Thursday, 27 January 2011

Geelani calls for Kashmir protest after aide’s arrest

Geelani calls for Kashmir protest after aide’s arrest

Srinagar/New Delhi: Miffed over arrest of his close aide and alleged financer, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for staging protests tomorrow in Jammu and Kashmir, after which he left Srinagar for Delhi.
Ghulam Mohammed Bhat was arrested last week for his alleged involvement in hawala racket meant to finance anti-national activities in the Kashmir Valley and was brought to Delhi where he was remanded in police custody for 10 days.

Geelani, who is now fearing questioning in connection with the hawala racket, left for Delhi where he will be meeting officials of Pakistan High Commission and representatives of other embassies.

Delhi Police also has a case of sedition registered against him as well as writer Arundhati Roy and Delhi University professor S A R Gilani for their alleged anti-national speeches during a seminar here last year.

“Organised, but peaceful, protests should be held across the state after Friday prayers tomorrow against government’s policy,” Geelani said against the backdrop of Bhat’s arrest.

He claimed that his associate was tortured during interrogation without realising that Bhat had been admitted to hospital after he resisted his arrest and was discharged only on January 25.

The Hurriyat leader alleged that the Centre, through the state government and police, was targeting leaders of his Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and the hardline Hurriyat faction, and was trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Bhat’s interrogation was on. Delhi Police, with the help of Kashmir Police, had arrested him on January 22 and allegedly recovered over Rs 21 lakh from him.

The sources privy to the interrogation did not rule out possibility of questioning Geelani as his role was also allegedly surfacing in the case.

Bhat was earlier arrested in 2008 in JK’s Udhampur district while returning to the valley with Rs 55 lakh alleged Hawala money concealed in a gas cylinder.

Delhi a warm haven for hawk Geelani

Delhi a warm haven for hawk Geelani

People shop at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Thursday. (PTI)
Srinagar, Jan. 27: Oh! to be in Delhi, now that Kashmir’s a bit too c-c-cold.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani has seldom missed a chance to pillory Delhi, but when the Valley gets a tad too chilly for the octogenarian separatist, it’s to the national capital that he heads.

The Hurriyat Conference hardliner today left for Delhi for a “medical check-up”, his spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said.

With a minimum temperature of 7 °C and a maximum of 18-plus, Delhi is, after all, much more hospitable now than Srinagar, where the mercury dips below freezing point at night.

So better “cool out” in Delhi than freeze at home.

This is not the first time the 81-year-old has chosen to spend the winter months in Delhi. He has been doing it for the past few years, reportedly on the advice of doctors. But many in Srinagar say the main reason was to avoid the biting cold here.

Critics of the hardline leader recalled a similar syndrome during the days when everything American was anathema, though it was to the US that Indians headed to get themselves treated.

If the favourite target of pro-Russia Indians then was America and its capitalism, Geelani’s hawk-eyed glare has never left Delhi.

Last October, Geelani had made an anti-India speech at a seminar in the capital and had narrowly escaped being hit by a shoe flung by a Kashmiri Pandit.

Police later filed a sedition case against the Hurriyat leader.

Sources in Srinagar said Geelani normally leaves Kashmir in December to spend some months in Delhi but had to delay his visit this time, fearing he might be “criticised”.

Geelani was at the forefront of the five-month agitation in the Valley last year that left 112 dead. While the streets seethed in anger against excesses by security forces, Geelani issued weekly protest calendars that shut Kashmir down for days.

“Since so many people died here and others suffered enormously, he thought it was not the right time to leave for Delhi at that critical juncture,” a source in the Hurriyat said.

Now that Kashmir has limped back to normal, Geelani decided it was the best time to take off for Delhi’s warmer climes.

His spokesperson Akbar said the visit would be “brief” — “10 to 15 days” — and he had compelling reasons to go.

“The past several days he had been complaining about chest pain and blood was oozing from his mouth in the mornings. He had to go for the medical check-up,” Akbar said.

Hurriyat sources, however, said Geelani might prolong his stay to “avoid the severe cold here”.

But before he left today, Geelani didn’t forget to announce another round of protests.

He called for protests tomorrow against the arrest of separatist leaders and activists still lodged in jails.

US-Russia Collaboration: Shared Interests & Common Enemies

US-Russia Collaboration: Shared Interests & Common Enemies (Part-I)
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
NATO’s Europe Missile Shield
Recently, in the background of terror genocides and destruction in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as get Moscow support for the Afghan war, the NATO gang has approved US President B. Obama’s proposal for a new, expanded missile defense system for Europe. Russia has originally opposed the idea of European missile defense, fearing the shield would make Russia totally insecure and vulnerable.
The meeting in the Portuguese capital, precisely on November 19th, the 28 member NATO gang, bent upon maintaining it terror hold over the world for controlling the resources, agreed it’s new “strategic concept” on global “threats and challenges” in the 21st century as well as the “need” to keep the alliance as strong as in the Cold War period. NATO Terror Secretary-General Anders F Rasmussen said the system is expected to cost $273 million over the next ten years. “We will develop modern capabilities to defend against modern threats. We will reach out to partners around the globe. We will make a fresh start in our relations with Russia, with the aim of building a strategic partnership,” he said. The new strategic statement is intended to address new kinds of “threats and challenges” almost forever; Rasmussen for that reason called the “new concept” as one of the most important summits in NATO’s 61-year history, while Russia always wanted the alliance dismantled for the sake of world peace.
Joint operations offer benefits too. As a matter of formality, NATO asked Russia which it considers has become weak since the end of cold war, to cooperate with NATO and USA on their projects. The NATO agreement is one of the most important foreign policy achievements for Obama since he took office two years ago. On his trip to Asia recently, Obama had failed to get a free-trade agreement with South Korea or enough support from other countries to persuade China to change the way it handles its currency.
For the purposes of global consumption, the NATO “new strategy” underlines the need for international cooperation for energy security plus routes and against threats like cyber terror, the need for sustaining security and stability in the routes of supplies – which are under the threat of pirates, like in Somalia – and the need for coordination and cooperation against terrorism and radicalism. However, its real motives are different.
The NATO agreement is one of the most important foreign policy achievements for US president Obama since he took office two years ago. On his trip to Asia recently, Obama had failed to get a free-trade agreement with South Korea or enough support from other countries to persuade China to change the way it handles its currency. President Obama who the key speaker said America would have no means of verifying Russian nukes without the treaty. He claimed substantial progress was made in the summit, and he expects more to be made in meetings on the future of the war in Afghanistan.
President Obama says approval by NATO’s main decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, will make Europe and the world more secure. “For the first time, we have agreed to develop missile defense capability that is strong enough to cover all NATO European populations, as well as the United States… Tomorrow our NATO allies, ISAF partners and the Afghan government will work to align our approach on Afghanistan, particularly in two areas: our transition to full Afghan lead between 2011 and 2014, and the long-term partnership that we are building in Afghanistan,” Obama said.
Unable either to escape the US-NATO trap or to present counter trap as Moscow used to do during the Cold war, Russian President D. Medvedev has once again warned the US led NATO terror syndicate against unilateral missile operations behind the shield project without involving the Kremlin – a former superpower that lost to all powerful US methods of bullying opponents. Moscow wants an unambiguous answer from NATO terror operators over Moscow’s role in a European missile defence shield. Medvedev warned that Russia would be forced to deploy its own nuclear weapons and missile defence shield if no agreement is reached and if Russia is not given an equal role in the one being deployed by Washington and its allies over Europe. Medvedev said “we are either together with NATO, or we separately find an adequate response to the existing problem. Either we agree to certain principles with NATO, or we fail to agree, and then in the future we are forced to adopt an entire series of unpleasant decisions concerning the deployment of an offensive nuclear missile group.”
Comprehending the US plans for the future, Moscow has warned the North Atlantic terror organization partners that they have to understand that “we do not want this simply to have some common toys that NATO and us can play with, but because we want adequate protection for Russia. So this is not a joking matter. We expect from our NATO partners a direct and unambiguous answer,” Medvedev said, during a meeting with Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin. However, Russia is also keen to enter the NATO with veto capability but the USA refuses to “buy the trouble”. Obviously, the unipolar USA with its hidden agendas wants everybody in the West and East to support the NATO operations to “free” despotic” nations to avoid turning into Russia controlled organizations like the OSCE, which has become a low-profile institution because of its loose structure starting from the late 1990s.
By the new global concept of NATO, USA sought to control global militaries and a manoeuvring space in the international arena in militaristic terms while undermining the functional power of the UN Security Council. NATO, which was founded to confront the perceived threat from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact era, is trying to improve its relations with Russia in order to take it on board to pursue all its hidden agendas without hurdles whatsoever. So much so, President Medvedev took part in the NATO-Russia meeting, and met one-on-one with Obama.
The new NATO strategy against enemies, including Russia, is, as before, intended to address new kinds of “threats and challenges” and also to develop modern capabilities to defend against modern threats to be created by the CIA and its allies. Several eastern European leaders, who are still wary about Russian intentions, dutifully emerged to say they supported ratification of the treaty.
In fact, the NATO wants to reach out to similar state terror partners with military prowess around the globe and is keen to rope in Russia which opposes NATO’s terror operations openly considered as serious embarrassment for NATO plans for the future. USA and NATO jointly aim at building a “strategic partnership” with Russia, the chief enemy. Russia’s key ally China has objected to NATO’s hidden plans. Though Russia is not mentioned as a “serious threat” for obvious strategic reasons, West swears Russia still remains the top threat for the West.
(More to follow..>)
د. عبد راف
Dr. Abdul Ruff, Specialist on State Terrorism; Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Chronicler of Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc); Former university Teacher, Columnist, Analyst in International Affairs;
Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Fake democracies like USA and India have zero tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices. Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous than “terrorism”. Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they are harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims. Unfortunately, we have many hypocrites among Muslims. (

The US desire to make India a bulwark against China

The US desire to make India a bulwark against China

Asif Haroon Raja

The US dream of converting India into an effective bulwark against China had been perceived sometime in the late 1990s when India had got itself fully aligned with USA after the demise of its earlier patron USSR. No other country in Asia was prepared to undertake this role since none have the military capability to do so. Moreover, China’s foreign policy is peaceful and its military strategy is defensive in nature. At no stage Chinahas tried to grab any country through use of force or tried to topple a regime through intrigue. It has always endeavored to extend its influence in the third world through policy of goodwill and providing military and economic assistance on soft terms. This policy has helped China in enhancing its respect and increasing its sphere of influence far and wide including South American states.

