Pakistan has strongly criticised David Cameron, the British prime minister, for his remark that Islamabad should not “promote the export of terror”.
Abdul Basit, a foreign ministry spokesman, on Thursday said Cameron seemed to have based his comments on leaked US documents, which he called “biased and self-serving”.
“We are obviously disappointed at these comments because these are not coming from any original source, rather biased sources and I would say not even raw intelligence but disinformation against Pakistan,” he told Al Jazeera.
On a visit to India, Cameron on Wednesday said Pakistan should know “that it is not right to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror”.
He said: “We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country [Pakistan] is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world.”
Though his comments were likely to be welcomed in India, Pakistan’s reaction has been quick and angry.
Basit strongly denied any Pakistani links with terror groups and defended Islamabad’s role.
“Britain knows full well as to how Pakistan, particularly the ISI [the Pakistani intelligence service] has been extending help and assistance to Britain in thwarting so many terrorist plots in Britain.
“They know the effectiveness of the ISI and our constructive and positive role in Afghanistan so we do not find any reason whatsoever for such remarks.”
Earlier, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s high commissioner in London, told Al Jazeera that he had received hundreds of calls from Pakistanis, who offered “a very sharp reaction” to Cameron’s comments.
“I think Cameron will review his statement, clarify his position, because we need to be supported not criticised for what we are doing,” Hasan said.
He also refuted renewed criticism of Pakistani intelligence services over its alleged ties to Taliban, following revelations by Wikileaks, the whistle blower website.
The site leaked US government documents suggesting links between Pakistan’s security services, the Taliban and other groups operating in Afghanistan.
“ISI was one of the conduits used by the CIA and other agencies to raise these Taliban, these mujahidin, to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Only [the] ISI can’t be blamed for it,” he said.
Cameron’s comments came as he prepared to wrap up a two-day visit to India, which is aimed at improving bilateral trade between the two nations.
He was expected to meet Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, later on Thursday.
Will India’s diplomatic reversals get a short respite?Will India’s diplomatic reversals get a short respite?
Bharat (aka India) has been face colossal reverses in its Foreign Policy. Will the orchestrated Leaks give it a respite?
While the Wikileaks were on a 96 hour news cycle, and most US sources after having discussed them threadbare are beginning to move on to new subjects–the Bharati (aka Indian) media is clinging on to them and the orchestrated immature statements by the British Prime Minister. Delhi is getting full mileage of the so called 90,000 “leaks”. Only a few of them actually discuss Pakistan, but the Pakistaniphobic campaign led by the New York Times and the UK Guardia only focuses on the old and archaic news items filed by Afghan “agents”. Till recenlty the Afghan Intelligence agencies were fully in the hands of the Bharati RAW. In the days gone by the RAW men were so powerful that in a well documented incident Mr. Karzai was scolded by the head of the RAW in Kabul.
Most of the old filed reports were fed by Bharati intelligent agencies. These reports filed from Kabul have now become part of the Wikileaks–used by the New York Times to malign Pakistan and try to halt its growing influence in Afghanistan.
The way the news has been sliced, diced and presented by the New York Times, it ensures that the real story of the Wikileaks can be obfuscated by the sensational Anti-Pakistanism.
The Bharati elation at the Wikileaks will be short lived. However Bharat may stage a spectacular event to put pressure on Pakistan. Another Mumbai will create issues in South Asia, and push it back another decade.
Much of the Leaks deal with the targeted killings and murder of civilians by the US, ISAF and NATO forces. However the Sunday news shows and even Al-Jazeera did not focus on the human rights atrocities and the war crimes. Pakistan is the favorite whipping boy of the US media–especially the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Now that the US media is beginning to get tired of the Leaks, another batch will be released targeting Pakistan. The Leaks have tried to drive a wedge between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The usual suspects in Afghanistan–the Pakistanphobes are cropping up in Afghanistan making the same old noises as before.
The Bharati carping will continue.
The short term affects of the Leaks have been a lot of discussion in the media. However the Obama Administration has not shown an indication of a change in its Afghan policy.
The Europeans are leaving the Hindu Kush next year. The Americans will follow–Cameron’s grandstanding not withstanding.
America has few options in Afghanistan. She has to work with Pakistan in order to get a face saving exit. The Leaks anger the very people that the US and the UK banks on to help them out. No foreign army can assist NATO, ISAF and the US forces–except the Pakistani Army.
Maligning the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani Intelligence Services (ISI) is counterproductive to American interests. While the US Administration has rushed to do damage control, with the White House and the State Department calling the Pakistani President and the Prime Minister–the Afghan president was forced to make some ugly noises which he will have to regret.
Pakistan demanded an explanation from Mr. Hamid Karzai, and the press heard some inaudible and incomprehensible gurgling noises which went something like this “the press has made something out of this”.
Despite the media headlines in the Bharati press, the fact remains that most US officials have come out to defend Pakistan. The Bharati media of course is publishing the fallout by editing the statements and publishing only part that suit their agenda.
While India’s recent diplomatic reversals get a short respite, the fact remains that in the long run, the Bharati machinations will create more enemies in Pakistan. Already the number of doves in Pakistan are becoming less and less. Even Mr. Zardari who started out as very accommodating towards Bharat has not turned hawkish. The Pakistan Ambassador to the US–often called the US Ambassador to Pakistan is incensed at the US and also at Bharat. If the most pro-India elements in Pakistan are now mad at Bharat, the hawks will have a field day. Bharati short-sightendness in the Wikileaks affair will have consequences for Delhi. An abrogation of any Afghan trade to Bharat is the most likely first casualty of the Wikileaks. There will be more negative affects for Bharat.
Those who want Bharat evicted from Afghanistan will be emboldened and become more firm in their resolve. Anti-Americanism will grow in the area, and this can never be good for America.
