Posts Tagged ‘JD’

al Jazeera‘s Riz Khan’s interview with Pak PM Yousuf Raza Gilani on Indo-Pak relations post-26/11, US relations with Obama, Afghanistan and the troubles with re-building Pak’s economy along with fighting terrorism while the US is not recognizing Pak’s borders. (more…)

“Special edition program of BrassTacks, Zaid Hamid once again strongly and conclusively challenges and dispels the Indian lies and propaganda surrounding the Mumbai blasts” (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.


The Real News Network interviews Siddharth Varadarajan, Deputy Editor of The Hindu (14:42):


Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari made an honest plea to the world today in words you don’t see communicated often by a world leader.

Pres. Zardari’s Op-Ed in The New York Times titled, “The Terrorists Want to Destroy Pakistan, Too” affirms his commitment to expel terror from his country and create a viable democratic economy. From anyone familiar with the Former Pak PM Benazir Bhutto, assassinated almost a year ago, Pres. Zardari affirms his commitment to not allow his wife to have died in vain:

THE recent death and destruction in Mumbai, India, brought to my mind the death and destruction in Karachi on Oct. 18, 2007, when terrorists attacked a festive homecoming rally for my wife, Benazir Bhutto. Nearly 150 Pakistanis were killed and more than 450 were injured. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai may be a news story for most of the world. For me it is a painful reality of shared experience. Having seen my wife escape death by a hairbreadth on that day in Karachi, I lost her in a second, unfortunately successful, attempt two months later.

The Mumbai attacks were directed not only at India but also at Pakistan’s new democratic government and the peace process with India that we have initiated. Supporters of authoritarianism in Pakistan and non-state actors with a vested interest in perpetuating conflict do not want change in Pakistan to take root.

To foil the designs of the terrorists, the two great nations of Pakistan and India, born together from the same revolution and mandate in 1947, must continue to move forward with the peace process. Pakistan is shocked at the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. We can identify with India’s pain. I am especially empathetic. I feel this pain every time I look into the eyes of my children.

Pakistan is committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment of anyone involved in these heinous attacks. But we caution against hasty judgments and inflammatory statements. As was demonstrated in Sunday’s raids, which resulted in the arrest of militants, Pakistan will take action against the non-state actors found within our territory, treating them as criminals, terrorists and murderers. Not only are the terrorists not linked to the government of Pakistan in any way, we are their targets and we continue to be their victims.

India is a mature nation and a stable democracy. Pakistanis appreciate India’s democratic contributions. But as rage fueled by the Mumbai attacks catches on, Indians must pause and take a breath. India and Pakistan — and the rest of the world — must work together to track down the terrorists who caused mayhem in Mumbai, attacked New York, London and Madrid in the past, and destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September. The terrorists who killed my wife are connected by ideology to these enemies of civilization.

These militants did not arise from whole cloth. Pakistan was an ally of the West throughout the cold war. The world worked to exploit religion against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by empowering the most fanatic extremists as an instrument of destruction of a superpower. The strategy worked, but its legacy was the creation of an extremist militia with its own dynamic.

Pakistan continues to pay the price: the legacy of dictatorship, the fatigue of fanaticism, the dismemberment of civil society and the destruction of our democratic infrastructure. The resulting poverty continues to fuel the extremists and has created a culture of grievance and victimhood.

The challenge of confronting terrorists who have a vast support network is huge; Pakistan’s fledgling democracy needs help from the rest of the world. We are on the frontlines of the war on terrorism. We have 150,000 soldiers fighting Al Qaeda, the Taliban and their extremist allies along the border with Afghanistan — far more troops than NATO has in Afghanistan.

Nearly 2,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives to terrorism in this year alone, including 1,400 civilians and 600 security personnel ranging in rank from ordinary soldier to three-star general. There have been more than 600 terrorism-related incidents in Pakistan this year. The terrorists have been set back by our aggressive war against them in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Pashtun-majority areas bordering Afghanistan. Six hundred militants have been killed in recent attacks, hundreds by Pakistani F-16 jet strikes in the last two months.

Terrorism is a regional as well as a global threat, and it needs to be battled collectively. We understand the domestic political considerations in India in the aftermath of Mumbai. Nevertheless, accusations of complicity on Pakistan’s part only complicate the already complex situation.

