May 30, 2009

How a jilted Karachi woman saved Pak N-programme

How a jilted Karachi woman saved Pak N-programme

Source: The News, Pakistan



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Brig Imtiaz reveals 30-year-old secret

By Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD: As the nation celebrates the eleventh anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests today (May 28), a shocking 30-year-old secret has been exposed. It reveals how a young woman college lecturer, feeling betrayed after a romance with a nuclear scientist of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP), had given a lead to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1978, which in turn had led to the dramatic arrest of 12 Pakistani scientists and engineers, planning to sabotage Pakistan’s nuclear sites at the behest of a superpower.

The startling spy ring was exposed by this female college lecturer of a Karachi Memon family to the then head of ISI Sindh Brig Imtiaz Ahmed (Operation Midnight Jackals fame), only because she wanted revenge from her lover for being unfaithful. The expose led to the arrest of Pakistani scientists who were later given death and life imprisonment sentences by the special tribunal set up by the then president General Ziaul Haq.

Brig (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed broke his silence of over 30 years to share this amazing operation with The News on the eve of the 11th annual celebration of Pakistan going nuclear. He said that while many people take credit for saving our nuclear programme, no one actually knows how an unsung jilted girl had actually ended up saving Pakistan’s nuclear project out of sheer vengeance.

Brig (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed served as director in charge Internal Security ISI for several years in Islamabad and later director general Intelligence Bureau (IB) in the first government of Nawaz Sharif. The then prime minister Benazir Bhutto had put him in jail for about three years on charges of being part of the operation to oust her in 1989 during her first government. Later, General Musharraf also put him in jail for four years till his acquittal by the Lahore High Court. He is the only spymaster of Pakistan who was jailed for eight years, after serving 15 years in the ISI and the IB.

Brig Imtiaz recalled that as a lieutenant colonel he was posted as chief ISI Sindh in 1978. One day he received a telephone call from the sister of A K Brohi, who was a psychologist in Karachi. She informed him that she was treating a female young patient who was suffering from a disease called “secret concealment” wherein a patient could not be cured unless he or she shared this secret with someone.

The lady doctor had confessed to Brig Imtiaz that she had failed to make the girl reveal the secret and thought maybe he could help her. He then went to meet the woman at the clinic. She was very beautiful and had done her Masters in English Literature and was teaching at a local college.

After some initial talk, the woman finally told him that she was carrying a very dangerous secret with her but made it clear that she would not share it even if she was killed. She told him that she knew very well that the intelligence people were not trustworthy, as they usually use the people and then don’t care what had happened to them. Brig Imtiaz told her that if she was not ready to trust him, then he was ready to arrange her meetings with the then DG ISI General Riaz Mohammad (uncle of MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbasi). But, she refused. Brig Imtiaz did not lose heart and told her that he could arrange her meeting with General K M Arif who was then chief of staff to Gen Zia. When she refused again, as a last resort Brig Imtiaz offered to take her to meet President Gen Zia to share this strange secret which had made her life a living hell. But, the woman did not agree to any of these names to share her dangerous secret as she feared she might be killed.

According to Brig Imtiaz, he could have easily picked her up and kept her in a safe house for a few days in isolation to make her reveal the secret but he did not adopt this traditional style of the intelligence officers. For a few days, according to his own version, Brig Imtiaz grappled with the dilemma of whether to wait or to just pick her up and try extracting information through traditional methods.

It was during these days that one day while on his way to Clifton and driving by the consulate of a superpower, he saw a red colour Mazda car bearing a private number plate going inside at a very fast speed but he never really gave it another thought. But later, when he was sitting with the man in Clifton whom he had gone to meet, all of a sudden, his mind started working and he thought of the same red Mazda car and how it was allowed inside the consulate within a few seconds. He immediately ordered his men to stay vigilant outside the consulate and keep a tab on the car when it came out. But the red Mazda did not come out of the consulate building till late at night. Next morning, he went to his office and took out the Karachi metropolitan map and divided it into eight sectors. He gave motorcycles and cars to his ISI people with the directions to keep on roaming in these eight sectors all the time and note the registration numbers of all such red Mazda cars which were very few in those days. This exercise continued for a month but there was no big success. He kept on checking the registration numbers of red Mazda cars but no suspect was found.

One day, he got a red Mazda number which was rented out to someone from a Tariq Road showroom. One Rafique Munshi had rented that car. He had also given his address to the showroom. He was living in Garden East in MPA hostel in a suite. When the credentials of Munshi were checked, Brig Imtiaz came to know that he was working in the KANUPP as an engineer. The brigadier was immediately reminded of the female lecturer and went to meet the Memon lady. He again called the sister of Dr A K Brohi and requested her to arrange a meeting with her patient.

During the meeting, he suddenly asked the lady whether she knew Munshi. As he uttered the name, she started weeping. It took her a while to regain her composure but then she started sharing the secret which she was not ready to share earlier. She admitted that she and Munshi had been class fellows at Karachi University. Both had a serious love affair and he had promised to marry her. She said that they had also developed an illicit sexual relationship. But then he suddenly disappeared from Karachi and she could not trace him anywhere.

After four long years, he suddenly resurfaced in Karachi and was a totally changed man. Before going into hiding, he was a poor guy, but now he was loaded with dollars and leading a luxurious life. She also saw the photograph of a very beautiful foreign girl in his wallet. She then admitted to the brigadier that she was still dating Munshi but felt betrayed and cheated as she believed he had spoiled her life. She told Brig Imtiaz that she was thinking to take revenge from him but then she could not dare because it might have also harmed her.

Then the secret broke. The woman told him that one day, when Munshi left for his office, he left his safe open. She looked at the half-open safe and could not resist the temptation to check its contents. She was startled to see piles of dollars inside along with some official secret files. These papers were related to Pakistan’s nuclear sites and installations. This information was enough for Brig Imtiaz to proceed further as he understood the nature of the secret the woman was carrying with her for so many months and becoming sick in the process.

He asked her to help him get a key to Munshi’s suite so that he could himself inspect the stuff. She provided him the alternate key. With the help of a 70-year-old key-making expert Brig Imtiaz managed to open the foreign made safe and made copies of documents which were primarily questions and the answers related to Pakistan’s nuclear sites and the people working there.

Obviously Engineer Munshi was working for the secret agency of a superpower which used to provide him questions and he used to give them the replies to those questions related to the nuclear programme. This was the same man who was seen taking his red Mazda car inside the foreign consulate. Brig Imtiaz did not touch the dollars and kept putting the documents back after making copies. He now wanted to capture the whole gang, as he came to know through the papers that the agents of this secret agency of a superpower were also present in Kahuta and other important installations where the nuclear programme was being executed.

Munshi was simply playing the role of an agent between the foreign secret agency and Pakistani scientists working at those installations. After a labour of ten months and armed with necessary information, the matter was then brought to the notice of DG ISI Riaz Mohammad.

In the meantime, Brig Imtiaz came to know through those secret communications through papers that Munshi was to meet a foreign secret agent at Hawkes Bay Karachi to hand over some documents. He decided to arrest them red handed. He only took his driver along. When the two were exchanging documents, he tried to arrest them; and to his surprise, the agent shot at him but missed. But he, along with his driver, overpowered them and shifted them to a safe house.

Soon they had the names of 12 other officers at Kahuta and other places who were part of this plan to sabotage the nuclear sites. According to the plot, these nuclear scientists and engineers working on the payroll of a secret agency, were to develop huge technical sabotage of the programme to an extent that it could not have been repaired or fixed for some years to come. They all were arrested from various places in the light of information given by Brig Imtiaz.

It was revealed that actually the foreign secret agency had deputed five handlers from Washington to deal with the nuclear programme of Pakistan. These five foreign handlers included two girls, one of whose photos was seen by the heartbroken girlfriend of Munshi which made her jealous and she decided to take revenge.

Brig Imtiaz was immediately called to Islamabad to give a briefing to General Ziaul Haq The five handlers were immediately told to leave Pakistan and General Zia was said to have called the president of this superpower to register a protest that how his country’s secret agency had tried to sabotage Pakistan’s nuclear programme. Zia was said to have expressed extreme displeasure over this espionage of nuclear programme. But, the president of that superpower was said to have requested Zia not to make it a public issue as it might tarnish his country’s image and Zia obliged him.

A special tribunal was set up to try all those Pakistani scientists and engineers on high treasons charges. The ringleader Munshi was sentenced to death while others were awarded life sentences by the court. But one fine morning, much to his shock, Brig Imtiaz learned that President Zia had commuted the death penalty of Munshi on the recommendation of a top Sindhi leader in exchange for his political support to the Zia regime.

After the arrest of Munshi, Brig Imtiaz met the lady lecture whose tip had led to unfold this international conspiracy against Pakistan nuclear programme. She was devastated and feeling very depressed as she told the ISI officer that she loved Munshi dearly but as he had betrayed her she could not spare him.

The woman had managed to take her revenge from her lover while Brig Imtiaz was happy to unearth such a big conspiracy for which he was later decorated with a Tamgha-e-Basalat by the president of Pakistan for his services to the nation.

“Listen, almost 30 years have passed since this incident, but till date I can’t forget how a heartbroken woman’s commitment to herself to take revenge from her lover had led to the unfolding of this secret, which, if not shared, might have deprived Pakistan of its nuclear assets and we might not be celebrating this day,” remarked Brig Imtiaz while lost in the memories of the past.