The long term blowback from the leaks will harm US interests in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. The leaks confirm the US stereotype–self-centered, untrustworthy and fickle.
The US has to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The Afghans want to talk to the Afghan National Resistance (aka Taliban). All roads to peace in Kabul run through Islamabad. Mr. Karzai knows this.
In the end Mr. Karzai will kiss and make up, and the US will continue to bank on the only game in town called the Pakistan Army.
by Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, July 29 (Xinhua) — A new report found a majority of Pakistanis consider the United States an enemy, in spite of Pakistan’ s role as a key ally in the U.S. fight against radicalism.
Regard for the United States in Pakistan ranks lowest among 22 countries surveyed in the Pew Global Attitudes survey, with nearly 60 percent of Pakistanis describing the United States as a nemesis and only 17 percent expressing a favorable view of the country.
“America’ s overall image remains very negative in Pakistan,” said Andrew Kohut, president of the non-partisan Pew Research Center.
The Pew Research Center report, titled “America’ s Image Remains Poor: Concern About Extremist Threat Slips in Pakistan,” comes at a time when the Obama administration is trying to strengthen ties with Pakistan.
Indeed, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this month visited Pakistan and pledged 1.5 billion dollars a year over a five-year period in a bid to beef up Islamabad’ s capacity to aid U.S. strategic goals.
But despite the official line of warming ties, the study found that U.S. President Barack Obama is widely unpopular in Pakistan — a sentiment that bucks the trend of many other countries’ admiration for the U.S. president.
That in spite of his outreach to the Muslim world since taking office and a speech from Cairo, Egypt last year that sought to mend fences in light of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A mere eight percent of Pakistanis expressed confidence that the U.S. president will make the right choices in world affairs — his lowest rating among 22 nations, the report found.
“Obama’ s famous global popularity does not extend to Pakistan,” Kohut said.
Kamran Bokhari, regional director of Middle East and South Asia at global intelligence company Stratfor, said the president initially generated much hope in the Muslim world as a result of his outreach efforts.
But the U.S. surge policy in Afghanistan, which has increased civilian casualties, has undermined Pakistanis’ expectations of Obama. Pakistanis now view him in the same negative light as they did former President George W. Bush.
“Whatever expectations were there are gone now,” Bokhari said.
Many hold the view that Obama will ultimately do what is in the United States’ best interest, which is not always in line with what Pakistan wants, he added.
The recent WikiLeaks fiasco– more than 90,000 U.S. military documents were this week leaked and posted on the Internet– has also re-enforced feelings of mistrust.
Some of the documents charged Pakistan with playing double agent and providing sanctuary to Taliban fighters while objecting to U.S. forces entering parts of Pakistan where Taliban are holed up.
“WikiLeaks has eroded a good deal of the goodwill and trust that had been built up,” Bokhari said. “I don’ t want to exaggerate the extent to which it is a setback, but it does complicate cooperation.”
Pakistanis’ support for the United States in the fight against radicalism has declined since last year. Fewer want Washington to provide support for Pakistani troops, although around half of those surveyed are still in favor of such efforts, the study found.
Pakistanis widely oppose the U.S. war in Afghanistan and nearly two-thirds want U.S. and NATO forces to withdraw as soon as possible, the survey said.
Few believe the conflict across the border could seriously impact Pakistan and 25 percent said a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan would be bad, whereas 18 percent said it would be good. Twenty-seven percent said it would not matter and 30 percent expressed no opinion, the report found.
But despite a panoply of negative opinions, most Pakistanis want better relations with the United States, and the number of those for whom an improving relationship is important rose to 64 percent from 53 percent last year.
The findings are based on face-to-face interviews taken last spring with 2,000 Pakistani adults, mostly in urban areas.
“There’s a lot of conspiracy theory that informs the opinions of the Pakistanis,” Bokhari said, adding that such thinking can be found across all facets of society, including the political and military elite.
There also exists an overall fear that India ranks higher on the U.S. list of friends than Pakistan — a reflection of a pre-existing negative opinion of the United States, he said.
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., is concerned about the growing Indian influence in Afghanistan, and says his country does not want to be caught in a “pincers movement” on the issue.
“We are concerned about the influence of India in Afghanistan because we have had conflict with India and we do not want to have a situation in which we are caught in a pincers movement,” he told the popular Charlie Rose Show of the PBS Thursday.
- Under elected leaders, Pakistan is working with the US to build trust between our militaries and intelligence agencies.
- Pakistan is crucial for helping Afghanistan attain stability.
- Over the past nine years more Pakistani than NATO troops have lost their lives fighting the Taliban.
- Two thousand Pakistani police have been killed
- The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not even remotely reflect the current realities on the ground.
- As we speak, the military of Pakistan is engaged in a bloody battle, taking enormous casualties
The much publicised leaking of several thousand classified documents rel-ating to the war in Afghanistan may have provided the war’s American critics an opportunity to press their objections. It does not, however, make the case against military and political cooperation between the governments of the United States and Pakistan, made necessary by the challenge of global terrorism.
Under elected leaders, Pakistan is working with the US to build trust between our militaries and intelligence agencies. In recent months, Pakistan has undertaken a massive military operation in the region bordering Afghanistan, denying space to Taliban extremists who had hoped to create a ministate with the backing of Al-Qaeda. Pakistan-Afghanistan relations have been enhanced to an unprecedented degree. And exchanges of intelligence between Pakistan and the US have foiled several terrorist plots around the globe.
The WikiLeaks controversy and the ensuing speculation about Pakistan’s role in the global effort against the terrorists should not disrupt the ongoing efforts of the US and Pakistan to contain and destroy the forces of extremism and fanaticism that threaten the entire world.