For India, Pakistan and the United States, the best response to the Mumbai carnage is to coordinate in counteracting the scourge of terrorism. The world must act to strengthen Pakistan’s economy and democracy, help us build civil society and provide us with the law enforcement and counterterrorism capacities that will enable us to fight the terrorists effectively.

Benazir Bhutto once said that democracy is the best revenge against the abuses of dictatorship. In the current environment, reconciliation and rapprochement is the best revenge against the dark forces that are trying to provoke a confrontation between Pakistan and India, and ultimately a clash of civilizations.

This proactive approach by Pres. Zardari follows the grotesque game of political football being played by Indian PM Manmohan Singh and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The displaced anger within India should be expected amongst its people and for politicians to play with that fear is an insult to the hundreds who lost their lives in Mumbai and the heroes who lived for their fellow man regardless of their nationality in those days of horror.

Pres. Zardari echoes the philosophy of his late wife stressing that free, transparent, democratic societies of integrity are the great weapon against terrorism because the demonization of those promoting such societies is a victory for terrorism.

Joint Indo-Pak efforts are crucial to fight terrorism where it’s strongest: unified political morale. And Pak cannot be expected to get out of the dark regarding ISI without the sharing of intelligence and the best way to do so is to participate in the interrogations of those apprehended in Pak andPaki Kashmir

The Times of India reports that Pak will not allow the pursuit of justice for the Mumbai attacks to be a unilateral effort in the region as they are insisting to be involved with the interrogations of those they apprehend in Pak and Paki Kashmir because, as the president says, ‘the terrorists want to destroy Pakistan, too.’ Unfortunately, India is still tossing around the football — taking the cynical approach in the public eye, calling the Paki raids and arrests since the Mumbai attacks, “tokenism,” as Pak won’t release those arrested to India in the effort to not be shut out:

Pakistan has arrested two key terror suspects India wants and could permit New Delhi to interrogate them if this is done jointly, a senior Pakistan minister said on Tuesday.

Confirming the arrests of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhwi, a top suspect in the Mumbai terror strikes, and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, wanted for his alleged role in the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, Pakistani Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar Tuesday said India may be allowed to interrogate them.

“If need be, we can have a joint interrogation,” Mukhtar said in a telephonic interview.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was silent on the interrogation aspect but asserted that the suspects would not be handed over to India, as New Delhi has demanded.

“The arrests are being made for our own investigations. Even if allegations are proved against any suspect, he will not be handed over to India,” Qureshi said in Multan, adding: “We will proceed against those arrested under Pakistani laws.”

Ruling out any movement of Pakistani troops towards the Indian borders, Mukhtar asserted that Pakistan will “help India in every possible way” and made a renewed pitch for joint investigations into the Mumbai attack – a suggestion that India has spurned.

Claiming that Islamabad was cracking down on terror groups, Mukhtar said: “No one can doubt our credibility. We have discussed how we can help our neighbours in fighting terrorism.”

“We are ready to help India in every possible way. Joint investigations will help in probing the Mumbai attack,” Mukhtar asserted.

“We will help India in joint investigations… India may be allowed to interrogate these people also,” he added.

Following the Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistani security forces also sealed a camp of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JD), as the LeT is widely believed to have been renamed after it was proscribed, in the Shawai Nullah neighbourhood of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir.

In a statement issued late Monday, a military spokesperson in Islamabad said in a statement that an operation to target militant organisations had started in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

“The military confirms an operation of law enforcement is underway,” it said, adding that there had been arrests and investigations were underway.

Pakistani authorities on Monday placed restrictions on the movement of JeM chief Masood Azhar by confining him to his multi-storeyed concrete compound in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur.

“It’s nothing more then tokenism. They want to take minimum possible action to appease the Americans,” Satish Chandra, a former deputy national security adviser and a former Indian envoy to Pakistan, told IANS.

The TOI reported yesterday of confirmation that LeT is backed by Pak spy agency, ISI, without any mention of it being a rouge agency as I’ve compiled many reports that confirm just that while reporting Pak’s strong efforts in the raid of a LeT/JuD camp in Paki Kashmir, referring to the raid as “intelligence-driven,” sends a complex message to the Indians. Again, it is crucial for PM Singh and the Indian media to make it very clear that ISI is apart from the civilian government of Pakistan.

As for Indian law enforcement, the identities and images of the nine dead suspected Pakistani attackers were released.