SRI LANKA: INDIA'S ROLE

B.RAMAN

Many Sri Lankan Tamils were killed during the anti-Tamil riots in Colombo in 1983. In their anxiety to suppress details of the exact number of fatalities from being known to the international community, the Sri Lankan authorities allegedly decided to secretly burn the dead bodies of the Tamils killed in mass cremations without informing the relatives. Much before any agency of the Government of India, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, came to know about it and took action to stop it.

2. Her information came from Tamil families in Tamil Nadu with links or contacts with Tamils in Sri Lanka, I am mentioning this to underline that if there is any large-scale massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka by State agencies, Tamil families in Tamil Nadu would generally come to know about it much before anybody else in India or in the rest of the world. The fact that there has been no such tom-toming across Tamil Nadu of independent stories----- and not stories disseminated by Western sources--- about large-scale massacre of Tamil civilians in the Northern Province by the Sri Lankan security forces would underline the need for caution in accepting stories being disseminated by Western media and human rights organisations about the alleged massacre of nearly 20,000 Tamils during the final weeks of the Sri Lankan Army's counter-insurgency operations against the LTTE.

3.Had there been really such massacres as alleged by Western sources on the basis of purported leaks from unidentified members of the junior staff of the United Nations, people in Tamil Nadu would have come to know of these alleged massacres long before anybody else. Yes, there was concern over the use of air strikes and heavy artillery by the Sri Lankan security forces. These concerns were voiced by political and non-political elements in Tamil Nadu. There was equally a feeling in Tamil Nadu that the number of casualties suffered by the civilians during the final days of the fighting must have been more than the figures given by the Sri Lankan Government. In counter-insurgency situations, it happens often that the authorities tend to underestimate civilian casualties. We saw it in Iraq and we have been seeing it in Afghanistan. The debate regarding the number of civilian fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan goes on without anybody being to establish the exact figure. But nobody accuses the US-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan of deliberately indulging in large-scale massacres of civilians. Nobody is asking for an international tribunal to try those in charge of operations in those two countries.

4. A campaign has been started in the West to embarrass the Sri Lankan Government and to put its senior officers, who were in charge of counter-insurgency, in the dock by disseminating unauthenticated high figures of civilian fatalities in the Northern Province. India should keep away from this campaign, which seems to be motivated not necessarily by wholly humanitarian considerations. India is uniquely placed in having a better and more objective idea of what happened in the Northern Province and should act according to its judgement without being influenced by the anti-Colombo campaign mounted in the West.
5. Now that the LTTE's insurgency is over, three issues have acquired priority. The first priority is relief and rehabilitation of the Tamil civilians affected by the counter-insurgency operations. The second is post-conflict economic reconstruction in Sri Lanka as a whole and in the Tamil areas in particular. The third is addressing the Tamil anger through an appropriate political package. The LTTE may be gone, but not the Tamil anger.

6. Since the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and more particularly since 2002, India has been playing second fiddle in Sri Lanka. It has left it to Western powers such as Norway and the US as well as to Japan to play an activist role in helping Sri Lanka. The time has come for India to once again play an activist role in respect of all the priorities cited above. India should assume the leadership role in helping Sri Lanka in its relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction tasks.

7. The goodwill for India in Sri Lanka has never been higher than it is after the defeat of the LTTE. It is not because India played any active role in its defeat. It is because India did not try to hamper the counter-insurgency operations of the Sri Lankan security forces. This was interpreted by them as India's moral support for their operations. Many Sri Lankans with whom I have interacted in recent weeks have frankly admitted that India's moral support was much more crucial than any material support from Pakistan or China in their counter-insurgency operations.

8. India should try to build up on this goodwill and strengthen it further by taking the leadership role in international efforts to help Sri Lanka after the conflict. If this goodwill is not frittered away and is strengthened further, that could give India a moral authority to nudge the Sri Lankan Government towards a politicasl solution which would be meaningful to the Tamils and acceptable to the Sinhalese.

9. In many articles in the past, I had expressed my fears that once the SL security forces win against the LTTE, the SL Government would try to impose a dictated peace on the Tamils. Those fears remain. All the more reason for India to play the leadership role to ensure that these fears are belied. These fears, even if valid, should not be allowed to inhibit our initiatives in Sri Lanka. (31-5-09)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com)

Suicide Attack in Iranian Balochistan

By B. Raman

According to the Government-controlled Iranian media, 30 persons were killed and over 180 injured on May 28, 2009, in a suspected suicide bomb blast at the Amir-al Momenin Shia mosque in Zahidan, the capital of Iranian Balochistan, called Sistan-Balochistan. It is the second largest Shia mosque in Zahidan. Mainly Shia Government servants and members of the security forces pray there.

2. The province of Sistan-Balochistan has around 3.5 million Balochs, the majority of them Sunnis. The province has been the scene of frequent incidents of violence unconnected with the liberation struggle being waged by the Balochs in Pakistan's Balochistan province for over three years now. There are close ethnic and religious links between the two Baloch communities on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border. Iranian Balochistan also has a common border with Afghanistan.


Interview of Abul Malik Regi in URDU, denying links to Taliban and Alquida. MUST WATCH







3. Ali Mohammad Azad, the Governor-General of the province, was quoted by the Iranian Fars news agency as saying: "It was a terrorist attack. The bomb was exploded by a terrorist. Soon after the explosion, members of a terrorist group who wanted to get out of Zahidan were arrested."

4. The responsibility for the violent incidents in Iranian Balochistan in the past had been claimed by an organisation called Jondollah (Soldiers of Allah), which projects itself as the People's Resistance Movement of Iran and not as the People's Resistance Movement of Sistan-Balochistan. It has no links with any of the Baloch nationalist organisations in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. In the past, there were reports of its having links with the anti-Shia Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi of Pakistan. In the 1990s, there were reports that a major explosion in the province was organised by Ramzi Yousef, who is now undergoing imprisonment in the US for his involvement in the attempt to blow up the World Trade Centre in New York in February, 1993. The Jondollah seems to be more a Sunni extremist than a Baloch nationalist organisation.

5. The Jondollah has claimed that 130 members of the Iranian security forces were actually killed in the Zahidan attack. A statement attributed to Jondollah says: "This incident has been organised in response to one week of Omar Denunciation Ceremonies which the fanatic Shias and security forces organised to curse Omar, the second Caliph, whom they blame for killing Fatema, the daughter of Prophet Mohammad. The false and fabricated narrative has been officially recognized in Iran as a fact and therefore, Iranian authorities have initiated a large number of denunciation ceremonies in which the second Caiph is cursed by the speakers and audience; even though Ayatollah Khamenaei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, announced three weeks ago that any action that may generate divisions among Moslems is treason. The Shia leaders and followers are famous for what they call Taghiya, which means lying for the sake of Islam but now it has been turned in Iran as an official way of misleading and deceiving the public and opponents, saying something in the public and doing something else. If the supreme leader really believed in what he said, organising such incidents should have been prohibited by law and if anybody acted against the law, should have been arrested and tried for generating severe divisions among Moslems. The authorities have blamed the US for hiring terrorists who carried out the suicide bombing. Jondollah categorically rejects this claim. It does not have any kind of relationship or any kind of support from the US or any other country. This action was in response to systematic and regular insults to the beliefs of Sunni Muslims in Iran and wide discrimination against the Baloch people. We reject the Government’s claim that we are a terrorist organization. We are a defensive organization and act according to international law of self-defence by the same strategy and equipments the Iranian governments are using against us. Several religious leaders and hundreds of Baloch youth have been killed or hanged by the Islamic Republic of Iran just for their beliefs after severe and long torture. The Islamic Republic of Iran has destroyed several Sunni mosques and has hanged several top religious leaders of Sunni people in Iran."

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com)

May 29, 2009

Advanced European UAV project gets green light

Source: http://www.c4isrjournal.com/story.php?F=4112764

By TIM MAHON
May 28, 2009

Representatives of France, Germany and Spain have marked the end of the 15-month risk reduction study for the joint Advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) project, EADS Defence & Security announced May 28.

Awarded to EADS in late 2007, the first draft of the report resulting from the study was submitted to the partner nations in December 2008 and the final draft in April.
Delivery and acceptance of the study clear the way for development to continue toward first flight date of 2013. This would be followed by delivery of the first production standard UAV in 2015, according to EADS.

France and Germany have urgent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) requirements that the Advanced UAV proposal is intended to meet. The eventual total budget is estimated at over 2.2 billion Euros ($3 billion) and France is looking to procure10 complete systems, according to EADS. France is using the EADS Système Intérimaire de Drone MALE (SIDM) UAV as an interim ISTAR solution in Afghanistan currently. SIDM has recently logged its 100th operational flight in theater.

Germany is seeking an unknown number of systems to supplement and/or replace its Tornado aircraft currently dedicated to the low-level reconnaissance role. The Spanish requirement is not yet defined, although the entire program is aimed at harmonizing the technical and operational requirements of all three nations.
Part of the outcome of the study has been a decision to focus development on a long-wing, high-altitude UAV with extended loiter time, dropping proposals for a faster, smaller air vehicle. The study also confirmed the decision to stay with a twin-engined design.

“The twin-jet propulsion system of the Advanced UAV will not only supply ample on-board energy for the satellite communications, sensors and data links, but also safeguard secure flight conditions in the densely populated skies over Europe,” said Nicolas Chaumussy, senior vice president for mission air systems at EADS Defence & Security Military Air Systems.

