The Journey to Disillusionment

 

Sherbaz Khan Mazari says

Jigar thâm ke beitho ke ab mêri bâri aï  hai

Page 330 – Bhutto’s fixation with Hitler was manifested in a similarity of coincidences. The concentration camp at ‘Dalai’ and the FSF ‘storm troopers’ were clearly products of Bhutto’s Hitler fixated mind. Aping Hitler, Bhutto chose to use a policy of systemic terror to brutalize his opponents. 

Page 331 – By 1974 four political activists were victims of political assassination. The fifth was a botched attempt at killing a man Bhutto had grown to hate: Dr Nazir Ahmed, Jamaat-i-Islami MNA – shot dead at his clinic at Dera Ghazi Khan on 8 June 1972; Khawaja Muhammad Rafiq, leader of Itehad Party – shot dead by a sniper during an anti-government demonstration in Lahore on 20 December 1972; Abdus Samad Achakzai, leader of NAP Pakhoonkhwa of Balochistan – killed in his house in Quetta by a grenade attack on 2 December 1973; Maulvi Shamsuddin, JUI MPA and Deputy Speaker of the Balochistan assembly – shot in his car on his way to Fort Suleman on 13 March 1974; Muhammad Ahmed Kasuri, father of Ahmed Raza – killed mistakenly, during a bungled attempt to assassinate his son, who was present in the car along with him, in Lahore on 10 November 1974.

(Bhutto was lucky he got hanged for only one of these murders).

Page 331 – Others were killed as well. On 28 September a serious attempt was made on Wali Khan’s life as he was driving to Swat. Both his driver and guard were killed but Wali Khan luckily emerged unscathed.

Page 331 – On 5 October Ali Buksh Junejo – a former Khalifa of Pir Pagaro, who had joined the PPP, was murdered in Sanghar in broad daylight. The next day Six supporters of Pir Pagaro, who were attending a court hearing against them, were taken by the police to a deserted location and murdered in cold blood.

Page 332 – Apart from the killings during this period, thousands of people were detained from all over the country. There were those like Kaswar Gardezi, secretary general of NAP, who was sadistically tortured by the police while in detention. In a voice breaking with emotion Gardezi later related his horrifying experience to me (details of the torture not included here).

Page 333 – In September 1972 Khawaja Mana Rahman, of the Dawn group, was shot at the Karachi Boat Club by hired assassins who made their escape. A few months later an attempt was made to shoot his daughter while she was driving her car.

Given the circumstances I was disappointed , but not surprised, when Mana Rahman called on me to tell me  that both he and his brother-in-law, Mahmood Haroon, has sought and received forgiveness from Bhutto. They had done so because they “lacked the courage to continue to oppose him”. The people who stood firm against Bhutto’s autocracy were getting smaller in number and in time would shrink further.

Page 334 – If any of his subordinates showed even a modicum of independence, he would be swiftly punished. In December 1973 he dismissed Mumtaz Bhutto as chief minister of Sindh. In March 1973 Khar was sacked as chief minister of Punjab.

Bhutto’s obsession with maintaining a aura of invincibility was so strong that he would spare no one, not even those who had done him valuable and devoted service over the years.

Page 335 – On the evening of 2 July 1974 J A Rahim was invited, along with the senior hierarchy of the PPP, to a dinner at the prime minister’s house. The invitation was for 8 pm but the host had failed to show up. By midnight the seventy-plus-year-old Rahim lost his patience and left uttering some harsh words.

In the early hours of the morning as Rahim lay sleeping he was informed by his servant that a posse of men were demanding to be let in. Rahim went to the front door to discover that it was Saied Ahmed Khan, the chief of prime minister’s security, who told him he had come to deliver a personal message from the prime minister. When he opened the door the security chief began by pummeling Rahim’s face and body with his fists until Rahim fell to the ground. Then one of his men hit Rahim with his rifle butt while he lay prostrate.

Rahim’s son, Sikander who rushed to intervene, was soon beaten unconscious by the FSF troopers. Having delivered Bhutto’s message Rahim was dragged by his feet and flung into a jeep, along with his son, and taken to a police station. Rafi Raza arrived at the police station a couple of hours later and rescued him.

Even Bhuto’s close associates and cabinet ministers now lived in dread and fear of the unpredictability of their master’s temper. Bhutto would not brook any criticism. Rafi Raza revealed that Dr Mubashir Hasan told him that when he wished to speak to the prime minister he would do so only privately to avoid ugly consequences. Rafi Raza also mentioned that Bhutto forbade him to speak openly at cabinet meetings to prevent others from becoming ‘too independent and contrary.

(this policy was continued by Benazir Bhutto. No one could speak until spoken to. Not even Aitzaz Ahsan, Raza Rabbani, Khurshid Shah or even the benign Iqbal Haider, not to mention the small fry Sherry Rahman, Farzana Raja and Fauzia Wahhab. A US official told of a meeting with Benazir Bhutto — she spoke 90 percent of the time).

Part II

Page 344 – Bhutto did not trust even the closest of his associates and kept them in check by pitting one against the other. In Sindh he had controlled his cousin Mumtaz through his rival Jatoi. Jatoi in turn, as chief minister, had no control over Jam Sadiq Ali, who reported directly to the prime minister. Jam Sadiq Ali, his hit man had total control of Sanghar, Pagaro’s vote bank. Larkana was made into a division and Khalid Kharral became its first commissioner, reporting directly to Bhutto. Rather than trying to bring his warring subordinates together, Bhutto encouraged them to squabble even further, all the while enjoying the complaints of one colleague about the other.

Page 345 – Creating rivalries between his subordinate gave Bhutto a sense of security. As his confidant Rafi Raza admitted: “By nature suspicious, he sought to have ’dirt’ available against his ministers and leading party members, and in early 1976, assigned to his intelligence chiefs the task of preparing secret dossiers about them, to be used against them in case of need”.

Page 342 – NAP/JUI government in Balochistan was dismissed illegally and unethically and inspite of sending Baloch leaders to jail, the federal government had not been able to form a majority government there. People were shot like dogs, the army had blockaded sizeable populations, air force had been used to strafe people, Iranian ammunition was being used against the locals and thousands of political workers had been jailed.

Page 350 – On 25 June while I was at Karachi I read in the evening papers that over nine hundred people had been slain by the armed forces in the Mari tribal area. The newspapers mentioned the use of the Pakistan air force in aerial bombing of the hapless civilians.

Page 352 – A ‘mohtabar’ informed us: "On a recent visit to Harnai I met with an army Subedar at a local ‘chaikhana’ who told me that he was a paratrooper who had participated in the action against the Marris. The Subedar said many members of his section had been dropped by parachute at night near identified Marri settlements. At dawn they surrounded the settlements and attacked them killing all those who resisted, After burning down their homes, they arrested all the able bodied men and took away all their livestock. When I asked the Subedar about the Marri women, he told me that they took with them only the pretty ones for obvious reasons and left the others to fend for themselves. The ‘mohtabar’ then confirmed that in his presence alone he saw the army auctioning off over 15,000 heed of captured cattle".

Page 353 – On our return to Islamabad a number of us in the opposition including Wali Khan, Pir Pagaro and I sent separate similarly worded telegrams to Chaudry Fazal Elahi, the president:

"The action committee of UDF hereby bring to your notice that the actions taken by the federal government in Balochistan are unconstitutional and unlawful. In compliance with such orders the Pakistan army and air force are indiscriminately shelling, strafing and killing innocent inhabitants, including women and children. Their properties are being destroyed and their livestock looted. Concentration camps have been established where innocent and patriotic people of Balochistan are being kept and maltreated. Their women are dishonoured and innocent children tortured. Implementation of such orders of the federal government by the Pakistan army and air force is damaging the unity of the country and may lead to further disintegration, thus a reign of terror is prevailing in the whole province for the simple reason that the people of Balochistan did not vote for the People’s Party in the last general elections".

Page 354 – only two days later I received a report from Mukhtar Hasan, a newspaper correspondent who had just returned from Balochistan. He told me that while he was there two Marri women were raped near Balpat station by soldiers. The culprits were later caught and given only extra drill as punishment. In another incident, one Lal Han Marri’s wife was abducted in Kohlu and raped by several soldiers. Rape in any society is a most reprehensible crime, but when a country’s army, whose sworn and only duty is to defend the borders of a country, indulges in criminal raping of its own hapless citizens, it is nothing less than an act of treason. What disgusted me most was the fact that only token punishment was being awarded by the army for the perpetrators of this most monstrous of crimes. The Pakistan army was behaving as if it had occupied a foreign country, and an iniquitous occupation at that. It reminded me of the atrocities committed by the army in East Pakistan.

Page 356 – in late August I was asked by Bhutto to meet with him in Karachi. I took the opportunity of remonstrating with him about the continuing military action against the tribesmen, especially the use of aircraft against them. It was then, in my presence, that Bhutto finally, openly admitted that military aircraft had been used in Balochistan, but he insisted that no bombing had taken place, the aerial attacks, according to him, had been restricted to strafing and rockets.

Page 356/357 – within weeks of the dismissal of the NAP government in Balochistan in February 1973 a disparate group of Baloch guerillas had sprung up largely in the Marri and Mengel areas. These guerrilla groups, despite their meager numbers, constantly harassed army convoys. Adopting the classical guerrilla approach of avoiding any large scale encounters with the armed forces. Between the period of 1973 and 1975, there were 178 major recorded army encounters with the guerrillas. Despite the army’s enormous 80,000 man force it would find itself increasingly frustrated with its inability to deal with small groups who attacked at unexpected moments and then swiftly melted away into the mountainside. The army’s heavy handed approach of avenging itself on the innocent, ordinary tribal folk only worsened the situation.

