September 15, 2007

Lifting the Veil of Polygamy

The Trans-Atlantic Militant Connection

Source: Stratfor
Stratfor's Free Intelligence Reports
September 14, 2007 18 44 GMT

Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic arrested a total of four people Sept. 12 in connection with a plot to stage jihadist attacks against Austria and Germany. Earlier in the month, Danish authorities arrested eight people on suspicion of plotting attacks in Denmark, and a day later German authorities arrested three people on suspicion of plotting to attack U.S. and Uzbek targets in Germany. Counterterrorism officials in Europe and the United States believe the plots in Germany and Denmark are related.

This latest wave of arrests demonstrates the interconnection between militant cells in Europe and North America -- and serves as a warning on the increasing militant activity on European soil.

On Sept. 12, two men and a woman were arrested in Vienna, Austria, for allegedly posting a video on an Islamist Web site threatening attacks against Germany and Austria because of those countries' support for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The three allegedly are associated with the Global Islamic Media Front, a media outlet known for spreading al Qaeda messages on the Internet. The outlet also reportedly has links to the Army of Islam, the militant group linked to the kidnapping of British reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza in March.

Working with Austrian authorities, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Said Namouh, a Moroccan, in connection with the alleged plot and charged him with conspiring to detonate an explosive device. Canadian authorities said the plot was not directed at targets inside Canada, but that it was linked to the Austrian plot. The Global Islamic Media Front reportedly has other members in Canada, indicating that more arrests could follow after Canadian and Austrian investigators examine evidence found at Namouh's apartment. Namouh, who was taken into custody near Montreal, allegedly had communicated with the suspected militants in Austria over the Internet.

On Sept. 4, Danish counterterrorism forces in Copenhagen arrested eight people -- six Danish citizens and two foreigners with Danish residence permits -- on suspicion of plotting militant attacks against targets in Denmark. Less than a day later, German authorities raided several locations in Germany and arrested three people, including two Germans who had converted to Islam, on suspicion of plotting to attack U.S. and Uzbek military, civilian and diplomatic targets in Germany.

This spike in activity -- three cells arrested within 10 days -- highlights Europe's increasingly precarious security situation. Every year since 2004 there has been a major attack, failed attack or thwarted plot targeting a European city. Countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom have had frequent incidents of militant activity, but other countries are feeling the heat as well. Although there have been militant elements present in Germany, Denmark and Austria, overall they had not been actively engaged in plotting serious attacks.

Germany, in particular, has seen an increase in the danger, beginning in summer 2006 when an attack targeting passenger trains failed in western Germany due to poorly constructed bombs. Although the plot that was thwarted Sept. 7 probably would have failed anyway, it was much larger in scope than past attempts, indicating that Germany's local cells are getting more ambitious.

The jihadists despise Europe as much as, if not more than, they do the United States, and they have made it clear that they intend to stage an attack on European soil. In addition to the threat from the Muslim immigrant community, the German example demonstrates the ongoing threat from within -- in the form of disassociated Europeans or longtime residents who convert to Islam and end up in one of these cells. The jihadists' poor tradecraft could be Europe's saving grace at the moment, as this failing appears to be one of the major reasons Europe has not experienced a major attack since the London bombings of 2005.

The arrest in Canada is another example of how grassroots jihadist cells in Europe can be linked to cells across the Atlantic. In June 2006, U.S., British and Canadian authorities uncovered a plot to attack targets in the United States and Canada. In addition to a European link, both the Canadian and U.S. cells had links to militant communities in South Asia.

By taking advantage of the well-developed communication links across the Atlantic, the relative ease of travel between Europe and North America, and contacts between immigrant communities on both continents as well as in the Middle East and South Asia, Europe's jihadist problem could easily become North America's problem, too

About Stratfor

Stratfor is the world’s leading private intelligence company delivering in-depth analysis, assessments and forecasts on global geopolitical, economic, security and public policy issues. A variety of subscription-based access, free intelligence reports and confidential consulting are available for individuals and corporations.

Nigeria: Maneuvering for Control in the Gulf of Guinea

Source: Stratfor

Stratfor's Free Intelligence Reports
September 14, 2007 18 17 GMT


Nigeria is moving to block AFRICOM, the U.S. combat command for Africa, from establishing itself in the Gulf of Guinea region. A few countries will go along with Nigeria, but oil and natural gas newcomers Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe probably will resist the move.


The Nigerian government began meetings with West African governments and the leadership of the African Union to oppose AFRICOM -- the Pentagon's Africa command -- from establishing itself in the Gulf of Guinea region, Nigerian media reported Sept. 14. While Abuja aims to preserve its unrivaled influence in the region, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe probably will resist Abuja's blocking move to safeguard their newfound independence from Nigerian influence.

AFRICOM will work closely with local governments and militaries to build up indigenous security and counterterrorism capacities, rather than engaging in high-profile troop deployments. Aiming to become operational by October, AFRICOM will have three priority African regions to work in. These include improving maritime security cooperation in the oil- and natural gas-rich Gulf of Guinea region, a region that includes Nigeria, the United States' fifth-largest supplier of oil. AFRICOM also will be tasked with promoting counterterrorism cooperation with governments and militaries in the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions.

Nigeria in particular has struggled to secure its oil and natural gas sector -- found largely in its Niger Delta region -- from militant attacks by groups such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. In a bid to boost Nigeria's ability to contain militant violence against oil assets in the Niger Delta, Washington has fostered maritime security cooperation through offering training and the provision of maritime patrol craft with Abuja.

In spite of Abuja's vulnerabilities in the Niger Delta, no other West African country rivals Nigeria's economic and military superiority. The potential presence of AFRICOM in the region could disrupt that hegemony by enhancing the capabilities and interests of new oil and natural gas powers previously overshadowed by Nigeria. Abuja does not want to see the emergence of a rival to its traditional dominant position in West Africa, a similar position taken by South Africa in its opposition to AFRICOM's presence in southern Africa.

Nigerian hegemony has traditionally been exercised over countries to its west, including Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. Nigeria is a critical source of energy supplies, has provided peacekeepers for stability operations in conflict zones such as Liberia and Sierra Leone, and also maintains extensive business interests in the region. Until the 2005 election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to the Liberian presidency, that country fell into Nigeria's zone of influence. Johnson-Sirleaf, a U.S.-trained economist who formerly worked for the World Bank, has moved to remake Liberia as one of the United States' -- and AFRICOM's -- most vocal supporters in Africa.

By contrast, Nigeria's neighbors in the Gulf of Guinea -- the Malabo archipelago of Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe -- were virtually ignored all around, including by Abuja. This changed in recent years after these two nations were found to possess extensive oil and natural gas reserves.

Both nations remain largely undeveloped, and therefore have little need for Nigeria's oil and natural gas or limited security guarantees. (Nigeria lacks an effective blue-water naval or long-range air force capability.) Exploiting their oil and natural gas reserves -- a process in a relatively nascent stage -- will provide Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe the resources they have lacked to pursue their own objectives. As a result, Abuja will have to take into consideration two neighboring upstarts it previously could discount.

As Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe move to develop their oil and natural gas reserves, building up their indigenous ability to secure those interests will become a greater focus of attention. The desire to avoid becoming subservient to Nigeria's fresh attentions in the Gulf of Guinea region will ensure these two countries in particular safeguard their freedom and independence by resisting Abuja's opposition to AFRICOM

About Stratfor

Stratfor is the world’s leading private intelligence company delivering in-depth analysis, assessments and forecasts on global geopolitical, economic, security and public policy issues. A variety of subscription-based access, free intelligence reports and confidential consulting are available for individuals and corporations.

Benazir Bhutto returning to power?

Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto Deal Parody

The Surge, the Shiites and Nation Building in Iraq

By Reidar Visser

For some time, analysts have been suggesting that the Bush administration's "surge" strategy may have achieved a measure of success in certain parts of Iraq. Many highlight the tendency on the part of local tribes in the Sunni-dominated areas to stand up against al-Qaeda, in that way emphasizing their own "Iraqiness" as well as their unwillingness to join in an all-out war against Western civilization. The number of attacks against U.S. forces has declined in many of these areas, and there are signs that al-Qaeda has been forced to relocate to new areas and to choose new targets.

Perhaps the most convincing indicator of a degree of "surge" success is one that has gone largely unnoticed. Reports out of Baghdad suggest that the Sunni politicians who for the past two years or so have worked with the Americans through participating in government and parliament are now becoming increasingly nervous about internal Sunni competition from the newly emerged anti-jihadist tribal leaders of their "own" community, for example in places like the Anbar governorate [1]. In terms of Iraqi nation-building, this is a healthy sign. There was always a degree of doubt with regard to the true representativeness of the Sunni parties that emerged as "winners" in their fields in the heavily boycotted 2005 parliamentary elections. The fact that these parties are now worried about internal competition means that more Sunnis are interested in participating in the system, and that a group of politicians firmly attached to the vision of a unified Iraq but also enjoying solid popular backing in their core constituencies may be on the way up, assisted by the "surge." At the same time, foreign-sponsored groups, such as al-Qaeda, and office seekers whose popular legitimacy is in doubt (for instance, some members of the Tawafuq bloc) are coming under pressure or are even being weeded out.