EADS, Thales and Spain’s Indra are developing the Advanced UAV under a 60 million Euro program jointly funded by all three nations. It will “incorporate the most modern, modular sensor suite and data links, which are vital for sustainable and reliable ISTAR missions, which contemporary off-the-shelf platforms can never achieve,” Chaumussy said.

The consortium is competing against a rival proposal from Dassault Aviation, Thales and Indra, based on the Israeli Heron TP long-endurance, medium altitude system.

Backing Ahmadinejad

29 May 2009



Why is Iran's Supreme Leader backing Ahmadinejad's re-election bid? ISN Security Watch’s Kamal Nazer Yasin in Tehran examines why he is risking all on the president.

By Kamal Nazer Yasin in Tehran for ISN Security Watch




This year's election season in Iran, now in full swing, has experienced many bizarre political twists and turns, but perhaps the greatest surprise of all is the enthusiastic support Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is offering President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he makes a bid for a second term in office.

"This is unprecedented in the annals of the Islamic Republic," one veteran Iranian journalist and political observer commented for ISN Security Watch. "Never has Mr Khamenei openly endorsed a candidate in a presidential race before. Never."

Even before Khamenei, the late Ayatollah Khomeini had refrained from openly taking sides in elections. "They both stayed above the factional fray," added the journalist, who asked not to be named.

Signs

The first sign that the Supreme Leader was endorsing Ahmadinejad for a second term came on 24 August. Speaking to the president and his cabinet on the occasion of so-called Government Week, he said: "Imagine that in addition to this year, another four years will be under your management [...] plan accordingly."

Three months later, he sharply criticized Ahmadinejad's detractors for "blackening" the government's record. "This unbridled atmosphere of denigration [against the government] is not something that can be forgiven by God easily," he said on 6 November.

Then, on 14 December, he appeared to compare the reformist presidential hopeful, Mohammad Khatami, with a weak and despised Persian king. Later, in a meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts, he extolled the government's record, calling it "far above normal" and even "beyond belief." In the same meeting, he said some of Ahmadinejad's critics had a "wicked will" and a "negative, small-minded and fear-addled viewpoint."

Force multipliers

Lately, as election day approaches, the spate of Supreme Leader blanket endorsements for Ahmadinejad has multiplied. In the last two weeks alone, Ayatollah Khamenei has on four separate occasions come to the defense of the president. At one point, he railed against those critics that he said were engaged in “misleading the public."

"I know much more than these gentlemen about the state of the country. I know that much of what these people are saying about the state of the nation and the economy is flat false. They are just mistaken," he stated.

The vehemence with which Ayatollah Khamenei has supported an Ahmadinejad’s re-election bid has kept scores of potential presidential contenders, all with conservative leanings, from entering the race. Some of these would-be contenders - such as Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and dismissed interior minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi - had even put together an embryonic organizational structure for the campaign. Many of them bowed out reluctantly out of respect for the Supreme Leader's wish, while others saw Ahmadinejad’s re-election as a foregone conclusion.

Rogue elephant among the elite

The Supreme Leader's decision to back Ahmadinejad is all the more surprising since the incumbent president is widely considered as something of a rogue elephant among the elite. His erratic leadership style, his economic ignorance and his highly tendentious view of the world have caused considerable distress among clerical and civilian circles.

For instance, in recent days, the two key clerical groupings in Iran - the Association of the Combatant Clergy and the Association of Qum's Theological Teachers - have both witnessed unprecedented rifts within their ranks, all caused by the contentious issue of Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

Supreme risk

The question to ponder is why has Ayatollah Khamenei, whose unrivaled status partly derives from the proof of his political acumen and his perceived even-handedness, has risked all on someone like Ahmadinejad, whose every wrong move can now come back to haunt the ayatollah.

The Supreme Leader himself has not indicated why he has chosen this strategy.

However, a careful compilation of Ayatollah Khamenei's words of praise for the government shows that a majority of these are centered on three main traits: Ahmadinejad's supposed egalitarian ethos, his pride in and flaunting of his Islamic roots, and his steadfastness in foreign policy concerns, with a stronger focus on the latter.

Mehdi Koochakzad, a leader of the parliament's pro-Ahmadinejad faction, the Islamic Revolution Bloc, told the hard-line newspaper Yalesarat recently that he thought the Supreme Leader's main praise of Ahmadinejad was related to the latter's foreign policy assertiveness.

A well-known far right ideologue agrees with this sentiment in a 24 May interview given to the Vatan Emrouz newspaper, which is run by an associate of Ahmadinejad. In a very long interview, former Revolutionary Guards member Hassan Abassi, who heads the Center for Doctrinal Analysis, offers a theoretical and ideological foundation for the Islamic Republic's foreign policy assertiveness in the new century. Claiming that this century will see "the fall of the American Empire and other idols," Abassi opines that the Islamic Republic should offer to the world an alternative model – a model idea he claims both Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader fully share.

But this begs yet another question: Why is Ahmadinejad deemed a superior candidate for conducting an assertive foreign policy when there are at least a dozen more competent individuals with strong conservative credentials who could have fit the bill?

There are several reasons for this. The first is that although all the other candidates would have been strongly attentive to the Supreme Leader's wishes and directives, they would not have been beholden to him or slavish in their obedience. Before becoming president, Ahmadinejad was first an obscure governor from a small state and then mayor of Tehran, neither occupation being considered heavyweight. Therefore, as a national figure, he owes his entire power and prestige to Ayatollah Khamenei, whose pivotal decision to back him in June 2005 led to his disciple’s meteoric rise. This cannot be said of the other men who have all come into prominence independent of the Supreme Leader's support.

Second, over the last four years, Ahmadinejad has built an impressive constituency among young Muslim militants, which can be put to use in times of great emergency.

Third, the Supreme Leader is said to fear a breakdown of talks with the 5+1 Group (France, Britain, China, Russia and the US, plus Germany) and the Obama administration over the nuclear issue, which would almost certainly result in a deterioration of relations with the outside world. Clearly, in such an eventuality, only a bold and fearless leader would do to help steer the country in turbulent times.




Kamal Nazer Yasin is the pseudonym of an Iranian journalist reporting for ISN Security Watch from Tehran.

Russia wants CSTO to be as strong as NATO - paper

MOSCOW, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is planning to build a strong military contingent in Central Asia within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) comparable to NATO forces in Europe, a Russian business daily said on Friday.

The CSTO, a post-Soviet regional security bloc comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, has already agreed to create a joint rapid-reaction force, but Russia is preparing a new, larger-scale project.

"The work is being conducted in all areas, and a number of documents have been adopted," the Kommersant newspaper quoted an unidentified source in the Foreign Ministry as saying.

"It will be a purely military structure, built to ensure security in Central Asia in case of an act of aggression," the source said.

Russia already has joint military contingents with Belarus and Armenia in the CSTO framework.

The new force will comprise large military units from five countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

"It will include armored and artillery units, and a naval flotilla in the Caspian Sea," CSTO press secretary Vitaly Strugovets said earlier.

The creation of a powerful military contingent in Central Asia reflects Moscow's drive to make the CSTO a pro-Russian military bloc, rivaling NATO forces in Europe.

Russia's security strategy until 2020, recently approved by President Dmitry Medvedev, envisions the CSTO as "a key mechanism to counter regional military challenges and threats."

CSTO leaders are scheduled to gather for a summit in Moscow on June 14 to sign an agreement on the creation of a joint rapid-reaction force as an interim step toward the creation of a larger military grouping.

The rapid-reaction force will include an airborne division and an air assault brigade from Russia, and an air assault brigade from Kazakhstan. The remaining members will contribute a battalion-size force each, although Uzbekistan would "delegate" its detachments to take part in operations on an ad hoc basis

Obama to name White House cybersecurity czar

President Barack Obama said he will name a White House-level czar to coordinate government efforts to fight cybercrime, saying such acts have become epidemic and even touched his presidential campaign.

"Cyberspace is real and so are the risks that come with it," said Obama in remarks at the White House in which he discussed threats to the nation's digital infrastructure from organized crime, industrial spies and international espionage.

Obama said he would name an official to coordinate cybersecurity policies across the government and organize a response to any major cyber attack.

"I'm creating a new office here at the White House that will be led by the cybersecurity coordinator. Because of the critical importance of this work, I will personally select this official," said Obama. "This official will have my full support and regular access to me."

Obama said his administration would not dictate cybersecurity standards for private companies but would strengthen public-private partnerships and invest in research to develop better ways to secure information infrastructure.

He also stressed the importance of privacy. "Our pursuit of cybersecurity will not -- I repeat, will not -- include monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic."

Holes in U.S. cybersecurity defenses have allowed major incidents of thefts of personal identity, money, intellectual property and corporate secrets. They also allowed a penetration of Obama's campaign.

"What isn't widely known is that during the general election hackers managed to penetrate our computer systems," said Obama. "Between August and October, hackers gained access to emails and a range of campaign files, from policy position papers to travel plans."



HATHAWAY REPORT

The cybersecurity review, headed by Melissa Hathaway, had urged the president to name a White House coordinator to oversee cybersecurity.

The report, requested by Obama in February, also urged the creation of a strong National Security Council directorate on cybersecurity with a privacy official attached to it.