Conversely, USA having imperialist designs has been pursuing aggressive policies to undermine third world countries through covert war, economic and military sanctions and launching physical attacks. In the vitalMiddle East wherefrom bulk of its own, its western allies and Japan’s oil needs are met, it has turned Israelinto a bully to keep the Arab world terrorized and submissive. It has made military bases all over the world to keep a firm check on all regions. After the fall of its chief rival Soviet Union in 1991, China has emerged as a power which has the potential to challenge its world monopoly.

Already China has overtaken USA in the economic field and is moving rapidly to bridge the military and technological gap. Its rapid rise and USA’s decline particularly owing to ongoing global recession and war on terror has made the situation precarious for USA. Notwithstanding that China is extending all out support toUSA to prevent its economic collapse, yet both are competitors and rivals and not partners. The US has borrowed huge loans from China, yet it wants to cut surging economic power of China to size so that it could retain its unchallenged uni-polarism.

It is under such strategic compulsions that USA threw bait to India to become a bulwark against China in return for huge material benefits. The latter readily took the bait because of its own burning ambitions of becoming a regional and a world power. It is happily playing the game since the very thought of being tipped as a bulwark against a potential super power gives myth loving and megalomaniac Brahmans an inner pleasure and boosts their mythical beliefs. Unresolved border disputes with China and its thorough spanking at the hands of Chinese soldiers in the 1962 border conflict are other reasons to accept US offer. It is suchlike inner urges that former Indian Army Chief Gen Kapoor as well as current Chief Gen VK Singh have been giving vent to their fanciful wishes by stating that Indian military has acquired the capability to trounce both China and Pakistan in one go.

Besides satisfying its egoism of being seen as a matching military power of China, development of its conventional military strength and nuclear power helps India in its drive to browbeat Pakistan and to forcibly make it accept its hegemony. With the active help of USA and the west, India is determined to disablePakistan’s nuclear deterrence either by getting its modest nuclear program rolled back or to build up its weapon grade nuclear capability massively. Discriminatory Indo-US nuclear deal and allowing India access to Nuclear Suppliers Group is a step in that direction.

All this humbug of bulwark against China is in reality a farce since India has neither any desire to confrontChina nor it has the physical and mental capability or even will to harm China. In reality, India wants to become economically and militarily so strong and awesome that it is in position to overawe Pakistan and force it to forget about Kashmir issue and accept India’s hegemony as a fait accompli. The US is behind this game plan.

On one hand it is beefing up military and economic strength of India hugely, on the other hand it is systematically weakening Pakistan’s economy and its military strength. Pakistan Army, ISI and nuclear program has been consistently subjected to vicious vilification campaign which is still continuing.

While the US never tires of pointing fingers at Pakistan and finding never ending faults, it sees India as flawless and sinless. Since 1990 there has not been a single occasion when even a lowly American official ever spoke a word against India what to talk of hurling accusations. Indian security forces brutal practices in IOK and against minorities in India since ages do not bring even a frown on the foreheads of champions of human rights and democracy. India’s record of cross border terrorism is an open secret but it has never been admonished. As against their haughty and bossy attitude towards Pakistan’s leaders, the US officials bend over backwards to keep India pleased and appeased. They remain eager to attend to Indian demands and their concocted security concerns but care two hoots for genuine security concerns of Pakistan which is supposed to be a non-Nato ally.

None of India’s neighbors in South Asia are at ease with India and are wary of its intrusiveness and its desire to turn them into its satellites. India’s RAW has been blatantly supporting anti-state elements in neighboring countries. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal are its biggest victims. Behind the glitter of so-called shining India projected through state controlled media, it is a moth eaten country and its fragmentation is a forgone conclusion. The 28 states artificially bonded into Indian Union will fall like nine-pins since all the minorities living in India and low caste Dalits are fed up of the coercive four-fold caste system imposed by 2.8 Brahmans, who are genetically perfidious, cunning, cruel and deceitful. With such a dismal state of affairs, it is ludicrous to call India a bulwark against China.

Idea of bulwark helps India in hiding its embarrassment as to why over 700,000 Indian forces in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) have utterly failed to crush the freedom movement waged by few thousand ill-equipped Kashmiris against whom the whole world has shut their eyes and ears. The mismatch is going on for the last two decades and now unarmed teenagers have come in the forefront. Indian Army has failed to quell any of the 30 armed insurgencies raging within India of which Maoist movement is the most dangerous since it has grown into an existential threat to Indian integrity. It is been unsuccessful in overawing Pakistan which is five times smaller in size, population and resources. Indian Army suffered humiliation in Sri Lanka in 1987-88, when it tried to defeat its own creation Tamil Tigers known as LTTE. Ultimately, Sri Lankan Army crushed LTTE decisively.

It is because of deep seated prejudice of the US and western countries against Muslims that they have adopted a discriminatory posture towards Pakistan. They see India as their natural partner and consider it morally right to bestow it with all the favors without taking into consideration what grave affects it will have on the security of Pakistan in particular. While the US and the west see Pakistan as black and India as white, the world has begun to see the ugly face of India. It is now common knowledge that India is the sole terrorist state in South Asia and has disturbed the peace and stability of this region.

Bogey of bulwark has been raised by USA purposely since it gives it a legal cover to assist India lavishly. It helps India to justify its heavy increase in defence budget each year and its mad rush to buy most expensive and advanced armaments and technology. Pakistan is silenced by assuring it that India’s military buildup is directed against China.

While India is ever ready to pounce at a weak opponent, it will never pick up courage to clash with a more powerful or even an equivalent military power. It doesn’t even fight a weaker opponent fairly and instead indulges in covert war and psychological war to further weaken it from within before entering the battlefield. With such a cautious mindset and lack of will, it is simply out of question that India will ever confront Chinamilitarily.

India may agree to back up USA if the latter decides to attack China, but will jump in only when it is absolutely sure that the US is winning and not otherwise. The possibility of USA attacking China is also ruled out given the US current vulnerabilities and its track record of striking smaller and weak countries only. Under the circumstances, the dream of making India a bulwark against China will remain confined to sand model exercises only.

“Killing of Col imam is question mark on writ of state”

“Killing of Col imam is question mark on writ of state”


”Fear of militancy in Year 2011 Vs 2010”

Murder of Ammer Sultan (ex SSG & ISI officer) famous as Col imam at Waziristan in the starting month of year2011 created a question mark on the writ of state. It is worth mentioning that Col imam was kidnapped months ago with his other fellows Khalid Khawaja(also beheaded) and Journalists by Laskare jhangvi.Question arises that for many times the security forces higher officials even Chief of Army Staff,Core Commander and DG ISPR in their visits and press briefings claimed that complete writ of state is established in entire Fata especially the most dangerous Waziristan. Where is the writ of state that even it did not recovered its ex serviceman for months is indeed a big question mark on state and its security forces who are spending 80% budget on law enforcing agencies whose constitutional responsibility is to give protection to every citizen of state. While other aspect of this incident recalls towards the natural revenge(Khuda ki Lathi bay-awaz hoti hai) that a person (Col imam) who trained these millitants of Lashkare jhangivi ,Sipahe Sahaba and taliban during his military service was killed by his own trained Jihadis. Col imam openly in his different TV Interviews during Year2010 proudly admitted that how he trained these militants in the name of jihad and Islam for establishing Taliban role in Afghanistan during mid 90’s.In one of his TV interview in Jawabdhey Program of Private TV Channel he was explaining his tactics of bringing Taliban role in another country as the Afghanistan may be the 5th Province of Pakistan and not a sovereign independent country. But Col imam seems to be unaware of the natural revenge and balance for his strategic assets Taliban cruelty and brutality in Afghanistan in the shape of massacre & genocide of afghan Hazaras even by murdering women and children. Similarly in the same month in Start of Year 2011 ex Gen: Nasurral Babar also died after consciousness for months due to brain hemriage(as Aerol sharon of israeil for years in same disease after war crimes),Gen(R) Babar also proudly saying that millitants taliban and its head mullah umar is his production. Anyhow the departure of Col Imam and Gen: Babar is lesson of Natural revenge (Khuda ki Lathi bay-awaz hoti hai) for all those who commit cruelty and brutality with innocent people forgetting fear of God.

With addition to this killing of Col imam is also red notice for both Military and Civilians leadership of Pakistan that now the time of reaping crop has comes what they sown in the form of training these militants of Lashkare jhangivi ,Sipahe Sahaba taliban and other Jihadis groups with the help of American CIA and Saudi Wahabi regime(dollars & riyals combination) in the decade of 80’s and 90’s.The situation which our country Pakistan is facing in the form of suicide attacks in Public Places, Holy Places and Shrines with addition to Law enforcing Agencies offices even GHQ is the result of that wrong policy which was adopted by General Zia ,Babar & Col Imam and similar puppets. To eliminate this evil and curse of terrorism was very easy and simple in the decade of 90’s in its initial stages when Late Inspector Ashraf marth of Punjab Police after investigation shows the proofs of anti state activities of militants belonging Lashkare jhangivi ,Sipahe Sahaba and taliban.Inspector Ashraf Marth produced evidence and proofs of unlimited american dollars credit cards with addition to Arab countries financial support with these trained millitants of Lashkare jhangivi ,Sipahe Sahaba and taliban.He also produced proofs of connections between anti state RAW,CIA & MOSAD with these trained millitants of Lashkare jhangivi ,Sipahe Sahaba and taliban.But state at that time instead of action against these anti state elements of Lej,ssp,ttp and other jihadi groups,even state was silent spectator on the cold blooded murder of Inspector Ashraf Marth by the terrorists of these militants groups. That is why in upcoming years these militants and Jihadis were so powerful that they even challenge the writ of state in its federal capital Islamabad in the form of jamia Hafsa and attack on GHQ in Rawalipindi.So the killing of Col imam who trained these millitants by his own Jihadi pupils of Lashkare jhangivi ,Sipahe Sahaba and taliban shows that in Year 2011 militancy will be increasing instead of control.Ironically this is very strange that Why State apparatus supported and even still supporting these notorious wahabi terrorists groups of Lej,ssp,ttp and other jihadi groups whose forefathers anti Islam and anti Pakistan enmity was known when they opposed the creation of pakistan by declaring Quaid-e-Azam as Kafir-e-azam?