Page 361 – the army now decided to take advantage of the presence of a large concentration of Marri families in one particular locality and launched Operation Chamalang on 3 September 1974. By attacking the tent villages of their families the army hoped to lure the fighting tribesmen down from the hills. The strategy worked and thousands of armed Marris poured down from the hills to defend their wives and children. It is said they fought for three consecutive days and nights before running out of ammunition and being forced to retreat to the hills.

Page 364 – News of the Chamalang Operation reached me late. I had spent a week in Sonmiani and found myself – as was the case in those days without telephones, newspapers or even electricity – completely cut off from all but urgent telegrams, which would take a couple of days to reach. It was only when I reached Karachi on 18 September that I was informed by Ahmed Raza Kasuri that the army had occupied Chamalang. He told me that about 800 Marris and over 200 soldiers had been killed in the fighting. I was shattered by the enormity of the event.

Part III

Page 371 – on 8 February my eldest son Sherazam informed me that he had just heard on the radio that Hayat Muhammad Sherpao, the PPP senior minister of NWFP had been killed in a bomb explosion at Peshawar university.

There are many theories about who arranged his assassination. One theory that cannot easily be dismissed was that it had been carried out on the direct orders of Sherpao’s own leader – Bhutto himself. It is a known fact that before his death Sherpao had become very disenchanted with the leader he had once hero-worshipped. Bhutto had noticed Sherpao’s growing popularity and had come to resent it and had begun politically sidelining him at every available opportunity. Even one of their close PPP colleague commented:

“ A few months before his death, Sherpao seriously considered leaving the Party altogether. He only changed his mind on the persuasion of myself and other friends from the Frontier —– . Of all those around Bhutto, sherpao’s personal devotion had been the greatest, and his subsequent disillusionment was consequently the most profound”.

Page 372 – The death of Sherpao provided Bhutto with an excuse to clamp down on Wali Khan and his NAP. It was eerily reminiscent of the dismissal of the Balochistan government on trumped up charges of being responsible for the arms found in the Iraq Embassy in February 1973, two years previously. The day following Sherpao’s assassination, Wali khan and all the national and provincial leaders of NAP were either under detention or being urgently sought out by the authorities. The next day it was announced that NAP had been banned and all its assets confiscated. The First Amendment to the 1973 Constitution allowed the Federal Government to ban political parties formed or those ‘operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty of Pakistan’.

On the evening of 10 February I got a call from Jennifer Musa from Balochistan, who had been a NAP MNA, from Islamabd. She told me that over 800 of the NAP party members had been arrested. She also informed me that an ordinance had been passed in the Assembly which allowed for the arrest of MNAs while the Assembly was in session. It had become obvious that the government had begun an intensified assault to destroy all vestige of NAP. A brutal campaign had begun to pin Sherpao’s death on NAP party members. A number of them including, Asfandyar were very brutally tortured in an attempt to extract ‘confessions’. A few days later NWP Governor Aslam Khattak and the Gandapur Government was also sacked and the federal Government imposed its direct rule in the province.

Page 372/373 – On 18 February at 1 a.m. I was woken up by a telephone call from a very distraught Mrs Azizullah Shaikh. Her home was being stoned by hooligans. Her husband had gone into hiding to evade arrest, and she was alone at home with her three young daughters. I took my son Sherazam and a couple of our servants and rushed over to her house. We saw a dozen or so thugs fleeing into the surrounding darkness when they saw our car approaching. Inside we discovered Mrs shaikh and her three daughters cowering in the corner o a room. The idea that a government could stoop so low as to threaten a defenseless woman and her young daughters sickened me. My son and I kept an all night vigil and left only after sunrise.

Page 375/377 – the banning of nap found UDF Opposition alliance in a weakened position. Having banned NAP the government was required under law to refer it’s dissolution of the Party to the Supreme Court. Exercising a leap in convoluted logic, CJ Hamoodur Rahman chose to construe NAP’s long held demand for greater provincial autonomy to be nothing more than a claim for a provincial ‘right of self-determination with the right to accede’. The Supreme Court had fallen prey to playing its historical role – since the days of Justice Munir – of acceding deferentially, yet again, to the wishes of the government of the day. The sum of the supreme court’s long judgment —– was to endorse the Prime Minister’s contempt for political opposition.

Page 391 – in the meantime yet another government-opposition crisis had taken place. On 14 November the Opposition created an uproar in the Assembly over the Government’s introduction of the proposed Fourth Amendment to the 1973 Constitution, to further curtail the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts in cases of preventive detention. It thwarted the Court’s ability to prohibit such detentions or even grant bail to people so detained. It was clearly directed towards disabling the Courts from intervening in cases of blatant political victimization.

In the ensuing parliamentary commotion the serjeant-at-arms was ordered to evict the Opposition MNAs from the Chamber. Failing to do so, FSF troopers were called in. These government hired ruffians bodily lifted eight struggling MNAs and dumped them unceremoniously in the National Assembly car park. Among the victims was the acting leader of the Opposition, Mufti Mahmood. It was a scandalous display of unwarranted aggression and only helped in furthering the growing bitter divide between members of the Opposition and Bhutto.

Page 393 – After having been forcibly ejected from parliament Mufti Mahmood refused Bhutto’s offer of a dialogue to sort matters out. This offer of Bhutto was a typical Bhutto gesture. He would now hold himself out as a man of reason offering to settle the dispute in a calm and sensible manner – completely ignoring the fact that it was he who had shoved the aggressive Fourth Amendment down the throats of the Opposition, as well as had them manhandled and ejected from the Assembly Chamber. When his ‘judicious’ offer would meet with rejection, he would get the theatrical opportunity of twisting his hands in dismay and then announce  that he was faced with such an ‘obstructive’ and hostile opposition, that he had little choice but to ‘crush them’ for the sake of good governance.

Part IV

Page 394/395 – 19 December 1975 had been nominated a ‘Black Flag Day’ and a rally had to be held at Karachi’s Katrak Hall, near the Empress Market. On the way to the hall we were forced to disembark from our vehicles as FSF and armed police had taken charge of all routes leading to the Hall. Asghar khan, Maulana Noorani and I forced our way through the blockade on foot helped by a crowd of several thousand already assembled there. When we walked through a narrow alley and entered the gate a large body of police made their sudden appearance and a DSP took the three of us into police custody. The police contingent charged the crowd with their steel tipped ‘lathis’. The narrowness of the alley made their task much easier as they had only to contend with those in the front. Later I was told they brutally cleared the alley all the way to the main road. Besides the police, only my three sons, Mir Ali Buksh Talpur and my driver remained in the alley refusing to budge until they discovered what had happened to me. But they too were charged, Talpur’s wrist was broken and my sons injured. We were taken to the Soldier Bazaar police station and detained there. After a while an angry crowd swelled outside and the police decided to release us before the situation got out of hand.

All over Pakistan similar rallies had been disrupted by the local police and FSF. Having muzzled the press and despite having achieved near complete control of all media, Bhutto’s government was determined not to allow the Opposition any opportunity of communicating with the public in any form whatsoever. The government’s open and adversely hostile attitude towards the Opposition was now impelling even the less belligerent Opposition parties into adopting a firmer stance.

Page 397/398 – On 6 February 1976 tragedy struck. Asadullah, the twenty year old son of Attaullah Mengal was gunned down outside my brother Mir Balakh Sher’s house at Karachi, along with his friend Ahmed Shah Kurd. I later learnt that Asadullah who was constantly being followed by local intelligence agencies, sought to evade them earlier that day, by swapping cars at a friends house. In the friend’s car he, accompanied by Ahmed Shah, arrived at my brother’s house in the Muhammad Ali Housing Society a few minutes before 8 p.m. He informed the servant that he was expecting to receive a phone call there. At about 8 p.m. as the telephone rang, the servant heard loud bursts of gunfire. Outside the gate he saw Saadullah’s car crashed against the wall and a number of armed people surrounding it. It was then that he noticed that both ends of the street had been blocked by black vehicles. He witnessed the men carrying two prone bodies from the crashed car to one of their vehicles before driving away.

My initial shock at this horrible event quickly changed to sorrow when my thoughts turned towards Attaullah Mengal. Almost a month after the incident ominous rumours began to circulate that after being critically wounded, instead of being taken to a hospital, Asadullah was taken to Malir where he was tortured to extract information about his dealings in Balochistan. He died during the torture and to this day, apart from the perpetrators themselves, no one knows the whereabouts of his remains.

Page 409 – My last meeting with Bhutto took place on 4 June 1976. Sardar Shaukat Hayat met me as I was leaving the Assembly building and insisted that I accompany him to the prime minister’s Chambers to meet Bhutto. We spoke for about fifteen minutes, once again receiving assurances from Bhutto that he was all in favour of settling his disputes with NAP leaders amicably. By now Bhutto’s declarations held little value and I wondered at the real meaning behind our meeting. Only a short while later it dawned on me that I had become party to yet another stunt. Bhutto was off very shortly to Afghanistan, probably also to tell Sirdar Daud that NDP and he were working closely to resolve the dispute between the government and the jailed leaders.