Other recommendations included preparation of a national strategy to secure U.S. digital networks and stronger international partnerships to fight cybercrime and espionage.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the Pentagon planned to create a new military command to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said Friday's announcement could presage a surge in spending on security software purchased from companies like Symantec Corp and McAfee Inc, both of which have some government sales. "We've heard for so long the government was going to spend. Finally the ball is going to start rolling."

John Stewart, Cisco's chief security officer, said some of the important next steps would be on the international stage.

"There's going to be a need for massive international cooperation in all this," he said. "This will show up in varying venues, (like) trade negotiations."

Phillip Dunkelberger, president of security company PGP Corp, said he was hoping for focus what would be done to secure the U.S. digital network -- for example, some idea of what the next generation of security architecture would look like.

The cybersecurity report was posted at

http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/Cyberspace_Policy_Re view_final.pdf

Why Taliban Attacked ISI at Lahore?

By B. Raman

A question from a journalist working for an American newspaper asks: "Why has the Taliban attacked the ISI? Isn't that like biting the hand that feeds?"

2. This question was in pursuance of the commando-style attack at Lahore on May 27, 2009, which targeted the Lahore Police and the local office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), killing 15 police officers, one Lt. Col. of the ISI and 10 other persons.

3. While analysing the Lahore attack, one has to keep in mind certain ground realities. The first ground reality is that there are Talibans and Talibans and in each Taliban, there are mini-Talibans. As I had mentioned in one of my past articles, there are virtually as many Talibans in the Pashtun belt as there are tribal sirdars (leaders). The second ground reality is the clear distinction in behaviour and operations between the Neo Taliban of Afghanistan headed Mullah Mohammad Omar, based in Quetta, and the various Pakistani Talibans led by tribal sirdars such as Baitullah Mehsud of South Waziristan, Hakemullah Mehsud, who is responsible for operations in the Khyber, Kurrum and Orakzai areas, Maulana Fazlullah of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), who is a son of the Swat soil, and Sufi Mohammad, his father-in-law, who is actually from Dir and not Swat. Of these various Talibans, only the Neo Taliban of Mullah Mohammad Omar, which was created by the ISI in 1994 when Benazir Bhutoo was the Prime Minister, still owes its loyalty to the ISI and the Pakistan Government. The Neo Taliban is active against the US-led NATO forces in Afghan territory from sanctuaries in Pakistan, but it has never been involved in an act of terrorism in Pakistani territory against Pakistani targets----whether from the Army or the ISI or the Police. All the attacks in Pakistani territory on Pakistani Govt. targets were carried out by different Pakistani Taliban groups or by the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JED), which has transferred its headquarters from Bahawalpur to Swat, and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), an anti-Shia terrorist organisation.

4. The third ground reality is the distinction between the Pakistani Punjabi Taliban and the Pakistani Pashtun Taliban, All of them advocate the same Wahabised Islamic ideology based on the Sharia, but their ethnic composition differs. The term Punjabi Taliban is used to refer to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), the Lashkar-Toiba (LET), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) and the LEJ. Punjabis constitute the majority of their cadres. All of them except the JEM are of the 1980s/ 1990s vintage. The JEM was born in 2000 through a split in the HUM. Of these organisations, the LET, like the Neo Taliban, is the favoured tool of the ISI, which uses the Neo Taliban in Afghanistan and the LET against India. Like the Neo Taliban, the LET too has never attacked a Pakistani target in Pakistani territory. In fact, there has never been a confirmed instance of an attack by the LET on foreign targets in Pakistani territory lest it create problems from the ISI. The JEM and the LEJ never hesitate to attack Pakistani Government targets, either on their own or at the instance of Al Qaeda. The attitude of the HUM and the HUJI is ambivalent.

5. The fourth ground reality is that while the Pakistani Punjabi Taliban and the Neo Taliban have been in existence for over a decade, the Pakistani Pashtun Talibans are a product of the commando raid into the Lal Masjid in Islamabad in July, 2007, in which a large number of Pashtun tribal children, many of them girls, were killed. It was after this that tribal sirdars such Fazlullah, Baitullah and Hakeemullah called for a jihad against the Pakistan Army and the ISI in retaliation for the raid. While the TNSM has been in existence since the early 1990s, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) came into existence after the Lal Masjid raid.

6. The various tribal sirdars, who are supporting the TTP, repeatedly make the following points: Firstly, they did not want to fight against the Pakistan Army. It was the Army which forced them to take to arms against it by raiding the Lal Masjid and killing their children. Secondly, their real enemy is the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan and not the Pakistan Army. They are fighting against the Pakistan Army because it prevents them from assisting the Neo Taliban against the US-led NATO forces. Thirdly, they will stop fighting against the Pakistan Army if it makes amends for the alleged massacre of tribal children in the Lal Masjid, removes restrictions on their going into Afghanistan to fight against the US-led NATO troops and stops assisting the US-led NATO troops in their war against the Neo Taliban.

7. The Pakisan Army is facing difficulties in its operations against the various Pakistani Pashtun Taliban groups because they have many Pashtun ex-servicemen assisting them----retired officers as well as other ranks. The attack by the Pakistani Taliban against the ISI at Lahore was not its first attack against the ISI. It had attacked the ISI twice before in Islamabad/ Rawalpindi, inflicting even heavier casualties than it was able to do in Lahore.

8. In this connection, I am annexing two of my previous articles---- one of November 25, 2007, titled "Jihadis Strike At Pak Army & ISI Again" and the other of December 3, 2007, titled "Well-Trained Insurgent Force in Swat."

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com)



ANNEXURES

"Jihadis Strike at Pak Army & ISI again" (http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers25/paper2475.html)

By B. Raman

Physical security regulations in the office of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) at Rawalpindi exempt officers of the rank of Brigadier and above coming in their own vehicle from frisking at the outer gate. They undergo a frisking only after they have entered the premises, parked their car in the space allotted to them in the garage and then enter the building in which their office is located. Officers below the rank of Brigadier undergo frisking twice, whether they are in their own vehicle or in a bus ----at the outer gate and again inside before they enter the building. At the outer gate, they have to get out of their vehicle, undergo frisking and then get into their vehicle and drive in.

2. Since all officers travel in civilian clothes in unmarked vehicles, which cannot be identified with the Army or the ISI, there is a special hand signalling system for Brigadiers and above by which the security staff at the outer gate can recognise their rank and let them drive in without undergoing frisking. This hand signalling is changed frequently.

3. On the morning of November 24, 2007, a car reached the outer gate and the man inside showed a hand signal, which was in use till the previous day. It had been changed on November 23 and a new signal was in force from the morning of November 24, 2007. He was not aware of it. The security staff got suspicious and did not allow the car to drive in. They asked the man driving it to get out for questioning and frisking. He blew himself up.

4. As he did so, an unmarked chartered bus carrying over 40 civilian and junior military employees of the ISI reached the outer gate and stopped so that those inside can get out for frisking. The bus bore the brunt of the explosion, which caused the death of about 35 persons---- from among those inside the bus as well as the security staff. The Pakistani authorities have admitted the death of only 18 persons.

5. Around the same time, a man driving a vehicle towards the premises of the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army in another part of Rawalpindi was stopped by the security staff at a physical security barrier. He blew himself up killing two of the security staff. The offices of Gen. Pervez Musharraf in his capacity as the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) and of Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, the Vice Chief of Army Staff, are located in the GHQ.

7. These two well-synchronised suicide strikes in Rawalpindi, the sanctum sanctorum of Pakistan's military-intelligence establishment, have come about six weeks after a similar attack targeting the ISI and the Army at Rawalpindi at the same time. On September 4, 2007. a suicide attacker blew himself up after boarding a bus carrying ISI employees. A roadside bomb went off near a commercial area in Rawalpindi, while a car carrying an unidentified senior Army officer to the GHQ was passing. Twenty-five persons died in the two attacks. The Army officer escaped unhurt. On October 30, 2007, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint several hundred yards from the GHQ killing seven persons, most of the from the security staff.

8. Since the Pakistan Army's commando raid into the Lal Masjid of Islamabad from July 10 to 13, 2007, there have been two targeted attacks near the GHQ in Rawalpindi, two attacks on the ISI also at Rawalpindi, one attack on officers of the Special Services Group (SSG), the US-trained and US-assisted special forces unit to which Musharraf himself used to belong, in their mess at their headquarters in Tarbella and one attack on a bus carrying Air Force officers to the Pakistan Air Force base in Sargodha. There were many attacks targeting police officers too. These were the targeted attacks outside the tribal belt. There have been many more suicide attacks targeting security and intelligence personnel inside the tribal belt.

9. The two attacks near the GHQ were not based on any inside information. The suicide bomber took his chance hoping that he would not be frisked at the security barrier. When the security staff insisted on frisking him, he blew himself up. The two attacks directed at the ISI and the PAF were based on inside information. In the case of the explosion at the outer gate of the ISI complex on November 24, 2007, the suicide bomber was aware of the hand signalling code for Brigadiers and above. However, he was not aware that the signal code had been changed the previous day. Since these codes are communicated personally to Brigadiers and above, their existence is supposed to be known only to Brigadiers and above and the physical security staff. The suicide bomber's inside accomplice was either an ISI officer of the rank of Brigadier or above or a member of the physical security staff. According to sources, the suicide attack in the SSG mess was carried out by a Pashtun officer of the SSG while taking dinner in the mess with his colleagues. The SSG had carried out the raid into the Lal Masjid.

