and forced that stick on Nawaz’s shoulder and made him sit down. {Agenciyon Ki Hukoomat by Late. Azher Suhail published by Jang Publishers Pakistan}.

Far worse thing happened with Late. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s dead body who was murdered by General Zia, Jamat-e-Islami, Judiciary and USA. On the orders of General Ziaul Haq an army officer checked the Private Parts of Bhutto’s Body to make sure that Bhutto was really a Muslim [Colonel Retd. Rafi Interview in Newspaper and on GEO TV too in 2008] and they made it sure. Alas!

Maulana Mawdudi and his rampant Jamat Islami were with General Zia like they were with General Musharraf in Baluchistan and NWFP in the shape of MMA.

After 9/11 all changed the Arrogance of the General and Top Army Officials which they have been showing to poor and hapless Pakistani civilians since last 56 years was nowhere to be seen when the bell toll for Pakistan and its so-called Strategic Depths. That term is itself an insult. After 9/11 in a social gathering where there were several Army officers were present I asked a question from a Retired Brigadier. Late. Zaheer Alam Khan {real brother of Former Chairman Joints Chief of Staff Shamim Alam Khan} about the Strategic Depths he very arrogantly replied that our Strategic Depths are still there and I was flabbergasted and I asked again, Sir, what about Talibans which you used and abused and he said that creation and destruction of Talibans and other Islamists were and are part of our Strategic Depths and on this reply I took leave.


In the afternoon, Mahmood was invited to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, where he told George Tenet, the CIA director, that in his view Mullah Omar, the Taliban chief, was a religious man with humanitarian instincts and not a man of violence! This was a bit difficult for the CIA officials to digest and rightly so as the Taliban’s track record, especially in the realm of human rights, was no secret. General Mahmood was told politely but firmly that Mullah Omar and the Taliban would have to face US Military might if Osama Bin Laden along with other Al-Qaeda leaders were not handed over without delay. To send the message across clearly, Richard Armitage held a second meeting with Mahmood the same day, informing him that he would soon be handed specific American demands, to which Mahmood reiterated that Pakistan would cooperate. {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 32. {Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002}, p. 2.

General Mahmood on September 13, 2001, was handed a formal list of the US demands by Mr. Armitage and was asked to convey these to Musharraf and was also duly informed, for the sake of emphasis, that these were “not negotiable.” Colin Powell, Richard Armitage, and the assisstant secretary of state, Christina Rocca, had drafted the list in the shape of a “non-paper”. It categorically asked Pakistan:

Stop Al-Qaeda operatives coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan, and end ALL logistical support for Osama Bin Laden.

Give blanket overflight and landing rights to US aircraft.

Give the US access to Pakistani Naval and Air Bases and to the border areas betweeen Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Turn over all the intelligence and immigration information.

Condemn the September 11 attacks and curb all domestic expressions of support for terrorism.

Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Talibans, and stop Pakistani volunteers from going into Afghanistan to join the Taliban. Note that, should the evidence strongly implicate Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda Network in Afghanistan, and should the Taliban continue to harbour him and his accomplices, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban regime, end support for the Taliban, and assist the US in the aforementioned ways to destroy Osama and his network.

Having gone through the list, Mahmood declared that he was quite clear on the subject and that “he knew how the President thought, and the President would accept these points.” {Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York}, p 58-59. Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002}

Mahmood then faxed the document to Musharraf. While the latter was going through it and in the process of weighing the pros and cons of each demand, his aide de camp that Colin Powell was on the line. Musharraf liked and respected Powell, and the conversation was not going to be a problem. He told him that he understood and appreciated the US position, but he would respond to the US demands after having discussed these with his associates. Powell was far too polite to remind him that he in fact was the government, but did inform him that his General in Washington had already assured them that these demands would be acceptable to the government of Pakistan. {Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England.}.

More Explicit:

Common "civilians" in Pakistan can be picked up from anywhere without any cogent reason and can be detained for months [without producing them in the Court of Law] if not years without a trace and incommunicado too. You can slap, oust, try, imprison, torture, insult and discredit them through media trial and even hang the elected representatives of the people but when the real test comes those who are entrusted with the responsibility of defending the country always show you clay feet, read and lament.

