I TOLD YOU SO

I Told You So

By Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto

Readers will recall my repeated warnings that a man with  Zardari’s reputation, who has no educational or political background and lacks all the other prerequisites of leadership, will be an absolute disaster in a minor office leave alone the top position in the country. This has proved to be true in the short period of six months leading to a nation wide upheaval. His claim to fame rests entirely on being the husband of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and spending eight years in jail. Let us look at these laurels a bit closer:  Shaheed Benazir, in her book  “Daughter Of The East”, confesses to marrying him under relentless pressure from mother and aunts and his own perseverance in the face of repeated rejection, but hastens to add that there was no love or even affection involved.

Of course it is also true that the last ten years of the marriage were spent in estrangement for reasons that are stated below. It is however surprising that she was unable to control him during her two terms in office when he went on a rampage for which he has acquired the internationally acclaimed and rather modest sobriquet of Mr. 10%. For the veracity of this epithet let us not depend on the bouquet of corruption cases against him even though two, the Surrey Palace and money laundering cases, in Jersey and Switzerland stand proved, but recall the laments of the people at large and even  Jialas.

Accepting the principal that there is no smoke without fire and the fact that before marriage, the Zardari family had nothing to show but a cinema house in Karachi,  many questions arise about his lifestyle not only in the country but more so abroad. The internet discloses mansions and lands in various countries, twenty seven bank accounts and forty five off shore companies, the minimum value of which is placed at over two billion dollars and this does not include the cash balances in the twenty seven bank accounts, which remains unknown. More recently he took a plane load of people for Umra at a claimed personal cost of twenty five million rupees and has gifted  five million rupees to his old school at Petaro.

During these days of world wide economic collapse, when even international banks have been wiped out, for someone to throw money around in this manner indicates a huge reservoir of wealth. Added to the corruption cases are the four murder charges including that of Shaheed Mir Murtaza Bhutto, who was gunned downed by the police in broad day light, at a time when his sister was the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It is very significant that all the involved policemen have now been rewarded. All the above is a matter of record and cannot be concealed.

It is claimed that the two years he spent in jails and six in a luxury hospital in Islamabad are a sacrifice for the nation thereby establishing his claim to the highest offices in the country. No one cares that such a practice is extremely dangerous as it opens up the portals of  power to murderers and thieves who sit in death rows orjails through out the country. Of course the beneficiaries of Zardari’s meteoric assent from purgatory to the presidency, albeit as a result of the murder of his wife, explain away that he was not convicted in the long period of ten years and is therefore innocent.

Not quite so. It must not be concealed that he was not acquitted either and he and his cohorts have been reprieved only by the unconstitutional and immoral NRO . Besides in public life it is what the people believe and the disgrace that matters, not conviction. He was elected president on an indirect vote of assembly members who got a mandate to avenge the murder of Shaheed Benazir and provided Roti, Kapra, Makan ( they have done neither ) and not to elect Zardari. If even at the emotionally charged time of the polls this question had been put to the people the answer would definitely have been in the negative as the people hold Zardari guilty as charged and also responsible for the murder of his wife whose killers he professes to know.

The belief is strengthened by the fact that no complaint has been filed in fifteen months which normally is a knee jerk reaction to even a petty crime leave alone murder of an international leader and mother of his children, in whose name he continues to thrive. In any case he has been convicted in the two cases cited above. As for the long duration of the trials, eight years is no big deal. We all know and speaking from personal experience, cases in our courts go on for ever. However the delay was compounded by Zardari himself who feigned mental illness, heart trouble and back pain (all of which have suddenly disappeared) to obstruct progress and conviction.

As for the distress of imprisonment, here too there is no cause for complaint he being most of the time ensconced in a luxury hospital where all the comforts of  a five star hotel were available together with unrestricted visitors and frequent releases on parole with first class travel at government expenses. However it is also being said that he was kept in the hospital at Islamabad to facilitate accessibility to foreign and local intelligence agencies.

It is reported that these agencies tutored and trained him for the role of being their man in the PPP.. That he was released and sent abroad to join his wife when he was deemed ready to effectively play his part. But she had somehow discovered the conspiracy. Hence his banishment to purgatory with talk of divorce after the elections.

However after Zardari’s suicidal stand on the judges issue and the resounding defeat there on, it has become impossible to keep him afloat. The honorable thing for him to do is to quit and take the team of his partners in crime, who surround him, with him. What is desperately required in the present mess is a leader in the true sense of the word who commands trust and respect. Zardari and his cohorts do not and cannot meet the requirement.