South of Baghdad, the logical corollary to this kind of "surge" policy would have been to build local alliances with those Shiite groups that have a historical record of firm opposition to Iran and are unequivocal in their condemnation of Iranian interference in Iraq. The principal aim would be to create a counter-balance to the most pro-Iranian factions inside the system, such as the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which is now known as the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI, formerly the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI) and their Badr Brigades—organizations that since 2003 have been successful in obtaining a disproportionate degree of formal political power in the Iraqi political system and are currently profiting from their role in the Nuri al-Maliki government to consolidate their position further [2]. In the south, there is a vast array of groupings with a long record of hostility to Iran, above all the various Sadrist factions like Fadhila and the "mainline" followers of Moqtada al-Sadr (some of whom have even served jail sentences in Iranian prisons in the past), but also independent Shiite tribal groups that are fiercely proud of their Arab heritage [3]. These groups also distinguish themselves from ISCI in that they maintain that any kind of clerical rule in Iraq under the principle of wilayat al-faqih (the rule of the jurisprudent) should have as its point of departure Iraqi clerics and not Iranian ones [4].

Actual U.S. policy south of Baghdad is the exact opposite of this. Pro-Iranian ISCI and its friends in the Badr Organization (now powerful in the Iraqi security forces) are being supported by the United States in their efforts to bulldoze all kinds of internal Shiite opposition, as seen for instance in the large-scale battle against an alleged cultist movement at Najaf in January 2007, as well as in the ongoing operations against the Sadrist Mahdi Army and its splinter factions. Indiscriminate mass arrests have often accompanied these incidents, with the al-Maliki government's wholesale designation of its enemies as "terrorists" apparently being taken at face value by U.S. forces, and with the persistent complaints from those arrested about "Iranian intrigue" being ignored. Today, apart from isolated rural enclaves, the sole remaining bastions of solid Shiite resistance to ISCI outside Baghdad are Maysan and Basra (which happen to be located outside direct U.S. control, in the British zone in the far south), but here too change may be underway: ISCI has worked for more than one year to unseat the Fadhila governor of oil-rich Basra (he remained in office by early September 2007 despite an order by al-Maliki to have him replaced), and the Badr Brigades are reportedly influential within the security forces in Maysan. Ironically, long-standing enemies of Iran like the Fadhila party are now feeling so isolated that they see no other recourse than to upgrade contacts with their erstwhile foes in Tehran, if only tentatively [5]. The apparent U.S. rationale for letting all this happen is the idea that the Sadrist Mahdi Army somehow constitutes their worst opponent in Iraq, and that some Mahdi Army factions are even being supplied with arms from Tehran.

An alternative reading is that Iran could be deliberately feeding weaponry to marginal (or splinter) elements of the Sadrists precisely in order to weaken the Sadrist movement as a whole, and to make sure that Sadrist energy is combusted in clashes with U.S. forces. Right now, from Tehran's point of view, the implementation of the "surge" south of Baghdad could not have been more perfect. Today, U.S. forces are working around the clock to weaken Tehran's traditional arch-enemy in Iraq's Shiite heartland—the Sadrists—while Iran's preferred and privileged partner since the 1980s, SCIRI/ISCI, keeps strengthening its influence everywhere. Back in the United States, think tanks concentrate on the ties between Sadrists and Iran and consistently overlook those factions that have truly close and long-standing ties to Tehran, whereas the recently released National Intelligence Estimate was devoid of initiatives to bring the Shiites into a more reconciliatory mode—suggesting that few ideas exist in Washington about alternative Shiite policies. The U.S. mainstream media also make a contribution: after having first demonized Ibrahim al-Jaafari for alleged ties to Iran back in 2005, U.S. newspapers are now using big headlines every time there is the slightest hint about some kind of connection between Iran and Moqtada al-Sadr. On top of all this, the U.S. military itself is exposed to a significant irritant through its constant encounters with militia splinter groups and the low-level conflict that comes with them—no doubt another factor that works to Tehran's advantage.

The great irony in this is that, from the historical perspective, the neo-conservative working assumption that Iraqi Shiites can be trusted to resist Iranian domination is generally sound—with the sole exception of the particular faction on which Washington has fixed its eyes as its special partner in the country. In the 1980s, SCIRI was designed by Iran to maximize Tehran's control of the unruly Iraqi opposition. Throughout its history, it has stressed the importance of subservience to Iran's leaders, first Khomeini and later Khamenei [6]. In the mid-1990s, its leader Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim became one of the first Shiite intellectuals to produce an elaborate plan for the political unification of the Shiites from Iran to Lebanon in a federal system under the leadership of Tehran, and as late as 1999 one of SCIRI's key figures, Sadr al-Din al-Qubbanji, angrily attacked the Sadrists for daring to suggest that the Iraqi Shiite opposition could operate independently of Khamenei [7]. Close scrutiny of SCIRI's highly publicized name change and supposed "ideological makeover" in May 2007 shows that none of this heritage has been annulled in a convincing manner: the new and much trumpeted "pledge" to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is in reality nothing more than a non-committal expression of general praise, and there is no renunciation of a decades-long policy of subordination to Khamenei [8]. It is suspicious that ISCI and Iran still hold virtually synchronized views on the sacrosanctity of the al-Maliki government and the 2005 constitution. Both tend to describe the idea of challenging al-Maliki as "subversive coup activity," and they are unified in rejecting challenges to the constitution by what they describe as neo-Baathists [9].

The problem is that Washington's "surge" is framed as a straightforward counter-insurgency operation in which the nation-building component is in the far background. "The enemy" is defined on the basis of a myopic interpretation of who is directly hostile to U.S. forces while the historical dimension of alliance patterns between Iran and Iraqi Shiite factions is overlooked. This prevents Washington from fully understanding who is friend and foe in Iraq. It is conceivable that ISCI may assist Washington in temporarily reducing the amount of noise out of Iraq, and this may well be what the Bush administration is looking for right now. Yet, even if its members are more genteel and well-behaved than the Sadrists, it is highly unclear what kind of "moderation" ISCI is really capable of delivering in Iraq, especially in terms of a political system based on true reconciliation between Shiites and Sunnis [10]. For that to be brought about, many Iraqis, regardless of sectarian affiliation, will require unequivocal answers from ISCI on certain key questions: Does its leadership still believe in the principle of the rule of the jurisprudent (wilayat al-faqih) and the idea of a supreme Shiite leader (wali amr al-muslimin), and if so, whom do they consider to be the current holder of this leadership role? Are they prepared to reject, squarely and explicitly, any possible role for Iran's Khamenei in shaping their policies? Can they offer reassurances to the Iraqi people that the Iran-dominated pan-Shiite federation scheme laid out by Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim in 'Aqidatuna in the 1990s is now null and void? After all, the futility of an approach based on vague ideas about "moderate, pro-U.S. personalities" and private assurances to U.S. officials ("Iraq will never become a carbon copy of Iran") is particularly pronounced in the strictly hierarchical Shiite context. All orthodox Shiites who are not themselves qualified theologians (mujtahids) will have to defer to the higher clergy on important issues. None of the Shiite operators in Iraq with whom Washington has been dealing is a recognized mujtahid.

Clarification of these issues would help ISCI enormously and could assist the party in finding a much more constructive role as a key mainstream, truly "moderate" player in Iraqi politics. But until answers from ISCI are forthcoming in a very public way (rather than in hazy name changes and in private meetings with U.S. special envoys), many Iraqis will remain ambivalent about the organization's ties to Iran. In that situation, the "surge" will be doomed to fail unless it can be redefined to include a credible nation-building component aimed at areas south of Baghdad: the Iraqi nationalist Shiites will remain on the margins, and the alliance of ISCI and the two Kurdish parties will feel that they can safely continue to ignore the Sunnis, secularists and independent Shiites and their calls for a more substantial constitutional revision (and true national reconciliation). Even the main Sadrist parties, which have invested considerable energy in presenting themselves as "made in Iraq" and ridiculing ISCI for its ties to Iran, could end up as ironic Iranian clients unless Washington starts dealing with them in a more constructive way.

Still, if the United States is willing to rethink some of its fundamental assumptions about Iraqi politics, several options for policy adjustments remain. Washington could, for instance, take a more open-minded approach to the ongoing efforts to create a more broadly based coalition in opposition to the al-Maliki government—such as, for instance, the latest efforts by Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Iyad Allawi to engineer cross-sectarian coalitions, and as seen in the recent decision by the legal committee of the Iraqi parliament to condemn al-Maliki's decision to sack the Basra governor [11]. In theory, these kinds of alliances could be capable of compromises on issues where consensus has eluded the al-Maliki government (like the oil law and federalism), and whereas the United States should certainly refrain from backroom machinations (which would only taint any alternative government), it could focus on simply recalibrating its own policies—including its "surge"—so as to ensure that the newly improved participation of the Sunni community within the system is accompanied by parallel positive developments among the Iraqi Shiites. That, in itself, could be enough to help the Da'wa party move back to its Iraqi nationalist ideals, and thereby nudge the al-Maliki government into a more conciliatory mode. Conversely, if Washington continues to conceive of "the Iranian threat" in Iraq as exclusively a matter of security in the most palpable sense—meaning "Sadrist terrorists"—then Tehran and its ISCI allies seem set for easy sailing in Iraq.


