WASHINGTON: Pakistani officials, diplomats and spokespersons do not consider the otherwise mind-boggling conditions included in the just passed Kerry-Lugar aid bill in the US Senate as of any serious significance but they are not prepared to state on record that all Pakistani stakeholders, the Army, the intelligence agencies, the people of Pakistan, have been taken into confidence, or even told before hand, that such conditions were being imposed.
The Secretary of State has to issue a certificate on these sensitive subjects before each instalment of the US aid is to be disbursed and Pakistanis are wondering how all, or any, of these conditions will be met, if at all.
The Secretary of State, under the direction of the president, has to certify to the appropriate congressional committees that:
1. the Government of Pakistan is continuing to cooperate with the United States in efforts to dismantle supplier networks relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons-related materials, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks;
2. the Government of Pakistan during the preceding fiscal year has demonstrated a sustained commitment to and is making significant efforts towards combating terrorist groups, consistent with the purposes of assistance described in section 201, including taking into account the extent to which the Government of Pakistan has made progress on matters such as:
(a) ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist and terrorist groups, particularly to any group that has conducted attacks against United States or coalition forces in Afghanistan, or against the territory or people of neighbouring countries;
(b) preventing al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, from operating in the territory of Pakistan, including carrying out cross-border attacks into neighbouring countries, closing terrorist camps in the Fata, dismantling terrorist bases of operations in other parts of the country, including Quetta and Muridke, and taking action when provided with intelligence about high-level terrorist targets; and
(c) strengthening counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws; and
(3) the security forces of Pakistan are not materially and substantially subverting the political or judicial processes of Pakistan.
Pakistani officials, including ISPR spokesman Major General Athar Abbas and Ambassador Husain Haqqani, were tight-lipped and diplomatic when The News approached them with the crucial questions whether the conditions listed in the Kerry-Lugar Bill had been discussed, accepted or met by the Pakistani institutions as they looked almost impossible to deliver.
General Athar Abbas told Muhammad Ahmed Noorani of The News in Islamabad that the Army was going to send its views about these conditions to the Foreign Ministry and they would respond to these questions. While this response of the ISPR was “politically correct” it did carry a discreet impression that the Army may not have been taken on board until now. If these conditions were known to the GHQ, they would have already sent their response to the relevant civilian quarters and Gen Abbas would not have to say that they will do so now.
When Ambassador Husain Haqqani was asked the same question by me whether these conditions had been discussed with the concerned Pakistani quarters, his response was that the foreign minister, the foreign secretary and the FO spokesman are in New York and I should direct these questions to them. He would not take any question about his role or the role of the costly lobbyist in Washington because this apparently may be his ultimate failure.
Thus a deliberate stonewalling attempt is being made about who should be held responsible for agreeing to these conditions because although the language of these conditions is different in essence the US demands are the same — give us AQ Khan, don’t finger India, forget Kashmir, close the terror shops of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed and cooperate in the war on terror on our terms.
The more direct language against military intervention in political and judicial processes has apparently been added by the US legislators on the insistence of those Pakistanis who feel that the GHQ in Pindi is still creating hurdles in allowing the PPP to run its government as it likes, specially after the March 15 intervention to restore the judges, something which was taken as a direct affront to President Zardari who had over-committed himself not to restore the chief justice.
The new media strategy of the Pakistani side not to talk about these sensitive issues separately, but to let the Foreign Office speak about them may be a clever move but it will not answer the million questions and doubts being raised.
For instance Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit, who is in New York, when asked by me whether the Army and other institutions were on board, gave a fairly calculated and guarded response: “Basically this is not our decision and the Americans have drafted it but the Pakistan government has been in close touch with them. Acceptance of these conditions is not an issue as we have tried to convince them that such conditions do not work.”
Asked whether the Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies can deliver what the US side is asking for in terms of supporting extremists elements and groups, Basit said it was Pakistan’s policy not to support these groups, so we have nothing to worry about.
Basit is sure that the certifications required are not inconsistent with or in conflict with the Pakistani policies. “We have no problem as these elements are part and parcel of our policies but if there are any perceptions or misperceptions on the US side, we will try to remove them,” he said.
Asked about the clause which talks of ensuring that the security forces of Pakistan are not materially and substantially subverting the political or judicial processes of Pakistan, Basit tried to laugh it off, saying: “You know better than me what it means.”