The Chaos that is rampant today is the consequence of not only Zardari’s unfitness for the job but also the concept of reconciliation : This has given us a political set up, devoid of ideology and principals in which it is proudly proclaimed there is no last word, allowing lots of space for playing tricks and cheating. Reconciliation is merely an invitation to come and sit at the banquet of government and indulge to the hilt. The main purpose is to rope in all dissent so that no one is left out to complain.

As a consequence we have the proponents of Nizam-e- Mustafa / Shariat, leftists, Nationalists, adventures with no commitment to the people, who believe only in being with the government of the day or as close to it as possible, joining the majority party which calls itself the “chain of federation” to enjoy the perks and pleasure of power. Such a conglomerate of adversities is a non starter ab initio.   

Apart from the huge costs to the exchequer of providing ministerships to all and accommodating everyone to his satisfaction, it is impossible to have a lasting state of harmony among these basically conflicting interests, as we see today. There is nothing for the people in reconciliation as the experience of the last twelve months has proved. Never before have the people of Pakistan been so deprived and destitute and the government of the day so helpless and useless.

There is no surprise that reconciliation has blown up and the country is once again at the crossroads of uncertainty. This scenario was easy to predicted at the start when, of all people, Zardari become the master of the destiny of one hundred and sixty million Pakistan .

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“Kalabagh Dam”

by Khurshid Anwer!

The British Conservative party leader has said, “The spendaholic Labour party has to be replaced with a party of thrift”. I say, “The spendaholic People’s party has to be replaced with a party of thrift”.

Bhutto posed as the champion of the poor people and the workers for his own nefarious purposes, which had nothing to do with socialism. A socialist he was not, ask his associates. He mortgaged the country to the ignorant poor to rouse them against the establishment, his sole purpose having been to gain power. Ever since then the leaders of the People’s party have stopped leading the people, but are being led by the people. They fall over backwards in doing what ever makes the people (their voters) happy and consequently the country poor.

Doling out the scarce resources of the country to the poor under schemes like the ‘Benazir bheek’ program. Instead of being given earning opportunities through development, the poor are being made dependent on monthly hand outs. A very short sighted spendaholic policy indeed.

Instead of concentrating on expanding industry and agriculture, by provision of inputs of ample and cheap power and water, the already struggling industry and public sector are being further burdened with ‘unproductive’ employments. Again, a spendaholic policy bound to cripple the already crippled economy.

Around the world, US private sector has shed 742,000 jobs. Toshiba is shedding 3900 workers, Sony Ericson is shedding 2000 workers, to keep their companies afloat and not hurt national economy. But Pakistan is merrily re-employing workers laid off many years ago in their thousands, with retrospective benefits, without any consideration whether or not any jobs exist, feather-bedding of the worst kind. Why, because the voters have to kept happy and to hell with the country and the rest of the people.

The net result is making a selected few happy at the cost of the many. Leaving more people below the poverty line as had been done in all previous tenures of the People’s party, making the country, as a whole, poorer and not richer.

On a program on the environment a very pertinent comment was made, “People have to become more aware to save the world”. I said, “People have to become more aware to save the country”, instead of the present blinkered blind following.
T

he spendaholic People’s party has to be replaced with a party which will not put the cart before the horse, which will first create jobs before doling them out, which will not distribute the cake even before it is baked, which will go for development of industry and agriculture to create new jobs for all the poor and not only for a selected few.
Which will bring a semblance of austerity to the luxurious, vulgar, palatial life style of the rulers. Which will not put the country to shame by begging aid from donors, while lolling around on gilded furniture in plush drawing rooms under glittering chandeliers. Akin to driving up in your bullet-proof Mercedes with tinted glasses to ask a friend to lend you money for petrol.

A party which will not say, “Kalabagh is the best site for a dam in Pakistan, Kalabagh dam is the best project for the economy of the country, but we will not build it because the people are against it”.
‘agar log kahein gay, to kiya aap koain mein chalang laga deingey’.

