Nuclear Proliferation and Pakistan Military

From the Introduction of book Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons

However, when the war in Afghanistan ended, Bush cut Pakistan adrift, terminating aid in 1990, marking the last significant contact between the US and a nuclear-ready Pakistan until cruise missiles slammed into Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan in 1998. No one was looking at the Islamic Republic, even as intelligence began backing up in Europe, India and Israel to show that its military nuclear network had reacted to the aid cut-off by escalating the black-market deals in nuclear technology, eyeing markets hostile to the West.

By the time President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, and throughout his two terms, an ever more detailed picture was pieced together of Pakistan’s dangerous liaisons: Iran in 1987, Iraq in 1990, North Korea in 1993, and by 1997 Libya, too.

Things would get worse. By the time George W. Bush secured the presidency in 2001, a mountain of incredibly precise intelligence portrayed Pakistan as the epicenter of global instability: a host and patron for Islamist terrorism, ruled by a military clique that was raising capital and political influence by selling weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

However, in the days and months that followed September 11, Wolfowitz and others set about building a new house of cards. Pakistan’s President Musharraf pledged to round up al-Qaeda and to assist in mopping up the Taliban, giving up their leaders and busting their sanctuaries in the inhospitable border region with Afghanistan. Musharraf became integral to American plans, lending the Pentagon airspace, passing intelligence and mounting operations in regions where no Western soldier could ever hope to go. The Bush administration weighed his value as a potential ally against the harm Pakistan’s nuclear program could do, just as Carter and Reagan had done before. Despite overwhelming evidence of a building nuclear crisis, in which a state leaking nuclear technology was also concealing terrorists who were seeking it, the White House decided to do nothing.

In October 2003, Richard Armitage flew to Islamabad to meet Musharraf. The White House agenda was to keep the general onside. A drama was conceived that drew from Musharraf a promise to shut down Pakistan’s nuclear black market in return for winning US support for his unelected regime. It was agreed that A. Q. Khan would be arrested, along with a dozen of his fellow scientists, but Pakistan would keep hold of them, allowing the West to pose limitless questions via ISI interrogators but leaving the country’s military elite in the clear.

As White House calls for regime change in Iran rose to a clamor in 2006, Pakistan’s President Musharraf turned off the intelligence tap, shutting down all investigations into Khan. Then Musharraf’s contribution to the war on terror began to fall apart at the seams. Militants arrested in the post-9/11 heat were released and allowed to re-form their jihadi groups under new names. A neo-Taliban flourished in Pakistan’s tribal border areas, from where they struck fatally at Afghan, British and American forces. Most worrying, al-Qaeda began merging with Pakistan’s home-grown terrorists, spawning new camps, new graduates and new missions abroad. By 2007, Pakistan’s nuclear sales network was flourishing again. The Islamic Republic had learned to manufacture the restricted components and materials, electronic equipment and super-strong metals needed for a ready-made nuclear weapons facility which they were selling to anyone who could come up with the cash. Pakistan’s arsenal, developed at Washington’s grace and favor, was sliding out of control as terrorists gained new footholds in Islamabad.

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Pakistan “Army Drama”

The title of the news in DAWN was Pakistan army drama to show human face of war. However, later on DAWN decided to take the news (I don’t know why) but God bless Google which keeps track of such things through cached pages. You can find the cached copy of the news here.

In case the above link does not work, try reading the cache version on Google

A friend of mine highlighted the fact that, there is an actual phrase “army drama” in the title of DAWN article and wondered how did it happen? I said may be it is a case of Freudian slip.

The news item goes on to say that the “multi million” dollar drama is an effort from Pakistan Army to win the battles of hearts and mind and to show the valour of Pakistani soldiers. As if dramas could win the hearts and mind of people. I think rather than spending billions in Iraq and Afghanistan on people, war lords and corrupt leaders, US should make dramas showing brave American soldiers laying down their lives for safety of Iraqi/Afghani people and this would help in winning Iraqs/Afghanis hearts and minds.

I don’t think so any of us doubt the bravery with which our foot soldiers lay down their lives in this wasteful exercise when it has been clearly stated by Ashfaq Pervez Kyani that this war is only till US leaves the region and then we will be pals with the Talibans.

Working so closely with US has an adverse impact on our army. It now thinks like US rather wants to repeat their mistakes. Making this drama is akin to pro-war propaganda of US during vietnam era. No body doubted the bravery of American soldier fighting in the Vietnam war. But it was a wrong war that resulted in so many lives being wasted.

Spending “multi million dollars” on a drama to win hearts and minds is such a shameful waste of money. But what is shameless is getting the sons of this soil killed for a war that GHQ does not even want to win.

America’s War on Terror

There was a time that a healthy skepticism to US fed propaganda was considered OK. Now if anyone says anything against it, he or she is considered fundo, pseudo-intellectual, out-of-touch etc. The most recent article that has been receiving such criticism is Imran Khan’s in Guardian where he rightly called the current war on terror in Afghanistan as America’s war.

Is there any doubt left that this is America’s war? One may find some justification for attacking Afghanistan post 9/11 but attacking Iraq under the same premise was a war crime as to date they haven’t found any evidence of weapons of mass destruction nor a link between al qaeda and saddam’s regime and the western media might say that Iraqis are better off but the daily bombing and killings in Iraq have made them worse off that during than Saddam’s time. Moreover, since we tend to forget, in the last ten years of Saddam thousands of people died not because of his policies but US sanctions on supplying food and medicine to Iraq. I am not justifying Saddam’s rule here just recalling a bit of historical facts which in the current media frenzy we all seem to forget.