Page 412 – In the middle of the night I received a disturbing call from my family. Five masked men had invaded the ground of my residence and, after knocking a sleeping servant unconscious, they tried to smash entry into the house. Unable to gain entry they then attempted to seize my cars. They managed to push one about ten feet towards the gate before the servants became alerted and rang the alarm. Members of my family then opened fire upon the intruders. Unfortunately in the dark all five intruders managed to flee unhurt.

I would learn some years later from an unimpeachable senior PPP source that the attack had been arranged by Jam Sadiq Ali under specific instructions of Bhutto, who probably wished to remind me of the vulnerability of my family.

Page 416/420 – On January 1977 Bhutto, who had dithered over the issue, announced suddenly that the elections would be held, two months later, on 7 March.

The first sign of the government’s electoral intentions became publicly apparent when Maulana Jan Muhammad Abbasi, the PNA candidate contesting Bhutto’s Larkana seat, was abducted by the police to prevent him from filing his papers against the PPP leader. Taking cue from the leader, a host of other PPP leaders opted to follow a similar electoral route to victory. This illustrious company included Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Liaquat Ali Jatoi, Mehran Khan Bijarani, Atta Muhammad Marri, Malik Sikander Khan, Sultan Ahmned Chandio, Yusuf Chandio and some others.

All four provincial Chief Ministers also ensured they would not be ‘disgraced’ by the presence of any rival candidate in their constituencies.

Rafi Raza stated : I met Bhutto on his return from Larkana —– I said his unopposed election was astonishing, no one could accept that the PNA candidate had simply failed to show up. The error was further compounded by the publicity given to the ‘Undisputed leader’, as if it were a presidential election. Bhutto tetchily asked why, if I was surprised at his unopposed election, I did not enquire how my friend Mumtaz was similarly elected from Larkana.

Kausar Niazi stated : One of Mr Bhutto’s intense desire was well known to me, he had expressed that more than once in my presence. And that was – he wanted a victory with two thirds majority. Bhutto needed a two thirds majority in the National assembly to amend the Constitution to obtain his cherished goal of a presidential form of government. With him, of course, as the president.

Part V Concusion

Page 431 – the NWFP was a prime example of election misdeeds. Bhutto assigned Muhammad Hayat Taman, his political advisor, the task of making election preparations in NWFP. Gen Imtiaz, Bhutto’s military secretary was sent there for three weeks to assist Taman.

The deputy commissioner (and returning officer) of Kohistan district, who was earlier asked to keep the results of his constituency a secret, was then summoned by the troika. He was threatened with dire consequences if he did not accede to the chief secretary’s request to make up the deficiency in the PPP candidates votes and reverse the results. “On my hesitation the DIG took me aside and said my dismissal would not take days but hours, and many charges could be levelled against me”

US ambassador, Henry Byroade, who was with Bhutto as the election results came in, said, “the results we coming in at about 70%. He was losing Karachi. He was losing Peshawar. Then the Punjabi numbers started coming in and guys who were absolute thugs won by 99%. Bhutto became absolutely quiet and started drinking heavily, calling Lahore, he said, what are you people doing.

With our general consensus, Mufti Mahmood in a lengthy reply rejected Bhutto’s offer of talks: “I regret to say you have again avoided to clarify your stand regarding countrywide pre-planned rigging of general elections. On 7th march, the country was subjected to a farce in the name of general elections. The admin- istration made every endeavour to subvert the national will and to ensure a new lease of life for a leader and a government which had been overwhelmingly rejected by the electorate –

Much publicity was given internationally to the joint resignations of Gen Gul Hasan and Air Marshal Rahim Khan as ambassadors to Greece and Spain respectively. They were soon to give an extremely hostile press conference in London against the Bhutto regime. They sent a letter to Gen Zia demanding that he decline from accepting illegal and undemocratic orders from a fascist Bhutto.

On the lighter side there was an amusing incident at Sihala jail. My son Sherazam, then a student at Karachi had flown to Rawalpindi, borrowed a car from Wali khan’s son and come to visit me. When he was preparing to leave the car would not start. It had to be push-started. While Sherazam sat in the drivers seat the car was pushed by the whole PNA leadership consisting of Mufti Mahmood, Asghar Khan, Professor Ghafoor, Maulana Noorani and my self. With all the opposition heavyweights behind it the car had no option but to start immediately.

(the following is being included much against my grain, only to show the kind of man Bhutto was, and to what limits he could go):

On the sixth day of the hunger strike I experienced severe chest pains that almost rendered me unconscious. I sensed some one watching me from the other side of the bars. I was surprised to see the jail superintendent standing there all by himself. He seemed very perturbed for some reason. Then strangely he broke down, “as a jail superintendent I’ve done some awful things in my life but I have my limits. Bhutto Saheb personally rings me up almost daily to see if I have broken you yet. But today he gave me orders which, even though I am scared of him, I cannot obey. I have applied for leave and am taking off tomorrow. I’ll face the consequences of my decision but my mind is made up”. Then he warned me, “the deputy jail superintendent is a vicious man, I don’t know what will happen when I’m gone” ———-

I had known Bhutto for some 23 years. To him lying, double-dealing and deceit were normal means of attaining and keeping power. His evident acceptance of new elections was now belied by his unexpected trip abroad. It was a clear indication that mischief was afoot.

During one of the PNA meetings at Sihala Asghar khan revealed disturbing news, Bhutto had decided to deal with the PNA hardliners once and for all. Bhutto had now concocted an ingenious plan by which Kausar Niazi and Ghulam Mustafa Khar would become victims of an assassination plan. In retaliation an enraged PPP mob would then proceed to murder Asghar Khan, Shah Ahmed Noorani and myself. This may seem a bit far fetched to some, but even Kausar Niazi, one of the plot’s two sacrificial victims, believed in its authenticity.

Gen Arif writes about a very revealing episode: “Gen Zia expressed his apprehension to Bhutto that, if the agitation did not end, it could erode army’s discipline and cause division in the ranks. This would be a disaster for the army and for the country. Mr Bhutto sensed the mood and laid on the charm, “you are my brother and I trust you”. He asked Gen Zia not to get unduly worried as the government did not plan to employ the army in a hurry again. He went on to confide that he had taken ‘other measures’ to deal with the PNA situation. That statement rang an alarm in Gen Zia’s mind”.

The rest is history.

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Partitioning India over lunch

 

Memoirs of a British civil servant never seen in public until now show how much the partition of India was decided by just two men, the BBC’s Alastair Lawson reports.

In a quiet village in the northern English county of Yorkshire, Robert Beaumont rifles through his father’s archives.
The various and somewhat tatty pieces of paper he unearths are no ordinary collection of paternal memoirs.
They are the thoughts and reflections of his father, Christopher Beaumont, who played a central role in the partition of India in 1947, which resulted in arguably the largest mass migration of peoples the world has ever seen.
After the death in 1989 of Mountbatten’s Private Secretary, Sir George Abell, Beaumont was probably not exaggerating when he claimed to be the only person left who "knew the truth about partition".

‘Bending the border’
It is estimated that around 14.5 million people moved to Pakistan from India or travelled in the opposite direction from Pakistan to India.

In 1947, Beaumont was private secretary to the senior British judge, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who was chairman of the Indo-Pakistan Boundary Commission.
Radcliffe was responsible for dividing the vast territories of British India into India and Pakistan, separating 400 million people along religious lines.
The family documents show that Beaumont had a stark assessment of the role played by Britain in the last days of the Raj.
"The viceroy, Mountbatten, must take the blame – though not the sole blame – for the massacres in the Punjab in which between 500,000 to a million men, women and children perished," he writes.
"The handover of power was done too quickly."
The central theme ever present in Beaumont’s historic paperwork is that Mountbatten not only bent the rules when it came to partition – he also bent the border in India’s favour.
The documents repeatedly allege that Mountbatten put pressure on Radcliffe to alter the boundary in India’s favour.
On one occasion, he complains that he was "deftly excluded" from a lunch between the pair in which a substantial tract of Muslim-majority territory – which should have gone to Pakistan – was instead ceded to India.
Beaumont’s papers say that the incident brought "grave discredit on both men".

Punjab ‘disaster’
But Beaumont – who later in life was a circuit judge in the UK – is most scathing about how partition affected the Punjab, which was split between India and Pakistan.

"The Punjab partition was a disaster," he writes.
"Geography, canals, railways and roads all argued against dismemberment.
"The trouble was that Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs were an integrated population so that it was impossible to make a frontier without widespread dislocation.
"Thousands of people died or were uprooted from their homes in what was in effect a civil war.
"By the end of 1947 there were virtually no Hindus or Sikhs living in west Punjab – now part of Pakistan – and no Muslims in the Indian east.
"The British government and Mountbatten must bear a large part of the blame for this tragedy."

Personality clash
Beaumont goes on to argue that it was "irresponsible" of Lord Mountbatten to insist that Beaumont complete the boundary within a six-week deadline – despite his protests.

On Kashmir, Beaumont argues that it would have been "far more sensible" to have made the flash-point territory a separate country.
According to Beaumont, the "formidably intelligent" Radcliffe "did not get on well" with Mountbatten.
"They could not have been more different," he writes.
"Mountbatten was very good-looking and had a well-deserved history of personal bravery but, to put it mildly, he had few literary tastes.
"Radcliffe… was very quietly civilised. It was a relationship so like chalk and cheese that Lady Mountbatten had to use all her adroitness to keep conversation between them on an even keel."
Beaumont died in 2002 – his son Robert remembers him with great affection.
"He was also a man of supreme honesty, who spoke out on numerous occasions against the official British version of events surrounding partition without in any way being disloyal to his country," Robert Beaumont recalls.