Are my friends listening, are they aware they have to become more aware if the country is to be saved.
Khurshid Anwer

Lahorites Protest against Extremism & Terrorism

NO’ Talibanisation

clip_image001* Citizens say rally aims to convey to all state institutions that Talibanisation cannot be tolerated
Daily Times, Lahore

LAHORE: A large number of people gathered on The Mall on Tuesday to protest against Talibanisation and posted a letter to the president, prime minister (PM), chief of army staff (COAS), and chief justice (CJ), demanding action against the spread of Taliban power. Protesters included human rights activists, artists, students, journalists, teachers and representatives of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Participants of the protest said the citizens were concerned about the state of their homeland.

Demands: They said the protest was aimed at sending a clear message to all state institutions – ‘Say no to Talibanisation’. They said the country’s sovereignty could not be compromised under any circumstances, adding that the democratically elected government must fulfil its responsibility by following the will of the people. Protesters demanded the government enforce the writ of the state in all provinces of the country.

They said the citizens were willing to take a stand against the Taliban. Several protesters quoted Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as saying “Islam stands for justice, equality, fair play, tolerance, and generosity toward non-Muslims”. Joint Action Committee Convener Shahtaj Qizalbash said it was time the government decided on how it wants to deal with the Taliban. He said the government first fought the Taliban, then signed a deal with them, and will soon take action against those challenging the writ of the government. He said the government should not play a confusing role.

Protest: Protesters gathered at GPO Chowk outside the Lahore High Court (LHC) and walked towards the General Post Office (GPO). The Friday Times Publisher Jugnu Mohsin was among those leading the procession. She urged the government to adopt a clear-cut policy to combat terrorism. She said the military should play its role against Talibanisation to save the country. Upon reaching the GPO, hundreds of people signed and posted letters to the president, the PM, COAS and CJ.

‘Taliban nahi Zaliman’

LAHORE: Protesters carried placards denouncing the Taliban and raised slogans against the spread of terrorism on Tuesday. The prominent placards read: ‘Taliban nahi zaliman’, ‘Taliban are enemies of Islam and Pakistan’, ‘Do not hijack my faith’, ‘Islam stands for justice’, ‘Stop drone attacks’, and ‘Taliban bhagao mulk bachao’. The flow of traffic remained suspended on The Mall for some time during the protest. The sizzling heat seemed to have had little effect on the protesters. Police was deployed for the security of the protesters on The Mall.

Key points of the letter

* Citizens are dismayed at the abject capitulation of the state before the Taliban

* Any agreement signed at the point of a gun cannot lead to endurable peace

* The Taliban want to seize power through brutal force and intimidation and have little to do with the imposition of sharia or Islam

* We reject the argument that Pakistan army did not fight a counter-insurgency because it did not want to kill its own people

* It is incumbent upon you (the president) to compel the Pakistan Army to come to the aid of a constitutionally elected government and enforce the writ of the state


* You must urge the Supreme Court to exercise its authority to safeguard fundamental rights of all citizens including those of Swat

* The government must immediately devise and implement a strategy for countering the insidious propaganda by and in support of the Taliban, which fills newspaper columns and airwaves

* It is incumbent upon you to mobilise the nation against the scourge of the Taliban before it is too late.

Month of May is Child Labour month

Collages1

 

A few shots of the status quo, as you can gather, the Punjab as well as Pakistan is still in a state of inertia when it comes to this appalling practice of using children as the labour force!

Map picture

I want my country back

Friday, April 17, 2009 by Sehar Tariq

Eight years ago I boarded a plane to the United States to come to college. I was 17. As I left, my father hugged me and told me to never come back because he believed that soon Pakistan would not be a country fit for me to live in. I told him he was trying to save money by not having to buy me tickets to come home. We laughed it off. I hugged him goodbye and that day my father and I began our great debate about the fate of Pakistan. Abba told me to stay away. I defied him every time. I came home twice a year. I only flew PIA. I refused to do an internship in the US I worked every summer in Pakistan. I moved back when college ended. I started work in Pakistan. I worked two jobs because there was so much to do and not enough time to do it in. I was inspired and energised. I was hopeful and optimistic.

Today I am neither. And I have lost the debate with my father about the fate of Pakistan. The Parliament by endorsing the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (NAR) has heralded the end of Pakistan as I knew and loved it. Today, the elected representatives of the people turned Pakistan into Talibanistan. Today we handed over a part of the country to them. I wonder how much longer before we surrender it all.

Today we legislated that a group of criminals would be in charge of governing and dispensing justice in a part of Pakistan according to their own obscurantist views. They have declared that the rulings of their courts will be supreme and no other court in the land can challenge them. They have also declared that their men that killed and maimed innocent civilians, waged war against the Pakistani army and blew up girls schools will be exempt from punishment under this law. A law that does not apply equally to all men and women is not worthy of being called a law. Hence today we legislated lawlessness.

