Monday, December 29, 2014

Two Iraqi doctors executed by ISIL terrorists for their refusal to treat inhuman takfiri terrorists

The ISIL Takfiri militants have executed two physicians in another gruesome act of terrorism in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
“Elements of the organization (ISIL) executed physicians Tareq Jassim and Adil Ayham working in the Department of Surgery of the Republican General Hospital in Mosul,” Doctor Firas al-Hamdani, the head of the hospital’s emergency section, said .
According to Hamdani, the doctors were executed for their refusal to join hospitals under the control of the terrorist group or to treat the wounded members of the Takfiri group.
“The bodies of the doctors arrived at the hospital morgue this evening after being executed by [the] ISIS (ISIL) firing squad,” he added.
The terrorist group arrested the doctors in September. The Takfiri group has threatened to punish the doctors and nurses who refuse to treat injured militants.
The ISIL terrorist group has also forced the doctors at the Mosul Health Department to work around the clock to provide medical services for the members of the Takfiri group, officials at the medical center say.
ISIL took control of the country’s second largest city in June before sweeping through parts of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.
The Takfiri militants have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations and crucifixions, against all Syrian and Iraqi communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds.
The West and its regional allies, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are giving financial and military support to the militants.

From "Arab Spring" to a cold winter

The “Arab Spring” in the Middle East has brought much unrestand neither stability norprosperityEgypt has undergone regime changeLibya is in a state of chaosSyria isembroiled in a civil war which has left millions of people homelessThe truth is that theArab Spring” was another kind of “Color Revolution” manipulated by western forces.
During the “Cold War”, western countries contributed to the collapse of Soviet Union.Subsequentlythe western countries promoted the enlargement of the North AtlanticTreaty Organization and European UnionWith the resurgence of Russiathisenlargement was impededThe west then diverted its attention to the Middle East.
In 2011, the Middle East was already riven by conflictThe West took advantage of thedisorder to expand its influence thereThe Western media hailed the revolutionary waveof demonstrations and revolutions as the “Arab Spring”, and Western governmentsinterfered in events with the intention of exporting their values to the regionandpromoting developments in the Middle East that would be favorable to Western interests.
But instead of helping to restore stability to the Middle Eastthe West has sown the seedsof chaosThe “Arab Spring” that was manipulated by western countrieshas broughtnothing but trouble to EgyptLibya and Syria.
The protests in Hong Kong in 2014 are another farce which western countries have soughtto manipulate with the intention of harming the development of ChinaChina shouldbeware of the ulterior motives of the West.

ISIS executed nearly 2,000 people in Syria, mostly civilians, in 6 months – monitor

In the past six months, the Islamic State has killed 1,878 people in Syria, mostly civilians, a British-based Syrian monitoring organization revealed in its report, adding that the "real number killed by ISIS is higher."

As many as 1,175 civilians, 930 of whom are from al- Shaitaat tribe in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, were executed by beheading, shooting or stoning. These included four children and eight women in the provinces of Deir Ezzor, al- Raqqa, al- Hasakah, Aleppo, Homs and Hama, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS/ISIL) also put to death 120 of its own members, most of them killed during attempts to return home, for “exceeding the limits in religion.” Over 500 officers and soldiers of the regime forces, who were arrested during clashes between the IS and the regime forces, also came to be executed.

The rights group meanwhile notes that the real number of people that had been killed by the IS is higher than the number documented because "there are hundreds of missing and detainees inside the IS jails, loss of communication with about a thousand men of al-Shaitaat tribe, as well as because there are dozens of Kurds who have still been missing since the beginning of [the] IS attack on the countryside of Ayn al-Arab [aka] ‘Kobani’ in September 16."
The militant group has taken control of vast parts of Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in June. Since then it has fought against the Syrian and Iraqi governments, as well as Kurdish forces.

ISIS, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, made blood run cold when it began to release shocking videos of executions of captured enemy fighters, activists and journalists. Earlier this year the group beheaded two American journalists, as well as one American and two British aid workers, to demotivate the US-led international coalition, which has been bombing fighters in Syria since September.
Last month the UN released a report based on over 300 interviews with men, women and children who have fled or are still living in IS-controlled areas. The report confirmed that the militant group actually "prioritizes children as a vehicle for ensuring long-term loyalty, adherence to their ideology, and a cadre of devoted fighters that will see violence as a way of life.” 