Muslim Leaders & Covert Ops.

 

By: Bashir.A.Syed (The author is a retired scientist).

References: 1. William Blum, KILLING HOPE: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Common Courage Presswww.commoncouragepress.com , Monroe, Monroe, Maine 1995. ISBN 1-56751-052-3.

And Beyond 1995. using Google Search

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1950’s  – Sukarno, President of Indonesia

1957 – Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt

1960 – Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem, Leader of Iraq

1975. King Faisal ibn Saud, through his nephew, Faisa ibn Muaid, to avenge 1973 Arab Oil embargo.

1979. Z. A. Bhutto, Pakistan, as threatened by Henry Kissinger for pursuing Chashma Nuclear facility.

1980-1986 – Muammar Qaddafi – Leader of Libya , several plots and attempts on his life.

1983. Gen. Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan Army Commander

1985 – Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah. Lebanese Shiite Leader, (80 people killed in that attempt to blow up a masjid by Israeli supported South Lebanese Army).

1988. Gen. Zia-ul Haq, through Israeli Mossad (as acknowledged by U.S. Ambassador, Blackwell, on BBC, Program, London in 2006)

1991. Saddam Hussein, 4/4/79,.

1999. Mullah Muhammad Omar, Afghanistan leader

2003. July 22. Two sons of Saddam Hussein, Udey (39) & Kusey (37) blown to bits by U.S. Troops.

2004, March 22. Ahmed Yasin, Palestinian, blown to bits by Israelis by missile strike.

2004, April 7. Masjid blown up in Fallujah, Iraq and Fallujah Massacre.

2004, April:17. Abdul Aziz Rantisi, Arab leader, & his two body guards by a Missile.

2006. Dec. 39. Saddam Hussein by having him hanged through interim regime of Prime Minister, Al-Maliki.

2007, Jan. 15. Barzan Ibrahim (half brother of Saddam H) and, a top aide to Saddam, hanged by their heads severed.

2009-2011. Drone/Missile attacks, and CIA’s Covert Assassination Operations have killed thousands of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

2011. March. Campaign for Regime change contracted to UK, France & Italy (members of NATO) to get rid of Qaddafi by any means under the pretext of saving civilian lives through Humanitarian Aid provided by Bombing Libyan cities, and military targets.

 

Additional REFERENCES:

1978. “In SEARCH of ENEMIES: A CIA Story,” by John Stockwell (Former Chief Angola Task Force), W. W. Norton & Company, New York 1978. ISBN  0-393-0570-4. (Hard).

1979.  “The United Sates and the Global Struggle for Minerals,” by Alfred E. Eckes, Jr., University of Texas Press, Austin and London, 1979. ISBN 0-292-78511-9. (Pbk)

1981. “The State of the World Atlas,” by Michael Kidron & Ronald Segal, A Pluto Press Project, Simon & Schuster, New York 1981.  ISBN  0-671-42439-4 (pbk) .

1981.  “THE ISLAMIC BOMB: The Threat to Israel and the Middle East,” by Steve Weissman and Herbert Krosney, and published by NYT, Times Books, New York 1989.  ISBN  0-8129-0978-X. The two authors serving New York Times were assigned to travel to thirteen countries in eighteen months to collect information and write this book, with main target as Pakistan (in chapters 11, 12 and 13); designating chapter 5 as “Colonel Qaddafi’s Bomb, and chapters 14, 15, and 16 to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. There are three prominent threats mentioned in this book:

a. Threat (page 163) to Z. A. Bhutto, by Henry Kissinger: “Drop Chashma, or else we will make a horrible example of you .”

b. Indirect threat (pages 192 & 193) to Dr. A. Q. Khan, using several cited options, one of them was the use of covert operations, including a paramilitary attack to disable Kahuta enrichment plant. When this possibility of covert action was published by the New York Times, on August 12, 1979, the State Department immediately denied that it had ever been considered.

c. General threat to all (page 305) nuclear proliferators by an organization calling itself “League for Protecting the Sub Continent (LPSC). “We will not hesitate to use violent means to make those responsible for nuclear arms proliferation understand the seriousness of their actions. We believe it better to eliminate a few individuals and destroy a few factories rather than risk the wholesale massacre of millions of human beings.”

1983. The WAR ATLAS: Armed Conflict-Armed Peace,” by Michael Kidron & Dan Smith, Simon & Schuster, New York 1983. Library of Congress Catalog card No. 80-5921)

1985. “UNDER COVER: THIRTY FIVE YEARS OF CIA DECEPTION,” by Darrell Garwood [Introduction by Tom Gervasi] Grove Press, New York 1985. [United States Covert Actions Abroad to Impose or Restore Favorable Political Conditions, 1946-1983, A Chronology, pages  293-301] ISBN 0-394-62073-9] (pbk).

1985. “Derivative Assassination: Who Killed Indira Gandhi? “ by the Editors of Executive Intelligence Review, New Benjamin Franklin House, New Yorrk, NY 1985. ISBN: 933488-43-2.

1985. “Afghanistan’s Ordeal Puts A Region At Risk,” by James B. Curren & Phillip A. Karber (both employed as Intelligence Analysts with BDM Corporation, a subsidiary of Ford), pages 78 – 105, Armed Forces JOURNAL International/March1985. [The two authors near the end of the article beginning on page 100, under a new topic heading “Scenario of the Future,” put forth a plan for the dismemberment of Pakistan, utilizing the animosity between India and Pakistan exploited by Soviets (during that time, but stemming out of American minds) a systematic Plan to Dismember Pakistan. They begin with past history under the caption : “An Unresolved Conflict: India vs Pakistan ,” used three graphic maps (1) Kasmir 1947-48, (2) Indo=Pakistan-War of 1965, and (3)  Bangladesh War 1971, move on to graphically describe the “Nuclearization of the Region, compare Nuclear Assets (assigning numerical value) of Iraq, Pakistan, and India, yield total numerical scores  of 5, 13, and 27 respectively. And the third most important topic discussed is A Scenario of the Future, using two maps as follows:

Map 1, Joint Indo-Soviet (now U.S) Air Offensive

a.       Pre-emptive attacks on Pakistan’s major air-bases

b.      Soviet (now U.S) bombing of refugee camps and air assault seizure of key passes

c.       Indian Strikes on Pakistani Nuclear facilities

d.      Soviet (now American) interdiction of Karakoram highway

Map 2. Ground Campaign for the Dismemberment of Pakistan

a.       Creation of independent “peoples Republic of Baluchistan,” with USSR (now U.S.) Naval Base and Force Deployment Treaty

b.      Absorption of northwest tribal territories into Afghanistan

c.       Absorption of West Kashmir into India

d.      Administration of Sind/Punjab autonomous zone by India.

The think tanks in U.S. have already made plans to change the geography for Dismemberment, which was emphasized by Jeff Greenbergs Article “AFTER IRAQ… “ in Atlantic Monthly magazine of Jan. 2008

1986. “PROPHECY And POLITICS: The Secret Alliance Between Israel and the U.S. Christian Right,” by Grace Halsell, Lawrence Hill Books, Chicago, IL 1986.  ISBN 1-55652-054-9. – pbk (Grace Halsell was one of the speech-writers for Lyndon Johnson). (A Must read Book)

1987. “SECRET ARMIES: The Explosive Inside Story of the World’s Most Elite Warriors,” by James Adams, Bantam Books, New York 1987.  ISBN 0-553-28162-3. (pbk).

1987. “VEIL: The Secret Wars of the CIA  1981-1987,” by Bob Woodward, (a very well respected investigative journalist and author of Obama’s War), Simon & Schuster, New York 1987. ISBN 0-671-60117-2. [Reagan’s new adventures by declaring that after Communism our next enemy is Islam]

1987.  “The CHRONOLOGY: The Documented Day-by-Day Account of the Secret Military Assistance to Iran and Contras,” by The National Security Archives, Scott Armstrong, Executive Director Malcolm Byrne, Editor Tom Blanton, Director of Planning and Research. And Foreword by Seymour Hersh, Warner Books, a Warner Communication Company, New York 1987.  ISBN  0-446-34901-1.

1989. “AMERICA’S SECRET POWER: The CIA in a Democratic Society,” by Loch K. Johnson, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford 1989.  ISBN  0-19-505490-3 (hard)

1991. “The NEW WORLD ORDER,” by Pat Robertson, Word Publishhing, Dallas, London, Vancouver and Melbourne, 1991. ISBN  0-8499-3394-3.

1991. “IRAQ: Military Victory, Moral Defeat,” by Thomas C. Fox, (editor of the National Catholic Reporter, journalist for Washington Star, Detroit Free Press, New York Times and TIME Magazine during Vietnam Era), published by Sheed and Ward, Kansas City, MO 1991. ISBN 1-55612-464-3. [Chapt. 7. “If You Want Peace, Work for JUSTICE].