What was most disturbing was the quiescence of the Parliament to this legislation. The utter lack of debate and questioning of this ridiculous legislation was appalling. The decision was not informed by any independent research or expert testimony, and to my knowledge none of the parliamentarians are authorities on matters of security, rule of law or regional conditions in Swat. This signals disturbing possibilities. Either our politicians are too afraid to stand up to criminals or maybe they don’t possess the foresight to gauge the national impact of this action. There is no hope for a country led by cowards or fools.

How can one be hopeful about the political future of a country where the will and the wisdom of politicians becomes hostage to the threats of barbarians? How can I be optimistic about a country where doyens of the media like Ansar Abbasi hear the collective silence of the parliamentarians as the resounding support of the people of Pakistan, but are deaf to the threats issued by the Taliban to anyone opposing the legislation? How can I feel secure in a country where the army, despite receiving the largest chunk of our resources, cannot defeat a bunch of thugs? How can I expect justice when there are different laws for different citizens, and I as a woman am a second class citizen? How can I be inspired by a country where there is no culture, no music, no art, no poetry and no innovative thought?

How can I be expected to return to a country where women are beaten and flogged publicly, where my daughters will not be allowed to go to school, where my sisters will die of common diseases because male doctors cannot see them? How can I be expected to call that country home that denies me the rights given me by my Constitution and religion? I refuse to live in a country where women like me are forced to rot behind the four walls of their homes and not allowed to use their education to benefit the nation. By endorsing the NAR and giving in to the Taliban, Parliament has sapped my hope and optimism. Parliament has dealt a deathly blow to the aspirations of the millions of young Pakistanis who struggle within and outside the country, fuelled by sheer patriotism, for a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Pakistan.

When there is no hope, no optimism, no security, no justice, no education, no progress, no culture there is no Pakistan. Maybe it is because I am the grandchild of immigrants who was raised on stories of hope, patriotism and sacrifice that even in this misery I cannot forget that Pakistan was created to protect the lives, property, culture and future of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. It was not established to be a safe haven for terrorists. We fought so that we could protect the culture of the Muslims of the Subcontinent, not so that we could import the culture of Saudi Arabia. Our ancestors laid down their lives so that the Muslims of the Subcontinent both men and women – could live in a land free of prejudice, not so that they could be subjected to violent discrimination of the basis of sect and gender.

Maybe it’s because I’m competitive and I don’t want to lose the debate to my father, maybe I am afraid to lose the only home I have, or maybe because I love Pakistan too much to ever say goodbye I hope we can remember the reasons why we made Pakistan, and I hope we can stand up to fight for them. I hope we can revive the spirit of national unity of 1947 and lock arms to battle the monster of the Taliban that threatens our existence. Talibanistan is an insult to my Pakistan. I want my country back. Pakistan Paaindabad!

The writer is pursuing a master’s at Princeton University. Earlier, she attended Yale University.

Email: stariq@princeton.edu

The price of moral cowardice By Ardeshir Cowasjee Sunday, 19 Apr, 2009 | 01:49 AM PST Dawn News