Pakistan is crucial for helping Afghanistan attain stability while pursuing the defeat of Al-Qaeda led terrorist ideologues. For that reason the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have denounced the leaking of unattributed and unprocessed information implicating Pakistan in supporting or tolerating the Taliban. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, a Democrat, warned Monday against judging Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war by “outdated reports,” adding that Pakistan had “significantly stepped up its fight against the Taliban.” Most Americans and many Pakistanis agree on the need for improvements in Pakistan’s efforts, but that is not the same as suspecting lack of cooperation.
The tragedy that has unfolded in South Asia is the product of a long series of policy miscalculations spanning fully 30 years. The US, in its zeal to defeat the Soviet Union – a noble goal indeed – selected Afghanistan as a venue. Pakistan became caught up in an ideological battle[...]. to fight the surrogate war against the Russians. [...]
More Pakistanis have been killed by terrorism in the last two years than the number of civilians who died in New York’s Twin Towers. Over the past nine years more Pakistani than NATO troops have lost their lives fighting the Taliban. Two thousand Pakistani police have been killed; our mosques and hotels have been savagely attacked; scores of billion dollars of foreign investment were frozen; and tens of billions of dollars of funding for education and health have been diverted to the battlefield against the extremists.
[...] The democratically elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has followed a clearly laid out strategy of fighting and marginalising terrorists, even when that decision was less than popular with a public still cynical because of what it believed was the political manipulation of the past. The course laid out by Pakistan’s democratic leaders has been executed brilliantly by Pakistan’s military and intelligence services.
The documents circulated by WikiLeaks do not even remotely reflect the current realities on the ground. For example, a retired Pakistani general is named as the master planner of the Afghan Taliban’s strategy. But this is a man who hasn’t held any position within Pakistani intelligence or the military for more than 20 years.
For its part, Pakistan’s current leadership will not be distracted by something like these leaks. We have paid an unprecedented price in blood and treasure over the last two years. We will not succumb to the terrorists.
As we speak, the military of Pakistan is engaged in a bloody battle, taking enormous casualties, in the mountains of South Waziristan to purge the tribal areas of terrorist sanctuaries. Our intelligence forces are gathering information across the country and targeting terrorist cells in North Waziristan to thwart their designs for destabilising our government and terrorising our people.
We fight alongside our friends from all over the world to protect freedom. The US could not have a more committed ally in this defining battle of the third millennium than the people, the government and the military of Pakistan. The writer is Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.
(Wall Street Journal)
Of course the Pakistanis are incensed at the sales talk in Delhi proffered to curry favor with the Bharati defense establishment
Remarks by David Cameron, the British prime minister, that Islamabad should not “promote the export of terror” have angered Pakistani officials. Cameron made the comments on Wednesday during a visit to promote increased trade with India, which has tense relations with neighbouring Pakistan. Aljazeera
The rookie British Prime Minister Cameron has gone to Bharat and is parroting the Pakistanphobic rhetoric that his predecessor avoided. Labor used to be heavily dependent on Pakistani votes in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester. However today Labor is more beholden to Bharati interests like Tata. Prime Minister Cameron has gone to Delhi and is speaking the Bharati language. When he returns home, he will learn the consequences of of Anti-Pakistan rhetoric. His Foreign Office will tell him about the consequences of his diatribe.
BANGALORE, India — British Prime Minister David Cameron kicked off a trade-focused visit to India on Wednesday with a warning to neighbouring Pakistan against promoting the “export of terror.”Speaking to reporters after a speech pitching for investment and open trade with India to boost Britain’s fragile post-recession recovery, Cameron turned to the sensitive subject of India’s cross-border rival.“We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country (Pakistan) is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world,” he said. Khaleej Times.
The comments will be taken with a lot of chagrin in Pakistan–recovering from a horrendous aircraft crash in the capital today. As soon as the fog clears in Islamabad, and the press gets hold of Cameron’s immature behavior, all hell will break loose in British-Pakistani relations.
What will happen is that Britain will backtrack, and say that PM Cameron’s views were taken out of context blah blah blah.
The comments will be welcomed in India which has long accused Pakistan of harbouring and abetting extremist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba which New Delhi blames for attacks like the murderous 2008 assault by militant gunmen on Mumbai.
Mr Cameron’s team insist there was no attempt to “ratchet up the rhetoric” against Islamabad or Israel, insisting the PM was merely restating Britain’s position. Diplomats were dispatched to reassure Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president, that the prime ministers’ comments did not herald a shift in relations.
But the candour of his words – and the country in which he chose to deliver them – will provoke intense debate in Pakistan, which sees its national interests overwhelmingly through the prism of India.
When viewed alongside other developments on this India trip – the lifting of a ban on civil nuclear co-operation, the sale of Hawk jets, increased intelligence-sharing and joint Anglo-Indian submarine “war games” – it is hard to argue that the balance of Britain’s interests in south Asia are unchanged. Financial Times.
Cameron’s remarks came days after the leak of secret US military documents that detailed links between Pakistan’s intelligence services and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
The Pakistanis are incensed at the Wikileaks which are seen as a “work of fiction” to shift blame for the defeat in Afghanistan. Most Pakistanis see the allegations against Pakistan as excuses by the defeated US Generals to find excuses for American ineptitude and incompetence.
Pakistan’s importance, by contrast, is more immediate. It is one of Britain’s biggest diplomatic outposts, reflecting the critical importance of a nation that is a partner in counter-terrorism and a big player in finding a means to exit Afghanistan, a goal Mr Cameron wants to achieve by 2015.
Mr Cameron’s team insist they never departed from Britain seeking to reset their approach to the region. When asked about the apparent change in tone, one Cameron aide ascribed it merely to his preference for “strong, clear language”.
“That doesn’t mean a change in strategy,” he said. Indeed Mr Cameron prides himself on being realistic about Britain’s standing in the world – be it as a “junior partner” to the US or the “spirit of humility” in which he approaches India. Financial Times.
