Thursday, May 28, 2015
د افغانستان د ولسي جرګې د کورني امنیت کمیسیون غړي وایې چې جمهور ریس اشرف غني ورسره ژمنه کړې که د ولسي جرګې غړې راضي نه وي نو د پاکستان سره استخباراتي تړون به لاسلیک نه شي.
یو شمېرحکومتي چارواکي چې د پاکستان سره د معلوماتو د شریکولو د استخباراتي تړون په لاسلیک کولو کې دخیل دي د دې تړون لاسلیک د بېړې پریکړه بولي او د ولسي جرګې غړو ته یې ویلي چې په خپل دې کارپیښمانه دي.
د ولسي جرګې د کورني امنیت د کمیسیون مرستیال عبدالحی اخندزاده که څه هم د دې کسانو نومونه نه اخلي خو وایې کسانوتېره شپه له ولسمشرغني سره د ولسي جرګې د اداري پلاوي، کورني امنیت، نړېوالو اړیکو او د دفاعي کمیسیونونو سره په یوه غونډه کې دغه څرګندونې مطرح کړې.
ښاغلي اخندزاده د پنجشنبې په ورځ ازداي راډيوته وویل چې جمهورریس غني له دوی څخه د وخت ورکولو غوښتنه کړې ترڅو د پاکستان سره په دې تړون کې اصلاحات راوستل شي:
((موږ تقریبا تر یوه ساعته پورې د جمهور ریس سره ملاقات درلوده، د ولسي جرګې د نورو غړو ترڅنګ اداري پلاوی هم په دې غونډه کې وه په همدې مو خبرې وکړي.
موږ چې د حکومتي مقاماتو سره خبرې لرلې، دوی هم له دې تړونه له امله پیښمانه دي او وایې چې اشتباه یې کړې ده.
جمهور ریس غني هم وویل چې په دې تړون کې ستونزې شته او وخت راکړئ چې په هغې کې اصلاحات راولم او بیا یې تاسې ته در ولیږم نو ګورو به چې کوم اصلاحات په کې راوستل کیږي.))
د ملي امنیت ریس رحمت الله نبیل له هغو څرګندونو وروسته چې له ده سره د دې تړون په وروستي کولو کې مشوره نه ده شوي، ولسي جرګې پریکړه وکړه چې د ملي امنیت شورا سلاکارحنیف اتمرد وضاحت لپاره د چهارشنبې په ورځ استجوابیه غونډې ته ور وغواړي.
خو په ټاکلي ورځ بیا د ولسي جرګې اداري پلاوي پرته له دې چې ښاغلی اتمر ورشي، دې موضوع ته د پای ټکی کیښود چې دې کارد ولسي جرګې د زیاتو غړو غوصه راوپاروله.
د ولسي جرګې منشي عبدالروف انعامي وایې چې د ښاغلي اتمرد رابللو پریکړه لا په ځای پاتې ده او د دې کارلپاره له جرګې څخه زیاته اندازه لاسلیکونه را ټول شوي دي.
دی وايي، جمهورریس اشرف غني ژمنه کړې چې د اصلاحاتو سره- سره که د ولسي جرګې غړې راضي نه وي نو د پاکستان سره استخباراتي تړون به لاسلیک نه شي:
((د ملي امنیت شورا سلاکار د استجواب لپاره شل فیصده لاسلیکونه را جمع شوي دي، که څه هم په هغه ملاقات کې چې موږ د جمهور ریس سره درلوده جمهور ریس وضاحت راکړ او ټینګار یې وکړ چې له اصلاحاتو وروسته به ولسي جرګې ته ولیږل شي، خو داسې هم ده چې که ولسي جرګې هغه د لاسلیک کیدو وړ و نه باله رد به شي.))
له دې سره د امنیتي چارو یو شمېرکارپوهان د ولسي جرګې د غړو څرګندونې تاییدوي او وایې چې د داسې مهم تړون په لاسلیک کې باید د ملي شورا سره مشوره شوی وای.
