October 12, 2011

Rogues who run Pakistan



Pretentious intellectuals and bleeding heart liberals in India continue to push the ridiculous idea that talks can reduce the ISI’s animosity towards this country.

Indian ‘intellectuals’ and bleeding heart liberals have zealously believed that ‘dialogue’ alone can address the animosity of the Taliban and its ISI mentors towards India, as though these organisations are akin to Mother Teresa’s ‘Missionaries of Charity’. The Taliban’s animosity towards India became manifest when 75 American Cruise missiles targetted Taliban and Al Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan on August 20, 1998. The Americans accidentally did India a favour. Instead of eliminating Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar, the Cruise missiles destroyed an ISI camp in Khost, training terrorists of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, for terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir. A few months later, the then ISI chief, Lt General Ziauddin Butt, met the Taliban ‘President’ Mullah Mohammed Rabbani and asked him to provide 20,000-30,000 ‘volunteers’ for jihad in Kashmir. Mullah Rabbani startled Gen Ziauddin by offering 5, 00,000 volunteers for this effort!

Throughout the hijacking of IC 814 in December 1999, the Taliban was guided by ISI handlers who took charge of the three terrorists released by us. One of them, Omar Syed Sheikh, proceeded to kill American journalist Daniel Pearl. Shortly thereafter, with the help of the then ISI chief, Lt General Mahmud Ahmed (later sacked at the instance of the Americans), Sheikh transferred $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers. Maulana Masood Azhar, another recipient of Indian generosity during the hijacking, soon met Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar in Kandahar and organised the December 13, 2001 attack on our Parliament.

The third released terrorist, Mushtaq Zargar, now arranges cross-Line of Control infiltration from Muzaffarabad. Post-9/11, the Taliban, its Haqqani network affiliates and the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, have targetted Indian workers and Consulates across Afghanistan, culminating in the July 2008 attack on our Embassy in Kabul and the subsequent attack on our Embassy officials in October 2009. Illusions that the Taliban would be reasonable partners in a dialogue for national reconciliation in Afghanistan have been shattered by revelations of the Mullah Omar-led Quetta Shura’s involvement in the treacherous assassination of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The ISI has a long-standing tradition of destabilising elected Governments and meddling in elections within Pakistan. The former ISI chief, Lt General Asad Durrani, revealed in Pakistan’s Supreme Court that during the 1990 elections the ISI had provided ‘logistic support’ to a Right-wing alliance, the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, and even obtained funds for the IJI from a Karachi businessman, Mr Younas Hamid. Gen Durrani subsequently revealed during investigations led by Interior Minister Major General Nasrullah Babar that on the instructions of the then Army chief, General Aslam Beg, a small proportion of funds collected for the 1990 elections was given to politicians like Mr Ghulam Mustafa Khar (uncle of Ms Hina Rabbani Khar), Mr Hafeez Pirzada and Mr Mairaj Khalid. The bulk of money collected from businessmen, according to Gen Durrani, was deposited in the ‘K Fund’ of the ISI to finance external operations. Referring to this claim by Gen Durrani, Gen Babar noted in his own hand: “This is false. The amount was pocketed by (then Army chief) General Beg.”

Indulging in such activities was not the monopoly of Gen Durrani, who had subsequently approached Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for approval of ISI involvement in narcotics trading to finance its operations in Punjab and Kashmir. Mr Sharif later revealed that he had “refused such a plan,” adding: “As a citizen of Pakistan, I was shocked”. Gen Durrani’s predecessor, Lt Gen Hamid Gul, who fancied himself as a strategic genius, met his Waterloo when he tried to dislodge Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai’s forces from Jalalabad, just after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Gen Gul had no inhibitions in boasting about his affiliation with radical Islamic elements in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Gen Durrani’s successor, Lt General Javed Nasir, a fundamentalist of the Tablighi Jamat, earned an even more notorious reputation. When the ISI involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings was established and Pakistan faced threats of further American sanctions, Mr Sharif was forced to sack Gen Nasir, who has recently been indicted by the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague and faces charges of having violated UN sanctions by providing weapons to Muslim elements during the Bosnian civil war.

The names of subsequent ISI chiefs constitute a veritable ‘Rogues Gallery’ of people involved in terrorism. Gen Ziauddin’s activities have already found mention. His successor, Lt General Mahmud Ahmed, now, like Gen Nasir, a bearded activist of the Tablighi Jamat, had to be sacked by General Pervez Musharraf at the behest of the Americans for his close ties to the Taliban and other radical Islamic groups. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s tenure as ISI chief saw Osama bin Laden finding safe haven in Abbottabad. His successor, Lt General Nadeem Taj, a Musharraf protégé, had the dubious distinction of also being eased out because of his hard line Islamist propensities. It was during Gen Taj’s tenure that the ISI’s links with the 2008 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul was established. His successor and present ISI chief, Lt General Shuja Pasha, commenced his tenure with the 26/11 terrorist strike by the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba on Mumbai. Gen Pasha has been summoned by a US court to appear before it in a case filed by the families of the victims of 26/11, after the revelations of Dawood Gilani aka David Coleman Headley about the ISI’s involvement. He is also reported to have met the indicted Lashkar military commander, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, in jail.

Pakistan’s military, whose current protégé is Imran Khan, has forced the weak PPP Government to launch a tirade against the Americans at the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, a long-time Army favourite. At this meeting, Mr Sharif pointedly remarked to the military leaders present that there must be a ‘reason’ why the whole world was holding Pakistan responsible for terrorism. Pakhtun leader Mahmood Achakzai remarked: “There will be peace in Afghanistan within a month provided that the ISI stops exporting terrorism to that country”. The Awami National Party and the Bareilvi Sunni Tehriq have voiced similar sentiments.

It is astonishing that an Army that has brought disrepute to the country, never won a war and succeeded in losing half its country in 1971, still claims to be the ‘guardian of Pakistan’s territorial and ideological frontiers’. Given its continuing adventurism in relations with India and Afghanistan and its bluff and bluster in dealings with the US and its allies, Pakistan’s Army is leading the country further down the road of extremism, violence and economic stagnation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have read too too many such analyses!India has to take some clear stand and stick to it. Until the Indian Govt, has the guts to decide on a position in India's national interest and follow it through, such analyses are a waste of time and just hot air. 1.2 Billion people with a growing economy, and still getting pushed around! Shame!!!!!