Posts Tagged ‘Gilani’

News and views from around the web posted to the Wonderland Wire:

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al Jazeera’s Marwan Bashira’s analysis with a panel including Tariq Ali and Sy Hersh on the Iraq War into the expanding Af-Pak War and the increasing amount of blood on Pres. Obama’s hands. (more…)

As promised throughout his campaign, the president will continue to expand violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty to commit drone attacks. (more…)

Amy Goodman interviews Juan Cole on DN this week on the US in the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Chas Freeman. (more…)

After a long march in defiance to Pak’s protest ban, Musharraf-ousted Chief Justice restored. (more…)

Hundreds have been arrested following Pakistan’s protest ban. (more…)

Retd. CIA Ray McGovern: US attempt to trap the USSR in 1979 is at root of current situation in Afghanistan. (more…)

A UCLA geographer has claimed to pinpoint the low margin of error location of Osama bin-Laden that the US is ignoring in pursuit of Obama’s ‘good war’. (more…)

With continued terror in place for Iraq and Afghanistan, promised terror for Pakistan, Obama’s place to change American foreign policy lies US relations with the UN and Israel. (more…)

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The New York Times:

Calling the Mumbai terrorist attacks a “conspiracy” hatched on Pakistani soil, India on Monday handed Pakistan what it said was the first comprehensive evidence linking them to Pakistan and demanded that those responsible be tried in Indian courts, a demand likely to be rebuffed.

Speaking Monday evening to reporters here, the Indian foreign secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, refused to say whether the suspected conspirators were connected to current or retired government officials, but said that it was unlikely that a sophisticated, commando-style assault, like the one in Mumbai in late November, “could occur without anybody anywhere in the establishment knowing it was happening.”

While Mr. Menon refused to specify whether India had evidence of complicity of Pakistan’s military or spy agency officials, he did not rule it out. “We are not going to say this is where the line ends,” he said.

In a presentation to a number of foreign diplomats earlier in the day, Indian officials detailed the involvement of retired Pakistani military officials in training the gunmen who carried out the Mumbai attacks, according to two diplomats present.

The envoys, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with typical diplomatic protocol, said the 100-page dossier included transcripts of telephone conversations between the gunmen and their superiors in Pakistan during the course of the attacks; transcripts of interrogations of the sole surviving gunman, Muhammad Ajmal Kasab; phone numbers in Pakistan that the attackers called as they sailed across the Arabian Sea from Karachi, Pakistan, to Mumbai, India; and details of their movements, recovered from a GPS unit they had used.

The Indian authorities say the gunmen were citizens of Pakistan and belonged to a banned terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. The police have said that during interrogation, Mr. Kasab said he had been trained by retired Pakistani military men.

Immediately after the attacks, India assigned blame to “elements” in Pakistan, taking pains not to accuse members of the government, which pledged to cooperate and announced the closing of camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

During a stop in Islamabad on Monday, the United States assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Richard A. Boucher, said that it was “clear” the attackers had “links that lead to Pakistani soil.”

But he also said that in the aftermath of the attacks, the authorities in Pakistan had “done quite a bit,” and that a “significant” number of members of Lashkar-e-Taiba had been arrested. “Pakistan has a number of people in custody” suspected in the planning and execution of the attacks, he said.

Mr. Boucher declined, however, to answer a question about whether evidence suggested any involvement or support for the Mumbai plot, directly or indirectly, by the Pakistani government.

According to a Pakistani official, Pakistani authorities have obtained confessions from members of Lashkar-e-Taiba who said they had been involved in the attacks. One of them, according to the official, is Zarrar Shah, the militant group’s communications chief. American intelligence officials say they believe he has served as a conduit between Lashkar and the premier Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

The Pakistani government confirmed that India had handed over materials about the Mumbai attacks and said the evidence was being examined by “concerned authorities,” according to the country’s state news agency.

Paki Pres. Asif Ali Zardari and PM Yousuf Raza Gilani reiterated Pak’s devotion to fighting terror and the importance of healthy relations with the US and India, as the FBI and China will be involved in Pak’s investigation. Foreign Secy. Salman Bashir has expressed that Pak “will evaluate the information provided by India so far”

PM Gilani: “Pakistan’s persistent efforts to defuse the current tensions with India, and his government’s commitment to take action against any Pakistani national in case credible evidence is provided,”

India’s home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram hinted at Pak’s rogue Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) involvement over the weekend — as we have.

Indian Foreign Secy. Shivshankar Menon: “The relationship between Lashkar-e-Toiba and the ISI has been historical. It is a very fine line to draw between state actors and non-state actors. Whoever is responsible has to pay… We will follow evidence wherever it leads. It is hard to believe something of this scale, which amounts to commando operation, would occur without anyone in the establishment knowing. We are not going to say this is where the line ends. We have to continue with the investigations.”

India’s primary minority Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) still thinks 26/11 is a game of political football:

By warning Pakistan that it would have to pay “enormously” if another 26/11 takes place, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was actually “condoning the present act”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said here Monday.

The BJP said that Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement that the “price they (Pakistan) will pay if this is repeated, I think, will be enormous” was a testimony to the bailout plan.

“Right from 26/11, the union government has launched an offensive in coercive diplomacy. The BJP supported the move in the national interest. But Pakistan is in continuous denial mode till today. It seems that the government of India is now warning Pakistan for the future, in a way condoning the present act,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference here.

The government must come clean on the actions it has envisaged in the face of Pakistan’s denial, he said.



BBC News

Saeed has been put under house arrest for three months: BBC News

BBC News:

Cleric Hafiz Mohammad Saeed set up the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India says planned and carried out the attacks.

Pakistan is also closing offices of Mr Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, after it was put on a UN blacklist.