1. Author interview with a member of the Iraqi national security council, June 2007.
2. According to a formal statement dated July 31, 2007, the party henceforth wishes to be referred to in English with the abbreviation ISCI; e-mail from Karim al-Musawi of the ISCI Washington office dated August 11, 2007. Separately, for a critical perspective on SCIRI's level of popular support in the December 2005 elections, see Reidar Visser, "SCIRI, Daawa and Sadrists in the Certified Iraq Elections Results," February 11, 2006,
3. An excellent source on the historical roots of the long-standing enmity between the Sadrists and Iran is Fa'iq al-Shaykh Ali, Ightiyal sha'b, London: Al-Rafid, 2000.
4. Recent examples of such attitudes include an article penned by Fadhila member Abu Taqi, "Muqarina bayna al-nizam al-dakhili li-hizb al-fadila al-islami wa-wilayat al-faqih," January 7, 2007, with a note of approval by Muhammad al-Ya'qubi dated 20 Dhi al-Hijja 1427/January 10, 2007. The article clearly refers to a specifically Iraqi rather than an Iranian context. See also 'Adil Ra'uf, Muhammad muhammad sadiq al-sadr: marja'iyyat al-maydan, Damascus: Al-Markaz al-'Iraqi li-a-I'lam wa-al-Dirasat, 1999, pp. 53–57.
5. Fadhila's move to open offices in Tehran has been particularly conspicuous; see press release from the Fadhila party dated October 22, 2006.
6. The cliché that Iran had no ambition about acting as overlord in Iraq in the 1980s lacks a sound empirical basis. SCIRI leaders like Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim and Sadr al-Din al-Qubbanji wrote frequently about the need for ultimate subordination to Khomeini even if a façade of Iraqi separateness might be retained; see for instance Liwa' al-Sadr, April 28, 1982, p. 8, and Liwa' al-Sadr, October 4, 1987.
7. Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, 'Aqidatuna wa-ru'yatuna al-siysiyya, a pamphlet published at the Hakim website ( before 2003 but removed soon after the start of the Iraq war. Also, Al-Muballigh al-Risali, February 15, 1999.
8. SCIRI/ISCI, "Al-bayan al-khatami li-mu'tamar al-dawra al-tasi'a li-al-hay'a al-'amma li-al-majlis al-a'la al-islami al-'iraqi," May 12, 2007.
9. See for instance comments by Hasan Ruhani quoted in E'temad, April 26, 2006.
10. Characteristically, supporters of the ISCI scheme to create a single federal Shiite entity have been among the most prominent critics of the (Shiite) Fadhila party's dialogue with Sunni politicians; see open letter from Ahmad al-Shammari to Nadim al-Jabiri, January 2006,
11. See al-Hayat, August 7, 2007. Letter from the legal committee of the Iraqi parliament to Nuri al-Maliki dated July 30, 2007.

Indra Nooyi Defines Good Work

September 11, 2007
Cindy Krischer Goodman -- The Miami Herald

Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's chairman and CEO and one of the most powerful women in business, challenged more than 350 corporate and civic leaders in Miami on Monday to redefine what they consider a good company.

Being a good company in today's global world means more than having a strong financial performance, she said. Her definition includes cherishing employees and making contributions to improving public health and the environment. She described how she is leading PepsiCo with a philosophy of "bringing together what is good for business with what is good for the world."

Nooyi, who Forbes magazine ranks as the fifth most powerful woman in the world, garnered a standing ovation from the audience at the Miami Dade College leadership roundtable at the Radisson Hotel Miami.

As one of the few females to preside at a Fortune 100 company, Nooyi, 51, draws on lessons learned at the family dinner table in India. Her mother, Nooyi said, encouraged her to make a difference in the world.

Today as the leader of a $40 billion business operating in 190 countries, she has strategized ways to curb obesity. PepsiCo has expanded its product line to include more juice and water choices and made its existing products healthier. For example, Pepsi is introducing a low-sugar versions of popular fitness drink Gatorade and it has eliminated trans fats from its Frito-Lay products.

"We're in the midst of transformation done willingly, voluntarily, and enthusiastically not in response to legislation or litigation," Nooyi said.

PepsiCo also has become active in energy management, reducing its water usage and creating biodegradable packaging. Nooyi said PepsiCo discovered creating an environmentally conscious business has another added benefit -- retention. "The passion we've unleashed among our younger employees has been simply amazing," she said.

Nooyi said her "performance with a purpose" philosophy includes fostering a culture where employees feel valued -- looking for ways to advance minorities and women. The company also gives employees time and opportunities to volunteer with causes, she said.

"We want people to look at this company and think it is the model for how to conduct business in the global world," she said.

Cindy Miles, an audience member and president of Miami Dade College's Hialeah campus, said she found Nooyi's speech inspiring: "I think she is the model for the future of business management -- high performance and humane practices."

Auturo Noriega, executive director of the Miami Parking Authority, said he was particularly interested in Nooyi's comments on how Pepsi is making itself attractive to younger workers, a concern for most employers today.

And Miami businessman Walter Revell said Nooyi delivered a powerful message, adding: "It's essential that the country and the world gets it."

Alexis Debat sent this rebuttal to the Riche piece

To Whom It May Concern,

Pascal Riché’s article in “Rue 89” raises very serious questions about my integrity and my credentials, and puts my entire professional life in jeopardy. This is my point by point response below:

1. The interview with Senator Barack Obama did happen through a third party. A journalist named Rob Sherman approached me last spring with an offer to conduct the interview on my behalf. I wrote up the questions and got the answers in writing. My only mistake was to sign this interview in my name, following Rob’s request. I did not conduct this interview in person with the senator, but it did take place. I recognize that putting my name on it was a mistake, for which I take full responsibility.

2. Pascal Riché claims that “I have a reputation for making up stories”. This is a slanderous assertion supported by no facts. In my 5 and a half years at ABC News, I have not once “made up stories” or been suspected of coming forward with false or even weak information. In fact, I have broken many terrorism-related stories over the years. Anybody can check this directly with ABC. If I was such a “fabulist”, as Mr. Riché claims, I would not have survived a single day in such an environment.

3. Mr. Riché claims that I asserted to have a diploma from a fake and fraudulent institution called Edenvale University. I have never made such an assertion, nor claimed to hold a “diploma” from that university. None of the biographies accessible online mention this. I am fully aware that Edenvale University is a false institution. Again, this is a slanderous assertion not supported by any facts.

4. I did work for the Institut Montaigne under Bruno Ehrard-Steiner in 2001-2002, in the very beginning of the organization. I helped Bruno lay out a plan for establishing strategic relations with think-tanks in the United States. This can be checked directly with Mr. Ehrard-Steiner (who is now a spokesperson for Merck France) at .

5. On the subject of the legitimacy of my PhD, the article once again mentions inaccurate and incomplete information. I was indeed recently made aware of an administrative problem with regard to the completion of my PhD, which I am in the process of sorting out through legal means. My thesis was completed in 1999, and is registered at the Sorbonne, as indicated in this website: Never did I forge any document or diploma. Mr. Kaspi, who is quoted in the piece, was not my thesis director.

6. I did work for the “Fondation Agir Contre l’Exclusion” as a volunteer in the “preadolescent” program in 1994, doing work on social integration in poor neighborhoods around Paris. This again can be easily checked by contacting any of the fondation’s officials listed here:

7. The article then proceeds to mention slanderous and inaccurate rumors about my assertions regarding my time in the French military, without mentioning sources or facts. This again appears nowhere in my biographies or CVs, and is pure hearsay and slander.

I take full responsibility for my actions and my credentials. I did make a serious mistake in handling the interview with Senator Barack Obama. But this article is an attempt to discredit and destroy me personally in a slanderous and completely inaccurate way.

I have already taken steps to bring legal action against Mr. Riché and “Rue89”.

In addition, he writes, " ... The Jundullah story came from two very reliable sources, and was confirmed by others at ABC from US sources. ABC only published one-third of what I reported (I had many names, locations, etc.). ABC is currently taking all of my reporting apart, and has not found any reason to doubt it. It will not. I stand completely by 100% of the information I provided ABC."

How Alexis Debat managed to cheat everyone in Washington

Par Rue89 15H40 15/09/2007

For years, this "expert" managed to fool think tanks and media despite flashing warning signals.

How could someone, in the age of the Internet, manage to fake interviews with world leaders without being caught, while working for the famous investigative unit of one of the biggest American television networks?

Broken by Rue89, the affair of the mythomaniac analyst is causing a stir in the United States. How did Alexis Debat, a self-proclaimed expert on terrorism, manage to build such a career for himself --as a regular contributor to the foreign affairs reviews Politique Internationale and National Interest, as a consultant for ABC News and an analyst of the prestigious Nixon Center attending conferences with the cream of the crop of American foreign policy circles?

On September 5, Rue89 revealed that Debat had provided Politique Internationale with a fake interview, carrying his byline, with Senator Barack Obama, running for the Democratic party nomination for the 2008 presidential election. Our research showed that Debat was also inflating his resume, flattering himself with a PhD he never obtained as well as cooked-up positions.

Debat defends himself, saying he made the mistake of trusting “a third person” to ask his questions. But the spokesperson for the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who was also “interviewed” by Debat in Politique Internationale, told us his was also a fake. As were the ones Debat “got” with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former president Bill Clinton, and many more.

Embarrassed reactions

When we discovered the fabricated Obama interview and contacted Patrick Wajsman, the editor of Politique Internationale, he told us he was stunned, considering himself the "first victim" of the imposture.

At ABC News, where Debat has been working as an expert, Jeffrey Schneider, the vice-president for communication, told us the network was warned in May about Debat's academic credentials and immediately opened an investigation. The contract between Debat and the network was (very discreetly) canceled in June.

At the Nixon Center, which severed ties last Tuesday with Alexis Debat, the reaction was first "no comment"; then, "could you repeat everything on the answering machine of the director?"

All of them seemed taken by surprise.

However, there was no shortage of warning signs over the last years. The big mystery in this affair is why none of Debat's employers seem to have paid attention.