This is one side of Picture of militancy and talibinzation in Waziristan and silent spectator role of state against militants instead of punishing them. While on other side the Anti Taliban tribes Like Salarzai in Bajaur and Turi Bangash tribes in kurram who are opposing the evil and curse of militancy and talibinzation from day first are facing state terrorism. The proof of which is the attack by female suicide bomber at bajur on Salarazi tribe people at Khar Bajaur Agency and four years long crippling Siege and humanitarian Crisis imposed on Turi bangash tribes is eye opening. Now Lets compare year 2010 and Year 2011 in terms of pro Taliban & Anti taliban.
In Year 2010 we witnessed blasts and incident of Terrorism
throughout Pakistan especially in Fata & Kpk the latest in Bajur Agency evenby female suicide bomber who targeted the anti Taliban Salarazi tribe people.Here we will Focus the Anti Taliban
Resistance in Fata & Kpk which is role model for all who want to end terrorism.Tribal People who are the soldiers without pay of western borders of Pakistan,their loyalty and love with founder of Pakistan Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Pakistan is examplery.But unfournatuly now a days they are receiving the fruit of this loyality and patriotisim in form of militancy & Talibinization in the name of so called war against terror.The curse of terrorism in strategic important tribal areas neighboring Afghanistan has also affected the overall country especially KhyberPakhtoonkhawa(KPK)adjacent to FATA. After
9/11 and invasion of Afghanistan by occupied forces the militancy
started in this area in form of Talibinzation which is actually the
fruit of seed sown by American CIA their partner arab countries wealth and implemented by a puppet dictator zia in the name of jihad in the decade of 80’s. In both the mentioned situation either before 9/11 or after those areas of KPK and FATA suffered a lot whose people welcomed and facilitated the influx of foreign fighters in the name of jihad and islam.While there are some exceptional cases and areas in FATA & KPK who did not allow this curse of militancy in the name of talibinzation,a brutal wahabi brand of jihad in form of succide attacks on public places, holy places and even mosques as tool for defaming islam and muslims globally by world arrogant and evil forces.
It is the power of people or community of that area if they do not
want militancy or talibinization then no one either International
establishment or domestic even if want cannot do anything this shows that how people or masses are powerful. We have examples of areas in FATA like Salarzai area in Bajaur Agency,Landikotal in KhyberAgency,Turi Bangash tribes areas in Upper Kurram and surrounding as well as Lower part of Orakzai Agency where the people did not allowed talibinazation and even when it was tried to impose by force they Resisted this curse. Similarly the Swabi,Charsada,mardan,hazara region majority areas of KPK also opposed the talibinization that is why these areas are quite peaceful as compared to those areas of KPK & FATA who welcomed Taliban.While other parts of FATA and KPK whose
people welcomed and facilitated the foreign terrorists for their
wasted interests of getting money and even they set family relations
by marrying their daughters and sisters to arab and uzbek nationals
are suffering a lot from their own wrong decision. One aspect is clear
that both either who give warm welcome to Taliban and those who
resisted suffered from the militancy and curse of terrorisim with a
difference that one type of sufferings are with shame & humiliation
while other type with dignity and proud. It is also a fact that those
who opposed talibinzation they suffered for one time by resisting the
Taliban armed invasion and rule While those who welcome and
facilitated these foreign and local militants Taliban,they are
suffering daily and continuously.
In this entire Resistance against Talibinization one exceptional and
rare case of Resistance which not mentioning will be a crime in
opinion of any human friendly individual is the Resistance by the Turi
and bangash tribes people living in Parachinar Upper Kurram and
surrounding areas. They resisted the militants Taliban armed lashker
and talibinzation by giving sacrifices of more than fourteen hundreds
causalities and thousands other injured by not allowing the curse of
terrorism and Taliban in their areas.This is the role model for
all,because even people can defeat the curse of talibinzation if they
want.In other areas of FATA like Salarazi Bajaur Agency & FR Peshawar Mattani areas anti Taliban armed tribal lashkers were formed & supported by Govt even by supplying them weapons against Taliban.But in Parachinar Kurram Agency instead of helping anti Taliban turi and bangash tribes they received a prize in the form of inhuman crippling siege and economic blockade in the form of blocking main Thall Parachinar road the only route connecting it to rest of country by converting it into Pakistan Gaza as Gaza in Plaestine.While Ironically this main Thall Parachinar Road is open for all even security forces FC political adminstartion except anti taliban Turi Bangash tribes of Parachinar and surrounding areas of Upper Kurram isa question mark.The tribals people are saying that If quaid-e-azam alive today then they will not face such a step mother treatement but it is now the Zaradari,Kiyanni and Gillani’s i cube Pakistan where they are facing such rewarad for loyalty and patriotisim.The Chief Justice of Pakistan who seems to be the person of quaid-e-azam vision by taking suo motive action even on minor issues as potriated by mediaBut on Humantarian Crisis of Parachinar created by continous four year
imposed Siege his(CJ Pakistan)silence is big question mark awaited
for answer.The resistance of Turi & Bangash tribes of Upper kurram
also raised a logical question on so called war against terror that
when People can defeat the armed Taliban lashker by resisting,then why the security forces failed to do so who are engulfing the eighty
percent of poor country Pakistan budget in the name of defense. Secondquestion is that what is the crime of these patriotic Pakistani whoare not only resisted talibinization but also protecting their mother land as well as Pakistan because Kurram touches four provinces of Afghanistan,latest example is the armed Taliban attack fromAfghanistan side in September2010 on village Khevas Shalozan resistedby Turi & Banagsh tribes with braverly.Tribal people of FATA
especially in Upper Kurram located on Pak Afghan border are soldiers without pay and they sacrificed for Pakistan even in struggle of Pakistan and after that in 1947,48,65,71 & Kargil war.This credit alsogoes to elders of Turi & Bangash tribes of Kurram Agency Parachinar that they sent a delegation to meet Quaid -e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Delhi by encouraging him and giving all support to him in making Pakistan,the news item with picture published in English daily at that time is available in homes of those elders and even on internet as soft copy till now. That is Why after the foundation of PakistanQuaid-e-Azam in his visit allowed the people of FATA to carry weapons and even initially they were provided weapons of that time by government for protecting the Pakistani terroitry.The Peak of oppression in the form of step mother treatment is committed with these patriotic and loyal tribals of Pakistan that instead of appreciating their pro Pakistan role they are receiving heavy weaponsand gunship helicopters shelling by Security Forces FC murderinginnocent children. When the Turi Bangash tribes in September2010 resisted the armed militants Taliban attack from Afghanistan on Pakistani terroritry of Khevas village Shalozan the security forces and FC instead of helping them against foreign militants started heavy weapons and gunships helicopters shelling on their own people how shameful act it is. But no one is there to take action against authorities concern for this blunder. Now the Turi Bangash tribals besides buying daily food stuff and medicines on two to three times more prices due to imposed siege and demand supply ratio,they are also purchasing weapons with their own money by selling cows and other livestock for their own and motherland Pakistan pak-afghan border protection. It seems that the name of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
is only restricted by placing his picture in offices and pasting on
currency notes while his words and promises with all especially peopleof FATA has no value at all. The rulers sitting in Islamabad and Rawalpindi should think seriously on this point. While the Tribals aresufferings in so called war against terrorisim by millitry and militants Taliban. The famous thinker and scholar Allama iqbal
mentioned in his Persian poetry that “The example of Asia is like a
body and Afghanistan is the heart of this body,If heart is healthy
and fit the whole body will be fit and healthy & vice versa” ,So the
Peace in entire Asia especially afgh-pak region depends on Afghanistan stability. But this peace can be achieved if the People of afgh-pakregion especially FATA & KPK will set examples of Resistance against talibinazation in their areas. Because from facts it is clear like aday light that talibinzation is actually the justification of foreign occupation,when people will not allow Taliban in your area by setting an example of resistance then no one can impose talibinzation in your locality or area. Otherwise all the people of entire Asia & even world will be suffering continuously.
(The end).

Col Imam’s death stuns decision-makers

Col Imam’s death stuns decision-makers

Syed Saleem Shahzad

News of the killing of Sultan Ameer Tarar, alias Colonel Imam, a legendary Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI) official, has stunned decision-makers in Pakistan and raised questions about the circumstances of his death.

Imam, 67, was apparently killed on Saturday by his kidnappers in the North Waziristan tribal area where he had been held since being seized in March last year while on a backchannel mission to get militants to agree to a ceasefire with security forces.

Imam spent 10 years in the ISI’s Afghan cell during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s and after retirement he worked for the ISI in various capacities for handling the Taliban.

Pakistani television channels flashed the news of Imam being shot dead on Saturday evening. Some sources then maintained he had not been killed but had died of a heart attack. Others pointed to the fact that the body had not been seen, and that no group had claimed responsibility; militants have a tradition of leaving the body of a “spy” on a road and claiming responsibility.

Whatever the circumstances of Imam’s killing – assuming he is dead – they could be a major turning point and even lead to Pakistan finally bowing to the demands of the United States to launch an all-out military offensive in North Waziristan against militants.

On Sunday morning, Imam’s family was still claiming that reports of Imam’s death were nothing but rumours – and there might be some justification for this belief.

Late last week, Imam spoke to family members on the phone. Militants, too, spoke to the family and were very respectful. “Colonel Imam is a respected elder to us. We have put certain demands to the government. It is our compulsion that as long as our demands are not fulfilled, we cannot release him. Try to understand our position. Otherwise, he is at home. He is getting all medicine and care,” the militants said. Imam also sounded as if he was comfortable and in a friendly environment.

He was abducted by a group of Punjabi militants in March 2010 along with a British journalist, Asad Qureshi, and another former ISI official, Khalid Khawaja, who was subsequently killed.

Most militant groups denounced the abduction. Taliban leader Mullah Omar sent a message to the militants calling for their release. However, the ringleader, Ali Imran alias Usman Punjabi, would not listen and killed Khawaja. Qureshi was released, allegedly after paying a huge ransom. On what to do with Imam, the militants were divided in two groups. Those led by Sabir Mehsud killed Usman Punjabi along with five of his accomplices. The issue was then brought to the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP – Pakistan Taliban) Hakimullah Mehsud, who took Imam into his custody and executed Sabir Mehsud for killing Usman Punjabi.

Since then, the Pakistani security forces have tried to establish a channel of communication with Mehsud for the release of Imam. The mediator has been Maulana Fazlur Rahman Khalil, a chief of the banned Harkatul Mujahideen. Khalil took guarantees on behalf of the militants that Imam would not be killed.

Imam was an officer in the army and a former member of the Special Service Group and he also served as consul general in the western Afghan city of Herat during the mujahideen government in the early 1990s until the end of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001.