Last week a 14-year-old Syrian boy wearing a vest full of explosives decided to turn himself in to Iraqi guards. The teenager, who was recruited by the Islamic State and forced to convert to radical Shiite-hating beliefs, said that a mission to bomb a Shiite mosque was his only chance to escape militants.
Meanwhile, volunteers wanting to join the Islamic State have been coming to the region from all over the world. According to the Soufan Group and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization, the total number of foreign fighters in Syria currently stands between 11,000 and 12,000, with about 3,000 of them from the West. 

France, Germany and the UK are said to account for the largest number of citizens fighting with militants in Syria. This includes those not with the IS, but who are also battling against the forces of President Bashar Assad.

Obama: Iran Nuclear Deal 'Possible'

U.S. President Barack Obama says a nuclear agreement with Iran is "possible" and would be a necessary first step in any greater diplomatic engagement between the two countries.
In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Obama said he would be hopeful about working to improved relations under a scenario with an Iran that has a verified peaceful nuclear program, whose economy grows unhampered by sanctions and is "reintegrated into the international community."
NPR posted a transcript of the president's interview on its website early Monday.
Obama said Iran has a chance to "break through" isolation and resolve the nuclear issue, and that Iranian officials should seize the opportunity.
When asked if the United States would open an embassy in Tehran, following a move toward closer relations with Cuba this month, the president said he would "never say never." But he cautioned that "these things have to go in steps."
The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980, several months after Iranian activists seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took its staff hostage.
More recently, the United States has been working for years along with Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany to ensure that Iran is using its nuclear facilities for peaceful, civilian purposes rather than developing weapons. Iran has long denied its program has military aims, saying it only wants to use nuclear material for things like generating power and medical research.
The two sides agreed to an interim deal in November 2013, but failed to reach a comprehensive deal by their self-imposed deadline last month. They have extended the talks into next year with a new deadline at the end of June.
Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif expressed confidence the two sides will meet their goal, but cautioned again that the so-called P5+1 group should not make unrealistic demands in curbing Iran's nuclear activity.

Pakistan - 'Retaliatory action': Iran fires 42 mortar shells into Balochistan

Iranian border guards fired 42 mortar shells into Zamuran, a town in Turbat district of Balochistan bordering Iran in the early hours of Monday.
At least four Pakistani citizens sustained minor injuries and two pickup cars were partially damaged in the explosions which took place at the Jalgi area of Buleda tehsil, an official of Turbat Levies told The Express Tribune.
The attack was carried out soon after three Iranian elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), sent to reinforce border police, were killed in an attack in the southeast of Iran near Pakistan, according to Iranian media reports.
Armed “bandits” killed the IRGC members on Sunday near the city Saravan in the Sistan-Balochistan region, according to a Revolutionary Guard (RG) statement, carried by Fars news agency.
“At least 42 mortar shells fired from Iranian side had landed and exploded in the bordering area in Pakistan’s Zamuran where transporters were present,” the official said.
The back-to-back explosions caused panic and fear in the area.
“The explosions were heard several kilometres away, causing fear and panic,” the official said, adding, “At least four Pakistani transporters or drivers sustained minor wounds.”
Medics at the Turbat Civil hospital, however, said that the injured victim were so far not brought to the hospital.
Official sources in Pakistan confirmed the attack on Iranian border guards and termed the mortar shelling as retaliatory action to the attackers, who had tried to flee this side of the border.
Security forces and Balochistan Levies officials reached the site after the attack and collected evidence.
Earlier this month, Iranian border guards shot and injured two Pakistani citizens in Panjgur.
Security along the Pak-Iran border has been beefed up after the incident.
Deadly attacks near the Pak-Iran border take place frequently. Iranian officials claim smugglers and Sunni militants often flee towards Pakistan after carrying out deadly attacks on Iranian border guards.