image

AUGUST 11, 1947, in the constituent assembly of Pakistan at Karachi: “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” — Founder and maker of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
February 19, 1948, a broadcast to the people of Australia: “But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it.” — Jinnah.
Later in February 1948, a broadcast to the people of the US: “In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state — to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.” — Jinnah.
Deliverance into the hands of the theocrats came a mere six months after the death of Jinnah, the delivery made by the man who had succeeded him as the leader of his nation. The Objectives Resolution was adopted on March 12, 1949 by the constituent assembly of Pakistan, proposed by the prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan. It clearly and unambiguously declared that religion had much to do with the business of the state. There could be no recovery, as history has proven over the past 60 years.
Now, with the resolution passed in the National Assembly of Pakistan on April 13, 2009, a perverted form of religion has been legally sanctified to terrorise the state, to threaten the nation, to widen the already alarming internal divide, and to spread alarm and despondency amongst those who still had hope that one day the creed of Jinnah would prevail.
The Nizam-i-Adl resolution, unanimously passed by the political parties present in the assembly on that disgraceful Monday in April is pure and simple appeasement by a weak government, by parties who have abandoned their principles, by other parties imbued with the bleakness of fundamentalism, all backed to the hilt by an army of over half a million men who were routed by a band of brainwashed terrorists.
To those of us who remember our history the signing of the regulation by the president of the Republic is akin to Great Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s gesture on his return to London from Munich at the end of September 1938, when he waved a piece of paper in the air and declared that there would be “peace in our time,” thus setting in place preparations for a long and bloody war.
Appeasement is, to put it mildly, a naïve policy denoting weakness. It is a yielding of compromise and sacrificial offerings. More bluntly, it is moral cowardice exhibited by pathetic men and women who offer concessions at the expense of others. Appeasement is doing deals with men who have insatiable territorial appetites with the wish to impose their own brand of false theological practices and beliefs. It is an indulgence in wishful thinking — peace in our time — at the price of surrender.
But all was not lost. The Chaudhry of Chakwal, brave and true to himself, spoke up when all were silent. My friend and co-columnist Ayaz Amir salvaged some of the disgrace when he told his fellow parliamentarians just what is what when it comes to dealing with the Taliban, when it comes to giving in to them, and when it comes to appeasement. He was rightly harsh on the government for its moral cowardice, and on the army in which he once served for having crumbled, for the abandonment of its pride. His warnings were valid, but have gone unheeded. He and the many whose heads are not in the sand are now at the mercy of a ragtag and bobble band of maniacal ‘students’ of a cruelly false religion.
Reservations are many about the MQM. We cannot forget the early 1990s, nor May 12, 2007. The party cannot be absolved of its past sins and crimes and its ‘cult’ image is somewhat off-putting. But last Monday it went far to redeem itself when Farooq Sattar, minister of this government and parliamentary leader of the party rose, prior to Ayaz, and told the house that a wicked precedent was being set, that the passing of the resolution will embolden all the militant parties of the land — and they are more than sufficient unto the day — that democratic and parliamentary norms were being violated, and that this pernicious resolution may prove to be the last nail driven into Jinnah’s Pakistan. He then led his party members out of the house and later further addressed the press in the same tone.
And that was it — just two went out on a limb, two out of the horde of parliamentarians, all of whom have vowed to uphold and honour the constitution of Pakistan, which constitution makes no provision for the passing of any such regulation as the Nizam-i-Adl, nor of the setting up in the country of a parallel judicial system, nor of ceding territory to dangerous fanatical outlaws.
The party in power claims to be a secular party as does the ANP of which the less said the better. The PML-N does not openly admit to secularism, its chief not being that way inclined as we know from his attempted 15th Amendment, but it also does not lay claim to be motivated by militant fervour. Those who let down the nation most severely were all the women parliamentarians, the most affected, the prime targets of the Taliban.
And where is ‘civil society’, where are the lawyers? They motor-marched for the independence of the judiciary. Why are they comatose when it comes to the imposition of a parallel judiciary by a supine parliament? The fearsome Muslim Khan of the Taliban may have threatened the lives of those who oppose the infamous Nizam-i-Adl, but there should be some, other than Ayaz Amir and the MQM, who can show a bit of spunk. The press, at least some portions of it, are doing their bit and speaking up and out. Where is everyone else? The army chief, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, went to the rescue of the government at Gujranwala in March, but now he and his army have succumbed to obscurantism.
Now, only the US and the rest of the world can step in — we, in nuclear Pakistan, can do nothing but wait and see which way the cards fall. We, including the legislators, are all helpless, they by choice, we by default.
Footnote: Karachi is already feeling the Taliban pinch. Co- educational schools in Defence, Clifton and Saddar areas are known to have received visits and been threatened if they do not change, others have been sent letters with the same message.

BLACKMAIL IN BALUCHISTAN

The truth is that the three murdered Pakistani Baloch politicians had become a political liability and a security risk for Brahamdagh Bugti and a threat to his entire infrastructure of terror inside Pakistan.

The three had developed a good working relationship with Pakistani security officials during hostage negotiations.

Brahamdagh and his handlers knew that the three were in direct contact with Pakistani security officials and could compromise the security of the terrorist activity and the routes of secret funding from across the border and the terrorist hideouts inside Pakistan. The inside story of five days that changed Balochistan, a story of deception, intrigue and espionage.

By AHMED QURAISHI

Tuesday, 14 April 2009.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Two distinct sketches are emerging of what happened in Pakistan’s largest province –Balochistan— over the past ten days.