Imam trained senior commanders of the Afghan national resistance against the Soviet invasion, including Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Mullah Omar. After the emergence of the Taliban movement in Kandahar, he enthusiastically reported on its merits to Islamabad as a pro-Pakistan movement that could eliminate warlordism.

Later, with the consent of the Pakistani military establishment, he helped the student militia in its mobilisation from Kandahar all the way to Jalalabad and Kabul – where it took power in 1996. This left no option for mujahideen leaders like Hekmatyar and Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani and others to escape.

Controversies with militants

Western media often portrayed Imam as the father of the Taliban or somebody who shared ultra-radical Taliban thinking and supported their strategies.

Even among militants, especially Pakistanis who fought in Kashmir against Indian forces and later joined forces with the Taliban and al-Qaeda, said the same of Imam.

However, that was not the case. He was recognised by former chief of army staff and president General Zia-ul Haq and former joint chief of staff committee (then chief of the ISI) General Akhtar Abdul Rahman as qualified enough to handle the Afghan mujahideen. Militants placed much hope in officers like General Hamid Gul – another former head of the ISI – and Imam, and when they didn’t come up to expectations, especially after September 11, 2001, and the “war on terror”, militants were angered.

After Zia’s death in a plane crash in 1988, Gul, then director general of the ISI, continued with Zia’s mission of an Afghan jihad. Gul was an ambitious officer and the brains behind his army chief, General Aslam Beg. Because of American pressure, Gul could not be elevated as army chief, yet he remained an inspiration for officers. General Pervez Musharraf – president from 2001 to 2008 – cited Gul as a role model.

Imam was part of Gul’s team and they played an important role after 9/11 to convince top militant leaders to trust Musharraf and that he would never sell out the interests of Pakistan and Islam. Later, that was actually the biggest complaint of the militants with Gul and Imam – that they took the wrong decision in supporting Musharraf after 9/11 and in misleading militants that Musharraf would successfully deceive the Americans and get them buried in Afghanistan.

Gul and Musharraf eventually fell out, and immediately after the imposition on November 3, 2007, of a state of emergency, Gul, who had successfully split the military oligarchy by gathering many hundreds of retired army officers of all ranks against Musharraf, was among the first to be rounded up and put behind bars.

Imam, who had continued to work as a front man for the ISI in communicating with senior Taliban commanders in Afghanistan. also fell out with Musharraf in late 2007 and was completely disowned.

Senior militant leaders like Commander Ilyas Kashmiri and other al-Qaeda leaders complained that Gul’s and Imam’s initial support for Musharraf and then the fallout caused so much damage to jihadi efforts in Afghanistan that they could not be repaired.

When Imam went to North Waziristan in March 2010, after getting support from Gul and Beg, it was believed in establishment circles that the Taliban and al-Qaeda would give him a serious hearing. But in fact, for pro-al-Qaeda militants, Imam didn’t deserve any respect. Although Mullah Omar called for his release, and Pakistani commanders like Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Sirajuddin Haqqani did pass on the message to Imam’s abductors – they never intervened for his release because they feared hostilities with the TTP, which they were not prepared to risk for someone like Imam.

The circumstances leading to Imam’s death could help the army decide on the course of its relations and the trustworthiness of the TTP.

Pakistan saw relative calm in 2010 as militant attacks were vastly reduced due to ceasefire agreements. However, as the US increased pressure on Pakistan to launch an operation in North Waziristan, pro-al-Qaeda militant Qari Ziaur Rahman emerged from the Afghan province of Kunar and carried out a devastating attack in Pakistan’s Mohmand area.

Dozens of soldiers were killed and several were abducted. That was a clear show of power by the militants that in the event of any military operation, the militants were capable of opening up fronts across Pakistan. So Pakistan stalled the Americans.

In the meantime, Pakistan opened communication with the militants and assured them that no military operation would be launched on North Waziristan. Khalil, who is inactive as a militant but maintains connections with high-profile militants – played the role of guarantor. One of the issues on which Khalil appeared as guarantor was Imam’s safety.

Economically and politically vulnerable Pakistan cannot afford a Taliban-led insurgency to reach the levels of 2007 and 2008. Therefore, ceasefire agreements are essential, provided that the Taliban show commitment to their pledges.

At the same time, Pakistan does not want to give militants too much breathing space to make themselves more dangerous to national security.

The precise circumstances of Imam’s death could indicate whether the Taliban are sincere about making peace with Pakistan, or whether they are just buying time, which in turn will decide whether or not the army goes in North Waziristan.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Pakistani security forces accused of rights violations, Human Rights Watch

Pakistani security forces accused of rights violations, Human Rights Watch\01\25\story_25-1-2011_pg1_6

* HRW report says terror suspects frequently detained without charge or convicted without fair trial

* Military resisted government’s reconciliation efforts and attempts to locate missing persons in Balochistan

* Violence and mistreatment of women and girls, including rape, domestic violence and forced marriage, remain serious problems

NEW YORK: The Taliban and other terrorists in Pakistan increased their deadly attacks against civilians and public places during 2010, while the Pakistani government response was marred by serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its World Report 2011.

The 649-page report, HRW’s 21st annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarises major human rights trends in more than 90 states and territories worldwide. Suicide bombings, armed attacks, and killings by the Taliban, al Qaeda, and their affiliates targeted nearly every sector of Pakistani society, including minorities and journalists, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The country’s largest cities bore the brunt of these attacks. Two attacks in May on the Ahmadiyya community’s places of worship in Lahore killed nearly 100 people. On July 1, a suicide bomber killed 40 devotees at the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh.

“Taliban atrocities aren’t happening in a vacuum, but instead often with covert support from elements in the intelligence services and law enforcement agencies,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at the HRW. “The Pakistan government needs to use all lawful means to hold those responsible to account.”

The government’s response to terrorist attacks instead has routinely violated basic rights, HRW said. Thousands of Taliban suspects have been held in unlawful military detention without charge, many of them in two military facilities in Swat, one in the Khyber Agency of the Tribal Areas, and at least one more in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

While the US remained Pakistan’s most significant ally and was the largest donor to its flood relief effort, HRW documented several instances in 2010 in which US aid to Pakistan appeared to contravene the US Leahy Law. The law requires the US State Department to certify that no military unit receiving aid is involved in gross human rights abuses and, when such abuses are found, to investigate them thoroughly and properly. In October, the US imposed sanctions on six units of the Pakistani military operating in the Swat Valley, but at the same time announced a $2 billion military aid package for Pakistan to help the country meet unprecedented counter-terrorism challenges.

“The Leahy sanctions have not ended continuing reports of summary executions by Pakistani security forces,” Hasan said. “Killings by the army need to end, and the US should stop sending mixed signals that allow the army to continue with business as usual.”

Persecution and discrimination under cover of law against religious minorities and other vulnerable groups remained serious problems, HRW said. On November 7, Aasia Bibi became the first woman in the country’s history to be sentenced to death for the crime of blasphemy. Attempts by government officials and legislators to seek a pardon and amend the blasphemy law were greeted with threats, intimidation, and violence. On December 30, the government backtracked on its promise to review the blasphemy law.

On January 4, 2011, Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, a vocal critic of the blasphemy law, was gunned down in Islamabad by a bodyguard who admitted to the killing, saying he did it because of Taseer’s stance on the issue. A former information minister, Sherry Rehman, who proposed amendments to the blasphemy law, also has received death threats in the face of government inaction.

Abuses by Pakistani police, including cases of extrajudicial killing, also continued to be reported throughout the country in 2010.

A package of reforms aimed at improving provincial autonomy and providing redress for ethnic Baloch grievances was passed by parliament, but civilian authorities struggled to implement it as conditions markedly deteriorated in Balochistan. Armed groups launched attacks against security forces. Pakistan’s military publicly resisted government reconciliation efforts and attempts to locate ethnic Baloch “disappeared” during Gen Pervez Musharraf’s military rule.

Pakistan forces continued to be implicated in the enforced disappearance of suspected ethnic Baloch. Militant groups increased attacks against non-Baloch civilians, teachers, and education facilities. At least nine education personnel were killed between January and October 2010.

Violence and mistreatment of women and girls, including rape, domestic violence, and forced marriage, remain serious problems. The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, unanimously passed by the National Assembly in August 2009, lapsed after the Senate failed to pass it within three months as required under the constitution.

Journalists known to be critical of the military continued to be harassed, threatened and mistreated by military-controlled intelligence agencies, the HRW noted. agencies

PAKISTAN: Army officers acknowledged that a disappeared person was in their custody but the courts failed to recover him

PAKISTAN: Army officers acknowledged that a disappeared person was in their custody but the courts failed to recover him

January 25, 2011

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: Army officers acknowledged that a disappeared person was in their custody but the courts failed to recover him

The case of the disappearance of a master tailor exposes how the army is involved and the weaknesses of the judicial system

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received the details of the saga of disappearance of a master tailor who was arrested on two occasions by army personnel and how since October 2001 his whereabouts are unknown. The high officials of the Pakistan army including Corps Commander of Balochistan province, a major general, the governor of the province and above all of them, the chief of the Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI) had confessed on the holy Quran in 2003 that the victim was in the custody of the ISI and that he would be released after the investigation.

The Judicial Commission to probe the cases of missing persons has also submitted a report to the Supreme Court of Pakistan that Mr. Bangulzai, the master tailor, was in the custody of secret services of Pakistan.

The dilemma is that since 2001 to date, the higher courts, the governments of the federation and Balochistan have failed to recover him because of the involvement of the army and its intelligence agencies in his disappearance.

Mr. Ali Asghar Bangulzai 50, the son of Ghulam Nabi was arrested the first time by secret services on June 1, 2000 from his tailoring shop. After 14 days he was released. After his release it was found that he had lost his memory because of the severe torture he had endured. He could not even recognise his own house where he was born. After his recovery he revealed to his family that he was kept in a torture cell at the basement of army’s Kulli camp situated at Quetta cantonment. During his confinement he was kept blindfolded at all times; his hands were cuffed and he was frequently suspended by the wrists by officials of ISI. This is according to his family members from he later told them. After his release for almost one year he was not able to run his tailoring shop.

Mr. Bangulzai was the resident of Chaki Shahwani, Sariab Road, Quetta, capital of Balochistan province. His tailor shop was in walking distance from his home. The army was suspicious that many people were visiting his shop and that he must be involved in militant activities.

