Update on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 26, 2011

26 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO Bombers ‘Soften Up’ Libyan Cities For Ground Assaults
  • Did NATO Attack Libya Because Of Oil?
  • Report: Russia, China, Iran Plan Counterweight To NATO Missile Shield
  • Missile Targets Afghan President’s Palace, Shooting At CIA Compound
  • Top U.S. Senator: Consider Military Action Against Pakistan
  • Pakistani Commanders Prepare Response To U.S. Onslaught
  • Not Pakistan’s Job To Protect NATO Forces: Prime Minister
  • Pentagon In Virtual Declaration Of Hostilities Against Pakistan
  • Worst Case Scenario: U.S., NATO Troops Crossing Durand Line
  • U.S. Attack On Waziristan Will Be Met By United Response: Opposition
  • Interior Minister: CIA, Not Pakistan, Created Haqqani Network
  • Haqqani Network: CIA Offshoot
  • Party Leader: NATO Backs Attacks, U.S. Bent On Breaking Up Pakistan
  • Russia Eyes Arctic Oil And Gas

NATO Bombers ‘Soften Up’ Libyan Cities For Ground Assaults


Agence France-Presse
September 25, 2011

NATO blasts Gaddafi home town

NATO warplanes pounded Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte for the second straight day as new regime forces held back on the ground after a major push into the heart of the coastal city.

A day after entering Sirte in a surprise assault, National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters pulled back on the western side on Sunday, while east of Sirte others awaited their marching orders, AFP correspondents said.

Deadly fighting also raged in the oasis of Ghadames near the Algerian border in the west, a local official said, while further north, and south of Sirte, NTC forces gathered outside Bani Walid for a fresh assault on the town.

…NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said…’We were ordered to leave downtown Sirte because NATO has a mission to do there. We left after 7pm last night (Saturday),’ he told AFP. Other fighters said the attack on Sirte will come on Monday.

NATO aircraft launched at least a dozen air strikes around Sirte on Sunday morning, an AFP correspondent said.

On Saturday, planes plastered 29 armed vehicles, a firing position, two command and control nodes and three ammunition storage facilities in the area, the alliance said in an operational update.

East of Sirte, fighters cleaned their weapons in preparation as dozens were ferried by pick-up trucks to the city gate.

‘We have been told by our commanders to keep our guns ready. We expect fierce urban battle once we fully enter Sirte,’ fighter Maatiz Saad told AFP.

Misrata Military Council spokesman Abdel Ibrahim said seven NTC fighters were killed and 145 wounded.

The assault on Ghadames, 600km southwest of Tripoli, came at dawn, killing at least five NTC fighters and wounding more than 30, said Muhandes Sirajeddin, deputy chief of the local council.

Heavy fighting also raged in Bani Walid…with NTC fighters coming under fire from inside the town, an AFP correspondent said.


Did NATO Attack Libya Because Of Oil?


Business Daily (Kenya)
September 26, 2011

Did Nato members attack Libya because of oil?
By Kamau Mbugwa*
Nato member states a have had their way in Libya. With China, the African Union and the United Nations having now recognised the Transitional National Council as the legitimate authority in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi has no chance of making a comeback.

While the Arab Spring revolution was locally driven in Tunisia and Egypt, the intervention in Libya by Nato has created a raging debate as to what exactly happened.

An argument has been advanced that Nato bombed its way into Libya because of its oil and did not care much about bringing democracy to the people. The fact that some of the rebels have had connections to al Qaeda fortifies this argument. Depending on whether Nato will move in to assist the NTC in stabilising the country and in creating an enabling environment for free and fair elections to take place, this argument cannot casually be dismissed. The fact that Syria (which has little oil resources) presented a similar situation but attracted no bombing from Nato further reinforces that thinking.

Some commentators have advanced another argument to the effect that Gaddafi had to be stopped because he was about to achieve his long-stated desire for a politically united Africa which Europe apparently would not like to see happening any time soon. This theory has other elements such as Gaddafi having finalised plans for creating an African bank, which would have put the World Bank and IMF out of business in Africa.

Further, that an African currency pegged to gold reserves rather than the dollar was underway, irked America into action against Gaddafi. This thinking is espoused mainly by those who have a romantic view of Gaddafi and those who believe that the West is never honest in its dealings.