The comments by the British Prime Minister were meant to appease the Bharatis, and get them to sign a multi-million Dollar deal. Obviously the provocative statements are not anchored in reality–only tied to business deals. However geographic realities and international relations will dictate that Britain backtrack from the incendiary statements.
“We should be very, very clear with Pakistan that we want to see a strong, stable and democratic Pakistan,” Cameron said.
“It should be a relationship based on a very clear message: that it is not right to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror,” he added.
In a trip seen as a test of Cameron’s new focus on business in Britain’s foreign policy, manufacturing groups BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce used the first day to unveil two defence deals with India worth a combined one billion dollars.
“I want this to be a relationship which drives economic growth upwards and drives our unemployment figures downwards,” Cameron said in his speech in the Indian IT hub of Bangalore.
“This is a trade mission, yes, but I prefer to see it as my jobs mission.”
Cameron arrived in India late Tuesday at the head of the largest British delegation to travel to the former jewel in its colonial crown in recent memory.
Packed with a bevy of top ministers and a small army of business leaders, it has been tagged as a mould-breaking mission to redefine what Cameron’s government sees as a long-neglected relationship with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
As the US and the UK face certain defeat London is trying to make hay in Delhi. It is pedagogical to note the comments of Karl Rove published in the Wall Street journal.
What President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron didn’t say during last week’s joint news conference may have mattered more than what they did say. The omissions could lead to a grave setback in the..
The president and prime minister declared their solidarity on the Afghanistan war. Both leaders “reaffirmed our commitment to the overall strategy,” in Mr. Cameron’s words. Mr. Obama said that approach aimed to “build Afghan capacity so Afghans can take responsibility for their future,” a point Mr. Cameron called “a key part” of the coalition’s strategy.All well and good. But neither leader uttered the word “victory” or “win” or any other similar phrase. They made it sound as if the strategic goal was to stand up the Afghan security forces, leave as soon as that was done, and hope the locals were up to keeping things together.
Neither man called for the defeat of the Taliban or declared its return to power unacceptable. Instead, Mr. Obama offered a lesser goal, namely to “break the Taliban’s momentum.” That is hardly a strategy that will galvanize people—as the King James Bible expressed it, “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” Karl Rove. WSJ.
The leader of the nation of shopkeepers will say anything for a Billion bucks.
In Bangalore, Cameron visited the country’s second-largest software exporter Infosys and the state-run defence giant Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
In the first of a series of expected deals, BAE Systems said it had finalised the sale of 57 Hawk trainer jets to India — to be built by HAL under licence — in a deal worth 500 million pounds (779 million dollars).
Rolls Royce will provide the engines for the aircraft for another 200 million pounds.
India had ordered 66 of the Hawk jets in 2004 to train pilots for flying supersonic combat missions.
Cameron highlighted the recent investment in Britain made by Indian-run companies such as the car maker Tata and steel group Arcelor Mittal, but also pushed India to open up its tightly regulated domestic market.
“We want you to reduce the barriers to foreign investment in banking, insurance, defence manufacturing and legal services — and reap the benefits,” he said, adding that a new global free-trade deal was vital.
Since taking power in May, Cameron has said he wants British foreign policy to focus more on business in a bid to boost the economy as it emerges from recession facing deep budget cuts to combat record state debt.
Apart from a trip to war-torn Afghanistan last month, the visit is Cameron’s first major foray to Asia. The choice reflects India’s growing regional clout and its emergence as an investment destination to rival neighbouring China.
Bilateral trade between India and Britain was worth 11.5 billion pounds (13.7 billion euros, 17.7 billion dollars) last year.
In further comments likely to please his hosts, Cameron also backed New Delhi’s bid for a seat in the UN Security Council and heaped praise on India’s “wonderful history of democratic secularism.” Khaleej Times
The UK has a lot of interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and this sort of rhetoric does not bode well for UK-Pakistani relations.
The Wikileaks which are plastered all over the Neocon and Neolib sites are based on gossip, rumor, innuendo, opinion and agenda. No proof is shown anywhere. It is wired reports, and email by failed Generals and Soldiers who want to blame another country.
The best that Matt Waltman could do was to quote the 5th Column and discredited “journalist” Mr. Ahmed Rashid. Mr. Waltman was taken to task by the host who repeatedly asked him to produce evidence. Mr. Waltman was unable to do so.
In a very hostile interview, the Al-Jazeera reporter did not allow General Gul Hamid to talk a lot. General Hamid did not allow himself to be provoked and defended his position and made that point that Pakistan has to make a respectful but defiant stand in front of the Americans.
General Hamid Gul denies aiding the Afghan Taliban and calls Wikileaks a work of fiction. Even President Obama has claimed that there is nothing new in the Wikileaks.
Simon Jenkins of the Guardian puts it eloquently.
In 1971 the Pentagon papers revealed the deception of the Johnson and Nixon governments during the Vietnam war. The papers were credited with collapsing US morale as the war drew to a close. The Afghanistan logs convey a different message. They show George Bush, Tony Blair and their generals to be so dazzled by their massive military (and intellectual) firepower that they thought they were invincible against a tinpot Taliban.
Anyone who visited Kabul in the past eight years knew that a western war of occupation would end in tears. The Taliban were a concept, not an army. Al-Qaida was an unwelcome guest, but only the Taliban were likely to expel it. Mujahideen would ooze from the rocks if provoked and never stop fighting until the infidel was expelled. Pakistan, long holder of the key to the Afghan door..
The US media is having a field day–all duplicated in Bharat (aka India).
BAGHDAD — The US military’s top officer on Tuesday said information in leaked documents on the war in Afghanistan did not call into question the US strategy or Washington’s relationship with Pakistan.