Again, on October 18, 2001 Bangulzai was arrested along with his friend Mohammad Iqbal by men who came in army vehicles. Iqbal was released after 22 days he told Bangulzai’s family members that he was in an army torture cell. The family tried to contact the local officials and army command office for his whereabouts but they refused to meet the family. In early 2002, a constitutional petition was filed in the Balochistan high court, during hearing Mr. Iqbal recorded his statement that Bangulzai was in Kulli Army camp. He also took part in a press conference in Quetta Press Club with Bangulzai family members with regard to his arrest .The family members also submitted an application to SHO (Station head officer) Sariab Police Station with a request to lodge an FIR (First information report) about his illegal arrest and disappearance but the police refused to file the FIR because of the involvement of military intelligence agencies. The family of the victim also filed an applic ation before the High Court to order police to file the FIR but the court could not help the family.

On April 27, 2002 family members of Bangulzai met the then Major General Abdul Qadir Baloch , who was Corp Commander of the province to inquire about the whereabouts of the Bagulzai. The family was given assurance that they would be informed about his whereabouts. The Corps Commander sent two officers from military intelligence to the house of victim on May 15, 2002 who told the family that Bangulzai was safe and in the custody of the ISI. As the interrogation is completed he would be released but officials refused to allow the family members to meet him.

In the meantime the family members in desperation tried to meet members of the parliament. They were able to meet Mr. Hafiz Hussain Ahmad MNA (Member of National Assembly) who took the family members to meet with the head of ISI (Inter services intelligence) Baluchistan, Brigadier Siddique. During the meeting Brigadier called Colonel Bangush and asked him to bring the file of Bangulzai. After seeing the file Brigadier Siddique congratulated the family and said that Banguzai was in their custody. During different meetings the family members of Bangulzai insisted that they wanted to meet with him but every time they were told that there was no need as he would be released soon.

On October 4, 2003 Brigadier Siddique asked the family members of the victim to provide clothes for him because all arrangements had been made for his release.

For the whole one year family members waited for his release and then they adopted the peaceful protest. Bangulzai’s children left their studies and went on a token hunger strike camp in front of Quetta Press Club for the safe recovery of their father and to record their peaceful protest. The camp was there for one year.

On July 14, 2005 the Baluchistan High Court on the pressure from lawyers and civil society took suo motto notice and directed the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Chilton Town, Mr. Wazeer khan, to investigate and register an FIR for Bangulzai’s disappearance by the state intelligence agencies. During the hearing seven persons recorded their statements that army personnel had arrested him and that had assured them many times he would be released from army custody. As usual on the pressure from army Sariab Police Station Quetta refused to register the FIR.

On March 2006 Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, the member of national assembly, visited the token hunger strike camp of family members of Bangulzai and told the local news papers representatives that the head of ISI (Inter services intelligence) Brigadier Siddique has himself acknowledge before him that Bangulzai is in their custody and also assured him that he will be released soon. Hafiz deplored the attitude of ISI officers for lying and misguiding the people.

On February 2007 the family members of Bangulzai submitted a petition in Supreme Court of Pakistan, in which Hafiz Hussain Ahmad’s written statement was submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

In continuation of their efforts the family members filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in February 2007 where Mr. Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, the MNA, has submitted his written statement that ISI had assured him several times that Bangulzai is in their custody. The Supreme Court then ordered on January 31, 2010 that the FIR of his disappearance should be filed. The court also directed the police to file the FIRs of other disappeared persons also.

The Joint Investigation Team to probe the cases of disappeared persons, formed by the government of Pakistan, has also submitted a report to the Supreme Court that according to the testimonies of the eye witnesses and other supportive statements Bangulzai was in the custody of state intelligence agencies.

A Judicial commission to probe the cases of the missing persons, formed by the Federal Government on the instruction from Supreme Court has also came to the conclusion in the March 2010 that after recording all the witnesses that Bangulzai was arrested by the Pakistan secret services and that he was in its custody. The report was duly submitted to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

During the hearing of the Judicial Commission, Mr.Hafiz Hussain Ahmad (MNA) has recorded his statement that the Brigadier Siddique, head of the ISI in Balochistan province, has acknowledge to him that Bangulzai was in their custody and soon he would be released. Mohammad Iqbal who was arrested with Bangulzai also recorded his statement that they were arrested by secret services and that Bangulzai was in their custody. The other witnesses as well recorded their statements that Brigadier has several times accepted in front of them, and Corps commander Qadir Baloch sent his two (MI) (Military intelligence) personnel to the victim’s family and said that he was in the custody of an Intelligence Agency.

It is appalling that 11 years after his arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention by the intelligence agencies Bangulzai’s whereabouts are still unknown. None of the institutions and officials who were involved in his disappearance has been put on trial despite the fact that they have admitted his detention 11 years ago! Judges hearing disappearances cases have stated in court that any intelligence officer involved in the disappearance of an individual should be placed on trial but this has never happened. Not one has ever been punished.

In the presence of all the evidence that he was illegally arrested and kept incommunicado in an army torture cell by the ISI, the weakness of the country’s justice system is blatantly evident before the powerful military and security agencies. His disappearance by the military is contravention of the basic rights guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan for example:

Article 4 — The right of individuals to be dealt with by law, Article 10–safe guards as to arrest and detention — the arrested person should be produced within 24 of his arrest before the magistrate, Article 14 — no person should be tortured, Article 15 — freedom of movement and Article 25- all citizens are equal before the law.

The case of Bangulzai is a clear demonstration that the laws of the country do not apply to the military and intelligence agencies. When it comes to providing justice to the ordinary citizen in the face of these institutions the judiciary remains silent.

The Asian Human Rights Commission urges that Mr. Bangulzai should be released immediately from the captivity by the army and its intelligence agencies and that the officials responsible for this arrest and disappearance are prosecuted. Furthermore, the compensation must be paid to his family for the ordeal suffered by him and his family members.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

International Human Rights Day 2010 – Download our pre-print PDF version of the annual reports here.


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Monday, 24 January 2011



For the past several years, STRATFOR has published an annual forecast on al Qaeda and the jihadist movement. Since our first jihadist forecast in January 2006, we have focused heavily on the change in the nature of jihadism from a phenomenon involving primarily the core al Qaeda group to one based mainly on the broader jihadist movement and the decentralized threat it poses.

The central theme of last year's forecast was that the al Qaeda core would continue to be marginalized on the physical battlefield in 2010 and would struggle to remain relevant on the ideological battlefield. We also forecast that the regional jihadist franchise groups would continue to be at the vanguard of the physical battle, and that grassroots operatives would remain a persistent, though lower-level, threat.

The past year was indeed quite busy in terms of attacks and thwarted plots planned by jihadist actors. As forecast, most of these plots involved militants from regional jihadist groups or grassroots operatives rather than militants dispatched by the al Qaeda core leadership. For 2011, we anticipate that this dynamic will continue and that the core al Qaeda group will continue to struggle to remain relevant both on the physical battlefield and on the ideological front. Like the year before, 2011 will be defined by the activities of the franchise groups and the persistent grassroots threat.


In the common vernacular today, "al Qaeda" has come to mean a number of different things. Before we can conduct a meaningful discussion of the jihadist phenomenon we must first define what we are talking about.


In Arabic, the word "jihad" can mean to "struggle" or "strive for" something. The word is also commonly used to refer to an armed struggle. In Arabic, one engaged in such a struggle is called a "mujahid" (mujahideen in the plural). Mainstream Muslims do not consider the term "jihadist" as an authentic way -- within the context of classical Islam -- to describe those who claim to be fighting on their behalf. In fact, those called jihadists in the Western context are considered deviants by mainstream Muslims. Therefore, calling someone a jihadist reflects this perception of deviancy. Because of this, we have chosen to use the term jihadists to refer to militant Islamists who seek to topple current regimes and establish an Islamic polity via warfare. We use the term jihadism to refer to the ideology propagated by jihadists.

Al Qaeda, al Qaeda Prime or al Qaeda Core

As a quick reminder, STRATFOR views what most people refer to as "al Qaeda" as a global jihadist network rather than a monolithic entity. This network consists of three distinct and quite different elements. The first is the vanguard al Qaeda organization, which we frequently refer to as al Qaeda prime or the al Qaeda core. The al Qaeda core is comprised of Osama bin Laden and his small circle of close, trusted associates, such as Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Although al Qaeda trained thousands of militants in its camps in Afghanistan, most of these people were either members of other militant groups or grassroots operatives and never became members of the core group. Indeed, most of the people trained received only basic guerrilla warfare training and only a select few were designated to receive training in terrorist tradecraft skills such as bombmaking.

The al Qaeda core has always been a small and elite vanguard organization. Since the 9/11 attacks, intense pressure has been placed upon this core organization by the U.S. government and its allies. This pressure has resulted in the death or capture of many al Qaeda cadres and has served to keep the group small due to operational security concerns. This insular group is laying low in Pakistan near the Afghan border, and its ability to conduct attacks has been significantly degraded because of this isolation. All of this has caused the al Qaeda core to become primarily an organization that produces propaganda and provides guidance and inspiration to the other jihadist elements rather than an organization focused on conducting operations. While the al Qaeda core gets a great deal of media attention, it comprises only a very small portion of the larger jihadist movement.

Franchise Groups

The second element of jihadism is the global network of local or regional terrorist or insurgent groups that have been influenced by the al Qaeda core's philosophy and guidance and have adopted the jihadist ideology. Some of these groups have publicly claimed allegiance to bin Laden and the al Qaeda core and have become what we refer to as franchise groups. These include such organizations as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It is important to note that even though these groups take on the al Qaeda brand name, they are like commercial franchises in that they are locally owned and operated. While all these organizations are independent, some of the leaders and groups, like Nasir al-Wahayshi and AQAP, are fairly closely aligned to the al Qaeda core. Others, like the former leader of the al Qaeda franchise in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have been more at odds with al Qaeda's program.

Other regional groups may adopt some or all of al Qaeda's jihadist ideology and cooperate with the core group but maintain even more independence than the franchise groups for a variety of reasons. Such groups include the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami (HUJI). In the case of some larger organizations like LeT, some factions of the group cooperate with al Qaeda while other factions actually oppose close cooperation with bin Laden and company.

Grassroots Jihadists

The third and broadest layer of the global jihadist network is comprised of what we refer to as grassroots jihadists. These are individuals who are inspired by the al Qaeda core -- or, increasingly, by the franchise groups -- but who may have little or no actual connection to these groups. Some grassroots operatives like Najibullah Zazi travel to places like Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen where they receive training from jihadist franchise groups. Other grassroots jihadists like Maj. Nidal Hasan may communicate with a franchise group but have no physical contact. Still other grassroots militants have no direct contact with the other jihadist elements or accidentally make contact with government informants while attempting to reach out to the other elements for training or assistance in conducting an attack. In recent years, such cases have been increasing in frequency and often result in sting operations and arrests.