The killing of black Africans who are perceived to have been hired by Gaddafi will alienate the ‘new’ Libya from Sub Saharan Africa. With the West increasingly losing investment opportunities to Asia, South America and Africa, the new Libyan leadership will soon understand Gaddafi’s wisdom in investing less and less in the West and more heavily in other regions and particularly in Black Africa.

If ethnic cleansing directed at black Africans continues under the leadership of the NTC, it will be easy to predict that sooner rather that later that the economy of Libya as well as its stability will be heading south.

*Mbugwa is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.


Report: Russia, China, Iran Plan Counterweight To NATO Missile Shield


Trend News Agency
September 26, 2011

Report: Iran, Russia, China mulling joint missile shield

Unofficial sources have announced that Iran, Russia, and China are currently holding talks on a proposal to establish a joint missile defense shield as a counterweight to a NATO defense shield, Mehr news agency reported.

The report, which was published in the Iranian daily newspaper Kayhan on Sunday, said that the sources cited two reasons why serious consultations have been held on the initiative.

First, all three states have come to the conclusion that U.S. officials’ assertion that their concern over the alleged missile and nuclear capabilities of Iran and North Korea is the reason for the decision to establish a NATO missile defense shield is just a pretext and the true objective of the shield is to threaten Russia and China.

In addition, now that the proposal to establish an early warning radar system in southeast Turkey, which is one component of the NATO missile defense shield, appears to be a done deal, the U.S. is now planning to establish other components of the new system in South Korea and Taiwan, which clearly shows that Washington is using the alleged threat from Iran and North Korea as a pretext to target China and Russia.

An informed expert believes China, which has not taken any action on the issue so far, is beginning to comprehend the level of danger posed by the new system, Mehr quoted the report as saying.

Russia’s analysis of the situation is similar to Iran’s view, which was expressed during Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev’s recent visit to Tehran.

Therefore, it seems the three countries have realized that the time has come to seriously start discussions on the plan.

Some sources say Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian envoy to NATO, who is scheduled to travel to Iran before the end of September, will probably hold operational discussions on the plan with Iranian officials.

According to RIA Novosti, Rogozin is going to discuss ‘strategic issues’ in Tehran.

Military experts are of the opinion that since Iran, Russia, and China have made great progress in designing anti-aircraft defense systems, the construction of such a missile shield system will not be a difficult task for them.


Missile Targets Afghan President’s Palace, Shooting At CIA Compound


Trend News Agency
September 26, 2011

Missile targets Afghan president palace

A huge explosion has reportedly taken place near the presidential palace in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul, injuring at least three people, Press TV reported.

The incident occurred Sunday night when a missile was reportedly launched from an unidentified location, targeting the palace. The rocket attack was followed by gunfire, according to local reports.

Other wire reports, however, have quoted Afghan officials as saying that some shots were heard from a compound used by the main US spy network, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Kabul.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui said the gunfire took place in Ariana Hotel compound which is part of the US embassy facility in Kabul.

A US official in Washington confirmed that there was an attack on a building used by American officials in Kabul. However, the CIA and the US embassy in Kabul have so far failed to comment on the incident.

The heavily secured building, only blocks away from the Afghan presidential palace, was occupied by the CIA in late 2001 following the US-led invasion of the Asian country, according to former US intelligence officials.

The attack came two weeks after Taliban militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles at the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul in a 19-hour siege of the buildings that left four civilians and two Afghan police officers dead.


Top U.S. Senator: Consider Military Action Against Pakistan


Associated Press
September 25, 2011

Senator: Consider military action against Pakistan

WASHINGTON: A Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said Sunday that the U.S. should consider military action against Pakistan if it continues to support terrorist attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.

‘The sovereign nation of Pakistan is engaging in hostile acts against the United States and our ally Afghanistan that must cease, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told ‘Fox News Sunday.’

He said if experts decided that the U.S. needs to ‘elevate its response,’ he was confident there would be strong bipartisan support in Congress for such action.

‘They’re killing American soldiers,’ he said. ‘If they continue to embrace terrorism as a part of their national strategy, we’re going to have to put all options on the table, including defending our troops.’