The first thing they do after retirement is to join the Tableeghi Jamat. Whom you are trying to hoodwink? You cannot hoodwink Allah.

'Wo eent se eent baja dein gay’, ISI DG told Musharraf Monday, September 25, 2006


WASHINGTON : Richard Armitage, Daily Times can confirm, did not use the words attributed to him by President Pervez Musharraf in a CBS 60 Minutes interview, namely that unless Pakistan did American bidding, it will be bombed into the “stone age”. However, neither the President of Pakistan, nor Richard Armitage, who has denied using such language, nor President Bush who said he was “taken aback” when he learnt what had been said, is being untruthful. What actually happened was that after his meeting with Richard Armitage, Lt Gen Mahmood Ahmed – who now wears a long, white beard and has reportedly gone Tableeghi – called Gen Musharraf from the Pakistan embassy in Washington. The conversation took place in Urdu and when the president asked him what the bottom line of the American message was, Gen Mahmood replied in Urdu that the Americans were intent on the removal of the Taliban regime and would not let Pakistan stand in their way and if Pakistan did not fall in line and cooperate, “wo hamari eent se eent baja dey gain” or words to that effect. That being so, President Musharraf’s recollection of the conversation with Gen Mahmood, who was then the director general of the ISI, is accurate, only he translated into English what he had been told in Urdu. It is time for Gen Mahmood to go on record and reproduce exactly the words in which he conveyed the Armitage message to Gen Musharraf on that September day five years ago. khalid hasan

General Mehmood ‘vanishes’ By Ansar Abbasi

The News International

Sunday, October 01, 2006, Ramzan 7, 1427 A.H.

ISLAMABAD: Former ISI chief General Mehmood has simply vanished from the media which is trying hard to get his comments on the Musharraf-Armitage controversy over the wording of the post-9/11 threat hurled at Islamabad by Washington to win its unconditional support for the so-called war on terror. Mehmood, who has already retired from the Army, is settled in Lahore but despite repeated attempts since Saturday last he is not available to offer his comments on the issue on which his statement really matters a lot. Every time the former ISI chief was approached at his Lahore residence telephone number, the home servant-cum-operator, who identified himself as Banaras Khan, gave the ready response, ‘General Saab is out of the city, he will Inshallah call you upon his return.’

On Saturday afternoon when initially contacted, Banaras said Mehmood would be back by the evening. However, later attempts the same evening and again on Monday and Tuesday, showed that Mehmood is still out of the city. Banaras has no answer when asked where exactly has the general gone. He also claims to have no contact number of Mehmood, who Banaras insists, doesn’t carry a cell phone after it was lost recently.

President Musharraf in a recent interview with CBS News magazine show “60 Minutes,” charged that after 9/11 the then deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage told the then DG ISI General Mehmood to “be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age”. According to a report, Mehmood, who had seen ups and downs with Musharraf in the post Oct 12, 1999 coup, has joined the Tableeghi Jamaat after he was relieved of his post-retirement assignment to head Fauji Fertilizer. Mehmood is amongst those few top generals (all retired now) including General Aziz, General Usmani and General Jamshed Gulzar, who had strongly opposed Musharraf’s siding with America in its attack on Afghanistan.



1- Musharraf won't be pressed to give up uniform: Rice


2- Agenciyon Ki Hukoomat by Late. Azher Suhail published by Jang Publishers Pakistan}.

3- Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones, published by New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002.

4- Interview: Richard Armitage, “Campaign Against Terror,” PBS (Frontline), April 19, 2002; last accessed June 2, 2003, at www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/campaign/interviews/armitage.htm

5- Bush at War by Bob Woodward, published by Simon & Schuster, 2002, New York.

6- Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism : Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror by Hassan Abbas, published by An East Gate Book , M.E. Sharpe Armonk, New York. London, England

Answer with more details:

Cover-up or Complicity of the Bush Administration? The Role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks by Michel Chossudovsky Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa
Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), Montréal Posted at globalresearch.ca 2 November 2001

Pakistan's chief spy Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad "was in the US when the attacks occurred." He arrived in the US on the 4th of September, a full week before the attacks. He had meetings at the State Department "after" the attacks on the WTC. But he also had "a regular visit of consultations" with his US counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon during the week prior to September 11.

