Tag Archives: NATO

Wikileaks: NY Time’s allegations and the response

By now most of you might have heard about the wikileaks, the online publication of the classified material on the war in Afghanistan.

New York Times published a story based on these leaked reports that Pakistan’s ISI is supporting Taliban in the war.

Zainab Jeewanjee wrote a concise post at her blog that I suggest reading.

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My rant on New York Times “Iran Executes Sunni Rebel Leader” News

I came across this news published by the New York Times “Iran Executes Sunni Rebel Leader” on June 20th, 2010.

This news report is just the most pathetic reporting I have ever noticed so far. I have criticized about some News reporting here and here but this breaks the record of all those posts.

Jundullah is a Terrorist group. If the Iranian government hanged the leader of the Jundullah, why the entire NY Times article did not mention him and the organization to be Terrorist?

Jundullah is accused by Iran and the rightist section of Pakistan to be funded by America. There is no proof of that but the terrorist acts by Jundullah are many and on the basis of which it is considered to be Terrorist organization.

Jundullah mostly targets Iran and Pakistan and sabotages their relationship and that is for a fact. So I am left wondering why the NY Times chose to leave this important fact about the group? Is it because it poses no threat to “The West” and that it does not target NATO forces in the region? I just don’t get the reason.

Even worst, after excluding the fact that Jundullah is a terrorist organization, NY Times article chose to mention that the leader, Abdul-Malik Rigi, is a Sunni. What Mr. A.M.Rigi being Sunni has to do with anything?? Does this information is mentioned because Iran is a Shiite Muslim state? I think so that is precisely the reason. This reasoning of mine gets even stronger if we put it in perspective- A Sunni Rebel leader got executed by the Shiite government and that Jundullah is a group that attacks the government in a province where Sunnis are in minorities in a Shiite dominated State.‘ A lot is wrong with this info “Sunni” ! by putting things in perspective the reasoning becomes clearer.

Jundullah is a threat to the Pak-Iran relationship. Where Jundullah gets fundings from, that is of no concern to me. Based on its terrorist attacks, bombings, target killings and kidnappings of key people, Jundullah is considered and classifies as a Terrorist organization and both- Iran and Pakistan consider it to be so. Rigi being a Sunni is totally irrelevant and mentioning of it shows how ignorant NY Times is that it chose to omit the fact of it being Terrorist and chose to include “Sunni Leader” as an important info!

Great job New York Times and Nazila Fathi.

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Is India and Pakistan heading for Nuclear War?

The following article is an important one to read about the current events.

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“India Preparing for Nuclear War”

By Zaheerul Hassan

Reliable sources stated that Pakistani authorities have decided to move her forces from Western to Eastern border. The move of forces would start soon. The decision has been taken after receiving the threat from Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor to strike Pakistan on November 22, 2009. Indian Chief warned that a limited war under a nuclear overhang is still very much a reality at least in the Indian sub-continent. On November 23, 2009 Pakistan Foreign Office Spokes man Abdul Basit asked the world community to take notice of remarks passed by the Indian Army Chief. He also said that India has set the stage and trying to impose a limited war on Pakistan. There are reports that Indian intelligence agencies have made a plan to hit some Indian nuke installation, alleging and then striking Pakistan. It is also added here that India has started purchasing lethal weapons. According to the careful survey a poor Asian country (India) has spent trillions on purchasing of Naval, Air force and nuke equipments.

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Have Humanity Oh Politicians of Pakistan

Oh Politicians of Pakistan, Rightist and Leftists, Islamists and Secularists, Illiterates and Phds, Ignorant and Intelligent, do you not see what is happening in your country. Do you not feel the pain of all these innocent lives that are being taken every other day? Have you all lost your humanity? You all claim to be Muslims, yet in practise it seems to be further from that claim. A Muslim must care for the humanity and for Justice. We the common people of Pakistan (mostly residing overseas) ask why? Why do you not feel any pain of the death of the hundreds and thousands of innocent civilian lives who have done nothing, who have no agenda against the government?