Pakistani Commanders Prepare Response To U.S. Onslaught


Pakistan Today
September 26, 2011

US might opt for air strikes in Waziristan, warn experts
By Tahir Niaz

Corps commanders exploring options if US attempts attacks inside Pakistan; Ask civil, military leadership to present united front

-‘Pakistan has to see whether the US wants to isolate it on the diplomatic front, capture its nukes, is preparing ground to impose economic sanctions against it, table an anti-Pakistan resolution in the UN or wants to launch a military action against it.’…Pakistan must view itself as vulnerable and prepare a concrete strategy to bear a US onslaught.

ISLAMABAD – Defence and security experts have forewarned the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan that the US might opt for air strikes in North Waziristan. However, they believe that the US would not take out a ground offensive inside Pakistan.

Commenting on Pak-US relations against the backdrop of mounting US pressure on the Pakistani government and allegations against the Pakistan Army, former ISI Chief, Lt. General (r) Javed Ashraf Qazi, said Pak-US tension was a serious issue for Pakistan. He said the US had mounted a baseless campaign against Pakistan, which was not without ulterior motives.

He said, ‘Pakistan has to see whether the US wants to isolate it on the diplomatic front, capture its nukes, is preparing ground to impose economic sanctions against it, table an anti-Pakistan resolution in the UN or wants to launch a military action against it,’ he said. Qazi said Pakistan must view itself as vulnerable and prepare a concrete strategy to bear a US onslaught.

Asked how significant the two corps commanders meetings held last month were, Qazi said the forum discussed the situation and discussed a military field strategy to counter any US offensive. He warned the US might opt for air strikes in North Waziristan and take out selective helicopter operations inside Pakistani territory.

However, he said the US will not dare a ground offence inside Pakistan.

However, he said blocking NATO supplies would be an extreme step, which should be chosen if UN sanctions were imposed against it. Prominent security analyst Dr. Hassan Askari Rizvi said if the US continues its public denunciation, it will irreparably damage Pak-US relations and undermine US efforts to control terrorism in the region.

He said the two corps commander meetings this month suggested military officials were weary of the direct and blunt US campaign. He said the US might use their military might in North Waziristan and the corps commanders wanted to discuss the options available to Pakistan in such a situation. He said the US had two options but neither would ensure US success in the region.

However, he said, exercising these options will destroy Pak-US relations in all fields. He said a US attack on Pakistan will strengthen religious hardliners. On the question of blocking NATO supplies, Rizvi said Pakistan could opt for the strategy if the US decided to use military power inside Pakistan. Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the political and military leadership should evolve a joint strategy to face mounting US pressure on Pakistan.


Not Pakistan’s Job To Protect NATO Forces: Prime Minister


Pakistan Tribune
September 25, 2011

It’s not Pak job to protect Nato forces: PM Gilani

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, vehemently denying US allegations, said Islamabad strongly rejects accusations of complicity with the Haqqani network or of a proxy war.

‘The blame game is self-defeating as it will only benefit the enemies of peace. Only terrorists and militants will gain from any fissures and divisions. Pakistan’s credentials and sacrifices in the counter-terrorism campaign are impeccable and unquestionable,’ the prime minister said in a policy statement made at a gathering of ambassadors, diplomats and donors on the occasion of a briefing on the flood situation in Pakistan here on Saturday.

He said the allegations portray confusion and policy disarray within the US establishment on the way forward in Afghanistan. Clearly, there is concern over the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan, he said.

The prime minister said Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the security of Nato/Isaf forces in Afghanistan.

‘While there have been terrorist attacks in Kabul and Wardak, there have also been numerous attacks in Pakistan launched from sanctuaries and safe havens in Nooristan and Kunar in Afghanistan,’ he said.

The prime minister said it was also the responsibility of the Afghan National Army, Nato and Isaf forces not to allow such cross-border militancy.