10. The twin bombings of November 24, 2007, came three days after the Attorney-General of Musharraf's Government had told the rubber-stamp Supreme Court bench hearing a petition agains the imposition of the Emergency that the security situation had improved after the imposition of the Emergency on November 3, 2007, and that suicide attacks in non-tribal areas had stopped. This was one of the arguments used by the court to dismiss the petition against the Emergency.

11. There are two alarming aspects of the security situation in Pakistan. The first is the upsurge in acts of suicide terrorism directed against security and intelligence personnel and their establishments. These give clear evidence of the penetration of jihadi elements inside the Armed Forces, the intelligence agencies and the Police. The second is the inability or unwillingness of the Police to vigorously investigate these incidents, including the attempt to kill Mrs. Benazir Bhutto in Karachi on October 18, 2007. Nobody knows definitively till today who are responsible for these suicide attacks---- tribal followers of Baitullah Mehsud of South Waziristan or those of Maulana Fazlullah of the Swat Valley or the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), the anti-Shia sectarian organisation, or Al Qaeda and its Uzbek associates or the angry students of the two madrasas run by the Lal Masjid?

12. The Rawalpindi cantonment where the headquarters of the Army and other sensitive units of the Pakistan Army and the ISI are located, and the adjoining Islamabad, the capital, where the headquarters of the federal Government and the National Assembly are located, had seen terrorist strikes even in the past. Amongst them, one could mention the 1989 explosion in the Rawalpindi office of Dr. Farooq Haider, the then President of one of the factions of the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which was attributed to a rival faction led by Amanullah Khan; the explosion outside the Egyptian Embassy at Islamabad in the 1990s, which was attributed to some Egyptian opponents of President Hosni Mubarak; the grenade attack inside an Islamabad church frequented by the diplomatic community in March 2002 in which the wife of a US diplomat and their daughter were killed; the unsolved assassination of Maulana Azam Tariq, the Amir of the Sipah-eSahaba, Pakistan, the political wing of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, at Islamabad in 2003, the terrorist attack on a a group of workers of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of Benazir Bhutto in Islamabad earlier this year, the alleged firing of a rocket on Musharraf's plane from the terrace of a house in Islamabad again earlier this year and the alleged firing of rockets by unidentified elements from a park in Islamabad last year.

13. If one leaves aside the JKLF factional politics, the only terrorist organisations which had operated in the Islamabad-Rawalpindi area in the past (before July 2007) were the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), which was blamed for the church grenade attack; the Sipah Mohammad, the Shia terrorist organisation, which was suspected in the murder of Azam Tariq; and Al Qaeda. Many Pakistani and Kashmiri jihadi organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) etc have their offices in Rawalpindi, but do not indulge in terrorist activities there.

14. There was no evidence to show that the Egyptians responsible for the explosion outside the Egyptian Embassy were then the followers of Osama bin Laden. The first indication of some local support for Al Qaeda in Rawalpindi came in March, 2003, when Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM), supposedly the man who co-ordinated the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US, was arrested from the house of a women's wing leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) in Rawalpindi by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to the USA's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

15. KSM was living in Karachi till September, 2002, when he fled from there to Quetta in Balochistan following the arrest of Ramzi Binalshibh, another Al Qaeda operative there. From Quetta, he shifted to Rawalpindi in the beginning of 2003, fearing betrayal by the Shias of Quetta. After his arrest, no thorough enquiries would appear to have been made either by the ISI or the Police to determine why he took shelter in Rawalpindi, a highly guarded military cantonment. Did he and/or Al Qaeda have any other accomplices in Rawalpindi, in addition to the JEI leader and the members of her family, who included one junior Army officer belonging to a signals battalion, who was also detained for interrogation? Did Al Qaeda or the Pakistani organisations allied to it in the International Islamic Front (IIF) have a sleeper cell or cells in the cantonment? If they had, the sleeper cells could have functioned undetected only with the complicity of at least some in the Armed Forces.

16. After the arrest and the handing-over of KSM to the US, anti-Musharraf and pro-jihadi pamphlets typed on the official letter-head used in the army offices in the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi started circulating in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The ISI and the Police were unable to determine who was circulating these pamphlets and no arrests were made in this connection. Instead, a leader of the Nawaz Sharif-led faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, who drew the attention of the National Assembly and the public to these pamphlets, was ordered to be arrested by Musharraf on a charge of treason.

17. Then followed the two serious assassination attempts on Musharraf as he was commuting between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The first on December 14, 2003, was made immediately after he had returned by air from Karachi. The second on December 25, 2003, was made when he was doing one of his daily commutings between his residence in Rawalpindi and his office in Islamabad, a distance of about 12 miles.

18. After the April, 2003, arrest in Karachi of Waleed bin Attash of Al Qaeda, one of the suspects in the case relating to the Al Qaeda attack on the US naval ship USS Cole at Aden in October, 2000, many of the Al Qaeda members living in Karachi were reported to have shifted to the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Balochistan , the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Rawalpindi.

19. Their shifting to Rawalpindi and taking shelter there would not have been possible without the complicity of not only the Pakistani jihadi groups, but also supporters in the Armed Forces and the police. The Pakistani security agencies have not been able to identify and dismantle Al Qaeda and IIF cells in the Rawalpindi cantonment. The fact that the perpetrators of the two attacks of December, 2003, on Musharraf, whether they belonged to Al Qaeda or to any of the Pakistani components of the IIF, chose to act on both the occasions from Rawalpindi instead of Karachi where Musharraf was before the first attack on December 14 showed their confidence in being able to operate undetected from Rawalpindi rather than from Karachi. Pakistani investigators claimed to have established that the two unsuccessful attacks on Musharraf were jointly carried out by Al Qaeda and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), with the complicity of some junior officers of the Army and the Air Force, who were identified and arrested.

20. Pakistani Police sources also say that apart from Al Qaeda and its associates, the Hizbut Tehrir (HUT) has also many followers and sympathisers in the lower and middle levels of the Armed Forces, but it has not so far indulged in any act of terrorism in Pakistani territory. Its terrorism has been confined to the Central Asian Republics.

21. It is intriguing that after the March, 2002, attack on some Americans inside an Islamabad church, there has been no terrorist strike or attempted strike targeting US nationals or interests in the Islamabad area. Attacks targeting Americans have been confined to the Karachi area. No explanation for this has been forthcoming.


"Well-Trained Insurgent Force in Swat" (http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers25/paper2486.html)

By B. Raman

Despite optimistic claims put out by the Pakistan Army every day with inflated body counts of hostiles killed or captured, it is apparent its ground operations against the forces of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in the Swat Valley of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) continue to face difficulties. The TNSM volunteers, many of whom lost their daughters during the Army's commando action in the Lal Masjid of Islamabad from July 10 to 13, 2007, have proved themselves to be not just a small group of desperate suicide terrorists, but a small, well-trained, well-motivated, well-organised insurgent army capable of fighting small-scale conventional battles on the ground.

2. The guerilla tactics----reminiscent of those of the Neo Taliban in Afghanistan--- adopted by them to harass the Army and para-military forces continue to disrupt movement of reinforcements and supplies in the area of operations. The insurgents have been able to stand and fight an army far superior in training and in the arms and ammunition in its possession. Despite their lack of anti-air capability, they have not been frightened by the frequent use of helicopter gunships by the army against the positions controlled by the insurgents. Well-informed police sources in the NWFP say that many of the volunteers of the TNSM are well-trained Pashtun ex-servicemen.

3. Embarrassed by the long time taken (three weeks) by the Army to prevail over the volunteers of the TNSM, military spokesmen are now putting out stories that even though the Army had been deployed in the Swat Valley, the ground operations are still being conducted by the para-military forces---namely the Frontier Corps and the Frontier Constabulary.

4. The Army's efforts to persuade Maulana Sufi Mohammad, the founder of the TNSM, who has been under arrest since 2002, to appeal to Maulana Fazlullah, his son-in-law, and his force to give up fighting have not succeeded. Sufi Mohammad has not said no, but he has reportedly been demanding that he should be released so that he could go back to his people and talk to them. The Army does not want to accept this demand lest he take over the leadership of the insurgent force and continue fighting against the Army.

5. Both Maulana Fazlullah, to whom informal approaches were made through pro-Government tribal intermediaries, and Maulana Sufi Mohammad, presently in a hospital in Dera Ismail Khan for a medical check-up, have reportedly been saying that they were fighting against the American forces in Afghanistan, but not against the Pakistan Army and alleging that it was the Pakistan Army that forced them to fight against it by killing a large number of tribal girls in the Lal Masjid.

6. Fazlullah and Sufi Mohammad have also reportedly told the Army that they would be prepared to call off the fighting if President Musharraf apologises for the commando action in the Lal Masjid, proclaims the Shariat law in the entire Malakand Division and allows the TNSM volunteers to go back into Afghanistan and re-join the Neo Taliban in its operations against the Americans. They have been denying any links with Al Qaeda.

7. Contrary to the claims of the Army that it has silenced the FM radio station operated by Fazlullah, he continues to boadcast to his followers from unidentified locations. The Army, which has brought in more reinforcements to the Valley, has realised that it may not be able to defeat the insurgents quickly. Its present strategy is to push them into the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and keep them confined there so that normalcy can be restored in the Swat Valley before the forthcoming elections. According to these police sources, the insurgents have till now been refusing to accept an Army offer of safe passage into the FATA in return for their vacating the areas controlled by them.