1995. “DESERT WARRIOR: A Personal View of the Gulf War by the Joint Forces Commander,” by HRH General Khaled Bin Sultan (written with Patrick Seale), Harper Collins Publishers, New York 1995. ISBN  0-06-017298-3. [This book was published in response to Gen. Norman Shwartzkop, CENTCOM Commander’s book to dispel many nisunderstandings created due to his lack of knowledge about Muslims and Islam, which made the war very barbaric (which most likely shifted CENTCOM Military Head Quarter from King Khalid Military City to Doha, Qatar,

1998. “THE NEXT WAR,” [Foreword by Margaret Thatcher], by Caspar Weinberger & Peter Schweizer, Regnery Publishing, Inc. Washington, DC 1998.  ISBN 0-89526-384-X. (pbk).

1991. “WHAT HAPPENED WHEN:  A Chronology of Events in America ,” by Gorton Carruth,  A Signet Book, Published by Penguin Group, New York 1991. ISBN 0-451-16902-6 (pbk).

1992. “IT’S A CONSPIRACY ! – The Shocking Truth About America’s Favorite Conspiracy Theories!,” by The National Insecurity Council, Earth Works Press, Berkeley, Calif. 1992.  ISBN 1-879682-10-9.

1992. “THE FIRE THIS TIME: U.S. War Crimes in The GULF,” by Ramsey Clark (Former U.S. Attorney General), International Action Center, New York 1992.  ISBN  0-9656916-8-3 (pbk).

1993. “CRUSADE: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War,” by Rick Atkinson, Houghton Mifflin and Company, NY 1993. [ISBN 0-395-71083-9]

1994. “The True Cost of CONFLICT: Seven Recent Wars and Their Effects on Society,” Edited by Michael Cranna, The New Press, New York 1994,  ISBN 1-56584-268-5. (pbk)

1997. “SCHOOL OF ASSASSINS: Welcome to Fort Benning, U. S. Army” by Jack Nelson- Pallmeyer, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York 1997,  ISBN  1-57075-134-X. (pbk).

1998. “CHALLENGE to GENOCIDE: Let Iraq Live (Sanctions are Genocide),” by Ramsey Clark & 48 Others, International Action Center, New York, 1998. ISBN  0-9656916-4-0. [A MUST READ BOOK]

1998. “THE NEXT WAR,” [Foreword by Margaret Thatcher], by Caspar Weinberger & Peter Schweizer, Regnery Publishing, Inc. Washington, DC 1998.  ISBN 0-89526-384-X. (pbk).

[Where & When: ( the future Hit List) Korea 1998, Iran 1999, Mexico 2003, Russia 2006, and Japan 2007. Margaret Thatcher’s emphasis is building more weapons to support the Military-Industrial Complex which also helps Western economies]

1999. “Depleted Uranium – METAL OF DISHONOR: How the Pentagon RADIATES soldiers & civilians with DU weapons,” by Ramsey Clark, Helen Candicott, Michio Kaku, Rosalie Bertell, Jay M. Gould, Manual Pino, and Ashraf El-Bayoumi, et al, International Action Center, New York 1999. ISBN 0-9656916-0-8. (pbk) A Must Read Book.

2001. “RESOURCE WARS: The New Landscape of Golobal Conflict,” by Michael T. Klare, A Metropolitan/ Owl Book, Henry Holt and Company, New York 2001 & 2002.  ISBN  0-8050-5576-2. [The International race to Grab OIL]

2002.  “Nuclear Cities and a Pipeline War,” by Michael Welch, Home Power Magazine # 87, pages 102-105, Feb/March 2002.  [After the demise of Soviet Union, the American Energy conglomerates had their eyes set on the Oil and Gas Resources located in newly liberated Asian Republics in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. They approached the ruling elite and obtained concessions to get Oil and Gas from those reserves. But there was one other hurdle to bring the liquid gold to the market that it required building a 1000 miles long pipeline passing through Afghanistan and ending up in the Arabian sea through Pakistan, It offered a lucrative market not only abroad but also in Pakistan and India. Thus the next thing to safeguard their investments was to obtain rights for American military bases with the excuse that they will protect these new states from the Russian bear next door. After this they had to deal with the Taliban government in power at that time, to protect the interests of UNOCAL (now a part of BP),  interested in the pipeline project. But the smell of money brought another company from Argentina, named Bridas (fourth largest energy group in Latin America) as their competitor, which was going to spoil the British-American game. Both competitors set their offices in Islamabad hoping to win the pipeline contract. They offered better terms to Taliban to sway them away from UNOCAL. Finally on July 17, 2001, a final meeting was held in Berlin between Taliban and Northern Alliance was held but Taliban representative never showed up. The reason for this was a stormy meeting organized by UN Security Council, during which the American representative threatened the Taliban by saying, “ Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.” That was it, and the rest is history, and the Taliban representative never showed up after having been intimidated by the American military threat option].

2002. “PERPETUAL WAR FOR PERPETUAL PEACE – How We Got To Be So Hated,” by Gore Vidal, Thunder’s Mouth Press, Nation Books, New York 2002. ISBN  1-56025-405-X (pbk).

2002. “The NEW Nuclear DANGER: George W. Bush’s Military-Industrial Complex,” by Dr. Helen Caldicott,” ISBN 1-56584-740-7. (pbk)  [“ A Timely Warning,at a critical moment in world history, of the horrible consequences of nuclear warfare,” – Walter Cronkite]

2002. “Forbidden TRUTH: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (because has already died in 2001),” by Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie/, Thunder’s Mouth Press/ Nation Books, New York 2002.  ISBN  1-56025-414-9. (pbk) [The Story of competition between Bridas and UNOCAL that brought the American wrath is described above. This book proves the Hypocracy and Arrogance of Politicians – An Eye Opener]

2003. The Penguin Atlas of WAR and PEACE,” by Dan Smith, Senior Advisor, & Former Director of the International Peace Research Institute , Oslo, Norway, Penguin Books, New York 2003.  ISBN  0-14.200294-1. [ (Pbk)  An excellent Reference book, Current Edition is available]

2003.  “ENEMY ALIENS: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism,” by David Cole, a Prof. of Law at Georgetown University, The New Press, New York 2003. ISBN 1-56584-938-8. [ An unbiased description of how detainees at Guantanamo detention Center in Cuba (aka Gitmo) have been treated against International Laws]

2003.  “FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond,” by Rahul Mahajan, an Open Media Book, Seven Stories Press, New York 2003. ISBN  1-58322-578-1.

2004.  “OIL, POWER & EMPIRE: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda,” by Larry Everest, Common Courage Press, Monroe,, Maine 2004. ISBN 1-56751-246-1. (pbk) [The author details the U.S. race to extend its global power. A MUST READ BOOK]

2004. “Masters of CHAOS: The Secret History of the Special Forces,” by Linda Robinson, BBS, Public Affairs, New York 2004.  ISBN 1-58648-352-8. (pbk)

2004. “BUSHED! – An Illustrated History of What Passionate Conservatives Have Done to America and the World,” by Walter C. Clemens , Jr., Illustrated via Hilarious Cartoons by Jim Morin, published by Outland Books, Outland Communications LLC, Skaneateles, New York 2004.  ISBN 0-9714102-5-9. (pbk).

2004.  “Confessions of an ECONOMIC HIT MAN,” by John Perkins, A Plume Book, published by Penguin Group, New York 2004.  ISBN 0-452-28708-1 [John Perkins should know – as an economic hit man  for an international consulting firm, he convinced developing countries to accept enormous loans and funnel that money to U.S. corporations. The American government and international aid agencies then requested their ‘pound of flesh,” including access to the natural resources, military co-operations, and political support.”] (A MUST READ BOOK)

2004. “The PENTAGON’S NEW MAP: War and Peace in The Twenty-First Century,”  by Thomas P. M. Barnett,  Berkley Books, New York 2004.  ISBN 0-425-20239-9 (pbk) [Describes future plans, including the new perceived world map in the beginning of the book – a very essential reading].

2004. “THE TERROR TIMELINE: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11 (American Version) – and America’s Response,” by Paul Thompson and the Center for Cooperative Research, (foreword by Peter Lance – a biased writer), Regan Books, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, New York 2004. ISBN 0-06-078338-9. [Page 250 – June 12, 2001: Sting Operation Exposes al-Qaeda, ISI and Drug Connections; Investigators face Obstacles to learn more. Page 251: July 2, 2001.: Osama Bin Laden Periodically Undergoes Dialysis with Approval of the ISI. Page 252: August 22, 2001: U.S. and Pakistan Negotiate to Capture or Kill bin Laden.  Page 254. September 11-16, 2001: Pakistan Threatened (by Richard Armitage: “Hep us and breathe in the 21st Century along with the international community or be prepared to live in the Stone Age . . . ), Promises to Support U.S. Page 255: Mid-September 2001 B): Israel and U.S. Plan to Steal Nuclear Weapons from Pakistan:  According top Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker, October 29, 2001, a few days after 9/11 members of the elite Israeli counter-terrorism unit ‘Sayeret Matkal’ arrive in the U.S. and begin training with U.S. Special Forces in a Secret Location. The two groups are developing contingency plans to attack Pakistan’s military bases and remove its nuclear weapons if the government or the nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands. Japan Times, November 10, 2001 said “ There may have been threats to enact this plan on September 13, 2001. The newspaper later notes that this “threat to divest Pakistan of its ‘crown jewels’ was cleverly used by the U.S., first to force Musharraf to support its military campaign in Afghanistan, and then to warn would-be coup-plotters against Musharraf.” (It was the beginning of entry of BlackWater in Pakistan). Page 254: On September 13, (after this threat was conveyed to Mush via U.S. Ambassador, Wendy Chamberlain, and putting forth 7 Demands (as mentioned by Mush in his own memoir book “In The Line of Fire,” and Mush accepted all 7 demand, including handing over 4 Pakistani Air-bases, without any hesitancy) the airport in Islamabad, is shut down for the day. LA Weekly of Nov. 9, 2001 reported that Israel and India threatened to attack Pakistan and take control of its nuclear weapons if Pakistan did not side with the U.S., and the rest is cunning history.