Pentagon In Virtual Declaration Of Hostilities Against Pakistan


The Nation
September 24, 2011

A feckless leadership invites aggression
By Inayatullah*

-According to one estimate, 30,000 civilians and 5,000 security forces have lost their lives. These numbers have exceeded the total American casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And as against $15 billion or so reported to have been received from the USA, Pakistan’s losses during the period in question are reckoned to be more than $60 billion. Interestingly enough all along the American administration has been pressing Pakistan to ‘do more’.
It is, indeed, ironic that USA’s failure in Afghanistan is, to a considerable extent, attributed to Pakistan’s military for not doing enough, bringing to mind how Cambodia was scapegoated when Washington’s war in Vietnam had come to an ignominious end.
Presently, Pakistan is being targeted for the debacle in the neighbouring country.
-The latest statements of Panetta and Mullen are a virtual declaration of hostilities against Pakistan. Seldom is such a strong language used against a declared ally.

It all started with a selfish, egotistic and insecure military dictator’s abject surrender to a threat from a superpower.

Primarily for personal gain and strengthening the military’s hold on power in the country, he succumbed to do Uncle Sam’s bidding and agreed to place Pakistan’s resources at its disposal.

Airbases were handed over. Ground and airspace was open to NATO forces. The Pakistani army was ordered to break the time-tested policy of not militarily taking on the armed Pathan tribes in FATA. Thus, funds started trickling in for the services rendered. But while the dictate was readily complied with, no conditions or quid pro quo were secured in return for the commitments made.

Before he was pushed out, the general-president left the legacy of a political deal midwifed by Washington and London, which was based on a preposterous law that legitimised corruption and criminal offences committed by thousands of wayward politicians.

However, these politicians later assumed the reins of power at the federal level. With the passage of time they have proved to be the wily dictator’s worthy successors. In fact tainted, weak and vulnerable as they are, they let the overbearing superpower escalate pressure and unwholesome intervention on the country.

The unwarranted drone attacks increased enormously, despite unanimous resolutions passed by the Pakistani Parliament to stop the violation of the country’s sovereignty. These attacks have not only resulted in the killing of hundreds of civilians (along with a few Al-Qaeda leaders), but have also given rise to horrendous suicide bombings all over the country spreading terror and misery in all the four provinces.

The military operations in FATA and adjoining places have also taken a heavy toll on the displacement of civilians in the tribal areas. More than 100,000 Pakistani troops for the last seven or so years have remained engaged with the militants, forcing thousands of local inhabitants to leave their homes and hearths.

According to one estimate, 30,000 civilians and 5,000 security forces have lost their lives. These numbers have exceeded the total American casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And as against $15 billion or so reported to have been received from the USA, Pakistan’s losses during the period in question are reckoned to be more than $60 billion. Interestingly enough all along the American administration has been pressing Pakistan to ‘do more’.

It is, indeed, ironic that USA’s failure in Afghanistan is, to a considerable extent, attributed to Pakistan’s military for not doing enough, bringing to mind how Cambodia was scapegoated when Washington’s war in Vietnam had come to an ignominious end.

Presently, Pakistan is being targeted for the debacle in the neighbouring country.

But some major questions are: With all the might of the NATO forces equipped as they are with state-of-the-art war military machinery, how come they have performed so poorly when it comes to taking care of the Taliban entering Afghanistan from Pakistan?

Why are there so few check posts on the Afghan side as compared to the number on the Pakistani side of the border?

Indeed, there are limits and constraints to capacity and national interests, which Pakistan has to keep in view while agreeing to extend operations as coerced by the US.

Instead of recognising Pakistan’s point of view, Washington has been hectoring Islamabad and threatening to take unilateral action on its soil.

After the Abbottabad strike, the possibility of such an operation has increased. The American media, Congressmen, the State Department and the Pentagon had been building up a case against the republic (Pakistan), accusing its military and intelligence services of complicity with the Haqqani group of Taliban considered to be residing in North Waziristan.

Pakistan denies any such complicity; the ISI has also been accused of backing up the Taliban in their activities in Afghanistan.

But little has been done by the federal government to engage the American administration and media to discuss the above mentioned contentious issues. Influential visitors have descended from Washington frequently to put pressure on our political and military rulers.

It virtually has been a one-way traffic. Some isolated visits by the COAS and DG ISI, but practically nothing has been done by our civilian leaders to engage their counterparts. There has been total absence of public diplomacy. This scribe in his columns has repeatedly highlighted this lapse with little response from Islamabad.

