Posts Tagged ‘Singh’

Message from AntiWar.com (title by Little Alex): (more…)

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…)

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…)

“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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Today, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen (right) went to Pakistan on an unscheduled visit to “defuse tensions between India and Pakistan.”

This comes as India deploys more troops to the Rajastan border and Pak military goes on red alert:

Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Pakistan, said the local media attributed its reports to military sources, who were confirming that the navy, air force and army were on red alert.

“The Pakistani air force have been seen visibly in a number of locations flying close to the Pakistani-India border in what is being described as an aggressive patrolling mode, following reports that India is planning pre-emptive strikes against locations in Pakistan,” Hyder reported.

“Chiefs of the three forces are meeting in what is being described as an emergency meeting in general headquarters in Rawalpindi.

“Only after the meeting is over will we come to know if it is a red alert or a heightened state of alert.”

Hyder said that observers are saying that the Congress party in India has lost prestige due to the Mumbai attacks and, therefore, may try a show of strength in Pakistan.

Last week, Pakistan summoned a senior Indian diplomat in Islamabad to protest against recent alleged airspace violations by Indian warplanes.

Indian fighter jets had crossed into Pakistani airspace over Kashmir and Punjab province, the government said on December 13.

Pakistan said its own fighter jets were scrambled to chase off the intruders, but it also played down the incident by describing the violations as “technical” and “inadvertent”.

India denied any violation of Pakistani airspace.

Pak’s  ‘heightened state of alert’ comes after weeks of rhetoric ranging from ambiguous to sabre-rattling from within India that continues to this day:

[Indian] Foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee says that Islamic militant groups based in Pakistan endanger the entire world, and demanded that Islamabad permanently dismantle the “infrastructure of terrorism” on its soil.

India says the gunmen who carried out last months terror attacks in Mumbai were Pakistanis, and were trained by a radical Islamic group, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, based in the country. Islamabad says New Delhi has given no evidence that the attacks were planned or carried out by extremists in Pakistan.

Mr. Mukherjee says Islamabad is resorting to a “policy of denial” and seeking to deflect the blame.

“We will expect from Pakistan to do whatever they committed to do, to fulfill their promises, to fulfill their commitments. As responsible members of the community of nations, no nation can shirk its responsibility to fulfill the commitment which it gives to the other nation,” he said….

The Indian foreign minister also says efforts by the international community to persuade Pakistan to clamp down on extremists based in the country are not enough. He says New Delhi is prepared to act alone and “will take all measures necessary to deal with the situation.”

“And in that process to pursue that objective, we are not freezing any option, we will explore the possibilities because the obligation is ours, our people have been killed, our persons have been attacked, our installations have been destroyed,” he added.

No one questions the cancer of ISI, Pak’s rogue intelligence agency, and incoming Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has recently said that Lashkar-e-Ta’iba (LeT) has “morphed into a more al-Qa’ida-esque and radicalized entity.”

The problem is that Sen. Kerry (monitoring Pak eletions on the left) criticizes Pak for this and ignores the biggest difference between LeT and al-Qa’ida: al-Qa’ida was closely related to the Taleban which ruled the State of Afghanistan; LeT is not at all related to the ruling civilian government of Pak. Sen. Kerry knows this and we know that he knows this, as he monitored Pak’s elections this year, backed the Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) PM and presidential candidates, and stated after the PM election:

“First and foremost, this election is a tribute to the Pakistani people,…

“The results underscore the importance of the United States having a Pakistan policy that centers on the people of Pakistan, not any one political leader. It is in our national interest to demand accountability for the investment of American aid, and it is essential to marginalize the radicals and extremists. This can be a decisive moment for the future of democracy in Pakistan if this election sparks a lasting transition to civilian democratic rule. We will watch closely in the coming months to ensure that the Pakistani parties seize on this historic opportunity.”

With the ambiguous sabre-rattling in India and from the Corporate War Party in the US, there are some people brainstorming sensible solutions such as Indo-Pak free trade to break down the nationalistic rhetoric, Pat Buchanan’s article making the case that war is what terrorists want, and pleas from regional organizations and scholars to not feed that terrorist propaganda with more war.


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.