May 27, 2009

USA's enforced democracy plan turns Middle East into one big gaping wound

26.05.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru URL: http://english.pravda.ru/world/asia/107625-middle_east-0

George W. Bush unveiled his plan to spread democracy in the Middle East – from Pakistan to Morocco – in 2004. The United States decided to implement the plan despite the criticism from many other Western countries. The propaganda of democracy resulted in blood shed in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Bush did not achieve his goal; Barack Obama has not suggested anything new yet. If the US administration does not change its politics, both the Middle East and the United States will have to face a serious danger.

Hardly had Barack Obama come to power, he said that stabilizing the situation in the Middle East was one of the first priorities of his team. When George W. Bush presented his plan to enforce democracy in the region, then-President of France Jacques Chirac stated that it was up for the countries of the Middle East to decide if they needed “missionaries of democracy.” The majority of other G8 leaders shared Chirac’s opinion on the matter.

Bush’s plan stipulated the interference into internal affairs of the region’s states. Those who supported Bush’s initiative claim that his plan was justifiable because the situation in the Middle East posed a serious danger to the world.

As a matter of fact, such dangers should be discussed at the UN Security Council. It is the UN Security Council that must determine the measures to neutralize the danger. However, all countries of the Middle East were supposed to accept the Western system of democracy in accordance with Bush’s plan.

Russia’s former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov stated that the US plan of enforcing democracy in other countries could be compared to the Trotskyists propagating the export of revolution during the 1920s. “They were not confused about the fact that the countries, which they selected, had no vestiges of the revolutionary situation. This is why their export failed,” Mr. Primakov said.

Europe was the center of the US-led foreign politics during the 20th century. The 9/11 terrorist attacks changed the priorities, and the USA became entirely concentrated on the territory from Pakistan to Northern Africa. The region’s immense crude resources and Israel ’s actions in the region became the central battlefield with those who stood up against the USA ’s global interests. As a result, many countries of the Middle East found themselves in chaos because of George W. Bush’s plan.

Experts say that the number of casualties in Iraq exceeded the number of victims of genocide in Rwanda during the 1990s. US troops and their allies suffer serious loses in Afghanistan. A civil war gripped Lebanon. Palestine is in the middle of the humanitarian catastrophe because of Israel’s repressions. The situation in Pakistan is at the peak of its tension, not to mention the growing confrontation between Syria and Israel.

The USA was approaching all those conflicts as the struggle between good and evil. In the Middle East, the conflicts led to the growing number of refugees, as well as illegal arms and drug deals. The instability and the ongoing military standoff have exhausted the states of the region. For example, there is no system of joint governmental authorities in Afghanistan. The country suffers from the humanitarian crisis; the production of drugs has increased 44 times within 7.5 years.

The blockade of Iraq, which continued for nearly 13 years before Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, seriously undermined the nation’s economy. The interethnic strife in the country became much more intense after the arrival of the US troops in the country. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Syria became involved (either expressly or by implication) in the conflicts in Iraq following their own geopolitical interests.

Strange as it may seem, but it was the USA that strengthened the influence of the “axis of evil” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Palestine. The Middle East that the world has today is not the Middle East that the United States thought the world would have.

America has the new president now, but the politics in the region does not change for the better.

Vladimir Anokhin

Tehran's missiles a way to raise its stakes in a big political game

www.middleeast.org.ua
15:4427/05/2009

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - The announcement of the successful launch of the Sejil-2 missile, made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week, revived global disputes about the Iranian missile and nuclear threat and the closely related U.S. ballistic missile defense system.

Sejil-2 is a two-stage surface-to-surface ballistic missile of a new generation, with a range of some 1,240 miles. It can presumably hit targets in Israel, Asia Minor and the Balkans.

However, analysts doubt that it is a completely new missile and believe Iranian television showed the launch of the Shahab-3 missile created in the early 2000s on the basis of North Korea's Nodong missile.

But this does not change the essence of the debate. The main issue is the possibility of Iran using its missiles and the number of troops and equipment necessary to respond to a potential Iranian strike.

The political importance of Iran's missile program is greater than its military implications. The creation of new missiles increases Tehran's political bargaining power with the West. The broader capabilities Iranian missile designers show, the more Iran may receive in response for its potential concessions.

This tactic does not entail any real threat of the use of these missiles. A potential Iranian missile strike will almost certainly result in the total destruction of Iran's missile capability and in heavy losses for the country and its economy. This cannot justify the relatively minor damage Iran would likely exact from its adversaries.

Therefore, the announcement of new missile tests and missile characteristics should be viewed as PR spin aimed at raising Iran's stakes in the global political game.

However, the situation may become sinister if Iran creates nuclear warheads for its missiles. This upping of the stakes will almost definitely tighten military tensions around Iran and rule out the possibility of talks on different problems.

This is what is now happening on the Korean Peninsular after North Korea held its second nuclear test. In fact, it has pushed Pyongyang into nearly complete isolation.

The situation around Iran is also being influenced by the other key regional country, Israel, which can and will deliver a strike at Iran's nuclear facilities under certain conditions. It is unclear if and when Israel will cross the thin line into a military operation, disregarding world public opinion.

At the same time, the United States is deploying ballistic missile defense (ABM) systems to ward off Iran's missile threat. The ABM system has provoked heated debates between the U.S. and Russia, which claims that the systems, if deployed as planned, are designed to intercept Russian rather than Iranian missiles.

Russia has several times proposed an alternative plan of deploying interceptor missiles on Iran's borders - in Turkey, Kuwait and possibly Iraq. This would simplify the task of intercepting Iranian missiles without endangering Russia's nuclear missile capability.

The plan provides for using not the expensive silo-launched GBI missiles but the theater high-altitude area defense (THAAD) U.S. PAC-3 and Israeli Arrow (Hetz) missiles, and other mobile (and possibly naval) systems.

Does the United States consider the Iranian missile threat to be serious, or is it using it as a pretext for deploying its ABM systems spearheaded against Russia? We will know the answer when Washington responds to Russia's proposal.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

May 26, 2009

Chinese Interns in France Overdoing Things

IntelligeneOnline reports that "French counter-espionage officials were taken aback to discover that Chinese interns attending France’s elite Ecole Nationale d’Administration were faxing all documents they managed to find at the university directly to their embassy in Paris"

Jewish lobby attacks President Obama

10:5923/05/2009
MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti commentator Dmitry Babich) – Comparison of Barack Obama to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev before the November 2008 elections turned out to be true by at least one count.

Although he has assumed office only four months ago, Obama already has many opponents who accuse him of weakness, pandering to the enemies, and betraying principles. These are the sins Gorbachev was accused of by the Communist Party’s conservatives.

Obama’s opponents are criticizing his plans of major financial injections in the economy, expected to produce a “growth miracle.” However, many analysts fear that this will only spur inflation, which will boomerang at all dollar holders across the world.

Their other targets are a record-high budget deficit and the bankruptcy of several companies that had seemed to be unsinkable.

But Obama’s biggest sin, according to his opponents, is his neglect for the security of Israel, even though that neglect has so far been only verbal.

Several weeks ago, the U.S. President made an unprecedented direct appeal to the people of Iran, a country with which the United States has had no diplomatic relations for 30 years and which it planned to bomb five years ago, inspired by the initial success of its invasion of Iraq.

This week, Obama gave a cool welcome to Benyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s new conservative prime minister. He pointed to the need for establishing an independent Arab Palestinian state under the so-called two-state solution, which stipulates the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab states in the territory of Israel with a common capital in Jerusalem.

So far Israel is not on the itinerary for the president's June trip to the Middle East, although he plans to go to Egypt.

Conservative WASPs in the U.S. expert community interpreted all of the above as betrayal of America’s old ally in the Middle East.

Ariel Cohen, a Russian and Eurasian expert at the Heritage Foundation, has published a most radical article on this issue in The Washington Times on May 18, 2009.

He writes that the Obama Administration’s policy “is dangerously close to extorting concessions with the threat of a nuclear holocaust, which may be initiated by the vitriolic Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

“The administration wants Mr Netanyahu to retreat fully to the June 4, 1967, cease-fire lines, including partition of Jerusalem,” Cohen writes. “A vast majority of Israelis oppose such an untenable scenario. Those lines are widely considered indefensible. The late, dovish Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban called them ‘the borders of Auschwitz.’”

Another critic of Obama, Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes in The Wall Street Journal: “A European effort to cripple Iran's production and transport of liquefied gas – an enormous future financial reservoir for Iran given its reserves – could cause a political earthquake in Tehran. The mullahs just might suspend uranium enrichment. But the Obama administration appears deeply conflicted about using ‘sticks.’”

Obama is definitely uneasy about that criticism. Even though claims that the new Nazis intend to force their allies into new concentration camps or to incinerate them in a nuclear strike sound demagogical, they are still supported by part of the U.S. population.

According to the last Zogby International survey, the situation in the Middle East is polarizing U.S. public opinion. As many as 73% of McCain supporters are against forcing a two-state solution on Israel and only 16% support this formula, which is part of the new president’s Mideast policy.

As for Obama backers, 71% believe that the United States should “get tough with Israel” to stop settlements and achieve a two-state solution to the conflict, while 18% are against such a move.

Even if Obama chooses to ignore the opinion of 73% of McCain backers, his overzealous attempts to pressurize Israel into concessions could lose him an important part of his electorate, namely the liberal American Jews.