The three murdered Pakistani Baloch political activists were in contact with Pakistani security and intelligence officials during the negotiations to release John Solecki, an American citizen and U.N.

official. The three were also in contact with U.S. diplomats, U.N.

officials, and with the kidnappers.  In fact, the three politicians were considered to be part of the political front of the terrorist-insurgent movement that has its logistical, financial, and military bases in Afghanistan, built with generous funding over the past five years after the American occupation of that country.

So there is no question that Pakistan’s security agencies were in direct contact with the three politicians.  Before their murder, the terrorists-separatists did not dare publicize their presence and actions and relied on sporadic violence to spread terror and create media impact.

The triple murder changed everything. It gave these separatist and terrorist elements an opportunity for the first time to publicly display their anti-Pakistan activities. In a tribal society like that of the Pakistani Baloch, controlled by a handful of tribal bosses through intimidation, brutality and economic control, the majority succumbed to the terror.

But who murdered the three local politicians?

The following report is based on firsthand information of what transpired between April 4 and April 9, five days that give the clearest insight yet into the wider battle in and around Pakistan.

THE CAPTORS

What is beyond doubt is that Mr. Solecki was kidnapped by terrorists trained and financed by Brahamdagh Bugti, a grandson of the late politician-turned-terrorist Akbar Bugti. [Mr. Bugti was a smalltime village thug who murdered his cousins and relatives, stole their lands and exiled them to other parts of Pakistan. He got lucky when huge reservoirs of natural gas were found in the lands under his forced control.

Mr. Bugti received a fortune every year from the federal government as ‘royalty’ for selling the gas. For three decades, his village lived in abject poverty as Mr. Bugti refused to allow the government to build schools or allow the poor villagers to improve their lifestyles.

Mr. Bugti spent the money on building and maintaining a small army, a chain of underground prisons and on defending himself against his numerous enemies. After the occupation of Afghanistan, it is believed that the Indians and the Americans sold him on the idea that he could launch a war for an independent country.

He apparently received strong guarantees that he will be supported and protected by the United States and India in case of an angry Pakistani reaction, which encouraged him to go to extremes. An advanced insurgency infrastructure complete with printed material in Urdu and English, audio and video tapes and propaganda in local dialects was prepared inside Afghanistan and smuggled to Pakistan.

Mr. Bugti launched the war in January 2005, with massive supply of weapons and money. He died almost two years later when his own cousins backed by the Pakistani government stormed into his stronghold and seized their lands and forced him to flee to the mountains.]

Brahamdagh was last sighted in Kabul. Indian intelligence agents posing as diplomats in the Afghan capital are some of his most frequent visitors.  The Indian diplomacy and intelligence have been keen since 2002 on finding ways to drive a wedge between Washington and Islamabad.   India’s diplomatic actions in this regard are well known but the British and the American media have been silent on growing evidence of Indian covert activities in Afghanistan under an American nod.

One of the earliest Indian actions in Afghanistan after 2002 included acting as a spoiler, poisoning the minds of U.S. military commanders on the ground regarding Pakistan. One of the most common tactics has been to identify and penetrate groups of Afghan resistance fighters and then indirectly goad them into attacking the Americans and leaving behind evidence pointing the finger at Pakistan. Similarly, there have been attacks inside Pakistan where evidence was left behind implicating U.S. intelligence operatives to mislead Pakistani investigators.

BRAHAMDAGH’S FRIENDS

One line of thinking in the current Pakistani investigation into the murder of the three politicians is that there is a high probability that the Indians initially encouraged Brahamdagh to kidnap Solecki to add new tensions to the frail Pak-American relationship. That was the original plan. The U.S. media would jump on the story as another example of anti-Americanism in Pakistan and embarrass the Pakistani government and military. The upshot for Brahamdagh would be more international news coverage.

That was apparently the original plan. What Brahamdagh and his handlers did not expect is that the kidnapping would backfire and blow the cover of the terrorists and their links all the way inside Afghanistan.

Rich Akbar Bugti, poor people of his village Immediately after Solecki’s kidnap, the Pakistani authorities wasted no time in reminding the Americans of the information that Pakistan shared at the highest levels with the United States in July 2008 about Indian activities inside Afghanistan.