This lack of openness is likely to create more problems but some former senior diplomats in Washington and New York think these conditions will be a non-starter and actual flows of US aid will stay very low although the huge infrastructure to manage this aid will be created in Islamabad and which may then be used for any other purpose.
One diplomat, after reading the Kerry-Lugar Bill, said the entire concept of Reconstruction Zones in the Fata has been eliminated from the process which means that the US has given up on development in tribal areas, and the entire exercise for the last many years has come to a naught.
Apart from the “feel good” factor that US was supporting Pakistan, diplomats say the quantity of aid promised is so small that if a popular Pakistan president had asked the overseas Pakistanis for additional remittances, the Pakistani community would have sent over two billion more than the six billion they send, free of cost, every year.
But President Zardari and his aides are confident that they have conquered Washington and will return to Pakistan triumphant in the glory of becoming the darling of the West. “This is the misguided vision of a few bloated visionaries in the president’s camp and they will soon find out the heat of these unacceptable conditions when they return to Pakistan,” a disgruntled member of the Pakistani delegation said in confidence.
So sensitive is the subject that when US President Barack Obama addressed the UN summit in New York, he barely mentioned Afghanistan.
The Times reports the unspoken problem is that if the priority is to destroy Al-Qaeda and reduce the global terrorist threat, western troops might be fighting on the wrong side of the border.
The Biden camp argues that attacks by unmanned drones on Pakistan’s tribal areas, where Al-Qaeda’s leaders are hiding, have been successful. Sending more troops to Afghanistan has only inflamed tensions.
“Pakistan is the nuclear elephant in the room,” said a western diplomat.
It is a view echoed by Richard Barrett, head of the UN Commission on Monitoring Taliban and Al-Qaeda, who believes the presence of foreign troops has increased militant activity and made it easier for the Taliban to recruit.
“If Obama sends more troops, it would better be clear what they are to do,” he said.
“A few thousand more boots on the ground may not make much difference except push the fight into areas which are currently quiet because no one is there to challenge the Taliban. I cannot see any number of troops eliminating the Taliban. Obama has a really difficult decision to make.”
United Nations is to declare discrimination based on the Indian caste system is a human rights abuse.
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
The UN’s Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, is expected to ratify draft principles which recognises the scale of persecution suffered by 65 million ‘untouchables’ or ‘Dalits’ who carry out the most menial and degrading work
Many of them work as lavatory and sewer cleaners and in remote villages as “night-soil carriers”.
They are considered unclean by many higher-caste ‘Brahmins’ who regard their presence, and sometimes even their shadow as ‘polluting’.
Many Dalits have been badly beaten or killed for ‘polluting’ Brahmin wells by drinking from them.
The UN draft, which has been opposed by India, pledges to work for the “effective elimination of discrimination based on work and descent”.
The Indian government had lobbied heavily for the Human Rights Council to remove the word ‘caste’ from a draft earlier this year.
India’s opposition was undermined however by Nepal, the former Hindu Kingdom, which has supported the move. Its foreign minister Jeet Bahadur Darjee Gautam said Nepal welcomes UN and international support for its attempts to tackle caste discrimination.
The UN has now called on India to follow Nepal’s example, but New Delhi remains opposed to international interference on the issue.
Navanethem Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is a South African Tamil, said Nepal’s response marked a “significant step by a country grappling with this problem itself” and urged other states to follow its lead.
The issue is sensitive in India where untouchables and other low-caste groups wield increasing political influence, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, its most populous state, where the pro-Dalit Bahujan Samaj Party rules and its chief minister Mayawati has erected statues commemorating Dalit heroes.
Rahul Gandhi, the architect of the Congress Party’s recent general election victory, has raised the profile of the case issue recently by staying with Dalit families during visits to Uttar Pradesh.
The caste divisions have become institutionalised by quotas for Dalits in government jobs and university places, which has in turn angered higher caste groups.
Dr Udit Raj, of the Dalit-based Indian Justice Party, last night welcomed the move, which he said would focus international attention on the issue and lead to an increase in aid and government spending to improve Dalit opportunities in India.
“It’s very good. We almost lost the battle last April, but now it seems we will have our victory. This will get attention at a global level and that will focus resources from bodies like the European Union. Aid will flow to India.