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How Pakistani Army Defeated Pakistani Taliban Stronghold and What US Army can do to defeat Afghan Taliban

I bookmarked a news report few months back, when Pakistani Army and Pakistani Taliban militants were going back and forth at each other without any definitive result. Then came a voluntary tribal militia, known as Lashkars, that aimed at securing the villages from the militants.

The attacks from the Pakistani Taliban and their cult made the lives of villagers threatened. The consequence of the military operation of Pakistani Army against P. Talibans and Taliban’s resistence was burden upon these poor villagers. The Tribal leaders based on their tribal shura (consultation) decided that their villages needs to be defended and secured. The leaders called for volunteers to pick up arms and defend their families and villages. The Pashtun tribesmen armed themselves against Pakistani Taliban, and took upon themselves to secure, relieving the Pakistani Army from their operation.

What a modern sophisticated, a well-trained and discipline army could not do; a volunteer force of tribesman with rifles and AK-47 achieved the goal for the Pakistani forces and for their villages.

Spokesman for Pakistani Major General Athar Abbas said:

“The military — in areas like Bajaur and Dir and part of Khyber — is encouraging these people to expel these militants and terrorists. They are so deep-rooted and widespread it may not be possible for the government and law enforcement agencies to completely get rid of them. Lashkars in Bajaur and Upper Dir — they are pretty successful, they are resisting, expelling all the Taliban.”

Can America use the same tactic in its fight against Afghan Taliban? Although the nature, agenda and the character of Afghan Taliban is different from the Pakistani Taliban, making Afghan tribal leaders in alliance with the security forces and treating them with respect can change the attitude of the local tribesman. Engaging with tribal leaders, voicing in their tribal jirgas and shuras, promising them security in return of keeping their village and tribe clean from Taliban, and fulfilling those promises if tribal leaders fulfill their part, can improve public sentiments towards the foreign troops.

US Forces cannot win if widespread sentiment in Afghanistan views NATO forces as the occupying force. They need Afghan public support, and that means Afghan people! Not just support from one city or two, or people sitting and enjoying their luxurious life having no concern of the local people whatsoever.

If people’s need for living is provided, there won’t be common people fighting US forces because of unemployment, or because their poppy fields were burned. US government should seriously pressurize the Afghan government regarding corruption. The needs of the people should be fulfilled by providing them public services. Trust between government and its people needs to be established!  For that engaging tribal leaders is imperative and only then Afghanistan can prosper.

Afghanistan has lived through many wars and destruction, its time people of Afghanistan should be able to live their lives without any geopolitical involvement.  Afghan people should be equipped with a system that can make their country stable and prosperous.

Bookmarked News report below:

Private armies on frontline of Pakistan war
By Sajjad Tarakzai (AFP) – Jul 11, 2009

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Why They Dislike Us?

By UmerSultan
Written on: 8 March 2008

Why They Dislike Us?

Our world is changing very rapidly since the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 in Manhattan New York. New allies, new regimes and new movements are taking place around the globe. Are we waiting for another world war, or is it the second cold war? People are asking. Every day in the news, more killing and more bombings are headlines. Every so often we see people protesting against the United States. The numbers of anti American protest are not surprising any more but instead the number of people participating in those protests is quite shocking. While all this is happening many Americans in particular and westerners in general often wonder, if not ask, why they dislike us so much.