د کورنیو چارو وزارت پخوانی مرستیال میرزامحمد یارمند وایې، افغانستان، پاکستان خپل دښمن ګڼي او دی په دې باور دی چې پاکستان به کله هم د داسې تړونونو له مخې د افغانستان له امنیت سره مرسته ونه کړي:
((د پاکستان سره د افغانستان تېر وختونه او اړیکې ښې نه دي او دغه هېواد د سولې په پلمه تل د افغانستان جنګ ته لمن وهلي ده، ښه دا وه چې د دې تړون په اړه یوه ټولیزه پوښتنه شوي وای، د اوربند او د سولې په اړه مشخص تعریف موجود وای او بیا دا تړون پاکستان ته وړاندې شوی وای نوستونزې به یې نه درلودای، اوس په دې وخت او دې وضعیت کې دا تړون زه مناسب نه ګڼم.))
کارپوهان وایې، د پاکستانه د امنیت او سولې غوښتلو موضوع زړه شوې او کلونه وشول چې افغانستان د سولې کلي له پاکستان نه غواړي.
دوی ټینګار کوي چې افغانستان باید د پاکستان په وړاندې له سم سیاسته کار واخلي او هغه هېواد ته اجازه ورنه کړي چې په بېلابېلو پلمو او یا د استخباراتي تړون په نوم بیا افغانان تیر باسي.
The Arabs at War in Afghanistan Mustafa Hamid and Leah Farrall C Hurst & Co, Dh115
Conversations between enemies are rare and still more rarely overheard. Mustafa Hamid and Leah Farrall are not enemies, but they represent two vastly different worlds, and ones that routinely clash. This makes their new book The Arabs at War in Afghanistan an important and very unusual collaboration.
Structured in a series of interviews, Hamid gives a behind-the-scenes perspective on how Arab fighters came to play a prominent role during the 1979-1989 war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan and how Al Qaeda got its start.
His narrative departs significantly from commonly held views and he brings fresh insights into the current generation of militants in Syria and Iraq. Farrall, a former counter-terrorism analyst for the Australian Federal Police turned academic, asks the questions and offers her own insights.
Together the two paint a picture not just of the complex networks of Arab fighters that fought in Afghanistan; they also show how Osama bin Laden spent much of his life after the anti-Soviet war on a crisis-footing, barely keeping out of reach of his enemies and struggling to retain his relevance.
A former journalist, Hamid was captivated by the plight of Afghan resistance fighters battling the Soviet-backed forces. And he was hardly alone. Across the Middle East, in parts of Asia, and in the West, men and women rallied to aid the mujaheddin after the Soviet Union invaded, a period of history captured so aptly in the 2007 US movie, Charlie Wilson’s War.
Born in Egypt, Hamid travelled to Afghanistan and took up arms. Also known by the nom de guerre Abu Walid Al Masri, he became a close friend of bin Laden, but claims not to have joined Al Qaeda. He and others advised bin Laden against carrying out the September 11, 2001 attacks, he says, although it’s not clear whether he had foreknowledge of the details of the plot. But in Hamid’s story, bin Laden, chasing glory, stubbornly refused to listen.
After those devastating attacks and the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan, Hamid fled to Iran, where he was detained and spent a decade under house arrest. He was released in 2011 and returned to Egypt, although he remains a specially designated global terrorist by the US Treasury Department.
At a time when the US government’s account of bin Laden’s death is under fresh scrutiny, Hamid’s relationship with bin Laden is especially fascinating.
He paints a picture of a wealthy and self-important man who never regained the kind of prestige he won after the 1987 battle against Soviet forces in Jaiji, on Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.
Bin Laden spent most the rest of his life trying to maintain the loyalty of his followers – far fewer in number than people usually think – before ordering the September 11 attacks. Apparently entirely misjudging the US response, bin Laden anticipated fighting US paratroopers sent to capture him on Tora Bora. At the end of that struggle he believed, victorious, he would become head of a newly united legion of “holy warriors”.
In Hamid’s version of history, bin Laden was a thorn in the side of the Taliban and many of the other Arab Afghan groups. He ignored instructions from Taliban chief Mullah Omar to stop making threats and other pronouncements from Afghanistan. But though he was recognised as dangerous for the Taliban’s project, bin Laden was powerful and rich, and tribal custom meant that Omar could not simply turn him in, despite pressure from foreign governments.
