Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

QUIT AFGHANISTAN – By Ghulam Muhammed

September 5, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009


Today BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner has gone record with a clear admission that US/NATO operations in Afghanistan on Taliban and Afghan civilians has nothing directly or indirectly relates to US/NATO’s avowed claim to be fighting Al-Qaeda terrorism in Afghanistan. None of the terror attacks in the West that Frank Gardner rattles off in his BBC intervention, according to him, has any remote relations with Taliban in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Daily aerial bombings are a serial war- crime murders committed against civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Al-Qaeda is not necessarily based in these areas. They can operate from Yemen, Somalia and in future from North Africa. With each incident of wanton massacre of civilians, Obama, Gordon Brown and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen instantly go on TV and fool their people back home, that their bloody mission in Afghanistan is necessary to protect homeland from terrorism emanating from Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is patent lies. They cannot fool all the people all the time. Time has come for US/UK/NATO to quit Afghanistan forthwith, without committing more and more war crimes daily on the innocent hapless people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

NATO forces yesterday shot an oil tanker, hijacked by Taliban in Kunduz province. The tanker was stuck while crossing a river and Taliban had asked local people to empty the tanker, by taking away the fuel for their private use. NATO did not find it necessary to find out if the crowd collected around the hijacked tanker was that of civilians or Taliban. Reconnaissance can easily make out. However, NATO forces directly undermined clear instructions from the High Command and in an enraged vindictive action blew up the tanker. The action resulted in over 90 killed. BBC in its first report clearly mentioned that all were civilians. But the NATO Chief later find it convenient to resort to blatantly lie and say that all killed were Taliban. An enquiry is promised. But all such enquiries are self-serving, bending backwards to prove the forces to be not guilty. However, the civilians in these cannot be fooled. This carnage is going on by the hour and the world seems to be sanitized to one of the most blatant and wanton criminal war inflicted on a UN member country.

Though India at some level seems to be involved in the conspiracy being played out in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Indian people are not fully taken into any confidence, if the criminal acts have any legal basis. Indian government should gather up moral courage and come out with open notice to the US and NATO forces to QUIT AFGHANISTAN. A moral India owes it to its people to oppose such horrendous carnage in its neighbourhood. Needless to say, the fire could spread into India‘s own territory, in one form or other.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


December 15, 2008


By Seema Mustafa

“Non state actors are operating from a particular country. What we are most respectfully submitting, suggesting to the government of Pakistan: please act. Mere expression of intention is not adequate,” said minister of external affairs Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament. The Zardari government, faced with an ultimatum of sorts from Washington, has cracked down on the Lashkar e Tayaba and its parent organization at Muridke at Lahore.

But this is just the tip of the problem. The sophisticated terrorist attack in Mumbai where ten ‘commandos’ traveled 600 nautical miles by sea escaping Indian intelligence and patrolling, to launch a three day long ‘operation’ does not have the LeT stamp. The recruits might have been LeT, of for that matter Hizb, or al Qaeda, or what have you operatives but the training was of a far superior caliber than what had been visible here in the past. It must be pointed out that the Lashkar was used largely by the Pakistan army and ISI in Jammu and Kashmir, and for a while now has been straining at the leash within Pakistan, to move towards the Afghan border. But pressure from both the Pakistan government and the US has prevented these chaps from indulging in anti-US and anti-NATO warfare in Afghanistan, with even senior LeT leaders arrested a while ago to prevent them from shifting their area of operations.

These ten men were very different from the LeT chaps, with better training, far more sophisticated weaponry, and a certain ruthlessness and determination that had our NSG commandos giving them “full marks” for holding out for three full days. These were also an indicator in the shift that has taken place within Pakistan or its sanctuaries, where the war against the US and its allies is going to be waged in countries like India where the security network is porous and penetrated with comparative ease. It is also clear that the Pakistan government had little knowledge of the operation, although it cannot be said with any certainty that sections of the army and the ISI were equally ignorant. What has not been determined as yet, and might never be, is whether the top echelons of the Pakistan military were involved in the training and deployment of the terrorists?

One is saying this, as the disaffection within the Pakistan army is well known. Retired generals and ISI chiefs like Hamid Gul told this correspondent earlier this year that the army was resentful and angry about being involved in the operations against its own people in the villages neighbouring Afghanistan, and that there had been large scale desertions of both soldiers and officers. They said that the Pakistan army could have managed an odd operation or two against its own people, but this sustained warfare had taken a major toll. More so, as the Pakistan army looked upon the Pathans and others in the border areas as its own, and had trained these people earlier to fight the Russians when the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan. “They do not look at all this as terrorism, they are now fighting the US,” is how the retired army generals in Islamabad put it, pointing out that military action was placing the army and “its own people” in direct conflict.

The Pakistan army, under US and international pressure to do more and more, has been finding the going very difficult and it would, thus, not be surprising if sections within decided to conduct a parallel war of the kind that the world witnessed in Mumbai. After all, the battle insofar as the Pakistan army is concerned, is for survival and for Afghanistan that it has always looked upon as its own territory and is particularly upset at having been reduced to a virtual cipher therein. This is one of the main reasons why former President Pervez Musharraf was struggling earlier to convince the Americans of using the army’s expertise to differentiate between the good and the bad Taliban, and reach some kind of a solution through negotiations with the former.

Pakistanis have always been very worried, and this applies also to the man on the street, of the vulnerability of its mainland to an Indian attack. They have always looked to Afghanistan for strategic depth, and are now particularly worried about having lost this in the global war against terror. It is a well known fact that when the US invaded Afghanistan, Islamabad pleaded with it not to bring in the Northern Alliance into the government. This was largely because of the close links between India and the Northern Alliance, and Pakistan fought till the very end to try and keep New Delhi out of Afghanistan. Instead, India opened more consulates and has become very active in the construction of strategic roads in Afghanistan, linking it to Iran and other countries.

The Pakistan army has been facing the brunt of the war on terror, and there is a certain disconnect between it and the Zardari government. The army is not particularly fond of the new President, and does not have very good links with the political parties in power at the moment. It is working as a virtually independent institution, clear from the fact that when India summoned the ISI chief to Delhi, the first response of the civilian government was a “yes.” It was only after the army put its foot down that the ISI general was not sent to India, and Zardari also toughened his responses to be more in tune with the army line. Interestingly civil society in Pakistan is closer to the army’s denial of involvement, with even progressive Pakistanis in a state of denial insofar as the involvement of the LeT and other groups in the Mumbai attack is concerned. This is particularly interesting, as for the last few years, many in Pakistan’s civil society were vociferous in their opposition to home grown terrorism. And the media was also particularly forthcoming in carrying detailed investigation of the terror camps, with critical editorials carried by several newspapers from time to time.

India will have to fine tune its response according to the reality on the ground, and not confine its responses to the LeT that is not the problem. Perhaps not even a symptom any longer. There is a deep churning going on within the Pakistan military and that has to be understood and factored in by our policy makers. Is it the beginning of the end of the army as an institution? Are we looking at a situation where the Pakistan army will become a renegade force out of the control of not just the Americans but its own political masters? If so, how will this impact on India? Remember, in a situation where the command and control of nuclear weapons in Pakistan is not absolutely clear to the outside world, who will be in charge of that briefcase with the little button that can spell disaster for not just this region, but the entire world?