The whole world was sympathetic to United States when planes hit the twin towers in New York, yet today the United States is facing fierce opposition not only by some banned groups but by mass populations from far east countries like Indonesia to far west countries of Africa. The day after this tragic event, Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Britain, after talking to “several world leaders” confirmed by saying “we all agreed that this attack is an attack not only on America but on the world, which demands our complete and united condemnation, our determination to bring those responsible to justice…” (Silberstein13). Then on September 20th in Address to a Joint Session of Congress and The American People in Nation’s capitol, President Bush while describing what Afghanistan looks like under Taliban regime, Osama Bin Laden and his links with terrorist organizations, said to Muslims “I want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith…its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah” (Silberstein 24). President Bush used these words to address the Muslim world that America is not about to fight against them but it is Terrorist who they are after. The Muslim World in general was sympathetic with American people and many including Iran confirmed that sympathy. Iran’s supreme jurist-ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on September 16 was reported by Islamic Republic News Agency saying “Killing of people, in any place and with any kind of weapons…is condemned…it makes no difference whether such massacre happen in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Qana, Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or in New York and Washington” (MAS). It didn’t end at fervent speeches by political leaders across the world but also religious figures contributed their part. Late Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, a well-known Pakistani cleric who taught at Madarasa Jamia Binoria and strongly supported Taliban, gave his religious verdict condemning 9/11 terrorist attack saying “its wrong to kill innocent people…its also wrong to praise those who kill” (MAS). It might be quite shocking that a keen supporter of Taliban gave verdict in favor of Americans, when America was planning to overthrow Taliban and Al-Qaida. Many do fail to notice that this shows how much the world was sympathetic towards America. What measures where taken to fight back in fact made people take opposite sides than of United States.

Many welcomed the end of Taliban regime when NATO forces invaded Afghanistan but there were people from a conservative side that look at it as America’s invasion. Many also recalled the invasion of Soviets, their failure to control Afghanistan, and compared it to America. Recently in the Intelligence report it was said that Hamid Karzai, the Prime Minister of Afghanistan, has only Kabul in control while warlords are governing the rest of the whole country. Today again Afghanistan is back to the stage where Soviets left Afghanistan and warlords took over. At that moment it was Taliban movement that was able to crush the tribal differences and had a strong national government but now when Taliban are gone, will democratically elected government be able to control the State? In 2003 the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society issued a joint report saying “Unless the situation improves, Afghanistan risks sliding back into the anarchy and warlordism that prevailed in the 1990s and helped give rise to the Taliban. Such a reversion would have disastrous consequences for Afghanistan and would be a profound setback for the US war on terrorism”(Carter G. 25). Due to lack of strong federal government many Muslims in the east are furious and buying the opinion of conservatives that US instead of fighting terrorism further divided Afghanistan. The mission announced to the world is abandoned and Afghanistan has been left alone to deal with the crisis. Whatever the results were expected form invasion, it is now evident that they are not yet being fulfilled but instead the radical ideology of Taliban is being exported to Pakistan. The Iraq war has diverted the attention from Afghanistan. The base of Taliban is being forgotten and the stability of Iraq and construction of Green Zone in Baghdad is some how has become a priority. In a 2004 UN Development Program’s report stated that aid “has been much lower than expected or promised…In comparison to other conflict or post-conflict situations, Afghanistan appears to have been neglected” (Carter 24). The report also said “citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina get 3.7 times more per capita in foreign aid than Afghans” (Carter G. 25) If America wants to accomplish the incomplete mission to achieve the goals of war against Terrorism, then United States government has to find a way to solve the problems of Afghanistan. Afghanistan should be helped not by bases of NATO forces but by building an infrastructure, aid and education.

General Pervez Musharraf, a key ally of President Bush in war against Terrorism, faced strong opposition when he supported US forces in Afghanistan. Many Pakistanis saw this as a hypocritical movement by the United States as Bush supported a General, who violated the constitution of Pakistan and overthrew the elected Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef in a coup. For eight years Musharraf ruled Pakistan as a President and as an Army General and during his rule Pakistan has started facing series of radical movements. General Musharraf was criticized nation wide when he ordered Military raid on Red Mosque and its School. Anti American sentiments has increased and series of Suicide bombings has griped the State of Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto, former leader of Pakistan People’s Party, died in a suicide bombing. Very recently senior medical officer of Pakistani Army, General Baig, along with his two men were bombed in Pakistani Army base city Rawalpindi, which is not very far from the capitol. Then there was another bomb at the funeral Prayer of General Baig in which several other innocent lives were taken. Pakistan is now facing series of suicide bombings and various radical clerics are fighting back.