US had a hard time convincing its European and NATO allies to come to Iraq and in the end US went in with its poodle UK only based on a “sexed up” dossier that was presented to UK parliament. Even Musharraf had agreed to send Pakistani troops to Iraq and it was only the protests by our religious parties in the Assembly (their own will or backdoor pushing by Army who knows) that we didn’t send our men to get killed in Iraq. [for the naives, google the news and you shall see]. Anyway, the men we saved by not going on an adventure in Iraq, we are killing in war with Talibans.

Regarding calling America’s war in Afghanistan “our war” is a mistake only the liberal elite and ex-military idiots of this country make. Because our Chief of Army Kiyani does not consider this war “our war” and he is just wasting our men and resources till Americans leave and they will leave so that he can against implement the Pakistan Army’s plan of “strategic depth”.

I am not making this up. Here is General Kyani (the end savior of liberals) in Washington Post.

The two countries’ “frames of reference” regarding regional security “can never be the same,” he said, according to news accounts. Calling Pakistan America’s “most bullied ally,” Kayani said that the “real aim of U.S. strategy is to de-nuclearize Pakistan.”

The above article is to be read in full to realize the the double face of our army which is getting our people killed on both sides (Army and the people it is fighting).

Now if General Kiyani talks like this, no wonder the man on the street is right to believe that US is after our nuclear weapons.

So if I get it straight, Kiyani is fighting as long as US is there and will change strategy once US leaves the scene. To me it clearly seems the case that Pakistan Army believes that it is America’s war on terror and will make a U-turn as soon as US leaves.

Destinations : Innocent Deaths

Some items in the media regarding innocent deaths.

From Christian Science Monitor

A video released on the Internet Monday by WikiLeaks, a small nonprofit dedicated to publishing classified information from the US and other governments, appears to show the killing of two Iraqi journalists with Reuters and about nine other Iraqis in a Baghdad suburb in 2007 that is sharply at odds of the official US account of the incident.
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Permission is given, a voice says “light them all up,” and the helicopter opens up on the group with its machine gun – apparently killing all but two of the men. One unarmed man who escaped the first salvo and ran across the street into an empty lot is also tracked and killed.

For further details, go to Collateral Murder. Large number of resources are available on the site.

A friend of mine made the following comment on her facebook page after visiting the above website:

This is how American Soldiers kill ordinary citizens in Iraq – indiscriminately. The morons cannot tell the difference between RPGs, AK47s and cameras. When they kill people, they also take pride in killing the rescuers and call them “dead bastards”

What I find more insane is that on the youtube, there are ordinary American commenters who are happy that US pilots “fucking owned” the dead Iraqi journalists and many actually support the war, occupation and brutal murder of innocent people on daily basis.
……

From New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted late on Sunday that its forces had, in fact, killed the women during the nighttime raid.

The admission immediately raised questions about what really happened during the Feb. 12 operation — and what falsehoods followed — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.

……

From Talking Points Memo

In a stark assessment of shootings of locals by US troops at checkpoints in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in little-noticed comments last month that during his time as commander there, “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force.”

……

Now to Pakistan. Robert Fisk in The Independent

A young Peshawar journalist sits beside me, talking in a subdued but angry way, as if someone is listening to us, about the pilotless American aircraft which now slaughter by the score – or the four score – along the Afghanistan border. “I was in Damadola when the drones came. They killed more than 80 teenagers – all students – and, yes they were learning the Koran, and the madrasah, the Islamic school, was run by a Taliban commander. But 80! Many of them came from Bajaur, which would be attacked later. Their parents came afterwards, all their mothers were there, but the bodies were in pieces. There were so many children, some as young as 12. We didn’t know how to fit them together.”

The reporter – no name, of course, because he still has to work in Peshawar – was in part of the Bajaur tribal area, to cover negotiations between the government and the Taliban. “The drones stayed around for about half an hour, watching,” he says. “Then two Pakistani helicopter gunships came over. Later, the government said the helicopters did the attack. But it was the drones.”

……
From Reuters

New York-based Human Rights Watch said it had briefed U.S. State Department and congressional officials about mounting evidence of more than 200 summary executions in Swat Valley in the past eight months of suspected Taliban sympathizers.

Pakistan’s army denied the group’s accusations of abuse in Swat, home to about 1.3 million people and the site of a much-lauded military operation last year to take back the former Taliban stronghold.

All eggs (terrorists) in one basket (bus)? [CNN edition]

This was reported on CNN website today

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Fourteen suspected terrorists died Tuesday night when the bus they rigged with explosives blew up prematurely, police said.

The explosion occurred as the suspects were riding the bus in the province of Kunduz, said police chief Abdul Raziq Yaqobi.

Yaqobi said the suspects wanted to attack Afghan police or foreign soldiers.

Who comes with such stories and how could it make it to the website of CNN without any editing or inquiry? The question arises that why would you need fourteen terrorists (probably all bomb riggers) riding to the destination in a single bus? The driver could have  easily picked up innocent passengers if an illusion of a genuine passenger bus was required. Why would 14 semi trained terrorists needed to be riding in a single suicide mission? Like military (US or Pak)  or Intelligence Agencies, terrorists can also be stupid but this is taking it too far.

Must be the work of non state actors or Xe (formerly known as Blackwater).