Admiral Mike Mullen said he was “appalled” at the leak of 90,000 secret military files on the Afghan mission, but that the information in the papers — including about Pakistan’s activities — were taken into account during a strategy review on the war last year.
“Certainly the information that I’ve seen so far in the documents, there’s nothing in there that wasn’t reviewed or considered in the strategic review” on the war, Mullen told reporters on his plane before landing in Iraq.
He said the administration of US President Barack Obama was still “working through” all the documents, adding that most of the files appeared to be “field level information, raw intelligence.”
Yasmeen Ali of Pakistan Potpourri reports:
There is general consensus that these “tens of thousands of classified documents” procured by the Wikileaks are mostly raw battlefield reports from Afghanistan, and reveal little that was not already known. All the same, it has created an impact and confirmed many fears: that the war in Afghanistan was not going too well for the US led forces; that it was largely because of Pakistan’s interservices intelligence (the ISI) playing a “double game”; also that the Karzai led dispensation in Kabul did little to help; and that the indiscriminate use of force by the American military, a euphemism for war crimes, too has contributed to this failure.
If that was the intended message, the leak was obviously deliberate. The number and the nature of reports reinforce this inference. The following developments lead me to believe that it was done to win more support for the course correction that Obama’s administration has undertaken.
- o During the last two years, it has often been claimed, and may even be partly true, that under the new counterinsurgency strategy, “collateral damage” was generally avoided.
- o Again, during the same period, since Pakistan has been successfully
persuaded/ coerced to undertake military operations against some of the groups allied with the Afghan resistance, its support to the latter (must have) considerably reduced.
- o Most importantly, as the project Afghanistan has gone so hopelessly awry, Obama’s decision to start withdrawing the military next year was, at the very least, the least bad option.
- Pakistan and its sympathizers will indeed now find their own arguments to control the damage.
- o The official spokespersons cannot do much better than reiterating that the “situation on ground” was different, that Pakistan has taken effective measures against the militants operating on its side of the AfPak borders, and that its policies have now won applause all around.
- o A number of regional experts have rationalised Pakistan’s (alleged) support to the Afghan Taliban because it needs a countervailing force against the growing Indian influence (some of them even believe that in due course Pakistan would employ them in the Indian held Kashmir). Since this perception also exists in Pakistan and provides us with a reasonable excuse to keep the Afghan Taliban in good shape, I have no intentions to contest it in the present scenario.
- o Not many would pick up the courage to suggest that some other countries in the Region- Iran, Russia and China for example- too are genuinely concerned about the presence of the US-led alliance in Afghanistan. All of them would therefore take their own respective course to subvert the NATO’s “out of area” missions. While Pakistan and Iran would be the obvious suspects interested in a potent Afghan resistance, there are other players as well in this new Great Game.
- o An unintended consequence of these “leaks” may well be the ISI’s enhanced stature in the eyes of the ordinary Pakistanis. With the all pervasive “anti-Americanism” in the country, if the agency has had the gumption of supporting the Afghan resistance against the US occupation, it would be credited with “yet another” coup. Hameed Gul may also reap similar benefits thought at a much reduced scale. People here have a fairly good idea that his overt support to the Taliban notwithstanding, he has no wherewithal to covertly contribute. (The writer is the former Head of ISI).
The Wall Street journal reports on some of the fallout from Wikileaks and how Washington is scrambling to control the damage.
On Sunday, U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari with a message: The Obama administration didn’t condone the leak, so “please don’t see this as some great conspiracy,” a senior Pakistani official said. U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson placed a follow-up call to Mr. Zardari. Senior administration officials confirmed those calls.
Meanwhile, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Pakistan’s Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry called President Hamid Karzai to smooth those feathers, a senior administration official said.
“The biggest American concern yesterday was: How will the Pakistanis take it?” said the senior Pakistani official, in an assessment U.S. officials didn’t contradict. U.S. officials also called their counterparts in the U.K. and Germany. (WSJ).
The Christian Science Monitor quotes the Pakistani Brass denying the Wikileak reports.
Pakistani generals have regularly dismissed the idea of collaboration with the Taliban. “We would obviously like to fix these rogues. They are killing our own people and are certainly not friends of this country,” General Ahmed Shuja Pasha was quoted in a 2009 book as saying. CSM
The blathering of Indophile Mr. Spanta are not a great surprise–he is the biggest Pakistanphobe in Kabul. He has now painted a poltical target on himself. If Mr. Karzai wants to build a relationship with Pakistan, Mr. Spanta has to be thrown out of the corridors of power.
It is obvious that the Pakistanis are peeved and this places a huge strain on the relationship. For many analysts this reinforces the American sterotype as untrustworthy who will throw you under the bus as soon it is profitable for them.
Wikileaks starts a tsunami of Anti-Americanism in Pakistan which will be hard to put down
- US tries to hide American war crimes & shift focus to Pakistan
- 90,000 documents on US military & CIA failures, only 180 on ISI
- How safe are US nuclear, chemical and biological secrets
- Most of the American propaganda on Pakistan is “Rumors, bullshit and second-hand information”
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Since late 2006, United States government, military, intelligence and media have been orchestrating regular attacks against Pakistan, creating a false alarm about its nuclear capability and portraying its premier spy agency, the ISI, as a threat to world peace.
The weak and apologetic reactions by Pakistan’s political and military officials encouraged this American double game.
But here comes the smoking gun, more than 90,000 leaked US intelligence documents, which prove how the Washington establishment has been running a vilification campaign against Pakistan both under Bush and Obama administrations, without any evidence except malicious intent.
Here is a chance for Pakistan to use these documents to argue its own case more confidently.
As soon as the classified documents were leaked over the weekend, US government sprung into action to minimize damage by shifting the focus toward Pakistan.