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry told the BBC that Jamaat-ud-Dawa buildings would be shut across the country immediately.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani promised Pakistan would comply with a UN Security Council demand to list Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a terrorist group.

Once a group has been placed on the list, action can be taken against it under the country’s anti-terrorism law.

Under that law, all assets of the organisation can be seized and its offices and other places of business shut down, our correspondent says.

Mr Saeed officially quit the leadership of Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2001 to become head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Also on Thursday, an Indian magistrate extended policy custody of the lone surviving suspected gunman from the Mumbai attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab, until 24 December.

Pak’s actions follow Indian Interior Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement that “the finger of suspicion unmistakeably points to the territory of our neighbour Pakistan” after India’s Parliament joined to begin discussing revisions to their anti-terror laws and the UNSC listed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JD) as a terrorist group:

The investigation conducted by India, Pakistan and other cooperating countries has produced new evidence that Lashkar e Tayyiba operatives were directly engaged in planning and providing material support and assistance for the series of Mumbai urban attacks that shook the international community as well as India. Based upon this investigation, and the formal request of the Government of India, the United Nations Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions committee agreed December 10th to expanded its designation of Lashkar e Tayyiba to specifically include 4 of its leaders, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf, and Mohmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq. The United States had been pushing for this action since last May. The UN Committee has now also agreed to clarify that the Lashkar e Tayyiba designation also applies to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), which has long operated as an LET front organization (see below).

I expressed my concerns here two years ago with the UN Committee’s failure to designate Jammat-ud-Dawa along with Laskkar e Tayyiba, or to designate Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who was the founder and leader of both organization. Leaving Jammat and Muhammad Saeed undesignated left them free to recruit , arm and solicit funds for Lashkar’s terrorist activities. I wrote:

“Jamaat was established by the same group that led Lashkar-e-Taiba in order to circumvent the sanctions measures that flowed from this designation. Yet, it took the Administration another six months to get around to confirming this linkage and to designating Jamaat as a successor/partner organization to Lashkar-e-taiba. … But what is still surprising is that no action has yet been taken to designate Lashkar’s founder, Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, who is also the head of Jamaat ud-Dawa….(H)olding the leaders responsible, and penalizing them, is even more important and would be a much more effective step then seeking only to close down the charities they run. Experience has shown that you can’t truly shut down these operations unless you also put their leaders and organizers out of business.’’

Lashkar-e-Taiba was founded in 1989 in the Kunar province of Afghanistan as the military wing of Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI), an Islamic fundamentalist organisation of the Ahle-Hadith sect in Pakistan. The MDI was based in Muridke near Lahore, Pakistan and was headed by Hafiz Muhammad Sayeed, who also became the Amir of the LeT. Its first presence in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was recorded in 1993 when 12 Pakistani and Afghan mercenaries infiltrated across the Line of Control (LoC) in tandem with the Islami Inquilabi Mahaz, a terrorist outfit then active in the Poonch district of J&K. Lashkar has established cooperative ties with religious militant groups throughout the middle east, southeast asia and in areas of the former soviet union. It is believed to have also been active in supporting the insurgency in Chechnya. The organization was designated as a terrorist group by the US Treasury Department in December 2001.. However, Pakistan, then a member of the UN Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee was able to forestall a UN decision to also designate the group. Lashkar was finally added to the UN’s consolidated al Qaeda designation list on May 2, 2005, after Pakistan’s tenure on the Al Qaeda Committee had ended.

Pak PM Gilani reiterated that “Pakistan is a responsbile and peace-loving nation and would not be provoked by India’s jingoistic attitude.”

Indo-Pak’s air forces and navies remain on high alert while working to avoid war as India calls on Pakistan to hand over 40 suspects and the BJP continues its nationalistic sabre-rattling as the political football game continues:

India has called for Pakistan to hand over 40 suspects after the terror attacks that left 171 dead, a move that has raised tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. However, India’s foreign minister said Thursday that war is “not the solution.”

The list of fugitives includes militants suspected in last month’s Mumbai attacks, as well as those who have committed “other crimes” against India in the past, Foreign Minister tion> said in his first speech to parliament since the Mumbai siege last month.

Fugitives who have committed crimes in India are sheltering in Pakistan, he said. He added that he had told Pakistani leaders, “You arrest them, and hand them over to us.”

Islamabad said it will arrest anyone proved linked to terror crimes and try them in Pakistani courts. Authorities there have insisted that the government was not tied to the attacks, which they say were carried out by “non-state actors.”

Mukherjee dismissed that argument Thursday.

“Are the non-state actors coming from heaven? Or are they coming from a different planet?” he said.

Pakistani authorities have arrested two senior leaders from Lashkar-e-Taiba, the banned Pakistani-based militant group suspected in the Mumbai attacks. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah are in Pakistani custody and are under investigation.

Officials have said Lakhvi was arrested Sunday in a raid on a militant camp close to the Indian border.

Lal Krishna Advani, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which is looking to unseat the Congress party in the coming elections, said the raids on Lashkar were not enough.

“We should not be fooled by this kind of actions,” Advani said before parliament. “We consider it a war.”

On Wednesday, police identified two more people involved in the training of the 10 attackers.

One of the trainers, identified only as Khafa and described as a senior operative in the banned Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was their main handler after the men were selected for the attack, Rakesh Maria, Mumbai’s chief police investigator.

The other man, another senior Lashkar militant identified as Abu Hamza, was responsible for much of the training they received while sequestered in a house in Azizabad, Pakistan, for three months to prepare for the attack, Maria said.

Abu Hamza was believed to be one of two gunmen responsible for the 2005 attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, that killed one scientist, Maria said. After that attack, Abu Hamza escaped back to Pakistan, he said.