Stephane Dujarric, then a spokesman for UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, remembers that in 2005 he asked Politique Internationale not to run a fabricated interview of Annan. Politique Internationale had contacted the United Nations to ask a couple of extra questions to Annan to complete an interview done by Debat. Dujarric could find no record of such an interview. He called ABC News to reach Debat. Debat replied the interview was made "through a third person" (seems like a pattern) on May 26. On that Day Annan was actually in Ethiopia attending talks on Darfur… To resolve the incident, Wajsman gave Dujarric a subscription to Politique Internationale.

"I didn't run the Kofi Annan interview because I applied a principle of precaution in that case" Patrick Wasjman told us. Apparently the incident did not suffice for him to sever ties with the author of the interview. "I didn't believe one moment it had been fabricated. See, the guy was an ABC News consultant!"

At ABC News the story officially starts in May. At that time, as Rue89 revealed, a reporter within the network who was suspicious of Debat's work, carried her own research on Debat's resume and acted as a whistleblower.

Since the Debat story broke, questions are pouring in about ABCNews. "How can they talk about what the Taliban are doing when they are not even able to track a PhD! How good is Brian Ross if he needs Debat? This is a media problem, not a Debat problem" says Mark Perry, an expert of military intelligence who befriended Debat. "Why do my sources say ABC did not conduct a more extensive investigation of his work when it asked him to resign back in June?," asks journalist and foreign affairs specialist Laura Rozen, on her blog.

Over the years, Debat was a source for many ABC News scoops: on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan… Like its competitors, the network has strict ethical rules, with a director of "standards and practices". Information is supposed to be vetted or reliably confirmed. But fact-checking was not easy with Debat's scoops as they were always attributed to anonymous sources hiding from within the shadowy world of secret services in Pakistan, France or the US.

A correction from the ministry of Defense

Debat, 35, a cordial and good-looking young man, has been suspected of embellishing his resume for a while.

In September 2002 Jean-François Bureau, spokesperson for the French defense Department asked Liberation to run a correction after the French newspaper quoted Debat on the role Zacarias Moussaoui played on 9/11.

"(...)"On September 11, Moussaoui had his return ticket to France. He was supposed to be interviewed and detained in France" said Alexis Debat, presented on ABC News as a "former official of the French Defense Ministry". In Paris, the Defense Ministry distanced itself from this statement, saying Alexis Debat "never belonged to this ministry".

When Guillemette Faure met Debat in July 2005, while researching a Figaro story about the CIA headquarters, she had already heard of his taste for exaggeration. He indeed accepted to meet, saying "I'm just back from Pakistan. I have information about the Bin Laden trail". His accounts were filled with amazing and colorful detail (babies are not authorized to give their last name at the CIA nursery….). On his thick business card, there is no company name. Only "Alexis Debat, Ph.D".

To a question sent later by email regarding his Ph.D, he replies "Edenvale University" issued the degree. But what a Google search turns up is a university which only exists in the form of an Internet page, selling diplomas by phone.

Many reporters, analysts and diplomats, in Washington and New York have been suspicious of Debat. How could it be that none of their conversations ever reached ABC News's finest sleuths? Stéphane Dujarric, the UN spokesperson who disputed the accuracy of Kofi Annan's interview, used to work for ABC News.

Within the investigative unit at ABCNews, Alexis Debat was some times nicknamed "Pepe Le Pew". The Frenchman was under the wing of star journalist Brian Ross within a unit custom-made for him. Ross was allotted exceptional latitude and considerable resources after the attacks of 9/11. The decision by ABC News, at least on its website, to let Ross cover the Debat fiasco appears odd, to say the least, since the Frenchman was de facto reporting to Ross.

The art of the fake interview

"Alexis Debat is a fraud who succeeded" as André Kaspi put it. Kaspi is the professor of American History at the Sorbonne who was initially suposed to supervise Debat's Ph.D. He was actually a brillant fraud who fooled not only a French review but the US capitol as well.

Debat paid attention to details. Just after an alleged interview of Michael Bloomberg, Debat sent an email to Patrick Wajsman at Politique Internationale :

"Dear Sir,

The interview with Michael Bloomberg went well. It lasted a little less than one hour but I managed to go over all our questions. I think the interview is prestigious enough to be worth the lead of the next issue".

Lies were harmoniously imbricated. Like when a so-called Bill Clinton is quoted as happily saying to Debat "I see that you talked to my wife"… in an "interview" that ran several issues after an interview purporting to be Hillary Clinton's.

If the exclusive scoops and interviews have not raised more suspicion, it may also well be because Alexis Debat never goes against the wind of public opinion. On September 2nd on the Sunday Times of London, he revealed secret plans of the Bush administration to bomb Iran "in three days". Four years ago at the height of French-American tensions on Iraq, he explained how Uday Hussein, son of Saddam, forced two French students on a trip in Baghdad to have sex at gunpoint while being videotaped. Surfing on the ambient francophobia, he said that according to a cable he saw, the French government covered up the incident. "I mean, after all, this is Saddam Hussein's son!"

A spiral of credulity

The credulity of the first feeds the next one. "We relied on ABC News for his credentials", says Anne Bell, publicist of the Jim Lehrer Newshour on PBS, where Debat appeared, depending on the news, as an expert on terrorism or the French riots. "Brian Ross and the Nixon Center… These are pretty credentials, they carry some weight… ," a member of the military told us. "You won't believe the list of the people who attended his briefing"

At 35, Alexis Debat was pretty successful. He had a respectable position in a well-regarded think tank, he was a regular face on television, he was quoted in newspapers… why did he need to keep fabricating interviews in a French journal with a limited circulation? This is another mystery of this stunning story.

When Debat was hired by the Nixon Center on May 22nd 2006, the press release of the conservative think tanks proudly announced the arrival of a "creative and insightful analyst". They could not have found better words to describe their new recruit.


Source: SAAG.ORG
By B.Raman

"Beware of Al Qaeda, but equally beware of Al Qaeda watchers."

2. So I wrote in an article of December 14,2004, which was carried by the South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG) as well as the "Asia Times"
( article as carried by the Asia Times Online is annexed (Annexure II) below for easy reference.

3. In that article, I had drawn attention to the mushrooming of Al Qaeda watchers with dubious credentials and compared them to the Kremlin watchers of the cold war era and the pre-March 2003 Iraqi WMD watchers. Many of these watchers had one thing in common---- a desire to make quick money and attract attention to themselves by exploiting the public paranoia----either over communism or over Al Qaeda or over Iraq's non-existent (as found subsequently) weapons of mass destruction.

4.Some of these new crop of post-9/11 analysts working for prestigious foreign think-tanks are allegedly unscrupulous in their methods. I have heard serious allegations that some of the Indian analysts working for supposedly prestigious foreign think-tanks let themselves be used for clandestinely recording discussions with senior police and intelligence officers, who talk to them frankly in good faith thinking that the discussions are off-the-record, and sharing them with foreign agencies. I have noticed that an Indian analyst, who writes for Asia Times Online, often lifts points from my SAAG articles and reports them to Asia Times as if those points were made by unnamed serving officials of the Indian intelligence community during unattributable interviews with the analyst.

5. One of the post-9/11 Al Qaeda watchers, who acquired a legendary reputation is Alexis Debat, a French national, who worked for some years after 9/11 as a counter-terrorism analyst with a prestigious US think tank and an equally well-known US television channel. Now serious questions have been raised not only about his knowledge and tall claims, but even about his educational background. He has reportedly been sacked by both. A report on him disseminated by the Associated Press is also attached. Many of the scary stories about the alleged Al Qaeda plot to blow up a number of US-bound planes from the UK last year were believed to have been disseminated by him.(Annexure I)

7.Unfortunately, in India, there is an uncritical fascination for foreign analysts----particularly Western. The case of Alexis Debat is a wake-up call for our analysts not to let themselves be misled by this new crop of Al Qaeda watchers. By all means read them, if you have the time, but don't be carried away by them. Use your own knowledge and insights from the Indian experience and use your own judgement.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail:

Ex-ABC consultant said to fake interview

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer Thu Sep 13, 7:53 PM ET

A former ABC News consultant fired last year because he couldn't authenticate academic credentials is at the center of a new dispute over apparently faked interviews with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Gates and others.

The consultant, Alexis Debat, quit the Nixon Center, a Washington think tank, on Wednesday after Obama's representatives claimed an interview with the senator appearing under Debat's byline in the French magazine Politique Internationale never took place. The interview quoted the Democratic presidential candidate as saying the Iraq war was "a defeat for America."

Pelosi, Gates, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg all said they never gave interviews that appeared in the magazine under Debat's byline, ABC News' Web site, the Blotter, reported on Thursday.

Debat acknowledged to The Associated Press on Thursday that he never conducted any of the interviews published under his byline. He said he hired another reporter, Rob Sherman, to conduct the Obama interview. He said he translated the remarks and sent them in to the French journal, which published it under Debat's byline.

No one immediately responded to a message left at what Debat said was Sherman's phone number.

In the other cases, Debat said he drafted questions for the political figures for Politique Internationale. The magazine sent back "answers" that he translated, wrote an introduction for and sent back with his byline, he said.

"They do some weird things over there," he said.

Politique Internationale editor and political scientist Patrick Wajsman founded the magazine nearly 30 years ago. He called Debat "a grand liar" and said he had hired a lawyer to pursue "all possible measures" against him.

"We are the first victims. I am falling from the moon," he told The AP. "We were betrayed."