US government and military officials succeeded in making Pakistan and ISI the main story and hide the massive and spectacular US failures in Afghanistan, including evidence on war crimes and civilian carnage. It’s an exercise that bears the hallmarks of a CIA-style public diplomacy [a la Iraq invasion].
Instead of brooding over the American failures and war crimes that have been neatly hidden from the world for eight years, the mainstream US media chose once again to indulge in anti-Pakistanism which is rampant and endemic within the US media and among think-tank types. A British journalist, Declan Walsh, couldn’t help but notice this anti-Pakistan streak in how the Obama administration handled the leaks.
“In issuing such a strongly worded statement with implicit criticism of the ISI,” Mr. Walsh wrote in The Guardian, “the White House may be trying to keep ahead of a tide of US opinion that is hostile towards Pakistan.”
A TASTE OF AMERICAN DECEIT
Here’s a quick look at how ISI and Pakistan are a small part of the story blown out of proportion:
- Out of more than 90,000 classified US documents, only about 180 mention ISI, and only about 30 or so charge the legendary Pakistani spy service of wrongdoing in Afghanistan
- The whole case built by US against Pakistan and ISI is based not on evidence but on information sourced to ‘informants’, ‘sources’, initials [like A.E.], and sources linked to either the new US-created Afghan intelligence or the Indians. Both Karzai’s spies and the Indians have been telling anyone who’d listen that they are the preeminent source for any credible information on Pakistan
- Many of these classified US documents carry a disclaimer added by the authors or their handlers in the US military and intelligence. The disclaimer emphasizes that information in these reports can’t be trusted, is unverified, is sourced to people working for monetary gain or are linked to biased parties such as the Indians and Karzai’s intelligence
- Most importantly, many of these documents carry a warning that US policymakers should not rely on information in the reports to formulate policy
- According to the Guardian, most of the American propaganda on Pakistan is “Rumours, bullshit and second-hand information”
THE REAL STORY
The real story, the one hidden in the bulk of the 90,000 leaked documents, is this:
- How the US government, military and CIA have hidden a US military disaster in Afghanistan from the American public and the world
- How the mainstream US media is complicit in misleading the American public and the world
- How the United States is involved in war crimes in Afghanistan, especially in mass murder of innocent Afghan civilians
- How the US and its allies within the Pakistani government and military are most probably hiding similar tales of mass murder of Pakistani citizens in Pakistan’s tribal belt who fell victim to CIA-run drones
PAKISTANI OFFICIAL COMPLICITY
An important question that arises out of these documents is this:
1. If this is the level of US propaganda against Pakistan over the past five years, why have Pakistan’s political and military leaders acquiesced in US’s anti-Pakistan pressure tactics and failed to appropriately respond to American disinformation?
2. If this is the quality of US intelligence in Afghanistan, why has Pakistan’s government and military accept faulty US intelligence to allow US covert military operations inside Pakistan that have almost pushed the nation to civil war?
Pakistan’s leaders have almost wasted one opportunity – the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue in March 2010 – to redefine the terms of cooperation between Islamabad and Washington in Afghanistan. The storm over the leaked secrets provides a second opportunity to Pakistani policymakers to review their generally weak and apologetic policy that has messed up Pakistan in little less than eight years.
The CIAs wrecking ball attempts to shatter Af-Pak symbiosis
The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegal have been making hay with the so called “leaks”. The US media and the Neocons have used the leaks as a new phase of the endgame in Afghanistan. The timing of the leaks and the manner in which the three newspapers are using excerpts for sensationalizing uncorroborated and raw field reports–that are nothing more than opinion.
The Pakistani Foreign Office has disclaimed the reports, and a former head of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has called a the leaks “a work of fiction” and a way to try to find excuses for the US retreat from Afghanistan. Genral Hamid Gul also said “that the US has lost the war in Afghanistan and is now looking to blame others for its defeats”. Pakistan of course has been a favorite whipping boy of the Neo-Liberal and Neo-Con press.
Just because GI Joe said so, doesn’t make it fact. The Leaks provide no proof of Pakistani entanglement–however the newspapers who are publishing the classified documents are treating them as gospel.
There are three major points made by Wikileaks:
- First, there are allegations made by American intelligence officers that elements within Pakistan’s spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, have been conspiring with Taliban factions and other insurgents. Those charges are nothing new. This newspaper and others have been reporting on those accusations — often supported by anonymous sources within the American military and intelligence services — for years.
- Second, the site provides documentation of Afghan civilian casualties caused by United States and allied military operations. It is true that civilians inevitably suffer in war. But researchers in Kabul with the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict have been compiling evidence of these casualties, and their effect in Afghanistan, for some time now. Their reports, to which they add background on the context of the events, contributed to the decision by the former top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to put in place controversially stringent new measures intended to reduce such casualties last year.
- Third, the site asserts that the Pentagon employs a secret task force of highly trained commandos charged with capturing or killing insurgent leaders. I suspect that in the eyes of most Americans, using special operations teams to kill terrorists is one of the least controversial ways in which the government spends their tax dollars. NY TImes.
Pakistan has achieved phenomenal success in getting Iran, Turkey, all of the Afghanistan’s neighbors, Afghanistan itself, and the world to agree to a Pan-Afghan solution. Peace in Kabul does not help Bharat (aka India) or the US Neocons who want perpetual mimetic warfare.
The Wikileaks, whether the work of an individual or a concert of like-minded vested interests has attempted to sabotage Pakistani-Afghan relations. Whether the leaks are able to derail the Pan-Afghan road or peace remains to be seen. The Wikileaks want to place a wedge between Pakistan and the US, and between Islamabad and Kabul.
Kabul, Islamabad and Washington realize the dangers and already President Obama, and Prime Minster Gilani have decried the leaks. The response from Kabul has been measured, though Mr. Spanta has been running his mouth as usual.