Adm. Mullen and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Stephen R. Kappes were shown irrefutable evidence on how the Indians were using Brahamdagh right under the nose of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

In February 2009, after kidnapping Solecki, Brahamdagh’s men and his backers tried to create the impression that there are many separatist groups backing his cause. The first demand made by the kidnappers was to release Pakistani Baloch women detained by security forces. This turned out to be an outright lie.

Prisons in the entire province and other parts of Pakistan were checked and it was confirmed there was not a single Pakistani Baloch woman in jail or detention. No one had registered any case of missing Pakistani Baloch women as the separatist propaganda from Afghanistan alleged.

The elected provincial government of Balochistan, which is considered to be sympathetic to the separatist tribal chiefs including Brahamdagh, was allowed access to all parts of the Pakistani security establishment – civilian and military – to ascertain this fact.  This proved a blessing in disguise. One of the most lethal propaganda tools exploited by Brahamdagh Bugti and his backers was proven false.

In the initial days after Solecki’s kidnapping, some of the Baloch tribal chieftains sympathetic to Brahamdagh and his grandfather [and equally corrupt and tyrannical like him] tried to mislead Washington and the U.N. against Pakistan by suggesting that Pakistani intelligence agencies were behind the kidnapping of Solecki.

But the Pakistani government moved quickly to turn the tables on the terrorists and their Afghan-based masters.

On Feb. 27, 2009, Frontier Corps Chief Maj. Gen. Saleem Nawaz told reporters in Quetta that all the four major separatist groups that release statements to the media don’t even exist. “Organizations like the Balochistan Liberation United Front, the Baloch Liberation Army, the Baloch Republican Party, and the Baloch Republican Army are one and the same. Brahamdagh Bugti is behind these organizations,” he said.  “Brahamdagh is involved in a series of kidnappings, targeted killings, sabotage and attacks on forces and installations in different parts of the province.”

None of these groups existed before the Americans came to Afghanistan in 2001.

So the writing was clear on the wall for the Pakistanis, the United Nations and the United States that the Indians at some level were involved in kidnapping Mr. Solecki through Brahamdagh Bugti and their recruits inside Pakistan and that individuals based in U.S.-run Afghanistan issued the orders for the kidnap.

But did Pakistani intelligence agencies kill the three politicians who helped release Solecki?

Why The Three Were Killed

Terrorist Brahamdagh Bugti: An Indian asset working from US-run Afghanistan

The timeline here is very important:

4 April 2009: Mr. Solecki is released by the terrorists after receiving a huge payment worth several million dollars.

6-7 April 2009: Mr. Richard Holbrooke receives the biggest cold shoulder any senior U.S. official has received on Pakistani soil since 9/11.

9 April 2009: The mutilated bodies of the three politicians are found dumped in a public area.

Pakistani police, security and intelligence organizations are not beginners in their fields. Even if any one of them were to kill the three activists, no one would have dumped the bodies in full public view and certainly never after a high profile hostage negotiation involving the three murdered activists where they also interacted with U.N. and U.S. officials.

The truth is that the three murdered Pakistani Baloch politicians had become a political liability and a security risk for Brahamdagh Bugti and a threat to his entire infrastructure of terror inside Pakistan.

The three had developed a good working relationship with Pakistani security officials during hostage negotiations. Brahamdagh and his handlers knew that the three were in direct contact with Pakistani security officials and could compromise the security of the terrorist activity and the routes of secret funding from across the border and the terrorist hideouts inside Pakistan.

Mounting evidence indicates that Brahamdagh or his handlers in Afghanistan ordered the elimination of the three Baloch politicians.

The triple murder has clearly served the interest of the separatists-terrorists and their backers. The Pakistani state has been a net loser.

THE AMERICAN CONNECTION

After Mr. Holbrooke’s failed visit to Pakistan on April 6 and 7, three things happened in fast succession.

One, Britain discovered a “very big” terrorist plot, as a British police officer described it, involving 12 Pakistani students. The British Prime Minister immediately telephoned President Zardari and threw his usual line about Pakistan needing to do more in the war against terror. The interesting part is that the Brits failed to offer any evidence to support the existence of the “very big” terrorist plot. Knowing that the charge won’t stick in the courts, London announced it was arbitrarily deporting the students.

At the same time, Indian prime minister made the startling announcement that the Afghan Taliban, who have never operated outside their country, were planning to bomb Indian elections. Again, no evidence whatsoever.

Pakistani officials smelled a rat in both of these statements coming from two close allies of the United States.