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By Karlos Zurutuza
The media tend to portray Balochistan as “troubled”, or “restive”, but it would be more accurate to say that there´s actually a war going on in this part of the world.
Balochistan is the land of the Baloch, who today see their land divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a vast swathe of land the size of France which boasts enormous deposits of gas, gold and copper, untapped sources of oil and uranium, as well as a thousand-kilometre coastline near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.
In August 1947, the Baloch from Pakistan declared independence, but nine months later the Pakistani army marched into Balochistan and annexed it, sparking an insurgency that has lasted, intermittently, to this day.
Now senior Baloch rebel commanders say that Islamabad is training Islamic State (IS) fighters in Pakistan´s southern province of Balochistan.
IPS met Baloch fighters at an undisclosed location in the Sarlat Mountains, a rocky massif, right on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and equidistant from two Taliban strongholds: Kandahar in south-eastern Afghanistan and Quetta in southwest Pakistan.
The fighters claimed to have marched for twelve hours from their camp to meet this IPS reporter.
They are four: Baloch Khan, commander of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and Mama, Hayder and Mohamed, his three escorts, who do not want to disclose their full names.
“This is an area of ​​high Taliban presence but they use their own routes and we stick to ours so we hardly ever come across them,” explains commander Khan, adding that he wants to make it clear from the beginning that the Baloch liberation movement is “at the antipodes of fundamentalism”.
“Today we speak of seven Baloch armed movements fighting for freedom but all share a common goal: independence for Balochistan,” says Khan. At 41, he has spent half of his life as a guerrilla fighter. “I joined as a student,” he recalls.
The senior commander refuses to disclose the number of fighters in the BLA’s ranks but he does say that they are deployed in 25 camps throughout “East Balochistan [under the control of Pakistan]”.
Khan admits parallelisms between his group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), also a “secular group fighting for their national rights,” as he puts it
“We feel very close to the Kurds. One could say they are our cousins, and their land is also stolen by their neighbours,” says the commander, referring to the common origin of Baloch and Kurds, and the division of the latter into four states: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
Historically a nomadic people, the Baloch have had a moderate vision of Islam. However, Khan accuses Islamabad of pushing the conflict into a sectarian one.
“Until 2000 not a single Shia was killed in Balochistan. Today Pakistan is funnelling all sorts of fundamentalist groups, many of them linked to the Taliban, into Balochistan, to quell the Baloch liberation movement,” claims the guerrilla fighter, adding that target killings and enforced disappearances are a common currency in his homeland.
The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a group advocating peaceful protest founded by some of the families of the disappeared, puts the number of people from Balochistan since 2000 at more than 19,000, although exact figures are impossible to verify because no independent investigation has yet been conducted.
However, in August this year, the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Pakistan’s government “to stop the deplorable practice of state agencies abducting hundreds of people throughout the country without providing information about their fate or whereabouts.”
Baloch insurgent groups, however, have also been accused of murdering civilians. In August 2013, the BLA took responsibility for the killing of 13 people after the two buses they were travelling in were stopped by fighters in Mach area, about 50km (31 miles) south-east of the provincial capital, Quetta.
Pakistani officials said they were civilians returning home to Punjab to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Commander Khan shares another version:
“There were 40 people in two buses. We arrested and investigated 25 of them and we finally executed 13, all of whom belonged to the Pakistani Security Forces,” assures Khan, lamenting that a majority of the foreign media “relies solely on Pakistani government official sources.”
Could an independence referendum like the one held in Scotland possibly help to unlock the Baloch conflict? Khan looks sceptical:
“Before such a step, we´d need to settle down both the national and geographic borders as many parts of our land lie in Sindh and Punjab – the neighbouring provinces. Besides, there´s a growing number of settlers and the army is in full control of the country, election processes included,” the commander claims bluntly.
Instead of a consultation, the rebel fighter openly asks for a full intervention, “not just moral support but also a military and economic intervention.”
“The civilised world should support us, not Pakistan. Why help a country that is struggling to feed fundamentalist groups across the world?” asks the guerrilla commander before he and his men resume the long way back to their base.