We are all watching the events and reporting on them. We predict that this is a96 hour story—however the Wikileak people will slowly continue to poison the air by releasing the reports in phases. Those attempting to take advantage of the situation are trying to get maximum advantage from the documents.
Ked Tellis adds:
What better way to cover your butt than to claim that you have been mislead by your allies.
I doubt very much that Pakistan has the ability to hatch such a plot as the Obama regime is letting on? Neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan have anything to gain by such subterfuge. This is a deliberate attempt by the CIA to throw out all the evidence, because it reveals how they have been fixing the books so to speak.
Just as the massacre of South Koreans by U.S. forcrs in July 1950 at the Bridge of No Gun Ri near Pusan was hidden from the news, so to was the whole of the Afghan debacle. The U.S. will not expose its under-handed dealings, so it continues to lie.
Faisal Nazir adds:
It is indeed difficult to claim that disclosures were aimed at increasing pressure on Pakistan. In fact, almost all stake holders in Afghan quagmire don’t really know how to react to this dramatic but serious security breach involving the vault of top secret documents. Every one has apparently gone into hibernation while trying to assess the potential damage caused by the leakage and pondering on ways and measures for damage control.
While the leaked documents have revealed the usual allegations of hypothetical collaboration between some elements in ISI and Taliban, one must not ignore the fact that these documents, consisting of secret internal evaluations of missions carried out by occupation forces, have revealed many potential war crimes by the occupation forces. It is indeed a cause for disgrace for these wrongly so-called civilized countries. There are numerous narrations of how Nato/US forces deliberately killed Afghan civilians, including women and children, during the raids at different locations in Afghanistan. Before hurling the fake blames on Pakistan’s ISI, can some one please think of those innocents who lost their lives in the hands of blood-thirsty civilized foreign forces in Afghanistan? While the allegations against Pakistan are purely based on inputs from Afghan and Indian intelligence agencies (both infamously known for forged stories, actions, and claims), the narrations of war crimes committed by the foreign occupation forces are entirely based on the internal reporting by Nato/US troops.
The leakage of these documents brings a prized opportunity for Indians to push their propaganda machinery into action again to malaise Pakistan. The false and fake Indians claims, already included in the leaked papers as intelligence inputs to the war apparatus of the occupation forces, will be boomed repeatedly to magnify the effect of the Indian feed. The varsity and authenticity of Indian claims can be judged from the fact India is the only country in this whole region that wants a continued presence of foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan. Chine, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Central Asian states, and even the elected government of President Hamid Karzai are unwilling to accept the murderous policies of foreign forces and their continued presence in that country. Isolated and humiliated Indians see no other opportunity or possibility of having a constructive role in the regional geopolitics. If Indians are then found busy in misleading foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan, it should not really come as a surprise for others in the region.
One can not fail to note that the leaked documents are void of any reference to the Indian assisted terror strikes, originating from occupied Afghanistan, hitting popular locations inside Pakistan. Thousands of innocent people have been killed by these terror strikes at the public places such as markets, railway stations, hotels, offices, masques, and shrines. The terrorists are trained in Afghanistan by Indians and occupation forces, assisted with weapons, money, recci, planning, and logistics, and then sent to Pakistan through safe-houses established by foreign intelligence agencies. Pakistani forces last year recovered piles of the latest weaponry, gadgets, Indian drugs, and literature from terror hideouts in Swat. There are reports that some Indians were captured too in Swat, Peshawar, and FAT. Indian terror instructors were recently caught in Baluchistan enroute to a terror training camp in Afghanistan. One wonders why these leaked secret documents fail even mentioning the terror activities in Afghanistan that target Pakistanis in their own country.
The leaked documents can be used to blackmail and malaise Pakistan into so-called cooperation in Afghan war. What really US wants is to drag Pakistani military into the fighting against the people of Afghanistan. Americans and Europeans have occupied Afghanistan as a strategic geopolitical move and the people of Afghanistan are resisting the occupation forces. The goal of foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan is to crush the Afghan resistance by the use of deadly and devastating latest weaponry. Without that, the invaders can not have full control of Afghan heartland and therefore can not exploit and monopolize the vast natural resources in that country and in Central Asia.
Pakistan has so far avoided in joining the war against Afghan people. As opposed to the occupation forces, which would have to leave Afghan land in one, two, five, or ten years, Pakistanis are here forever to live as neighbors of Afghan people. Killing Afghans to help the occupation forces is not even an option for Pakistan. Pakistan certainly does not share the strategic goals with occupation forces in Afghanistan. Even the democratically elected Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai does not share these goals with foreign occupation countries. Continued killing of Afghans is not a solution. It’s rather a major part of a very serious problem.
US and Nato need to re-evaluate their strategic goals in Afghan mission. It is indeed disgraceful for self-proclaimed civilized countries to insist on continued killing and destruction in Afghanistan. Americans already have many disgraceful accounts in their short history. Being the only country having nuked two major Japanese cities and killing tens of thousands and maiming hundreds of thousands others is not something that one can be proud of. Resorting to naked aggression in Iraq on the basis of cooked and false evidence (offered shamelessly at the UN platform) and killing tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis is enough to be ashamed of for any self-respecting nation. Continued destruction and killings in Afghanistan will certainly not be judged generously either by the history. Enough is enough. They need to stop killing Afghans and Pakistanis in the name of fake war on terror and control their greed for occupying strategic locations and resources. They need to shelve their aggressive and rouge plans, stop blaming Pakistan for their woes, and initiate a true national reconciliation process in Afghanistan. A true representative and national government in Kabul with an effective control of the entire country will certainly be better positioned to drive the terrorists of Al-Quaida from their country.