As we move down the hierarchy from the al Qaeda core to the grassroots, there is a decline in operational capability and expertise in what we refer to as terrorist tradecraft -- the skills required to effectively conduct a terrorist attack. The operatives belonging to the al Qaeda core are generally better trained than their regional counterparts, and both of these layers tend to be far better trained than the grassroots operatives. Indeed, as noted above, grassroots operatives frequently travel abroad to obtain training that will enable them to conduct attacks.

While these jihadist elements are separate and distinct, the Internet has long proved to be an important bridge connecting them -- especially at the grassroots level. Websites provide indoctrination in jihadist ideology and also serve as a way for aspiring jihadists to make contact with like-minded individuals and jihadist groups.

2010 Forecast Review

As noted above, the heart of our jihadist forecast for 2010 was the idea that the efforts of the U.S. governments and its allies would continue to marginalize the al Qaeda core on the physical battlefield. Its absence from the physical battlefield would also cause the organization to struggle to remain relevant on the ideological battlefield. Because of this, we concluded that the regional jihadist franchise groups would remain at the vanguard of the physical battle in 2010, and that some of these groups, such as the Somali franchise al Shabaab, could become more transnational in their attacks during the year.

We did not see a successful attack attributed to the al Qaeda core in 2010, though there were some indications that al Qaeda operational planner Saleh al-Somali, prior to his death in December 2009, may have been involved in a plot with grassroots operatives that was uncovered in July 2010 in Oslo, Norway. (The Oslo plot apparently was put in motion before al-Somali was killed, reportedly by a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan.) Evidence also emerged over the past year linking al-Somali to the aforementioned September 2009 plot by Najibullah Zazi to bomb the New York subway system as well as a thwarted April 2009 plot to bomb a shopping center in Manchester, England. It is notable that al-Somali attempted to employ grassroots operatives like Zazi who were citizens of Western countries in his attack plans rather than professional terrorist operatives belonging to the al Qaeda core who have more trouble traveling to the West.

(click here to enlarge image)

In 2010, jihadist franchise groups such as AQAP were more active operationally than the core group. In addition to operations in their home countries, the franchises were also involved in a number of transnational attacks. AQAP was responsible for the Oct. 29 cargo bombing attempt and claimed responsibility for the downing of a UPS flight in Dubai on Sept. 3, 2010. Al Shabaab conducted its first transnational strike with the July 11 bombings in Kampala, Uganda, and the TTP trained, dispatched and funded grassroots operative Faisal Shahzad in his failed May 1 Times Square bombing attack.

In our 2010 forecast, we also noted our belief that, due to the open nature of U.S. and European societies and the ease of conducting attacks against them, we would see more grassroots plots, if not successful attacks, in the United States and Europe in 2010 than attacks by the other jihadist elements. This forecast was accurate. Of the 20 plots we counted in the West in 2010, one plot was connected to the al Qaeda core, four to franchise groups and 15 to grassroots militants. It is notable that the one plot linked to the al Qaeda core and two of those involving franchise groups also utilized grassroots militants. We also forecast that, because of the nature of the jihadist threat, we would continue to see attacks against soft targets in 2010 and that we would see additional plots focusing on aircraft. We were correct on both counts.

As far as our regional forecasts, they were fairly accurate, especially in places like Pakistan, North Africa, Indonesia and Somalia. Our biggest error concerned Yemen, where we believed that AQAP was going to have a difficult year due to all the attention being focused on the group in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, the Christmas Day underwear-bomb plot and the attempted assassination of Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. We clearly overestimated the ability -- and willingness -- of the Yemeni government and its American and Saudi allies to apply pressure to and damage AQAP. The group finished 2010 stronger than we anticipated, with most of its operational capability still intact.

Forecast for 2011

While it has been apparent for some time now that the al Qaeda core has been eclipsed on the physical battlefield by the franchise groups, over the past year we've seen indications that it is also beginning to play a secondary role in the ideological realm. Some posts on jihadist message boards criticize bin Laden and the al Qaeda core for their lack of operational activity. Some have even called them cowards for hiding in Pakistan for so long and consider their rhetoric "tired and old." At the same time, AQAP has received a great deal of attention in the international media (and in the jihadist realm) due to operations like the assassination attempt against Prince Mohammed, the Fort Hood shootings, the Christmas Day underwear-bombing attempt and, most recently, the printer bomb plot. This publicity has given AQAP a great deal of credibility among radical Islamists. The result is that AQAP has moved to the forefront of international jihadism. This means that people have begun to listen to what AQAP says while they have begun to ignore the messages of the al Qaeda core.

AQAP was well-positioned to take advantage of the bully pulpit afforded by its media-stimulating attacks. In addition to AQAP's popular Arabic-language online magazine Sada al-Malahim, the emergence of AQAP's English-language Inspire magazine and the increased profile and popularity of American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki have also helped propel AQAP to the forefront of jihadist tactical and ideological discussions.

In a March 2010 video titled "A Call to Arms," American-born al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn openly advocated a tactical approach to terrorist attacks -- conducting simple attacks utilizing readily available weapons -- that was first publicly advocated by AQAP leader Nasir al-Wahayshi in Sada al-Malahim and expanded upon in each issue of Inspire. Ordinarily, it is the al Qaeda core that sets the agenda in the jihadist realm, but the success of AQAP in inspiring grassroots operatives has apparently caused the core group to jump on the AQAP bandwagon and endorse al-Wahayshi's approach. We believe it is highly likely that we will see more examples of deference to AQAP from the al Qaeda core in the coming year. Overall, we believe that the al Qaeda core will remain marginalized on the physical battlefield in 2011 while struggling to remain relevant on the ideological battlefield.

Regional Forecasts

U.S. and Europe: Tactically, we anticipate that the core and franchise groups will continue to have difficulty attacking the United States and Europe directly and will continue to reach out to grassroots operatives who have the ability to travel to the West. This means we will likely see more plots involving poorly trained operatives like Zazi and Shahzad. While such individuals do have the capacity to kill people, they lack the capacity to conduct spectacular terrorist attacks like 9/11. This trend also means that travel to places such as Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or contact with jihadist planners there, will continue to be an operational weakness that can be exploited by Western intelligence agencies.

While al-Wahayshi's appeal for aspiring jihadist militants to avoid contacting franchise groups and travel overseas in search of jihadist training makes a great deal of sense tactically, it has proved very difficult to achieve. This is evidenced by the fact that we have seen very few plots or attacks in which the planners were true lone wolves who had absolutely no contact with outside jihadists -- or with government agents they believed to be jihadists. So while the leaderless resistance model can be quite difficult for law enforcement to guard against, its downside for the jihadists is that it takes a unique type of individual to be a true and effective lone wolf.

Since we believe most plots in the United States and Europe will again involve grassroots jihadists in 2011, we also believe that soft targets such as public gatherings and mass transportation will continue to be the most popular target set. We can also anticipate that franchises will continue to seek ways to attack aircraft. Certainly, AQAP has a history of such attacks, and perhaps even groups like al Shabaab or TTP could attempt to hit this long-popular jihadist target set. In places like Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia, we believe that hotels and housing compounds could serve as attractive and softer alternative targets to more difficult targets such as U.S. embassies or consulates. As we have recently noted, we also see no end to the targeting of people and institutions involved in the Mohammed cartoon controversy.

We also believe it is likely in the coming year that more grassroots militants in the United States will heed al-Wahayahi's advice and begin to conduct simple attacks using firearms rather than attempting more difficult and elaborate attacks using explosives.

Pakistan: The number of jihadist bombing attacks in Pakistan is trending down, as is the size of the devices involved. This means that the Pakistani government seems to have reduced the capabilities of the TTP to conduct attacks. It may be no coincidence that such attacks have trended down at the same time that U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle strikes along the border have been picking up. That said, the Pakistani tribal areas are teeming with weapons and ordnance and there is a wide array of jihadist elements that could employ them in an attack, from the TTP to al Qaeda to al Qaeda-linked foreign fighters. This means that Pakistan will face the threat of attack for the foreseeable future. The area along the border with Afghanistan is rugged and has proved hard to pacify for hundreds of years. We do not think the Pakistanis will be able to bring the area under control this year.

Afghanistan: In the coming year, as the spring thaw sets in, we will be watching closely for a Taliban resurgence and a more concerted attempt to reverse gains made by the International Security Assistance force in 2010. Our 2011 forecast for this conflict can be found here.

Yemen: We will continue to monitor Yemen closely. As mentioned above, so far the large influx of U.S. intelligence and military assets has not seemed to have helped the Yemeni government to seriously weaken AQAP, which is the strongest of the jihadist franchises outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan, region and the one with the longest transnational reach. Interestingly, the group has not had a very good track record of hitting international targets inside Yemen, aside from occasional attacks against unarmed tourists. This might cause AQAP to divert from harder targets like embassies and motorcades of armored vehicles toward softer targets like individual foreigners and foreign housing compounds. In December, a Jordanian jihadist conducted a poorly executed attack against U.S. Embassy personnel who had stopped at a pizzeria. This could have been a one-off attack, but it could also have been the start of a change in AQAP targeting in Yemen.

Indonesia: The Indonesian government has continued to hit Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad very hard, and it is unlikely that the group will be able to regroup and conduct large-scale terrorist attacks in 2011.

North Africa: In the north of Algeria, AQIM has continued to shy away from the al Qaeda core's targeting philosophy and concentrated on attacking government and security targets -- essentially functioning as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat with a different name. The Algerian government has hit AQIM very hard in its traditional mountain strongholds east of Algiers, and the ideological rift over whether to follow al Qaeda's dictates has also hurt the group. An increase in the abduction of Westerners and clashes with security forces in the Sahara-Sahel is not a convincing indication of AQIM's expanding reach. Nor are incompetent attacks like the Jan. 5 attack against the French Embassy in Bamako, Mali. Much of this expanded activity in the south is the result of rivalries between sub-commanders and efforts to raise money via kidnapping and banditry in order to survive. This is a sign of weakness and lack of cohesion, not strength.

AQIM is a shell of what it was four years ago. It will continue to kidnap victims in the Sahel -- or acquire kidnapped foreigners from ethnic Tuareg rebels in Mali and Niger -- and the occasional small attack, but it is not at this time a unified militant organization that poses a regional, much less transnational, threat.