Balochistan and beyond

The meeting with the BLA leader was only possible via Afghanistan, because Pakistan’s south-western province remains a “no go” area due to a veto enforced by Islamabad.
“The province has the worst record in Pakistan for journalists being killed so local journalists usually censor themselves to avoid being harassed, jailed or worse. Meanwhile, foreigner journalists are deported if they try to access the area,” Ahmed Rashid, a best-selling Pakistani writer and renowned Central Asia commentator, who was an activist on behalf of Balochistan in his youth, told IPS.
The visa ban over this reporter after working undercover in the region was no hurdle to get the viewpoint of Allah Nazar, commander in chief of the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF).
Through a satellite phone, this former medical doctor from Quetta corroborates commander Khan´s statements on a “common goal for the entire Baloch insurgency movement”. He also endorses the BLA commander´s analysis of Islamabad’s alleged backing of fundamentalist groups.
“Pakistan is breeding fundamentalists to counter the Baloch nationalist movement but it has entirely failed. Now they are trying to use the instrument of religion in order to distract attention from the Baloch freedom movement,” Nazar explains from an unspecified location in Makran – southern Balochistan province – where the BLF has its strongholds.
According to the movement´s leader, such threat could well transcend the boundaries of this inhospitable region. Commander Nazar gave the coordinates of “at least four training camps” where members of the Islamic State would reportedly be receiving instruction before being transferred to the Middle East:
“There´s one is in Makran, and another one in Wadh, 990 and 315 km south of Quetta respectively,” says the guerrilla fighter. “A third one is in the Mishk area of Zehri – 200 km south of Quetta – and there are more than 100 armed men there: Arabs, Pashtuns, Punjabis and others who are based there with the help of Sardar Sanaullah Zehri [a local tribal leader]. The fourth camp is near Chiltan, in Quetta.”
Nazar adds that Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) is “both activating and patronising the Islamic State.”
“The Islamic State is overwhelmingly present among us. They even throw pamphlets in our streets to advocate their view of Islam and get new recruits,” denounces Nazar.
In October 2014, six key Pakistani Taliban commanders, including the spokesman of Tehrik-e-Taliban – a Pakistan conglomerate of several Pakistani insurgent groups – announced their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“IS is simply an upgraded version of the Talibans and finds sympathy with the ruling establishment in Pakistan,” human rights activist Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur told IPS.
Talpur, who has been challenged and attacked repeatedly for writing about such uncomfortable issues for Islamabad, claims that creating the Taliban is “the core of state policy which has not yet given up on this megalomaniacal scheme of Islam ruling the world.”
Despite repeated calls and e-mails, Pakistani officials refused to talk to IPS. However, the issue is seemingly a well-known secret after the Minister of Interior himself, Nisar Ali Khan, recently told Parliament that even in the naval base in Karachi –Pakistan´s main port and commercial city – there is support for the activities of radical religious groups.