2005. “BIOWARFARE and TERRORISM,” by Francis Boyle Prof. of Molecular Biology at MIT, with foreword by Jonathan King, Clarity Press, Inc. Atlanta, GA 2005.  ISBN 0-932863-46-9.  [About Fort Detrick, MD where Biological agents for Military are prepared and Tested]

2005. “ROGUE STATE: A Guide to the World’s Only Super Power,” by William Blum, 3rd Edition, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, 2000 & 2005. ISBN 1-56751-374-3.

2005. “IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY: American War Crimes in Iraq and BEYOND,” Edited by Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler, and Brendan Smith, The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, New York 2005. ISBN 0-8050-7969-6. (pbk)

2005. “THE WAR ON TRUTH: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism,” by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Olive Branch Press, Interlink Publishing, Inc. Northampton, Mass 2005.  ISBN 1-56656-596-0.

2005. THE SORROWS OF EMPIRE: Militarism, Secrecy, and The End of The Republic,” by Chalmers Johnson, (author of BLOWBACK: The Cost and Consequences of American Empire), The American Empire Project, A Metropolitan/Owl Book,  Henry Holt and Company, New York 2005. ISBN 0-8050-7797-9. [ Both of the books are a MUST Read to understand the modern chaos] (pbk).

2006. “IN THE LINE OF FIRE – A  Memoir,” by Pervez Musharraf,” Free Press, New York 2006. ISBN 10: 0-7432-8344-9. [ Pages 204 & 205: On September 13, the U.S. Ambassador, Wendy Chamberlain, brought me a set of seven demands. These demands had also been communicated to our foreign office by the U.S. State Department (Richard Armitage) through what is called a non-paper. Here are the Seven Demands:

1. Stop al Qaeda operatives at your borders, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan, and end all logistical support for Bin Laden.

2. Provide the United States with Blanket overflight and landing rights to conduct all necessary military and intelligence operations.

3. Provide territorial access to the United States and allied military intelligence as needed, and other personnel to conduct all necessary operations against the perpetrators of terrorism and those that harbor them, including the use of Pakistan’s naval ports, airbases, and strategic locations on borders.

4. Provide the United States immediately with intelligence, immigration information and databases, and internal security information, to help prevent and respond to terrorist acts perpetrated against the United States. Its friends, or its allies. [A dangerous demand against the sovereignty of Pakistan]

5. Continue to publicly condemn the Terrorist acts of September 11 and any other terrorist acts against the United States or its friends and allies, and curb all domestic expressions of support {for terrorism} against the United States, its friends, or its allies.

6. Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Taliban and any other items and recruits, including volunteers en route to Afghanistan, who can be used in a military offensive capacity or to abet a terrorist threat.

7. Should the evidence strongly implicate Osama bin Laden and the elQaeda network in Afghanistan and should Afghanistan  and the Taliban continue to harbor him and his network , Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban government, end support for the Taliban, and assist the United States in the afore mentioned ways to destroy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network.

Here is how Mush and his cronies were corrupted to send any captured person to be placed in Gitmo to collect bounty: “Since shortly after 9/11—when many alQaeda members fled Afghanistan and crossed the border into Pakistan – we have played multiple games of cat and mouse with them. The biggest of them all, Osama bin Laden , is still at large (buried under ground) at the time of thios writing, but we have caught many, many others. Some are known to the world, some are not. We have captured 672 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have eaned bounties totaling millions of dollars. . . Here (in this book) I tell you the stories of just a few of the most significant manhunts.”

2006. “FIRST IN An Insider’s  Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War in AFGHANISTAN, “ by Gary C. Schroen, Ballantine Books, Presidio Press, New York 2006. ISBN 0-89141-875-X (pbk).

2006. “BLEEDING AFGHANISTAN: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence,” by Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls, (Foreword by David Barsimian), Seven Stories Press, New York, 2006.  ISBN 10: 158322-731-8 (pbk).

2006. “WHEN THE NEWS LIES: Media Complicity and The Iraq War,” [ Including the DVD and the Script of the Feature-Length Documentary, WMD or Waeapons of Mass Deception], by Danny Schechter, Select Books, Inc. New York 2006.  ISBN  1-59079-073-1. (pbk)

2007. “YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS: Stories of America In An Age of Repression,” by Matthew Rothschild, published by The New Press, New York 2007. ISBN 978-1-59558-16-8. (Pbk)

2007. “Anatomy of DECEIT: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy,” by Marcy Wheeler, published by Vaster Books, Berkeley, Calif. 2007. ISBN 10: 0-9791761-0-7. [The author describes the length to which senior Bush administration officials went to destroy a critic (former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Gabon, Africa)  a critic and his family (his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, who served as a CIA operative) to deliberately implicate Saddam Hussein with importing Yellow Cake (Uranium) from Niger, Africa, to build his WMD’s which were never found].

2007. “PETROLISTAN: Oil and War,” an article Edited and Produced by Paul Robbins, in The Houston Environmental Directory 2007, with graphic maps of Military Bases acquired by United States to protect OIL interests. The very informative article in PDF format is posted on the web at www.environmentaldirectory.info  , After clicking on it, click on Houston  to access this 30 page PDF file article. Pages 12 & 13 depict two maps (1) Military Strategy In Petrolistan – A Dangerous World, which shows major military, air-force and naval bases, which make thuis area a heavily armed U.S. fortress, with four Air-Bases (Jacobabad, Dalbandin, Shamsi, and Pasni acquired from Pakistan literally at gun-point after nine-eleven).. (2) Movng Oil and Gas in Dangerous Places, depicting 13 Vulnerable Areas near Oil Routes, with major presence of U.S. 6th Fleet in Bahrain, Head Quarter of CENTCOM in Qatar, and Head Quarter of newly created AFRICOM in Djibouti (North-Eastern Africa to control mineral resources in African continent).

2008. An article (on the Front Cover) “AFTER IRAQ. . . How would the Middle East Look!” by Jeffery Goldberg, in Atlantic Monthly, Jan/Feb. 2008, a report from the New Middle East and glimpse of its possible future (displaying new fragmented region with colored maps, the beginning of which started in March, 2011, and a task subcontracted to NATO to carry out military operations like in Afghanistan & Pakistan), posted on the web at: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archives/2008/01/after-iraq/6577/ Already, Sudan has been fragmented to share its oil resources by carving out a new state in Southern Sudan before the Chinese lay their hands on it.

2011. The Year of the Covert Efforts to bring Regime Changes in the Middle East and North Africa, in order to avenge the 1973 Oil Embargo created by OPEC in which most Oil producing countries led by Saudi Arabia played a significant role. The result was an arranged assassination of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia on March 25, 1975, through his nephew Faisal ibn Muaid assisted by his un-named American girl friend. U. S. later had Hawkish Saudi Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani removed from his job as “Oil Minister” in 1986, and he was replaced by a puppet. Now, it is the turn for Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and Egypt in North Africa, and Syria & Bahrain in Middle-East having close ties with Iran.  Since a Large American Oil Gusher moved to  Dubai, it is very likely that these folks might have stoked the fires of “Regime Changes,” by supporting the induced rebels with money and arms to demand the ouster of the old guard, to bring “Made in America Democracy,” as it happened in Japan during 1945, and whose  new fragmented geographical plan was published in an article “AFTER IRAQ . . How would the new Middle East look!’ by Jeffery Goldberg, published in Atlantic monthly, Jan/Feb 2008 issue.

Since 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, there is no trace of more than 600 Iraqi scientists or any knowledge regarding their whereabouts.

If the above mentioned brief account of historical record is not a War on Muslims under the disguise of War on Terror, then someone needs to have his head examined.

Dangerous provocations

 

By Khalid Aziz | From the Dawn Newspaper

April 8, 2011

LARGE-SCALE protests have begun in Afghanistan. They commenced in Mazar-i-Sharif, and spread to Kandahar the following day with other cities following suit. Mobs of Afghans protested the burning of the Quran by Terry Jones, a pastor of a small church in Florida.

Jones, a former hotel manager, claims that the Quran incited violence, and said that he would go ahead with his own protest on April 22 in front of a Michigan mosque. He said, “Our aim is to make an awareness of the radical element of Islam.” These protests are harmful when innocent people — like the UN workers in Mazar-i-Sharif who were engaged in relief efforts — are killed. The protests in Kandahar and later in Jalalabad also resulted in the loss of lives. These events have coincided with protests taking place in the Middle East, where citizens are demanding greater rights, freedom and democracy. At the same time, a UN no-fly zone is in place over Libya, where Muammar Qadhafi`s sovereignty has been abbreviated.

However, the same moral yardstick is not applied when it comes to protecting populations in Bahrain, Yemen or in the Shia region of Saudi Arabia. A selective use of the moral compass? Are these events related or are they separate occurrences with close sequencing? What would be the likely impact of these events? Is Islam being targeted? These are important questions but can only be dealt with in a preliminary manner in this column.