Somalia: Al Shabaab went transnational with the Kampala attacks and has also been able to consolidate its grip over the jihadist landscape in Somalia this year by absorbing main rival Hizbul Islam. However, al Shabaab itself is not a monolithic entity. It is comprised of different factions, with the main subsets being led by al Shabaab chief Ahmad Abdi Godane (aka Abu Zubayr) and one of his top commanders, Muktar Robow (aka Abu Mansur). Abu Zubayr leads the more transnational or jihadist element of the organization, while Abu Mansur and his faction are more nationalist in their philosophy and military operations. This factionalism within al Shabaab and the general unpopularity of jihadism among large portions the Somali population should help prevent al Shabaab from conquering Somalia (as will an increase in the number of African Union peacekeeping troops and the operations of other anti-al Shabaab forces like the Ethiopian-backed militia Ahlu Sunnah Waljamaah).

However, Abu Zubayr maintains close contact with people in the Somali diaspora in East Africa, South Africa, Australia, Europe and the United States. These contacts provide funding and fighters that will help sustain the insurgency in Somalia, but they could also be used to conduct transnational attacks outside of Somalia.

India: India continues to face a very real threat from transnational jihadist groups such as the LeT and HUJI, which will continue to plan attacks in India and against Indian interests in places like Afghanistan. India also faces a persistent, though lesser, threat from domestic jihadist groups like Indian Mujahideen (IM).

Egypt: The Jan. 1, 2011, bombing at a church in Alexandria raised the possibility that transnational jihadists were once again becoming more involved in Egypt -- especially in light of threats by the Islamic State in Iraq to attack Egyptian Christians in Iraq in early November 2010. However, it now appears that initial reports that the Alexandria attack was a suicide operation may have been incorrect, and Egyptian authorities are reporting that the device was similar in construction to devices used in two 2009 attacks, indicating that the bombmaker in the Alexandria attack was not likely a recent import from Iraq. The Egyptian militant group Gamaah al-Islamiyah publicly joined forces with al Qaeda in August 2006, but little has come from the union. It will be important to watch and see if the Alexandria attack was an anomaly or the beginning of a new pattern of attacks in Egypt.

Caucasus: The rise of the Caucasus Emirate in 2009-2010 brought with it an increase in operational tempo and resulted in the March 29, 2010, suicide attacks against the Moscow Metro. The group also attempted to provide a unified umbrella for a number of disparate militant groups operating in the region -- an umbrella that had more of a jihadist than the traditional nationalistic bent seen in militant groups operating in the region. However, a power struggle within the group, combined with a Russian counteroffensive, has resulted in the group being unable to provide the unified leadership it envisioned. There are still militant groups active in the Caucasus, and while they can kill people, they do not possess the cohesion or capability to pose a true strategic threat to Russia. It appears that in the coming year the Russian authorities will launch an operation in Dagestan that will utilize the tactics they have used in Chechnya. Such an operation could produce a significant backlash.

Iraq: The year 2010 was highly successful for U.S. and Iraqi troops in the fight against the Iraqi jihadist franchise, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). Combined U.S.-Iraqi efforts, with local assistance, have severely damaged the group's finances, leadership and ability to recruit. It is unlikely that the ISI's propensity for violent attacks will wane, but the group's diminished leadership, operational capacity and logistics infrastructure make its future seem bleak. At the beginning of 2010, the trend was for ISI to conduct an attack every six to 10 weeks against government ministries, but by the end of the year major attacks were occurring less frequently and against softer, less strategic targets, like churches.

While the al Qaeda core has been marginalized, the ideology of jihadism continues to survive and win new converts. As long as this ideology is able to spread, the war its adherents are waging to subjugate the rest of the world will continue. While jihadists do not pose a strategic geopolitical threat on a global or even a regional scale, they certainly can still kill plenty of people.

Copyright 2011 STRATFOR

Sunday, 23 January 2011

بی جے پی کی جے ہو

بی جے پی کی جے ہو
اصناف: آس پاس, بحث, سیاست, پردیسی
نعیمہ احمد مہجور | 2011-01-23 ،16:33
جس چھبیس جنوری کو بھارتی شہریوں کو جان کی امان حاصل ہوئی تھی وہی دن کشمیری عوام کے لیے ہر سال عذابِ جان بن جاتا ہے۔
چھبیس جنوری سے پہلے اور اُس دن کا منظر کشمیر میں اپنی نوعیت کا انھوکھا منظر ہوتا ہے جب پوری وادی پر سکیورٹی کا مزید پہرہ بٹھایاجاتا ہے۔ راہ گیروں کی تلاشی لی جاتی ہے، حساس کہلانے والے علاقوں میں ٹریفک معطل کی جاتی ہے اور پھر یومِ جمہوریہ پر وادی مکمل طور پر محصور ہو جاتی ہے۔
نوے کے اوائل میں محصور وادی کے چند چھتوں کے اُوپر سے بندوق بردار اِکا دکُا میزائل بھی داغا کرتے تھے مگر اب کچھ عرصے سے لوگ اپنے گھروں کے اندر رہ کر پرُ امن احتجاج کو ہی ترجیح دیتے ہیں۔
بھارتیہ جنتا پارٹی کے سرینگر کے لال چوک میں ترنگا لہرانے کے نئے ایڈوینچر نے کشمیر کی تحریک آزادی میں لگتا ہے اب نئی روح پھونک دی ہے حالانکہ وہ بار بار اُبھرنے کے باوجود ٹھنڈی پڑ جاتی ہے۔
گوکہ اقتدارمیں واپس آنے کے بھارتیہ جنتا پارٹی کے مواقع اس وقت محدود نظر آرہے ہیں حالانکہ بھارتی معاشرے کی سوچ پر اس کا گہرا اثر مرتب ہواہے مگر کشمیر پر توجہ مرکوز کرکے وہ اپنی ساکھ کو بچانے میں شاید کامیاب ہوسکے کیونکہ کشمیر بھارت کی بیشتر آبادی کے لیے جذباتی معاملہ بن گیا ہے۔
بھارتی عوام کاش بھارتیہ جنتا پارٹی سے پوچھ لیتے کہ 'اٹوٹ انگ' کہلانے والےعلاقے پر ترنگا لہرانے کی ضرورت پیش کیوں آئی یا پھر اُس کواپنے کہنے پر وِشواس نہیں یا دل میں کوئی بات ہے جو بار بار کھٹکتی ہے۔
وادی کی آزادی نواز آبادی تِرنگا لہرانے سے پریشان نظر نہیں آتی بلکہ وہ سنگ بازوں سے بھی باز رہنے کی تلقین کررہی ہے کیونکہ ان کی آزادی کی تحریک کو بی جے پی نہ صرف اپنی جنونی پالیسی سے عروج پر پہنچا رہی ہے بلکہ خود بھارت نواز کشمیری سیاست دان اس نتیجے پر پہنچ رہے ہیں کہ 'اٹوٹ انگ' کا راگ کچھ کچھ پھیکا لگ رہا ہے جس پر پردہ ڈالنے کے لیے سیاست دان اب ترنگا لہرانے لگے ہیں۔
کشمیر کے اطراف میں ترنگا لہرانے کے ردعمل میں شورش کی ایک اور لہر اٹھنے کا امکان موجود ہے کہ جس سے بر صغیر کےغریب عوام متاثر ہوئے بغیر نہیں رہ سکتے۔
کشمیری قوم کو متحد کرنے کا مشکل ترین کام مسلح تحریک یا ہزاروں احتجاجی مظاہرے ابھی تک نہیں کر پائے مگر بھارتیہ جنتا پارٹی کی جے ہو کہ جس نے اِس قوم کو جھنجھوڑ کر آزادی کے جذبے کو پھر جلاّ بخشی۔

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Energising Gilgit-Baltistan

Energising Gilgit-Baltistan


ARTICLE (January 20, 2011) : For long neglected, the remote Gilgit-Baltistan region is poised for economic development as the government has launched an ambitious plan to construct a number of small hydropower plants to meet the growing demand of electricity for the agro-based industry, mineral-mining, tourism and trade, on a sustainable basis. To accelerate the pace of hydropower development, the Gilgit-Baltistan Electricity Development Company is being established shortly.

Gilgit-Baltistan, rich in water resources, has tremendous potential for hydropower generation, estimated to be over 40,000 MW on Indus River and its main tributaries. In addition, the hydropower potential of 1,200 MW exists on sub-tributaries, rivers and streams. The region is not connected with the national grid due to its mountainous terrain, non-availability of high-power transmission line system and extreme weather conditions. It has an isolated network for power transmission and distribution. It is now planned to construct a 132-kv regional grid for interconnecting all existing and future power stations, for which a feasibility report has been finalized.

At present, a total of 98 small, mini and minor hydropower stations are in operation in the Gilgit-Baltistan, with cumulative installed capacity of 133 MW. Only about half of the 1.8 million- populace, which is spread on an area of 72,971 square kilometers, has access to the electricity. The region, called globally as “Roof of the World”, has one of the lowest, even by Pakistani standards, per capita annual electricity consumption of 300 kWh.

The power supply does not meet the present demand that is in the range of 200 MW to 300 MW, resulting in substantial shortfall and thus load-shedding. It is projected that power demand would increase to 500 MW by the year 2015 and over 860 MW by 2030. There is therefore a need to optimise the exploitation and use of hydropower, which is renewable, clean energy resource and provides least-cost power generation compared to any other energy resource. Power generation cost of the installed power stations in Gilgit-Baltistan works out to be around three Cents per unit.

Pursuant to the declared policy of the government of Pakistan, hydropower stations of less than 50-MW capacity are being established at the regional level. Currently, 29 hydropower stations of total capacity of 40 MW are under construction, whereas another 13 small hydropower schemes are at various stages of implementation. Major projects are 20-MW Hanzal Gilgit River, 20-MW Chowari Shyok, Ghanche, 16-MW Naltar-III and 14-MW Naltar-V. These run-of-the-river type projects entail minimal re-settlement impacts.

In a latest development, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed, in principle, to finance hydropower projects in the region. In the first phase, two projects have been identified to be constructed under ADB financing. A 26-MW power plant will be constructed at Shaghartang, Skardu, whereas the other power station, of 4-MW capacity, will be located at Thak, Chilas. Project feasibility reports, including the technical, financial, social and environmental studies, have been completed. ADB is expected to approve these first-ever hydropower projects in the area within two months.