“But the Indian government should have the courage to accept there’s discrimination,” he said.
Kamal Adham brother in law of Saudi King Faisal
The Activities Of Safari Club. Thus was the Safari Club established .It funded – off the books – covert operations for a ‘ghost’ CIA made up of fired agents close to ex-CIA Director George Bush Sr. and Theodore Shackley. Shackley would remain at the center of this “private, shadow spy organization within the CIA” until he was fired in 1979; when the Safari Club was exposed due to the Iranian revolution-Iran being one of the members ! It must be noted here that this “Super Spy Club” inevitably gave a front seat to Saudi, Arab and Iranian ‘Islamist’ interests. The club seems to have remained active till about 1982 when de Marenches stepped down from being head of French intelligence .By this time the issue of the witch hunt of CIA within the USA also seems to have been resolved, and the CIA was keen to get back into the driving seat. Yet as we shall see next ;the then junior officers –as they rose in rank- would continue to retain their Islamic imprint ,as they shaped Americas -and the CIA’s- future policies.
During the initial period the Safari Club played a secret role in political dramas of many countries mostly Islamic and in Africa or the Middle East. Its first operation: A rebellion in Zaire was put down by Moroccan and Egyptian troops, using French air support.It then turned to deal with the Soviet infiltrations in Ethopia, Somalia and Djibouti and Peoples republic of Yemen. It also acted to repel Libyan aggression against Chad and Sudan. It also played a role in the US-Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979. Through out 1970-80 huge amounts of Saudi money backed by Safari Club covert activity helped countries like Syria,Jordan,North Yemen, Angola, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Uganda, Mali, Nigeria, Ziare, Guinea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines –and some reports suggest even South Vietnam; survive Russian backed Libyan or leftist in roads. In most countries Saudi ‘Wahabi Jehadi’ proselytizing inevitably accompanied the cash.
In The USA Zbigniew Brzezinski took over as President Carter’s National Security Adviser. He established the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) for weakening the Soviet Union through Islamic militancy .By December 1978; he formalized his theory around the idea of turning the Muslim world into ‘an arc of crises. It was based on the ideas of British expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocated the balkanization of the entire Muslim near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an “arc of crisis” and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.
BCCI Even Buys The CIA’s Bank! The same year The Safari Club made a bid to buy CIA’s bank! A group fronted by Kamal Adham, bought First American Bank shares. It was the biggest bank in the Washington, D.C. – and since long the CIA’s principal banker. In 1981, the Federal Reserve after asking CIA for the mandatory clearance allows the sale! The CIA held back what it knew, including the fact that Adham was Saudi intelligence minister. But Adhami and his group were acting on behalf of BCCI.Thus by 1982 BCCI becomes (illegally) the owner of CIA’s bank. The CIA did not inform the Treasury Department about this link till as late as 1985.In fact CIA continued using both BCCI and First American. The Safari Club and its financial arm the BCCI were fully in place –even within USA by 1982!
Brzezinski’s Islamic Militant Policy Implemented In Pakistan. In Pakistan on 5 July 1977 Pakistan’s socialist minded Prime Minister Z.A.Bhutto – an advocate of the policy of independence from US domination through a combination of ‘Islamic socialism’ and a pro-China foreign policy ; as well as the architect of Muslim unity(held first Islamic summit at Lahore) and Pakistan’s nuclear program – was eliminated in a coup by General Zia –ul-Haq .Zia had already proved his worth as an American ally in Jordan , where he massacred the PLA to save the Jordanian throne for the Americans.
Apparently the US stopped all economic and military aid to Pakistan as a result of the coup .But in actual fact aid continued flowing in a big way for the militants and their Islamisation process through the Safari club and the rouge CIA; and planning was soon expedited to draw in and kill the Russian bear in Afghanistan.
“Radical Islamist ideology began to permeate the military and the influence of the most extreme groups crept into the army,” writes journalist Kathy Gannon in her book I is for Infidel. The BBC later commented that Zia’s “Islamization” policies created a “culture of jihad” within Pakistan that continues until present day. Mean ISI took over to continue the field work and launched a massive campaign of terrorism, assassinating hundreds of teachers and civil servants in Afghanistan.”