The Arabs at War in Afghanistan is unquestionably an involved read. The authors are aware only the few and the persistent will make their way through the 300-page plus, text-dense tome. Thankfully, the book contains very necessary guides to the myriad people, battles, religious terms and organisations discussed. Some individuals, such as Saif Al Adel, are members of Al Qaeda that have not yet been captured or killed. Others, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the chief architect of the September 11 attacks, are more widely known.
It’s obvious that Farrall finds what Hamid says fascinating, but while the two collaborate, they don’t always agree. For example, Farrall has a very different point of view than Hamid of the role that extremist groups play in relation to western governments. Farrall is also careful to make clear that she is not his biographer. It’s to her credit that she’s succeeded in drawing out a man with unique insights into the world of religious militancy, a feat very few, if any, have done to the same depth.
Still, the words are mainly Hamid’s and the reader either must take him at his word or read the book like any other autobiography, with the knowledge that it mostly contains his necessarily flawed and biased recollections and perspective. For example, at times he comes across as overly defensive of the Taliban and his views are tinged with conspiracy theories. The reader is also left wanting more of Farrall’s own insights. Her own desire to hear Hamid’s thoughts limits the book and too often, she seems content to let him speak.
“In Afghanistan, the ideological control of the Salafi Wahhabis over armed groups was consolidated, and has since expanded and come to dominate Salafi jihadi yards around the world,” Hamid says. “This has led to grave consequences for the people of the countries in which these groups operate, not only most recently in Syria, but everywhere they have gone.”
Hamid is not an impartial observer. His willingness to call for reflection and admit mistakes among the mujaheddin should perhaps be seen in this context: when he joined the ranks of those fighting in Afghanistan they were being praised around the world. They were once the heroes fighting communist Russia. Now, many of the same individuals have become outlaws.
Hamid reflects on why this happened. One issue was that many of these men could not return home to their own countries, because their governments often would not let them. Others simply wanted to continue the fight.
“Very few people intended to stay in Afghanistan,” Hamid says.
“Of course, some wanted to go to other fronts too, but many people wanted to go home and could not. I think if countries had behaved normally with us in 1991 and 1992, 9/11 would never have happened.”
A key driving force among militants, during the anti-Soviet war and also today, is young people. The “youth”, as Hamid calls them, were hungry for battle, with different ambitions, and the fear of losing their loyalty forced bin Laden’s hand.
To some extent, bin Laden had lost prestige among Arab Afghan groups by the late 1980s. Numerous other militant training camps cropped up. When bin Laden was forced to return from Sudan, he found difficulty establishing himself as head of the Arab Afghans. Among the young people who were eager to fight, many were attracted to the so-called Jalalabad School, or the school of the youth, which offered an opportunity to inflict more violence.
In Hamid’s telling, bin Laden eventually agreed to finance plots developed by these militants, which resulted in September 11. “In fact, today it is the strongest of all the schools, and the one that appeals most to the youth because of its focus on action without attention to consequences – despite the fact it has brought nothing but disaster,” he says.
The methods of extremists such as ISIL appear to have origins in the thinking practised at the Jalalabad School.
“Now the youths are fighting everywhere in different ways. It truly is a case of anything goes. While this had existed before Al Qaeda was finished, now there is nothing left to challenge it.”
In laying out the details of this history, Hamid and Farrall have embarked on an important task. The two seem unfinished, however.
Though they’ve gone over the complex details of past history, the impact of which can be seen today in Syria and Iraq, there are further discussions to be published, on Hamid’s time in Iran, for example.
And still more reflections on how ISIL’s extreme form of violence has taken hold. The reader with any interest in the Middle East and militancy is left wanting more.
- See more at: http://www.christiansinpakistan.com/church-vandalized-5-including-pastor-beaten-by-armed-assailants-in-chakwal/#sthash.e2RBNYmh.dpuf
By Nadeem Farooq Paracha
Recent terrorist acts by educated men are reshaping the debate on terrorism in Pakistan. The notion that religious militants emerge from economic hardship or poor education has been debunked, writes Nadeem F. Paracha.
In February 2002 the Pakistani police arrested Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-Pakistani accused of facilitating the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
Pearl was kidnapped in Pakistan's sprawling and chaotic metropolis Karachi by militants allegedly associated with al Qaeda. After being taken to a hideout in Afghanistan, he was slain.