Imran Khan, the former Pakistani Cricketer and the leader of Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Movement for Justice, has demanded President Bush to stop supporting Musharraf. Owais Ghani, the governor of Balochistan Province of Pakistan, when interviewed about where Bin Laden is hiding he said “It is the CIA and not Pakistan that should be asked where Osama Bin Laden is, since it was the CIA that recruited, trained and shepherded the future chief of Al Qaida during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the ensuring conflict…In fact Bin Laden always hated Pakistan” (Hassan). Despite all the efforts of Pakistani government facing people’s opposition, when every now and then some American officials give a statement of Pakistan not doing enough in this war, it gives a strong leverage to anti American sentiments. One latest incident is when Barack Obama gave a statement that if he becomes president he will send American troops in tribal regions of Pakistan and will root out the militants. The Washington Post reported him saying, “…If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will”(Balz) and even worse when Republican Tom Tancredo and Barack Obama both said that the only way to defend America from possible Nuclear Terrorist attack is by threatening to bomb Muslim holy cities Mecca and Medina (USA Today). Students of various institutions took streets along with clerics, political parties (secular, religious and nationalist), burned American flags and heavily chanted Anti American slogans. What lies ahead in Pakistan is not sure; intelligence report keeps changing every now and then, and there is a climate of fear for getting Nuclear Power of Pakistan in wrong hands. Pakistani generals including former Army Chief General Musharraf assured America many times that the security of nuclear weapons should not be the concern as Pakistan have strong security measures. Talking about Pakistan, the first and the only Muslim Atomic Power country yet, America came very close to having a physical conflict on nuclear issue with Iran.

All states, interested in becoming regional powers are participating in nuclear arms race. First it was just between the United States, Russia and Germany, and since then many countries have developed this technology. Having nuke technology symbolizes influence in the region. There is a non-continuous cold competition between India and Pakistan in this particular field. Both countries launch test missiles to cover greater area efficiently. In Middle East, Israel is the only country that is Nuclear power. Iran now wants to have nuclear facility for peaceful purposes because of 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty but US government is fearful of Iran producing nuclear technology. The situation worsened when President Bush mentioned invading Iran for not cooperating on nuclear issue and that Iran has developed Nuclear weapons, which later found out was not true by International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspection. There came another spark further solidifying anti American sentiments. Not too long ago President Bush himself signed a nuclear technology transfer treaty with India that disbalanced the power in South Asia. Former US president Jimmy Carter quotes Former secretary of defense Robert McNamara on this issue saying, “I would characterize current US nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary and dreadfully dangerous” (Carter 136).

Hating America is not something that can be stopped by having troops in one country or having military operations in another. It’s an ideology that is getting stronger by getting fame from the media. The American public should start notice what is happening in their own country and should actively participate in the decision making process by raising their voices. There is still much time to recreate the good image of America, it will take time and probably a different administration now but more importantly that might mean, tolerating things, which are against American interests and negotiating with countries that are now stronger and influential than before. For the sake of peace America will need to go back to its core values of democracy and liberties. Halting militancy and terrorism can only be possible by not having double standards in our foreign policy, by sticking to one idea and that is Democracy and helping people in aid around the world.

WORKS CITED

Balz, Dan. “Obama Says He Would Take Fight To Pakistan”. Washington Post 2 Aug. 2007. 11 March. 2008

Carter, Graydon. What We’ve Lost: How the Bush Administration Has Curtailed Our Freedoms, Mortgaged Our Economy, Ravaged Our Environment, And Damaged Our Standing In The World. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.

Carter, Jimmy. Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis. New York: Simons & Schuster, 2005.

Hassan, Khaled. “CIA not Pakistan should be asked about Osama’s whereabouts: Ghani”. Daily Times. 4 Aug. 2007. 11 March. 2008

“Islamic Statements Against Terrorism”. MAS. 29 July 2005. Muslim American Society. 11 March 2008

“Pakistan: Obama remark irresponsible”. USA Today 3 Aug. 2007. 11 March. 2008

Silberstein, Sandra. War of Words: Language, Politics and 9/11. London: Routledge, 2002.

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