Pakistan WAPDA has recently commissioned a 16-MW Satpara, Skardu hydropower station. Currently, it is developing two power projects in Skardu, namely 28-MW Basho and 42-MW Harpo. WAPDA is also working on various mega hydropower projects in Gilgit-Baltistan, of cumulative capacity of 18,720 MW. There are another 27 hydropower projects of total capacity of 248 MW under various stages of planning at the GB government level. As many as 136 potential sites have been identified, and technical and economic parameters defined, with the help of national and international consultants. Hydropower projects at these sites, with an estimated potential of total over 500 MW, could be economically developed.

“Gilgit-Baltistan Hydel and Renewable Energy Policy 2007″ aims at promoting hydropower development projects of up to 50-MW capacity in public sector as well as under public-private partnership for which various fiscal and financial incentives are offered to the prospective investors. The private sector should optimally avail the immense opportunities available for constructing hydropower stations in the region.

(The writer is retired Chairman of State Engineering Corporation, is currently Vice President of the Institution of Engineers, Pakistan)

Combating theocracy: Bangladesh Supreme Court verdict

Combating theocracy: Bangladesh Supreme Court verdict

ARTICLE (January 21, 2011) : We lost our East Wing (Mushraqi Pakistan) in 1971 due to the sheer short-sightedness and highhandedness of the ruling military junta and its political cronies. Tragically, no one was punished. On the contrary, the populist political party of the day decorated the key persons behind this dismemberment, awarded them state lands and even gave them high political posts in the Pakistan People's Party.

In the wake of the humiliating defeat, no war tribunal was constituted and the military complex was allowed to flourish with even greater zeal. The powerful military soon joined hands with the mullahs and forced Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to push Pakistan towards a theocratic State - his announcements after meeting the head of Jamaat-i-Islami at Zaildar Park, Ichhra, Lahore, were grave political mistakes.

On 5 July 1977, yet another dark day in our history, Ziaul Haq, having the strong support of the religious parties, overthrew the elected government and eliminated Zulfikar Ali Bhutto with the help of the judiciary. Zia's 11-year-rule brought "Islamic McCarthyism" to Pakistan, instigating witch-hunts and eliminating political opponents on the allegation of being ladeen (infidels).

Both Pakistan and Bangladesh since 1971 have been facing problems in establishing democratic institutions. Bangladesh witnessed many military coups and countercoups, but luckily in politics, the junta kept a distance from the mullah. In Pakistan, the military-mullah onslaughts, using religion as a tool for Jihad in Afghanistan, Kashmir, etc have torn apart the very fabric of this society.

Facing perpetual crises of all sorts - the worst amongst them being bigotry and the increasing role of clergy in politics - Pakistan is now fighting a battle for survival. Economically in deep trouble and politically shaken, Pakistani leadership - both civil and military - should immediately sit together and look into the recent developments in Bangladesh. They specifically need to study the judgement of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, rejecting the use of religion by the political parties.

Our leadership has acted irresponsibly throughout history, culminating in what is today a country driven by hate. The wages of bigotry are now showing their ugliest results, where zealots are taking the lives of fellow citizens in the name of religion. After 63 years of nationhood, there is mayhem, chaos, anarchy and total collapse.

The fitna (mischief) and fisad-fil-ardh (disorder in the land), created by military-mullah alliance, has laid the grounds for sectarian and communal warfare all around. Pakistan. The 1980s and the 1990s witnessed sectarian violence that spilled over the borders of religious belief into those that separate political ideologies, as well as ethnic, racial, linguistic and tribal identities. It undermined an assiduously nurtured, barely credible, Pakistani nationalism and breathed fresh life into separatist movements. The situation is persisting and going from bad to worse every day. Those at the helm of affairs will have to take remedial measures without wasting any time, if we have to halt further disaster.

According to many rightist thinkers, the two-nation theory, based on the foundation of religious divide of Hindus and Muslims, was the real motive behind the partition of sub-continent. The radical camp argues that economic interests of Muslim feudal class paved the way for establishment of Pakistan. While this debate will continue, the fact remains that proponents of two-nation theory received an irrecoverable setback when the Bengalis, maltreated by the ruling elite of West Pakistan, decided to part ways.

The division of Pakistan - in fact, the further subdivision of the Sub-continent - proved that economic interests have always played a decisive role in politics. Religion has been just one of the ploys used by vested interests to achieve political and economic gains. Abuse of religion by military dictators, vested interests and their cronies in the wake of the partition of the Subcontinent played havoc in both the eastern and western wings of Pakistan.

Dr Ajeet Jawed in Secular and Nationalist Jinnah has presented incontrovertible documents that Quaid-i-Azam never wanted to make Pakistan a theocratic state. Throughout his political career, Muhammad Ali Jinnah struggled against both Hindu and Muslim extremists.

After independence, the feudal class with the help of its cronies - bureaucrats, clergymen and men in khaki - managed to hijack the new state and for their vested interest, converted it into the so-called Islamic Republic - a mere nomenclature whereas all the systems remain un-Islamic. Islam does not permit feudalism, economic exploitation, theocracy and authoritarianism. The main stress of Islam is on the empowerment of the have-nots and creation of an egalitarian welfare state.

From the very beginning, the vested interests in Pakistan tampered with the famous speech of the Quaid, but failed to do so as Dr Ajeet revealed in his book: "it was allowed to be published in full only after Dawn's editor, Altaf Husain, threatened those who were trying to tamper with it to go to Jinnah himself if the press advice was not withdrawn". For building a democratic Pakistan, Dr Ajeet writes, Quaid sought the help of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, because, as he said in his letter to Badshah Khan, he was "surrounded by thieves and scoundrels" through whom he could do nothing. With a mass of evidence, Dr Ajeet has established that the Quaid remained an anti-theocracy and constitutionalist democrat up to the last moment of his life.

The ideas of the Quaid echoed in the decision of the Bangladesh Supreme Court last year. It barred the use of religion in politics and reaffirmed the ideology of the founder fathers. It has restored the original constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. In the wake of this verdict, the Election Commission of Bangladesh on January 26, 2010 asked the three Islamic parties - Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan and Tarikat Federation - to amend their charters being in conflict with the supreme law of the country.

Just as the Quaid was betrayed by the feudal class in his party, the founding father of Bangladesh met the same fate. Sheikh Mujib's Awami League gave the nation its first constitution within one year of independence, based on four cardinal principles - secularism, nationalism, socialism and democracy. Bangladesh became the third major Muslim country to officially embrace secularism after Turkey and Tunis. On August 15, 1975, Sheikh Mujib was assassinated along with his family. Luckily, Rehana and Hasina, his two daughters, residing outside Bangladesh, survived. In the wake of Sheikh Mujib's assassination, the country unfortunately witnessed coups and countercoups within a very short span of time - from August 15 to November 7, 1975.

The successor of Sheikh Mujib, Moshtaque Khondkar, selected Chief Justice Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem as President. Deriving power through martial law proclamations, he abolished secularism from the constitution by amending Article 38. The lifting of the ban on religion-based politics paved the way for theocratic parties to campaign in the name of religion. Abu Sadat transferred powers to Ziaur Rehman on November 26, 1976 after a deal that he would indemnify his illegal take-over, all actions taken between August 15, 1975 and April 9, 1979, passing of the Fifth Amendment that ratified martial law proclamations including the desecularisation of the constitution. Ziaur Rehman was assassinated at the hands of junior army officers and General Ershad took over the control declaring martial law on March 24, 1982.

General Ershad, like the Pakistani General Ziaul Haq used religion for the perpetuation of his unlawful rule - Islam was made the state religion. In the wake of popular democratic movement, the military rule came to an end and democracy was restored in 1991. In 1996, the Awami League once again won elections and abrogated all the unconstitutional amendments to sanction the trial of the assassins of the founding father. In 2005, the Fifth Amendment was struck down by the High Court. The Court emphasised secularism as the guiding state policy. The Court held that religious non-discrimination, protection for all faiths, even for non-believers, should be the main responsibility of the State. It explained that secularism means ensuring religious tolerance and freedom of faith without any favour or discrimination. The Court, in unequivocal terms, condemned the actions of the military junta to convert secular Bangladesh into a theocratic state.

The Court's ruling was contested by Bangladesh National Party (BNP), led by the widow of Ziaur Rehman, Khalida Zia. The Court granted a stay order that was ultimately vacated on January 3, 2010. Resultantly, original Article 38 of the Constitution became operative barring the use of religion or communal connotations in politics. This has been termed as a major development not only in Bangladesh but in the entire Muslim world. Secularism requires that at the State level there should be no propagation of religion - it should be the personal matter of citizens. The clergy in Pakistan and elsewhere and many rightist thinkers not knowing the real import and historical evolution of word "secularism" dub it as kufar or ladeeniat.

In Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world, religion has become a tool in the hands of the vested-interest. The mushroom growth of so-called Islamic political parties is a cause for concern for all. These parties, backed by forces of obscurantism, exploit the masses in the name of Islam. Militants are their front men, terrorism is their weapon and they themselves are the pawns of neo-imperialism. Late Neo-colonialists want to keep the Muslims in dark ages and use the forces of obscurantism effectively for this cause. In the face of these realities, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh took a bold stand and upheld High Court's ruling delivered in 2005 declaring the Fifth Amendment in the constitution unlawful that allowed religion-based politics, not envisaged by the framers of the original document.

Article 41 of the Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees freedom of religion. It says:

(1) Subject to law, public order and morality-

a. every citizen has the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion;

b. every religious community or denomination has the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

(2) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or to take part in or to attend any religious ceremony or worship, if that instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.

The same position prevails under Articles 20, 21 and 22 of 1973 Constitution of Pakistan that guarantees religious freedom for all, no taxation of a person for the propagation or maintenance of any religion other than his own and safeguards as to educational institutions in respect of religion. In the presence of these Constitutionals provisions, there should be no room for religious-based politics and parties in Pakistan as the case in Bangladesh since January 2010. The concept of the theocratic state is alien to Islam. The use of religion in politics only creates divisions, rather than achieving unity, which is the central message of the holy Quran.

The verdict of Bangladesh Supreme Court restoring the true character of the country's Constitution holds a promise of progress and democratisation of the society and sets a good example for other Muslim states, especially today's Pakistan. It is high time that legislators should restore the original Constitution of Pakistan and remove the patchwork made by military dictators to hoodwink the people and perpetuate their undemocratic rule. Islamic democracy is on a much higher pedestal compared to western democracy as it gives no immunity to the head of State. In Islam, decisions are to be taken by consultation and not imposition as propagated by the clergy. Islamic democracy is essentially an anti thesis of theocracy. An overwhelming Muslim State, Bangladesh, has proved it and other Muslim countries should follow in their footsteps if they want to get rid of bigotry.

(The writers, legal historians, are Adjunct Professors at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)