A few eyebrows were raised when details of Sheikh's background began to trickle in. He wasn't your 'regular' religious militant. He was highly educated, middle-class and had lived a relatively comfortable life in England and Pakistan.
Most Pakistanis didn't know exactly what to make of such a revelation. The reign of terror unleashed by various militant groups across Pakistan was still in the immediate future.
From 2005 onwards the country eventually did spiral down into a vicious vortex of violence perpetrated by various extremist groups, who had by then started to aim at a wide range of targets - from western embassies, to local government and state officials, all the way to members of certain Muslim sects and subsects that they deemed "heretical."
The popular perception about an extremist or a suicide bomber at the time was of a desperate young man, driven towards terrorism due to harsh economic conditions, illiteracy and "imperialistic" policies of the US and its "stooges" in the Pakistani government.
Interestingly, this perception was not only popularized and endorsed by the more mainstream political outfits on the right and the center-right, but even by some on the left - especially those inspired by the likes of Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and other such bastions of the "new left" of yore.
Not that this perception does not hold any truth. It's only the half of it. But to most Pakistanis, Omar Sheikh was a British citizen. As a terrorist, he was seen as a freak anomaly.
So was Faisal Shahzad, the young, middle-class Pakistani-American who unsuccessfully tried to blow up New York's famous Times Square in 2010.
In Pakistan, two views emerged when the Shahzad case became public. One was that Western governments were failing to fully integrate Muslim citizens and were actually alienating them through "discriminatory policies."
The other view was that many Western countries had carelessly allowed a number of Muslim evangelical groups to enter and freely preach a more intransigent, politically-charged and myopic strand of the Muslim faith - especially to young Muslims in the west who were coming of age after the tragic 9/11 episode and after American adventurism in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
In other words, violent Pakistani men holding citizenships of western countries were seen as products not of Pakistan, but of the West. It was a "Western problem."
However, amidst this debate, there remained voices who kept warning that even though men like Sheikh and Shahzad may have been products of assorted Western follies (or of 'multiculturalism' gone wrong), the extremist thought and mind-set emerging from within Pakistan was not solely emanating from radical madrassas (religious seminaries).
Intellectuals like Professor Parvez Hoodbhoy, A. H. Nayyar and Rubina Saigiol (and the celebrated late historian K.K. Aziz in the 1990s), began providing detailed studies and research on the books that are being taught in Pakistani madrassas and those being used in the country's mainstream schools as well.
Their analysis and conclusions suggested that though most madrassas are largely indoctrination centers, Pakistan's school and college text books (ever since the late 1970s) too have increasingly been stuffed with jaundiced ideas and half-truths.
They explained that the content of these text books subtly but surely encourages an extremely negative interpretation (in young minds) of other faiths and cultures; and even a persecution complex about how various hostile forces within and outside are hell-bent on undermining the role of religion in Pakistan and (thus) breaking the country!
Findings of these intellectuals had come under vigorous criticism from Pakistan's religious parties.
But this swiftly changed this May when gunmen killed over 40 members of a Shiite Muslim subsect as well as a human rights and cultural personality and attacked an American principle of a local medical college (who, though, survived).
These attacks shocked an already edgy nation, especially due to the fact that these killings took place during the military's unprecedented push against religious militancy.
But the bigger shock came when the police managed to apprehend the culprits. A majority of them belonged to middle-class families and were educated in well-known colleges and universities.
One of them had actually graduated from a prestigious business college in Karachi. He was considered by friends to be "normal" and was the owner of a trendy restaurant.
Suddenly, the old narrative about financially disadvantaged and illiterate men falling prey to the thorny charms of ideologically driven violence fell apart, and the demonized narrative about graduates of non-religious educational institutions too being equally vulnerable to the allures of religiously charged violence has come roaring in.
Yet this aspect of the debate is still too new in Pakistan. But rest assured, as things are at the moment - considering the impact of the government's and the military's vigorous crackdown against militancy - it is likely that the new narrative will be propelled into the mainstream scheme of things like never before.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
By Farhatullah Babar
Bhutto was the real architect of Pakistan's nuclear program. In this respect his role may be likened to that of Nehru in India. Idealist Nehru was driven by a dream; to wipe off centuries of past humiliation and had grasped the significance of atomic energy for this purpose. Soon after independence he set up the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, placed it under his charge and presided over its first meeting that was convened within a week of independence.