What was the nature of these routine "pre-September 11 consultations"? Were they in any way related to the subsequent "post-September 11 consultations" pertaining to Pakistan's decision to cooperate with Washington. Was the planning of war being discussed between Pakistani and US officials?

On the 9th of September while General Ahmad was in the US, the leader of the Northern Alliance Commander Ahmad Shah Masood was assassinated. The Northern Alliance had informed the Bush Administration that the ISI was allegedly implicated in the assassination.


Very simple answer and the answer was in an Editorial of Daily Dawn - Pakistan and in another news item published by a Pakistani Journalist [also posted on NEW AGE ISLAM]. Read enjoy, lament or curse:

"And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.”

1 - Ex-generals’ wisdom February 07, 2008


MIRZA Aslam Beg’s views about the freedom struggle in Kashmir and his recipe for the territory’s liberation deserve to be taken note of, for they come from a retired general who played a leading role in Pakistan’s Afghan and Kashmir policies. Even though an elected government had come to power in November 1988, it was President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Mirza Aslam Beg as army chief who called the shots in foreign policy matters and succeeded through manipulative politics to sideline Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. It goes without saying that the Kashmiri uprising following rigged elections in 1987 had an indigenous character. It attracted world attention and drew the sympathy of freedom-loving people because it was a spontaneous reaction to an election that India had rigged to foist a puppet regime on the people of Kashmir. Till then, Islamabad’s policy had been to give moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmir people’s struggle. However, the induction of jihadi organisations in both Kashmir and Afghanistan with full support from the ISI transformed the situation to the disadvantage of the people of Kashmir. From then on, the world media would speak of terrorism from across the LoC rather than the freedom struggle in Kashmir.

The patronage of the militant organisations had disastrous consequences for Pakistan, for they became a government within a government. In Afghanistan, even after the Soviets pulled out, the ISI-supported Taliban captured the country after a protracted civil war whose ultimate victims were the Afghan people. Today, the remnants of those Taliban have turned Swat and Fata into battle zones, having inflicted on the army casualties which run into thousands. Now Mirza Aslam Beg would like to boost the jihadi organisations and in the process help Taliban terrorists kill Pakistani civilians and soldiers of the same army whose chief he once was.

The lot that gathered in Rawalpindi at Tuesday’s seminar, held by the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen’s Society on Kashmir Day, have nothing to their credit. Their conscience did not rebel when the men in khaki shred the Constitution, jailed or hanged prime ministers, flogged dissidents and gagged the media. Mirza Aslam Beg especially mouthed some outlandish ideas: he spoke of the ‘strategic defiance’ of America by Iraq in the run-up to the first Gulf War and then sent troops to Saudi Arabia for Gen Schwarzkopf’s benefit. He also had no qualms of conscience about shamelessly pressuring the judiciary and perverting the electoral process by distributing Rs140m to his favourite parties to create the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad to defeat the PPP in the 1990 election. The terror that stalks Pakistan today owes its birth in no small measure to the ex-ISI chiefs who were there at the Rawalpindi meeting. The least good these retired generals can do is to keep quiet. Their criticism of another retired general, President Pervez Musharraf, may be justified, but that does not make them heroes. It is amazing to note that what has stirred these men is not any love for principles but a spirit of vengeance against President Musharraf, who had some truth to say about his community.

2 - Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions BY Khalid Hasan


Like bullfrogs out after heavy summer rains, Pakistani cyberspace and the realm of the printed word are full of the croaking of neocons who have convinced the already ignorant that the Security Council sanctions against Jama’at-ud Dawa and certain individuals only came because Pakistani officials were either sleeping at the post or had conspired with the 15-member Security Council to let the axe fall.

These people are not interested in facts. They only have opinions.