During the 2008 election, 76% of Jewish Americans voted for Obama, partly because of their dislike for George W. Bush and their disappointment with the war in Iraq. But they may turn their backs on Obama if he refuses to honor his commitment to “leave Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel.”

So far, Obama has been responding to criticism just as Mikhail Gorbachev did, by making optimistic statements, pretending not to hear harsh criticism, or speaking in favor of everything good and against everything evil.

Still, he will have to answer even the most unpleasant questions sooner or later.




The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

PAKISTAN: SPY VS SPY

By B. Raman

In our preoccupation with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), we have not been paying the required attention to the goings-on in Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau (IB), which comes under the Ministry of the Interior. It is the counterpart of our IB and is of the same pedigree.
Even today, the IBs of the two countries maintain some of the traditions, nomenclatures for officers and subordinate units and methods of functioning which they had inherited from the British in 1947.

2. The founding fathers of independent India made the IB the first among equals in India's internal security and counter-intelligence set-up. It has retained and even strengthened that position. It continues to be an organisation largely staffed and led by police officers taken on deputation or permanent secondment from the Indian Police Service cadres of different States of the Indian Union, but the number of direct recruits has been increasing. The IB acts as the eyes and ears of the Government of India in all matters that could have a bearing on internal security. As the leading counter-intelligence agency of India, it plays the leadership role in countering the activities of the ISI in Indian territory and against Indian interests in India and abroad.

3. As against this primacy of the Indian IB and its significant role, the Pakistani IB saw over the years its role in the internal security management and in counter-intelligence gradually eroded, with the ISI assuming the responsibility for internal security tasks. The ISI assumed the leadership in internal security matters initially in the then East Pakistan because of the Army's suspicion of the loyalty of the Bengali police officers and then in Balochistan, Sindh and the North-West Frontier Province for similar reasons. Whereas the police officers from different States in the Indian IB enjoyed the total confidence and trust of the Government of India, in the Pakistani IB, only the Punjabi police officers enjoyed some trust and confidence. The remaining police officers of non-Punjabi origin were looked upon with suspicion.

4. The marginalisation of the Pakistani IB by the ISI in matters relating to internal security was followed by the beginning of a process of militarisation of the IB----with the induction of serving and retired military officers into the IB. This process started under Zia-ul-Haq. When Benazir Bhutto became the Prime Minister in 1988, she sought to reverse the process. She appointed Maj-Gen. Shamshur Rehman Kallu, a retired officer who was close to her father, as the DG of the ISI much to the discomfort and unhappiness of the serving army officers. On her orders, Kallu also prepared a scheme for the re-organisation of the intelligence community. One of the key points in this scheme was the demilitarisation of the IB and restoring its police character and its role as the premier internal security agency of the country. Before the scheme could be implemented, she was dismissed by the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in August 1990.

5. Nawaz Sharif, who succeeded her as the Prime Minister after the ISI-rigged elections held later that year, carried out the wishes of the army and threw aside the scheme drawn up by Kallue. He once again started inducting retired and serving officers of the Army into the IB. When Benazir returned to power in 1993, she once again took up the scheme for the re-organisation of the IB and strengthening its role in internal security management. She ordered a vast expansion of the strength of the IB, emulated the Indian model of having a directly-recruited civilian cadre in addition to the police officers and ordered the direct recruitment of a large number of civilian officers.

6. When Farooq Leghari, the then President, dismissed her in 1996, he stopped the expansion ordered by her and ordered that those recruited by her should not be given appointment in the IB. Those who had already joined were sacked. Nawaz Sharif, who returned as the Prime Minister after the elections, did not reverse the orders of Leghari and went along with the wishes of the Army to let the ISI retain its primacy in internal security and counter-intelligence matters. The militarisation of the IB picked up momentum under Pervez Musharraf and reached its nadir when he appointed Brig.Ijaz Shah, a highly controversial retired officer with strongly suspected links to the jihadi terrorist organisations, as the Director-General of the IB.

7. Since the Pakistan People's Party-led coalition Government came to office in March 2008, there have been indications that Asif Ali Zardari, who succeeded Pervez Musharraf as the President in September, 2008, wants to implement once again the ideas of Benazir for the re-organisation of the IB and strengthening its role in internal security. He appointed Rehman Malik, a retired police officer, who had served under Benazir in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) during her second tenure as the Prime Minister, as the Adviser for Internal Security with the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He now co-ordinates all internal security matters and the IB works under him.

8. Zardari also restored the practice of a senior police officer heading the IB and reportedly wanted that all those directly-recruited to the IB during Benazir's second tenure, but kept out by Leghari and Sharif should be re-appointed. Well-informed PPP sources say that Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani, who does not feel comfortable with Rehman Malik and who has the backing of the ISI, has been dragging his feet in the implementation of the orders of Zardari to re-appoint all the direct recruits to the IB, who were sacked or kept out by Leghari or Sharif.

9. These sources say that the differences between Zardari and Malik on the one side and Gilani and the ISI on the other regarding the relative roles of the IB and the ISI are also coming in the way of a proper investigation into the role of the five detained activists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in the conspiracy to carry out the terrorist attack in Mumbai from November 26 to 29, 2008. According to these sources, while Zardari and Malik are in favour of a more energetic investigation and prosecution to please the US, Gilani and the ISI have been opposing such an investigation.

10. Despite the difficulties faced by him in strengthening the IB and its role in internal security management, Zardari and Malik have been persisting with their efforts. Zardari gives a high-profile role to Malik in all matters relating to internal security. Malik and the Director-General of the IB accompany Zardari on his foreign tours. These sources say that Shoaib Suddle, the then Director-General of the IB, had accompanied Zardari on his recent visits to the US and West Europe and earlier to China. Zardari has also been encouraging the IB to set up its own network of liaison relationships with foreign intelligence agencies. Malik and the IB are being given a more active role in the counter-Taliban operations.

11. These sources say that the ISI, with the backing of Gilani, has not given up its efforts to oppose any leadership role for the IB in internal security matters. It is in this connection that one notes with interest the decision taken by Gilani on May 16, 2009, to appoint Javed Noor, the Inspector-General of Police of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, as the DG of the IB in replacement of Suddle, who was close to Zardari. Suddle, who belonged to the Sindh cadre of the Pakistani Police Service, was the DIG of Police of Karachi in September, 1996, when Murtaza Ali Bhutto, the younger brother of Benazir, who was challenging the role of Zardari in the PPP, was allegedly killed by the police following an altercation with them. Suddle is one of the accused in the case filed in this connection.

12. Despite this, Zardari had him appointed as the DG of the IB in June, 2008. He was given an extension of two years after he reached the age of superannuation. In April last, a judge of the Supreme Court set aside the extension given to him and other police officers facing trial in connection with the murder of Murtaza. Despite this, he was taken to the US and West Europe by Zardari along with the DG of the ISI. Shortly after his return from the tour, Gilani had him replaced as the DGIB on the ground that his continuing to hold this office had become untenable because of the Supreme Court judgement. It is not known whether Javed Noor is a nominee of Zardari or Gilani or the ISI. The removal shows that the ISI continues to be opposed to any attempt to give the IB the primacy in internal security matters.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com)

May 25, 2009

OBAMA'S JIMMY CARTER IMAGE CREATES PROBLEMS FOR US

India too has been noting with concern the total confusion which seems to prevail in the corridors of the Obama Administration over its Af-Pak policy. Some of the recent comments of Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, about alleged past incoherence in the US policy towards Pakistan and about the part-responsibility of the US for the state of affairs in the Af-Pak region have given comfort to the military-intelligence establishment and the political leaders in Pakistan. Obama's new over-generosity to the Pakistani Armed forces and his reluctance to hold them accountable for their sins of commission and omission in the war against terrorism have convinced the Pakistani leaders that they have no adverse consequences to fear from the Obama Administration. India would be the first to feel the adverse consequences of this newly-found confidence in Islamabad vis-a-vis its relations with the US.

B.RAMAN

During the US Presidential primaries last year, I had expressed my misgings that Barack Obama might turn out to be another Jimmy Carter, whose confused thinking and soft image paved the way for the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran .The subsequent Iranian defiance of the US and his inability to deal effectively with the incident in which some Iranian students raided the US Embassy in Teheran and held a number of US diplomats hostage led to the disillusionment of sections of the US electorate with him and his failure to get re-elected in 1980. The strong line taken by him against the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet troops towards the end of 1979 did not help him in wiping out the image of a soft and confused President.

2. The defiant action of North Korea in testing a long-range missile with military applications last month and its latest act of defiance in reportedly carrying out an underground nuclear test on May 25,2009, can be attributed----at least partly, if not fully--- to its conviction that it will have nothing to fear from the Obama Administration for its acts of defiance. It is true that even when George Bush was the President, North Korea had carried out its first underground nuclear test in October 2006. The supposedly strong policy of the Bush Administration did not deter it from carrying out its first test.

3. After Obama assumed office on January 20,2009, whatever hesitation was there in North Korea's policy-making circles regarding the likely response of the Obama Administration has disappeared and its leadership now feels it can defy the US and the international community with impunity.