Bhutto also had a dream and understood the role of atomic energy but could translate his dream into reality only after 1970 when he had acquired real political power.
But even before that and as Minister of Minerals and Natural Resources, Bhutto laid the foundation stone of PINSTECH in Islamabad in 1963. The plaque was removed during his political winter after 1967. Much later it was recovered from junk in the basement of the building and reinstalled in 1985, as it was impossible to erase his memory.
As a minister Bhutto also tried to persuade President General Ayub Khan to acquire advanced nuclear technologies. In December 1965 Ayub was on an official visit to the UK. Bhutto planned a meeting of some nuclear experts with him and persuaded Ayub Khan to meet late Munir Ahmed Khan former Chairman of the PAEC who at the time was working in the IAEA.
Late Munir Khan had recalled that when he was told that these technologies could eventually place in the hands of Pakistan a nuclear option, the General simply smiled and said that if needed, Pakistan could get it from China.
Munir Khan had also recalled that Bhutto was pacing up and down in the lobby waiting as he was meeting Ayub. When Munir came out Bhutto asked him what had happened. "The President did not agree" Munir told him. "Do not worry -
- our turn will come", Bhutto had said, according to Munir Khan.
Bhutto has been associated with the nuclear programme from 1958 as minister to 1979 when he was sent to the gallows.
"When I took charge of Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission, it was no more than a sign board of an office. It was only in name. Assiduously and with granite determination, I put my entire vitality behind the task of acquiring nuclear capability for my country", recalls Bhutto in his book If I am Assassinated.
Bhutto commissioned Edward Stone for designing PINSTECH the foundation stone of which was also laid by him. He negotiated the agreement for the 5-
WM research reactor at PINSTECH. Bhutto himself has recalled that in the face of stiff opposition from Finance Minister Shoaib and the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission he negotiated with success the 137 MM KANUPP plant from Canada and performed its opening ceremony on November 28, 1972. In 1976 he approved the setting up of the Chashma nuclear power plant and also negotiated and concluded the nuclear reprocessing plant agreement with France.
Bhutto approved the construction of a research laboratory for uranium enrichment near Chaklala airport. And when the PAEC selected the Kahuta site for the uranium enrichment plant in early 1976, Bhutto promptly approved it and ordered immediate construction of civil works.
In August 1976, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met Bhutto at Governor House Lahore to dissuade him from the reprocessing plant deal with France. Kissinger said that it was offensive to US intelligence when Bhutto insisted that Pakistan needed the reprocessing plant for its energy needs; but Bhutto demanded that the US should also not insist that Pakistan give up the reprocessing plant.
After Bhutto's ouster, no one heard of the reprocessing plant until General Zia disclosed in a press conference in Rawalpindi on August 23,1978 that he had received a "very polite" letter from the French President suggesting modification in the reprocessing plant contract. As a matter of fact, France had refused to follow with the military government the agreement it had concluded with a constitutional, civilian government.
Bhutto pursued the nuclear program even from jail. An indelibly larger than life footprint of his is the letter addressed by him from the death cell to the French President. The letter was released by the French President's office after Bhutto's execution. While in jail he also sent several messages to late Munir Khan enquiring about how various projects were progressing.
Late Munir Khan confided to the present writer who was then working in the PAEC some of these messages. In one such message Bhutto suggested that the reprocessing plant be completed through indigenous efforts even if the French refused. He expressed his determination to step up the project once he came out of jail. I hope Thera Khan, Munir Khan's caring and assiduous wife, has preserved the private letters.
After India's nuclear explosion, Germany reneged on its contract for a heavy water plant and Canada stopped supply of fuel heavy water and spare parts for KANUPP. Bhutto asked the commission to continue with its program through indigenous efforts and instructed the finance ministry to make available all monies asked for. He abolished the inter-
ministerial committee dealing with atomic energy and took direct charge of the program.