The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan

By Umar Farooq
In the largely forgotten deserts of Baluchistan that straddle the Iran-Pakistan border, covert wars are underway that could have far reaching consequences.
Something fell out of the sky near Arif Saleem's home at 5:20 a.m. on November 25, 2013. He scrambled outside to find a 25-foot-wide crater just beyond the mud wall surrounding his family compound. The strike was one of three, in quick succession, that morning in the village of Kulahu, in Pakistani Baluchistan, 45 miles east of the Iran border. One of the blasts damaged the local mosque. Pages from the Qur’an fluttered in the air before landing gently on the rubble.  
The next day, Saleem made the 30-mile trip east to Turbat, the administrative center of his small district in southwestern Pakistan.  “They refused to register a case, saying the matter is out of their hands,” he told me.
With few legitimate industries or development assistance from the central government, Turbat is a derelict city prickling with militants.  Most of the area's inhabitants grind out a living as subsistence farmers or cross-border smugglers, shuttling everything from cement and diesel to Afghan opium between Pakistan and Iran. There are few paved roads, and at the airport, soldiers outnumber travelers. 
It is also the epicenter of a war being waged by the Shiite regime in Iran against a shadowy group of Sunni Baluch jihadists. 
Already involved in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and neighboring Iraq, Iran is now increasingly worried about the threat from Sunni militants on its eastern border with Pakistan, who get backing, it claims, from the United States and Saudi Arabia.  Although rarely mentioned in public, persuading Iran to budge on issues like its nuclear program may well depend on addressing what it now sees as a multi-faceted, global attack on it by Sunni jihadists.
On September 9, 2014, those jihadists detonated a massive car bomb at an Iranian military base near the border, clearing a path for 70 fighters to stream in.  According to a statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, reinforcements had to be helicoptered to the scene to end a three-and-a-half-hour gun battle, and the fighters fled across the border into Pakistan.  A few weeks later, the militants carried out a series of raids on border posts, killing five Iranian policemen.  The attacks were the latest in a long campaign of roadside explosions, suicide bombings at mosques, and gun attacks on security posts that have killed more than 600 Iranians, mostly civilians, since 2005. 
Across the entrance to the only functioning hotel in Turbat, the proprietor has strung a thick rope to slow down gunmen who may want to attack his patrons. The carpeting is worn, the furniture is falling apart, and the electricity is out for most of the day. Here, in a dilapidated room Saleem recounts the November blast. “Some buildings collapsed. Luckily, none of the kids were inside those.”
Clean-shaven and balding, Saleem is in his 40s and walks with a limp. He speaks in a whisper, flanked by the two locals who set up the meeting. They eye the door anxiously, convinced that at any moment, a Pakistani or Iranian intelligence officer will come barging in.
“The blast was so strong,” he said, “we thought the world was ending.” Saleem believes that the strike came from a nearby airbase across the Iranian border. Others, he recalls, heard the buzzing of Iranian drones.
He hesitates when I ask him about the target of the other missiles.  “I don’t even want to name him, he's not even from our area—but the missiles hit his homes.”
The man whose name Saleem is reluctant to utter is “Mullah Omar” (not to be confused with the Afghan Taliban leader of the same name).  A senior Iranian official in Pakistan later confirmed the strike took place, declining to elaborate.
An ethnic Baluch from Iran, this Mullah Omar helps lead a shadowy outfit called Jaish ul Adl, or the Army of Justice, whose fighters number fewer than 500.  He wasn’t on the premises when the strike hit, but it killed his 3-year-old grandniece, and injured other family members. Just a month earlier, Mullah Omar’s fighters had crossed into Iran and killed 16 Iranian soldiers.
The Kulahu strike was part of a widening covert war being waged by Iran inside Pakistan.  In the weeks following the September 9, 2014, car bombing at the Iranian base, Iran raided a village in the Pakistani district of Chagai.  According to Pakistani officials, Iranian soldiers, sometimes in helicopters and convoys, have chased militants deep into Pakistan on an almost weekly basis over the last year, sparking firefights and occasionally killing Pakistani soldiers.
Iran says the jihadists enjoy support not only from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, but also from the Inter-Services Intelligence branch of the Pakistani military.
Pakistani officials say they are overwhelmed by internal security problems, and securing the border with Iran is not a top priority. 
Perhaps most importantly, the Sunni jihadists attacking Iran have deep ties with politically connected opium smugglers, men flush with billions of dollars who despise the Iranians for their own reasons.
Before it was split between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Baluchistan spread over an area slightly larger than California. The 650-mile Iran-Pakistan border drawn by the British in 1871 starts at the Arabian Sea, cutting through rugged mountains and dry riverbeds, into open desert at a point where the frontiers of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan touch.
The Baluch in Iran do not speak Farsi but Baluchi, just like the Baluch in Pakistan, and in Iran they are a Sunni minority.  Instead of the Western-style men’s apparel popular in Tehran, the Baluch in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province dress inshalwar kameez like their counterparts in Pakistan.  Many still have family on both sides of the border, and culture is not the only thing they have in common: the Baluch in Iran and Pakistan share a troubled, often violent, relationship with their rulers.
Iran says the jihadists enjoy support not only from Saudi Arabia and the CIA, but from Pakistan’s ISI.
Pakistan's province of Baluchistan, which accounts for nearly half of the country by area, is its poorest, least educated, and least developed region.  Sistan-Baluchistan, where most of Iran's Baluch live, lags behind the rest of Iran in almost every measure. Around half the Baluch in the province are unemployed, a result, say rights groups, of longstanding marginalization by Tehran. 
Under the Shah, Iranian Baluch children were banned from wearing shalwar kameez to school, and Baluchi language publications were blacklisted.  After the Iranian Revolution, discrimination took on a sectarian flavor. Riots broke out in 1994, after Iranian authorities replaced a Sunni mosque in Mashad with a development project.  Within a few years, Iran had jailed or driven from the country more than 60 Sunni clerics. Many of those clerics were welcomed into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where some now regularly appear on Arabic television networks, blasting the Shiite regime in Tehran. By the late 1990's, some Iranian Baluch had turned to militancy, couching their insurgency in a narrative of Sunnis fighting religious and ethnic discrimination at the hands of a Shiite theocracy.  