He noted that Debat worked for the journal for four years, starting after he was already working for ABC and the Nixon Center. "How could we possibly doubt someone who worked for ABC, who worked for the Nixon Center? How could we possibly doubt someone from several thousand kilometers away?" he asked.

When a user clicks on articles under Debat's byline on the Politique Internationale Web site, a blank screen appears.

The Blotter quoted a U.N. official as saying Wajsman was told in 2005 that the interview with Annan was faked. A second "interview" with Annan posted earlier this year instead included portions of a speech he had made at Princeton University passed off as an interview, the Web site said.

Debat had been a consultant at ABC News since shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, reporting on terrorism issues, said Brian Ross, chief of ABC News' investigative unit.

In May, ABC was contacted by the French embassy and told to check on Debat's credentials. Debat had claimed to have a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne, but ABC could not verify this. He was fired and ABC began looking back at Debat's work to see if anything was false. They found no evidence of incorrect material, said Ross, adding that most of the information Debat provided was verified by others.

Debat said his Ph.D had been held up on technicalities and that he had completed all the required work. He said he believed someone in the French government was out to get him because they didn't like his work on ABC.

Debat has been extensively quoted by other media, including the AP, which included his remarks in three stories.

He was identified as a terrorism consultant in a 2004 story about CIA Director George Tenet's resignation and quoted as saying Tenet had a reputation as a yes-man for President Bush.

And he was quoted twice in 2001, identified as a former French Defense Ministry analyst. In one story, he said the United States and France has increased their intelligence-sharing. He was the main source for the second story, in which he said police had found a notebook with codes that could help decipher messages within Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.

The AP has started investigating whether the information provided by Debat was accurate. A duty officer at the Defense Ministry could not immediately confirm Thursday night whether Debat had worked for the ministry.

Since the revelations about the fabricated interviews, ABC News also is going back again to check over Debat's work, sending people to Pakistan and Europe, Ross said.

"We're working hard to make sure that everything he was involved in that we reported stands up," Ross said, "and if it doesn't, we'll report it immediately."

Beware al-Qaeda watchers
By B Raman

Remember the Kremlin Watchers of yore during the height of the Cold War and their bestsellers on the "evil empire"? And the scary stories on communism they used to disseminate, and how the newspaper columns of those days were filled with their analyses. And the so-called classified documents of the Soviet state and the Communist Party to which they managed to have access and which they used liberally in their writings and books.

And remember a statement made by John Major, the then British prime minister, in the House of Commons in response to a question in the early 1990s shortly after the USSR had collapsed and the Cold War had ended. He admitted that many of these best-sellers of the so-called Kremlin watchers had been supported by the British Foreign Office.

What Major did not admit was that many of these Kremlin watchers and their articles and bestsellers had been sponsored and encouraged not by the British Foreign Office , but by the disinformation divisions of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS -MI6) and the US's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). These Kremlin watchers, who were the equivalent of today's embedded terrorism analysts, lapped up whatever was fed to them by the disinformation divisions and made it the focus of their analyses.

Since September 11, we have witnessed the similar emergence of a core of al-Qaeda watchers, whose writings and scare stories remind you disturbingly of the Kremlin watchers of yore. If you carefully examine their writings and books, you notice that there is a sameness in their analyses marked by: "I scare you; you scare me; and let us scare the world together." The more scary the writings, the greater the number of readers and the greater the sales of their books. They are making hay while al-Qaeda shines.

They quote and cite each other and it is evident that many of them use without the least qualms of conscience details of interrogation reports of terrorists in the custody of the US in Guantanamo Bay, Diego Garcia and Afghanistan. They are not disturbed by the thought that if the intelligence agencies of the US and the UK were capable of misleading the world with carefully disseminated disinformation regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and Saddam Hussein's alleged links with al-Qaeda in order to achieve their strategic objective, they should be equally capable of misleading the world through scary stories on terrorism in order to achieve their strategic objectives in different areas, which are often unrelated to the so-called "war on terrorism".

As I read their analyses replete with references to information obviously obtained from interrogation reports, I am reminded of an experience in 1992. On the orders of the then government in New Delhi, analysts of the intelligence community prepared a detailed collation of intelligence relating to Pakistan's sponsorship of terrorism against India.

When we presented our dossier to senior officials of the US and the UK, they rejected it without even properly examining it, on the ground that much of the information included in our analyses was based on reports of interrogation of suspected terrorists in Indian police custody. They told us self-righteously: "Interrogation reports are no empirical evidence. The terrorists could have been tortured in police custody." When we produced intelligence gathered from electronic intercepts, which corroborated the interrogation reports, they asked: "How do we know the intercepts are genuine?"

Take the writings and bestsellers on al-Qaeda coming from these al-Qaeda watchers and delete all information which appears to be based on interrogation reports as shared by the US with the writers or as carried by Western media. What remains which one could call empirical evidence or the insights, results from independent inquiries and personal experience of these watchers? Almost nothing.

Their writings are significant not for the questions they pose, but for those they don't pose. How come so many so-called al-Qaeda documents, tapes, video recordings etc were discovered from different places in Afghanistan at the height of the US air strikes in 2001-02 by so-called intrepid Western journalists and not by the security forces? When the security forces reached the spots after the bombing, they did not discover any documents etc, but when the journalists went there they found a treasure trove of documents, video-recordings etc. Were these really of al-Qaeda, or were these planted by the disinformation division of the CIA and discovered through compliant journalists in the hope that they would enjoy greater credibility if "discovered" and disseminated by journalists than if they were by the intelligence agencies.

The world knows the kind of torture used by the Americans on suspected terrorists in their custody. Even the International Committee of the Red Cross has reportedly referred to the use of torture in Guantanamo Bay. We have seen with our own eyes on our TV screens the kind of methods used in Iraq. How can we uncritically accept information obtained by the Americans through such methods?

In respect of all the captures of terrorists after September 11 - whether of senior al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan or of Hambali of the Jemaah Islamiyah in Thailand or of others in the rest of the world - the Americans or other Western intelligence agencies arrogated to themselves the right of first interrogation, though they were wanted for investigation and prosecution in other countries. In many of these instances, what the world has is the American or British version of the interrogation. How can we accept it without questioning and independent verification? Is it not the duty of these al-Qaeda watchers to caution their readers on the need to treat the information with reserve in view of their origin?

Look at the way many of these al-Qaeda watchers have shifted stance since September 11. Al-Qaeda was initially projected as a monolithic organization with a massive strength of 42,000 spread in many countries of the world. Then they started gradually downplaying its strength till they came down to 500. Now we are told that it has franchised or outsourced its tasks to indigenous organizations in a number of Islamic countries, providing them only with ideological support. We were told that al-Qaeda was the name of the organization. Then we were told it is actually the name of the pan-Islamic ideology propagated by bin Laden and accepted by the indigenous organizations.

When acts of jihadi terrorism continued despite US claims of success in neutralizing many of the so-called senior operatives of al-Qaeda, we were told by these al-Qaeda watchers that a new generation of terrorist leaders, more dangerous than the past leadership, has emerged. Nightmarish scenarios of maritime terrorism by al-Qaeda were projected before the international community. Such projections, consciously or unwittingly, served the American strategic objective of bulldozing the reluctant countries of the world to accept the intrusive proliferation security initiative and the container security initiative.

When it was pointed out that till now there had been only two instances of maritime terrorism attributable to al-Qaeda - the 2000 attack on the US naval ship USS Cole and the 2002 attack on Limburg, the French oil tanker, both off Aden - we were told by the watchers that just because al-Qaeda has not so far indulged in a strategic act of maritime terrorism to disrupt world trade and oil supplies, it does not mean it would not do so in future. Does it require a great intellectual or analyst to say this? Even a schoolboy in one of the lower forms would have known this. We are now told that al-Qaeda plans its strikes months, if not years, in advance and should, therefore, be presumed to be planning a September 11 on the high seas.

I listened with utter amazement and disbelief in 2002 when, at an international seminar, a famous American watcher projected bin Laden in terms which would have made him blush. Many of the things, which are being written about bin Laden and al-Qaeda by these watchers, must be news to them. We were told that al-Qaeda was run by bin Laden on the basis of the principles of corporate house management and that he himself acted like a modern chief executive officer of a private company. My foot.

I have expressed my doubts whether bin Laden himself called his organization al-Qaeda. The only name which he once used in February,1998, is the International Islamic Front (IIF). He has since stopped using that name too. He refers to his followers in different countries simply as the mujahideen. Recently, however, terrorists in Saudi Arabia and Iraq have identified themselves as members of al-Qaeda.

Once I asked a well-informed Pakistani whether bin Laden called his organization al-Qaeda. He replied: "No. The Americans first called it al-Qaeda. It sounded sexy and made an impact on the minds of the Muslim masses. So they, too, started calling themselves al-Qaeda."

To my knowledge (I would be happy to stand corrected, if wrong) most of the jihadi terrorist organizations, which have been active for many years now, came into existence long before bin Laden made his appearance in Afghanistan in 1996. They did not owe their existence or their following and capability in their respective areas of operation to him. His contribution was to bring them together in the IIF and make them accept his pan-Islamic ideology and focus their campaign against the Americans and the Jewish people, whatever be their national objective.

Al-Qaeda, by whatever name it is called, exists. Bin Laden and his followers and the jihadi terrorist organizations supporting him continue to pose a serious threat to peace and security and to the lives of millions of innocent civilians all over the world. They are ruthless and prepared to use any means to kill and disrupt normal life.