In his book The Myth of Independence, he said in 1969 "If Pakistan restricts or suspends her nuclear program, it would not only enable India to blackmail Pakistan with her nuclear advantage, but would impose a crippling limitation on the development of Pakistan's science and technology… our problem in its essence, is how to obtain such a weapon in time before the crisis begins." No one individual in Pakistan has left such huge footprints on the country's nuclear program as Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. But as one watches the foot prints with awe there is a nagging question: does the shame of the nuclear black-
market that our unrepresentative rulers have presided over, lie at the root of denying Pakistan strategic nuclear parity in the region, and thereby turning sour Bhutto's dream?
Every country on the globe would like to distinguish itself by some description of its societal achievements, natural beauty, education or other attributes. While Afghanistan can stand out with its beautiful landscapes and certain historical events such as defeating the invading USSR, for some time now it has had the dubious distinction of being by far the world's largest producer of opium, the raw material of heroin. The United Nations estimated that last year's opium harvest amounted to about 6400 tons, constituting 90% of the entire world's production, hence the 'Narco-Republic of Afghanistan.' The devastating consequences of this distinction are felt from the country of origin to Europe and even in the sleepy towns of rural America where heroin is more plentiful and cheaper than ever. In Afghanistan the number of "podaries" (users of powder) as they are called colloquially has been on the rise. According to reports by the US Department of State and the Afghan government 11% of Afghans use opium in various forms. This could be one of the highest number of addicts in the world. Teenagers and even children under the age of 10 have been afflicted by the problem. Surprisingly the percentage of Afghans using drugs in the rural areas is higher than that in the large cities. In a country which lacks any kind of social net, education or health care the problem is even more acute. Podaries are shunned by the rest of the society. The Kabul River, which bifurcates the city, runs mostly dry in the summer providing temporary shelter for the users. I have seen many podaries in Kabul taking refuge under the Kabul River bridges waiting to die.
The poppy planting season in Afghanistan begins in October and runs until the end of November depending on the region. The opium resin is harvested in late spring to early summer commensurately. So now is the high season of harvest and what kind of a bumper crop this year will yield remains to be seen. Poppy flowers are mesmerizingly beautiful, and decorate the countryside with assorted colors before the harvest season begins. The largest poppy fields are in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan bordering Kandahar province, another fertile poppy producer. Due to the large scale of operation, the typical poppy farmer does not have enough manpower to harvest the opium. So many people such as school kids and teachers otherwise engaged in other activities pitch in. At times migrant workers from the neighboring provinces are brought in to help in the slow and laborious harvesting process. When the flower is gone and the bulb is ripe, it is time to extract the milky substance within. An incision is made on the bulb's skin similar to the tapping of a maple tree. This takes place in the evening. The thick milky sap (raw opium) begins to flow very slowly, becoming thicker and accumulating on the bulb. The harvester returns early in the next morning and scrapes off the stuff with a blade. They go from one bush to the other collecting the raw opium in tins or similar containers.
The farmer sells his harvest to a wholesaler and thus the complicated journey begins. There are many layers involved, including the Taliban who collect hefty taxes which is one lucrative way to finance the insurgency. The opium is eventually processed into heroin in labs located in lawless areas of Pakistan's Baluchistan region and elsewhere, then trafficked to the rest of the world.
Looking back at history, there is no indication that Afghanistan had been a drug exporting country prior to 1978 and the beginning of its descent into chaos. While poppy had been cultivated in the highlands for millennia, it was mostly for local use on a very small scale. Some argue that the current insurgency and instability is the result of the drug proliferation. I argue that the primary cause is insecurity which has resulted from the existence of ineffectual and corrupt Afghan governments since 2002. Many former warlords who perpetuate the culture of impunity have been directly or indirectly part of the government. Many of these warlords are also directly involved in the proliferation of poppy, especially in the southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar and Nimroz.
It is possible for Afghanistan to rid itself of the dubious distinction of the world's largest producer of opium. But, for that to happen, there will be a need for fundamental changes in the composition of the government and the marginalization of the war/drug lords who have had much sway. The Taliban banned poppy cultivation in 2000 when they were still in charge of Afghanistan. The yield fell to 180 tons in 2001 from around 3000 tons in the year 2000. If the Taliban could do it, a competent, legitimate central Afghan government could do it too.