Some first observations can be made to disentangle the issues that pertain to endangering security and threatening the lives of citizens of many countries and soldiers and citizens in Afghanistan. Spring heralds a new birth. But in Afghanistan and Fata it is the harbinger of an offensive with fatalities. Indeed, spring this year is likely to be more violent than in the past. One major reason is the injection of venom introduced by Terry Jones. More deaths are likely to occur. The pastor has gifted an opportunity to the Taliban and Al Qaeda to mobilise themselves around a issue which can result in no good.

The pastor could have presented a more evenhanded view had he condemned violent radicalism as a corruption in any religion. After all, how can he explain the violence of the Christian Ku Klux Klan against the American coloured or the violence perpetrated by another Christian group, The Army of God, an anti-abortion movement, or of the Hutaree, a Christian militia group based in Michigan and indicted for terrorism in 2010?

In Judaism too, one comes across similarly radical groups espousing violence for the achievement of their objectives. The most notorious amongst them is the Jewish Defence League formed in New York in 1968 and classified as a terrorist group by the FBI in 2001. In 1994, a Jewish gunman killed Palestinians who were praying in the Cave of the Patriarchs. Do these examples indicate that Christianity and Judaism are violent and radical religions? Obviously not.

It is apparent that every religion aims to bring peace and happiness through its teachings; violence is abjured by all. Bernard Lewis believes that, “Islam, as a religion is not particularly conducive to terrorism or even tolerant of terrorism”. While Karen Armstrong is probably right in saying that, “Fundamentalism is often a form of nationalism in religious disguise”. Could it be that the Florida pastor has been manipulated to create circumstances as an agent provocateur so that a clash between Islam and Christianity is brought about to prevent US policy from becoming more evenhanded in its approach in the Middle East?

Yet another provocation against Muslims is building up in the US Congress when the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, resumes hearings on “the extent of the radicalisation” of American Muslims.

It is not understood why the US and the West tolerate those who create hatred against Islam as does the pastor or the congressman or the publisher of the Danish cartoons? The normal response is that freedom of speech is protected. Yet, contrary to this formulation, the denial of the Holocaust is a criminal offence in many western countries.

Secondly, the US constitution guarantees a free trial under the provisions of the US constitution. But the US has abrogated fundamental rights in those cases where the president so chooses. This allows trial by military tribunals. The US Congress, by a resolution adopted on Sept 18, 2001, authorised the president to use any/all means against such organisations/individuals who he thinks have been responsible for 9/11. There is no mention here of the prevalence of constitutional guarantees for those who are proceeded against under such laws.

According to observers, thousands of laws have been enacted in the US under this resolution that has changed the nature of the US constitution bringing the US closer to totalitarianism. The question is that if the US president is authorised to protect the interests of the US and the lives of its citizens, why can`t the inflammatory actions of a pastor in Florida be proscribed under the same law? Isn`t the pastor endangering the lives of US soldiers and citizens in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

International events are at a crossroads. There is an opportunity where peace with the Muslim world is possible by transforming US policy. Perhaps it is this that the congressman and the pastor don`t want. It could also affect President Obama`s re-election chances.

The tables can be turned by agreeing to a new rule of international law that provides for respecting the beliefs of others. There cannot be effective human rights if the religious beliefs of others are ridiculed.

ISI Boxes CIA into a Corner

 

April 15, 2011 Christine Fair

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With America looking for an endgame in Afghanistan, Washington has been ratcheting up the U.S. presence—both military and civilian—in Pakistan over the last year, a means of increasing efforts in order to withdraw. But most troubling for Pakistan’s intelligence services were all those new CIA boots on the ground. With Pakistani allegiances split between America and its enemies, a reckoning was inevitable.

The Raymond Davis affair [3] was a game changer. It was not a coincidental encounter in a dodgy part of Lahore between two Pakistani ruffians and an American—who just happened to be a well-trained former special operator. Far from it. Mr. Davis was protecting a CIA cell that was trying to collect information [4] on the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the ISI’s chief assets in its proxy war with India. Sources in Pakistan suggest that the ISI was unaware of this cell’s activities and when it learned of them, was nonplussed.

Likely, the ISI was unwilling to tolerate the CIA’s expanding —and increasingly unchecked—activities and wanted to stage an event that created enough fallout for them to reset the relationship with Washington on terms more palatable to the ISI. The Raymond Davis affair was that well-calibrated event. The two men that Davis killed are alleged by Pakistani sources to have been tied to the ISI [5], likely as contractors. It is important to note that the two Pakistanis did not target the case officers that Davis was protecting. That would have been far too risky. The two Pakistanis were expendable and Davis was a pawn that would wrench concessions from Washington but not bring the wrath of the United States upon Pakistan.

Once Davis was taken into custody Pakistan’s rival political parties—the PPP, currently in power, and the PML-N, which dominates the Punjab—began to manipulate the situation for their own ends. No doubt at that point the ISI was anxious to invoke a quick end to the affair; no desire to have its agenda hijacked by Pakistan’s noisy political elites. Ultimately, Davis was released after “blood money” was paid and in the wake of weeks of political brinkmanship [6], amidst well-orchestrated Pakistani public outrage.

Pakistani interlocutors explain that the ISI likely put pressure on the families to accept this dayat as a means of ending the judicial process that was going nowhere. (In Pakistan, families who are aggrieved even by such high crimes as homicide can drop the case if they are paid for their losses.) American officials deny paying this dayat and many suspect (and claim) the ISI may have forked over the cash [7]—money being fungible, it hardly makes a difference.

The incident succeeded in creating the strategic space that the ISI needed to reset relations and gain control over US operations in Pakistan. This week, Pakistan cashed in on the Davis affair. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI, came to the United States and delivered several stark demands [8] that included scaling back the successful drone program [9] and withdrawing some three hundred thirty-five American personnel, including CIA officers, contractors and special operations forces, from Pakistan. While irksome to US officials, to me, the ISI’s straightforward declaration that US activities in Pakistan are unacceptable is also oddly refreshing.

Typically, both Washington and Langley, on the one hand, and Islamabad and Rawalpindi, on the other, avoid straightforward talk in public. Both sides make various disingenuous proclamations while reviling each other in private. Both sides have long concluded that the other is attempting to undermine them. Both are right.

Pasha’s bold move is an important departure from the routinized method of circumlocuting the simple fact that the United States and Pakistan have strategic interests that are increasingly on a collision course. The increasing autonomy enjoyed by America’s intelligence presence would have vexed any sovereign country—Pakistan or otherwise.

The ball is now in Washington’s court. The ISI has concluded that the United States needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs the United States and thus is loath to cut off security or economic assistance. Pakistan’s security elites no doubt were also emboldened by their position because Pakistan remains the single most important supply route for the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan. Until the United States downsizes, the northern distribution line will never be adequate. Pakistan is the only game in town to get the job done. It is no coincidence that just as the Raymond Davis affair was winding down—and as the ISI’s demands were becoming ever more clear—reporting about Pakistan’s burgeoning nuclear-weapons program reached a frenzied crescendo. Pakistan knows that the United States more than anything else wants to retain an ability to peer into Islamabad’s nuclear box howsoever limited those glimpses may be.

The ISI surely calculated that the CIA would begrudgingly accept these limitations while continuing to seek work-arounds. But in the end, Pakistan’s spooks may well be right. In this game of chicken, the Americans are likely to swerve.

The day I met Abdul Sattar Edhi, a living saint

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Sixty years ago, Abdul Sattar Edhi, 82, gave up everything to devote his life to helping Pakistan’s poorest. Here, Peter Oborne hails a truly selfless spiritual sage

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Abdul Sattar Edhi, who has established homes across Pakistan for the mentally ill

In the course of my duties as a reporter, I have met presidents, prime ministers and reigning monarchs.

Until meeting the Pakistani social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, I had never met a saint. Within a few moments of shaking hands, I knew I was in the presence of moral and spiritual greatness.

Mr Edhi’s life story is awesome, as I learnt when I spent two weeks working at one of his ambulance centres in Karachi.

The 82-year-old lives in the austerity that has been his hallmark all his life. He wears blue overalls and sports a Jinnah cap, so named because it was the head gear of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

No Pakistani since Jinnah has commanded the same reverence, and our conversations were constantly interrupted as people came to pay their respects.

Mr Edhi told me that, 60 years ago, he stood on a street corner in Karachi and begged for money for an ambulance, raising enough to buy a battered old van. In it, he set out on countless life-saving missions.

Gradually, Mr Edhi set up centres all over Pakistan. He diversified into orphanages, homes for the mentally ill, drug rehabilitation centres and hostels for abandoned women. He fed the poor and buried the dead. His compassion was boundless.

He was born in 1928, when the British Empire was at its height, in Gujarat in what is now western India. But he and his family were forced to flee for their lives in 1947 when the division of India and creation of Pakistan inspired terrible communal tensions: millions were killed in mob violence and ethnic cleansing.

This was the moment Mr Edhi, finding himself penniless on the streets of Karachi, set out on his life’s mission.

Just 20 years old, he volunteered to join a charity run by the Memons, the Islamic religious community to which his family belonged.

At first, Mr Edhi welcomed his duties; then he was appalled to discover that the charity’s compassion was confined to Memons.

He confronted his employers, telling them that "humanitarian work loses its significance when you discriminate between the needy".

So he set up a small medical centre of his own, sleeping on the cement bench outside his shop so that even those who came late at night could be served.