4. A series of actions taken by the Obama Administration have created an impression in Iran, the Af-Pak region, China and North Korea that Obama does not have the political will to retaliate decisively if they act in a manner detrimental to US interests and to international peace and security. Among such actions, one could cite the soft policy towards Iran, the reluctance to articulate strongly the US determination to support the security interests of Israel, the ambivalent attitude towards Pakistan despite its continued support to anti-India terrorist groups and its ineffective action against the sanctuaries of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistani territory, its silence on the question of the violation of the human rights of the Burmese people and the continued illegal detention of Aung San Suu Kyi by the military regime in Myanmar, and its silence on the Tibetan issue. Its over-keenness to court Beijing in order to seek China's support for dealing with the economic crisis and its anxiety to ensure the continued flow of Chinese money into the US for investment in the US Treasury Bonds have also added to the soft image of the US.

5. President Obama cannot blame the problem States of the world such as Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar and North Korea if they have come to the conclusion that they can take liberties with the present Administration in Washington DC without having to fear any adverse consequences. North Korea's defiance is only the beginning. One has every reason to apprehend that Iran might be the next to follow.

6. Israel and India have been the most affected by the perceived soft policies of the Obama Administration. Israel is legitimately concerned over the likely impact of this soft policy on the behaviour of Iran. South Korea and Japan, which would have been concerned over the implications of the soft policy of the Obama Administration, had no national option because they had no independent means of acting against North Korea. Israel will not stand and watch helplessly if it concludes that Iran might follow the example of North Korea. I have said it in the past and I say it again that Israel will not hesitate to act unilaterally against Iran if it apprehends that it is on the verge of acquiring a military nuclear capability. It will prefer to act with the understanding of the US, but if there is no change in the soft policy of the Obama Administration, it will not hesitate to act even without prior consultation with the US.

7. India too has been noting with concern the total confusion which seems to prevail in the corridors of the Obama Administration over its Af-Pak policy. Some of the recent comments of Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, about alleged past incoherence in the US policy towards Pakistan and about the part-responsibility of the US for the state of affairs in the Af-Pak region have given comfort to the military-intelligence establishment and the political leaders in Pakistan. Obama's new over-generosity to the Pakistani Armed forces and his reluctance to hold them accountable for their sins of commission and omission in the war against terrorism have convinced the Pakistani leaders that they have no adverse consequences to fear from the Obama Administration. India would be the first to feel the adverse consequences of this newly-found confidence in Islamabad vis-a-vis its relations with the US.

8. India also has reasons to be concerned over the definite down-grading by the Obama Administration of the importance of the USA's strategic relationship with India. This down-grading has given satisfaction to Pakistan as well as China.

9. Jimmy Carter took a little over three years to create the image of the US as a confused and soft power. Obama is bidding fair to create that image even in his first year in office. The North Korean defiance is the first result of this perceived soft image. There will be more surprises for the US and the international community to follow if Obama and his aides do not embark on corrective actions before it is too late. (25-5-09)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

Open Letter from Baloch groups to UNHCR High Commissioner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2009

BV-BN-010-2009

A Joint Open Letter from Baloch Civil Society and Political Organisations to the United Nations, UNHCR High Commissioner, Human Rights Organizations and to the International community

Balochistan: Pakistan fascist state agencies are kidnapping, torturing and killing Baloch civil Society, Baloch Nationalist and Socialist people extra judicially

To: Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
The General Secretary ,
United Nations Organization,
New York 10017.

Your Excellency,

With respect to the Baloch Nation struggle for freedom, and abduction and cold-blooded murders of Baloch political leaders, we, the undersigned Baloch national and international organizations, and the Baloch people wish to draw your attention to the deteriorating human rights situation in Balochistan and to the abuse of human rights by the state fascist military organizations, illegal and extrajudicial abductions, tortures and killings of Baloch people and encourage your organization to take initiative to probe the cases and bring the perpetrators to the court of Justice.
http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1984/
After the lapse of a more then 45 days of the incidence of cold-blooded murders of Baloch political activists Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, Sher Mohammad Baloch and Lala Muneer Baloch by the Pakistani Military Intelligence Agency (MI) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Until now not a single initiative has been taken neither by UNO, nor by UNHCR and nor by any other organization to probe the cold-blooded murders and bring the perpetrators to any court of justice. They were picked up by the members of Military Intelligence on 3rd April, 2009 from the office of their solicitor in Turbat, Balochistan. The Baloch leaders were blind folded and taken to an unknown destination. They were tortured whilst under detention, shot to death and chemicals were poured on their faces the next day they were thrown from a military helicopter 20 miles away from Turbat.

Ghulam Mohammad, Sher Mohammad and Lala Muneer were among the well-known political leaders in Balochistan and have steadfastly worked at the forefront of the political mobilization for the freedom of Balochistan and were raising the issues of human rights abuses of the Baloch people by the state agencies. During 2007 they were arrested by the security agencies, tortured, kept in solitary confinement for months without trial before being released.

Mr. Secretary General,

As it is an open fact to the world that Baloch Nation has never accepted the forced annexation and occupation of Balochistan to the Pakistan. So the Baloch nation, from 1947 is struggling for its freedom. The current brutal military operation is the fifth Army operation of Pakistani fascist forces against the Baloch nation started from 1999 and is still continued. Until now thousands of innocent men, women and children have been mercilessly killed, hundreds of thousands have been displaced and thousands are missing.. A large number of prominent Baloch social, intellectual and political figures have been targeted and eliminated by the state security agencies of Pakistan. The state establishment of Pakistan has always used different tactics to silence the voice of reason raised for the lawful rights of the Baloch people.
Fascist military force operation has been the only mode of action adopted by almost every Pakistani Government in dealing with the Baloch demand for national freedom.. Extra- judicial killings of the Baloch by the army, paramilitary and state intelligence agencies, harassment, kidnapping and inhuman torture of the Baloch political activists and intellectuals during the sustained military campaigns have been permanent features of the state and Baloch conflict. The ordeal of Munir Mengal and of the Mrs. Zarina Marri by Munir Mengal at United Nations 10th council session was an eye opening fact for the world about the human rights situation in Balochistan and of the Baloch Nation. Where a lady school teacher Zarina Marri was abducted and used as a sex slave by the Pakistan Fascist Military forces.
http://www.alrc.net/doc/mainfile.php/alrc_st2009/542/
http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1843/
Mr. Secretary General,

In face of the heinous crimes being committed by the Pakistani security forces in Balochistan, any further delay on the investigation of the cases by an independent investigation team under the supervision of United Nations or by the United Nations itself of the above stated Balochs cold-blooded murder cases and of the other Baloch missing persons cases would certainly put a question mark on the credibility of United Nations in the eyes of Baloch people and Baloch Nation? Therefore, we, all request your organization that due to failure of Pakistan state to probe the Baloch Political activist cold-Blooded murder and of the Baloch missing person’s cases. The U.N. shall itself investigate the stated cases.
The Baloch are facing strategic genocide policy of the Pakistan state. It is high time for the international community and to the United Nations to rise and act before it is too late for Baloch people. We believe that Baloch people need urgent help from the United Nations, Human Rights Organizations and from the International community.

We, therefore, demand justice for the Baloch people. Failing to do so will mean letting down a Nation who are being minced under the powerful jaws of the military establishment of a recognized rogue
state (Pakistan).

II. Give Human Rights to Baloch Nation as per U.N. charter,

To neglect Balochistan issue, the issue of human rights in Balochistan, and the Baloch National struggle for freedom would weaken the United Nations motto i.e. freedom for every nation and freedom of expression to every human being and certainly also indicate that the international community is unconcerned with the poor human rights situation in Pakistan. To investigate the above stated issues by United Nations and its allied organization would show that U.N. is serious about the Nations rights, and human rights standards they established for humanity, and bring new attention to the violations in Balochistan by the Pakistani Islamo-fascist forces and hope and support to the victims of abuse. We therefore ask U.N. to investigate the cases of Baloch cold-blooded murder as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Baloch Voice, raising voice for Baloch Nation (France)

Baloch Students Organization-Azad (BSO-Azad) (Balochistan)

Baloch Students Organization-M (BSO-M) (Balochistan)

Baloch National Front (BNF) (Balochistan)
Khan Kalat, His Highness Suleman Daoud Ahmed Khan Ahmedzai (UK)

Baloch National Movement (BNM) (Balochistan)

Baloch Republican Party (BRP) (Balochistan)

Baloch Khawatheen Panel (BKP) (Balochistan)

Baloch Journalist Forum (BJF) (UAE)

Baloch Civil Society (BCS) (Balochistan)


Issued and distributed by Baloch Voice,Paris France.

May 24, 2009

Synergies vs. Spheres of Influence in the Pan-European Space

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Authors
Michael Emerson with Arianna Checchi, Noriko Fujiwara, Ludmila Gajdosova, George Gavrilis and Elena Gnedina

Research Area
EU Neighbourhood, Foreign and Security Policy; EU-Russian relations

Series
CEPS Paperbacks

Notes
This report investigates whether and how the European Union, in its policies towards Russia, the Eastern partner countries and Central Asia, might build stronger common programmes and projects across these three political ‘spaces’. The aim would be to secure synergies between actions that are presently segmented between these three regions, and especially to induce Russia to become a genuinely cooperative positive-sum game player in the wider European neighbourhood, rather than to continue its efforts to rebuild the former Soviet Union space as its sphere of influence. With this aim in mind, this report examines various policy sectors for the opportunities they present for cooperative action between the EU, Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The tantalising idea is that the current global financial and economic crisis might become the tipping point to set in motion a change of strategic attitudes and thence a cascade of cooperative actions of the kinds outlined in this report.

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Date Published
22 April 2009

Pages
104