ANY guesses which intelligence agency is the most damned in the world today? The one that must bear the burden sitting heavy on every cumbersome moment of an indefatigable truth: that the US-led coalition is eons away from winning the war in Afghanistan.
The same that in partnership with the CIA and the Saudi Intelligence helped win the Afghan jihad and gave the Soviets that final push over the tottering edge of their crumbling edifice—the mighty USSR. As with the law of nature all good things come to an end and thus we reach the happily-ever-after end of the intelligence world’s shortest lived honeymoon for Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency. More reviled than the Soviet era KGB, the ISI is now the favourite whipping boy for every ill under the sun. From Secretary Clinton to Admiral Mike Mullen, everyone regularly raps it on the knuckles.
The US frustration is mounting by the day. Deeply ensnared in the morass in Afghanistan and clueless how to get out, it must blame somebody. So why not the Pakis? After all, aren’t they the troublemakers who break the bread with the Afghan insurgents telling them on how to launch offensives against the good ol’ coalition forces fighting the terrorists? Tell you what, not only are these treacherous sleuths indulging in a double game and ensuring the defeat of our forces, they are also harbouring the king of terrorists, yes, Osama bin Laden himself!
Wow, makes for an incredible storyline—but one that cannot help proclaim its grade B status. So if bin Laden is in Pakistan why are the US drones shying away from attacking his hideout? If these guys have “credible evidence” pointing to the ISI complicity in aiding the Afghans, why not sock one to ‘em and pull their strings—yes, those green ones hopping a merry little dance. Dear, dear, the truth is that facts speak louder than rhetoric. The blame game is fine but don’t insult your audience’s intelligence, for God’s sake.
The icing on the cake comes in the form of the Afghan War Diary, a trove of dirty secrets divulged by the WikiLeaks that has earned a reputation of sorts with its history of exposes. Apart from the damning evidence against US policies and military strategy not to forget the mind-boggling array of nuggets about the role being played by Afghan government, its allied warlords and national security forces, we come to the parallel narrative about ISI. Before launching into a diatribe against the injustice of it all, let me reflect on the western media’s take on the issue. The New York Times and the London Times have expressed doubts over the veracity of the reports concerning ISI since much of this was provided by the Afghan intelligence.
I guess once you’ve belled the cat, it is best to leave the rest unsaid. But here’s my two-bit. The incredible charges against a former ISI chief General Hameed Gul deserve a good laugh. Yes, the gentleman appears regularly on the television and all but only someone with zero IQ can conjure such a fantastical scenario whereby the ISI is fielding its former chief to represent its interests and help Afghan insurgents launch offensives across the border!
If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would have made a great joke. It is no laughing matter though. The same ISI has paid with its blood as has every other wing of the Pakistan military in helping fight terrorism. It is not ISI that invited bin Laden to come with his comrades to Afghanistan. Rather it was the Americans who are to blame for allowing him to leave Sudan to move to Afghanistan. The past few years have brought Pakistan nothing but terror and huge loss of lives and property. That is something the US cannot compensate with a paltry $7.5 million aid package. So please give the ISI a break, any bomb blast in Kabul or gun battle in Mumbai is visited upon its head like a crown of thorns. It is preposterous and it is time this ridiculous charade ended.
Having contacts with key players in the Afghan insurgency is not a crime and does not mean these contacts are being helped with weapons, funds and logistics to fight the international forces. If blaming a former ISI chief for having past contacts is the criterion then what is next? Who will stop the architects of these malicious rumours from laying the blame at the door of Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani? After all, he was also a former ISI chief from 2004-2007. Does it make sense that a sitting army chief who has earned the respect of every military commander in the coalition, would allow Pakistan’s counterterrorism doctrine to be thus jeopardised? Pakistan is waging its toughest battle against home-grown militants who have used the Afghan card to proliferate and promote their own vested interests. The neighbourhood conflict and the presence of foreign forces is the main reason for the mushrooming of extremism and not vice versa. Anyone with the slightest intelligence should be able to discern the changed environment and the dynamics at play.
To win this war against terrorism, the insurgency must be wrenched away from its embrace with every option available. It should not be too bitter a pill for after all Washington is an old hand at making deals with the unlikeliest of partners. As for Pakistan, the US needs to stop playing coy. Either it should make a break or forge ahead with mutual trust and respect. Wars are not won when allies mistrust and berate each other at every given opportunity.
While US officials have denounced the WikiLeaks report and have assured that cooperation with partners will not be affected, questions are already being raised about the US policy towards Pakistan. This is why it is important for policy makers in Washington to decide on how to deal with Pakistan. The dual policy that has only created bad blood and affected US credibility needs a complete overhaul.
Faryal Leghari is Assistant Editor of Khaleej Times and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
ISI operates from within IAF
A Delhi court has sentenced a former Indian Air Force employee to three-and-half-year prison term for passing on defence information to Pakistani intelligence officials.
Additional Sessions Judge Shalinder Kaur also imposed a fine of Rs 500 on Sanjit Kumar Paul (62), holding him guilty under various provisions of the Official Secrets Act and the Indian Penal Code.
During the arguments on sentence, Paul sought a lenient view of the court stating that he had already suffered incarceration for four years.
The prosecution, on the other, submitted that the convict was found in possession of a number of documents besides the telephone directory having number of defence personnel.
Paul and Bijendra Singh Panwar were arrested by the Delhi Police on April 22, 2009.
They were accused of passing secret information, prejudicial to the safety and security of the country, to Pakistan intelligence officials through Nepal.
Paul was also found in possession of one fake identity card.
The prosecution, however, could not prove its charge that Paul and Panwar were also found to be in possession different wireless messages of Indian Navy and Air Force.
The prosecution examined 29 witnesses to prove its case against Paul.
The court had acquitted Panwar of all the charges for want of sufficient proof. pkkh