One cybercon who answers to the name Ahmed Quraishi writes on December 24, “We have a government with shady characters in key places, strongly backed by the Bush administration, acting and behaving as if they were representing a US occupation government in Pakistan.” Under “recommendation”, he proposes, “We need to start a witch-hunt in Pakistan to cleanse our academia and public life of such self-haters and defeatists who poison the minds of young Pakistanis about their homeland. Such academics and human rights activists should not be allowed to hide behind the freedom of expression.”

The two “traitors” he refers to are Pervaiz Hoodbhoy and Asma Jehangir.

Then there is the Ann Coulter of Pakistan, Shireen Mazari, who writes, “Thanks to the pusillanimity shown by our leaders ever since the Mumbai acts of terrorism, Pakistan is being squeezed by so-called friends and foe alike.” She goes on to predict, “However, let there be no doubt that India is going to carry out surgical strikes, probably beginning with AJK. After all, the extraordinary and unscheduled Envoys Conference can only have been called to contain the diplomatic fallout of such strikes.”

It is pointless to inform her that the envoys’ conference had been scheduled for some time and was not summoned because of Mumbai. Mazari also wrote that “in the Mumbai aftermath, we chose to prevent our allies from rallying around us in the UN Security Council.”

Ann Coulter, I should explain, is a neocon American figure who urged the bombing of Mecca and who wrote, “Liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.”

She is also an ardent admirer of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunts.

But to return to the Security Council sanctions, a statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad laying out facts was lost in the din created by our croaking neocons. So let me quote that for the record:

“Action against the JuD and certain individuals was initiated following their designation by the UN Sanctions Committee established pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1267, on the Consolidated List of individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The request for enlisting the JuD had been under consideration of the UN Sanctions Committee since 2006… Since this resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, it is obligatory on Pakistan to fully implement its provisions. Pakistan, as a responsible member of the United Nations, has fulfilled its international obligations.”

On December 9, a day before the resolution, Pakistan’s UN ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said in a statement, “After the designation of Jama’at-ud Dawa (JuD) under (Security Council resolution) 1267, the Government, on receiving communication from the Security Council, shall proscribe the JuD and take other consequential actions, as required, including the freezing of assets.”

This shows that the sanctions were more than expected as was their imminence and the UN mission was not asleep as is being charged by the Ann Coulters and other neocons of Pakistan.

Those who are rising in defence of Lashkar-e Tayba and its mutation, the Jama’at-ud Dawa, perhaps neither know nor do they care to know what the Security Council’s terrorism sanctions committee is. And although these cybercons and super-patriots are beyond redemption and repair, let me nevertheless explain what this committee is and in the face of which Pakistan is accused of having acted pusillanimously.

The Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999) on October 15, 1999, is also known as “the Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee”. The sanctions regime has been modified and strengthened by subsequent resolutions, including Resolutions 1333 (2000), 1390 (2002), 1455 (2003), 1526 (2004), 1617 (2005), 1735 (2006) and 1822 (2008) so that the sanctions measures now apply to designated individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban wherever located.

The names of the targeted individuals and entities are placed on the Consolidated List. The resolutions listed above have all been adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and require all states to take a number of specified measures in connection with any individual or entity associated with Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the Committee.

And what are those measures? Freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities; prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals; and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.

The Committee is one of three subsidiary bodies established by the Security Council that deal with terrorism-related issues. The other two committees are the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 Committee. The three Committees and their expert groups coordinate their work and cooperate closely and the Committees’ chairmen also brief the Security Council on the activities of the Committees in joint meetings, when possible.

No one can prevent the action of the committee; nor is anyone invited or told about its proceedings. Normally the first signal is a note circulated to all UN member states.

And now the unvarnished truth.

Since 2006, Pakistan, against better advice and reasons that have been blown sky-high by Mumbai, had kept the sanctions from being clamped with the help of China. However, after the Mumbai attacks, China informed Pakistan that it could no longer block the terrorist group and individuals from being sanctioned. The question the neocons and the super-patriots should ask, but don’t, is: Why was Pakistan blocking sanctions against a terrorist group?

And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.”

Khalid Hasan is Daily Times’ US-based correspondent. His e-mail is khasan2@cox.net

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm .

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