But he also had to face the enmity of the Memons, and became convinced they were capable of having him killed. For safety, and in search of knowledge, he set out on an overland journey to Europe, begging all the way.

One morning, he awoke on a bench at Rome railway station to discover his shoes had been stolen. He was not bothered, considering them inessential.

Nevertheless, the next day an elderly lady gave him a pair of gumboots, two sizes too large, and Mr Edhi wobbled about in them for the remainder of his journey.

In London, he was a great admirer of the British welfare state, though he presciently noted its potential to encourage a culture of dependency. He was offered a job but refused, telling his benefactor: "I have to do something for the people in Pakistan."

On return from Europe, his destiny was set. There was no welfare state in Fifties Pakistan: he would fill the gap. This was a difficult period in his life. Shabby, bearded and with no obvious prospects, seven women in rapid succession turned down his offers of marriage. He resigned himself to chastity and threw all of his energy into work.

He would hurtle round the province of Sindh in his poor man’s ambulance, collecting dead bodies, taking them to the police station, waiting for the death certificate and, if the bodies were not claimed, burying them himself.

Mr Edhi’s autobiography, published in 1996, records that he recovered these stinking cadavers "from rivers, from inside wells, from road sides, accident sites and hospitals… When families forsook them, and authorities threw them away, I picked them up… Then I bathed and cared for each and every victim of circumstance."

There is a photograph of Mr Edhi from this formative time. It could be the face of a young revolutionary or poet: dark beard, piercing, passionate eyes. And it is indeed the case that parts of his profound and moving autobiography carry the same weight and integrity as great poetry or even scripture.

Mr Edhi discovered that many Pakistani women were killing their babies at birth, often because they were born outside marriage.

One newborn child was stoned to death outside a mosque on the orders of religious leaders. A furious Mr Edhi responded: "Who can declare an infant guilty when there is no concept of punishing the innocent?"

So Mr Edhi placed a little cradle outside every Edhi centre, beneath a placard imploring: "Do not commit another sin: leave your baby in our care." Mr Edhi has so far saved 35,000 babies and, in approximately half of these cases, found families to cherish them.

Once again, this practice brought him into conflict with religious leaders. They claimed that adopted children could not inherit their parents’ wealth. Mr Edhi told them their objections contradicted the supreme idea of religion, declaring: "Beware of those who attribute petty instructions to God."

Over time, Mr Edhi came to exercise such a vast moral authority that Pakistan’s corrupt politicians had to pay court. In 1982, General Zia announced the establishment of a shura (advisory council) to determine matters of state according to Islamic principles.

Mr Edhi was suspicious: "I represented the millions of downtrodden, and was aware that my presence gave the required credibility to an illegal rule."

Travelling to Rawalpindi to speak at the national assembly, he delivered a passionate denunciation of political corruption, telling an audience of MPs, including Zia himself: "The people have been neglected long enough.

"One day they shall rise like mad men and pull down these walls that keep their future captive. Mark my words and heed them before you find yourselves the prey instead of the predator."

Mr Edhi did not distinguish between politicians and criminals, asking: "Why should I condemn a declared dacoit [bandit] and not condemn the respectable villain who enjoys his spoils as if he achieved them by some noble means?"

This impartiality had its advantages. It meant that a truce would be declared when Mr Edhi and his ambulance arrived at the scene of gun battles between police and gangsters.

"They would cease fire," notes Mr Edhi in his autobiography, "until bodies were carried to the ambulance, the engine would start and shooting would resume."

Mr Edhi eventually found a wife, Bilquis, but his personal austerity was all but incompatible with married life. When the family went on Hajj, a vast overland journey in the ambulance, he forbade Bilquis to bring extra clothes, because he was determined to fill the vehicle with medical supplies.

Reaching Quetta in northern Baluchistan, with the temperature plunging, he relented enough to allow her to buy a Russian soldier’s overcoat. Later on, when their children grew up, Mr Edhi would not find time to attend his daughter’s marriage.

But Mr Edhi’s epic achievement would not have been possible but for this inhuman single-mindedness. Today, the influence of the Edhi Foundation stretches far outside Pakistan and Mr Edhi has led relief missions across the Muslim world, providing aid at every international emergency from the Lebanon civil war in 1983 to the Bangladesh cyclone in 2007.

There are no horrors that Mr Edhi and his incredibly brave army of ambulance men have not witnessed, and the numerous lives they have saved.

The story of Mr Edhi coincides with the history of the Pakistan state. More than any other living figure, he articulates Jinnah’s vision of a country which, while based on Islam, nevertheless offers a welcome for people of all faiths and sects. Indeed, the life of Mr Edhi provides a sad commentary on the betrayal of Jinnah’s Pakistan by a self-interested political class.

One evening, as the sun set over Karachi, I asked Mr Edhi what future he foresaw. "Unless things change," he said, "I predict a revolution."

The implications for Pakistan

 

By Khalid Aziz | From the Dawn Newspaper 15 April 2011

IN a meeting of NATO heads of state in Lisbon last November, it was decided that foreign forces would withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The meeting envisaged the handing over of security duties to Afghan forces.

We will analyse this briefly later; we have as yet not thought about what implications this decision has for Pakistan. What will be the impact of this change? What will be the effect of the handing over of security duties to the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the Pakhtun belt of Afghanistan when its current recruitment pattern creates ethnic imbalances?

Will the envisaged counter-terrorism wall around the Pakhtun belt as proposed under the Blackwill Plan threaten the future viability of Pakistan? Will it not create insecurity for the whole of South Asia?

What needs to be done in Fata — shouldn`t reforms be speeded up so that the space is denied to future interlopers? Abdullah Azzam, Osama`s mentor, looked at Fata with the eyes of a strategist when he said in his famous jihad fatwa: “There are more than 3,000km of open border in Afghanistan and regions of tribes not under political influence. This forms a protective shield for [the] Mujahideen.”

It is obvious that Fata is looked upon as a home base by extremists in their future strategies for the region. Fata reforms can deny this space, but are we positioned to reform politically? Shouldn`t these reforms have been incorporated in the 18th Amendment?

Pakistan is like a patient of severe schizophrenia. It remains in a state of denial though. The objective of our creation amongst other reasons was Britain`s desire to have a security state in north South Asia to guard its imperial interests against Soviet intrusion as well as to protect its oil interest in Iran and the Persian Gulf after the independence of India. Pakistan`s use as a security state prevented the country from becoming people-centric.

Thus Pakistan`s citizens have remained secondary to the goals of the state; except for some parts of Punjab and Sindh that have grown and developed, most of Fata, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are ignored as ramparts protecting this heartland.

Those who live in the peripheries have become victims of this security agenda; they die or are displaced in their hundreds. Fata, after 63 years of independence, has a sorry literacy rate of 17.6 per cent; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa still does not have total provincial autonomy. Almost 25 per cent of its area in Malakand, that elects 25 MPAs entitled to legislate for the province, cannot make laws for Malakand because like Fata it is an area under Article 246 of the constitution and is directly under the president. Is it thus a coincidence that the uprising against the state in the northwest occurs in areas under Article 246?

As in other critical matters, we have lost time in implementing reforms and this delay has now created a future impasse — when the proposed withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan starts in 2014. Obviously, the withdrawal will never be complete and there will a counter-terrorist force in place.

It is conceived that the withdrawal from Afghanistan will be contingent upon the enhancement of the Afghan security capacity. Given the current high desertion and absenteeism rates in the Afghan forces it is not understood how this capacity will be attained on schedule. Secondly, not enough Pakhtuns from the insurgency-affected regions of southern and eastern Afghanistan are recruited; this will make future counter-terrorism policing difficult.

One important proposal suggested for containing the Taliban within southern and eastern Afghanistan is the Blackwill Plan which proposes to partition Afghanistan in two; the Pakhtun belt will be blocked by a northern defensive line very much like the Maginot Line to prevent the Taliban from intruding in the north. This plan, however, is quiet on what happens to the Pakhtun areas in Pakistan.

Blackwill feels that the contagion of Talibanisation will be kept within manageable limits by the special forces and drone attacks. The big imponderable is that though northern Afghanistan will be protected from a Taliban outbreak, the Pakistani Pakhtun belt will become the soft underbelly for the Afghan Taliban. The Blackwill Plan will create an existentialist threat for Pakistan and may lead to the creation of a separate Pakhtun identity forged by the de facto partition. An unstable Pakistan is not good news.

Under such circumstances are Fata reforms possible? Yes, but these will require political will. However, I seriously doubt the ability of the present political dispensation to deal effectively with the issues that Pakistan faces in the fields of security, finance, governance, water and energy resources and development.

What is needed is an effective and agile pivot composed of a representative system that reflects democratic governance and a sound leadership that is not blackmailed by parliamentary caucuses indifferent to the agony of the common man. It begs the question whether the time has come for making fundamental changes to the design of our constitution to locate a powerful president who is directly elected and functions with the support of a bicameral legislature at the centre and directly elected chief ministers in the provinces.

In order to end the stranglehold of special interests the new system ought to be anchored on the alternate vote system.

Fata and other important reforms thus should engage us simultaneously if we wish to end the continuous bloodletting and institutional decay that Pakistan has witnessed since 2004. Postponement of reforms is an invitation to chaos.

The writer is chairman of the Regional Institute of Policy Research in Peshawar.

azizkhalid@gmail.com