In the meantime, the anti-Pakistan lobby in Washington has been raising the temperature in the Congress, the Pentagon, the State Department and in the media in various ways. Any attack in Kabul is straightaway traced to the ISI. The latest statements of Panetta and Mullen are a virtual declaration of hostilities against Pakistan. Seldom is such a strong language used against a declared ally.

Unfortunately, our feckless leadership is utterly unprepared and till recently unconcerned with the ominous developments. So the whole burden of dealing with the threat has fallen on the GHQ. The Foreign Office’s denials and the discredited Interior Minister’s specious warning, as a reaction to sharp declarations by top American functionaries, carry little weight.

Pakistan presently is beset with natural disasters and internal strife, both mismanaged by an inept and profligate national government, also lacking spine and sagacity. The opposition is weak and fragmented. Will the foreign threat of an external attack stir up and bring it together? Why can’t our senior leaders led by Nawaz Sharif fly over to Washington and engage the authorities there to address the issues bedevilling US-Pakistan relations?

It is time Pakistan takes up these issues at the highest political level. Most instructive, in this context, is a report jointly prepared by the US Council on Foreign Relations and Aspen Institute India, which inter alia speaks about ‘possible contingencies’ regarding the developments in Pakistan, including the possibility of the country’s nuclear complex ‘being’ penetrated by terrorists. According to the study, Pakistan is facing a systemic decline. It asks India and the US to work jointly in dealing with the emerging situation in Afghanistan.

*The writer is an ex-federal secretary and ambassador, and political and international relations analyst.


Worst Case Scenario: U.S., NATO Troops Crossing Durand Line


The Nation
September 26, 2011

The mother of all follies
Imran Malik*

The US and Pakistan have an intrinsic clash of strategic interests in the South-Central Asian Region (SCAR). They have managed to remain reluctant and unwilling allies thus far in the global war on terror, but now face the moment of truth.

The issue of the Haqqani Network (HN) has assumed decisive proportions in the wake of the Taliban attack on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul recently. The US blamed Pakistan for waging a proxy war against it and the HN and the ISI for direct involvement in this attack. They seek vengeance and just retribution. Pakistan’s assertions to the contrary have predictably been rejected. Some analysts conclude that the US-Pakistan embroilment is escalating exponentially – from a veritably Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) to a Low Intensity War (LIW) and now potentially to a full-fledged one.

Operationally, the US has a number of options/combinations to tackle this situation. It could increase the frequency, ferocity, reach and spread of its deadly drone attacks. It could also carry out hot pursuit operations chasing down the supposed HN militants into Pakistan or try to snatch its top leader (like one of the senior Haqqanis) a la Osama bin Laden. It could also re-energise the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to increase violent attacks from Kunar and Nooristan into Dir and Bajaur. It could also carry out blistering strategic bombings – cruise and ballistic missile strikes on the HN hideouts/installations – collateral damage be damned!

However, the worst case scenario would be if the US/NATO/ISAF/Afghan forces were to cross the Durand Line. Pakistan will contest this incursion with matching ferocity, violence, willpower and determination. It is further likely to squeeze and block USA’s critical logistics supplies and completely stop all intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism/military cooperation with it. Once both belligerents join the battle in earnest, ironically, a point of no return will be reached, a critical threshold will be breached and a decades-old relationship would come to a sorry and unpleasant end. The biggest irony would be that in this strategic equation, despite its losses in men and material, Pakistan would be erroneously perceived to be on the HN’s side; though it would solely be defending its own territorial integrity and sovereignty! And such a perception would have dire strategic implications for it.

Were the US and Pakistan forces to get embroiled with each other it would lead to a strategic mayhem. Would the other nations in the US-led coalition also attack Pakistan? Whether they dither or attack, would there be dire implications for their relations with the US, Pakistan and in their respective internal domestic politics? In case the engagement prolongs, then the US would need to draw additional troops from within Afghanistan inviting violent Al-Qaeda and Taliban attacks on those weakened positions. That will cause the withdrawal of US forces to be delayed beyond 2014. Could all this be a ploy for such a desired end state?