In the midst of this religious and political turmoil, drug trafficking thrives. More than 70 percent of the world's opium flows across the same border the jihadists do, and from the start, the traffickers and Baluch jihadists targeting Iran have cultivated a cozy relationship.
The Iranian strike in Kulahu in November, 2013, which is one of the best documented in this secretive war, was partly aimed at a compound in the village that has hosted jihadists since the 1990's, when an Iranian banker named Maula Bux Darakhshan formed Sipah-e-Rasul (or the Army of the Prophet).  Maula Bux (as he is called) mixed with the Afghan Taliban, and financed most of his work by trafficking poppy, according to a Salafi cleric who knew him personally.  Local journalists recall watching his fighters parade blindfolded Iranian soldiers through the streets of Kulahu in the back of Toyota Hilux pickup trucks. 
Mullah Omar, the Jaish ul Adl leader, got his start with Sipah-e-Rasul, where he and other fighters doubled as muscle for the trafficker, breaking associates out of Turbat's fortress-like prison. 
Maula Bux himself was killed in 2006, after being lured across the border by Iranian forces on the pretext of a drug deal.  But another, more powerful jihadi group already was emerging in Iran.
On December 14, 2005, gunmen ambushed the lead car in a motorcade carrying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on a tour of Sistan-Baluchistan, killing the driver and a bodyguard. Ahmadinejad escaped alive, but Tehran was rattled.
The attack was orchestrated by Abdelmalek Rigi, then age 22. Rigi's boyish, grinning face became the defining image of Baluch jihad in Iran. As a teenager, the Iranian-born Rigi had come across one of Iran's notorious public executions—eight young Baluch men strung up by cranes in public view—and he dated his militancy, in part, from that moment.  In 2007, he told Western media that his group aimed not to topple the Iranian regime, but to increase autonomy for Sistan-Baluchistan and shield minorities from Tehran’s “despotic religious rule, similar to Fascism or Nazism.” Within six months of the attempt on Ahmadinejad, Rigi’s group, Jundullah, pulled off several more brazen attacks on highways near the border, killing dozens of non-Baluch and taking Iranian Republican Guard officers hostage.
By the end of 2009, Jundullah suicide bombings had killed scores of Shiite worshippers at mosques in southeastern Iran and 42 people in Pishin, including the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard ground forces. Fuming Iranian officials blamed the United States and United Kingdom for backing the militants, and Pakistan for inaction. A dozen Revolutionary Guards were caught deep inside Pakistan, tracking Rigi. In public, Pakistan denied Rigi was on its soil, but in private, authorities quickly moved to help the Iranians find him, focusing on the border near Turbat.
A 2008 Pakistani raid near Turbat turned up Abdolhamid Rigi, the brother of Abdelmalek Rigi. “Whatever used to happen in Iran, they would say it was because of Pakistan. But we did a lot, and the proof of that is that we handed over Abdolhamid Rigi,” said the then-Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik.  During two years in Iranian custody, Abdolhamid provided crucial details of how Jundullah operated.  On February 23, 2010, when Abdelmalek Rigi boarded a Kyrgyzstani passenger plane from Dubai to Bishkek, Iran had the flight diverted to Sharjah's airport, where the head of Jundullah was arrested.
Before executing Rigi in June 2010, Iranian television aired his “confession,” detailing how the West and Pakistan had supported Jundullah.  In his statement, Rigi named Naser Boledi as a main mediator between him and representatives of NATO.  Rigi said he met American handlers at bases in Afghanistan on trips arranged by Boledi and Yasin Ahwazi, an Iranian-Arab who lives in Europe. Both Boledi and Ahwazi have been prominent critics of Tehran for decades. Boledi, who lives in Sweden, laughs heartily when I call him to ask about his connections to Jundullah. He denies any link.
Outside of Iran, Rigi's “confession” seemed like another in the long tradition of statements extracted from prisoners there.  There was, however, some evidence the American intelligence community had sources inside Rigi's group, and some knew of Jundullah's intention to carry out attacks in Iran.
Part of a $400 million budget request for the CIA in 2007 included arecommendation to build ties with armed anti-Tehran groups like Jundullah.  Some in the intelligence community seem to have followed through on that plan.  According to an investigation by the New York Times, Thomas McHale, a detective with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, cultivated extensive contacts with Jundullah, starting in 2007.  McHale, who was assigned to the Newark, New Jersey, Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes several state and Federal agencies and is supervised by the FBI. McHale passed his intelligence on to the CIA, the FBI, and the Pentagon, and his reports suggested he had known of Jundullah's intention to carry out attacks in Iran in advance, but it is unclear if he knew the details.  When the CIA began to suspect he was too close to Jundullah, it cut ties with McHale, but the FBI, and later the Pentagon, still sponsored half a dozen trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan where he met Jundullah members.  The relationship continued until late 2013, long after Jundullah was declared a terrorist organization by the State Department in 2010.
Shrubs and small trees dot a parched landscape along the road from Turbat to the border. Dust devils as tall as skyscrapers appear in the distance. Occasionally, green orchards of date palms emerge from the bleak horizon, a reminder of the region's once famous export.
Rugged, unmarked roads branch off, leading northwest through the Zamuran Hills to the Iranian frontier district of Sarawan, where Jaish ul Adl attacked the army base in September 2014.  Nestled in the hills are small market towns like Buleda, dominated by Baluch who make a living smuggling diesel and drugs.  Three years ago, Republican Guard soldiers came into the hills and killed a cleric accused of hosting Jundullah fighters.
“Iranian forces have long-term grievances with the people in the Pakistani border areas,” said Zahoor Buledi, a former provincial minister.  “They are always blaming us for abetting Jundullah, because Jundullah usually does its operations near these areas... Bombing and shelling are routine matters.”
Hundreds of families have left Zamuran because of the shelling, settling in places like Turbat, only to have the war follow them there too.
“Iran knows who lives in each and every house here,” one man in a Turbat mosque tells me. “They could come here, even to Turbat city, and take any of us and our government wouldn’t do anything.”
In a one-room home on the outskirts of town, a man named Abdullah speaks in a hushed voice as he recounts the disappearance of his 26-year-old son, Tanveer, in a Pakistani border town.  On January 11, 2013, four plainclothes soldiers in two Iranian trucks posed as diesel merchants and lured the young man into one of their vehicles. “When Tanveer realized what was happening, he jumped out of the truck, but the Iranians shot him,” Abdullah says.  “We got the body two weeks later.  They said they had the wrong Tanveer.”