These statements, and the dramatic terrorism in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, came immediately after the dressing down that Mr. Holbrooke received in Pakistan.

Could there be an American connection to the disturbances in Balochistan in addition to the Indian connection? The answer, in my view, is yes. Balochistan has U.S. military bases dating back to 2001.

Washington has been opposed to China constructing the Gwadar sea port in the province overlooking the Gulf oil supply lines. And CIA is using Pakistani Balochistan to infiltrate the Iranian province of Sistan-Balochistan and ignite a Sunni rebellion there against Iran’s religious Shia regime.

Within hours of the news that the bodies of the three Pakistani politicians were found near the Iran border, and while separatists and terrorists exploited the story to ignite violence and destroy public property, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad released a press statement that appeared to pour fuel on fire and give the impression that Pakistan was somehow responsible for killing its own three politicians. The statement was also a blatant interference in an internal Pakistani issue where the U.S. diplomats had no business sticking their noses.

Encouraged by this unexpected support from the U.S. Embassy, some of the opportunist tribal chiefs in Balochistan who are supporting terrorism were emboldened to demand a U.N. probe, scoring a cheap point against Pakistan and implying that the state was involved in the murders.

WHAT PAKISTAN SHOULD DO

Feudal chiefs in Pakistan, whether in Balochistan or Punjab, Sindh, and NWFP, have traditionally been protégés of the British colonial rule. While there are bright exceptions of Pakistani nationalism by some of the feudal gentry, the majority damaged the interests of Pakistan over the longer run and has generally shown little commitment or a sense of nationalism and destiny with regards to the homeland.

For the short term, Pakistan needs to register murder cases against Brahamdagh Bugti and other terrorists. They should be charged of murdering the poor Pakistani Baloch driver who accompanied Mr. John Solecki’s. The driver was killed in cold blood by Brahamdagh’s terrorists.

The issue of Balochistan is part of a wider problem facing a failed Pakistani political system led by failed feudal politicians. This system needs to be changed and de-politicized to focus on economic development and providing opportunities to Pakistani citizens.

Ethnic-based provinces need to be abolished and existing districts converted into provinces with their own directly elected governors and local parliaments and development budgets. This way Pakistani politics will be localized and prevented from becoming a source of constant headache and destabilization for the state.

This change cannot come through democracy and requires a period of technocratic government backed by the military in the background and tasked with strictly executing a list of urgent political and administrative reforms.

The U.S. is clearly working against Pakistan’s vital security and economic interests in the region. Islamabad should declare Washington’s occupation of Afghanistan as illegal and advise the U.S.

to desist from using Afghan soil to destabilize neighboring countries.

Pakistan needs to immediately distance itself from the messy American agenda in Afghanistan that is fast turning Pakistan into a war zone.

Islamabad should also confront the Americans and the Indians with the evidence that both are exporting terrorism into Pakistan and fostering insurgencies using the Afghan soil. Let the world know what the Americans and their Anglo-Indian poodles are doing in the region.

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I have many Baloch friends. Baloch are a great nation and they are great Pakistanis. The way Baloch Regiment soldiers of the British Army violated orders by their superiors and went ahead to rescue Pakistani immigrants being butchered by the Indians on the trains in August 1947 will always be remembered as a bright chapter in our nation’s history.

Baloch soldiers rescued thousands of their Pakistani compatriots who were migrating to Pakistan during the Independence war. It is unfortunate that Baloch sardars and corrupt Pakistani rulers worked together to keep Balochistan underdeveloped for the past 50 years.

But thanks to a true son of Pakistan, Gen. Musharraf, Balochistan is now rising again. Baloch youth are joining the Pakistani army by the thousands. And Baloch youth are joining the federal government. In the next 10 years, Balochistan will emerge as the hub of business in Pakistan and as an international destination.

We Pakistanis are proud that we come from a martial culture, and Pakistanis of Baloch heritage have a great contribution in this. Some of the enemies of Pakistan are putting a lot of money and effort and are working hard to create a situation in Balochistan to show that Baloch Pakistanis are somehow working against Pakistan.

That is not true. This is the work of a handful of misguided people working for foreign agendas. Baloch people created Pakistan. Patriotic Baloch sardars even financed Pakistan when the State had no money immediately after Independence. The purpose of the negative propaganda is to confuse the younger generations of Pakistanis. We must be alert to this and we must not allow this to happen.

Posted By: A Pakistani | September 22, 2007 05:56:32 AM