Could all this be deliberate? Were this adventure to misfire, (likely) Obama’s re-election bid will be irretrievably botched! Could this yet be a hidden agenda of some elements/factions within the US body politic/establishment?

The operational dividends of such a US adventure will be meagre. It might capture a few leaders (assuming they would still be around even after all these public ultimatums) and destroy some of their training and administrative infrastructure. They might also dissipate them to obviate their operations as a cohesive group, albeit temporarily, but would still not be able to exterminate them completely. The group may have already dispersed to concentrate again once the threat has receded.

The downside of such a strategic folly would be that Pakistan as an ally would be alienated and lost forever. The terrorists would get further radicalised, attracting more recruits to their cause! Pakistan would face the brunt of the militant backlash countrywide. The country’s economy will nosedive further and FATA would get more radicalised. The government will face existential challenges. The HN reprisals would be swift, ferocious, widespread and unforgiving; setting the AfPak region afire! A peaceful resolution of the Afghan conundrum will thus become more unattainable.

Pakistan and the US have difficult choices to make now. They can choose to defy and attack one another and end up committing mutual harakiri. Nothing would please the militants more, except to see the two ostensible allies take on one another rather than them. Alternatively, they could cool things down, carry out a rational assessment and come out with a win-win solution.

A joint US-Pak military option – perhaps, a classic hammer and anvil operation – can be ruled out. The saner choice would be for the US and Pakistan to create the desired strategic environment, offer the right inducements and encourage the HN to come to the negotiating table and help reach an acceptable-to-all solution. It gives the US (and its allies) a face-saving exit that they so desperately yearn for, saves Pakistan the trouble of carrying out further operations in the FATA, obviates the need for any cross-border operations by the US and its allies and, most importantly, helps find a peaceful solution to the Afghan imbroglio.

Leon Panetta’s many follies as CIA chief have led to this impasse and breakdown in the Pak-US ties. He continues in the same vein at the Pentagon. Better counsel should have prevailed. Such a misadventure will potentially sound the death knell for his President’s re-election bid, threaten the Gilani-Zardari government and inextricably and needlessly embroil the US-Pak forces on the battlefield. It is a patently lose-lose situation. It will only hasten the final split, ending this painfully unilateral under-achieving non-relationship with a bang!

If sanity does not return to this region soon, such a misadventure will tragically and most eminently become ‘the mother of all strategic follies’.

*The writer is a retired brigadier and former defence attaché in Australia and New Zealand.


U.S. Attack On Waziristan Will Be Met By United Response: Opposition


Daily Times
September 26, 201

US attack on Waziristan will result in united response: Imran

* PTI chief says after coming to power, his party will liberate country from shackles of US, establish peace, harmony in Karachi and other cities of country

GUJRANWALA: If the US army attacked Waziristan, the whole nation would give a united response and counter it, and separation from the so-called US ‘war on terror’ would end suicide attacks and jihad in Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan said on Sunday.

Addressing a rally in connection with his ‘Remove rules and save country’ campaign attended by 50,000 PTI activists and members at the Liaqat Park, Khan said that he had asked General (r) Pervez Musharraf to refrain from launching an army operation in Waziristan but he did so on the behest of the US and as a result we have lost 35,000 men. He blamed the ‘dollar-loving Pakistani rulers’ for the mass killings of Pakistanis.

He said that the war on terror belongs to the US and not Pakistan, adding that the policies of the country were not in favour of national sovereignty, as a result of which American Army head Mike Mullen was issuing threats to our country today.

He asked President Asif Ali Zardari to inform the nation about his role under such crucial circumstances and said that our nation needed leaders and not ‘geedars’.

The PTI chief said that after coming to power, the PTI would liberate the country from the shackles of the US besides establishing peace and harmony in Karachi and other cities of the country. He said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan People’s Party, Awami National Party all had armed wings in Karachi and it was only the PTI that was working peacefully in the port city and had the capacity to establish peace in the densely populated city of the country.

He said that the country had fallen prey to the recent floods and President Zardari had gone to Dubai for shopping.

He urged the people of Gujranwala not to vote for those leaders in the upcoming general elections who were subservient to US officials, adding that the country would soon experience a positive change, which will help Pakistan, stand on a firm footing besides strengthening its economy. Imran said that self-respecting Pakistanis garner respect from outside. He blamed the US for suicide attacks and terrorist activities on Pakistani soil.