At the Iranian Consulate in Quetta, ringed by multiple layers of giant sand bags to deter would-be suicide bombers, Syed Hasan Yehyavi offers tea, Turkish delight, and diplomatic words. “We have full confidence in the goodwill of Pakistan, our brothers and neighbors,” said the Consul General, “but we expect more help from Pakistani officials.”  He follows up with the now official line from Tehran, that Jaish ul Adl is being backed by the CIA, Saudi Arabia and “regional” powers – a nod to the ISI.
Mosques and madrassas run by Salafi Baluch, some of whom are financed and have studied in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, have sprung up in the region surrounding Turbat in the last decade, leading some to believe funding might be channeled through them to groups like Jaish ul Adl. 
Pakistani security officials offer a more nuanced explanation. Khan Wasey, the spokesman for the Frontier Corps, a Pakistani paramilitary force tasked with securing the border, claims there are no real Jaish ul Adl basesin Baluchistan.  He says his troops work to stop smugglers and jihadists, “but there are other forces at play.”
Indeed, more than 55,000 Pakistani troops are in Baluchistan waging a war of their own. For the last nine years, they have battled secular Baluch nationalists who would like to see an independent Baluchistan.  The Baluch militants blame a Punjabi-dominated military for profiting from the extensive natural gas, gold, and copper deposits that should have made the province the wealthiest in the country. The fighting goes on along the same dusty back roads used by Jaish ul Adl militants moving into Iran, but it’s apparent that they’re not the main enemy for those Pakistani government troops, and they exploit the disorder for their own ends. 
The Jaish ul Adl compound in Kulahu sits on a route where three Baluch separatist groups and at least one alleged government-backed death-squad have set up their own checkpoints; bribes ease the flow of diesel and opium here, even though Iran has constructed hundreds of kilometers of walls and trenches along the border.
Local police officials like Bashir Brohi, Turbat's soft-spoken, well-manicured police chief, think Jaish ul Adl is probably able to fund its activities through drug smuggling and conceded ”the government's writ basically ends at the city lines” of Turbat.
His latest target has been Hajji Hassan, a Baluch drug lord who fled Iran and settled in Turbat in 2000.  Hajji Hassan is legendary here.  Back in Iran, he once got word that the Iranians were going to raid a village where his men were stationed. “When the soldiers entered a valley, Hajji Hassan's men opened fire, killing more than 50 of them,” one of the kingpin’s neighbors tells me. “After that, he had to leave Iran.”
Hajji Hassan lives in Turbat's Overseas Colony, a hamlet for the city's elite whose imposing mansions covered in glazed tiles strike a jarring contrast with the traditional mud-walled homes in the city.  Many of the bosses living here, who dominate a multi-billion-dollar-a-year drug trafficking industry along the border, are Iranian Baluch in exile, and thought to finance groups like Jaish ul Adl. Locals close to Hajji Hassan say he has hosted Jundullah's leadership, including Abdelmalek Rigi, in the past, and may be hosting Mullah Omar's fighters as well. 
That sort of reputation seems to have tipped the Iranians to ask Police Chief Brohi and the Frontier Corps to search in the Overseas Colony for five soldiers Jaish ul Adl kidnapped in February, 2013, in the Overseas Colony. A series of raids earlier this year turned up dozens of Tanzanians, Nigerians, and Yemenis, and Iranians, too, kept as human collateral in global drug deals, but no soldiers.  Four of the five soldiers Jaish ul Adl kidnapped were eventually found in Iran, near the Zamuran hills, and released after the mediation of an Iranian Baluch cleric.
Pakistani officials point to that exchange as proof Jaish ul Adl has no presence in their country, but some are still convinced the ISI is grooming the militants indirectly, by supporting the drug kingpins who finance them.
For officials like Brohi, pursuing the drug traffickers in Turbat would mean crossing a political minefield. One of the drug world's most notorious traffickers also hails from Turbat, and enjoys the support of the ruling provincial party.  Imam Bheel, as locals call him, was added to a list of worldwide traffickers subject to US sanctions in 2009.  His son, Yaqoob Bizenjo, served as a member of the National Assembly until 2013. 
With all the internal security problems plaguing this corner of Baluchistan, it seems unlikely Pakistan will crack down on groups like Jaish ul Adl, or the drug kingpins funding them, any time soon.
Rigi used to couch Jundullah's aims in terms of an ethnic minority fighting for autonomy within a federalized Iranian state. Mullah Omar and his other successors, by contrast, have relied on the kind of polemical Shiite-Sunni rhetoric used by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, in Syria and Iraq.
When Jaish ul Adl took five Iranian border guards hostage in February 2013, its demand in exchange for their release included the freeing of 300 Sunni prisoners, some of whom it claimed were being held in Syria. An attack last year that killed 16 Iranian soldiers was publicized as a “response to crimes of the Revolutionary Guards in Syria.”
The group puts out most of its statements—on its Twitter feed, or its numerous websites—in Arabic, as opposed to Baluchi or Farsi.  The outlets giving these pronouncements the most airtime are Arabic news stations in the Gulf.  The group also has admirers in Pakistan.
“In Iran, Sunnis are not allowed to build mosques; their mosques are destroyed, their rights are taken away,” says Ramzan Mengal, provincial head of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Al Jamah party, which has been accused of targeting Shiites in Pakistan for decades.  Two policemen guard the door to his rundown madrassa on the outskirts of Quetta, protection provided to him, he says, because “Iranian agents” have gunned down eleven Sunni clerics in the city. Jundullah and Jaish ul Adl sprang up “in reaction to that kind of oppression,” he said.  “They started as small groups that are big thorns in Iran's side now.”
“The Syrian war is having its effects here as well,” said Yehyavi, the Iranian Consul General in Quetta.  “People want to paint this as a [global] sectarian war.”  Yehyavi and other Iranian officials worry Jaish ul Adl might become a globally-connected group, drawing support from the same forces backing the Islamic State in Syria.
Rights activists like Boledi, the Iranian Baluch dissident living in Sweden, harbor some of the same concerns.  As a well-known advocate for Baluch rights in Iran, young Iranians reach out to him for advice.  “I've had the same cell phone number for 15 years, so occasionally I do get calls from these militants,” he said.  “I tell them, we are Muslims, but we are not looking for some new Islamic government.  I tell them you are not what the Baluch want.” 