For Iran, in November 1978 former Under Secretary of State George Ball was appointed as advisor to President Carter! This is most amazing for he was known to hold the view that the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran in favor of the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. Later during his exile The Shah would note with bitter hind sight,”It should have been clear to me that the Americans wanted me out. What else was I to make of the Administration’s sudden decision to call George Ball as advisor on Iran?”
For Al-Qaeda around 1978-79(the details are fuzzy) Osama Bin Laden visited the US and Britain -or both -ostensibly for the treatment of his son Abdul Rahman born with hydrocephalus. However the required treatment-an operation – was never carried out. More likely he went there to get his final briefs first hand!
1979-The Bear Trap Is Sprung. Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile in France on January 16, 1979.By February Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is deposed and Ayatollah Khomeini took over as Iran’s new leader. At first the US was taken aback by the new fundamentalist Islamic government, and Brzezinski contemplated a military coup to stop Khomeini.
In March, there was a major revolt in Herat province. Russian Intelligence noted that it had support from outside-particularly Iran. This convinced Brzezinski that Khomeini was fiercely anti-communist, and he soon decided that Iran’s new government can become part of his “arc of crises. The US embassy remained open, and more US officials come to Iran to begin tentative talks. The CIA started working (re-working) with Iranian intelligence to destabilize the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan.
By April 1979, US officials start having their first meetings in Pakistan with opponents of the Afghan government. Robert Gates –a junior officer then , but later to become CIA Director – recalls that in one such meeting on March 30, 1979, Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe wondered aloud whether there is “value in keeping the Afghan insurgency going, ‘sucking the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.’”
In May a CIA special envoy also meets these Afghan mujaheddin leaders at Peshawar. All of them have been carefully selected by the Pakistani ISI. One of them is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a drug dealer, and brutal warlord. His extreme ruthlessness is considered a plus. Over the next 10 years over half of all US aid to the mujaheddin will go to his faction. In June /August there are further large scale army mutinies within Afghanistan.
According to the official US version CIA aid to the Mujaheddin began after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan. How ever President Carter had formally approved covert aid in July. And as Brzezinski’s confessed later on: “that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention”. Charles Cogan, who later headed the CIA covert aid program to Afghanistan, will call Carter’s approval on 6th July a “very modest beginning to US involvement.” In fact, this is not correct because the’ Safari Club’ along with the ‘rouge CIA’ had been aiding the rebels since well before 1978. Haizullah Amin over throws Daud in a military coup in October 1979, and invites the Soviets.
In early November 1979, Brzezinski had secretly met with Iranian Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan, as well as Iran’s foreign minister and defense minister, in Algiers. But shortly before the meeting, the US agrees to allow the Shah, dying with cancer, to come to the US for medical treatment. Khomeini is enraged, and on November 4, just three days after the Algeria meeting begins, students take over the US embassy in Teheran. Brzezinski’s (Safari Club’s?) attempts to create an alliance with Khomeni’s Iran collapse.
On December 8 1979 The Soviets invaded Afghanistan; surprisingly on December 26 Russian troops turn against the invitee and kill him! Later declassified high-level Russian documents show that the Russian leadership believed Amin to have had secret contacts with the US embassy and was probably a US agent; and that because of this “the right wing Muslim opposition” has “practically established their control in many provinces… using foreign support.” They therefore installed a communist regime led by Babrak Karmal which was openly hostile to Pakistan. The Russians will later be proved correct when in a 1998 interview, Brzezinski, revealed that earlier in the year Carter authorized the CIA to destabilize the government, provoking the Russians to invade and later topple Amin’s government! It seems Russia had been invited into Afghanistan by a Khomeini cultivated US agent – even though Iran was no more a part of the team!
Brzezinski wrote a memo to President Jimmy Carter after the Soviet invasion suggesting that success in Afghanistan could give the Soviets access to the Indian Ocean. He advised that US should continue aid to the Afghan Mujaheddin. He also added, “This means more money as well as arms shipments to the rebels and some technical advice.” He concludes the memo with, “[W]e must both reassure Pakistan and encourage it to help the rebels. This will require a review of our policy toward Pakistan, more guarantees to it, more arms aid, and alas, a decision that our security problem toward Pakistan cannot be dictated by our nonproliferation policy.” Carter accepted Brzezinski’s advice. Pakistan would be rewarded to become a nuclear power in exchange for help in implementing Brzezinski doctrine of Islamic Militancy!