The PTI chief said that the US was bombing the Afghan people, instead of fighting against the Taliban in the neighbouring country.


Interior Minister: CIA, Not Pakistan, Created Haqqani Network


Associated Press of Pakistan
September 26, 2011

CIA, not Pakistan, created Haqqani network: Malik

ISLAMABAD: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) created the Haqqani network and trained its members, not Pakistan, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday.

Talking to journalists at a ceremony held to laud the Islamabad police over the recovery of a huge cache of weapons, the interior minister said that the Haqqani network was present in Afghanistan and those claiming otherwise should give evidence of its presence in Pakistan.

To a question about the visit of a Chinese delegation, Malik said that several areas, including cooperation in the fight against terrorism, capacity building, drug smuggling and other issues would be discussed with the Chinese deputy prime minister and other officials.


Haqqani Network: CIA Offshoot


Daily Times
September 26, 2011

Haqqani network, a US offshoot

LAHORE: The much-decried ‘Haqqani network’ that has put the state of Pakistan in hot waters, like many other ‘freedom fighter’ groups of Afghanistan, had close links with the US supreme intelligence agency, the CIA.

During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the network was like the Hikmatyar group [Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin], that developed links with the ‘outsiders’ to get support for establishing their military writ against the USSR, and CIA was the major financer of its activities in Afghanistan and its confidence level with the Americans raised to such a level that its head Maulvi Haqqani is thought to have even visited the White House to enjoy the hospitality of Ronald Reagan.

The American military and civil leadership today blaming the Pakistan government and country’s top intelligence organisation, ISI, for patronising, sharing and co-operating with the once blue-eyed darling of the US guys is considered to be the most fatal group for US and NATO forces ‘fighting’ in Afghanistan.

US military commanders believe that the ‘group is one of Afghanistan’s most experienced and sophisticated insurgent organisations’ and ‘one of the biggest threats to NATO and United States forces…’ Here is the brief introduction and history of its activities. The report is based on information gathered from different sources.

The group is still believed to be led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani. Maulavi Haqqani is a former anti-Soviet resistance commander known for ruthless effectiveness as a fighter. His ties to Pakistan, and his base in and around Miranshah go as far back as his exile during the Republican government of Sardar Daud in early 1970s. He was initially associated with many mujahideen leaders that formed Hizb-e-Islami. When Hizb-e-Islami fractured in the late 1970s, Haqqani followed Younis Khalis rather than Hekmatyar, and became one of the most important commanders in the Hizb-e-Islami (Khalis) or HIK.

When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, Haqqani was in Pakistan with the other key mujahideen leaders. Haqqani later became a field commander in Maulavi Younis Khalis’s Hizb-e-Islami. He received significant support from the CIA and from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, and built up a sizable and competent militia force by the mid-1980s. Haqqani is believed to be influenced by radical Islamist principles drawn from the early Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which were prevalent among many of the religiously motivated Afghan mujahideen of that time. Maulvi Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani run a number of madrassas and training camps in North Waziristan. Due to his father’s ill health, Sirajuddin Haqqani is reported to be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the movement.

The Haqqanis hail from the Zadran tribe, who are mostly based in Paktia and Khost provinces in the east of Afghanistan. ‘Their support base has always been in that area with a base in North Waziristan,’ reads a report of the Institute for the Study of War.

The group proved its dominance in Khost area as the battles for Khost were fought in 1985-1987 by Haqqani men isolating the Soviet forces’ garrison at Khost early in the war, taking advantage of the fact that there was only one major road linking Khost with the rest of Afghanistan — the Khost-Gardez road that runs through the Satekandav Pass. In summer 1985, Haqqani gathered several thousand fighters and assaulted the city of Khost itself, overrunning Soviet forces’ outposts and requiring a significant Soviet counter-attack to save the city.