Pakistan - Where is the will to implement National Action Plan?

It is not the time to slow down

While the army is fighting the TTP related terrorists with commitment, the PML-N government seems to lack the will to implement its much publicised National Action Plan. Political parties had accepted some of the provisions in the document despite their principled opposition to them because the government seemed to be serious in putting an end to terrorism and extremism. In case it is seen to be wavering or neglecting some of the agreed measures, the national consensus may not sustain long.
The NAP specifically denounces “sectarianism, extremism and intolerance” and promises immediate steps against the spread of terrorism on the social media. It advocates leaving no space for terrorism in Punjab. It claims that decisive action is being taken against elements that spread sectarianism. Despite all the rhetoric on the part of the PM extremists continue to indulge in acts that violate the NAP.
A case was registered against the controversial Lal Masjid cleric for threatening civil society members of suicide bombers when they called for his arrest. Subsequently warrants for his arrest were issued by a court. The defiant cleric has however refused to seek bail or offer arrest which amounts to challenging the writ of the state. How will the government cleanse the 10 per cent of seminaries, which number thousands, when it is reluctant to force a single cleric to abide by law?
The media continues to be used to spread hatred leading to terrorist acts. Last Monday in a programme telecast by a private TV channel, Ahmadis were declared to be the enemies of Pakistan. It seems PEMRA has decided to continue to close its eyes to acts of the sort as before. Three days later an Ahmadi leader was killed in Gujranwala. During last year Punjab registered the highest number of killings of the Ahmadis as the extremist preachers were given a free hand in the province. If the government continues to ignore the incidents, the NAP would soon be dead as a dodo.