While continuing to be on guard against them and counter their activities, we should avoid over-projecting them, which would only play into their hands. We should maintain the independence of our judgement and should not allow it to be distorted by the analyses and projections of analysts playing the American game.

Beware of al-Qaeda, but equally beware of al-Qaeda watchers.
(Copyright 2004 B Raman.)

China Writes on UN Arms Registry

China Writes on UN Arms Registry

by Bhaskar Roy

Source: SAAG.ORG

The security analyst community appears to be abuzz with the news what China’s return to the UN Arms Registry after a lapse of ten years really mean. The Chinese answer is quite simple. The USA showed its exports to Taiwan as that to a separate country, so Beijing withdrew registering in protest. Beijing holds firm that Taiwan is a renegade province of China. Almost all countries also subscribe to the position.

The Chinese authorities reported some of their conventional arms supplies to mainly less developed and developing countries of Asia and Africa. They only revealed a very well known fact that Beijing is Bangladeshis main arms supplier. Pakistan’s dependence on Chinese arms and military equipment is also equally well known. The backbone of Pakistan’s Airforce is still the Chinese F-7 aircraft. Pakistan is also set to import 250 new generation Chinese F-17 Thunder fighter aircraft fitted with the RussianRD-93 engine, which is used in Russia’s MIGs.

China claims its arms exports are highly responsible and meant for the legitimate defence of the recipient country. But how this doctrine works in its exports to some of the African countries, for example Sudan, where sectarian wars are taking thousands of lives, is not explained.

The UN Arms Registry is not mandatory, nor does it have any mechanism for verification. Many analysts see the Chinese action as a continuous process towards transparency. This is exactly what the Chinese would have the world believe – ‘deceive the opponent by distorting its focus’. This allows China to hide its real activities and wait for the opportune time.

While the Chinese official propaganda media implores the world to believe that India is an expansionist country with designs on its neighbours, India continued with its policy of peace, having officially banned export of arms for decades. India’s diplomatic strategy maintained that export of arms to these small countries with internal conflicts, or holding umbrage against bigger neighbours would be only adding fuel to fire.

Without an officially controlled propaganda machinery, India fell short of highlighting its positions adequately and could not counter officially sponsored vilification campaign from abroad.

Almost all arms deals have a political angle. But there are business deals at market prices, also. While the US provided free arms to the Taliban and Pakistan against the Soviet backed Northern Alliance war in Afganisthan, most of its other sales to Pakistan, a close non-NATO ally in the war against terrorism, are at market prices. The political aspect of such sales are not hidden, either.

The Chinese decision was based on certain geopolitical changes. The cold war was over in its original form. India’s economic reform policy was beginning to roll on firm rails, which China perceived as a rising challenge. The Soviet Union had crumbled, and USA had turned its back on Afghanistan looking more at India and South Asia.

Before India tested its nuclear weapons in May 1998, Beijing had already drawn its blue print to encircle India even more tightly.

Sometime between 1995-96 Chinese strategists concretised the doctrine of ‘Great Wall’ in a converse strategy. The original Great Wall was erected to protect aggression from the north. The ‘New Great Wall’ strategy was to make India a prisoner of smaller countries in the Indian Ocean rim, to add to those already created in the immediate vicinity of India i.e South Asia.

The ‘New Great Wall Strategy’ aimed at creating con-centric circles of small countries around India, especially in the Indian Ocean region outer rim. The strategy, from past experience, had found small countries militarily dependent on China could be politically controlled or, at least, influenced. Between 1998 and 2002, top Chinese leaders both political and military, made a series of visit to the Maldives even with the offer of assistance in the area of security.
The visits included that of Premier Zhu Rongji and the Defence Minister. This is very uncharacteristic of Chinese diplomatic exchanges. But when it happens, one has to sit up and take note.

Neither Nepal needed anti-aircraft guns, nor Bangladesh C-802 missiles. Such weapons are meant for external attacks. The only two counties which can attack Nepal from air are China and India. Who that would be according to Chinese suppliers? And for what? Similarly, supply of surface-to-air missiles and C-802 missiles is meant against an attacking enemy from the air and sea.

These may be non-conventional arms, but do they find a place in the countries exported to for defensive purposes? Or are they intended to spur these countries against India? Keep the heat on.

Myanmar remains dependent on China for military assistance. But the Myanmarese military leaders are cognizant of the fact they are under severe Chinese influence for this dependence. Such situations do not last for long.

So much for the innocent Chinese reporting to the UN Arms Registry. It just does not wash with anybody.

China’s arms exports under any pretext in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Rim region can eventually create tremors of different intensity across Asia from West Asia and the African Coast, to the Asia Pacific region.

The Chinese smugness comes from the perception that South West Asia and South Asia would hardly pose a threat to the mainland. And they can safely stir the witch’s brew in this cauldron. They need to think again. The world is shrinking, and Beijing’s deceit cannot last very long.

(The author is an eminent China analyst with many years of experience of study on the developments in China. The views expressed by the author are his own. He can be reached at

Attack on giant Pakistan Buddha

Bomb damages Janabad seated Buddha in Swat

Sept 11: A bomb detonated by militants on Tuesday damaged a rock engraved with images of Buddha in Valley Swat, Pakistan that attracts thousands of tourists a year, police said. Shrapnel from the blast in Shakhrai along the road toward Malam Jaba, a tourist resort in Swat district hit the rock and damage the image. It was well preserved having seven meters hight and was certainly the most impressive piece of sculpture to be seen in Gandahara region. The region -- known for its Buddhist heritage and archaeological sites -- attracts tourists, mainly from Buddhist countries. The incident recalled the internationally condemned destruction of the huge Bamiyan Buddhas in neighbouring Afghanistan by the Taliban regime in 2001.


Read more about Janabad Seated Buddha

The Buddha at Swat was only slightly damaged

Suspected pro-Taleban militants have tried to blow up an ancient carving of Buddha in north-west Pakistan.

The statue, thought to date from the second century BC, sustained only minimal damage in the attack near Manglore in remote Swat district.

The area has seen a rise in attacks on "un-Islamic" targets in recent months.

This is the first such attack in Pakistan and is reminiscent of the Taleban's 2001 destruction of the giant Buddhas at Bamiyan in Afghanistan.


Officials and witnesses in Swat said armed men arrived in the area on Monday night.
We heard the sound of drilling twice and then early Tuesday morning we heard two blasts
Villager Amir Khan

Afghan Buddha future unclear

"Militants drilled holes in the rock and filled them with dynamite and blew it up," provincial archaeology department official Aqleem Khan told Reuters news agency.

"The explosion damaged the upper part of the rock but there was no damage to the image itself."

And eyewitness, Shahid Khan, told the BBC that because of its location on a steep ridge the statue had been only slightly damaged. It is carved into a 40m (130-foot) high rock.

Local archaeology expert Professor Pervaiz Shaheen told the BBC that the Buddha statue in Swat valley was considered the largest in Asia, after the two Bamiyan Buddhas.

He said it was 2,200 years old. Swat valley is a centre of the ancient Gandhara civilization.

"They constructed similar smaller statues and figurines, dozens of which are still present in the area," Prof Shaheen said.

Swat has seen increased pro-Taleban activity in recent months, with the re-emergence of militant group Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) under new leader, Maulana Fazlullah.

Last week, militants blew up about 60 music, video and cosmetics stalls at a market in the valley after stall owners ignored warnings to close businesses deemed un-Islamic.

The world watched in shock in March 2001 as Afghanistan's then rulers destroyed the 6th-Century Bamiyan Buddhas. The Taleban said they were offensive to Islam.

Pakistan more unstable : Rebuffing of Nawaz Sharif

Home and away

From The Economist
The rebuffing of Nawaz Sharif has only made Pakistan more unstable

NAWAZ SHARIF, a former prime minister of Pakistan, landed in Rawalpindi on September 10th with his head bowed in prayer and his supporters erupting around him. He was back from a seven-year exile to challenge Pervez Musharraf, an army coupster who had toppled and imprisoned him. “Go, Musharraf! Go!” screamed his retinue as Mr Sharif's plane rumbled to a halt. But four hours later it was Mr Sharif who was on the move. In the airport's VIP arrivals lounge he was charged with corruption, arrested and deported to Saudi Arabia.

It was almost certainly what he had expected. During the flight, Mr Sharif made many bold promises: to wage a “final battle” against military dictatorship, bring “undiluted democracy” to Pakistan, and so forth. He is not the first Pakistani politician to have promised these things. Indeed, as a political drama, his homecoming was squarely within Pakistani tradition. It was chaotic. It was cacophonous. And its conclusion, as became gradually apparent, had been scripted by soldiers and spies, rulers of Pakistan for most of its history.

The play began last month when Pakistan's Supreme Court, in a new-found spirit of judicial independence, ruled that Mr Sharif had an “inalienable right” to return home. With presidential and parliamentary elections looming, he vowed to do so. As far as anyone could tell—for opinion polls are rare and often unreliable in Pakistan—his popularity surged. Many Pakistanis, battered by persistent inflation and authoritarian government, have had enough of General Musharraf.

Meanwhile, the fortunes of Mr Sharif's main rival, Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and another exiled prime minister, are declining. She has chosen not to confront General Musharraf but to try to share power with him. In recent months, his intelligence chiefs have been negotiating with her to make this happen. By associating with a military dictator, Ms Bhutto, whose party is Pakistan's most liberal and popular, was bound to lose credibility. Nonetheless, she has gambled that a deal would be worth it.