In 1987, the Soviet leadership decided to undertake a major effort to open the Khost-Gardez road long enough to get supplies in to the town and its garrison. Operation Magistral (Mainline), as it was called, was the major Soviet military effort of that year, overseen directly by Colonel General Boris Gromov, commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Gromov made numerous attempts to negotiate with Haqqani and Zadran tribal elders to secure safe passage for supplies to Khost without fighting. It is not clear whether or not Haqqani himself participated in negotiations, but Zadran tribal elders certainly did and they drew out the discussions intentionally to allow time for their forces to react. Two weeks of hard fighting allowed the Soviet forces to secure the Satekandav Pass. The arrival of Soviet reinforcements and the elimination of a key insurgent base convinced Haqqani to withdraw his forces temporarily. The Soviets re-supplied the garrison and then withdrew from the area. By 1989, all Soviet forces had withdrawn from the country.

The available information reveals that the top leadership of the group consists of Jalaluddin Haqqani, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Badaruddin Haqqani – (younger brother of Sirajuddin), Sangeen Zadran, Nasiruddin Haqqani and others.

Different studies speak differently about the strength of this group as a report published in an American newspaper indicates that ‘they are thought to have about 4,000 to 12,000 Taliban under their command’ while a 2011 report from the Combating Terrorism Centre places its strength roughly at 10,000-15,000.

The Haqqani network is considered to be the pioneer of suicide attacks in Afghanistan and tend to use mostly foreign bombers whereas the Taliban tend to rely on locals in attacks.

The following activities are being attributed to the group:

January 14, 2008: Kabul Serena Hotel attack, March 2008: Kidnapping of British journalist Sean Langan, April 27, 2008: Assassination attempts on Hamid Karzai. July 7, 2008: US intelligence blamed the network for 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul. November 10, 2008: The Kidnapping of David Rohde, December 30, 2009: Camp Chapman May 18, 2010: Kabul bombing, February 19, 2011: Kabul Bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, June 28, 2011:

According to ISAF, elements of the Haqqani network provided ‘material support’ in the 2011 attack on the Hotel Inter-Continental in Kabul. The Pentagon blamed the network for the September 10 attack. A massive truck bomb explodes outside combat outpost in Sayed Abad in Wardak province, killing five Afghans, including four civilians, and wounding 77 US soldiers. US Ambassador in Afghanistan Ryan Crocker blamed the Haqqani network for a September 12 attack on the US embassy and nearby NATO bases in Kabul. The attack lasted 19 hours and resulted in the deaths of four police officers and four civilians. At least 17 civilians and six NATO soldiers were injured. Three coalition soldiers were killed.

According to a July 2011 report published by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Centre, the network acts as a key facilitator of negotiations between the Pakistani government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and as the ‘primary conduit’ of many Pakistani Taliban fighters into Afghanistan.

According to US Special Envoy and Ambassador to Afghanistan (1989-1992) Peter Tomsen, the ISI has maintained its jihad era ties with Haqqanis.


Party Leader: NATO Backs Attacks, U.S. Bent On Breaking Up Pakistan


News International
September 26, 2011

US playing double game with Pakistan, says Muqam
Delawar Jan

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Provincial Chief Amir Muqam on Sunday said the US was playing a double game with Pakistan by negotiating with the Taliban itself and pressuring Pakistan for operations against them.

‘The US is bent upon breaking Pakistan,’ he said while speaking at the Peshawar city workers’ convention. ‘Attacks by militants from Afghanistan into Pakistan are being carried out with Nato’s support,’ he alleged.

These attacks, he added, were intolerable He said the time had come to rid the nation of American slavery. The US, he added, was conspiring against the country and the army. ‘But they must know we the nation and the army are united and could ward off any threat,’ he warned.


Russia Eyes Arctic Oil And Gas


Voice of Russia
September 25, 2011

Russia eyes Arctic oil, gas

While considering renewable energy, Russia continues to heavily rely on oil and natural gas. Its Barents Sea border agreement with Norway boosts its reserves by 5 billion tons, in terms of standard fuel equivalent. This brings its oil and gas reserves offshore to the level of those on land. The country should enjoy a plentiful supply of oil and gas for about 150 years.

Environment and Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev was speaking about this at a media forum of the United Russia party in Moscow on Sunday. He said that in 2013 Russia will approach the UN for securing exclusive economic rights to more chunks of the Arctic Shelf.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.