Benazir, increasingly discredited

Her terms are these: she wants a passage home unencumbered by corruption charges relating to her two terms in office. She wants General Musharraf to hand in his army papers and revoke a law that restricts prime ministers to two terms. She also wants the general to give up his current presidential power to sack the prime minister. In return, she is prepared to support his bid for presidential re-election. Whether the constitution allows this is, at best, open to question. Ms Bhutto has therefore been leaching credibility, and still she has no deal.

Undaunted, in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Ms Bhutto's ancestral seat in southern Sindh province, workers are rushing to finish a renovation of the 130-foot white Mughal-style mausoleum that bears testimony to the tragic fortunes, and scornful pride, of Pakistan's leading political dynasty. It holds the bones of Ms Bhutto's father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a former prime minister hanged by his successor, and also of her two brothers, Murtaza and Shah Nawaz. They, too, died violently: Shah Nawaz poisoned in a Bhutto pad in the south of France, Murtaza killed in a shoot-out in Karachi in 1996, during Ms Bhutto's last government. Supporters of Ms Bhutto, including America and Britain, rightly see her as a Western-educated (Harvard and Oxford) liberal intellectual. But this is not the only baggage she comes with.

By beating Ms Bhutto home, Mr Sharif had hoped to capitalise on his more obviously heroic stand. Indeed, this looked likely until September 8th, when Saudi Arabia's chief of intelligence, Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, showed up in Islamabad and warned Mr Sharif to stay away. By so doing, said Mr Aziz, he would honour a promise he had made to the Saudi royals in 2000. In return for their help in springing Mr Sharif from jail, where he was serving a life sentence for treason and hijacking, he had vowed to quit Pakistan for a decade. The Supreme Court's ruling last month overrode this agreement; but no matter to Mr Aziz.
The flight back

It was a gloomy-looking Mr Sharif who turned up at London's Heathrow airport on September 9th to catch an overnight flight. A tearful scene ensued. At the departure gate, Mr Sharif ordered his brother and closest ally, Shahbaz Sharif, to stay put. “At the eleventh hour!” lamented Shahbaz, who last week was charged with multiple murders relating to his time as chief minister of Punjab.

On the plane was another surprise. No sooner had Mr Sharif boarded than a Pakistani journalist collapsed in the aisle. A doctor was called and diagnosed a heart attack. But Pakistani observers exchanged dark glances. The spies of General Musharraf's Inter-Service Intelligence agency (ISI), they suggested, are an ingenious lot.

Helpless against the terrorists

It was a surprise when the plane took off. Over the next eight hours, Mr Sharif received foreign journalists at his first class seat. Had they fancied wandering into the cockpit, they could have done. The usual in-flight rules were discarded. The aircrew seemed resigned to chaos. And the purser was for the PPP.

On the ground in Pakistan, every leader of Mr Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party (PML-N) was being arrested. Some 1,000-4,000 party activists were also allegedly rounded up. The roads around Islamabad airport were blocked with road-making machinery. The few PML-N supporters who breached this defence, after Mr Sharif's incoming plane was sighted, were bludgeoned with tear-gas cannisters and beaten by riot police.

Inside the airport, paramilitary police encircled the plane and a nervous immigration official boarded it. With trembling hands he clutched a crumpled brown paper bag containing an immigration stamp. His task was to admit Mr Sharif to Pakistan—so honouring his “inalienable right”. Wise to the ruse, Mr Sharif and his retinue refused to hand over his passport. But shortly after disembarking he was charged with involvement in an alleged $20m money-laundering scam and led away, his passport apparently unstamped.

Pakistan, a place of 160m people and one of Asia's fastest-growing economies, should not be a banana republic. Yet, in its current crisis, that is increasingly how it appears. By ignoring the Supreme Court, General Musharraf has in effect declared a state of emergency. Were he now to offer Ms Bhutto a deal on her terms, almost incredible as this would be, she might feel compelled to decline. If the elections go ahead, the opposition parties may boycott them. They include the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of Islamist parties previously allied with the general, as well as the PML-N and PPP.

And Pakistan faces another crisis, of security. It has a nationalist insurgency in its vast western province of Baluchistan, a Taliban insurgency in its rugged north-west and sporadic al-Qaeda-style suicide-blasts in every main city. Official figures count around 250 suicide bombers, including some who were foiled by security forces, in the past five years. The most recent, in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) on September 11th, killed 18 people.

The tempo of the attacks increased in July, when the army stormed a radical mosque in the middle of Islamabad called Lal Masjid. Within a stroll of Pakistan's Supreme Court and Parliament building, over a hundred people were killed in the battle that ensued. The mosque's preachers, two brothers, one of whom was killed, had ties to militant groups including al-Qaeda. Yet the terrorism is also the inevitable outcome of the fact that much of north-western Pakistan, especially the semi-autonomous Pushtun tribal region, has been taken over by the Taliban.

General Musharraf's efforts to combat these fanatics, who include many of Afghanistan's former rulers, have been disastrous. Before the Lal Masjid battle, the army had around 80,000 troops in and around the tribal areas, along the border with Afghanistan. They were first dispatched there shortly after America invaded Afghanistan in 2001. In on-off campaigning, over 800 Pakistani soldiers had been killed by these militants. Since Lal Masjid, General Musharraf has dispatched another two divisions to the region, and another 250 soldiers have been killed.

A man on a white horse

In Swat, a fertile valley adjoining the tribal areas, a brigade of these reinforcements arrived last month. Their task is daunting. Swat is the area of Mullah Fazalullah, a cleric who delivers Taliban edicts through a megaphone while mounted on a white horse. Mr Fazalullah, whose father-in-law incited thousands of local youths to fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan, has called for suicide blasts to avenge the “martyrs” of Lal Masjid. He has not been disappointed. As they advanced into Swat, the brigade was greeted by two suicide-blasts and a road-side bomb; 16 soldiers were killed.

Of course, Mr Fazalullah has gone to ground. And the local administration will not help the army unearth him. Javed Ali Shah, its senior official, said: “There will be no military operation in Swat.” The army is reported to be deeply unhappy, and no wonder. Last week 270 soldiers, including a dozen officers, were taken hostage by a much smaller force of Taliban militants in the tribal agency of South Waziristan. They were captured without a shot being fired. “They are demoralised, it's a serious concern,” says an army pundit, former General Talat Masood.

It would hardly be surprising if Osama bin Laden was in north-west Pakistan. American officials have often suggested this, though they seem unable to prove it. As for Pakistan, it prefers not to discuss the great sheikh's possible whereabouts. The MMA, General Musharraf's former ally, runs the government in NWFP. Like Mr bin Laden, many of its leaders won glory during the Afghan jihad of the 1980s, which was run from Pakistan.

Moreover, some senior army officers may share their sympathies. The then army spokesman, Major-General Shaukat Sultan, said last year that if Mr bin Laden was in Pakistan he was free to live a “peaceful life”, provided he kept out of trouble.

That may be quite a mild view in Pakistan. According to a poll released on September 11th, Mr bin Laden is more popular than General Musharraf. The poll found that 46% of Pakistanis approve of al-Qaeda's chief, against 38% for their president. In addition, 66% of respondents said that America was fighting a war on terror in order to attack Islam.

America's stake

Pakistan is bigoted and becoming more so. Yet the poll should be read cautiously. Radical opinions are casually expressed in Pakistan, by members of the English-speaking elite as well as the Urdu-speaking masses. But even with Machiavellian help from the intelligence agency, the MMA won only 11% of the vote in 2002. In the coming election, if they participate, they may do better. Nonetheless, except for the stringent Pushtuns, most Pakistanis are moderate.

Last week in Sehwan, a town in central Sindh, half a million Sufi pilgrims gave a demonstration of this fact. They are followers, like most Pakistanis, of the heterodox Barelvi school of Sunni Islam. And so they whirled, chanted prayers, blew kisses and smoked massive quantities of dope to celebrate the 755th anniversary of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a Sufi saint. “We are the anti-Taliban,” claimed Ahmed Bhutto (no relation), in a room thick with the scent of incense and rose petals. “We stand for love, tolerance and the great infinity.”

If only the mortal world of international relations were so far-sighted. But it is not. That is why, even as General Musharraf's popularity plummets, America is stoutly backing him. The general's campaign in north-western Pakistan may be disastrous, but America has no better idea of how to quell the mayhem there. Indeed the campaign is, more or less, according to an American design. General Musharraf invaded the tribal areas at America's urging. America is closely involved in prosecuting the campaign, especially at an intelligence level. After all, it is paying for it. In the past five years, America has swollen General Musharraf's coffers with an estimated $10 billion.

Even for a profligate superpower, that is a considerable stake, and America's recently expressed dissatisfaction with General Musharraf should be measured against it. In short, America wants both democracy for Pakistan and General Musharraf. This is why it is urging the general to co-operate with Ms Bhutto. But if a democratic general turns out to be as self-contradictory as most Pakistanis think (and they should know), America would prefer to keep the general. Mr Sharif's summary ejection probably reflects this. It is hard to imagine that Saudi Arabia would have so grossly intruded into Pakistani affairs without America's approval, at least.

However will it end? In the long run, if history is a guide, the institutional damage that General Musharraf is wreaking will make Pakistan even more unstable. Never forget, for Pakistanis do not, that he is the country's fourth American-backed military ruler. At best, his rule will have delayed the onset of a serious effort to build the sustainable democracy that most Pakistanis crave. At worst, it will have made that task unachievable.

One indication of this, the most alarming aspect of the current political crisis, is that no Pakistani leader seems to be genuinely popular. Even if General Musharraf had not locked up the PML-N's leaders, it is doubtful they could have produced much of a multitude to greet Mr Sharif. Ms Bhutto, who said she would announce the date of her return on September 14th, might fare better. But she would be most unlikely to draw the adoring hundreds of thousands who welcomed her after her last return from exile, in 1986.

For Pakistan's other crisis, Islamist-stoked insecurity, there will be no ready solution. Pakistani Pushtuns may stay on the warpath as long as foreign troops remain in Afghanistan. They always have before. And if Islamist militancy is to be a fixture in Pakistan, America should worry about where Pakistani allegiances may be heading.

General Musharraf will not worry about this. He wants to cling to power, and he has two options. First, he can seal a deal with Ms Bhutto. So long as there is no popular backlash against Mr Sharif's ejection, especially by the country's lawyers, who provoked mass protests against General Musharraf earlier this year, she may agree to this—provided the general sheds his uniform by early next year at the latest.

He is reluctant to do so. There is a notion, dear to America, that General Musharraf could be a strong civilian president, overseeing the prime minister and the army. But there is no history to support this belief. The army, and it alone, is General Musharraf's constituency and the source of his power. By stripping himself of its uniform he reasonably fears that he would be an emperor without clothes.

His alternative is to go it alone. He already has a simple majority in Parliament, which is sufficient for a presidential re-election. Without the PPP, he will not have the two-thirds majority necessary to make constitutional changes. In effect, that means that if his re-election were challenged on legal grounds—as it surely would be—General Musharraf would be at the mercy of the Supreme Court.

On recent form, the judges might rule against him. If so, General Musharraf would probably then declare martial law. This would allow him to re-run the events that followed his 1999 coup: he would gut the Supreme Court of dissidents, ask the remaining sycophants to rule on the legality of his suspension of democracy, then hold elections. So long as a fair portion of the opposition participated in these, they would probably pass muster with America. But how would Pakistanis respond?

The name of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, that Sufi saint, is linked in Pakistan with both unshakeable tolerance and unrestrainable agitation. A famous Urdu poem, “The complete intoxication of Qalandar”, explores this duality. But in real life, alas, there can be no such co-existence.

Letter from Gilgit Baltistan : WORLD TERRORISM STRATEGY

Benazir Bhutto, Ex Prime Minister of Pakistan cannot confront with Pakistani Military and its ISI. Her past has witnessed, where her Minister from NWFP Nasrullah Khan Babur, with the help of ISI had openly helped fundamentalism.
To bar Nawaz Sharif another Ex Prime Minister of Pakistan from participating in Elections by sending him to exile, will only benefit the fundamentalists, because Benazir has lost her credibility and confidence among the general masses of Pakistan because of her help to Military regime which does not care about democracy and Judiciary. The USA and Europe should realize that General Musharraf has become an empty cartridge, because of his anti democracy and dual policy with both the USA, Europe and Fundamentalism. Whoever tries to help Military regime by giving stake in Politics, he or she will also fall down along with Musharraf. If Nawaz Sharif is not allowed to come to Pakistan and participate in elections, I think, general masses are left with no choice, but to vote for the fundamentalists, instead of Musharraf and his Muslim League Q.

I humbly suggest, that the democratic world including USA and European Union should support democracy, not personalities, in Pakistan as well as in the world.
The world community should also encourage and help moderate religious people, like Brelvi Muslims, Sophi Muslims and Shia moderates everywhere in the world, particularly in east and South Asia including Iraq and Pakistan to overcome fundamentalists.

The world and particularly those who want to contain terrorism and fundamentalism, should first redress their past mistakes, by which they had encouraged the Wahabi fundamentalism.

The USA and so-called Human Rights organizations had snubbed those leaders and Military heads of Afghanistan by terming them War Lords, whose struggle brought victory to the USA over Talibaan fundamentalists. The Northern Alliance who had effectively fought war with Talibaan with and even without USA. The anti War lords campaign of USA and other countries pushed the northern alliance behind the walls after Talibaan had been defeated. The anti Northern Alliance campaign was lodged by the world, because of the Pakistani Military propaganda against the real war heroes. The result of this illogical policy brought back Talibaan to Afghanistan by the dual and clever Policy of General Musharraf and his ISI.

Mr. George W Bush administration had never left any stone unturned in praising General Musharraf and Pakistani Forces. Consequently, ISI played its role and strengthened Talibaan by dodging USA and its Intelligence agencies. Now USA and its coalition forces are facing serious consequences in Afghanistan.


Again USA did mistakes after mistakes.To blame Sadam for WMD proved false or misguiding Intelligence reports.The bitter truth is, Sadam did never help and encourage Wahabi fundamentalism and terrorism in spite of his many mistakes and crimes.Whether one accepts or not but the fact is, World has witnessed inflow of terrorists after fall of Sadam regime.

Notwithstanding, USA can see or not, the fact is, mostly terrorists come from the most trustworthy country of USA, the Saudia Arabia. The second from Jordan, Syria, Iran and other USA friendly Arab countries. All neighbour countries’ nationals are actively involved in flaming Iraq against USA and its allies.

The most important thing which is considered in each and every crime Is the CAUSE, which is ignored by the USA. This is also a main reason behind the failure of US and it’s allies’ struggle against the worldwide terrorism. The fact of the CAUSE behind the terrorism against USA, Europe, Russia, India, Philippine is the ignorance of all the affected countries, which have failed to control or to contain the evils of terrorism. This is also true that the fact behind this CAUSE is atrocities and injustice. But the main fact behind this CAUSE-a New threat of 21st century- is an IDEOLOGY. This ideology is based on hatred, non-tolerance and madness of ONE Arab country which has large Oil resources and is a best friend of USA. That country has been exporting its ideology with the help of Pakistan Army and its ISI during and even after the late General Zia, who was also a best friend of USA like General Musharraf. That Arab country is not democratic, which does care of Human Rights, whose nationals are the number one among all the terrorists in number and skill wise. That Arab country gives billions to Pakistan to spread its ideology through Mosques, Madrasas, Tablighis (religious preachers) and threatening others by using terrorists. As a result of that country and its perpetrator- Pakistan, the Moderate Brelvi Muslims, the most human loving Sophi Muslims and moderate Shias and other moderate people have become victim of that Wahabi Ideology.

ISI puts 60% of the Saudi Wahabi funds in to its own pockets and Spends the rest 40% on the arming, training and logistics, salaries and other welfare of the killed terrorists’ families. ISI recruits the youth of this particular Wahabi faith. During and after General Zia, Wahabis have been recruited, promoted in the higher rank of Pakistani forces, its Judiciary and administration throughout Pakistan and its occupied Jammu & Kashmir including Gilgit Baltistan.

USA hits here and there and blocks and sanctions this and that, but never harms the actual source of this IDEOLOGY of Terrorism. It’s regrettable USA praises both these countries Saudi Arab and Pakistan and hopes that this friendship will help its fight against terrorism.

Is it possible that a Tiger or Lion be restrained from killing a goat if the owner befriends the tiger or lion? No, never. This is why USA policy against terrorism has failed, because USA praises those who are the main source behind this IDEOLOGY.

Shias of Iraq and non Pushton of Afghanistan were the sympathizers of the USA against Sadam and Talibaan.USA chose a Pushton, Hamid Karzai as a leader of Afghanistan by pushing back Northern Alliance, with the hope to bring the majority
Pushton tribes into the peaceful democratic process. But unfortunately, Karzai failed to bring Pushton to the USA ring. Pushton were given all the possible weapons and other facilities by the same Pakistani ISI dodging the American Inteligence. On the other hand USA and Karzai left no stone unturned to weaken the Northern Alliance Military and its political power. Talibaan gained their power, which damaged the USA and Afghan peaceful and democratic process seriously.

Meanwhile Shias of Iraq who were the sympathizers of USA and supporters of USA war against Sadam were mishandled by the USA and its Allies after invasion. Americans hit the Shias without any future strategy and logic.May I ask the USA and its Allies, is it possible, that Wahabi who run the whole terrorist network by support of Saudi Arab and Pakistan will give up their IDEOLOGY?

I don’t think, that Wahabis, whose ideology is based on hating others will support USA, Europe and respect Christians, Hindus and other religions, or even the non-Wahabi Muslims, by the false friendship of Saudi King or General Musharaf, the nature and habit of both of them is hypocrisy. While USA and its European Allies are turning more and more moderate Muslims against themselves if not making enemy. In such circumstance, who will be supporter of USA and its Allies after their forces would have left Afghanistan and Iraq.

In my view on one hand, the civilized world including USA, Europe, Russia and China should change their strategy and attitude towards the main financier, exporter of Wahabi ideology, the kingdom of Saudi Arab and perpetrator, Pakistan. On the other hand, the World Community including USA should encourage, help and trust the moderate Muslims (Brelvis, Sophis and other moderate Shia Muslims) but not by weapons, like what it did in the past. I don’t think unless these changes are done, mere praising and helping the terrorist sources (Saudi Arab and Pakistan) terrorism will be vanished. Helping Pakistan Military and Saudi Kingdom has increased and will increase and strengthen the terrorism in the future instead of decreasing it, the past practice has shown this BITTER TRUTH.


Abdul Hamid Khan
Balawaristan National Front (BNF)
Head Off:
Majini Mahla, Gilgit, Balawaristan
(Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan)
WEBSITE (Urdu & English) www.balawaristan. net
EMAIL: balawaristan@